Sunday, September 17, 2023

Jane in Portugal: September 2023

Incoming letter from Sister Nielson:

On the mission, it is so ridiculously easy to compare EVERYTHING. 
Someone always seems to look better, speak better, 
know better, and teach better. 
I have doubted everything about myself during my mission. 
All my gifts, talents, ability to speak Portuguese, ability to teach, 
knowledge of the scriptures, and the personal revelation I have received. 
The one thing, however, that I never doubted was my testimony.
I have a loving Redeemer - who knows every stress, worry, sin, 
and trouble that I have, will, and am facing on my mission; 
this knowledge has given me the courage to trust.
Or, in other words, confidence in my Savior. 

Jesus doesn't want us to be embarrassed or doubtful of our skills all the time. 
He wants us to be confident people!
But, it is a different kind of confidence than high self-esteem. 
It is confidence in Him.

The very uncomfortable moments on my mission are teaching me 
to have confidence in the transforming power of 
His Atonement and His ability to mold my raw, imperfect material into success. 
(And, in turn, the sense of my divinity and confidence 
in my talents has been coming, slow and steady, when I trust in Him first.)
I echo the words of our previous family themes that our lives
 (and my mission) are For Him. 
And as we have this focus, we lose our lives and, in due course, find them again. 
We find our confidence in Him.
We can know that our feet are planted, sure, and solid-
And we can still stand still, 
with perfect confidence in Him. 
And He in us.
I can't serve this mission on my own.
And obviously, I am still not a perfect missionary, nor will I ever be!
But He chose me.
And I have confidence in Him.
I am trying every day to make it unwavering confidence.
Jesus Christ has already paid the price.
We just need to turn to Him. 
To put our confidence in Him.
I love this part of a devotional. 

"Why do you think our Savior chose a fisherman to be
 His chief apostle, who would lead the Church after He was gone?
Why do you suppose God chose an ­untutored farm boy to translate the Book of Mormon?
First, because God doesn't look on our ­countenance 
or the height of our stature:
Second, God is able to take the most humble clay and create of it a masterpiece. 
Truly, "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

"Third, God chooses the average and the weak so that no man can boast and say, 
"I have done this out of my own ability." 
He uses ordinary "earthen vessels that the excellency
 of the power may be of God, and not of us."

When an army of a hundred thousand is routed by a band of three hundred, 
people give praise to God.
When a humble fisherman takes a small group of believers
 and shepherds them into a mighty Church, 
people lift up their voices and give thanks to God.
When a frontier boy leaves the plow and translates the most inspiring 
and life-changing text since the Bible, people glory not in the 
intellect of man but in the power of God.

Our Heavenly Father doesn't need you to be mighty, intelligent, 
well-dressed, well-spoken, or well-inherited.
He needs you to incline your hearts to Him and seek to honor Him
 by serving Him and reaching out in compassion to those around you." 

Jesus chose fishermen, and farm boys, and imperfect missionaries. 
They succeeded and will keep succeeding because, first and foremost, 
they know Jesus loves them and has confidence in them.
And because they have confidence in Him.
And so do I.
Jesus ama-te, tenham confiança dEle! 
Ele tem confiança em ti.
Façam o que Ele faria.
(Jesus loves you, have confidence in him! 
He has confidence in you.
Do what He would do!)

*A Note from me:
There is a reader of NieNiedialogues in the
same area Jane is serving in!!!
 She read my book, "Heaven is Here!" 
and was so touched that she gifted Jane a necklace 
and opened her home to the missionaries with love and meals!
That just melted my heart!!!

 This story has made me incredibly happy!

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