Happy spring. Slash not spring. It snowed in Rexburg today. #theworst
On a better note, this weekend was great. I don’t know about you, but I loved every mention of missionary work in General Conference. #thebest
Well here’s another little dose of happy.
Meet Anastasia Smetanina. She is amazing and her story touched my heart.
She told me the moral to her tale was simple: even if your family and loved ones don’t support your decisions to serve, God will.
“[He] gives you so many blessings you won’t have enough room,” she told me.
Sister Smetanina is an example of faith in action. She represents so many of you. My heart is full of gratitude for examples like yours.
*Anastasia’s native language is Russian, but she gives this powerful testimony in English
“My name is Anastasia. I am from Russia. When I was 18 years old I baptised in LDS church. I am only one LDS member in my family.
I know without shadow of doubt that when we do what is right God never leave us to do it alone. With God all things are possible.
When I finished my university I started to think about serving on a mission. I felt like mission is the thing God wants for me. This feeling was deep and constant. Every time I was with the missionaries helping them I felt that God prepared me for this work too.
My family didn’t want even think about it. And I obeyed to my family, not the Lord. I started to work at school for children with mental disabilities. This work helped me to think more and more about the plan of salvation and God’s purpose for his children to come to the earth and to get a mortal body. Many times I thought ‘Why so many people were born with disabilities?’ And every time reading the Scriptures I’ve found answers. During all this time I thought and prayed about mission. I still had the strong desire to preach the gospel on mission field. I know when we not do what we should do we are loosing something important.
I often read 1Ne 3:7 “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” And I thought that despite all my fears and that my family doesn’t support me I still have a one best and greatest Support my Father in Heaven.
Many times when I prayed about mission and many times when I got answers that this is right, God testified me that he’s with me. If God’s with me who can be against me. I started to fill out my papers in February.
With all craziness and stress I felt that I need additional help from above. I thought “Hey, I still have not a patriarchal blessing.” So, I got it! And this experience was the most spiritual event in my life. Even if I still had some doubts getting patriarchal blessing shattered all my fears. I heard directly and straightly that God prepared a way for me that I could serve him. I closed my eyes and pictured in my brain all the people who don’t know about the Gospel who even never had a chance to listen about the plan of salvation. I thought that 4 years ago the Gospel message changed my life and missionaries who teached me brought the light of Atonement to my heart.
Now I am waiting for my mission call. I am eternally grateful that I made this step, every day I receive more and more understanding that I am on the right path. I know missionary work is God’s work. Just as the Gospel changed my life it has a power to change everyone’s life and to bring the feeling of purpose and understanding. How blessed we are to be the members of true church that gives true happiness. And how we responsible to share this happiness with other people.”
Thank you, dear sisters. Thank you for making the hard choice. Thank you for making the sacrifice. Thank you for following the spirit. Thank you for being you.
Go with God, dear friends.