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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pocatello! Week 6

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pocatello! Week 5

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pocatello! Week 4

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

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pocatello! Week 3

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