Monday, September 15, 2014

PMG Chapter 3, Lesson 1, first point: God is our loving Heavenly Father (Katie-Angers)

Hi everyone:

Well, another week has gone by. Here I am, sitting at the computer, typing out yet ANOTHER email for you all to read (if you want, you don't have to). But this one is a little different because me, I am a little different today. I think I changed this past week. 

I've always had a testimony that God is real. He is. Duh. But two weeks ago, things happened (or didn't happen) and I had a little testimony-tugger. Because He's there, isn't He? YES, HE IS. I think I just needed to stop being so impatient and imperfect and just open my eyes and see. Why wasn't I seeing before? I don't know. But Heavenly Father led us to a beautiful person this week.

While out on a what we thought might be a wild goose chase, the Lord taught me something very important: patience is a virtue; it is also greatly rewarded. Nadia, the lady who we were searching for, is about 30 years old and has a young, 16 year old son suffering from a form of autism. She was extremely close to God when she was younger, but quickly lost touch when she found herself among sin. She was sensitive enough to realize that she could only have one or the other, and she chose sin. She stopped praying. She stopped going to catholic mass. She stopped reading her bible. She started drinking, smoking, and doing nothing with her life. If not for her son, she would have lost completely the will even to live. Now, almost 5 years later, she convinced herself that she could never pray again because of all of the terrible things she's done. She, because of her past, had gone so low that she didn't deserve forgiveness, and no matter her desire, she would never be able to find it.

Then we introduced her to the Book of Mormon. We told her that actually, yes, she can always come back. That is why Christ suffered for us; so that we would always be able to come back. Last night we had our second rendezvous with this incredible woman, and she said (for the first time in years) the closing prayer. She thanked Heavenly Father for showing her that He did still love her by sending her His servants. She thanked Him for the incredible feelings of peace and love that she has in her heart. She thanked Him for His Son. 

With the tears surfacing, I felt God's love so powerfully and so strongly. It was one of the most beautiful, most sincere prayers I have ever heard. I actually gave a talk on Sunday, as well. The topic that had given me was "missionary work." Okay, great. So I talked about something that has been engraven so deeply on my heart during this past year: How much Heavenly Father truly loves EACH of His children. I can see how much He loves Nadia, and now she is seeing it too for the first time in a really long time. I bore my testimony of the personal relationship we can have with our Heavenly Father; I know because I have one. He's so real, so there. 

I'm such an old missionary.

But I love it. I love seeing people change and grow--including myself! My companion and I have been studying repentance, and I recently found one of my now favorite verses in Isaiah 55:7, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord..." To repent means to return. To return back to the presence of Heavenly Father. Each time we repent, we get a little bit closer to this life objective. 

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers. The church is true.

gros bisous,
Soeur Katie Pettingill
I know, we're adorable. This is during one of our adventures where the only place we could find to have dinner was two different boulangeries. Good thing they had éclairs, right? ;)
We got to watch a surrounding Europe stakes broadcast by Elder Bednar and Elder Ballard and some others. We all gathered at the church to watch it for our ward, but we partied in the other room #wespeakenglish
We had kebabs on 9/11. Insensitive? Probably. But we didn't know what else to do...

This may or may not be a highway that we're walking down. Don't worry, France doesn't know how to make a real highway, we weren't in danger ;)

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