Firstly I need to apologize for my last letter, it was not very positive and my mission has been one miracle right after the other. God has blessed me so much and I have no reason to express less than the most sincere gratitude for this opportunity! I am always grateful that the atonement allows us to be forgiven and truly change... even if it was just because of a less than happy e-mail! The atonement is real!
This week I am learning about FAITH!
I have chosen to focus on an attribute of Christ every two weeks and this week and next week will be FAITH!
I have learned that faith must be centered in JESUS CHRIST!
It is an assurance that you have been and always will be forgiven of your sins. It is confidence in the Savior's ability to bless you, forgive you, and enable you. Faith to me is like a fire! All my life I have been gathering kindling. Everything I have learned about the gospel is a piece of wood to add to the fire. My parents taught me to pray, attend church, and to read the scriptures which is my way of always having fuel for the fire of my faith. My whole life up to this point has been a building phase. I was setting myself up to truly learn how to truly and deeply live the gospel and serving a mission was the only way I could learn to take my fire from that of a match to a roaring flame. The flame of faith must be kept alive. Every time we are negative and doubt, it is like throwing water on our fire of faith.
I also learned another analogy today about our Savior Jesus Christ as the gatekeeper. 2 Nephi 9:41 says that Christ is the gatekeeper.
He employs no servant. He cannot be deceived. Usually I read that and thought, "wow Christ surely won't let anyone in who is unrighteous" which is true... He cannot let the unrighteous and unclean of heart into the kingdom of Heaven... He simply cannot but let's keep in mind that gatekeepers don't just keep things out...they also let things in. Christ is the gatekeeper. He employs no servant. He cannot be deceived and His job, along with keeping the unrighteous out, is to let the righteous in.
As much as you may say "He wouldn't let me, a sinner, into His kingdom, I have made too many mistakes", He is the Gatekeeper. He employs no servant. He cannot be deceived. He knows your heart and if you have applied the atonement often, and been obedient and done all you could... it is His job to LET YOU IN! He knows your heart, He is the loving gatekeeper, He employs no servant, and He cannot be deceived!
FOR ALL THOSE WHO NEED AN ANSWER: HERE IS THE PROCESS...
Stept 1 ASK
1 Nephi 15:8 and inquire of the Lord: ASK
(if you ever have a question...ask! the Lord will answer you)
Step 2 TRUST
I was reading I found 1 Nephi 17:49-51 I found the next step: TRUST
I love how Nephi notices how great God's power is and then says,"if God can do all of those great things, how is it that He cannot command me to build a ship?" So, the question is... what is your ship?
50. "If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them"
51. "and now if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot construct me that I should build a ship?"
How is it that he cannot instruct me to... serve a mission
How is it that he cannot instruct me to... go to college
How is it that he cannot instruct me to... accept a difficult calling
How is it that he cannot instruct me to... overcome an addiction
How is it that he cannot instruct me to... share the gospel with my friend
How is it that he cannot instruct me to... be patient in my trials
Whatever your trial... with the Lord... you can build your ship!
PLEASE review this scripture if you are struggling and e-mail me if you have any questions or need some encouragement.
Step 3: FIND
Specifically for me I have been looking for the answer to my Book of Mormon question: "Why did God send me to Mesa Arizona"
As I prayed (ASKED) and exercised (used) my faith to (TRUST) in Jesus Christ and SEARCH... I was guided by the spirit in my reading to answer the question... What did Nephi do when he finally landed in America...
(and I found my answer to how I would discover why God sent me to Mesa, AZ.)
It says in 1 Nephi 18:24-25 that the people reached the promised land and they planted seeds and tilled the earth... if I liken that scripture unto me then:
-Mesa is my promised land, the Land God foreordained me to serve in before I even came to earth.
-the seeds that Nephi planted with his family and the work of tilling the ground are all the learning and teaching skills and practice I am putting in to become a better missionary and a better Hailey... a NEW HAILEY and then the real answer came in the next verse, "drumroll please"...
In verse 25 it says "We did FIND upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness". In that verse everything came together. I felt the spirit testifying to me that I will FIND the reasons why I was called to Mesa as I serve my promised land and journey in my wilderness. The wilderness represents all of my trials and weaknesses.
Crazy, right... I found my answer and now I can't wait to chart a course straight to Exaltation through my wilderness...and my journey has begun in my promised land.
Funny story, when I moved in i found a poster at my desk which says "WELCOME HOME TO THE PROMISED LAND"!
Sister Hailey Ellen Zimmerman