Monday, March 27, 2017

Letter #35 - God Answers Prayers

March 27, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

I've been going through a lot of hard stuff lately, including feelings of inadequacy as a missionary, homesickness, and lots of other generally negative feelings. And I've prayed for help - oh how I've prayed. But a lot of times, all I heard was silence. I've been studying from the Bible a lot lately, and one of the lessons I came across was what is often called The Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-10). I also study with the institute manual because I've found it helps me understand what is going on better and helps give some context to Christ's teachings. For this parable, the manual includes a quote from James E. Talmage, from his book Jesus the Christ. It says, 

"The Lord’s lesson was, that if man, with all his selfishness and disinclination to give, will nevertheless grant what his neighbor with proper purpose asks and continues to ask in spite of objection and temporary refusal, with assured certainty will God grant what is persistently asked in faith and with righteous intent. No parallelism lies between man’s selfish refusal and God’s wise and beneficent waiting. There must be a consciousness of real need for prayer, and real trust in God, to make prayer effective; and in mercy the Father sometimes delays the granting that the asking may be more fervent.” 

I was able to better understand that the silence came, not because He didn't care or because I was doing something wrong, but because He wanted to see if I really wanted His help. He allowed me time to humble myself before Him so that I would be prepared to act on the answers he would give me. As the weeks have gone on, I have been blessed with an abundance of divine help. It has not made my situations any different, but it has provided me with comfort, an awareness that my Heavenly Father knows and loves me, and strength to continue on. At times it can even be said of me as it was said of Alma and the people in Helam, that my burdens have been made light, and that "the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord" (Mosiah 24:15). I know that this strength comes through relying on the Atonement of Christ. I always love what Elder Bednar has taught about this strengthening aspect of the atonement. 

"Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully? I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone--through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.

We are not and never need be alone. We can press forward in our daily lives with heavenly help. Through the Savior’s Atonement we can receive capacity and “strength beyond [our] own” (“Lord, I Would Follow Thee,” Hymns, no. 220). As the Lord declared, “Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end” (D&C  100:12)." (Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease, April 2014)

I know this is true. I know that God answers prayers in his own timing. I know that He loves us and is aware of us.

And I love all of you! 

Sister Prue 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Letter #34 - 8 Months Today

March 20, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we had the incredible opportunity to hear from an apostle of
the Lord, Elder Rasband. We also were able to hear from Elder
Hallstrom and Bishop Causse (I know I butchered the spelling on that
one) of the presiding Bishopric. Beforehand we were asked to read a
talk he gave in general conference in 2010. In it he shared his
experience of observing how missionaries are assigned to their
missions and bore testimony of the divinity of our call. During our
conference, he shared his experience this week of assigning calls to
missionaries, as that is now his privilege to do as an apostle. He
said he even assigned some to this mission :) He told us not to
complain about our areas or companions or missions because doing so is
to mock God. He promised us that if we would keep journals during our
missions, that the spiritual experiences we record will be able to
bolster our testimonies later in life at times when our faith may
become weak. He talked about how missions are times where we find
ourselves and God's elect. Missions are very inward and very outward.
He told us to ask God what He wants us to learn from each companion
and each area. All the speakers were amazing and I took notes full of
counsel. The thing I think that sticks out most from these visits from
leaders of the church is the great love that they have for us. The
Spirit is so strong when they come and it seems like all is right in
the world, or at least that it will be.

Something that I've made a habit of doing recently is reading from my
patriarchal blessing each day. It is uplifting to see the many
blessings the Lord has in store for me and the love that He has for
me. I've also started re-reading the talks from last General
Conference in order to prepare for General Conference coming up.

Some of you may not know that as of a week and a half ago, I got a new
companion, Sister Sellers. She is from Clearfield, UT. She is very
organized and awesome at directing dinner conversation towards
missionary work and other gospel topics. I'm learning a lot from her

Also, I'm sitting here in the cleanest laundromat in the world washing
my SWEATERS. But the last few days it has been in the 90s. I think
they broke the weather here.

As always, I love hearing from each and every one of you. I love you all :)

Love, Sister Prue

Monday, March 13, 2017

Letter #33 - Spring Forward

March 13, 2017

Friends and Family,

Sorry for the lack of updates. Things have been crazy these past
couple of weeks. This Saturday the mission will get to hear from Elder
Rasband, so stay tuned for that next week! And to answer one person's
question, we did lose an hour of sleep this weekend. No rest for the
righteous! Hope things are well with everyone! Thanks always for the

Love, Sister Prue