"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19
The biggest lesson I have learned on my mission? How to love.
I have seen myself change because of love and I have seen the lives of others change as well. It has been an absolutely incredible adventure, my mission. So many ups and downs, so many failures and triumphs. But through it all, God always comes to me and teaches me about His love and about His Son.
Nothing too exciting happened this week - we actually had 0 investigators at church yesterday, which was a first in a long time - but I thought a lot and felt a lot.
I just want to share a couple little experiences I have had with learning how to love.
1. Nicole. There's a family here from Toga, Africa. They are so special. Recently, the mom's sister moved to town with her little family. They come to church every Sunday and participate in all that they can, with their limited knowledge of English. I have absolutely fallen in love with her little daughter, Nicole. She is 2 years old and only speaks French - so trying to communicate with her has been a little rough. But every time I have seen her for the last 2 weeks, I have just smiled big, crouched down, and made a heart with my hands to tell her that I loved her. I don't know her, she doesn't know me, but she has stolen my heart completely. She must be scared in a country where hardly anyone speaks her language! She's adorable and so small and has the most beautiful smile! Yesterday at church, she saw me and instantly ran to me and hugged me. I had tears in my eyes! This precious little daughter of God, whom I can't even communicate with, was able to recognize the little love I tried sharing with her since day one. She held both of my hands and just smiled at me. For real, I was this close to taking her home with me.
Haha lol just kidding.
But honestly, I want to adopt a French speaking African baby.
Okay number two.
2. Manuela. There's this lady in our branch who's a little crazy haha in the best way possible! Since day one in Sioux City, she has meant so much to me. Yeah, she's crazy and she says crazy things, but I felt something when I first met her. Yesterday, it was her turn to give a class in relief society. She got up, all nervous and fumbling with her books, and then she started teaching. The sisters usually don't like her classes, but something was so different yesterday. She gave the most incredible lesson I have ever been in. It affected me so deeply, I couldn't even get out my pen and paper to write notes. She shared a beautiful testimony of the Savior and everyone in that room felt it. When the class ended, the sisters all thanked her for her lesson and told her how much they had needed it. I put my arm around her and thanked her. She turned to me with tears and said, "That wasn't me who taught, that was the Lord." It was so incredible.
Can you see how the love of God affects people? It's the most special gift and we should seek to feel such love and share it every day of our lives.
Experiences like this just testify to me that my mission was meant to convert me. And it worked. I will never be the same.
Hermana Brie Gould
pictures: Our weekly FHE being an absolute SUCCESS and saying goodbye to E. Jensen... I'm also a giant.