Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was a little rough, but it turned out well. I guess these sorts of weeks just have to happen sometimes. 
We met with Ying this week. She is from China, is about 22, and was baptized in October of last year. She is so funny! We taught a great lesson about how much her Heavenly Father loves her. Then she fed us pie, and we helped her with her English homework. She really appreciated us coming, and we were so glad that we could finally meet with her. 
We also met with Daniel and Christina this week. They had one of those thumb-drive things with internet on it, but it was out. So we had no Google Translate to help us this time. We read Alma 40 together, and I would pause every once in awhile to slowly clarify what was happening. It turns out Daniel speaks better German than we thought! We were able to carry on a decent conversation, and he would translate what I was saying (or at least the idea of it) to Christina. That was so exciting. They really are doing so well. We will do more skype lessons this week, and hopefully we can get them to come to church on Sunday. We have a less active in our ward who served her mission in Romania. We are also going to try to get her involved in the teaching. It would be super if we could reactivate her and baptize Daniel and Christina at the same time! That may be just what she needs anyway, to go through the basics of the gospel again and remember what she once felt and knew. 
We were also privileged to meet with another less active at her home this week. Until this point, we had only chatted at church. But that was an AWESOME lesson! Especially because she had had joint and muscle pain for the past month at least. On Sunday, she had mentioned it in passing to a brother in our ward. He asked if she wanted a blessing, and she thought it couldn't hurt. She said she felt a little better after the blessing, and her pain was manageable without medication. But she said the next day, her pain was completely gone. And she hadn't had any pain since then. She then bore her testimony of how powerful the priesthood is. We talked about faith and hope with her, and discussed how because of her faith and hope in the Savior, are these sorts of miracles possible. She is really progressing so much, and we are so excited for her! Also, she came to General Conference with a stallwart member in our ward! She was so excited the whole time she was there and was just beaming.  I really love working with less-actives and watching the happiness and light enter back into their lives. It is so rewarding. 
We had General Conference this weekend again! I cannot believe it is already 6 months later! These last six months FLEW! But this General Conference was another winner. I am stoked that Cedar City will be receiving a temple! We had troubles with the buses, so we were a little late getting to the Saturday morning session, but I listened on the Handy (another elder put his phone by the speaker). It was great riding on the bus and listening to General Conference. Also, the people sitting across from us were from England. So, Sister Smith contacted them and got some good experience with contacting. At first, I was a little frustrated to start out in an English-speaking ward. But the more and more I reflect on that experience the more and more grateful I am for it. Among all of the many lessons I learned there that could not have been learned any other way, one of the most important lessons I learned was how to teach, talk to people, etc. I was on Austausch last transfer, and my companion mentioned that when she was training, she would always say, ''I just don't know what to say.'' Her trainer would say, ''What is it you would like to say? I can help you.'' Then she would respond that she didn't even know what to say in English. The Lord really does know what is best for us. And although a lot of times, in the moment, we just cannot understand why we have to deal with this ridiculous, frustrating, or difficult problem, there really is a purpose for it. I was reading a talk from last General Conference during my personal study this morning, and I found a wonderful quote. It is from Elder Daniel L. Johnson, of the Seventy. He says, ''Our discipleship will be developed and proven not by the type of trials that we are faced with, but by how we endure them.'' I really liked how simple that idea is, yet how hard it is to grasp sometimes. It all boils down to our attitude, and how much we are willing to turn to the Lord during these times. One of my friends who is on a mission in Russia just sent me a letter, and she said, ''You can never fall lower than your knees.'' 
I love you all and hope you are doing well! Bis nächste Woche!
Sister Stephanie Reid

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