Sunday, May 4, 2014
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.
at 1:57 PM
Monday, April 21, 2014
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
at 4:33 PM
Thursday, April 17, 2014
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
at 10:57 PM
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
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
at 9:12 AM
Thursday, April 3, 2014
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
at 12:58 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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
at 12:54 PM
Thursday, March 20, 2014
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
at 3:37 PM
Friday, March 14, 2014
Can I just say... I have learned more about myself and my relationship with my Father in Heaven here on my mission faster and more deeply than I have my entire life? I can't believe it. So first of all... Tuesday. Tuesday we had a district meeting and I had been asked a week in advance to give a training. There's about 8 elders in our district and me and Sister Jacobson. Our district leader, Elder Polley had said, "So I would like you to give the training to us next week. Rely on the Spirit to guide you in what you should teach us. I'll be training after you, so hopefully what we teach will go well together. Just pray about it and you'll be great." Okay nerves! So I'm the newest member in our district and I'm teaching everyone how to be a better missionary? I'm teaching missionaries that have been out and serving for almost a year and a half or more? You could say I was feeling inadequate. Not to mention, usually the district leader tells you what to talk on so everything relates perfectly, but he wanted me to rely on personal revelation. So I was a bit stressed out. I wanted so badly to speak about what Heavenly Father wanted me to and teach these missionaries what they needed to know and hear. And let me say... I prayed. I prayed for insight and strength and the ability to be a worthy vessel in the Lord's hands. I wanted what I had to say to strengthen my fellow missionaries and I wanted the Spirit to testify of what the Lord prompted me to say... so after much prayer throughout the week it wasn't until Tuesday morning that I realized I needed to speak about God and His love for us. God is our loving Heavenly Father. He knows us. We are sons and daughters of the most high being in all the universes. How amazing is that? We have divine potential. We have been created by Him. He knows us internally and externally. He knows all about us; our trials, our fears, our weaknesses, our pain, or anxieties, etc. And the fact that we have this knowledge is huge! We need to show to everyone we're teaching how much we care about them and not only that but how much God cares about them. Out of all the names that God could be referred to or called he prefers Father. Isn't that saying something? I think so. It shows how much he treasures us and it shows what matters most to Him. We do. So Tuesday morning we got to the training and guess what... the Assistants to the President of our mission were at our district meeting. They decided to stop by... and those anxieties came back. Okay so I'm teaching 10 experienced missionaries? After discussing our district and how we can improve, it was my time to speak. I walked up to the pulpit, with my notes and thoughts collected, said a prayer in my heart, and spoke... and guess what happened. Power came. Power from above. The Spirit worked within me and I spoke from my heart. I testified of how important the truth that God is our loving Heavenly Father is. This is a statement and truth that EVERYONE needs to know. Knowing we are children of God gives us purpose. It gives us light. It gives us strength and power and the knowledge that we can receive divine revelation from Him. How beautiful is that? It's too beautiful not to share. It is not something to take lightly. We need to speak with everyone we can and tell them of God's love for them. They deserve to know. They need to know. It will change their lives. I shared the story of Alma and how when he spoke with the king he spoke with boldness and testified... but not only that, he asked questions. When we love and cherish and care for those that we're teaching, the lessons change and we're better able to show them and help them feel the light of Christ and the love of God. After I sat down I could see everyone just staring at me like "wait what just happened?" The power that the Spirit allowed me to convey and the ability He gave me to speak with authority and command and love was just amazing. My thoughts flew through me and I was able to say what Heavenly Father needed to be said. After I sat down Elder Polley stood up with tears in his eyes and began to speak. He said, "Thank you Sister Mork. That ties in perfectly with what I wanted to speak about. I want to talk about teaching people, not lessons. We need to teach to their needs." And he went on to express that neither of us had coordinated what we were going to speak on, but the Spirit guided both of us separately so this training could be effective and insightful and unified. It was just such a neat experience. The Spirit was felt so strongly. We all felt such love, His love, and that's the most important feeling anyone can feel. After the training ended a few people shook my hand afterwards and said things like, "You should do the training every week. That was awesome." And the thing to notice isn't that I gave an effective training, it's that He let me give an effective training. It's that Heavenly Father heard my tender cries to Him asking for help and guidance and He cared enough to answer my simple prayers. How grateful I am to know that I have a Father in Heaven that cares about my insignificant concerns and challenges. Then after training Sister Jacobson and I were waiting for an hour for our ride. They had forgotten. We prayed that someone would come and someway we could find a way home. We had forgotten our phone so we had no way. Then, all of a sudden, an older, kind gentleman walked towards us and after we told him of our circumstances he called his wife and she drove us home. In the car she said, "After my mission I was able to do hard things. I think the best lesson I learned on my mission was we can do hard things. We can accomplish anything the Lord puts us up to. We are more capable than we think." Oh how I needed to hear those words. What a tender moment! Wednesday and Thursday were trial days. Those were days of challenge... definitely two of the hardest day's I've ever had in my entire life. Sister Jacobson and I were studying on Wednesday and all of a sudden I just burst into tears and couldn't stop crying. I couldn't explain what I felt... I just felt so dark, so alone, so anxious, so afraid... all my thoughts were super clouded and I couldn't explain it all. I just felt heavy, like a cloud of darkness was over my heart. To feel so many negative emotions all at once is overwhelming and never before had I felt it to that degree. I could barely move. I said a prayer to calm my heart and help me understand what I was feeling and I realized I was getting a better image and testimony of the Atonement. If I can feel overwhelmed and overcome with pain and sadness just with my own emotions, how much more Christ felt to suffer for ALL of our sins and pain. He has felt everything we have ever felt and He overcame it all. It just made my love for Him increase and I realized... the Atonement isn't just used for repentance. Yes, repentance is a wonderful gift we have been given.. to be able to become clean again and pray to God for forgiveness for the mistakes we make. It allows us to become closer to Him and to rely on Him, but the Atonement is also for healing. It strengthens us when we feel we can't carry ourselves any longer, when we feel the mountain is too high to climb, He will carry us. How beautiful a sentiment. He was completely alone so we don't need to be. The trials we endure teach us. Thursday a similar experience happened. Sister Jacobson and I were talking and I just began to cry. All those negative, awful feelings came back and I couldn't understand why. Why was I feeling so low? So dark? So clouded? I prayed for peace, but it didn't come. Never before have I felt the power and darkness of the adversary so strongly. I know that Satan's power and influence is real. I know because I've felt it. So negative or dark feeling comes from God. Only good feelings and positive, light feelings come from Him. Christ is the author of peace and Satan is the author of confusion. When we are doing good things, when we are serving the Lord, Satan will do all he can to cause pain and confusion to come into our hearts and minds. Don't let him. Rely on the one that can disperse those clouds of darkness. Sister Jacobson and I talked for a while and then invited the Sister Training Leaders over to discuss it all. I couldn't compose myself. I couldn't stop crying or explain all the pain I was feeling. We read in Joseph Smith History in verses 15-18. So powerful. Joseph Smith also felt the powers of Satan and cried upon the Lord. Then Heavenly Father lit the way and helped him feel peace once more. To feel such a connection with the prophet was so real. I understand a little better the darkness he speaks about in the scriptures. After reading, Sister McKnight offered a prayer and asked that our apartment and our hearts be filled with peace. She asked that any adversarial presences depart and instantly I felt peace. Instantly I felt more calm. I knew that because of that prayer, Satan's dark presence had been lifted. I know that the devil is real and that he strives to cause us confusion and darkness, but I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that the Lord our God is more powerful than any attacks Satan might send. Heavenly Father loves us and He will give us peace and comfort if we but ask. All we have to do is humble ourselves and ask in prayer in faith. He will protect us. Friday we went out and contacted many people. It's so wonderful to have the opportunity to bear testimony constantly to everyone! Saturday I read a talk by President Thomas S. Monson called, "Cast not Therefore Thy Confidence." Look it up and read it! It's so powerful. And I read 2 Nephi chapter 4 verses 16 through 35. So strengthening. I recommend that you read those verses as well. Nephi is such an incredible example of unwavering faith in the Lord. He trusts in the Lord through all his afflictions... truly a disciple of Christ. Sunday was wonderful. I gained a stronger testimony of revelation through church attendance. Go to church! Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers, but it's often through others that He does so. We spoke about our potential and our divine souls. We were with our Father in Heaven before we came to Earth and it's because of our outstanding faith and good works that we were able to come down to Earth. Before this life we lived with God and our older brother, Jesus Christ and said that we would go down to Earth in order to learn and grow and develop. We wanted to gain bodies and become more like Heavenly Father through our experiences. Now is the test. Now is when we must prove ourselves. Now is when we have the chance to go through pain and suffering in order to learn and become more like Christ. Now is when we keep the commandments and strengthen our relationships with Heavenly Father. This time on Earth is so crucial and we have been prepared for it. We must stay strong and stay faithful. And every song we sang in Sacrament happened to be one of my favorites. "I Feel My Savior's Love," "Where Can I Turn for Peace," and others. It just made my heart swell! Heavenly Father knows what we need. He knows the feelings in our hearts and if we keep the commandments, like going to church, He will bless us. He loves us! It's during times of adversity we often learn the most and have the most growth. It builds our character. Much of what we endure is necessary to occur to make us who we are today. I testify of the reality of the reality of the living Christ. Jesus Christ loves you. He is your older brother and He cares for you eternally. He has known you from your earliest beginnings. Because you are His brother or sister, He died for you. And because of that, you can repent and pray and be made clean and eventually live with your families and with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father forever after you die. Now matter how far you go or how low you feel, you are never too far or too low for the Savior's everlasting love and grace and mercy. I promise you that. You are a child of God. You are beautiful. He loves you and He never wants you to forget that. I love you too! I send all my prayers and love with you. Love always, Sister Mork
at 9:18 PM
Monday, March 3, 2014
WOW. So this week was.... definitely a trial of faith! So Sunday night I was extremely sick and that sickness tracked onto last Monday... I could barely walk and just slept all day and e-mailed you guys. Tuesday the sickness held on. I was feeling pretty down, I'll be honest. I wanted so badly to go out and teach and serve with my companion and I was still having trouble standing. But Monday night Sister Jacobson went out and taught a man that has been taught many years but hasn't commited anything with regards to the LDS church. However, Sister Jacobson told me a cool story. She said, "We were in the lesson and we were teaching him and I didn't know what to say or do and the thought came into my mind: 'what would Sister Mork do? She would testify of God's love for Him because that's what He needs to remember. He is a child of God.' The moment I shifted the lesson to God's love for Him, the entire lesson changed. His demeanor changed. The environment of the room changed and Spirit testified and he committed to baptism!" How awesome is that?! I was feeling so sad because I felt like I wasn't doing anything by lying in bed, but she said that she felt my Spirit with them as they taught. It's funny because Sister Jacobson and I are so similar but so different. She claims that she's learning from me, but I am learning so much from her. She is so intelligent and strong and witty and reliable. I really love and admire her so much. Heavenly Father really does place us around people we can learn and grow from. I am thankful for those I am priveleged to meet and serve and love everyday. Life is a blessing. Also, Monday night I received the package and letter from home, mom. Thank you so much. I know it was supposed to come on Saturday, but the fact I got it Monday night was such a miracle. It lifted my spirits right up and reminded me that although this sickness is a setback, I will be strengthened and I will be made strong from Christ. I just kept thinking: What can I learn from this? Then I recieved a letter from my beautiful sister of cousin, Tori! I love you, Tor. And a letter from my kind hearted, tender nana Jeri. I'm so grateful for all the letters I recieve from my loved ones. To anyone that has and is and will send me packages or letters: thank you! I love you! Your words of encouragement and love are heaven sent and I couldn't be more thankful or blessed. Tuesday I rested all morning and then prayed with all of my heart to be healthy enough to attend a baptism. Me and my companion had been teaching this young nine year old boy and I didn't want to miss it! Thankfully Heavenly Father heard my pleas and delivered me. He gave me enough strength to attend the baptism. The spirit of love and kindness that was felt at the baptism is unexplainable. There is something so pure and Christ-centered about baptism - taking that step of faith. So beautiful. Watching Kaj's adorable nine year old face just grinning as he came out of the water was enough to make my heart burst with happiness. THIS is why I'm devoting 18 months of my life so my Savior - to bring others to Christ. Afterwards we were scheduled for a teaching appointment and I was feeling really weak. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go with my companion or not and I felt the impression, "Go." So I put my trust in God and went to the teaching appointment. I promised Him that if He would sustain me through the appointment and keep me healthy as we taught that I would go and do His word and guess what?! I was fine through the lesson. We felt such peace and love and guidance as we taught. The love I feel for that young man is just unexplainable. He has had such a difficult life - drugs, jail, abuse, etc.... and yet his ability to just love those around him unconditionally amazes me. He is a son of God and really emulates that love in his words and deeds. He then committed to baptism! It was an amazing moment. I am so excited to continue to teach him all about this gospel that brings so much joy. Tuesday we had many appointments fall through which I actually think was a tender mercy. Because so many cancelled on us I had time to rest and sleep and didn't miss any lessons. I think it was Heavenly Father saying, "Rest." However, that night my sickness took on a new role. At around 9 pm I couldn't speak. I was stuttering and couldn't form my words correctly. I had a fever and couldn't think or formulate my thoughts. Sister Jacobson called a few nurses and they demanded that I be taken to the ER. I had been throwing up Sunday - Wednesday constantly and couldn't keep any water down. They thought that I needed to be hydrated. We called our Zone Leaders to borrow their car, Elder Mason and Elder Meir, and they came right over. SO GRATEFUL. It was around 11 pm by then. Sister Jacobson drove me to the ER. We walked in and I gave my information. Quickly they got me to a room with an IV and gave me fluids. They took a few blood tests and gave me a CAT scan on my head. The doctor said, "Does the President know that you're here?" And me, feeling confused, said, "Obama?" They all laughed. They meant the Mission President hahah:) Anyways, they feared that I might've suffered from a minor stroke or perhaps had meningitis. After being in the ER from 11:30 pm to 4:30 pm they finally decided that I had an awful virus and had encountered an anxiety attack which caused the speech imipediment. So grateful for the wonderful nurses and doctors that were able to help me. Then on our way home we stopped at Walgreens to get my presciption. Our car died. We then said a prayer and right as we prayed someone drove in front of us with car cables and they were able to start the car. Heavenly Father is SO GOOD. I am so thankful for a loving Father who answeres all of our prayers. We are His children and He loves us. I then gave the kind man that started our car a Book of Mormon as we thanked him. What a tender mercy! We went home and slept for 3 hours before we woke up for Zone Conference. Thursday was Zone Conference! YAY. President and his wife were surprised that I was able to go, but I wasn't going to miss my first Zone Conference. The spirit and words spoken there really made it all worth it. Later that day we didn't have appointments so I took the much needed rest. Just fluids and sleeping to help cure the pain. Friday I was able to rest as well. So many members and people were so concerned and delivered soup and such kind gifts to help me get better. Just having people ask, "Sister Mork, how are you?" made me feel so loved. I could feel the kindness and love from them. I love my Heavenly Father and those people that are around me. I didn't feel so lonely.... especially during a time when I felt like I wasn't doing all the work I needed to. To have people sincerely wonder how I was doing made all the difference. Speak up! Give hugs! Smile at people. Ask how they are, sincerely. You never know how much that might mean to them. I felt God's angels around me and I am so thankful for them. Saturday was recooperating day as well. I just kept asking Heavenly Father what I could do with the limitations I had and he gave me peace. As long as we are doing all we can to help those around us and we are constantly striving to rely on His spirit, He will be proud of us and we will feel His love. Sunday I finally started feeling a little better. We went to church and it was Fast and Testimony meeting. What a spirit I felt! Sister Jacobson and I bore our witness and testimony in both wards we cover. It was so spiritually uplifting. Think about it - we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares for each and every one of us and an older brother that loves us with an infinite love... loves us enough to die for us.... what a joy this is! We are all brothers and sisters. Kaj was confirmed and recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost. I'm so happy I was able to witness that. If we look for them, we will find miracles everywhere. If we don't, then we won't see any... but I bear witness as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ that God is aware of you. He loves you. He hears your cries. He is with you. He will comfort you. In John 14, Christ says, "I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you." Christ loves you with an infinite love and He will carry you when you feel you cannot stand. I testify that Christ lives. He lives and He loves you. He died for you so that through Him you can have eternal life. Have faith. Come unto Christ. I pray I will be worthy to live with my Savior one day. I pray my entire family will be there and there will be no empty chairs... and through Christ and our works and faith, we can all be together again. Read the words of the hymn, "I Stand All Amazed." It is such a beautiful hymn. Music can pierce our hearts and bring in a special spirit. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. Such mercy such love and devotion can I forget? No, no I will praise and adore at the mercy seat until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet. Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me. Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me. I love you. Love, Sister Mork
at 5:02 PM
Monday, February 24, 2014
Hello my wonderful family. Well it's been a whirlwind of a week. Last Monday night we went over to this adorable kid's house - He's 9 and he's getting baptized on Tuesday! So exciting. He asked me to speak at his baptism on the Holy Ghost so I'm thrilled for that. The Holy Ghost is one of my favorite things to talk about - how incredible is it that God loves us so much He allows a member of the Godhead to always be with us to guide, comfort, and inspire us? Later Monday night Sister Jacobson and I felt impressed to stop by another investigator's house. She wasn't there but a few of her friends were. It was neat because we all discussed the Gospel and my companion and I bore testimony that we know this church is the only living and true gospel on the face of the Earth. I expressed God's love for them and testified of Christ's atoning sacrifice that He made for them. No greater love hath any man than that he would lay down his life for his friends. Tuesday we had a district meeting. It was so inspiring. We read in Matthew 14:14-36. Christ said, "Be of good cheer. It is I; Be not afraid." It tells of the story of when Peter began to walk on the water to Christ, but once he took his focus off of the Savior he feared he would fall and he began to sink. He cried out to Christ and immediately Christ outstretched His arm and saved Him. Christ is always extending His arms to us. He wants to help us. He wants us to walk on the windy waves of trial and affliction and keep our eyes focused on Him because if Christ is our focus, we will not sink in the depths of our despair. Later that day Sister Jacobson and I went out contacting people. So many doors were shut in our faces. We even walked up to a house where we heard the people inside say, "Don't go to the door. It's the missionaries. Pretend you're not here." And Sister Jacobson hollered, "We can hear you ya know!" Hahah people these days. All we want to do is share a beautiful message of Christ. But all you can do is all you can do. You can't force people to see that the Gospel is exactly what they need... all you can do is invite and love and rely on the Spirit to speak to their hearts that what you're saying is true. Tell them what you know. Speak with your heart. Testify and the truth will enter. Wednesday was freezing! We walked around and contacted as many people as we could. It was a physically rough day, but so rewarding. I feel like sometimes we have to climb the tallest mountains to see the most beautiful sunsets. That night we went over to this wonderful family's home. We taught a less active mother and her 14 year old daughter. I really connect with her daughter. We just get along really well. It was my first time leading out the lesson and I was nervous, but the Holy Ghost calmed my worries and allowed me to speak with my heart. We taught them about The Restoration and that the Priesthood, the authority to act in God's name, is back on the Earth. At the end I teared up as I bore my testimony that this Gospel can bring such light and truth and love to their lives. There was such a beautiful and peaceful spirit that filled the room. I extended a baptismal invitation and she said yes! Later that night my companion and I had stake correlation and talked about our areas and how they're doing with the other elders in our area. The stake high counsel man over missionary work pulled me aside and said, "Last week after you sisters left my house from giving a lesson to my friend and she said she would be baptized, there was such a peace in my home. But it wasn't just that peace. It was a holy feeling, a sacred feeling, that something really extraordinary had just taken place. Thank you. I can't believe you had only been out four days. When I found out I was so surprised. The spirit really worked in you and I witnessed that. I'll never forget that night. I knew I needed the combination of you, Sister Mork and you, Sister Jacobson." That just warmed my heart! If we allow our hearts to be full for the love of those we serve, miracles do happen. Thursday was so long and exhausting. I'm amazed I make it through the days with how tired I am, but God truly does strengthen us to allow us to do more. We were super tired, but cheerful. Attitude is everything! We met so many people that just needed a comforting message and a heart warming scripture to be shared with them. God will place people in our paths that need us. We are His hands. We must lead and guide His children with unfailing love and understanding. New goals: Be bold. Love unconditionally. Turn outward. Forget myself. Remember Him always. My hands were so cold from walking around all day in the chilling wind and opening my Book of Mormon to inspired scriptures I wanted to share with everyone I met on the street, but my heart was warm and full. Life's a climb, but the view is great. Friday we had so many appointments fall through and so many people cancel and at first we were a bit discouraged. But then we said a prayer and asked that Heavenly Father would guide us to those people we were meant to help and serve today. It's amazing how Heavenly Father's plan for us can be so different than the one we have for ourselves. He knows all of His children and if we are obedient and patient and faithful He will lead us to them and them to us. Sister Jacobson and I cover some of the sketchiest neighborhoods in Pocatello. We actually carry pepper spray. That night we were walking along the sketchiest street with our pepper spray out and prayed for comfort and peace and protection and I felt it. I could feel God's angels watching over us. He is so eager to bless us, but we must first ask in faith. We then stopped by this wonderful elderly lady's home and she made us hot chocolate and said, "If I could tell myself something many years ago I would say don't be afraid to ask the questions. If you want to know something you gotta ask." Wise words. Just thought I'd share:) It was then around 8:30 pm and my companion said, "Well we still got some time. I'm sure there's one more person we can teach tonight." And we went out and found a wonderful couple to talk with about the church. Follow the Spirit's promptings - He will guide you where you need to go. Saturday started off wonderful, but things kept occurring that made me feel more and more down and hopeless. Whenever we have negative and upsetting feelings those are not from Christ. Satan is the author of confusion. Christ is the author of peace. I felt so discouraged and sad and my anxiety was increasing and I turned to the Lord for peace and enlightenment. When life gets too hard to stand, kneel. I prayed with every fiber in my being to be able to continue to move forward with a steadfastness in Christ and hope abiding within me. The adversary wants us to feel low and inadequate, but we do not need to let him make us feel that way. We are children of an Almighty God who loves us unconditionally and will send His angels round about us to bear us up. I asked my zone leaders for a priesthood blessing and all that negative energy and those dark thoughts vanished and God's love replaced it all. That afternoon Sister Jacobson and I attended a baptism and spoke about The Restoration. Joseph Smith really did restore this gospel through God's power. What He has done for mankind is unbelievably powerful and commendable. Sunday Sister Jacobson and I sang in sacrament. For those of you that know me, you know I have stage fright soooo that took some courage and faith. We sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." What a beautiful song. What comfort that sweet sentence gives. Christ is real. He died for each and every one of us. He is our brother and loves us with an unconditional and everlasting love. Last night I woke up super sick and so today I'm trying to recover. Say a little prayer for me, please, so that I can go out and do the Lord's work diligently this night and this week. I bear witness as a representative of the blessed Jesus Christ that we are His brothers and sisters and he cares for us more than we could ever comprehend. I testify that through this Gospel families can be together forever and that death is not the end. The Book of Mormon is true. This Gospel is true. Read and pray and the Holy Ghost will testify to you that this is Christ's church back on the Earth. God loves you. You are His child and he watches over you always. I love you. Remember your worth. Love, Sister Mork
at 12:03 PM
Monday, February 17, 2014
Hello beautiful family of mine! Okay so this week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Last Monday night... so I had been feeling really anxious and worried and scared because it was my last night in the MTC and Brother Macahilahila is so inspired. He started to give us a lesson and then said, "Sisters, follow me." We left the classroom and went to a different building where there are pictures of Christ all over the walls of the hallway. "Go and find your favorite painting and then come back." We each walked around, silently and separately. There was a painting of Him I had never seen before. He was walking to the cross, with thorns on his head and blood on His back from being whipped, a crowd following around Him, and He was looking over at someone that was cold and huddled around a fire. It just struck me. Here is this man, The Son of God - the only perfect person to ever walk on the Earth, and He is being directed to the area where He would be tragically killed and yet He isn't even looking down at His pained feet or weeping for Himself. Instead, He is turned outward, looking at another child of God, with longing and a desire so firm to just help this other struggler. In one of His darkest moments He is looking to comfort another. It just really caused my heart to ache for His selflessness and beauty. I am in awe. We then spoke to one another in the class about what we thought and believed and what struck us. I could barely hold it together. The tears just kept flowing. I love my Savior. Those words don't even describe the feelings of appreciation and inexpressible love I have for Him. I can't find the words. Earlier in the day we had all been doing role plays for investigators and missionaries and something a friend of mine said struck me. She said, "I see something in you. When you speak to people you just connect with them. I can see all you could be... but you're holding yourself back. There's so much you can become. Don't deprive yourself of that. Let go and let Him in. No fear." So that's been one of my goals this week. Then Monday night my district and I raided the vending machines, bought all the food we could, went back to our room and ate while we packed, just laughing and talking. God knows who we need in our life. He will put them there. Love them. You can find heavenly angels everywhere in the most interesting and unexpected friendships. Tuesday was like "WHAT?" So surprised. Last day at the MTC. We woke up early, finished packing, and went to breakfast. It was our last zone breakfast and of course I got sappy. I have grown to love these elders and sisters as if they're my own. Ah. I got to see Elder Tanner Hillier again! He's the bomb - he looked so happy and uplifted! (The MTC does that to ya;) I love seeing friends from home. Then my district and two elders from my zone, Elder Burtoch and Elder Skidmore, got on the bus to Pocatello Idaho. It was so nice being with them for a bit longer. Once we arrived to the mission house I was almost passing out. It became so real. "I'm here. It's happening." I kept thinking! Ah our mission presidents are Brother and Sister Brinkerhoff and they are fantastic! You can feel the love they have for you just pouring out of their eyes. I love them. Then I got your package mom!!! THANK YOU. Getting packages and letters from home mean the world to me. That night I found out where I'd be serving - Pocatello Central III. We're over the Valleyview and Freemont Heights wards. Short story - so December. I googled "Pocatello Idaho sister missionaries" and I found a blog from a super cute sister named Sister Jacobson. I then sent her a Dearelder.com letter asking about the mission and what to expect. Then two days before I headed into the MTC, January 27th, I got a letter in the mail from her! She talked about how wonderful the mission was and just sent the most loving and comforting letter. Guess who my companion is. Sister Jacobson! So rad! Heavenly Father is so inspired and so incredible. She's my first companion here out on the mission! So wonderful! Tuesday night though.... that was rough. My MTC companion, Sister Worrall, and I spent the night at a members house and it became very real. I felt pretty anxious. New changes can be frightening... but anything worth doing is going to bring you out of your comfort zone. If it didn't, how else would we grow? I kept praying for comfort. I invite you to do the same - pray with your entire being, let Christ in. Let Him calm the storm inside of you. Don't lose hope. You're already walking on water right now in this moment - don't lose faith now. Don't sink. He is beside you. Focus on Him. Wednesday I met my new companion Sister Jacobson. I walked out of the car, anxiously looking around at all of the new missionaries, and all of a sudden I see this whirl of brown curly hair and a grinning face screaming, "Sister Mork!" She is so sweet. She's made me feel welcome and loved from the start. We hugged and just started talking right away. She's definitely a tender mercy to me. Saying goodbye to my MTC district was bittersweet, but we're all serving in Pocatello so I'm sure I'll see them again:) Right after that we headed to our new apartment. Please keep sending letters! I love them so much. They mean the world to me - especially encouraging words and inspirational scriptures and quotes. They move me along when it gets hard. So then once we got to our apartment we began studying and then went out! We walk a lot. We don't have a car so we walk around and talk with people about the gospel. Wednesday we were walking in the rain and just talking to everyone we saw about the Book of Mormon. To be honest, at first I was so nervous and anxious. It was pouring rain. I was so cold. People would shut doors in our faces when we tried to explain we were missionaries for Christ's restored church and it broke my heart. I first thought they were rejecting me, but then I realized they were rejecting Christ and that broke my heart even more. However, there are few times I have felt as inspired and lifted as I did that cold, wet day. I felt Him walking alongside me the entire time. I know He was. Thursday we had zone training. It was awesome. My new zone is rad. Me and my companion, Sister Jacobson, are the only sister missionaries in our entire area. There's like 5 sets of Elders in our zone and then her and I. I was so inspired in that meeting. Read Matt 4:20, 22 - Leave everything behind and serve. You will perform miracles. God will perform miracles through you if you believe in Him. 3 N 18:12,13 is wonderful too. If we make Christ our foundation, nothing can make us fall. We give up what we used to love for who we love more. While we were in the meeting I just had this sense of AH. I raised my hand and just expressed how important this work is. I spoke so boldly about the worth of souls and how we must show them Christ. We must show them the way. They need this. Our brothers and sisters need this. After I shared my thought one of the elders shared a beautiful story and tears came to all of our eyes. Our faith can inspire the faith in others and cause them to speak up and share beautiful memories. If your fire to share the gospel isn't burning in your heart, rekindle it. Pray to be an answer to someone's prayer. Pray to be a vessel. Friday was emotional. So that day we had training and I saw everyone from my MTC zone! LOVE THEM. Then that night.... I got such anxiety and homesickness. I'm going to be honest. That was such a hard night. I have had some of the brightest moments on my mission but some of the darkest..already. I can feel the adversary trying to make me doubt myself and feel unsure about why I'm here or if I'm capable. I miss home. I miss you all. And that night it just hit me. My heart ached to be home in your arms and just comforted. I knelt on the floor in my new apartment and just cried and expressed everything I was feeling in my heart and soul. Such peace couldn't have come any other way. The hardest times come before the greatest miracles - I kept telling myself. After I got up me and my companion got back to studying and then I just started tearing up again. I told her all my feelings and we had such a warming heart to heart. Ah, I love this sister of mine. We hugged and she offered such inspiration and wisdom. I know I'm supposed to be here. I know I can be a vessel in the Lord's hands. I know God can work miracles through me and I know I can bring souls unto Him. And because of that knowledge I know that Satan will try to cause me to doubt myself and doubt my purpose, but I can testify as a representative of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that if we put our trust in Him, then we can withstand any turmoil that Satan will send our way. After the crying fiasco, Sister Jacobson asked me if I wanted to ask for a priesthood blessing or just keep talking or whatever and I said, "Let's go out and find someone to teach." It was 8 pm by then and we went out and I'm so glad we did! We stopped at an apartment and talked with this adorable young mother who wasn't a member but said she planned on getting baptized. I shared a scripture and expressed that the Lord can help us climb any mountain we leads us to. SATURDAY ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR CAME TO OUR MISSION. I saw him! I was in the same room as him. He gave a devotional and it was so beautiful. They say things like this never happen and it's probably the last time it will for a while. He said everything I needed to hear. Ah to be in the same room as an apostle of the Lord. I can't describe the light I saw and felt as he spoke. Read D&C 84:87-88. God is always with us. "There is strengthening grace from the Atonement that helps us do more than we could alone when we strive to do what's right." I needed that so badly. I can love because He loved me first. Turn to God and feel his support. I was praying to feel comfort before the devotional and I kept feeling these words in my heart, "I am with you. Be troubled no more. Fear not." As we sang with Elder Bednar I felt nana Karen with me. I always do lately. I wear her ring everyday, mom. She is my guardian angel. Later that day we were walking and there was a woman outside her house smoking a cigarette. Sister Jacobson and I walked up to her and started talking to her. After Sister Jacobson paused for a moment I asked if I could share one of my favorite scriptures - D&C 121:7-9. After reading, I bore testimony to her that God is aware of her and that He loves her. I expressed that Jesus is the Christ, her older brother, and that he died for her. Tears came to her eyes and she cried as I told this woman I barely know but already loved of Christ's atoning sacrifice for her. The Spirit was so strong. Then that night I had one of the most incredible moments of my life. We were in Stake High Counselor of Missionary Work's home. He had asked us to come and teach his coworker. She is such a beautiful soul - an older woman with such kind eyes and loving smiles. We taught her about the Restoration and how this is the true church and after the lesson I felt impressed to invite her to be baptized. I bore my soul to her and told her that God is aware of her and knows her circumstances and then continued to ask, "So will you follow the example of your Savior, Jesus Christ, and be baptized in His name?" And she said yes! By the end of that we were all crying. I love this gospel. And Sunday I went to both wards and gave a talk in one of them.. for twenty minutes! Sheesh. I was unsure of what I was going to say, but the spirit guided me in everything I was meant to testify to the ward. The stake high counselor of missionary work spoke up in the ward council and said, "I will never forget what you said, Sister Mork. There was such a spirit when you spoke and bore testimony and I will never forget that moment. It's engraved." I love this gospel. I know the church is true. I know that God is aware of each and every one of us. He loves us with an unconditional love. Christ is our strength. He is home. He is peace. Read the Book of Mormon. It's written for you. Pray. God loves you and wants to hear from you and give you blessings on high. Write me. I miss you all. I love you and pray for you every night. I know angels are watching over you. All my love and more, Sister Mork
at 7:49 PM
Hello my beautiful family and friends! I LOVE YOU! I am doing SO great. So last Monday night we had a lesson and it totally hit home for me. One of our teachers, Brother Makahilahila, had us each write down all of our expectations of ourselves as missionaries. I invite you to do this activity as well. Take a pen and a piece of paper. Put a line in the middle of the paper. On one side write down all the expectations you have of yourself in life. Now on the other side of the paper write down all of the expectations God has of you. Are they different? Are they the same? I noticed with mine I had SUCH high expectations of myself…which are good…but not to the point where it feels impossible. Our expectations of ourselves should be in line with what Heavenly Father expects of us. He is perfect love and mercy and justice. Align your will with His. Align your expectations of yourself with His. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. God trusts you. You trust God, don’t you? And if you don’t trust in yourself then you’re not trusting in God. You’re not trusting in His trust in you. Trust in yourself! I hope that made sense J haha. You’re stronger and more beautiful and capable than you know. God knows you. He knows what you need. Last week, my beautiful companion, Sister Worrall, and I had our first TRC investigator. His name is Theo. We were nervous beforehand and were feeling a little inadequate to be teaching him and then I remembered that Henry Ford quote you say all the time, Dad. “If you think you can, if you think you can’t- you’re right.” We said a prayer that God would be with us to help us teach with love and power and felt such peace. We believed that we could. Theo is such a beautiful soul! He's a 20 year old man- super sweet, hilarious, outgoing and strong. He’s planning on marrying his girlfriend, Lauren. She’s a member of the church and he asked to meet with us to learn more about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is about. Right when we walked in there I felt Gods love for him. I was so eager to share everything I know about the gospel with him. I just kept thinking: I want you to know God loves you. I want you to know you are a son of God. Christ died for you and because of Him you can live with your family again after this life. My heart kept rejoicing and I almost burst with all of the love I felt for a man I barely knew. We had prepared a lesson to teach him about the Plan of Salvation- where were from, why we’re here, and where we go after this life- and once we met with him everything changed. The Spirit guided us and we just spoke with him and learned about him and taught what the spirit prompted us to talk about. It was magical!
Then Tuesday night my companion and I went to a devotional. We sang in the MTC choir. It was such a beautiful experience. We sang “Be Still My Soul.” One of my favorite hymns. Read the lyrics if you can. It speaks about how we turn to Christ when we need peace. After the wonderful devotional we met with our district leaders and Brother Brown said something that really spoke to me. He said, “Think of a friend or a family member that isn’t a member of the church. Think of someone that doesn’t have all the knowledge that you have. Now you’re on a mission and going out to find people. When you’re teaching – you’re teaching someone’s family member or friend that needs to know about Christ. If you will start worrying about someone else’s, God will have someone else worry about yours.” Wednesday the fifth we read 2 Nephi Chapter 4. Read it! It’s so powerful. God answers prayers. He hears you and He knows you. You are His. He will and can give you divine revelation if you ask with sincerity and faith. Stand strong. You are a child of God. Let His arms encircle you with love. He will. He wants to bring you peace and love and He will send His holy angels to watch over you. Cling to light. Cling to goodness and happiness and trust in God. Cry unto Him. He will carry you. Christ will carry you.
Wednesday night we taught Brother Bryner, our other teacher, in a role play where he acted as an investigator and Sister Worrall and I were missionaries. He was a young man named Blake. We’ve had a few lessons with him and they’ve all gone really well but Wednesdays lesson was incredible! We shared inspired scriptures with him. We shared the story of Alma the Younger and how he was so wicked but through Christ he was able to change and repent and experience such happiness and peace. We knelt down and prayed with Blake and he said he wanted to be baptized. It was such an astonishing moment!! Makes me so happy that he’s willing to take this step and commit to Christ. Although he is our teacher, it felt so real. Then Sister Worrall and I took the new district around the campus and told them what to expect from the MTC. Since were zone training leaders that’s one of our responsibilities. Me, Sister Worrall and our zone leaders Elder Bertoch and Elder Skidmore all bore our testimonies and there was such a feeling of unity and joy that filled our hearts. When you bear your testimony and tell others what you know in your heart to be true, that is such a special moment. Do it. Share what you know in your heart. Don’t hold it all back.
Then Thursday the sixth we had in-field orientation all day. We had different lessons and teachers that shared such inspiring insights. It was so great! Man am I tired, but man am I happy!! Have you ever felt inspired to say something to someone, did it, and then felt so peaceful and good afterwards? Congratulations. You’ve been an angel. I realized something. I’m not here on a mission to become a better person. I’m here to FIND a person and make them better. And you know what’s cool about that? In doing so, I will become better. I just keep having this reoccurring thought: Find your brothers and sisters and bring them home.
Think about this: How do people feel being in your presence?
Exodus 14:14 is powerful. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Give your heart to God. Greater happiness awaits you than ever before. Friday was a hard day- just emotionally draining. In the morning I saw Sister Warren and she acted as someone she knew that wasn’t a member of the church and I felt the spirit stronger than I have in any role play we’ve done as I talked with her. I completely let the Spirit enter my heart and guide me. I asked inspired questions and just had an incredible experience. I felt questions and thoughts enter my mind and heart which allowed me to better relate to and help her. Read 2 Nephi 31:21. Christ is the only way and as we have faith God will appear to us. Maybe not literally, but in our hearts and minds and daily lives. That’s why missionary work is so important. Lead them to Christ. They need Him. We all need Him. Later that day there was someone that had done wrong to me and my companion and at first we were really upset and we felt betrayed. But then something happened. Although we were sad and hurt by the actions of this person, we still loved them and prayed to feel peace in our hearts and we prayed for them. Something changes inside of you when you let go of the anger and hurt caused by the actions of others and just allow your love for them to overshadow anything else. We prayed and as we prayed for them the words “Ether 12” flashed across my mind and as soon as we got off our knees we turned to the scriptures and read Ether 12 together. It was all about faith. It’s one of the most powerful chapters I’ve ever read. So beautiful. I’m so thankful that we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares about every detail of our lives, a loving Heavenly Father that can give us divine revelation. If someone has done wrong to you or you have ill feelings toward others, let it go. Give those feelings to God. Don’t allow that burden to stay on your shoulders any longer. He wants to help you.
Saturday was wonderful. We taught Theo and he prayed with us!! He was nervous to pray in front of us and he finally did it. We were so proud of him. I teared up during the prayer because I was so happy for him. He said he couldn’t tell if God was really there because he couldn’t see Him. I said “Theo, close your eyes.” And then I tapped his arm. “Open your eyes,” I said, and then when he opened his eyes I said “Okay did you see me?” He said “No.” I said, “Did you feel me?” He said, “Yes.” I replied, “Did you see God when you prayed?” He said, “No.” I said, “Did you feel Him?” He said, “Yes.” He just kept smiling and whispered, “I get it.” Just because you don’t see something with your physical eyes doesn’t mean it’s not there. Can you see love? No, but you feel it. Can you see the wind? No, but you feel it. Can you see God physically? No, but you can feel Him. He is there! Saturday night my district and I found a box of fresh donuts. These girls in our hallway didn’t want them and so they gave them to us! Then us 6 girls went up to Sister Jorgensen’s bunk bed and ate all the donuts and laughed and talked together. I love these girls. They’re my sisters. So thankful God has allowed me to be set up in the district and zone I’m in. My district is us 6 girls and my zone is the 6 elders were with. They’re all so spiritual and so fun! Were all learning and growing so much.
Then SUNDAY. I love Sundays! The Sabbath is seriously the best day of the week. How great is it that we get a whole day devoted to God and worshiping Him?! I feel such love and peace and hope on Sundays. We all walked to the temple Sunday morning and it was raining but it was so worth it. Sister Worrall and I were clinging to each other and laughing underneath the umbrella. We kept accidentally stepping in puddles and we were soaking wet but we were so happy!! Serving God= HAPPY SPIRIT. After that, we all changed into warmer church clothes and changed shoes and headed off to Sacrament. My zone sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” in front of everyone in Sacrament. It was so wonderful. Music can bring in such a sweet spirit. The closing hymn was, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again.” I teared up a little bit as I looked around the room. I’ve been around these people 24/7 for the past 2 weeks and I love them. What beautiful souls God has allowed me to learn from and love. Some of the lyrics in the song sang, “When life’s perils thick confound you, put His arms unfailing round you.” Perfect.
Today was Monday and its Preparation Day! We went to the temple. Best part of my week! Such a beautiful place. Such a beautiful spirit. I felt such love and warmth in my heart as I was there. Go to the temple if you can. It’s the House of the Lord and it’s the best place in the world. Christ walks those halls.
Some things I’ve been thinking:
It’ll be a great place if you make it a great place.
When everything says you can’t, believe in that part of you that says you can.
It’s not who you aren’t. It’s who you are. And being yourself is being great.
When you understand them, you’ll love them.
Out of everything, give them your time.
It’s often life’s smallest moments that bring you the greatest joys. Don’t let the magic pass you by.
The people in your heart can’t hear what’s in your heart. If you love them, tell them.
He lives. The tomb is empty.
All my love and more,
Sister Lauren Ashley Mork
P.S. Mom, my district and I fasted for you this week for your surgery. I pray for you and all the family every night. I love you all. I know God is watching over you.
D&C 6:36 is still my motto J “Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not.”
at 5:23 PM