Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Change of Heart‏

Hi Everyone,

I am so grateful for the experiences of this past week. The Lord knows me perfectly. I am in awe of His ability to make everything work for our best interest. It was a crazy week, complete with District Meeting in a district of all Elders except for us, exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, visits from the District Leader, a wedding, bikes, a Relief Society activity, and so many tender mercies from the Lord. 

Sister Lee and I are so excited for the progress and potential in the Wolfville area. I have learned so much from her over this past week and I feel like a completely different missionary. More than anything, she wants to serve the Lord with all her heart, and I am so grateful for her example to me. We have set a goal to read the Book of Mormon by Easter. My focus on reading the Book of Mormon this time is to understand the heart more. The condition of my heart is the most important factor in my success in missionary work and in life. The Lord has taught me so much in the past week about the condition of my heart.

As I was reading this week, I found this scripture: 
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
"Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

All I can give the Lord is my heart. When we offer our hearts to Him, He can make us more than we could ever make of ourselves. The first thing Moroni exhorts us to do in Moroni 10 is to remember how merciful the Lord has been to His children from the beginning of time until now. Remembering the Lord's mercies in our own lives softens our hearts. When we soften our hearts, the Spirit is able to testify to us and to CHANGE us. 

Prepare your heart for the messages we will hear in a couple weeks from a living prophet. I am so excited to receive personal revelation through General Conference! :)

Sister Renda

Sister Lee and I on the bikes for the first time. Adventure, here we come!

Sister Drew and I. Sister Drew was in my sophomore ward at USU.

The Valley Girls...All of the sisters in this picture have served in the Wolfville area, which is in the Annapolis Valley.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fredericton Concert

Hi All,

I tried to upload this video of the Fredericton Concert from March 15, but was unable to post it here.  Here is the link to a dropbox that Maren sent me.  I don't know if you can get to it, but it is the best method I could think of to share it.

The camera work is pretty crazy, it was filmed by an elder and it is all over the place.  You can see Maren in several shots and hear snip its of the pieces they played.  She looks like she is having a great time. Go to the Fredericton file and the best one is the second video, it looks all blurry to start with but works ok.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The Orange Blossom Special has pulled into the station and the last of the family concerts are over. We travelled to Fredericton, New Brunswick on Friday and then to Caribou, Maine on Saturday for the final concerts of the series. We attended church in the Houlton Branch in Maine on Sunday and performed a few musical numbers and did a third hour program in the branch. The Spirit was powerful in that tiny church as we bore witness of the Savior through music and testimony. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to participate in these concerts. Many, many non-members attended the concerts and I look forward to hearing about the fruits of these concerts in the coming months. One of my favorite parts of the concerts is always the drive home in the 12 passenger van that we lovingly refer to as the transfer van. Usually there are six or seven missionaries and a senior couple in the van on the way home and we have a tradition of singing hymns. Music is such a powerful instrument for inviting the Spirit. I am grateful for the hymns and for these missionaries who have strengthened my testimony through their examples and their desires to lift others through their talents.

Sister Lee and I are back in Wolfville after our mid-transfer transfer. Her companion became sick last transfer and is currently rebuilding her strength at the mission home, so Sister Lee is stuck with me! :) She lived in the Princess Palace in Halifax with me my first transfer and as she has participated in the concerts, we know each other fairly well. I am excited to get to know her more and learn from her testimony and experience. Good things are going to happen over the next four weeks!

Stefan is continuing his preparation for baptism. His sincere desire to repent and bring his life in closer harmony with Christ's teachings is inspiring. His baptismal date is April 12. 
I know that my Savior lives and that He loves me. He wants each of us to come unto Him and to receive the peace and happiness and healing that He offers. Never doubt His infinite love. He is there with His hand outstretched, waiting for us to return to Him. The path will not always be easy. He asks us to take up our cross and follow Him. He promises to lift us when we are low and walk by our side when we feel alone. Stand for what is right and true, despite the influences in the world around us.

I love you all! Continue to pray for missionary opportunities, then look for the Lord providing ways for you each day to open your mouth and invite. He promises us that He will fill our mouths, if we open them. 

Christ is the reason.

Sister Renda

Monday, March 10, 2014

Transfers Again, Goodbye Sister Aslett


Surprise! Sister Aslett is being transferred at the end of this week. She will be serving in the Halifax Family Ward with Sister Spencer. Sister Lee will be coming to Wolfville to serve with me. The transfers will take place after the concerts this weekend. 
This past week we had a zone conference with both of the zones in Nova Scotia. It was a powerful time of instruction and counsel from President Leavitt, Sister Leavitt, and the assistants. We focused on listening and discerning in an effort to increase our skills of teaching people, not just lessons. One of the assistants spoke about keeping our own personal vision in mind to motivate us and inspire us as missionaries. I have been pondering on a vision for myself as a missionary to know what the Lord wants me to do and become during this experience.

Stefen is still preparing for baptism in April. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this last week and watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with him at a members' home. He was surprised that Joseph and Hyrum were martyred and observed that their lives were very similar to that of prophets in the Old Testament. He continues to come to church each week. We are excited for the progress he will continue to make in the coming weeks.

We are also teaching a man named Aaron who lives with the Bonn family. He is helping remodel a home they purchased and are hoping to sell. Aaron has a hard background and has been thinking about changing religions for a while. We taught him the Restoration last week and he loved it! As we were leaving, he asked, "So would I have to talk to your priest about changing religions?" We are excited to go back and teach him this week and invite him to be baptized.

We had some powerful lessons last week. The Lord is preparing His children to receive the gospel. We just need to open our eyes and our mouths to the opportunities He gives us each day to share the gospel. 

Sister Renda

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Quick Note

Hi all,

The concerts went well this last weekend. It's true that everything looks the same: white. Hopefully I will get to see some of the areas in a different season. I don't have a ton of time today, but I wanted to respond and tell you that I love you and I am grateful for your support and love. My testimony of this gospel has been tried and tested, but overall it's been strengthened as I have seen the difference it makes in the lives of individuals I interact with, but especially in my own. Thank you for raising me in a Christ-centered home and teaching me those things that are of eternal value. Thank you for your examples, both Dad and Mom. Have a great week!