Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

I Defended My faith KARLINA PETERSON During my freshman year of college, my eyes were opened to the fact that my life as a student would not be as sheltered as before. Nor would what I held dear be accepted. I found that I stuck out like a sore thumb when I refused to engage in activities that I knew would harm me physically or harm my relationship with Heavenly Father. However, I feared criticism for being a member of the Church and therefore avoided the topic. One day in an afternoon class, the professor was leading a discussion on how youth develop amid constant discrimination. A girl behind me replied that the discussion made her think of Mormons. I cringed because when the Church was brought up in a class, inappropriate comments usually followed. As I braced myself for derogatory statements, the teacher asked if any Latter-day Saints were in the class. Stunned at the inquiry, I scanned the room only to find everyone else doing the same. Before I could think twice, my hand was rising from its comfortable position on the desk. I heard an eruption of whispers from across the room. “One,” the teacher said. The word rang in my ears. After a long silence, I was asked to respond to the debate regarding whether Latter-day Saints are Christians. I was no stranger to the question and was prepared to answer. “‘We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, [and] we preach of Christ’” (2 Nephi 25:26), I confidently replied. “We are indeed Christian.” The whispering ceased, but I felt everyone staring at me. I thought I would feel alone. Instead, I felt as if the Savior had sat down next to me and put His hand in mine. Nothing else mattered, for I was filled with joy that strengthened my testimony of Him. I had defended my faith. I shared more with the class about why Latter-day Saints are Christians. Then I thought of the time President Thomas S. Monson shared the gospel on a bus ride. From this experience he encouraged members to “be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe.”1 As I thought of his words, I realized I had done the thing I was most afraid to do. I do not know whether the things I said changed anybody’s opinion of the Church, but we need not fear to stand up and share the gospel—wherever we are. Even if we do not bless anybody else, we will always strengthen our testimony and our relationship with Heavenly Father. I really liked this story and i thought i should share it with others, I really like how it explains that we should stand for our beleifs, and how we need to have the courage if things are against us with our religion. We as missionaries are always standing for our beleifs. : ) This past week was a really busy and i loved it, We did divisions twice with other missionaries, and Elder Martinez had his kidney stones taken out he is recooperating in his house. He is well, and he needs to go check in with the doctor to see if they got everything out. Thank you for your prayers for him! We are progressing with our investigators, and we have found menos actives that really want to come back to church, and this past sunday some of them did. It was great seeing there faces in church. Lots of people asked where i had been because i was in divisions with alot of missionaries, and last week i didnt even go to my own church, i was in Libertad. But it was good seeing everyone again. They made me happy being able to see all of them, and knowing that they missed me. ha they are a very great ward. They are all soo happy and loving. This is the last week before changes, and my companion is going home, ha not like its old news, he mentions it to everyone we see... but i am glad he is going, he will be able to see his family, and he has plans to baptize his mom when he gets home, he has been telling her to prepare to be baptized when he gets their before he gets released. His mom has also been reading the book of mormon and she has prepared a little bit. I am happy for him. The main things that happened this week was just a lot of preparing and a lot of divisions... we hardly ever stay in our own ward.... taking care of these 22 other missionaries. wow!!! This next change they are splitting our zone in two, so it will be less on our shoulders, i am looking forward to that because i really feel like our ward here in villa verde needs more attention... It is really hard juggling both Missionaries/our ward. I am also looking forward to a new companion, one of the less actives in our ward teaches Karate and we tought him yesterday and he said every saturday he is going to teach us in the morning at 6:00am : ) I am really looking forward to that, i have been working out alot lately also.... cant go home fat, No quiero. Everything is going really well though, all this change me and my companion have never gotten sick, like really badly... I am really grateful for that. I like Culiacan because i know i dont get sick that much. I feel super Healthy and we eat really good here!!!! We eat dinner almost every night also with members. This area is really amazing and we are very blessed. We bought food this past week and we have hardly even used any of it because we receive soo much food from the members. haha. Its amazing. We have been doing a survey lately and it is really good, it helps us talk to the people in the streets and the people really like to do the survey. It asks a lot of interesting questions. We did it this past week with the zone and we received like 25 references. I am going to send it to my friends that are on the mission so they can use it if they have not received it. We have been contacting camiones also... haha There are lots of buses here, and we started contacting them, i used to to this in the beginning of my mission, and we started doing it again to show all the new missionaries haha.. But it is fun, and it helps us get more investigators. This past week has been a good one, I wont forget it. I hope everyone is well, and i want all of you to know that i love you. I hope you have a good safe week! Be happy! Elder Fellingham Culiacan, Villa Verde

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