Six more weeks in DeFuniak! We didn't really know what to expect out of this transfer, but we are glad that it's all working out so that we can see little DeFuniak sprout up. Seriously, the investigator work is a little slow here, but the work with less-active members is en fuego. When we got here we took this little ward from 2 to 4 full time missionaries, then at the end of last transfer, we got our senior couple, the Habels. Ha, I don't think I've talked about Elder and Sister Habel enough. Elder Habel is always on top of things and he draws a diagram at least once every lesson he teaches. They are probably in like their 70s. Sister Habel is super laid back and doesn't say too much, but then Elder Habel is always full of like three times as much energy as one man should have. It's so funny hehe.The lights are going up, my friends. DeFuniakans love Christmas. Just as me and Sister Bennion were walking to the library we saw people putting up CHRISTMAS LIGHTS at the lake. It's not even Halloween yet, y'all omg. I miss Halloween, btw. I wish I could participate in that madness, but I mean really, it is OCTOBER, people. But even when we came here back in August people would say that they hope we stay until Christmas because the lights and everything is just incredible. Well, it's October 28th and I guess we made it to Christmas haha.
Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?”
It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some might say, “I just don’t fit in with you people in the Church.”
If you could see into our hearts, you would probably find that you fit in better than you suppose. You might be surprised to find that we have yearnings and struggles and hopes similar to yours. Your background or upbringing might seem different from what you perceive in many Latter-day Saints, but that could be a blessing. Brothers and sisters, dear friends, we need your unique talents and perspectives. The diversity of persons and peoples all around the globe is a strength of this Church.
Some might say, “I don’t think I could live up to your standards.”
All the more reason to come! The Church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted. It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven’t mastered them yet.
Some might say, “I know a member of your Church who is a hypocrite. I could never join a church that had someone like him as a member.”
If you define hypocrite as someone who fails to live up perfectly to what he or she believes, then we are all hypocrites. None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I know this work is the work of salvation and I know that it will change every life it touches for the better. My happy followers, there is room for each of us in the gospel. Have a great week!
-Sister Laura Cooper