Happy Fourth!

P1020441[1]Hey everyone!

Happy Fourth of July!! I hope you all had a wonderful time:) It’s good to remember how the Lord has prepared this country as a place where the Restoration of Christ’s gospel could occur.

Since the Fourth was on preparation day, our zone went to Strasburg! We spent time at a members’ home (it was so good to see them again!!) having a bbq and playing water balloon volleyball and it was so fun!

Last week we had our MLC meeting, so we got to hear from President and Sister Mendenhall. They’re so awesome:) They talked a lot about the spiritual power that comes as we have faith in Christ and make the sacrifices we need to in order to more fully let Him in. It was really good! I’m always just so excited to go out and do missionary work after hearing them talk:)

Paint Twister with the Sisters
Laramie is still doing well! The day after her baptism, she was confirmed a member of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. And she is continuing to learn and grow and share her sweet testimony with all those around her:) It is so beautiful to see how making sacred covenants with God, through ordinances like baptism and confirmation, brings such great joy! Our Heavenly Father wants us to come home someday, and those covenants are the way He has given us to get there.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about talking to a woman who was sitting on the curb looking really sad. Well, we’ve taught her several times now, and her sister too, and they came to church and to the ward bbq, and they both want to be baptized! As we were talking about it with them last night, they were so excited! And it’s wonderful because they speak Chuukese (of the Micronesian island Chuuk), and there’s a recent convert family who live two floors below them who also speak Chuukese! They get along great and it’s been a big support on both sides:) Heavenly Father has definitely been making sure we’re all in the right places to help this happen! He is so perfectly aware of each one of us and is preparing the way that we can return to Him and find peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come:)

I’ve been trying to be better at ponderizing a scripture each week, and this week I’m working on Alma 27:18. It’s after Ammon and the other sons of Mosiah have been serving their missions among the Lamanites and have brought so many to the fold of God. So Ammon is already full of joy, and then he is reunited with his friend Alma, and that just overwhelms him so much that he is overcome and falls over. So the verse says: “Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.”

P1020435[1]I thought that was interesting. To receive the most amount of joy that we can, we have to be truly penitent and humble seekers of happiness. What does that mean? I’m not done studying it yet, but I think it means we have to seek after the source of all happiness who is Jesus Christ. We have to be penitent, so we have to use His Atonement to overcome our mistakes and weaknesses, and we have to be humble, so we have to see the blessings we have through Him and recognize our dependence on Him. And we have to keep seeking. Of course life won’t be perfect, but we’ll find happiness and joy that goes deeper than this life. It will be an eternal kind of joy:) I want that. And I’m out here serving a mission because I want other people to have that too:)

I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ! He is my Savior, and He is your Savior. He has overcome the world and made it possible to have eternal joy. And we can build that joy day by day, little by little as we turn to Him and live His gospel.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week:)
Sister Stratford


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