Sunday, November 13, 2016

It Took Losing Myself to Find Myself - Nov. 7, 2016

In a lesson this week my comps and I were sitting down on the couch teaching when out of nowhere this black lab jumps on top of us. Like literally on top of us. We were so shocked we had to start over because we forgot what we were talking about.
Lady on the bus: *trying to get through a crowd of people stops at me * Are you Mormon? Because you´re ugly!
Later that day we were walking to another cita when that same lady started following us with her stick and yelling "Are you laughing at me? I'm going to call the police!" (and a lot of others words I didn't understand because they weren’t gospel terms). I got scared because she really did have a stick. I started praying in my head and then we turned to cross a bridge and turned around to see if she was following us she was gone so on the bright side I didn’t get hit with the stick :)
Our investigator got baptized this week! It was such a miracle because Saturday morning I was praying to know if she was ready because she had a lot of doubts right before but I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace. Then after her baptism she bore her testimony and said "I had doubts right before but I don’t know why I just feel so happy right now! I feel so much peace!" As soon as I said that I heard this voice in my head say, "Don’t you remember your mission scripture? “Be still and know that He is God." It was one of those wow I love the mission moments. But that was followed by a lot of members bearing their testimony to her about all the trials that are about to come into her life. "I remember my baptism it was right before the hardest trial of my life! Oh, you are going to experience so many trials!" But hey Be still and know that He is God right :)
You would think on the mission I would discover what career I should go into but so far I have discovered a career I should NOT go into and that is marriage counseling. 
This week my comps and I are doing a gratitude challenge where we cannot murmur and whoever wins gets a plate of French fries with a hot dog drenched in mayonnaise. It doesn’t sound very healthy because it’s not, but its yummy!
Last night I couldn’t fall asleep my mind was just going crazy thinking about well everything. But as I was lying there I started to think about the Atonement and what it means to me. I spent so many years trying to "find" myself. I tried to find myself in plane rides and blog posts, cutting of my hair and then dying it black in Africa because why not right? (That hair dye is still in my hair and it won’t come out so no why not is now no do not do that again.) I tried to find myself in exercise and diets, leggings and sweatshirts, by the ocean near the mountains, different cities pretty photos etc. etc. etc. I looked but I never found me I just found disappointments and a lot of sadness. But for the first time in my life I have found myself! And it wasn’t in cute skirts or curled hair it wasn’t in nice compliments or pretty make up. I found myself the moment I lost myself in the service of others. I found myself the moment the Lord became the only one who listened to me at 6:30 in the morning and 10:30 at night. I found myself knocking doors in the hot sun and climbing mountains here in Ecuador just to tell somebody anybody that He lives.
I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to other, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and lose their lives while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish and in effect save their lives.
The answer was always in Him, Jesus Christ. It took losing myself to find myself. I testify that this is the work of saving souls! Because it has saved mine and I am determined to save as many souls that are willing to be healed by Him. I am to bring Jesus to the lonely. And I will do it forever because He did it for me.
You are never alone.
Con amor, Hermana Israelsen

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