Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter #46 (August 5, 2014)

Oh my goodness gracious this weekend was the greatest thing of my
life! If you didn't see on Facebook already I had QUITE the Saturday.
I woke up at 5:50 so that I could be ready at 7 AM to get a Skype call
from Pennsylvania. The purpose of that Skype call was not Christmas or
Mother's Day. The purpose was the baptism of a friend of mine and Aj's
from high school. I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost at said baptism and
was then able to watch my friend enter into the waters of baptism and
come up perfect clean and pure. All via Skype. I am so grateful for
the technology that God has inspired man to create so that we could
have such incredible channels of communication.

Then, right after that baptism, I went to an 8 year old baptism that
the child's grandfather asked me to go to. Very different dynamics,
but still wonderful.

Then we came home and ate lunch.

Then we did some service for our investigator Jennie.

Then we had an amazing lesson with a less active woman and her NM
boyfriend. The Spirit has obviously been working hard on them. The man
was teary eyed by the end of it. We have I hopes for the two of them.

Later that day we got to witness the most beautiful sunset of my
entire life. I'll send you a picture, but it won't do it justice.

Then we tried to contact a less active member, but his apartment
complex was gated. So we waited a little bit, said a prayer, and then
a car pulled up that was going in. So we went in behind it... Only to
find that there was absolutely no way out unless another car came!
Usually with places like that there is a little door next to the car
gate that you can of in and out of, but this one didn't have that.
That door was on the other aide of the row of apartments. The part
that we went into was in the middle of two buildings, where all of the
garages were. The other side of each building had the doors to the
apartments (which is what we needed so that we could knock on the
door). We figured that if we went in the way that we did, we could go
around the back to go to the side with the apartment doors. Not so.
Dead end. So we were stuck. And it was night time. Basically we
probably would have had to wait until it was. Little but later and it
would b less likely that people were watching, and then climb over the
fence to get back out to the street. Luckily, Heavenly Father was
merciful and another car came in so we were able to get out. Oh boy.

And then that night it rained!!!!! It was so glorious. We went and
stood out in it for little bit. It hasn't rained here in months. I
miss it!

So basically it was just a super wonderful day. And then Sunday was
wonderful as well. It was a really lovely testimony meeting and then
Sister Fjeldsted and I got to do singing time in primary! It was so
much fun! They were kind of a tough crowd, but we still had a blast.
Afterward we gave them all a pass along card to give to their friends.
So fun.

The rest of the week was really good too!

We were on a panel for a stake achievement days camp. We talked about
preparing for a mission and how being a missionary prepares you for
the rest of your life. The. We opened up for questions. The only
question we got was "is it hard to ride a bike in a skirt?" But then,
they are pretty young, so it makes sense. Oh my goodness, it was so
funny/disturbing. One of the other ladies on the panel asked if anyone
had clubs at their school, and no one raised their hands. Finally, one
solitary little hand goes up. "We have a poker club at my school! They
use pennies." What!?!? In an elementary school? What?! I couldn't help
laughing though.

We also had a cool experience where twice in one day one of us felt
like going. See a particular person, and they weren't home. But then
they dove up right as we went to leave! So we were able too talk to
them and set appointments with both of them. Very cool. And something
similar happened yesterday too. I love that.

Oh, random thought. I don't know if I wrote about this last week or
not. But last Sunday a family just showed up to church! Apparently
they live nearby and so have seen it and just decided to give it a
try! It was so cool. That same Sunday and NM friend of a family in the
ward gave a talk. That was only her second time ever coming to church.
It helps that her friend's husband is in he bishopric. We also spoke,
but her talk was the best by far. So good.

Anyway, lots more happened, but ain't nobody got time to read a super
long email! And this is already pretty long.

I love and miss you all! Have a great week! Share the gospel with your friends!

~Sister Kretchman

Oh! I forgot, for anyone who was at Amanda's baptism (or anyone that's interested) here are the notes from my talk. I prepared for days but then didn't say even half of what I planned of course.

You are going to receive the most expensive gift of your life. I know that it is of great value because of its high price.* This gift is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is about equal in value to all of the sins and mistakes that we make, and all of our weaknesses. Thankfully, we only have to pay the teensiest fraction of this price. Really, Christ paid it in full, all He asks of us is to follow Him. 

So what makes the Gift of the Holy Ghost so valuable? The Holy Ghost is what brings us the most joy that we could ever feel, it is our guide, our voice of warning. It protects us and comforts us. And, probably most importantly, it is what cleanses us. The Holy Ghost really is that baptism of fire. It is that fire that burns within us and rids us of anything that makes us unclean. It purifies us like a silversmith purifies silver. It burns away all impurities, allowing us to forget about our mistakes and weaknesses. The Holy Ghost is what cleanses us to enable us to enter into the presence of God someday. No unclean thing can enter into the presence of God,** which creates quite the problem since none of us are perfect. But because God loves us He sent His son Jesus Christ*** to make up the difference for each and every one of us. We receive that help as we accept Christ into our lives and keep Heavenly Father's commandments. When we are baptized, we commit to God that we will follow Him. And because He loves us and WANTS us to come back to Him, He sends the Holy Ghost to not only help us, but to give us the opportunity to move on and to start fresh.****

The Gift of the Holy Ghost compensates for all of the sacrifices that we make every day to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Being a follower of Christ isn't easy. We have to give up the things that we like and replace them with the things a God likes. It can be difficult at times, but think of it like this: we give up temporary pleasures for eternal joy. As we do the things that God would have us do, we feel such joy and comfort from the Holy Ghost.

* "The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of our Heavenly Father’s most precious gifts. Through the power of the Holy Ghost we can feel God’s love and direction for us. This gift is a foretaste of eternal joy and a promise of eternal life." (Preach My Gospel)
** 3 Nephi 27:19 "And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end."
*** "Heavenly Father has provided us, His children, with a way to be successful in this life and to return to live in His presence. However, we must be pure and clean through obedience in order to do so. Disobedience moves us away from Him. Central to our Father’s plan is Jesus Christ’s Atonement. The Atonement included His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane as well as His suffering and death on the cross. Through the Atonement we can be freed from the burden of our sins and develop faith and strength to face our trials." (PMG)
**** D&C 82:10- "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." Heavenly Father will ALWAYS keep His end of the bargain. You will always be able to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost if you continue to strive to live Christ's teachings.

~Sister Kretchman

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