Hello im sireli family!
First things first-CONGRATS to Josh! (for those who don't know - Josh is going to DesMoines, Iowa and leaves Sept 25!) That is so exciting! I'm excited to the time we'll have together before he leaves-hopefully multiple sessions in the temple :) I know I've said it before, but there is nothing better than being a missionary (I'm sure Dad, Cari, and Kris would all agree). I feel like we have stood toe to toe with satan this week-I don't know how to describe the many kinds of opposition we have seen, I think satan must be a bit frustrated with the progress of the church through out the world! It is always so interesting to see the oppostion that comes-and while it is hard, frustrating, and disappointing, I know that the Lord's work continues to go forward and that He continues to bless us with miracles. We have experienced many here and I know that Lord will continue to bless us, so long as we are doing our part.
This last week as I was studying about Helamen's 2000 soldiers and their firm and solid faith, their lack of doubt, I realized how I had been doubting in our work. The Lord always has a way of teaching us and I am so grateful for the reminder that Elder Smith gave during our district meeting. He talked about Elder Holland's talk "Help thou my unbelief" and how sometimes, perhaps we do doubt, not that the Lord can't do it, but that we just don't fully see how it will happen, and it's in those moments that we place our faith on our Loving Heavenly Father and our Savior and we say "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief." Then at a baptism, I had to opportunity to share my testimony about the Plan of Salvation, I realized how I need to pray so much more to have the Lord guide my words, to have the Spirit with me, because I cannot do it alone., before the baptism, I had thought a lot about what I could say, what was important, and then when it came down to it, I was really nervous and submitted to the Lord. I told Him how weak I felt, because I don't usually talk about the Plan of Salvation alone, and how I didn't know what to say, but that I wanted to say what He wanted me to, and I just prayed to have His guidance and the Spirit. Heavenly Father does answer our prayers! As I stood up to talk, and as I talked, I just felt the guidance of the spirit. I can honestly say that I haven't felt that much guidance from the Spirit at one time in a while, and I am so grateful for the feeling that filled my heart as I was able to briefly share my testimony, and while I do not know what others felt, the experience strengthened my testimony.
Since President and Sister Carter are leaving this next week, President Carter did interviews with all of us and gave us all a blessing. I love that man! I wish a could describe to you all the feelings of love and respect that are in my heart for him. I imagine that all of Steve and Julie's missionaries are feeling the same about them as well! As President Carter said to me, the time the Lord gives us is enough to accomplish His will, and I know that now is the time to continue to go forward under the direction of President and Sister Carlson. I know it'll be great!
I'm so glad to hear that camp went well, inspite of the weather. And I hope that all goes well with youth conference as well! I love you all! Have a fantastic week! Thank you so much for your support and prayers! You are the best!