Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

My last letter!

Hello!  It has been such a wonderful week!  Here are some highlights:

We got transfer calls!  Sister Spencer and Sister Clawson will both be training--so excited for both of them.  I do have to say I prayed my whole mission to end my mission by training a new missionary, and luckily I got one of the best.  Sister Spencer has a heart of gold and is the most humble, loving, kind person I know.  She has taught me so much!  I am really excited for her to bless a brand new missionary's life, as she has blessed mine.  And, it has been such a party having Sister Clawson with us the last two weeks.  She will be an incredible trainer!

Monday night our lesson fell through, and we weren't quite sure what to do.  It had been snowing nonstop for over 24 hours.  We felt impressed that we needed to shovel one of our investigator's driveways who is going through a difficult time.  We had a blast shoveling, and right as we finished, her neighbor walks out and, long story short, we started shoveling hers.  This turned into an opportunity to testify to her of the love that her Heavenly Father has for her, that she is truly a child of God, and that our Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and knows us perfectly.  It was such a powerful experience.  I gave her a Book of Mormon, and she asked me, "Why would you give me this book?  I feel like I am the worst person ever and don't deserve this."  I was able, in that very moment, to testify of the healing power of the Book of Mormon and the blessing it has been in my life.  In that moment I felt so much love for her and knew that she truly is a child of God.  I really cannot even begin to express what an incredible moment that was.  It is amazing to witness time and time again how the Holy Ghost leads us and guides us to the places we need to be in the exact time we need to be there.  The following day we had some incredible opportunities once again to listen to and act upon the promptings of the Spirit and be in the right place at the right time.  

Everyone this week has kept asking me, "What is the number one lesson you have learned?"  I'm like, "How do I even answer that?"  I have learned lessons every day over and over again.  Lately, though I have recognized, and really come to understand, the importance of the Spirit in ALL that we do.  I have seen time and time again on my mission exactly what Nephi said, "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."  AND, MIRACLES come!  But is is because this is the Lord's work.  He knows exactly what we need to be doing, where we need to be, and what we need to say to help these people that HE has been preparing.  I am so grateful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost--first, to lead and guide me to peoples' driveways at 8:30 and to meet Frankie, an incredible child of God--who had absolutely NO idea!  Second, to testify of truth.  The Spirit truly testifies of truth and will always testify of truth, and third, for the comfort that the Spirit can bring, and the comfort that I have felt day in and day out!

We also had some AMAZING lessons with some of our investigators.  They are progressing really well and exercising so much faith.  It is incredible to witness how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses and truly changes families and individuals.  During Fast and Testimony Meeting yesterday, two of the investigators got up and bore the most sincere and real testimonies I have ever heard.  The spirit was so strong.  I feel very blessed to have met all of these individuals and be a part of witnessing as they accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and light up with the Spirit.  I love them all with my whole heart and am looking forward to watching them continue to progress and soak it all in.

It has been such an incredible week and, more importantly, an incredible 18 months.  I am really at a loss of words to know where to even begin, or how to describe what an amazing blessing it has been to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Each and every day I have had the opportunity to put my name tag on and go out and represent our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know with my whole heart that our Savior lives.  I know that He came to the earth, established His Gospel, was crucified and suffered for the sins of all of us.  I have felt the power of the Atonement in my life every day, and been able to witness the hope and power the Atonement of Jesus Christ brings into the lives of the people I have grown to love with my whole heart.  There really is no greater blessing than being able to witness the enabling power of the Atonement in the life of someone who has lost all hope.  I know that I would not have been able to make it through every day without my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I want you all to know that I love Him so dearly.

I know that Christ's original Gospel has been restored to this earth through a prophet, named Joseph Smith.  He had a simple question about which church was true, which one he needed to join.  As he knelt in a grove of trees, I know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph.  He received his answer and through him the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.  Jospeh went in the grove with a question and was ready to act upon the answer he received.  I know that as we do the same that Heavenly Father will hear and answer our prayers.  I know that we are all children of a living, loving Father in Heaven.  I know that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and is here on this earth for us at this time.  There is healing power that comes as we read the book every day.  It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ.  

I know that God has given us the Plan of Salvation to allow us to return to live with Him again, and for the happiness of His children.  I love my Heavenly Father and Savior.  I love this great state of Alaska more than I could ever describe.  I love the many incredible people I have been so blessed to meet.  I love this Gospel with my whole heart and am really thankful for the experience and opportunity I have had to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  There is no greater joy and happiness than sharing with others the one thing that brings happiness in the moment and for eternity.  

Our Ward Mission Leader said yesterday, "We should take strength from the fact that when we invite, we do it on behalf of the Savior.  That is why we have it, so that we can share it."  I can testify of that.  As we invite and share the Gospel with others, we have our Savior with us every step of the way.  I am humbled, thankful, and eternally grateful for this incredible opportunity to share the Gospel with all I have come in contact with, and will continue to do so the next couple of days on my mission and the rest of my life.  

I love you all and am so very thankful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for the many prayers--I have felt them every single day.  Truly, thank you all for everything!  

I will see you soon, but until then I am excited to continue to witness the Lord's hand in this great work and witness the many miracles that will come here in the Lazy Mountain area!  There is no question in my mind that there is so much work here to do, and I am so excited to finish strong!

Love Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hello!

Such an awesome week...I don't even know where to begin!  But, I'll start with updating you on a few of the people I love so dearly!

Jessica and the Bensons!
We had an incredible lesson with them yesterday!  Right after church Zach was ordained a Priest and passed the Sacrament for the first time ever.  Seriously, coolest experience--just watching how happy he was.  We were able to teach the Plan of Salvation yesterday, and, my oh my, the spirit was so strong.  It was amazing because Zach just opened right up to the Doctrine and Covenants and started teaching Jessica all about it.  I love teaching about the Great Plan of Happiness that Heavenly Father has given us because to me it gives us a purpose in all that we do.  In every decision we make, in all that we do in life, we have the Plan of Salvation that helps us understand our divine purpose--to return to live with our loving Heavenly Father again.  He truly wants nothing more than for each of His children to return to Him again.  One of my favorite parts of the lesson was when Jessica said, "So, wait!  We all were given the choice before we came to this each, and because I'm here and all of us are here, we chose this plan already, and now we need to just choose it again??"  "YES!!"  Oh my goodness, happiest moment ever because it's so true.  Each and every one of us chose this wonderful plan before we came to the earth and sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.  We have dinner and another lesson with them this week.

Matthew, Danielle, and Kathrine
They are doing SO amazing, and they are just some of the most AMAZING people.   Each time we meet, I love it that they just get more and more comfortable with us, and they are pretty much the greatest people ever.  We just laugh and laugh, and also feel the spirit so strongly.  They are on date for baptism on the 17th, and it has been so incredible to see the faith that they have been exercising.  We had two lessons with them this week, and the first one was about the Plan of Salvation.  We started the lesson, and she was in a super bad mood (she even admitted it), but as we went through the lesson she just got happier and happier.  After we went through the plan, she said, "This just makes complete sense to me--complete sense."  She then pointed out that she hasn't felt as happy as she has in a long time.  We invited her to pray about the Plan of Salvation, as well as read and pray about Joseph Smith.  In our next lesson we followed up on her commitments.  In the most humble way she said, "I pray and read, and I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet called of God, and that the Book of Mormon is true."  It was such a powerful moment.  The spirit testified to me in that very moment the same exact thing--the Book of Mormon is true, and Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God, and the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored in fullness to the earth.  We went right into the Word of Wisdom, and the spirit was so strong.  After we talked and shared the blessing, they both said, "YES!  We will do all that we need to live the Word of Wisdom, no matter how hard it is.  We will try our very best."  I love this because all Heavenly Father asks of us is to try our very best, and He will make up the rest.  We are so excited for them and so truly blessed to have met them!

The Muffin Lady, aka Terry Freetag!
We felt so prompted to tract this one street, so we started knocking doors and met some awesome people, and found some people for YSA (Young Single Adults).  As we were about to leave the street, this lady comes out of her house yelling at us.  The first thought that went through my head is, "OH, NO!  This is either going to be really bad or really good."  We went over to her and she handed us a bag of muffins.  Long story short--We started talking and she said she had seen us walking and knocking on doors, and wanted to give us something.  She let us in, and we found out she was baptized not too long ago in another ward.  When she moved, she just kinda fell through the cracks.  We had a great visit and invited her to church.  At that same exact time, our High Priest Group Leader met her boyfriend, started sharing the Gospel, and invited him to take the lessons, meet with us, and he said he would love to!  He wants to be sealed in the temple!  Our High Priest Group Leader called and was telling us this story.  Before he said her name, we asked if the person the boyfriend lived with was named Terry, and he said, "Yes!  How did you know?"  We were able to tell him in that very moment the miracles we just witnessed.  It was amazing to see how involved the Lord was in that one!  We have dinner and a lesson with them this week.  It's incredible to see how the Lord prepares people and places them in your path.  He is so involved in this great work.

I could go on forever, and my companions can testify of that, but I'll save ya some time.  I know that the Lord is involved in every detail of our lives, that Heavenly Father has such an amazing plan for each of us!  I know that the Plan of Salvation truly is the plan that God has created for our happiness, not just temporary happiness but eternal happiness!

Sending bucket of snow and lots of baby sheep love from Alaska!  Have a great week!

Love Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

Update on Mama the Sheep--She had BABIES!!  Now we have three pets.

Wasn't kidding when I said buckets of snow.  This is what we woke up to this morning!

One last Bears Tooth run--Greatest pizza you will EVER have!  No joke!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

Three is better than two!

What a wonderful week!  We got a call Tuesday morning from President, and we are now in a trio for three weeks!  We now have Sister Clawson as a companion; it has been so fun.  We have just hit the ground running, and it's been so amazing.

Our trio right before our chapel tour

Tender mercy for the week--I got to see Sister Cox twice this week and be companions with her again for a quick two minutes.  We were able to teach about the Book of Mormon, give a book away, AND set up a lesson with this awesome guy named Tito.  So fun being able to share the Gospel with Sister Cox...brought back so many good time memories from North Pole and Oceanview!  

We were able to do a huge service in Anchorage this past week for the Iditarod, the big dog sledding race.  It was so fun, and we had so many amazing opportunities to share the Gospel and just open our mouths.  There was no coincidence that we were working with these people that day.  So cool to see the Lord's hand in all of this!

Service for the Iditarod!

Reunion with Sister Bentley!  So Sweet!  Love this girl!

We had an amazing lesson with some people that walked into church on Sunday with our member.  The husband is a less-active member and is coming back to church.  His wife and daughter, Danielle and Kathrine, are just the greatest!  We were able to teach the Restoration, and the spirit was so strong.  So strong!!  We extended the invitation to them to be baptized, and they said, "YES!"  They are preparing for March 17th, and we are so excited for them.  I love teaching families and just seeing how the Gospel blesses their lives but, more importantly, how the Gospel blesses their entire family.  So incredible!  Yesterday, we had Family Home Evening with them, another family we're teaching, and our ward mission leader, and it was so AWESOME!

We also had another incredible lesson with another one of our investigators.  We really focused on the power of the Book of Mormon, and she shared with us the sweetest experience that they had with their kids the other night.  They gathered around to read and for the first time ever the children were actually listening.  The family was reading together about Christ and how the people treated him.  She looks up and her little boy is just in tears because of how they treated Christ, and she just felt the spirit so strong in that moment.  Hearing that made me realize the real power of the Book of Mormon and how it truly is ANOTHER testament of Christ!  It testifies of Christ's life and the love He has for us.  We will never be able to comprehend all He went through, and He was willing to suffer in pain so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and savior Jesus Christ again.

Friendship bracelets with our investigators' sweet daughter!

Sundays are some of my favorite days, and lately our investigators as well, because they all just love coming!  It's the greatest place for them to be, and it just makes me so happy knowing that they will do all they can to make it to church and feel of that spirit that is present.  It has been truly so incredible to see how the Lord has been preparing the hearts of these people. The spirit is so powerful and truly testifies of truth.

Reunion with sweet Wright family from Oceanview!  Sure miss them!

Something I have been thinking a lot about these last couple days is how aware the Lord is of us.  I was listening to the talk that Elder Holland gave called "Songs Sung and Unsung":

"There is sunshine in my soul today," Eliza Hewitt wrote, "more glorious and bright than glows in any earthly sky, for Jesus is my light."  With radiance in every note, that marvelous old Christian hymn is virtually impossible to sing without smiling.  But today I wish to lift out of context just one line from it that may help on days when we find it hard to sing or smile and "peaceful happy moments" do not seem to "roll."  If for a time you are unable to echo the joyous melodies you hear coming from others, I ask you to hold tenaciously to the line in this hymn that reassures, "Jesus listening can hear the songs [you] cannot sing."

I love this song, and have sung it hundreds of times on my mission--It's kind of our theme song here in Alaska during the dark winters, and it truly does bring such a big smile to my face.  I love when Elder Holland points out the line that says, 

"'Jesus listening can hear the songs you cannot sing."'  Sometimes there are times we cannot find the words to sing or can not muster up the courage but in those moments we can find peace and solace in knowing that our Savior can hear those songs we cannot sing in this moment."  

I was reading in 2 Nephi 25:26 and it says how we teach of Christ and we preach of Christ and prophesy of Christ and then it says we rejoice IN Christ.  No matter where we're at, how we're feeling or the words we are lacking to say, we can find that joy in our Savior Jesus Christ and rejoice in Him knowing that He hears and knows those things perfectly.  

I love this Gospel!  I absolutely love being a missionary with my whole heart!  I know that Christ loves and loves us.  I know that He knows how we feel perfectly and invites each of us to come unto Him and rejoice in Him!

Love you all.  Have such a great week!

Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

Also, quick side story--We have a pet sheep living in the garage below us waiting to have little babies.  Every morning when I go and hop on the treadmill, I get to run right next to Mama the Sheep.  How lucky am I???

Mama sheep--AKA my running buddy!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Days!!

Hello!
Happy days cause it's getting so bright out...still cold and windy, but the sun has been shining so bright!  Also, because the Lord is so aware of these people here, and His hand is so evident in this work!

We had such a wonderful week and met so many incredible people.  We did a lot of finding and definitely saw miracles from our work.  It always amazes me how, as you listen to the promptings of the spirit, you are led and guided to those exact people that are just so prepared, or they are led to you.

We also had some incredible lessons with our investigators this week.  Because of lack of time, I won't go into details, but I will say the spirit was SO strong with each of them.  They all just have this sincere desire to know for themselves and are really looking for the truth.  There were some incredible experiences.  I truly just love all the people we are teaching SO MUCH!  Greatest humans and families ever!  I feel so blessed that the Lord has prepared these people at this time so that I can learn and grow from them.

Yesterday, though, was literally a dream come true.  Like I said, we have been doing tons of finding through Tracting, formers, and part-members.  Along the way, we have found so many people that are members but have not been active in years, have just moved up here, AND their records never followed.  We invited them to come to church, and yesterday they just continued to walk through the doors, one right after the other.  It was so incredible!  On top of that, our incredible investigators just walked through the doors one after the other. Then to top that off, the coolest family walked in with this ward member!  Our member had met them a couple of weeks ago when she felt super inspired to pull over and help this guy whose car was broken down on the side of the road (something she said she would NEVER do).  Long story short, they became good friends, and she invited his family to come to church.  He was a member growing up, and he brought his wife and 10-year-old daughter yesterday.  They LOVED IT!  We have a lesson with them this week, and they are so excited, and we are so excited!  Seriously, coolest family ever, and they just showed up to church!

Isn't it just so cool to see how the Lord is involved with this work?  Each of our incredible investigators right now pretty much showed up to church themselves, and we met them there.  The Lord is truly preparing the hearts of the children of men at this time, and it is amazing to witness it.  

I sat there yesterday in Sacrament Meeting as we were singing the opening hymn with the biggest smile on my face as I looked out and saw all of the amazing members and investigators, and just felt so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve.  These people here in Alaska are truly incredible, and I am so thankful for each of them.  

This is the true church...I cannot deny it.  The feeling of joy that overcame me yesterday sitting there as I looked out on these people that I can call family, and thinking about how incredible it is that we were all here to learn from one another to renew the covenants we have made, and remember our Savior Jesus Christ.  I love this Gospel, and I love being a missionary!

Also, so cool, Gerard received the Priesthood and a calling yesterday!  Happy day!  He is just glowing.  

We heard some awesome talks yesterday in Sacrament Meeting.  One of the thoughts was on the word "remembering" from Helaman 5.  The speaker shared the Hebrew definition of "remembering."  I don't remember the definition exactly but, basically, to remember is to act, and it means to act upon those things that we remember or that are brought to our remembrance.  Woah!  I thought and realized how often I remember something, or the Spirit brings something to my remembrance, and I think about it but don't ever actually do anything about it, and I do that ALOT.  I then though about the word "remember" in the Sacrament prayers, and how we can't just partake of it and remember our Savior Jesus Christ in that moment, but we need to, instead, remember Him every day and act upon those thoughts and impressions.  Anyways, that was probably a whole bunch of rambling, but I love this Gospel, I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for the infinite act of love he showed.  I'm thankful for the Book of Mormon and know that the book truly is another testament of Christ!  I love you all.  Have a great week.

Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

MOOSE ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD!

Hello!
It has been such a wonderful week!  Just a few highlights...

--Gerard was confirmed yesterday!  It was such a special day, and the spirit was really strong.  He also received a calling, and we are just so excited for him!!

--Gerard's best friend/neighbor wants to learn more about the Gospel, and all about "the thing" that has changed his life so dramatically in such a short period of time.  We stopped by and talked with her, and she said, "Yeah, when Gerard decided to live that Word of Wisdom thing, I decided to do it as well, and so I stopped drinking and smoking and even stopped drinking coffee.  I'm ready to find God."  How amazing is that?  We shared with her our purpose as missionaries and invited her to take the lessons--she agreed!  We will be starting the lessons this week, and Gerard will be able to help with all of them.

--We had an amazing visit with one of our investigators right after church yesterday.  They just moved up here, and the husband is a returning less active, and she has been coming to church with him the last couple of Sundays.  We had a little FHE lesson with them on Monday, but then were able to talk with them yesterday about taking the lessons from start to finish.  They both said they would LOVE that.  We were able to go to their home right after church and sit and get to know them.  We started out talking cruises and their trip, and all of a sudden it turned into such a spiritual conversation about faith and God's plan for them.  It's always my favorite when those Gospel conversations come about so naturally, and they are the ones that bring it up.  We have another lesson with them this week, and we are so excited!  They are just the cutest and sweetest family, with the cutest kids ever!!

--We had another incredible lesson with another investigator yesterday evening, and it was one of those moments that I just kept realizing, this is why I love being a missionary.  So much!  We had planned on teaching the Plan of Salvation, went in, and the spirit totally directed it a completely different way.  We followed up on the commitments we extended and then asked if they had any specific questions.  We knew they did, and so after a minute or so of silence, they just started blurting out these questions.  They would ask a question concerning the Restoration, and we would go right into the scriptures and answer them.  And then, they would ask another question and the same thing happened.  We did this for about an hour!  And it was amazing---the spirit was SO strong.  It was cool to see how the spirit was bringing to remembrance scriptures to us as missionaries that helped answer those questions, and truly filling our mouths and lips with the exact things we needed to share.  It was one of the most incredible lessons I have been a part of.  The mother has such a strong desire to know for herself, and it is clear and evident in how much she is searching for answers.  Such an amazing family, too!  They will be so hard to say goodbye to.

--Yesterday, we had fasted as a zone, and we saw so many miracles.  As we were leaving our last lesson last night, we really didn't think it could get much better because we had just walked out of such an amazing lesson where the spirit taught us all--we were wrong!  We had a missed call and voicemail from an unknown number.  When we called the number back, Eric and Rebecca answered.  These people were these potentials from a couple of weeks ago, and they kinds just kept blowing us off.  So, we told them that when they were ready and wanted to learn more, to give us a call.  They called and with such sincerity said they were ready and set up an appointment with us.  MIRACLES!!!  The Lord is so aware of these people, and fasting, coupled with prayer, is so powerful.  This experience made me think of a scripture in Alma 6:6:

6:  Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.

We have such an amazing work to do, not just as full-time missionaries, but every single member in bringing the Gospel to those who don't know God and are searching for more meaning in life.  Through prayer and fasting, Heavenly Father WILL put people in our path, or bring names to our mind, of people that need the Restored Gospel!  What an incredible work we have to do.  

--We also had Trainer and Trainee Meeting, Zone Conference, and I had my exit interview with my mission president.  WE WERE ON A SPIRITUAL HIGH!!  They were absolutely incredible meetings, where the spirit was SO strong.  We learned from the scriptures the entire time, which was absolutely incredible.  I would share but am so out of time.  I love President Toone!  I love being a missionary, every second of it--the greatest decision I have have made up to this point in my life.  I love the scriptures and know without a doubt that they are the word of God.  There are many people looking for more in life and simply do not know where to find it, but we, as member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have it, and so let's share it with others!

Have such a great week!
Love, Sister Lake

Haha, moose are friends...just look at these pictures!


Brother Collins, our ward mission leader, and his sister on his research facility







Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday, January 30, 2018

Earthquakes, crazy snow storms, and a baptism!

Hello,
It has been an exciting week, filled with earthquakes, crazy snow storms, and a baptism!  Many of you probably heard about the earthquake that happened in Alaska this last week...I slept through it!  Haha!!  We woke to a bunch of texts, and we were really confused as to what was going on.  We were so tired, though, that we slept right through it!  We did feel a pretty good quake on Friday during planning, though!

Gerard was baptized on Saturday, and it was truly incredible.  The spirit was SO strong.  He just sat there with the biggest smile on his face, and after he was baptized, there was just this peace about him.  It was such an amazing evening, and one he has been looking forward to

for a long time.  We stopped by the next day and the first things he said was, "That was incredible.  When do I get to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead?"  So cool to see how he wanted to share that joy he felt with his ancestors.  We were able to do some family history work with him and some members this week, and he just lit up when he realized and saw that many of his ancestors are waiting for the saving ordinances he will be able to do on their behalf.  Such a special day, and always a testimony builder to me that this is Christ's church restored to the earth.  I surely do love being a missionary and being able to witness how the Gospel can truly change someone's life completely, and fill them with so much joy!


 GERARD'S BAPTISM!!!

Brother Love and Gerard before Gerard's baptism

We also had an awesome experience with out investigator, C.  It's been a slow process, but we had a lesson earlier in the week, and then later in the week she texted us asking for a blessing for her daughter.  Some of the ward members came over and gave her daughter a blessing, and, once again, the spirit was so strong.  She truly is exercising her faith so much.  It's amazing to see how the spirit prepared these people all around us.  We are having FHE with them tonight and are so excited.

We had so many tracting/finding miracles!

We took one of the Laurels out with us on Saturday (one of my favorite things to do!) and stopped by some potentials, people we had tracted into and said to come back.  We stopped by one man named Dwayne.  We had tracted into him about six weeks ago, and he didn't even tell us to come back, but Sister Spencer felt like we needed to go back about four weeks ago, so we did.  He was really appreciative that we came back again but we just never could catch him at a good time.  We once again felt super prompted to stop to see him on Saturday, and he let us right in.  We had an amazing lesson!  We talked about his faith in Jesus Christ and who our Savior means to him.  We then shared with him the Book of Mormon and explained that it truly is another testament of Jesus Christ, and so forth.  He was SO excited to read it!  We left him with some awesome chapters to read, and he said to come back next week.  He is looking for a church and is excited to come this week to ours!  Miracles!!!  It's been cool to see the role the spirit plays in this wonderful work!

We also were going through some lists we had and people the Ward Council asked us to stop by and visit.  I swear EVERYONE has moved, which means lots of opportunities to share the Gospel.  We had some amazing experiences, and were able to teach so many different people and find so many potentials.  So awesome!

It has been one stellar week, and we know another awesome week to come!  I really love being a missionary.  I love the opportunity we have to bring the Gospel to so many that are truly searching for more.  I have come to realize that a lot of these miracles we see don't result in a baptism, but instead result in another seed planted that will continue to grow.  Each person we meet and teach has had multiple encounters with missionaries or members before they are ready to receive the Gospel.  It just goes to show that no effort is wasted.  If you're ever feeling like you're not doing enough, or nothing seems to be happening the way it should, just remember that every seed counts, and one day you will see the wonderful fruits of your labors.  We have been able to witness the fruits of thousands of people labor each and every day.  It's incredible!

We had a regional conference yesterday and had the privilege of hearing so many amazing talks.  One of my favorite talks was from Elder Nastress.  He talked about a simple calculation, 3 + 1.  He talked about three things we can do daily, plus one thing we can do weekly, equals that no matter what life throws at us we will be able to withstand the punches.  The three things are prayer, scripture study, and service, and the plus one is Sacrament Meeting weekly.  He talked about each of these things individually and if we make them a priority we will truly feel the joy the Gospel brings into our lives and find the strength and faith to stay on the straight and narrow path.  I can testify that this is true.  It has helped me each and every day to follow this calculation and has helped so many of those I love each and every day as well.  This is a Gospel of joy and peace and happiness, and as we do these things daily, we will feel that in our everyday lives!  I love this Gospel and I love being a missionary, if you haven't heard me say this 1000 times already!

Love, Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission


 Last P-Day with the coolest zone eva!!

 Dinner shenanigans

More animals...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hello!

Sorry, this is going to be a quick email today because our ward mission leader has a pet moose, and we get to go see it!  (only in Alaska)

One of the 10,576 reasons why I love Alaska--We were tracting and these people let us right in.  We talked for a bit, had an awesome discussion about Christ, set a return appointment, and on the way out, they hand us a frozen fish to cook, Haha.

 Our gift of a frozen fish given to us while tracting!


We had so many awesome experiences and chances to share the Gospel with many different people this week!  It has been cool having so many opportunities to testify of Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the Restored Gospel to people from all over the world and all different backgrounds!  

Some quick highlights:

We had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators, J, last night, and the spirit was just so strong!  It has been amazing to see how the spirit works with people, and how the Lord truly prepares people through the experiences they have.

Gerard had his baptism interview on Saturday, and we are good to go for Saturday!  He is SO, SO excited!  He texts us every day with a countdown until the 27th and how excited he is.  Reflecting on getting to this point, tracting him was definitely a miracle, but most importantly, it was such a huge miracle for the ward.  The excitement for the work is lighting up, and so many of the ward members have been able to get really involved, and it is AMAZING.  We are so excited for Saturday!

We had an awesome lesson with a former investigator, that is interested in meeting again, named David.  We taught the Restoration, and he said he believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet called of God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  We were able to invite him to be baptized on February 24, and he said if he receives an answer, then he will!  Right before we left, though, he said he felt the spirit really strong.  We have another lesson Wednesday.

Church was awesome!  We had many of our investigators show up, and gospel principles were poppin!  I was also able to speak in Sacrament Meeting with a sister who just returned from her mission.  We both spoke on strength and fortifying our testimonies.  I never thought I would say this, but I had so much fun standing up there and speaking, and I learned so much as I prepared for the talk.  I spoke about Moroni and his Nephite armies who fortified their cities, and strengthened them so that the Lamanites had no power over them.  One of the verses I LOVED was Alma 50:1; this is right after the Lamanites came to fight and saw how strong the Nephite cities were, and the Lamanites backed down.  The Nephites could have just stopped, but instead they continued to work hard and continued to prepare their cities for the next time that the Lamanites came to battle with them.  

Alma 50:1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites...

Just like Moroni continued to work daily at building up his cities to protect his people, we must, too, continue to strengthen and fortify our testimonies each day by centering our lives on Jesus Christ.  We also need to continue daily to strength our relationship through prayer, scriptures, and keeping our covenants.  Elder W. Craig Zwick said, "We must fortify ourselves.  That sure spiritual fortification is found in two words--Jesus Christ."  As we focus our lives on Jesus Christ, we truly will receive the strength we need to overcome any trial, resist any temptation, and find the strength each day to continue to move forward.  It takes effort, but the blessings that will come because of that effort are far beyond anything we could ever imagine.

I love you all!  Have a stellar week!
Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

 Sending much love from the cold Alaskan air that freezes your hair!!