Monday, November 24, 2014

Because of Him (Katie-Belgium)

I love this church, and more importantly, I love this gospel. This week I have felt the enabling power of the Atonement. IT IS SO REAL.

Let me explain some things that happened this week...

I had my first two exchanges. Well it actually went like this: Tuesday-EXCHANGE, Wednesday-END OF EXCHANGE, Thursday-COOK CONFERENCE/EXCHANGE, Friday-FINISH EXCHANGE/WEEKLY PLANNING. It was stressful. But actually the point of this isn't to tell you how stressed out I am because it was honestly all worth it. But I just wanted to emphasize the stress (I also, as a mission credit card holder, had to buy all of the tickets for all of the Belgium missionaries for the conference plus metro tickets plus get to all of our trains on time including Thursday morning's at 6:13) because normal person Soeur Pettingill could not have done all of that alone. Maybe some people can, but I couldn't, especially with the added pressure of normal missionary work. But the entire week I pleaded for extra strength...and I felt it. Look! I'm alive! This is called the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I read a scripture this morning that explains this week perfectly: 

Alma 58:37, "But, behold, it mattereth not--we trust God will deliver us, notwithstanding the weakness of our armies, yea, and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies." 

Notwithstanding MY weakness, God delivered me. And it was SO great! My first exchange as an STL was with Soeur Richardson, in her 3rd transfer and in an adorable small French ville called Valenciennes. She taught me, and I taught her and we just had a blast. And it was so inspired. I love exchanges. 

The conference was also SO inspired. For the first time since I'VE been a missionary, our entire mission came together in Versailles to hear Elder Cook speak. He is a wonderful man. He came with his wife, as well as President and Soeur Teixeira, our area Seventy president and his wife. Elder Cook left our mission with a lot of promises, but my favorite part was actually at the very end, during the closing song. We all sang "Oui, je crois en Christ." The Spirit was so incredibly strong as almost 300 missionaries, an apostle of the Lord, a mission President and area Seventy and their wives testified that WE BELIEVE IN CHRIST, and that His Atonement is real and personal. I promise (even if you don't believe me), I wasn't the only one crying. :)

Like I said, I love this church and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I love being a missionary, and I adore being an STL. And because of Him I feel strong and happy and loved (also Christmas is coming up, which helps of course).

If you haven't seen it yet (or if you have) go and watch this video and see how because of Christ lots of things are possible. 

And then check out our brand-new Christmas themed initiative "He is the Gift" at starting on November 28th (the first day of Christmas is the day after Thanksgiving according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Sorry if that sounds like an advertisement. It's going to be super good :)

Soeur Katie Pettingill
grand-place in Brussels
i love belgium
my first gaufre! it was to die for
with my favorite human! I'm so blessed..
at the gare during our second exchange we found this thing that some kids had made. so of course we took a picture in it : )

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