Unconditional Love

So much happened this week, I’m not quite sure where to begin. For starters I had exchanges this week! This means that for 24hrs I got to be with a different companion and learn from somebody else. I as paired with Sister Weiss who is ALSO a piano major and is an amazing missionary. I love her to death and we were only together for 24 hrs. 

We got to teach this man named Vinn and he was not a happy man. As we talked we were explaining how God’s love is unconditional, that He is not happy when we make mistakes or sin, but that He continues to love us through our mistakes and sins. Vinn immediately said, “No. God’s love is conditional. He hates us when we sin. How can He love us through that. No.” We then used the example of,” Well, if your son was arrested for a serious crime, would you still love him?” Vinn: “No. I would hate him. I wouldn’t want to love him if he had made that type of mistake.” 

It made me sad that Vinn wouldn’t have loved his son if he had made a mistake, or any mistake for that matter. But I do know that God loves us despite our mistakes. He loves us through our mistakes. He loves us, unconditionally. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to come unto Him. 

My favorite scripture this week is: 2 Nephi 1:15 

“But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”

He loves eternally. He will always love you. I love Him and am so grateful that I get to be His hands here in California. 

Hope ya’ll have an amazing week!

Sister Lydia Foster

Blessings, Blessing, on Blessings

Happy Easter! 

Wow, what a wonderful week! I’ve loved it all! It’s been crazy and wild, and at times really hard, but God is in the very details of our lives. 

Important happenings of this week:

1. My first official DOOR SLAM!

So, there have been some pretty rude people, but this guy is the one that tops it off. My companion and I laughed for a while after this because it was just sad the way he acted. We knocked on the door, and nobody answered, so we knocked again (we always knock twice) and then this angry old man starts yelling, “WHO THE HECK IS BANGING ON MY DOOR. IF I WANTED TO ANSWER, I WOULD’VE ANSWERED.” Us: “Sorry, sir we’l just leave now.” Him: “GOOD RIDDANCE. GET OUT OF HERE!” and * DOOR SLAM * 

     Yep. It was the top door slam of my mission so far. 

2. Ti’Arrin (Tee) Porter’s BAPTISM

Yep. Week 3 and I’ve had my FIRST (and hopefully not last) BAPTISM. Oh, it was the best Easter ever because I got to see her get baptized on Easter Sunday! If you had known her before, you would never have recognized her now. She kept saying, “I just can’t stop smiling. I just can’t.” And after she was baptized, ” I finally feel CLEAN, completely CLEAN. and I know it’s because of Jesus.” She has so much faith and so much love for God and it truly has been a blessing for me to know her. The love of God was so overwhelming as she was baptized yesterday and as she bore her testimony of Christ. It felt as if He was right there. I loved it. I loved it so much and it made me SO HAPPY. It made me so grateful to be a missionary!

3. Fire Hydrants & Donut Shops & Giant Macaws

So, I guess in California fire hydrants are yellow instead of red. I thought this was really funny so I took a picture:) There is also a donut shop on EVERY. SINGLE. CORNER. It’s crazy, and completely unhealthy. We also ran into a giant Macaw that someone had at their house, hopefully I can get a picture to ya’ll!

Overall, what a great week! I’ve learned so much about myself and about the power of God, it’s truly miraculous what He can do. Tee shared this scripture with me before she was baptized: 

Alma 41:10

“Wickedness never was happiness.” 

She told me, ” I thought that I knew what being happy felt like, but I didn’t. Those choices weren’t making me really happy, IT WAS FAKE. But this joy, this happy right now is the happy that I know is true. This is God’s happy.” 

My heart goes out to all who don’t know what happiness is. God can make us truly happy. He is my strength, He is my light. I love Him. 

Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Lydia Foster

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Week 2 in Long Beach

Alright so this week was amazing, but I’ll probably say that every week! This will also be a shorter letter so I hope you don’t mind!

I learned a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ this week. We taught a less-active named Michael who has been struggling more than we thought. We planned him late in our schedule on Sunday afternoon just because we felt like we should and it turns out he was really needing some prayers. He had an experience with some drugs that made him realize that he needed to turn his life around. My heart hurt so badly for him as we were talking and comforting him and letting him know that God’s love is unconditional and that He will love him NO MATTER WHAT. While we were talking I got this overwhelming love for Michael whom I had met 10 minutes ago. I wanted to take his place so badly. The pain that he was describing and the anguish he felt-I wanted to take that from him simply because I loved him. “That’s what Christ feels about everyone.” Is what I heard in my mind and felt in my heart. It was a truly humbling experience. 

I have been praying to have more charity and it has totally worked! Ah! I love my companion and I’m loving what the mission field is teaching me. I spend all day every day just thinking about other people! I love it!

We have two investigators who are preparing for baptism on April 30th! We are so excited to help them get there! The changes they have made in their lives is amazing, and it is only possible through Christ. 

Our invesitgators are ___ and ____. They are great. _____ is this amazing black woman, she’s 19 years old and she’s going to culinary school in LA. Her mom and sister don’t support her in the decision to be baptized but she loves this church and what it’s done for her. She had problems smoking weed, etc. but she got a priesthood blessing to help her quit and she hasn’t relapsed once! Which is seriously a miracle. She came to church again this Sunday and she loved it.

I love being a missionary, I love working hard all day every day and only thinking about other people instead of myself. There are some amazing people out here in California with stories and experiences that are inspiring. I love the Lord and I am grateful to wear His name on my heart. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Sister Foster

PICTURE: avery terrible picture of me and my new companion, but we are having a great time!

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