"You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others..." Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Goodbye Pocatello

Last week I witnessed so many miracles. So many of our investigators and those we had been teaching were making such effort-filled steps to learn more about Christ’s gospel, about His true church. Tuesday night we taught a wonderful, kind mother and her 10 year old daughter the Restoration. We invited her daughter to be baptized and she said yes! We extended a date and she told us she would work towards it. It’s so beautiful…witnessing the faith of those I have the honor of teaching. I love these people. Wednesday was also a miracle. Miko prayed for the first time in front of us in Mandarin. It was such a loving, tender prayer. Although I couldn’t understand the words she spoke, the spirit that was felt was beyond this world. I love the calling to be a missionary. Thursday was a day of change, a day of faith, a day of growth. While throughout my mission, my health has not been the best. I’ve been constantly sick, but somehow, someway, Christ has been able to sustain me throughout all of the health problems. Even when I was extremely ill, He helped me continue to work and teach. Wednesday I had been allowed to talk with my parents. They called me and we discussed the medical issues I had been facing and I told them I wanted to continue to serve and that I believed I would get better and my health would improve. 3 months isn’t a long time, and I thought because I had been called for 18 months that I hadn’t fulfilled my calling as a servant of the Lord yet. I called the President’s wife and we agreed that I would continue to rely on the Lord and have faith that I could still serve. However, Heavenly Father had a different plan for me. The next day our phone rang and the President’s wife told my companion that she and the doctor had talked and felt that it was in my best interest to go home. Oh, how I cried. I fell to the floor and just sobbed. I love being able to wear Christ’s name above my heart. I love being able to go out and talk to my brothers and sisters about the thing that means the most to me. I love my mission. I love my Savior. That was one of the hardest moments of my life – hearing that although my heart and spirit were willing to stay, that my body was not able to. I was told I would be leaving the next morning to come back to California. Sister Jacobson and I had an appointment with Dustin and so we went to his home and talked with him. He is just so wonderful. It was his birthday and so we made a fun poem for him and told him how happy we were to have worked with him and to have witnessed his baptism and confirmation. Transfers are next Wednesday and Sister Jacobson is being transferred, so neither of us will be in the Central Stake after this next week. We also saw Bryson at Dustin’s home. Bryson is still so excited for baptism! He’s such a gem. I have loved being able to teach all of these people about Christ and seeing their testimonies and knowledge of their Savior grow. It’s so rewarding. Once we arrived back at the apartment, I took some time to pray and to ask my Heavenly Father if all of this was right and I felt the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that this is what was supposed to happen. I received a blessing from one of our zone leaders and the Spirit that was felt during that blessing; the peace and assurance and love that I felt along with the words that were spoken testified that Heavenly Father needs me elsewhere and that I have fulfilled the mission in which He has sent me. Oh, it’s hard. It was so hard to say goodbye to Sister Jacobson and to say goodbye to our zone leaders and the President and his wife and to Sister Worrall (my MTC companion…so cool to see her again!) and other kind, beautiful sisters that drove me to the mission president’s house, but I know it’s what Heavenly Father needs of me. I know it’s what He wants me to do, and so I’ll follow Him faithfully. Sister Brinkerhoff, the President’s wife showed me that in Doctrine and Covenants chapter 124 verse 49 it says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons (or daughters) of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons (or daughters) of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their adiligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.” My enemies are my health, but I know Heavenly Father knows me and knows the desires of my heart. On the plane ride home I was able to sit next to a young man named Emmett. We started discussing religion. I introduced myself as Sister Mork and he said, “Oh so you’re a nun or something?” I laughed and explained I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He didn’t know what a Mormon was! Coming from serving in Idaho for 3 months, meeting someone who doesn’t know what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, is a miracle. It’s unheard of. So we talked about his beliefs of religion, I taught him the Restoration, gave him a Book of Mormon, invited him to read and to pray about it, and he said he would. I then invited him to be baptized and he said he would think about it! We had more time on the plane and I taught him the Plan of Salvation as well. What a tender mercy. I felt so blessed to be able to teach one more lesson as a set apart representative of my Savior. I love being a missionary. I always will. I never want to stop sharing His word. Seeing my family at the airport was so surreal. I love them and I missed them, but the reality of my calling coming to an end broke my heart. Later Friday we drove to the stake President’s home and he released me. He said, “You are a return missionary. You have fulfilled your calling and served a full and honorable mission. You have been diligent in doing what He has asked of you and Heavenly Father has accepted your offering.” I’m not going to lie and say this has been easy. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do – coming home early. But I know that it’s the Lord’s will. I know that He is mindful of me. I know that I have followed His will my entire mission and I will continue to strive to do His will all of my life. I miss my mission so much already… I miss the people and the Spirit I always felt and the moments when such a loving feeling of charity would fill my heart for people I had just met. I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend in the Idaho Pocatello Mission and I will forever be thankful to my Lord for allowing me to serve. I love my Savior. I love this Gospel. I know it’s true. I know that trials allow us to manifest and demonstrate our faith in our Lord. I’m grateful for His eternal Atoning sacrifice. I don't know what's next, but I know that with the Savior by my side, I need not fear. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pocatello! Week 10

Hello. Happy Easter... well, the day after. But anyways! I love Easter time. I love my Savior, I love the fact that He loves us enough to do everything He has done for us, and I love that He has risen again, and because of Him, we too can be resurrected after we die. We will live again because He did first. Here in Pocatello they do this thing called, "Walk With Christ." They set up the whole building with different people dressed up and acting as different individuals in moments of Christ's life. We walk to different rooms and learn about Christ's life; his birth, ministry, etc. It's incredible. I felt such a spirit as I walked around that church building and learned more about my Savior. We took Jared and his family. They loved it. I felt such pride as I looked at my right shoulder and really reflected on the name that I bear. I wear Christ's name on my shoulder everyday. I have the honor and privilege of representing Him, my elder brother. I feel so blessed. I love him. I love my Lord. Friday I was able to be on exchanges with Sister Riding. Sister Jacobson went up to Highland. I love them both. It was a special day... as Sister Riding and I were eating lunch she received a phone call. She got her visa and will be going to Brazil on April 29th! Ah. She is such a loving, Christlike, charitable soul. She reminds me of you, mom - so beautiful inside and out. The people of Brazil are so lucky to have her. I know the people of Idaho have been lucky to have her around for as long as we have:) During this Easter time as I think of Christ, my heart is full - full of His grace and love. The fact that I know my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, loves me and knows me and died for me and was resurrected so I could have salvation and live with Him again just makes me swell with joy. I love Him. Love doesn't even express all the feelings I feel toward my Savior. And I love my Father in Heaven for loving me enough to send His Only Begotten Son to die for me, as imperfect as I am. It touches my soul. All throughout the scriptures Christ is found saying, "Come unto me." He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to lean on Him, He wants to mend our broken hearts and our fragile spirits. I hope you've gone to lds.org and watched, "Because of Him." It's such a beautiful and inspired 2 minute video. Saturday was fantastic. Jared, my wonderful 9 year old friend, was baptized! It was such a peaceful setting. His father was able to baptize and confirm him. So lovely. So special. That night we took Miko to the "Walk With Christ." It's amazing... the faith she has. She came from China where she wasn't taught about God or Christ at all, and here she is - reading the Book of Mormon, praying, feeling the Spirit. After going through the "Walk With Christ" we were able to view paintings of Him. I asked her, "What do you think about it all?" And she said, "It is wonderful. Just wonderful." And Sister Jacobson asked, "Which room did you like best?" And Miko just smiled and said, "All of them." She is such a tender soul. I love her. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach her. Sunday Dustin, a 11 year old that's getting baptized this Saturday, walked all the way to church alone. What faith he has! I just couldn't stop smiling when I saw him at church. I am so proud of him. I know Heavenly Father is, too. My heart is full. I've been pretty sick lately, but I know that the Lord will sustain me as I strive to do the best I can. I love my Savior. I love this work. I love helping others come unto Christ. I know He lives. I know that my Redeemer lives and loves me too. Ether 12:27 reads, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness, I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." All things are possible in Jesus Christ. He has overcome the world. He has overcome all of our trials and pains. We just need to ask Him how we can, we just need to ask Him to help us. I testify that He will. We will feel His love and strength. I love you. I pray for you. All my love and prayers, Sister Mork

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pocatello! Week 9

So I guess I just want to say, I love you all. Lately it's really been just hitting me - trials. Trials are for our benefit. How else would we be able to grow and learn? When we endure hard times it makes us more empathetic, more compassionate, more loving, more Christlike... and if our challenges draw us closer to our Heavenly Father and allow us to become more like Him, how blessed are we to endure! We're better able to help others that are forced to push through similar afflictions. We can better assist and encourage them. It's beautiful really. In Mosiah 24: 10, 12-15 it says, "And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.... (and) did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts. And if came to pass that the voice of the lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage, and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions....yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." He did strengthen them so they could stand the burdens. He didn't just take the trial away. And something I've learned is that praying to have a hard trial taken away doesn't help us at all and that isn't the purpose of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because He did endure everything we've endured we can be strengthened through Him, through the trial. We can be made whole, complete, stronger. I am so grateful for that knowledge. Monday we invited two young girls to be baptized and they accepted! How glorious! And then Miko, the Chinese foreign exchange student we've been teaching has been reading The Book of Mormon and praying and wants to be baptized! It was a beautiful day spent among beautiful people. Tuesday we had Zone Training and Sister Jacobson and I did a training for the other Elders and Sisters in our zone on how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us during hard times. I love the Savior and I am so grateful for everything He means to me. He is my rock. He is as real to me as any person I can physically touch, if not more real. I know that He lives and I know that His Atonement is a force that I will forever be indebted to Him for. Wednesday we saw Dustin - 11 - and planning on being baptized in a few months! I love that kid. He is so alive and ready to follow the example of Jesus Christ in being baptized by proper authority! Helping others come unto Christ is such a blessing. Seeing the miracle of change in others is one of the greatest things I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Thursday we saw Mamie and taught her about the Plan of Salvation. She is learning so much and it's so exciting! She wants to discover if this gospel really is Christ's church and committed to pray and ask Heavenly Father if it is. I know that she will receive confirmation from the Holy Ghost and feel that peace, which will testify to her that this is His gospel. Friday night Hannah got baptized! She's 9. The baptism was so beautiful. She was dressed in white and when she came up out of the water she couldn't stop smiling! The Spirit of love and peace was so strong. Saturday we saw the Caudillo family and this next Saturday their 9 year old son, Jared, is getting baptized. We've been teaching him and seeing the peace that comes from learning about these things is such a transformation. Sunday was church! I love being able to attend Christ's true church. I love the peace and love I feel. I know that this gospel is true. I know that Christ is leading the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I know that He is at the head of it. I love my Savior. I feel blessed and honored to wear His name. I love you and I pray for you. Remember who you are. You are a child of God. You are His. You are priceless. You are special. Never forget that. All my prayers, Sister Mork P.S. "Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." Moroni 10:32. Perfected means to be complete. Through Him we can be made whole. Let Him heal you

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pocatello! Week 8

Jesus Christ. Just two words, but so much meaning. Lately I've really been thinking about my relationship with my Savior and everything He is to me. He's not just some great man that lived long ago. He lives now. He is my older brother and He loves me. Because of the sacrifice He gave of His life, we can all live again. We can be strengthened during our trials. We can be made to be more than we could be with our limited capacity. In life, we don't need to go through it alone. We have Him and He is enough. He is more than enough. The grace that we can obtain through faith and desire to become more in and through His Atonement is difficult to explain, unless you've experienced it yourself. If you haven't experienced the strengthening and enabling effects of the Atonement, I invite you to do so. God is there. He is willing and eager and ready to listen. Because of Jesus Christ we can talk to our Father in Heaven, be cleansed of our sins, and return to live with Him again. Oh how beautiful that knowledge is! Monday night we met with Kaj, the 9 year old boy that was recently baptized, and I asked him,"Kaj, why do we have the 10 commandments?" And he so smartly said, "To help us live better lives." Okay wow. Someone gave the best answer ever. He's just the sweetest and so right! The Commandments are there to help us achieve success and growth and peace in this life. They help us draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and become more like Him. Tuesday we had our first district meeting as a new district. Elder Wilkinson is our new district leader and he is fantastic. He is concentrated and determined and focused and we're blessed to be under such fantastic leadership. We also got 2 new sisters in our district and they're beautiful inside and out! I love working alongside such fantastic people in the Lord's work. Sister Jacobson and I saw our 14 year old investigator after district meeting. She is so sweet! We shared a scripture in Alma which speaks about the beauty of nature and how our loving Heavenly Father created all things. Everything around us - in nature and all - testifies that there is an Almighty Being that has created all of this for us. I then shared an experience of a hike I went on with dad and how beautiful all of the nature is. When you're outside in the middle of nature, just breathing in the fresh air and gazing at all the creations around you, you can't help but feel there's something more, something spiritual. She teared up and her mother who was with us broke down in tears. They've been having some serious family issues, especially regarding fathers. We then looked at that beautiful 14 year old and said with all the assurance of our souls, "There is a loving Heavenly Father that knows you and loves you. Talk with Him. He can help you." That conversation was inspired. Sister Jacobson felt inspired to share that scripture, I felt inspired to share that experience, which in turn allowed them to open us and express the hard times they've been going through. The gospel is not a weight - it is wings. It allows us to fly through trials with someone much greater than we are. Then we left and went and saw Jamie, the 14 year old boy that's hopefully getting baptized this month! He's the best. He's so fired up and read to become apart of the Lord's church. Seeing the light and excitement in the eyes of people that are ready to follow Christ and obtain the happiness he so badly wants to give them is so awe-inspiring! Then we saw RC, a wonderful, kind man who's been visiting with missionaries for a while now. He is fantastic! We talked about faith and shared Alma 32:27. We must act and then after the trial of our faith we will see the blessings that Heavenly Father desires to bestow upon us. The past 2 weeks we haven't been able to meet with him. Everything had been going wrong - plumbing, etc. and finally we got to see him! He said, "It's interesting. Right as I begin to meet with you girls and learn more about the gospel, all these things are happening." SO RIGHT. Whenever anyone tries to go toward Christ and do what's right, there's going to be opposition. Satan doesn't want us to be happy, but if we push forward and rely on Christ, we can pull through! Then around 8:30 pm we had 30 minutes before we needed to go home. We decided to go and see if we could contact Kelsey - a sweet girl we haven't seen in a while - and we saw her! So grateful! We haven't been able to see her in so long. Blessings and miracles happen when you're obedient. You're able to bless lives. Wednesday was a beautiful day. We went contacting and so many people shut doors in our faces. But then that night we saw a girl we haven't seen in a while. At first, she didn't want to talk with us about Christ or His gospel at all, but as the weeks have gone by, she's warmed up to us and the Spirit has opened her heart and we were able to talk with her about Jesus Christ, His gospel, and the fact that she is a daughter of God. It was a blessed day. Then that night we stopped by this family's home. They had been arguing and fighting and crying and we asked if we could share a message. The mom said, "I would love for you to bring the Spirit into our home...Enter at your own risk." And we did. We came in and shared a message. All the sons and the husband sat around us and listened as we shared a scripture and the feeling of the entire home changed. No more fighting. No more tears. No more unkind words. Laughter and words of love and appreciation proceeded the spiritual thought. It wasn't Sister Jacobson and I that changed the environment.. it was the Spirit of our Heavenly Father that helped this family. I am so grateful to be apart of a church that emphasizes so much on families, that helps us come closer together and become united in love. Thursday we saw "The Testaments" and I totally cried. Movies that allow me to feel the Spirit and really think of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ just warms my soul! I love my brother. I think about the day when I'll finally be able to thank Him for everything He has done for me... It will be such a blessed day.. Friday was a growing day. Read Alma 34 38-41. It's fantastic... (well, all of the Book of Mormon is...) In Preach my Gospel it says, "As we obey God, He blesses us. He gives us power to meet life's challenges. He helps us change the desire of our hearts. Through faith in Jesus Christ, he can heal us, both physically and spiritually. As we repent, our view of ourselves and the world changes. Our desire to follow God grows stronger and deeper." Christ gives us the strength to be more, do more, become more. Saturday and Sunday we had General Conference. I am so thankful to have a prophet on the Earth today. I am so grateful to know that these men talk with God and that the words they deliver us are the exact words He would tell us if He were physically before us. Mosiah 16:9 says, "He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." Christ is the light. He is there for us always and I am so grateful for that knowledge. I love my Savior. He is everything to me. I love you! I pray for you. Love, Sister Mork

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pocatello! Week 7

Hello my loved ones! So this was a growing week... every week is a growing week in the mission field though;) So Tuesday 3/25 was wonderful. We had our last District Meeting as a district because Wednesday everyone left for different areas for transfers. It was sad to see those wonderful elders leave, but it has been such a pleasure to work with such fantastic children of God. Sister Jacobson and I are staying for at least another six weeks! Yay! Anyways, while I was reading in District Meeting I came across a scripture where Christ said, "I came into the world to do the will of my father because my father sent me." It just got me thinking... why do I do anything I do? Why am I serving an 18 month mission? Because my Father in Heaven sent me and I want to serve Him. I want to serve Him and show Him how much I do love Him. I want to show Jesus Christ, my selflessly loving and merciful brother that I love Him by teaching our brothers and sisters about Him and about His true church restored on the Earth today. Is everything I'm doing today and tomorrow and everyday aligned with the will of my merciful Heavenly Father? My purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ. What a blessed commission I have! It's interesting having the title of a missionary. Some of the best moments are when we finish a lesson, the investigator says the closing prayer, and they thank our Lord for sending the missionaries. Last week one of our investigators - so sweet - said, "Thank you Heavenly Father for sending Sister Mork and Sister Jacobson to help me." Oh how my heart sang! I feel so blessed to be able to serve these wonderful people! Alma 26:16 says, "Therefore let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Thank you Ammon for saying exactly what my heart so earnestly wants to explain. I can't say what I feel. My heart is consumed by all of these emotions. Joy, hope, faith, love, desire, etc. Then Tuesday night was amazing. We went over to the home of the Lackey's, a wonderful couple in our ward, and talked with Miko, a Chinese foreign exchange student. She's 17 and because she's from China she hasn't had the opportunity to learn about Christ's church so we invited her and she said yes! So we then talked with her and taught her the Restoration. We taught her about how she is a daughter of God and what a Spirit filled that room. She didn't know. She didn't know that she had a loving Father in Heaven that was aware of her. When we said, "Miko, your Heavenly Father loves you. He is always there for you if you pray and talk with Him. He wants to help you," a smile of just full excitement and hope filled her eyes and face. We then spoke about how the gospel really does bless and strengthen families. The teachings it's based on helps families grow so much! We taught about Christ and His love for her and that He died for her because of that love. She just smiled and smiled and smiled and I couldn't stop smiling! Think about it: You have a Heavenly Father that loves YOU. You have an older brother who died for YOU so YOU can return to live with your families again for all eternity after you die and so YOU can repent and be changed to become more like Him everyday! What blessing and tidings of joy this gospel brings! We testified that this is Christ's restored church. He is the head of this gospel. This is His church and His church has the proper authority of God to act in His name. I just love Miko and love teaching her! She is adorable. She is my sister. Wednesday was an emotional day! So Dad you wanted to hear about what a day in the life of a missionary is like. Here we go!:) 6:20 I crawl out of bed, happily, and start the day with prayer. Best way to start the day! Then I put on my tennis and get ready to work out! 6:30 we go for a run, stretch, etc. It's cold, but good! Love getting that fresh air in our lungs. 7 We shower and get ready for the day! Eat breakfast and be presentable for the day! YAY! 8 We have personal study where we can study the Book of Mormon and other gospel books. It's one of my favorite parts of the day. I love having the opportunity to study and gain revelation from my Father in Heaven for myself and those that live in my area. I LOVE IT. 9-11 We have companion study. We sing, pray, read in the white handbook, read Adjusting to Missionary Life, talk about what we learned in personal study, plan for the day, go over 12 weeks, and close with a prayer. 11-12 we have lunch! 12-5 we go out and teach and meet people:) 5-6 we have dinner, usually at a member's home and we share a spiritual thought and leave with a prayer. 6-9 we go out and teach more. 9:30-10 we go over the day and plan for the next day. 10-10:30- we get ready for bed and write in our journals and pray and get some sleep! YAy! So Wednesday we met with many different people. It was a day of teaching and learning. As a missionary, you're able to enter into so many different homes and meet so many different people. The incredible thing is, is that - no matter where you are in life, no matter what you're circumstances are, the gospel and it's teachings can help you. I love being able to show people how the light of Christ can brighten even the darkest moment. He is light, and light and darkness can't co-exist in the same allotted area, so shine His light on your demons and force them to disperse! In 2 Nephi 26:9 it says, "But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him.." I love that. Lately, I have seen Christ everywhere. Whenever I'm having a hard day and feelings of despair creep in, I picture my Savior walking alongside me and I can't help but smile. He is my best friend. (Besides you, mom & dad;) Close second!<3) Wednesday we were in charge of speaking at a Young Womens/Mens activity. It was on missionary work. All of these younger kids opened up fake calls to go on missions, and as they read the words on the sheet, I was overwhelmed with the memory of when I opened my call, when I read the words of where I would be laboring for the next 18 months for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. A moment such as that is unforgettable. I'm just so humbled by this experience and so eager and excited for those of my friends that will serve missions! What a blessing it is. Then that night we saw Miko again. We taught her the Plan of Salvation, which answers the questions: Where am I from, why am I here, where am I going after I die? Such a powerful and beautiful lesson. Before the lesson we asked, "So Miko, did you pray and read the Book of Mormon last night?" And she said, "Yes. I did." "How was it?" we asked. "It felt... good. I felt Him listening. I feel happy." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! That was hands down one of the best moments I've ever had. Talking with this sweet, beautiful daughter of God and just being able to feel the love that she felt from her Heavenly Father just left me in awe. She can't speak English very well, but the Spirit and love we felt in that room was so overpowering. I love her and I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to teach her! I felt like King Benjamin when he said in Mosiah 3:4, "For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy." Thursday we went out and contacted and met a lot of people. Great day of work! Funny note: So mom, I got the curry that you sent me (thank you so much! you're the best mom ever) and I tried to make it.... hahaha it was so burnt. I miss you curry, Dad! You make it the best! Sister Jacobson tried it. "It's not too bad...." She said. hahah I love her. Friday we fasted. Hannah, the 9 year old we've been teaching, hasn't been able to contact her Grandpa who lives far, who they want to baptize her. And we fasted that we would be able to solidify a date and guess what! We did! Later that day we saw Hannah and come to find out, she had finally talked with her grandpa and she'll be baptized on Aril 11th! YAY! Then that night we were walking, it was 8:30 pm, and we were trying to find one more person to teach. We're supposed to be out until 9pm and it's amazing the miracles you see when you're obedient! Sister Jacobson and I were walking alongside each other in the dark and I just could help but smile. You know when a moment is just so blissful that you want to snap a picture of it? It felt like that. We were able to see Matt, one of our investigators! We haven't seen him in a while and it was so nice to catch up and see how he's been doing and share a scripture of love. I love this work! Saturday night we were able to see the General Woman Broadcast! So wonderful! How blessed are we to be able to live in a day and age when we can hear and watch the words of our Lord be spoken through the mouths of His servants. I think of Mosiah 2:41, which says, "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold they are blessed in all things both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." Sunday we had church, which I love, and it snowed!! Proverbs 3:5 is uplifting. Sorry I'm running out of time to write, but I just want to say: I love you all! God loves you. Moroni 8:3 from me to you; "I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end." Love, Sister Mork

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pocatello! Week 6

So last Monday the 17th was awesome. We had a zone activity day (like every Monday) and I was able to talk with Sister Worrall (my beautiful companion from the MTC) and it was SO GOOD! Honestly -- Heavenly Father really does bless us with angels in our everyday lives. Those people that you can just be yourself and just talk and talk and not run out of things to say are the people that as such tender mercies. I'm so grateful for them! That night we had a new member lesson with cute, young Kaj. He is such an adorable kid! So happy we can continue teaching him since he's been baptized. Seeing the light of Christ flourish in those loving children of God after they're baptized is so tender! Then later that night we watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with a kind, sweet older man named Pat that's taking the discussions from us. He's is one of the kindest, loving men I have ever met. It's a privilege to teach such a humble, service oriented man. After the video he said, "Maybe I do have faith after all." Hold on to the faith that you do have. It's like a seed - if you nurture that faith in Christ it will grow. Tuesday we talked with Ariel - she's a young, single mom. We've been teaching her for a while. She is so smart and independent and lovely. We talked about how she's been feeling so dark and clouded lately as she's been trying to find out if this gospel is true. I shared the story of Joseph Smith and how right as he was praying to ask Heavenly Father which church was true, dark clouds surrounded him. Whenever we are heading towards something good and something that can help us, Satan will come. There must needs be an opposition in all things. Be weary of retreating from a good thing. The adversary doesn't want us to be happy. He wants us to fail. Rely on Christ and Heavenly Father. They are the light. They are the hope. Stay close to them and you will be able to disperse the clouded moments. I was able to relate to the darkness she had been feeling because I have experienced that as well and it really struck me - Heavenly Father allows us to go through difficult things in order to help one another. If none of us experienced difficult moments, we wouldn't be able to grow and develop into who Heavenly Father needs to be. We would be able to be empathetic to the pains of others. He is the potter. He is molding us into a beautiful masterpiece. We are constantly changing - it's up to us to decide what we will become. Wednesday was my first exchange! I went teaching with Sister Riding in Highland and Sister Jacobson went contacting with Sister McKnight all day. I love all of them. So grateful I had the day to go to Sister Riding's area and learn from her and develop our friendship. She is so kind and wonderful. We had one of the most incredible experiences. We went all throughout this apartment complex and knocked on every person's door that we could. Then at the very end, when we had been walking for hours, we said a prayer. We asked Heavenly Father to lead us to someone that would need the message that they are children of God and they are loved. GUESS WHAT. We knocked on one more door and this loving young man named Brayden answered the door. He said he didn't know if he believed in God. We testified and told him of God's love for him. He had tears in his eyes. We then asked him if we could come in and kneel with him and pray. He accepted! We all knelt together and took turns saying a prayer. He was nervous to pray because he hadn't prayed before, and his prayer was one of the sweetest, more sincere prayers I have ever heard. As he knelt down he said, "Heavenly Father, I just have one question, I guess. Do you even exist? Amen." Tears were in our eyes for sure. Being able to witness someone come close to their Heavenly Father is such a beautiful sight. As we left he said, "Thank you... Thank you." Ah what a moment! What a blessing! Then later that night we drove to a woman's house named Chris. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and that Christ's church is now back on the Earth. She had so many wonderful questions. She asked Sister Riding and I why we decided to serve 18 months to go on a mission and it was really incredible being able to bear our testimonies of our own beliefs and knowledge of the reality of the living Christ. It is just such an incredible experience when the Spirit is able to work through you. Being able to talk about my Savior and my love for Him every day all day is such an experience, such a privilege, such a blessing. Thursday we had transfers! So many people are moving to different areas of Idaho. Sister Jacobson and I are staying together in the Central Pocatello Stake...at least for the next six weeks. I'm excited to continue to learn and grow with her. She is a fantastic leader; so strong, intelligent, motivated, disciplined. It's an honor to work with her. That night it was a blessing though. We saw Mamie, the 14 year old girl we haven't seen in a while. She had a friend with her as well and now he's interested in learning more about Christ's church. We had an appointment with these nice young boys that live down the street from Mamie and we invited her and her friend and they came to the lesson! We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We invited them to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. So wonderful! Everyone needs friends, especially when you're making changes to draw closer to Christ and engage in His church. Be a friend! Love others! Invite them to come unto Christ and feel of His love for them! Friday I was apart of one of the most spiritually uplifting lessons ever. We taught this 15 year old boy named Greg. He has had such a hard life, but has such a tender heart. We taught him about how much God loves him. He sincerely asked us, "I've made so many mistakes. Will God take me back?" Oh how my heart ached for him! To not know that God loves you unconditionally and forever is a tragedy. I testified with all the love and power I could muster when I said, "Greg. God will always take you back. He loves you. He always has and he always will. He wants you to talk with Him. He wants you to confide in Him and trust in Him. Tell him the feelings of your heart and He will answer you, He will comfort you, You will feel Him. I promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ that you are loved and through Christ's Atonement you can be made clean. You can feel the cleansing and healing power of His selfless sacrifice work in your life. Christ's grace is sufficient for all. There is no hole dark enough where Christ's light can't shine." Then after we taught he couldn't stop smiling and he said, "I feel like my heart is healing. I feel whole. I feel peace. What is that?" Sister Jacobson and I couldn't stop grinning. We exclaimed, "It's the Spirit of God! It's the Holy Ghost testifying to you that what we've said is true!" Ah what a blessed moment that was. Love for this kid just poured out of my heart. I love being able to help other come unto Christ. That moment felt like we were sitting on a little piece of Heaven. Saturday we saw Greg again and taught his whole family. His father isn't a member, but is interested in learning more about the gospel. We prayed with them and read the beginning of the Book of Mormon with them, 1 Nephi chapter 1. The peace and love that entered the home the moment we began to read together and pray together was so tangible. When you pray, read the Book of Mormon, and attend church as a family Heavenly Father will pour out his blessings upon you. You will feel an increase of peace and love in your home. You will be happier. It will happen. That night my testimony of how the church can bless families increased so much. We spoke with the mother after the lesson alone and said, "We can see your family being sealed in the temple as a forever family. You can get there. We know you all can." With tears in her eyes she said, "Can you really?" We lovingly told her we could. Families can be together forever! After that, we stopped by Pat's home. His wife has been sick and in bed for a year. She's just very tired. We stopped in, talked with him, shared a scripture with him, and expressed our love for him. "What does Christ mean to you?" I asked, and Pat answered with such love in those blue eyes, "He means everything to me." I just love the moments when Sister Jacobson and I are talking with someone and we tell them of Christ's love for them and they understand. They feel his love. It clicks. And their eyes twinkle with such a spark. Happiness and peace fill the room and fill hearts. In that moment we know they know - They are a child of God. They are loved. He knows them. This gospel is real. Sunday was tender! Sunday's are the best days. I love being able to attend His church and feel of God's love!! When you go to church He will bless you and you can receive personal revelation for yourself. Ah just soooo good! Greg and his family came to church! It was such a beautiful moment to be able to sit with them in Sacrament and feel of His spirit. Hannah, a 9 year old girl who's hopefully getting baptized next week, came as well! She is so adorable. Teaching her has been such an enjoyable experience. Sunday night we also saw Miko, a foreign exchange student from China and asked her if she would like to take the lessons from us, and she said yes! She's been hesitant before and so we're so excited to teach her about this gospel that brings such happiness in our lives! Being able to be a missionary has changed my perspective on so many things. I'm just so grateful constantly. I'm so grateful to have grown up with a family that abides my Christ's gospel and teachings. There are so many broken homes, so many people that don't feel God's love, so many people that feel lost and alone and forsaken. Appreciate what you have! Love those you're with. You're so much more blessed than you think. God Almighty, the maker of all, the one who knows all things, loves you. You are his child. Compared to Him we are nothing, but to Him we are everything. We are His children. He watches over us. He will guide us home. He wants us to keep His commandments so we can be happy and be reunited with Him after we die. I will do all I can to abide by His teachings and become the daughter of God He knows I can become. I know Heavenly Father allowed His only Begotten son to die for me, and so I will live for Him. I love my Savior. I love this gospel. I love my Father in Heaven with my entire heart. I pray you're doing well and feel of God's love for you. I love you with all of my being. And that's a lot :) Love, Sister Mork

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pocatello! Week 5

Well.... Alma 26:12, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." AH. I am feeling so blessed and grateful today. I'm going to be honest, for the past month I've been struggling a lot with just feeling heavy and down and negative... I could literally feel Satan trying to force negative and sad feelings upon me. I felt so dark. You know when you're feeling so down in a ditch, you don't think you can get out? When you can't see the light? That's how I felt. For a month. But you know what? GOD DOES MIRACLES. Monday I fasted all day. I fasted for a few different reasons, including strength, joy, peace, comfort, my investigators, etc. and the moment I ended my fast that night my heart changed. I felt joy! I felt peace! I felt strength! There are few times in my life when the Atonement and Christ has felt more real. His strength is so real. If you haven't used the Atonement to help you, please use it now. Jesus Christ died for you. He loves you. You are his brother or his sister and what you're enduring and going through matters just as much to Him as it does to you, if not more. The strengthening and healing effects of the Atonement is right there for you to take advantage of. He wants you to use it to better yourself and bring yourself comfort and peace and strength. I testify that the heavenly powers of the Atonement are real. That Jesus Christ can indeed strengthen you when you feel like you can't do it on your own. I know because I have felt my Savior and Redeemer literally carry me when I could not walk. Also, we had a zone fun day at the Bounce House place and it was such a blast! It's a bunch of elders and me and sister Jacobson and we just jumped in foam pits and had dogeball games and just enjoyed ourselves! It was so nice! And then we went to the Tri-Zone dogeball game in the afternoon. Gotta love p-Day. I met a girl there, a beautiful Sister Rawlins, and we just talked and expressed the afflictions we've been going through and the miracles we've seen and how incredible our Savior is and it was exactly what I needed. Heavenly Father ALWAYS answers our prayers, but it's often through other people that He does so. Pay attention - there are angels all around us, Angels that want to help you and that will. Let them. Tuesday there was such a difference. I was worried that although Monday was an incredible day, that those effects from fasting might end and I would feel the darkness I had been feeling again, but I put my trust in the Lord and told Him that I would do all I could do if He would make up the difference. He makes all the difference. Tuesday was just as amazing as Monday, if not more. The lessons that Sister Jacobson and I attended went better than the lessons we had been teaching before. We taught in unity, in power, in love. There was such a sweet spirit in all of our lessons and I KNEW that the Lord had answered my humble, earnest prayer. God always hears our prayers. Always. He is always listening. I was reading in Nephi in chapter 18. He says in verse 11, "And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word, which he had spoken concerning the wicked. 12 And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass that had been prepared by the Lord did cease to work. 16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions. 20 And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts.. 21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold I took the compasss, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm. I LOVE THAT. Sometimes God allows trials to happen and to occur in our lives so he can "show forth his power." If we never had to go through hard things we wouldn't have the opportunity to lean on Christ and learn to love Him and really understand more clearly the suffering He endured. How wonderful is it that we can experience even just a little bit of what the Savior went through. He did it for us. Wednesday we had a few wonderful lessons. We're teaching a few young boys, 14 and 11, and they're so fun! It's a blended family and the love that the boys express to one another is beautiful. There's an 11 year old, two 14 year olds, and a 16 year old. They have a few sisters as well, but they all showed very clearly their disdain for the church and it's teachings. It's sad, but all we can do is invite others to come unto Christ and to strive to help them. We can't force them. All I want is for everyone to understand and feel the happiness and joy I experience from being apart of this beautiful message! The message that Jesus Christ lives. It's such an important message and it's necessary that we share it. We all need Him. Thursday was the best day ever. We got to attend the Idaho Falls temple! I've never been. With the struggles I had been going through, we asked permission to attend the temple and what a beautiful peace I felt while inside. Mom, I felt so clearly nana and papa Garner and great nana and papa Nead. They were with me. I love the wonderful peaceful feeling we can feel while being in the Lord's house doing His work and how close we can feel to those that have passed on. They're still alive spiritually. I just know it. Death is not the end. Our family members and friends that have passed on are still living. They are waiting for us. They are happy and safe. Anyways, while in the temple I wondered if God really knew me. I've always felt that He has. I've never questioned it... but for the first time I needed to know for sure. I prayed earnestly and asked, "Father, do you really know me? individually? Am I really your daughter?" And let me tell you... I am. I am a daughter of God. I felt so clearly in my heart and soul and mind, Him answer, "You are mine. Do not fear for I am with thee. I love you." I then felt such an overwhelming feeling of love and strength. I could feel Him hold me. I know that God loves. I know that He is our Father. If you have not asked Him if He loves you and knows you, please do. He will answer your humble prayers and you will know of a surety that the Lord God is your Father and loves you with an everlasting love. I then read Alma 7. Read it. So powerful. The words spoke directly to my heart and soul. I love the Book of Mormon. It is the word of God and it will always show unto us what we need to do. God speaks to His children in many ways, one of them being through the scriptures. I plead with you to read the Book of Mormon everyday. I then went home and received a letter from you and Dad, Mom. Thank you! You two said exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for being so in tune with the Spirit. I received the letters on the exact day and at the exact time I needed to hear from my mom and dad.... I love you. D&C 122 is one of my favorite chapters too. Powerful. That night we had a lesson at the Bishops home and we shared a spiritual thought. The Spirit was so strong. There's a man that wants to come back into the fold of Christ and come back to church. He has gone through so much and claims he has made so many mistakes, but guess what: God doesn't expect us to be perfect. All he asks is that we try. We're His children. He wants us to be happy and it's through this Gospel that we can experience all the blessings and happiness He wants to give us. Friday we had a busy day! There's a woman in one of our wards and she said to me, "If you ever need a place to go, you can always come here." Oh how thankful I am to the people in this town that remind me that I'm not alone. It's so wonderful when people hug you and tell you they love you. Then we came home and found a bunch of muffins with an anonymous thank you note that said, "Thank you Sisters for serving. You're always so happy and loving and it makes such a difference for me. I'm so happy you're here." Acts of kindness are so heartwarming. Saturday we had been walking all day up and down hills. It was so hot. But I was so happy! How can you not be happy when you're teaching God's children about His love for them? It's a beautiful thing... and happiness is a blessing I'm so thankful for. We came across a man that's been taking the missionary discussions and I felt impressed to share D&C 121:7-9. He had tears in his eyes and I just felt such love for this man. There are so many people around us that NEED to know they are loved! Tell them! Sunday we had church. I LOVE CHURCH. Go to church! You'll feel the Spirit and gain revelation from God. Read Ether 12:27. So good. We then went and taught those boys again. Their sister that hadn't been interested talked with us! I felt such a connection with her. Even though she had told us that she didn't want to learn about the church many times before, something happened and her heart changed. She came with us to a Fireside and we were able to give her and her brother a tour of the church. We invited her to be baptized and she said she'd think about it! WHAT?! Hearts are being changed, my friends! Everyone needs Christ in their life. Everyone needs love and peace and guidance and it's through this wonderful message of the Restored Gospel that we can give it to them, so get up and make a change. People need YOU. I LOVE YOU ALL. I love this Gospel! I love this church. I know that my Savior lives and that He loves me. I know He knows me personally and knows everything I've ever gone through. I know that God loves us. We are His children. remember your worth. Remember how special and beautiful you are. You have the ability and power to change lives. I pray for you. Pray and ask God if this church is true. Ask if the Savior lives. Ask if you are a son or daughter of God and I promise you, you will feel His love. You will know it is true. Look and pray for opportunities to serve and love those you meet and Heavenly Father will place people in your path that need the help and love only you can give. You are a child of God. Understand the magnitude of that statement. You have a purpose here. Believe in it. Believe in Him. All my prayers and love, Sister Mork "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:36