It's 2014! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am so excited to serve the Lord every single day- all day, every day- this whole entire year. 2014 is all for Him. I'm ready for the hardest, yet most rewarding, and best year of my life!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Last night for New Years Eve, the 25 missionaries in our zone got together after dinner and played volleyball. That was the extent of our partying! I just want to thank you for all the letters, Christmas cards, packages, and emails I received over the past few weeks. Thank you for thinking of me, even during the holiday craziness! I enjoyed being able to Skype my family on Christmas. It's hard to be away from home during the holidays, but just as much as I miss my family, Heavenly Father misses His children here on Earth. He wants us to be able to return to our heavenly home and I am grateful to be a part of this great work of salvation.
Visa-update: This week I had to be fingerprinted for FBI Clearance and fill out some more forms I suddenly now need. It takes at least 6-8 weeks for it to all process, then it has to be sent back through the Brazil consulate in Atlanta again, so I'll be here for awhile. It's very difficult for me to accept (I've shed a few tears) but I know this Lord's way of saying, "Chill out Sister Jorgensen. You're not going anywhere. You've got work to do here in Sacramento." So I'll put on a smile and go forth with faith! I've just got to remember it's not where I serve, but how. I'm serving this mission for the Lord and He's got a game plan! I know we are "encircled about eternally in the arms of his love" (2 Nephi 1:15) and that we are never alone!
Alright, time for a cool story. We knocked on a door looking for a former investigator named Raymond that missionaries haven't been able to contact for years. It turns out he had moved but guess what, the teenage boy who answered the door was named Raymond too! Coincidence? I think not! To make this story even cooler, his mom is deaf and my companion knows some sign language from her previous area. Now the real ASL sister missionaries are going to meet with them! I just think it's so neat that the gospel is being taught in so many languages, from English to Portuguese to American Sign Language.
We started teaching Dakota, 15 year old who's mom is becoming active in the church again. Dakota has never had interest in being baptized but since his father passed away a few months ago, his heart has been softened. The youth in our ward have been doing a great job of fellow-shipping him. We taught him the first lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel and he accepted the invitation to be baptized later this month! We're praying he will continue to have that desire to progress toward baptism and prepare himself for that special day.
I've been thinking a lot this week about New Years Resolutions and how I am going to make this year the absolute best it can be. I love this scripture: "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" -2 Nephi 25:26. Every time I read this, I am inspired to be a better disciple and follower of my Savior Jesus Christ in my thoughts, words, actions, and writings. Our children, or more broadly, the people that surround us every day, will know what we stand for and where they can turn for forgiveness of their sins when they see our example.
So what will you do this year to "talk more of Christ"? Make the gospel more part of your daily conversations. How can we "rejoice in Christ'? Notice the many blessings, both large and small, the Lord blesses you with each day. Say more prayers of gratitude. We can simply preach and write of Christ by sharing our testimonies on Facebook or other social media. Send text messages of encouragement and uplifting words to those who are struggling. Write a letter of support and love to someone who needs it. Whatever you do, and however you do it, make it resolution to be a representative of Christ in all you do! And it's not a resolution unless we ACT!
It's so important to remember Christ all year, not just around Christmas time. Because of His sacrifice, you and I can do hard things.
I love you all!