There are so many things I want to share with you this week, so bear with me. We had such an incredible week, which started out with MLC (Missionary Leadership Council). It was such an amazing meeting and the spirit was so strong. President Robinson asked Sister Jackson and me to train--most nerve-racking/awesome experience. We talked about using our time wisely and how that goes hand-in-hand with the doctrine of Christ. The training went well. Then we heard training from the APs, three of the Zone Leaders, and President and Sister Robinson, and they were also good. It was like a day full of new knowledge, and the spirit was just incredible.
One part I want to share from the day was presented by one of the Zone Leaders. We were reading in Matthew 14 when Peter walks on water and what he says:
28 And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
So, something that seemed absolutely impossible for him happened because he had faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and answered His invitation to "come." An INVITATION that is given to us multiple times in the scriptures, and in a sense we are given the same invitation to get out of the ship and walk on water. Then, as you continue to read on it says:
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
This made me think of our everyday life. Hard things happen, trials occur, and our faith is tested. In missionary work, people cancel, we have no one to teach, we are working hard like crazy to find possible investigators and nobody is interested, which I know tests my faith a ton. Sometimes those things that happen cause our faith to weaken and we begin to "sink" and cry out for help, just like Peter did. The next verse says:
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And, this is my favorite part: Our Savior, Jesus Christ, IMMEDIATELY stretched forth His hand and caught him. He didn't wait a second, or think about it, or not help him because of his lack of faith, he immediately stretched forth His hand and lifted him up. That is the same thing our Savior does for us. The second we cry unto Him, He will stretch forth His hand and catch us and lift us up. He loves us. We do not need to face life's challenges and trials alone. We can do the impossible just like Peter walking on water. When we feel like we're about to sink, we can cry unto Him, and He will stretch forth His hand and walk with us the rest of the way.
I have felt this pure love from my Savior so many times on my mission and am very thankful for that. He has carried me through tough times and walked beside me when I was struggling. I know that He will do the same for all that cry unto Him and allow Him to lift us up.
We also had the amazing privilege to meet with President and Sister Russell M. Nelson this week--truly such an amazing opportunity to meet with one of the Twelve Apostles. They are the sweetest, kindest, most Christlike, genuine funny people I have ever met. They are just real people with the most powerful testimony of the Savior, and I am just thankful for the opportunity I had to feel of their love of the Gospel and their spirit. There were so many things that I learned and loved, but will just share a few.
Sister Nelson invited us to first take the Book of Mormon and kneel down and thank Heavenly Father for it. Second, share with Him a question that has been on our heart and mind. Third, ask Him to guide us and give us the answer we need. Fourth, have the faith that He will. Fifth, get up and read until you receive your answer. Sixth, record your answer and where you found it. She then invited us to do this for 30 days. I have done it the last three days, and it is absolutely amazing. I have found an answer to each question I have had. The blessings she promised us were so sweet and truly amazing, too.
I am going to sound like a total missionary now (but I am, so I guess that's a good thing), but I want to invite each one of you to take that challenge. I promise you that you will receive those answers and the guidance that you need. The Book of Mormon is powerful and is the best guide for us in this life. It just made me think back to our beloved prophet's talk this last General Conference, and the power and importance of the Book of Mormon. I can testify that as you do that, you will receive answers.
Okay, and President Nelson said so many awesome things. I think one of my favorite things was when he read with us in D&C 31, and reiterated the promised blessing of missionary work with a focus on families. It was just the sweetest experience and a good reminder of the the importance of serving a mission. He said to us the best thing we can be doing for our family right now is to be away from them, doing exactly what we are doing. It was just powerful!
And then, one more thing, I don't know if you are all familiar with the challenge he gave a couple months ago, to read every scripture in the topical guide about Christ. If you aren't doing this, it's awesome and I would definitely encourage you all to do it. There are a total of 2,089 scriptures, and I have barely made a dent into the reading, but it has been one of the coolest experiences. I feel like I have learned more about my Savior in the few scriptures I have read than I have my whole life. Anyway, it is an awesome challenge! He bore to us his testimony of the Savior and what he learned from doing that, which was the most powerful thing I have ever heard. I will never forget that testimony because he is someone who truly knows the Savior, and everything about him and his testimony was one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard. It was just so cool!!
Okay, so I am sorry for the long rant, but it was just such a good week filled with so many amazing things. We have also seen so many little miracles this week with less actives, finding investigators, and working with part-member families; good things are coming and I am so stoked!!!
Mission life is so awesome. It tests you so much, but Heavenly Father knows what you need and who you need to become, and knows how to make that happen. It's hard but so awesome and amazing.
I ate my first piece of fresh salmon since I have been in Alaska! The second counselor in the mission presidency cooked us salmon straight out of the river, and it was AMAZING!
Also, I have the opportunity to see the temple pretty much every single day!
We only have three weeks left with President and Sister Robinson, which is so sad! We had our last interviews with them, and they were so good. They are just truly incredible and have the most solid, powerful testimony and love for the work. I'm extremely grateful for them and the opportunity I had to get to know them so much better these last couple of weeks; they will be greatly missed.
I love you all and hope you have such a stellar week.
Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission