Happy May!

Hey everyone,

Oh my goodness I can’t believe it’s already May! Time is flying so fast!!

This was a good week! We were able to meet more with our recent convert, and he’s doing pretty well. He had some problems with the word of wisdom before his baptism but was able to quit, so we’re still working with him on staying strong. We talked about the power of fasting and prayer with him this week and how that can help him resist temptation. It made me think a lot about how when we sacrifice something for God, we always receive greater blessings than what we’re giving up.

We also met some wonderful new people this week! We had a lesson with this woman and her mother, and it was amazing to see their faith in God. I could just see so clearly how much God loves them and has a plan for them:)

I’ve also been thinking about charity, the pure love of Christ. One of my favorite passages about it is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth.”

I once heard someone replace the word “charity” with “Christ”:

“Christ suffereth long, and is kind; Christ envieth not; Christ vaunteth not Himself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave Himself unseemly, seeketh not His own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Christ never faileth.”

This passage about charity describes Christ perfectly because Christ is charity. Everything that He has ever done has shown His perfect love for His Father and for us. And since we are all trying to be like our Savior, this needs to describe us as well.

It’s interesting that Christ said the first great commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Each one of us is a child of Heavenly Father, and He loves us more than we realize or understand. He knows the quiet struggles that we go through and that everyone around us goes through. He sees the needs of others that we can’t. I think that is why it’s so important that we love others– it’s because everyone needs to feel love. And as the people around us feel that we care about them, they will come to feel God’s love for them as well. Each of us needs to be an instrument in the hands of Heavenly Father through which He can bless His children.

And one of the best ways to show our love for people is to share what we know about God’s plan with them. One of my favorite parts of Preach My Gospel is the very first two paragraphs of the first chapter:

“You are surrounded by people. You pass them on the street, visit them in their homes, and travel among them. All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come’ (D&C 59:23), but they are ‘kept from the truth because they know not where to find it’ (D&C 123:12).

“The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith will bless their families, meet their spiritual needs, and help them fulfill their deepest desires. Although they may not know why, they need relief from feelings of guilt that come from mistakes and sins. They need to experience the joy of redemption by receiving forgiveness of their sins and enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

This gospel really is for everyone because it is the path back home to our Father in Heaven.

I love you all! And God does too:)

Love,

Sister Stratford

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