Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014 Hard Stories and How to Still Have Happiness

look at this cute pig that i bought!?
 cute lil japanese pig bread!

Good day!
This week I have had some tender experiences with those I have met and
I want to share some experiences of others today that have given me strength in my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Last week one of our investigators slipped us a few pieces of paper into our hands after a lesson as we left her fathers house, and in those pieces of paper she shared with us her whole life story of everything shes ever had happen, and the things she's done wrong in her life. She'd made many, many wrong decisions in her life.

But it came to a time where she took a look at her life and said that it was enough. She wouldn't live like that anymore. she's only 24 years old. a year older than i am and she'd been through so much bad in her life it was almost unfathomable that someone could live through it all. In short she'd broken just about every commandment. But she didn't want that anymore, she didn't want a life where she felt used, she didn't want to feel the blackness of dispair and loneliness and fear that came from all of these things. She wanted to change. And she did, she's very much turned her life around and you would have never guessed that she'd been through so much in her life. That is the blessing of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives and baptism. To start over, a new slate, reborn again. We don't have to be our mistakes, that is not God's plan.
*This next story is a little graphic – you can skip the italics if you don’t want the hard part*

Another one of our new members who just got baptized is from Liberia, Africa shared with us her story of why she is always so happy. 

She told about the war going on in Liberia, she had two young twin babies at the time (she now has 3 sets of twins) when the soldiers came into her village and took her and her husband along with others of the tribe into a field and they watched the soldiers kill their husbands in front of them. she told us that they would chop up their husbands like you would cut up a dead animal-chop off their arms and legs while they were still alive and all you could do is watch. she says that she still remembers what her husband was screaming when they were doing that to him. Then she turned to me and asked me, what would you do if soldiers took your husband and laid him across your lap and they slit his throat right in front of you? 

 She said that after they killed all of their husbands the soldiers just laughed at them. She ran, and escaped, and eventually made it here to America. Most of her children are still in Africa now. she says that nothing makes her sad anymore. She said that so many people change after an experience like that. but she said she wouldn't, that she would be strong and that she would live life happily. she would be a good person. And she would take care of her kids. She is alone now and she told us that she and her bed have long conversations about it and sometimes she will just cry and cry, but she will not be that person in front of her kids and anyone else because she is not that person. She can be that person when she gets home to her room but she chooses to be a happy person everywhere else. And that's okay. she doesn't want to be alone, but she doesn't want to be an unhappy person either. she understands Gods purpose and trusts his will, and she understands that she will be with her husband again. This world is not the end.

Everything always works out when we choose to trust in the Lord and change our lives and live the gospel. That is what makes us truly happy. I have a testimony of that by seeing it for myself and hearing the testimonies of others, I really know that living the gospel and the commandments really are what makes us truly happy. But we have to be the person to do that. And we can't just believe in it, we have to BE it, we have to LIVE it, there is no other way to find out if it is true happiness unless we act and become like Christ.
I love you all and I know whatever trials or mistakes or sadness that you go through in life, it can be relieved by trusting in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repenting, letting the Lord guide and comfort you, and that by being baptized- to be spiritually reborn, we can see the blessings of joy it brings, gaining the gift of the comforter-the Holy Ghost, and ever striving to keep the commandments of God. 
If there is anything that is keeping you from being happy right now, diligently search for the answers of true happiness now, through prayer, scriptures, and listening to the prophets. Meditate on the things you learn, and change! NEVER stop striving for that eternal joy. Because that is our destiny.
Have a great week! 
Love Hermana Ficklin

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