I thought it would be interesting to start with some late-night thoughts from Sister Andersen haha so here’s what I’ve been thinking about in terms of trusting Heavenly Heavenly Father.
I know I should let Jesus take the wheel, but sometimes I think He’s just taking me offroadin’. This has definitely been the theme of my life lately. When I’m walking with Jesus, He’s actually taking me hiking! You know how the scriptures say, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) I used to think that scripture was solely about having faith in God’s plans for you even when you can’t see what lies ahead. But the more living I do the more I realize that sometimes Heavenly Father just likes to get our adrenaline pumping. Sometimes we gotta close our eyes and walk by faith just so we don’t look down and see how high up the mountain He’s taken us and get nervous.
I get what Sunday school teachers are *trying* to do, but there are times they give us the wrong message with well-intentioned “object lessons”. They’ll show us a nice paved path and tell us that if we keep the commandments and follow the prophet, it’s like walking down that beautifully paved path. But when we break the commandments it’s like stepping off the path and into the thorns, rocky terrain, and haunted forests surrounding the path. That’s why when you’re living your life right, but life is still thorny, we get way confused.
The truth is our walks with the Lord aren’t always paved. Sometimes Jesus pulls up along the path in an ATV and says “hop in!” And just because Jesus has the wheel doesn’t mean you’re not about to end up with motion sickness. Jesus doesn’t even have a driver’s license haha when he was a teen he was driving donkeys, yet I trust Him. God’s path for us isn’t always in our comfort zone, sometimes He takes His thrill-seeking children on a stroll through a meadow. Then He’s got the kids who are afraid of heights hang-gliding. Why? Because we don’t learn to trust God when we’re in our optimal elements.
Tina is one of our cute friends who has been meeting with the missionaries for a long time. She still struggles to trust and believe in God’s existence. It’s hard growing up attributing everything to coincidence or you just being a really lucky person and trying to completely change that view to believing it’s God’s hand in your life. But she’s trying. It’s frustrating sometimes, but every time we’re in a lesson, I just feel so much of Heavenly Father’s love for her.
Pei pei was supposed to be baptized the first week of December. She didn’t have enough faith in the importance of making coming to church a priority, so she sadly has yet to be baptized. We taught a lot of lessons about the importance of the Sacrament. This week we asked her if she trusted Heavenly Father. She said yes, so we invited her to ask her boss for work off on Sunday. Her initial reaction was that there was no way, but she had faith. She trusted. She asked. And she is now set to come to church every Sunday!
Zhang JM is another friend who spent half of her life doing business in South Africa. As she has gotten older, her optic nerves started to deteriorate, and now she is completely blind. This is a woman who trusts in God throughout one of the hardest trials of her life! I’m so in awe of her.
Guo JM actually met the church in New Zealand. She’s loved the light it’s brought into her life. However when Sunday had a lesson that focused on the importance of families she started to question if God had the same plan for her family. Recent family struggles made it so she had to stop going to school so she could take care of her mom full time. She’s trying her best to keep that trust so she can patiently endure this challenge.
I know that sometimes trust in God is hard. However, I testify that it is the most important thing we could ever put our trust in. I also know that our trust in Him grows the most during a trial if we turn to Him and not away from Him. I love Him! I love being a missionary!
I love you all so so so much!!!