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Sister-Meile Rosenlund 's letter from July 10, 2017:

"Hola! Feliz lunes! Well, summer is here in LA for real. It has been a hot, sticky week and extra great motivation for us to have lessons because it is a relief to get out of the sweat and the sun. This is the week for sure when it's time to give up any hope of wearing my sweaters again. They'll just have to wait for the Nebraska fall. :)

This week honestly flew by. I can't believe it is Monday again. Our week started out great with the Fourth of July!!! :) Yay for America! On Tuesday morning we had a training with Brother Lusvardi, the managing director of the Public Programs of the Church. He oversees the media, public relations outreach, and Visitors Center of the Church. He is such a sweet man who makes a special effort to remember everyone's names and tells the best stories to motivate and teach missionaries. We loved having him here and it was really great to hear from him that the changes in culture and vision we are making here at the VC are right in line with what the Church needs and wants for the Visitors Centers. To be even more focused on Christ, to have high expectations of performance, and to pray for and work for miracles is a significant part of what we are focusing on and working towards. I'm really grateful (and sometimes a teeny teeny bit overwhelmed) that all this change is happening now in my mission. This would be a really easy time to coast to the end and be happy with doing things the way I have always done them. But these changes and refocusing efforts are exactly what I need to keep me on my toes.

After the training with Bro. Lusvardi, we spent a little time working at the VC which was very slow. (We worked mostly online at during this time because the floor was so slow) At 5:00 it was time for the BBQ!!! I haven't had a hamburger off the BBQ since Halloween so this was a very exciting meal. The BBQ was hosted by the VC senior couples and for the VC sisters and all the missionaries in Public Affairs and the Family History Library. In classic, festive VC fashion, we all dressed up in as much red, white, and blue as possible. :) It made for some great pictures :)

The BBQ meal was soooo delicious and especially fun because the VC sisters were invited to bring potluck sides and desserts to share. It was fun to see what everyone brought from sweet potato pie to cookies, jumbalaya to arroz con leche. Sister Harris and I took the easy way out and got some taco-inspired hummus (very yummy, if I do say so myself) and pita chips. I haven't gotten quite to Mom's level of bringing award-winning lemon squares, but someday I'll try ;)

Pictures were taken and stories were shared and we watched fireworks from our balcony that night. It was a great Fourth of July and my second in LA :)

On Wednesday, we had a great lesson with Max and Morgan about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the 5 fundamental principles he taught: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Since we had previously taught the last 3 points, we focused our lesson on faith and repentance - what they are and how we apply them to our lives. The lesson went well and we are getting better at explaining and teaching to meet their needs and concerns. Please pray for the two of them that they will continue to meet with us and progress towards baptism!

On Friday and Saturday, Sister Harris and I and the zone leaders presented a training on Sincere Prayer to the three districts. One of the most basic things we do as missionaries is pray and if our prayers are sincere and meaningful, they can have great influence on our ability to hear/follow Heavenly Father's guidance given to us by the Holy Spirit. But if our prayers are not meaningful, miracles cannot happen and we grow less and less sensitive to the spirit's help. We will stagnate without his help and be unable to help those around us as we should. Our prayers affect so much and we need to improve from "saying prayers" to praying from the heart. We talked with the missionaries about the various reasons why we pray. We talked about making sure that our words match the physical actions of our prayers. In our culture we don't bow or kneel to anyone but our Father in Heaven. It is so unique to bow our heads and kneel and that is a sign of utmost respect and focus. But do our words match that attitude? I know that most of the time, mine don't. As taught in a recent broadcast from Elder Holland and Elder Eyring, we need to remember that when we pray, we are speaking to someone who sits on a throne. He deserves our respect and love and we can be better at giving it to Him, because He gives so much to us. We talked about the power of praying for someone, especially someone who is with you. It is so much harder to be angry in a companionship if you hear your companion thank the Father sincerely for you and plead for your well-being. Praying for one another brings unity, compassion, and greater concern for others. This can be applied as well to our investigators, members, and future spouses and families. To pray for someone is a great act of love and can our turn our thoughts to them a positive way that focuses us on Heavenly Father's perspective of them. I love the example of Jesus praying in 3 Nephi 17:16-17. When the people heard him pray for them, their hearts were so full and no man could speak the joy he felt. That's an amazing effect of a loving prayer led by the Spirit. The last thing we discussed was the importance of following through with our prayers and listening and watching intently for answers. One of the elders mentioned a phrase that I love, "Pray like it all depends on the Father, and then go out and work like it all depends on you." It is so much easier for the Lord to guide us and bless us in our path when we are already moving. We studied part of a talk by Elder Ballard who said, "Become a creator of circumstances instead of a creature of circumstances." This echoes the scriptural mandate to act and not be acted upon. Heavenly Father promises us answers to our prayers, but we need to listen for them and act on them faithfully when they come. I am grateful that we got the chance to participate in the training because I learned a lot more than I think any of the missionaries listening did. I definitely want/need answers to my prayers and the key is to pray sincerely and listen for/ act on whatever answer I get. sexy red dresses

On Sunday, the personal learning kept on going because Sister Harris and I were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting and we were putting the finishing touches on our talks that morning. As I tied up the loose ends on the talk I had written, I kept having the feeling that I should talk about something else. The feeling kept coming until I looked through one of my old journals of notes and talks from the first year of my mission. I found a talk I gave about 5 months ago in El Segundo on the subject of Repentance. As I read through the talk, I felt like that was the message I needed to share. So I quickly added some more material to the outline and prayed about it during church, continually feeling like that was the message I needed to give. It worked out really well because Sister Harris' talk was about strengthening faith in Christ and our worth as children of God, so my message was able to piggy-back off of that, talking about how God invites us to repent and improve because we are of such great worth to him and our faith motivates us to make those changes. As I spoke, I was able to reflect on the truths I have learned over the last few months due to my focus on repentance and really understanding the nature of it. It is one of my favorite topics to teach about now, because I understand that it is so hopeful and replaces our natural fear of failure and loss, with faith and hope that comes from being teamed up with Jesus Christ. I love it! Giving a talk in church has never been my favorite thing to do, but it was a blessing for me to strengthen my testimony and understanding of repentance and share it with someone in the congregation who may have needed it.

Ok I know I have given you all (expect for maybe my parents) way too many details my thoughts and the events of this week but I wanted to end with one more impression I had from the Fourth of July. In the morning, before the training, Sister Erickson gave a beautiful spiritual thought about George Washington and his inspiring leadership of this country. She gave brief examples of when he motivated his men to pray, fast, humble themselves, and speak with respect. She explained how he denied kingdom for a government based on freedom and the people. As she spoke I thought about the beautiful painting we have on the wall at home of General Washington in Valley forge, praying before battle. I thought of the 13th chapter of 1 Nephi where it is prophesied that a group of people will leave from the mother nation seeking religious freedom, how they will go to war with her and be protected by God's hand to victory. As turned around and frustrating we feel our country is, we can look to how it began not too long ago. We can remember the sacrifices, humility, and careful spirituality that led our Founding Fathers to declare independence, fight for freedom, and establish a government so focused on three essential words, "We the people." I am convinced that our fathers were inspired by God to do what they did. I am convinced that he led them and that the Restored Gospel we have today is due to the freedoms they sacrificed for. To strengthen our country, we can begin to act as George Washington did, with humility, trust in God, and eyes aimed higher than dominion or conquering power, but on life, liberty, and the pursuit of true happiness. Happiness which comes through the teaching of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this country, I am thankful for it's humble beginnings, and I am proud to be an American!

Well, there we go, we've each made it through the long process of reading (and writing!) a weekly email. Thank you for the news you sent in yours about family reunions and lessons you've learned this week! I love you all! If you are traveling today or this week, I hope you travel safely!! Que le vayan con Dios! Les quiero!

Con amor,
Hermana Meile Rosenlund | What is the Mormon Church and Religion? Learn about the Mormon religion and meet members of the Mormon Church. Modern Mormons talk about their faith and answer common