Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Preaching Through Pinterest

Hey all!

To start off,  I wish I had more time to write than I do this week. I'll do better at responding more next week. We ended up getting a blizzard today (more like less than an inch of snow but strong wild winds) so we mainly stayed in our apartment today. But hey! I'm now writing this. :) I am also writing on Wednesday since it's once again transfer week, which also brings me to say that Sister Nielson is staying! We're both pretty certain she'll leave after this transfer since by the end of this transfer it would have been 7 1/2 months for her in Plymouth!

 Last week started off a little slowly and there were a few disappointments, including having one of our investigators drop us saying he's no longer interested. There are a few we've taught (or Sister Slater and Sister Nielson) who have been difficult to get a hold of. However, this only meant we were able to look at different avenues of what we could do to use our time to its best effect. We've been helping out the members more, and they've been helping us. :) Sister Burgess, for example, approached us, asking what is going on with Missionary work these days. We were glad to help! ;)  She wanted to become more involved, and expressed interest in helping us improve the collaboration sign-up calendar, where members sign up to come out with us. She came up with ideas on how we can make it more clear that members can come with us not only to lessons with Investigators, but to visit less actives, to help with home teaching, visiting teaching, Faith in God, Personal Progress, and more. She even committed herself to promote the improved collaboration chart to all of the auxiliaries this week! More members--not too many but it's definitely getting there--are coming with us to lessons and asking for help.

We've had a couple of auxiliary interviews lately as well. We were even invited to attend our Branch's Primary Presidency meeting. I mentioned to our Primary President Sister Mormann (greatest name, especially since she's a convert! And her husband's name is Jack. Not kidding! Pretty fantastic if you ask me ha-ha oh the irony :) ) the idea of primary talk invites, since it was something we began in the Weston 1st Ward. Whenever someone would be assigned to give a talk in Primary, they would receive an invite to hand to a friend. Sister Mormann loved the idea; especially since their main concern/ problem for a while has been the kids giving talks in Primary since it's been a struggle for the parents and kids to remember. She felt this would motivate them more to give a talk as long as it didn't seem intimidating. We agreed to make a small poster for the idea. We made invites, and as soon as we shared our idea with the Primary, they would call out, "Can I bring two friends?" "Can I bring eight friends?" Ha-ha they got very excited. :)

Our numbers were a little low with teaching appointments this week (again we are still seeking out those who want to be taught) but with the member helps and service done, I'd say it was a great week. :) We also helped Beth and Amy move (into our Branch area) and there was a great turnout for members who came to help. People loaded and unloaded, cleaned up, and more. It was an incredible sight, especially since Beth has a difficult time moving things around with her physical limitations.

I don't know if I ever mentioned, but Sister Nielson and I are a couple of the digital missionaries for this mission, meaning that we help proselyte online. Last week, all the digital missionaries came together in a WebEx Conference online, hosted by President Packard. We received the exciting news that our digital mission now includes Pinterest! We're now able to log on our personal Pinterest accounts and comment on others' pins that relate to religion to express our thoughts/share the gospel through Real Life Answers blog posts and more. It's incredible to see how the gospel can be spread online. The head digital missionaries told us that they've had 6 online discussions through Skype just from using Pinterest. We're not allowed to re-pin or do anything else on Pinterest, but this is still a neat opportunity. It's pretty exciting if you ask me!

I know the spiritual topic I'm about to introduce may not seem to be as on-topic, but Mom I loved the message you included in your letter last week about the hymn "Brightly Beams our Father's mercy.”  Do you mind if I include it on here? I have liked this hymn for a while, but to be honest, I've never fully understood the full meaning behind it.

The story behind the Hymn Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy (as told by Spencer Kinard in Music and the Spoken Word on March 16, 2014)….

"A noted preacher Dwight Moody, told his congregation a story about a boat, helplessly rocking and plunging on a stormy, starless night near the Cleveland harbor. The mariners on board could see the lighthouse, but they needed to find their way through the narrow passage in the treacherous rocks that surrounded the harbor. Normally a light on the shore, aligned with the lighthouse, marked the passage to safety. But on this night, the lower lights had gone out.

Finally, a desperate captain decided they had no choice but to proceed into the harbor without the guidance of the lower lights. "With a strong hand and brave heart" -- but in almost total darkness -- "the old pilot turned the wheel." Tragically, he missed the channel, crashed the boat upon the rocks, and lost the lives of his sailors.

Moody then explained the lesson to be learned from his story: the Master will take care of the great lighthouse, but He depends on us to keep the lower lights burning. Philip Paul Bliss was directing the singing in the meeting that night and was so inspired by Moody's story that he wrote what would become one of his most popular hymns, "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy."

Most often, God uses us to rescue those in peril tossed by the storms of life. If we can keep the light of faith burning in our hearts, if we align our light with the Light above, we can guide an exhausted mariner safely home. We can be the lower lights that "send a gleam across the wave. Some poor fainting, struggling seaman (we) may rescue, (we) may save."

I loved your thoughts that you included about its (quote) "We should remember to keep our low lights burning with the light of Faith, for even if we may feel like the seaman struggling at sea, in actuality we may be the opposite; we may be the lower lights that others are looking to follow in faith to lead them back to our Heavenly Father and we never know who needs our help or who is needing our strength or faith to lean them on. We have always been watched over by the Lord and He has directed our steps. Remember He will ALWAYS get you through your trials if you keep the commandments and follow Him; and although there may be storms and rocky times, keep your light of faith aligned with the Lord."

I know there are times where I most definitely feel like the seaman struggling at sea. There are countless times I feel unable, even physically incapable, to do all the Lord places in my path. Yet even though we have our struggles, we may be the lower light that others are looking to lead them back to our loving Heavenly Father. We are most definitely always watched by the Lord as He continues to guide our steps. He also knows who He can rescue with our help as we keep our light burning and aligned with His. 

I will write more on Monday. Have a great week!
Sister Roy

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