Sunday, February 23, 2014

Letter #67: Catching Fire

I am so grateful for the chance to be on my mission during this great hastening of the work! WOW is it incredible to watch as the fire of missionary work starts to spread to the members. This last week we were able to have 12 different members come teach with us. Some of the lessons ended up falling through, but the fact that we had that many members of our branch out with us is a HUGE miracle. This definitely has never happened while I've been in the branch, and I have a hunch that it may have been the first time ever happening here. God is truly hastening his work and the members are beginning to recognize that He requires them to be a part of it! We also received member referrals this week, which again is a really huge step in the right direction for the work in this area! I am grateful that I had the opportunity to stay in this branch for a little bit longer because now I have the chance to really leave it better than I found it. Sister Gordon and I have a lot of plans to help strengthen the branch, including an activity we are putting on next week to increase branch unity and encourage branch missionary work.

I had an AMAZING opportunity to watch a regional mission leadership broadcast from Elder Perry and some other members of the seventy this last weekend. OH MY GOODNESS, I wish it had been broadcast to the entire world. It was hands-down the most AMAZING broadcast I have ever experienced. Elder Perry was SO wild and SO energetic. You would never guess he was 92 years old. He had us practically rolling on the floor laughing. But then he shared some incredible experiences, such as when President Kimball received the revelation on the priesthood for every worthy man. As he was talking about that, I literally couldn't move because the Spirit was so strong. WOW, it was awesome. And of course, like everything else recently, it was COMPLETELY FOCUSED ON MISSIONARY WORK!!! I went out of that broadcast pumped on life and wanting to baptize the whole world.

I have been reading near the end of the Book of Mormon recently and it is so sad to me to watch the decline of the Nephite civilization. In 3 Nephi, they are visited by Christ and for hundreds of years afterwards, they experience such great peace and joy that their society has no contention. Yet within only a couple hundred years after that, their entire civilization falls into destruction. Mormon explains that the sin that ultimately brought about their downfall, which seems like such a small thing, is PRIDE. In 4 Nephi 1:24, he informs the reader that the people began to have a teeny bit of pride enter into their hearts; they started wearing "costly apparel" and "fine things of the world." And from that point on, everything that they had worked so hard to build up began to fall. That tiny 5-letter word brought about the destruction of the great Nephite nation. Similarly, that same pride exists today and brings pain and destruction into so many families and so many people's lives. I've seen that over and over again on my mission. As I reflected on this, I recognized one reason why it was so important for Heavenly Father to send me on a mission: to teach me humility and to help me be able to grasp an eternal perspective. I have always been a person who loves the things of the world, such as nice clothes and nice things and the praise of the world. I know I will have to work hard when I go home to make sure that I am always focusing on things with eternal consequences rather than trivial, worldly things. But I am so grateful for the chance I've had to learn and see firsthand what brings true joy--and it does NOT come when we get caught up in the pride of the world.

I am looking forward to many miracles this month. In preparation for the coming of the Ft. Lauderdale temple, my vision for this transfer/month is to make my life a temple--holy, pure, and productive. I am really working hard to cut out any thoughts, words, or actions that are not holy, pure, or productive and that do not reflect my Savior Jesus Christ.

Well, that's about it for today. Love you all! 

Sister Dougal

PS- Also, just a few random things about me nowadays:
--I drive like a maniac. I worry about bringing the bad driving habits I acquired in Miami to little ol' Battle Ground, WA.
--I can't eat at Subway anymore without buying cookies
--I don't like candy anymore.
--My favorite scripture is now Moroni 10:32.
--I am still obsessed with David Archuleta. :)

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