This week was great. It was somewhat of a rollercoaster; everytime we had something great happen, something equally disheartening did! That’s just missionary life, though. Anyway, on Sunday we were able to attend the Phoenix temple dedication in our Stake center. It was beautiful! I am so grateful to be here and see the goodness of the Saints here in Arizona. They are truly being rewarded with these beautiful temples because of their faithfulness. I know that more blessings are coming their way as the work progresses! We can’t wait for the Tucson temple to be built.
Hermana Gregory and I have noticed a pattern recently in the success we’ve had with finding people to teach. It seems that every time we find a new investigator, we experience a miracle and are amazed at the way Heavenly Father has prepared that individual or family to receive the gospel. We’re so happy with their progress–and then we go back or receive a phone call and discover that they don’t want to continue learning about the gospel, even though they know that it’s true. It breaks our heart when that happens! Needless to say, we’re striving to keep the faith and continue to seek the elect.
Speaking of which, I’m happy to report that Olga, Cynthia, and her familia aren’t one of the investigators who told us not to come back this week. They are still doing wonderful and we’re going to visit them tonight. Last Thursday evening, when we went over to teach them more about the Book of Mormon, we discovered that the youngest boy, Carlos, is learning to play the viola!!! It was sitting on the couch. So, of course, I had the privilege of playing it. 🙂 He doesn’t have any rosin, and it was just a school rental, but it was such a pleasure to play it!! I played “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” for them. I’ve been able to pick up a violin at least one time in each of my areas, but never a viola. The other day, we were talking with a girl who was also learning to play; and I thought to myself how nice it would be to be able to play one again! Then, about two weeks later, I was able to. It’s interesting and special to see the way our Heavenly Father rewards even the smallest of our righteous desires. 🙂
I know that Heavenly Father loves us! This week, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I’d like to challenge each of you to ponder on the things you are grateful for. Then tell Him in a prayer dedicated solely to giving thanks! (An idea for kids – or anyone who wants to participate! – is to offer a prayer of gratitude while sucking on a hard candy, such as a jolly rancher. You can’t stop praying before it’s done! Try it! ) I love you all and am grateful for all of the love you send me!
Con amor,
Hermana Sutherland 🙂

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