It's gonna be short today - and sorry for the inconsistency of emails.
SO, life is crazy, but awesome! Thank you all for the birthday wishes!!! To celebrate we ended up going for sushi with some other missionaries and members. The best birthday present, though, came that evening when we were tracting and found a new investigator! :)
And I'm sure you heard about the "tornado" we had. We could see the spiral cloud forming, but luckily nothing really happened...
Our mission has an annual tradition of something called "Walk-And-Talk August," which is when we have to park our cars for the month (except for emergencies) and just walk, bike, bus, or hitchhike everywhere. :) Great fun. we should change the words to the primary song to "missionaries sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked..." ;) Anyway, as the mission pulls together to increase street contacting and increase our numbers, we have seen miracles happen! Just the other day, another set of missionaries ran into someone downtown, passed them off to us, and in the first lesson that person not only agreed to be baptized, but referred us to some friends who were interested as well! Hooray!
To close, I just want to share something another missionary told me: "Obedience brings blessings, but strict obedience brings miracles." I can testify that that is very true; when we try to do good from day to day, we are able to receive those many blessings Heavenly Father rains down on us. But when we make a conscious dedicated effort to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and keeping those covenants we have made, we will see miracles come! He is aware of our every need and desire, he applauds even our small successes from day to day, and He stands waiting to step in and help us.
According to President Uchtdorf:
"Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us.
"He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.
"He loves you not only for who you are this very day, but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become."
(General Women's Meeting September 2014)I know that this is true, that He knows and loves each individual perfectly, and that we find greater hope and joy as we come closer to him.
I love you all!