We started the week off with exchanges with the Soldotna sisters! They both came up to Anchorage, and I got to spend the day with Sister Cox. It was so fun being back with her for a day. It felt like we picked up right where we left off two months ago in North Pole, except it is a lot warmer now! Haha We saw a lot of little tender mercies and had the opportunity to talk to so many people. Sister Cox has grown so much in the last two months, and it was so cool to see her progress.
We had a couple of awesome lessons later in the week, one with our investigator Troy. It was a good lesson. He can't quite wrap his head around the fact that he is a child of God, and that he has a Heavenly Father who loves him. So, we told him that we're going to continue to work with him and try our best to help him understand his purpose here on this earth.
After that lesson, I thought a lot about how the knowledge that I am a child of God has helped me, and it is the reason I am who I am. This understanding has and continues to bring me so much peace and comfort in my life, especially during the hard times. I realized how bad I want everyone to have that knowledge because of the peace and comfort it has brought into my own life.
We then had an amazing lesson with probably one of the sassiest girls I have ever met--Kaeloni. She lives in Chignick Bay (somewhere in the bush), and so it was over the phone. I don't even know what she looks like, but I just love her so much. She has so much sass and so much faith, it is incredible. I look forward to our lessons with her every week. She kind of reminds me of my little sister Brielle!
Friday came and our area became like a ghost town; everyone and their dog left for Memorial Day weekend to go camping and fishing. People here take every opportunity they can to go camping, so it went from this super busy town to literally what seemed like no one was home.
We have been trying to go through the ward list and get to know everyone on it, and there have definitely seen so many tender mercies from that. We're really focusing on getting to know the members and gaining their trust, as well as just finding people to have meaningful talks with. I have so much faith that the Lord will put those people that are prepared in our path.
Something that has been on my mind this week is the tender mercies we receive on a daily basis. I want to share this experience I had when I first came on my mission I had a really hard time at that time and was really struggling. I remember talking to my mission president and just expressing some of my feelings and concerns, and what he said to me has changed my whole mission experience. He invited me to, at the end of each day, look at the tender mercies that I had received along with the Lord's hand in my life, and record them. He promised me that as I did I would know this was exactly where I needed to be and that the Lord was aware of me. So, I did. After the first few days my attitude changed so much! I felt very happy.
As I have gone through my mission and things start going good, I will sometimes stop recording those experiences, and then my mission starts getting hard again. I realize that I have not been looking for the tender mercies each day, and I start back up again and the happiness and peace come into my life again. Just this week I realized I had stopped and could feel the difference. Once again, my testimony was solidified of the importance of recognizing the Lord's hand in our lives and the blessings we receive each day. I know that as we do so we will know that we are not walking through this life alone.
The Lord is there with us every step of the way and knows all that we are going through--the good and the bad. He loves us and continues to bless us. Sometimes the blessings may be small little things like the zone leaders giving us a watermelon this week on a day that I was really stressed; or it might be big miracles and blessings like the opportunity my mom had to attend one of the Alaskan members that I love get sealed to her husband in the Boise Temple. Heavenly Father is aware of us, and He loves us more than we could ever imagine.
I love this Gospel and am thankful for the opportunity I have to be here. This Church is so true! We are all children of a living, loving Heavenly Father, and don't ever forget that!
Love, Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission