I wonder how my times I've used that. Probably a lot. Anyway! This week was a great one. My companion has recovered....I hope.... and so we've been able to go out, find, and teach. I wanted to start this weekly letter out with how wonderfully simple True to The Faith is. I've been studying it a lot during personal study lately, and It has helped me to more clearly explain doctrine to people. Here's a secret: missionaries don't know everything. We seek and receive answers just like the rest of you! I hope none of you are shocked by this fact. The book is FILLED with precious truths that we ALL knew before we came to this earth, and it touches my soul when people we teach are reminded of those precious truths they once knew. You see their eyes light up and sometimes tears fill those eyes. It's something I've seen over and over and over throughout these two years.
When we went over to Nastia's for her recent convert lessons, she made a comment that really stuck with me. These aren't her exact words, but you'll get the main idea. She said, "I've noticed how much my prayers have changed. They've become more sincere. They've become more from the heart." I hope we can all say that as we move along in life. Because I remember when I was little I would be way too repetitive in my prayers; but, as I've tried to be more sincere and specific, I've seen blessings come more abundantly into my life. You're never talking to a ceiling when you pray, you're communicating with a loving Father in Heaven who has a body and spirit just like we do. That "precious truth" was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. People thought and still think that God is just a powerful spirit, but because of the First Vision, we know that God has a body of flesh and bones. A young, 14 year old boy saw Him and Jesus Christ standing next to one another. And through prayer we can know this for ourselves.
Tamara is someone who is struggling to know for herself if our message is true. We had a great lesson this past week about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and how she needs to read and pray sincerely to receive those answers she's looking for. She's been having a problem with these two things, but I think this lesson helped her a lot. Well. It wasn't the lesson, it was the Holy Ghost helping her while we simply shared what we know to be true. Basically, Joseph Smith's situation is what Tamara's situation is. She sees all these churches, but doesn't know which path to take/which church to join. So we read James 1:5, and I think that in that moment she realized what she needs to do: ASK GOD. Before we left she told us, "I have a good jealously for you two. You firmly know you're on the right path and I hope to be like that someday." I really do believe that she will be like that someday, and only God knows when. In the meantime, we continue to invite and help her (and the people of Moldova) to come unto Christ. Or as I like to say, "Come closer to Christ."
Just for your information, my son, Elder Westover, has been on his mission for a year. He's growing up so fast! He's been a great example to me and to the missionaries around him, and he's done so much for these people. I'm grateful for the time I had to serve with him (and my other 10 companions) these past two years. Shoot. I forgot to write about a baptist lady that we met. Oh well. I'll have to tell you that story in two weeks! Anyway, I've said this a million times too, but I'll keep saying it until the day that I die: I LOVE YOU AND HAVE A HAPPY WEEK!