Trio Life

Hey everyone!

Being in a trio is so much fun! I seriously love my companions so
much. This area is so different, I forgot how many Hispanics there
are! We had a lesson with a young man named Jesus. We taught him the
restoration and set a baptismal date the very first lesson we taught
together. Jesus is so golden! H kept on telling us that he is so
excited to learn! He even went to seminary and got a makeup work book
for the year he didn’t take seminary! He was asking us questions about
it and everything. All because his friend invited him to learn more
because she felt prompted by the spirit. It is a great story!

Yesterday at church was so great. I was surprised at how many people
actually remembered me. I think I heard people say “Hermana Chocolate”
more than I ever had before! This ward has changed a bit since I was
here last year. Many have gone inactive and have been offended for one
reason or another. It is sad but I am so excited to work and help them
come back!

So we were walking in this trailer park (which is the most ghetto I’ve
seen all mission) and all of the sudden all of these little Spanish
kids start running towards us yelling “Missionaries!” And they all
follow us to our lesson. It was so fun! We started singing the “do as
I’m doing” song and one of them yelled “Push-ups!” So we look at each
other and then shrug our shoulders and start doing push-ups while
wearing skirts and singing “Do as I’m doing! Follow, follow me!”

So many miracles have happened but my mind is just running blank. I
hope you all have an amazing week!

Hermana Hershey

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Goodbye Pueblo :(

Wow these last three days have been such a roller coaster of emotions.
I thought for sure I was staying in Pueblo but I got transfer news on
Sunday night and I am leaving. ūüė¶ I am going back to my first area
(Liahona 4th, the super ghetto but totally awesome area) and I am in a
trio! So I have two companions now which I’ve always wanted. And I AM
WITH HERMANA GUTIERREZ AGAIN!!!! So I was freaking out because I was
so happy about that but then I realized that I would be leaving.
Hermana Gonzalez also went back to the VC so they whitewashed our area
which is so horrible! We have two more people being baptized within a
month so it was so sad! But with so few Spanish so many things had to
be changed around in our mission. My heart was seriously broken. I
have never loved the people so much and it seriously felt like a
breakup or something! I couldn’t sleep that night and saying goodbye
the next day was the worse thing ever.

Nevertheless, I am so grateful that I was able to serve there for six
months. I learned so much, and though my companionship was different
and somewhat tough on me, I have learned a ton and I am so grateful
for that. Last Friday we were in a meeting and the opening song was
“I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” and it hit me so hard. I think the
spirit was telling me that I was going  to be transferred but that it
was going to be okay. I tried to ignore the feeling because I really
didn’t want to leave. These words in the hymn really hit me:

“There‚Äôs surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life’s short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I‚Äôll be what you want me to be.”

It is mixed emotions because I have always wanted to come back to my
baby area and be in a trio (not to mention Hermana Gutierrez is my
best friend), but I really do feel so heartbroken. I had so many great
experiences, especially watching the conversion process of all of the
investigators. But I trust the Lord.

I am going to miss my district! We were the only sisters and all of
those elders are like brothers to me. We had so much fun with them and
they are all so hardworking. I know that I will love my new district
as well.

So many miracles happened this week! One thing that really touched my
heart was when we were teaching a girl named Natalie. She has been
quite a tough investigator because she has a ton of questions. We went
over the restoration again and while I was talking with her she said,
“You know, Hershey, I really feel something different when you talk.
It’s like the spirit is there. It’s like he is a part of you or
something.” It is amazing to me that I can be an instrument in the
Lord’s hands to help His children here.

There were so many things that had happened this last week that I
can’t even write it all. But I will just leave you all by saying that
I am so happy to be here right now. My mission hasn’t really been what
I expected, but I am grateful for every humbling experience, every
companion and every trial that has made me grow. Now that I am in my
last two transfers I can hardly believe it. But one thing I know is
that I will not stop working until I die (mission lingo: die =
finishing mission and returning home). And even after then I hope to
continue on sharing the gospel.

I hope you all have an amazing week. Hopefully the police don’t come
every week like they did a year ago when I lived in these same
apartments. ūüėČ Not to scare you or anything, mom.

Hermana Hershey

2: Yaiza, the worlds sassiest toddler
3: the Godoy Family
4: my new companions!

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My district that I will miss so much, we took a bunch of pics but this one was my favorite, haha!

 

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Yaiza, the worlds sassiest toddler

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The Godoy Family

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My new companions!

“Seguidme”

Hi everyone!

This was a really fast week! I feel like I just barely emailed you. It
is weird how it goes faster and faster as time goes on. I hit my 15
month mark last week which is so strange. In reality I don’t have much
longer but it feels like I still have a while, or that I should still
have a while. Anyway, it’s a weird feeling.

We did a lot of service this week! We helped so many people clean. I
have never deep cleaned so many times in a week in my whole life!
Thankfully I have a good mother who taught me how to clean since I was
young. Some of the things my mom would do I thought were crazy and
unnecessary (like wiping the baseboards or cleaning behind the fridge)
but now that I have seen many houses where they don’t do those things
I can see that maybe my mom was right all along. It’s funny how many
times I’ve thought, “Well, I guess my mom was right about that!” I
have realized that I take her for granted. So thanks, mom! For all
that you do!

In relief society on Sunday the lesson was about missionary work. The
lady giving the lesson said to me during the lesson, “Hermana Hershey,
what made you want to come on a mission? Did your dad say the he would
give you a car if you went?” And then everyone turns to me and I just
say, “Yes.” And then they all started laughing! But then I explained
the REAL story and that I read the Book of Mormon and it changed my
life so I had the desire to share the gospel. It got me to think of
that time (just about 2 years ago now) when I was going through some
tough times and I just wanted to know if it was all really true. I
know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that the atonement of
Jesus Christ can heal and change lives. I love that I get to share
that with people!

This week we also went to an investigators wedding! It was very simple
but super sweet. Our investigators name is Christian and his wife is a
member. He is a former Jehovah’s Witness (I know know why I always
teach so many of them!) and he wants to learn about the gospel so his
wife (fiancé at the time) called us and asked if we could come teach
him. And now he has a baptismal date in May! We are very excited for
him!

We FINALLY get to go to the temple this next week. I am looking
forward to it. It seems like it has been forever since I’ve been
because we are going towards the end of the transfer instead of the
beginning. I am so excited to go and I am so grateful we even get to
go in our mission! It has been a huge blessing in my life. The temple
is something I think we sometimes take for granted since we all have
one fairly close to us. And here in Mesa our members have 3 that they
can easily go to anytime!

Well I will end with something that I studied this morning. It is one
of my all time favorite stories in the New Testament. In Matthew
chapter 14 it talks about Jesus walking on the sea. When His disciples
saw Him they thought it was a ghost and were afraid but when they
recognized him I love what Peter does:

8 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come
unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he
walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning
to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and
said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

I think I am like Peter sometimes. I am willing to straightway follow
the Lord and when I try I realize that it is not easy. I make
mistakes, sometimes afraid, and I start to sink. But I always know
that Christ is there immediately to help me right back up. I sometimes
feel like I am not good enough but I know that He knows I can do it if
I only try. If I am only willing to heed the words, “come follow me”.
And I know it is the same for you.

Hermana Hershey

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La Familia es de Dios

Hey everyone!

This week went well. It was raining for a couple days which was a nice
change! It was a little bit cold (well, cold for Arizona) and it was
funny watching everyone break out their jackets for the day.

On Sunday it was fast and testimony meeting and Hermana Avalos (who
was just baptized in January) got up to bear her testimony. She went
to Utah for general conference and she ore her testimony on a living
prophet today. It was so great! It has been so fun watching all of
these recent converts build their testimonies, even after baptism!

It is amazing that no matter how old we get or how long we have been
in the church, we are always learning and especially always
relearning. I feel like I learn so much each day in my personal study.
I have been studying the last general conference talk as our mission
president has encouraged us to do so. I guess I didn’t really notice
while watching conference but it is all about families and how they
are so important!

I have seen many families in many different situations. I have also
seen how the gospel of Jesus Christ truly blesses the family, no
matter what circumstance. We found a new investigator and she is
probably in her 60’s. She just recently lost her daughter-in-law due
to cancer. She is living with her son (who lost his wife) and his
three small children. As we taught her the restoration I felt the
spirit so strong! She told us how she is searching for something that
will help her family. It’s great news that the right people found her
at the right time.

The young women were having a fundraiser for girls camp and they were
selling Sonoran hotdogs and also an auction for different type of
pastries. We helped them prepare the food and I have never cut so many
tomatoes and onions in my life! But it was a lot of fun. During the
auction my companion was like, “I really want to raise my hand and
participate!” And then she said, “Do you have any money?” And I said
yes and so she raised her hand for a chocoflan (a popular Mexican cake
thing) that was being bid for $25. I don’t know if you know this, but
$25 is A LOT of money in the missionary world (and I had like $10
cash). So we were kind of freaking out because no one else was bidding
after that and we had no money, haha. Luckily a kind soul saw we were
struggling and bid $30 after that.

Well a lot more happened this week but I will just leave it at that
for now and part of a conference talk I really like called “In Praise
of Those Who Save” by President Dieter F Uchtdorf:

“Build bridges; don‚Äôt destroy them.
Even when you are not at fault–perhaps especially when you are not at
fault–let love conquer pride.”

Hermana Hershey

4: sister Hawkins is leaving this next transfer so she wanted a
picture with all of her companions still in the mission

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Helping the Young Women

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a cool picture we took

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a giant cactus

 

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Sister Hawkins is leaving this next transfer so she wanted a picture with all of her companions still in the mission

Ya Est√° Caliente

Hey everyone!

It’s hot already here in Mesa! It’s that terrible dry heat that
everyone talks about. It sucks the life out of you sometimes. It’s
hotter earlier this year but oh well.

General Conference was so good! I loved it so much. Whenever Elder
Holland speaks the spirit is so strong. I also liked the talk about
fathers and he importance of fatherhood. I think it’s so true how the
world today makes fatherhood seem unimportant, but it is so important.
I have seen families where the dad has left, is in jail, not
supportive, etc. and it is so sad to see families torn apart. The role
of a father in the family is so important.

I went on exchanges with Sister Sio this week and it was so fun! We
sang the whole time we were in the car it was so fun. I also went on
exchanges with Sister Crookston in her area. We had a good time too.
All of these sisters are so young in the mission but have powerful
testimonies. They are so great.

I don’t have a ton of time to email today but I just want to share a
scripture that I love. It’s in e Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 4:1 and this
is where Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel, are complaining saying
that they can’t get the gold plates from the wicked Laban because he
is too powerful. I love Nephi’s response.

“And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go
up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the
commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the
earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even
than his tens of thousands?”

I love how much trust in the Lord Nephi has. I know that it is true,
that God is more powerful than anyone on this earth. As long as we
trust Him and keep the commandments He will help us through any trial
or affliction we may face.

I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Hershey

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El Amor de Dios

Hi everybody,

This has been one of those weeks where I felt like I learned something new everyday. It has been great!

First of all, the Easter Pageant is officially over which is kind of a relief. It is an awesome show but I literally watched it eight times and working in the visitors center was kind of difficult because it was slow in the beginning. But I did meet great people and had
wonderful experiences! I am happy I got the opportunity to work there for a little bit.

As you all know, my mission uses Facebook. I don’t post all that often¬†because I don’t really like doing online proselyting but last week I¬†had a strange feeling that I should post something about the¬†atonement. I was starting to doubt myself thinking I shouldn’t because¬†it seems like a waste of time. But I did and someone commented on it¬†who is a less active from when I was serving in the YSA ward. He said¬†that he really needed what I posted. It was kind of an eye opener that¬†posting isn’t something we just DO as missionaries but it has a¬†purpose. I thought it was great that one small thing I posted helped¬†someone out.

For a long time I have struggled with understanding one thing: and¬†that is that God loves and cares for each and every person. I couldn‚Äôt¬†quite understand how God could love every single person when there are¬†so many people on this earth and so many who have already died. It‚Äôs¬†something that has been bothering me. I could feel the love for the¬†people I teach, but when I was at the Easter pageant and looked back¬†at the 10,000 people sitting in their seats it made me wonder, once¬†again, how that could be possible. Wherever I would go it seemed to be¬†on my mind of something I could just not comprehend. This is a ¬†question I have wondered about since my first days at the MTC. I¬†remember one day, not too long ago, praying and telling Heavenly¬†Father that I didn’t quite understand how He could know each of us by¬†name, but that I would believe that He did. Miraculously my answer¬†came to me this morning in my personal study, when I wasn’t even¬†looking for it.

I randomly selected a conference talked from the April 2012 general¬†conference titled “He Truly Loves Us” by Elder Paul E. Koelliker. In¬†this talk I read a part that basically said that love is multiplied. ¬†All of the sudden I thought of each one of my nieces and nephews (I
have 12 of them). I was remembering how each time a new one was born, I loved them just as much as the last. Now that I am far from them I feel that that has grown even more. I realized that it is true: love multiplies. My ability to love each and every on of my nieces and nephews has grown and never been divided. I believe that the same is true for our Father in Heaven. Though it is hard for a mortal mind to comprehend, He loves everyone of us and knows our names, desires, fears and much more.

I felt that Heavenly Father answered my prayer in a way that I could¬†finally understand, but it wasn’t until I first showed faith that I¬†believed. I was planning on sharing more, but that took up a big part¬†of the email. I hope you all had a great Easter!

S√© que Jesucristo es el Salvador del mundo y que nos ama. Pero lo m√°s¬†importante es s√© que √Čl vive y ha vencido la muerte y el mundo.

Hermana Hershey

image2.JPGactivity day girls that we took around the VC one day.image1.JPGcactus flowers and you can see the stage for the Easter pageant in the back!

image3.JPGpuppies we found outside someone’s trailer.

Easter Pageant Round 2

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Hello everyone!

We had the Easter pageant this week and oh my I love it so much. I am¬†so lucky that I get to see it twice on my mission. It’s definitely¬†something that I want to come back and see in the future. I have also¬†been working in the visitors center and it’s been slow compared to the¬†night I worked at Christmas lights. But it has been great.¬†Saturday¬†was Spanish night so I got to speak a lot of Spanish in the VC which¬†was nice.

We had breakfast with our recent convert this week as well and it’s¬†funny because the elders who also taught her were with us and this was¬†their first time having a Mexican breakfast. They drank a lot of¬†horchata because they thought it was spicy. It made me realize just¬†how much I’ve become accustomed to this culture because it wasn’t even
spicy to me and I wasn’t in shock for what we were eating (which was¬†basically something like tortilla casserole with refried beans, of¬†course). It was funny to see how the elders reacted though.

I wanted to share a funny story that the recent convert told us¬†though! It turns out she named her son after her taxi driver. So when¬†she was about to give birth she hopped in a taxi and said “I don’t¬†have any money but I will name my son after you if you take me to the¬†hospital!!!” So he was like “…okay!” And now her son can proudly say
that he was named after a taxi driver.

On a more serious note, I am still studying the atonement everyday and¬†what I read this morning really helped me a lot. I read a talk called¬†“Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. In this¬†talk he talks about trials and why we have them and how to atonement¬†can help. I will share just a little part of it:

“We too may experience moments of mortal aloneness. These moments are¬†nothing compared to what Jesus experienced. Nevertheless, since our¬†prayers may occasionally contain some “whys,” we too may experience¬†God’s initial silence (see Matthew 27:46).”

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

I realized in this moment that everything I feel Jesus Christ had once¬†felt. It’s something I knew but I guess did not quite understand until¬†I read that scripture again. We all have trials but they all do¬†prepare us for the future. Whether in this life or the life to come. I
believe that everything has an opposite. The more pain and sorrow we experience, the more joy we will be able to experience when we reach eternal life.

I’m grateful for the knowledge of a Savior and for His sacrifice. I¬†know there are many talks and scriptures on the Atonement so I invite¬†you all to study and ponder it more.

Hermana Hershey

I didn’t take any pictures since we don’t have our iPads while in the¬†VC but there is a photographer named Jimmy that I met here and I will¬†show you one of his pictures from the Easter pageant!

(Photo at top of post).

 

Abigail’s Baptism

Hola todos!
unnamed-1This week we had Abigail’s baptism and it went really well! She has¬†been taking the lessons for almost a year so it’s about time. She is¬†so great and her testimony was so sweet. She is so hilarious too! She¬†is constantly making me laugh! I am so happy for her.

unnamedWe also got transfer news and everything is staying the same. Same¬†area. Same companion. The only things is this month the Easter pageant¬†starts so we will be working inside the visitors center for about 10¬†days. It’s really crazy busy so we will see how that goes.

I am really excited for the Easter Pageant though! It is so amazing¬†and one of the best things about this mission. So many people have¬†gone and felt the spirit and as a result have been baptized! So for¬†those who don’t know, the Easter pageant is something that goes in¬†every year around Easter time. It’s like a big play about the life of¬†Jesus Christ. It’s basically the New Testament in a giant play. It is¬†amazing! I was here for it last year and I am so happy that I get to¬†be here again for it.

We had zone training meeting, which is where all of the missionaries in our zone get together and we have a meeting and receive some trainings. All of the trainings were so great! I love my zone and luckily most of us are staying for this next transfer.

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This transfer is going to be seven weeks long instead of the usual six¬†because of the changes in the MTC. I think it’ll go fast kind of like¬†this last one. It’s weird to think I only have three transfer left and¬†then I am home. It’s scary.

Well I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Hershey

Bautismo de Martinez y Libia

unnamedIt was a weekend of baptisms! And it was so great! Three out of the¬†five Martinez’s were baptized! The mom gave her testimony at the end¬†and it was so powerful. She talked about how she came to our ward for¬†the first time and she was praying to know if this really was the¬†truth. As we went to Sunday School we were talking about the¬†priesthood and she said that she felt a peaceful feeling that she had¬†never felt before that she couldn’t even explain. She received her¬†answer that this church was true right there in Sunday school. It’s¬†funny because I remember that day, and I thought it was a horrible day¬†to bring an investigator because everyone kept on sharing their¬†opinions, going into deeper doctrine, etc. but it just goes to show¬†that the Lord is capable of doing His own work and it truly is the¬†Spirit that can touch the hearts of people.
unnamed-1The next day Libia was¬† was baptized as well! So Libia is a Spanish¬†lady that the English elders were teaching as well. She decided to go¬†to the English ward to be with her children but she doesn’t speak¬†English very well so she asked if we would keep teaching her. Her date¬†was moved a couple of times but after a few months of chaos and¬†confusion she was finally baptized! And she was so happy!

Though this week was filled with baptisms and other miracles it was¬†still a bit of a tough one for me. With Matt’s birthday coming up,¬†that seems to be something always in the back of my mind. It is not¬†easy being away at this time. It wasn’t easy last year either. But
Heavenly Father always knows just what I need. Yesterday was¬†particularly hard but we got the chance to take a few different¬†investigators to the visitors center. In the VC they have a little¬†exhibit called “God’s Plan for His Family” and it just explains why¬†the family is so important and how we can live together forever. We¬†showed this twice to two different groups of investigators and it was¬†amazing because at the end I got to bear my testimony of eternal¬†families. I felt the spirit so strong in both of those moments.

I know that the ordinances we do in the temple are so important and some of the greatest blessings we have. One of these ordinances is the sealing of a family. I had the opportunity to be sealed to my family back in 2001 in the San Diego Temple. Because of this, I know that I can live with my family again after this life. I know I will see my brother again. I know where he is and I know that he is happy.

Alma 40
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the¬†resurrection–Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that¬†the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal¬†body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are¬†taken home to that God who gave them life.

12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

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I am blessed to have the knowledge that I have. I am blessed to have the family that I have. Part of why I came on a mission was to give back to God for all that He has given me, for He has given me a lot. I am forever grateful for forever families.

Love,
Hermana Hershey

Flatiron

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Sorry to write kind of late today, but I went on a hike! Not just any¬†hike though. This is the hardest hike in our mission. We started dark¬†and early and¬†4:30am¬†and didn’t get home until about¬†1:00pm. But the¬†hike is called flatiron and it literally requires hands and feet. It
took so long to get up and it was the hardest hike I have ever done and probably will ever do in my life. But it was so amazing! I loved every second of it even though right now I cannot feel my legs.unnamed

On the way up I ran into a guy named Kevin who is a Jehovah’s Witness.¬†We started talking and I testified about the gospel. It was cool that¬†even during a hike early in the morning I got to share my testimony.¬†It was a really great experience and one that I will never forget. I¬†will add many pictures from the hike this morning. It’s funny because¬†we got lost on the way down so it took about and hour extra. But it¬†was so fun and I am grateful for all of the friends I have made here¬†in Mesa. We went with almost the whole group who flew out to Mesa this¬†time last year.

Well so much has happened this week I don’t even know where to begin!¬†Hermana Avalos, the one who was just baptized a month ago, came with¬†us to teach one night and her testimony is so strong! It just makes me¬†so happy whenever I hear it! She is so great and I am so lucky to know¬†her! We had a fireside last night and she and one of her sons bore
their testimonies and it was such a great experience!

I also went on exchanges with Hermana Zamudio this week and I just have to say that she is one amazing missionary and person. She has had so many trials, it is honestly unbelievable, and yet she is still here on a mission. She and her twin sister are the only members in their family. I learned a lot from her and I was actually working in the VC
for the day since she is a VC sister. It was a fun experience.

unnamed-2The Avalos family went through the temple to do baptisms for the dead and we got to accompany them! It was so amazing and also super crowded but they had a great time! It was cool to be able to go and help them through it! Afterwards they took us to get Sonoran hot dogs which are hot dogs wrapped in bacon and are topped with beans, onions, guacamole, ketchup, mustard and who knows what else. They were pretty
good though.

We rode with them in their car to save miles and the windows were down the whole time so my hair got so messed up and tangled! Karla tried to help me out with it and it was such a funny experience. We ended up ripping part of my hair out! It had never been that tangled before, haha. She is so sweet.

unnamed-6Well I just wanted to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon. It’s¬†in Alma 37:37 which says, “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings,¬†and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night¬†lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and¬†when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto¬†God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last¬†day.”¬†I love this and it stuck out to me the other day during my studies. I¬†think it’s so Struve that we need to always be praying and ask our¬†Heavenly Father for guidance in all that we do. Whether it be school,¬†work or family, I know that He cares and is always willing to help us¬†if we let Him.

Well I love you all and hope you are doing well!

Hermana Hershey

Mas fotos:

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