Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 25th Hola!

Coma este? Puedo compartir me testimonio?  Haha :) can you guess who I went on exchanges with this week? Hermana James! She's still in training and totally took over the Spanish area with me for this exchange. I absolutely love the Spanish people and have made some awesome friends. They are so willing to listen to me teach and despite the language barrier the spirit is there. We taught one family who is part member. He has been investigating for awhile, and seems to be putting off the truth that has been planted in his heart because he doesn't want to have to change.
Said Amulek to the Zoramites:
 *And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.*Alma 34:33

This life doesn't last forever, so we need to do all we can now to prepare to meet God. This week was especially hard, because many people have passed away. I remember something like this last year happened too, where everyone just sort of went all at once. There have been many funerals in the Nashville community. I had the opportunity to attend one for a young mom who passed away from our ward. It was really hard. I found myself sitting there wondering why Heavenly Father would take someone who still had children to raise and a young husband to tend to. While I was mourning with the congregation, a new feeling came into my heart.
It was gratitude.
I remembered that because of Jesus Christ, this family will see their mom again. Because of Jesus Christ, her husband will have won an eternity by her side. And because of Jesus Christ, the burden this puts on all those associated with her can be lifted. Rather than look at this as "Why, God?"
I instead was saying "Thank God!".  I have a testimony that through Heavenly Father's plan, families can and will be together forever. And everyone will have a chance to know this plan and accept it. Whether in this life or the next.

The other exchange this week was with the Smith Springs Sisters. I worked with Sister Svedin who really was just training me. She and I were able to do lots of inspired finding. We went to a street that Sister Rawlings and I had felt promoted to tract a week earlier. When we went, we didn't have much success. Remembering that prompting and still trusting it, we went to try the doors who didn't answer before. The last door we tried was a Chinese scientist, out working on his yard. As we talked, we found out he was really confused about the existence of a supreme being and the after life. In fact, he repeatedly told us that he was confused. 
He asked us if we had ever had some crazy spiritual experience like his other Christina friends told him about. I told him I hadn't, actually. It was only through seeing the change in my character and the peace in my life when I keep the commandments that I knew for myself there was a God. We taught him that the spirit touches our minds and hearts, but often its gentle. This answer seemed to put him at ease, and led him to opening up more to us. I asked him what it would mean for him to know he could be with his family forever. "Oh that would be SO nice" he said with a sigh of longing.

We testified of the Book of Mormon and the power of prayer to this man. We asked him if he would read. What happened next surprised me. He told he didn't have time to read, and that he didn't have time for religion at all because he and his family are so busy. He did however, take the treasured copy from me and solemnly promise that even if it took him years to get to it, he would read the Book of Mormon. It was so interesting to me that in his hands this man held the very thing that could calm his fears and bring understanding and direction to his life. He seemed to understand that this was the evidence, yet he chose to spiritually procrastinate.

*On any given day we are all allocated, without cost, the same number of minutes and hours to use, and we soon learn, as the familiar hymn so carefully teaches, “Time flies on wings of lightning; we cannot call it back” (“Improve the Shining Moments,” Hymns, no. 226). What time we have we must use wisely. President Brigham Young said, “We are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage, and he will require of us a strict account of [its] disposition” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 286).  (G Conf talk: A Time to Prepare) *

I have a testimony of not procrastinating. It's a tool of the devil, and I invite all of you to look at your lives and find something you have been putting of spiritually and DO IT. :) I promise it will only help not harm.

Our stake conference was this week and there was even a talk given by a kid who had just joined the church. He shared his experience with spiritually procrastinating and how he wished he had just done what was right sooner. Things don't get easier by putting it off.

This is just a silly picture of a few of the elders after conference. 

We got to have dinner with the Bustos family this week. Brother Bustos is an eye surgeon, so he spent the dinner trying to show us this video of a cataract surgery lol. This is Sister Bustos with their oldest daughter, Savannah. I sure love them!

 The Dunns from the mission office staff baked us some bread this week. They don't call Elder Dunn the "bread winner" of the family for nothing! ;)

This pday our friends Daniel and Angela went down town with us and then out to Indian :) [I don't see the picture for this one]
Man, I just love my mission. I wish I had time to tell you about all of my favorite lessons this week. The only other one I definitely will include is the lesson we had with a family last night. They are sort of less active, but half of them happened to go to stake conference this week. One of their sons is about 14, and has decided that he doesn't want to live with the bad things of his past anymore. When we went to their home to teach a lesson, he shared his testimony about how Jesus Christ had been with him every step of the way and will be as he works to repent and change for his mistakes.
He is only 14 and he is not delaying his spirituality. We shared the story of Joseph Smith with them and the spirit was so incredible. I'm so grateful for the example of this little 14 year old boy who is working to get back into church and change his life around. I pray we all will not procrastinate the day of our repentance any longer.

Take Luck my friends! #brianregan
Sister Hochstrasser
Write to me while you still can! 3 months left!

Sister Jennifer Hochstrasser
Tennessee Nashville Mission

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