The Purpose of Religion

7:37:00 PM

Recently, I've had several tours where the people don't necessarily believe in God or deny the possibility of a higher power. Honestly, it's a little of a mind-boggling then to know where to begin for an answer. And they may have had pushy religious friends, or seen the conflict that religion causes in the world, but it was really neat for me to share my testimony, and personal experiences that have helped me to know of the truthfulness of the gospel. Religion, in my humble opinion, isn't supposed to be a reliance on a higher power just because it "makes us feel good" or "gives us comfort," we seek to know and understand who God is, what His plan is, and what Jesus Christ's ministry means to us, because we want to find the truth.  Unfortunately, there are people that may not live in a way that reflect teachings of Jesus Christ, but we can't blame that on the religion, but truly on our agency and how we choose to live our lives. I love just being to share that this church and its teachings, the fullness of the gospel, has helped to refine my character and who I can become, so I can see the eternal perspective of life. God intends us to be happy and has provided every tool for us to achieve happiness and peace no matter what we face in life, but we have to use those tools wisely. We can't afford to be foolish and not act on what we know to be true. We are just denying ourselves of all the blessings He has in store in that sense. Because we know that He loves us, and He has sent His Son to atone for us, we want to follow Jesus Christ's example, and we want to live in a way worthy of having the Spirit be with us, and one day, live in God's presence again, hopefully with our family and friends.

Each person has their agency to believe what they want, but religion isn't a way of life or just things we do, but helps us know how to become our true potential. We are all children of God, we are all imperfect, we will rise and fall, but that's why the Atonement should mean something to us, so we can overcome weaknesses, be cleansed, receive strength. Whether someone truly believes it or not, it doesn't change the fact that I know this restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true, it is real, and it does impact our lives. And I have felt it in my life, and seen it change the lives of others. We don't preach our beliefs just to help others understand (although that is helpful), we do it so they can know for themselves if this is the truth! So they can feel the Spirit testify to them when we're not around. Anyways, that was my little spiel :) Don't be complacent with your testimony, continue to build it up, to deepen your conversion. That's the only way we grow, after all!

YSA/MS(Young Single Adults/Married Student Wards): 
1) This past week, nothing new happened in our area. We won't be seeing Ar Lon until this Wednesday, and all the new students recently just moved on campus for the beginning of the new semester. Yesterday church was packed! With students and some of their families haha. 
2) We probably won't get a chance to really know the students until they all have their church records moved in, and receive callings at church. There are a few non-member girls but we don't just want to show up unexpected like "heeeeey!" so awkward haha. So...we have to figure out how to meet them without being so random...

VC/Online:
1) I got this member referral in the beginning of July online, and sent the missionaries, and silly me, totally forgot to call Corey, until last week. And he had a super amazing experience as he read the Book of Mormon and got baptized onJuly 10! (less than 2 weeks since missionaries contacted him). This was my first baptism from online! Not everyone experiences that confirmation the same way, but God answers prayers :) I love seeing how happy people after they're baptized. 
2) Miracle! Ilya, who wanted a free Bible a while back, actually returned my phone call after like a month. I dropped him as a contact because I assumed he wasn't interested...He read the BOM before about 7 months ago, stopped for a while, and wants to feel that warmth again when he reads the scriptures(the missionaries dropped it off when he wasn't home so he didn't really get to learn). I just think it's a miracle he had that desire and actually called back, he had a back surgery so that's what caused the delay, but still! Such a struggle at first because I wasn't sure who he was... 
3) Kailey is an investigator in Windsor, and she loves studying the Book of Mormon! She's probably the only person that ever asked me to explain what the chapters are talking about, but she is excited to go to church this Sunday :)
4) On a side note, my phone calling doesn't work...so it's been kind of lame only being able to text or email, but Sister Leng has kindly called for me and added me to the conversation #strugglesofonlinework

VCT(visitors center trainer) stuff: 
We're going to be having mini exchanges at the VC and doing tram tour evaluations for all the companionships so we can improve the quality of our tram tours :) So fun! This morning for VCTM, Sister Leng and I introduced a little review game to make sure everyone knew where to be for the 6:20 and 6:40 tram tours (it gets a little crazy then because so many people are there)

We are trying to use "Preach My Gospel" more in our missionary work, and as we were discussing all the principles that could help us to be a more effective vessel for the Spirit to work with us, I realized that I want to promise people blessings more often. It's sooo easy to just give an educational tour, but that isn't our focus at all. I've gotten stuck kind of doing that with the Chinese tours that come in, answering questions, introducing our beliefs, but I often forget to tell them that they can have the same blessings too! 


Scripture of the week: Mosiah 2:41
"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Quote of the week:
"The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us."
-- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions"

Pictures:

Last pday, we went to North Shore Tacos for lunch, and this sweet Brother and his daughter treated all of us! We are so spoiled all the time....but so grateful. She goes to one of the YSA wards we cover! :)
These are teachers/parents of some Chinese students that came to BYUH for an ESL program. They were super sweet!
​Sister Leng fell asleep in her praying position hahahaha

Throwback to the first sunrise I saw in Hawaii! It was kind of cloudy, but still beautiful.​

Love,
Sister Wu

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