Memorial Day in Washington DC South Mission

Small World... First day serving in Singles Ward this Random guy asks if I might
know a Kylie Stucki?  Really??  She is just my favorite person / cousin  ever:)
(They were both at BYU Hawaii.)

Mother's Day Skype call...Not the cutest picture
BUT we sure love and miss Madison.


I guess we still get to email because we have ipads. woop woop.

My companion is on an exchange with some other Sisters going to the temple.  We can only go every 6 months and I have already been.  So I'm at home in a trio right now so things are kind of hectic and I don't have a lot of time.  HOWEVER here is a quick wrap up of my week :)

This week was just Grand out here in Virginia. I GOT 
Super Stoked about life. I guess one of the Bishops in the had a billion so I got a couple. I've been searching for them my whole mission. 

Monday was preparation day. I got an email asking me to speak in church.  The topic of "How Following Christ Will Lift Our Burdens. We taught W. with the Elders.  The lesson was on The Law of Chastity and The Word of Wisdom. His mom wants to learn more about the gospel and he is giving up coffee. I talked to Dylan a bit about Preach My Gospel Lesson two.  The Plan of Salvation. He said he would read it. I think the family should read it together. 
This is me following up with you. 

Tuesday was District meeting. I helped put together a video for some big thing the Mission is doing. I got a letter from KYLIE which was a great thing. I miss her like crazy! 

Wednesday we taught W. and M. again. He is getting ready for his baptism this weekend. Can you send another tie mom? Thanks (:

So I finished The Book of Mormon. As I was reading I was highlighting and leaving sticky note insights throughout the entire thing.  I'm going to send it to Spencer and he is going to do the same.  Then I'm going to send it home for the NEXT missionary in the family to READ, STUDY and HIGHLIGHT.  So be looking forward to that (: 

So now that I'm finished with The Book of Mormon I'm starting The New Testament. I was reading in Matthew Chapter Nine the other day. I really love reading about all the stories we hear growing up about Jesus Christ and comparing the different gospels. I thought it was really interesting in Matthew Chapter Nine verse twenty when he was talking about "a women which was diseased with an issue of blood..."; Now I know they are talking about a blood hemorrhage and this is like five billion years ago in bible times but the first thing that came to my mind was my whole blood transfusion issue when I was sixteen. I was able to really put myself into this picture.

This story is about a woman who reaches out and touches the garment of Jesus because she knows if she does she will be healed. I guess I didn't really ever know the background of her because when I read her reasoning's it really stuck out to me. In Matthew she says to herself "if I reach out and touch His garment I shall be made whole!" No longer suffering from her blood disease in which she was troubled with. So with all her strength she reaches out and touches his garment as he is walking along the street. and Jesus noticed it. He turned about and when he saw her he said;

"Daughter be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. and the woman was made whole from that hour."

That is all it says about this story in the gospel of Matthew where I am currently reading but those three verses meant a lot to me personally.

Background story on me:  
When I was sixteen I guess I wasn't very smart and didn't realize a menstrual cycle should only last approximately a week.  I remember it was February of my sophomore year and I was constantly out of energy, sleeping, tired, white as a ghost and bleeding way more than I should have been. Apparently it was due to some other problems with my back having scoliosis and building up muscle on only one side which put pressure on my organs contributing to my excessive bleeding problem. Over the month of February it just kept getting worse and I was passing out left and right. 

We went in to see a Doctor and told her what was happening.  She gave me a pill to stop the bleeding within 24 hours. I kept bleeding and passing out and ended up in the emergency room that night.  The staff was freaking out at how weak and pale I was.  Immediately they ran blood tests and told me I was going to need a blood transfusion.  It was an awful cold feeling as they stuck a million needles into me and started pumping someone else's blood into my body. They started the blood transfusion and I was transferred an hour later by ambulance to the Women and Children's Hospital where the transfusion was completed.  

I didn't realize the urgency of the situation until they were strapping those metal stickers all over my body in case I had a heart attack. Which probably could have happened any second. After this whole ordeal happened I realized how close I could have been to... well having a heart attack and dying. It was scary thinking that if I hadn't been in the right place at the right time I might not be here today. 

This may be a little far fetched but as I was reading those few scriptures in Matthew I pondered back on this whole experience and put myself in this women's shoes when Christ said to her "daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. The women was made whole from that hour."

I know that there is a reason I'm still here today.  I have a work to do. If I have faith like the women in the story I can work as a tool in the hands of The Lord. There is a reason that I was in the right place at the right time and I know I have a purpose.  Which brings so much comfort to me. Fortunately I haven't had any problems since that experience, but it opened my eyes to how fragile life really is.  God is the true giver and taker of life. I know that because I am here.  Because I am blessed.  I have an important role in blessing the lives of others. We all do.

So later this week we found out one of our investigators was in jail so we got information on him and we were going to go visit him but he got out and we had a lesson with him and he dropped us. It was really weird because after he dropped us he responded to one of my Facebook posts and asked me questions and said he would come listen to my talk in Church. And he did. He has never come to church after all the time we've spent teaching and working with him. It was really cool. He said he loved the Hymns and the music.  I was super glad he stayed for my talk because it was exactly what we had been talking about when he dropped us. I know he will get back around to learning about the gospel and influencing his life.

We drove clear out to Chantilly and I accidentally touched a tick dog. So nasty. Hopefully I don't get any ticks. Limes disease is like a craze out here.

We taught B. again and we invited this guy named Jimmy who just returned home from his mission to translate into Chinese. We got him on date for June but we passed him to the  Chinese Elders.  I'm sure they are excited to work with him. B. is so solid and is a great guy. We are sad we had to pass him.  Hopefully he will still come to activities and etc.

We also started teaching a former investigator named C. she likes to party and do drugs. She asked all these questions about Adam and Eve and the Fall. She compared the bible story to a rave she went to last year that was themed the Garden of Eden (like what pervert plans a rave based on the garden of Eden? did this really happen? what????) Anyway. She asked us if we had ever been on an acid trip before I was like....
...and she was like well I had a vision. She told us all about how she talked to Jesus and he gave her trippy sunglasses and she saw the Tree of Life and how the earth was created and it ended with the tree dying and she decided never to eat fruit and then all of the sudden the police came...


Moral of the story:  DON'T DO DRUGS!!!

We also met a former named M. I'm super excited to teach him. 

1. Because he is solid and totally ready and prepared to learn about the



Anyway I told him were homies and it would be the greatest lesson ever. Super stoked about it. Great things are happening here in Shenandoah.

Lastly I spoke in church on Sunday. There was way more people than usual because all the Vivent and Moxie boys were there.  So it was a fun time. I talked about how following Christ lifts our burdens. I also was asked last minute to talk in Relief Society about President Uchdorfs talk on Gratitude. So they listened to me talk and rant and cry way too much yesterday. But anyway, here is my talk to wrap up this weeks summary!

Thanks for everything you guys do for me and for being the best ever. I love you all so much. If you have any questions pllleeeaassseee email me.  I love hearing from people. Family, Friends, Future missionaries (: if you have any great ideas for my blog leemme know! I
love you guys! enjoy the rest of your week

love sister stucki

My Talk:

How Following Christ Can Lift Our Burdens..

Last week I received an email from home. My dad told me about this family in our ward whose father passed away in a tragic plane accident. The father wanted to learn how to fly and while he was out with the pilot, some sort of malfunction occurred and the plane went crashing down into the ground taking both the lives of the father and the pilot who was with him.

When my Dad received word of the terrible news he raced over to this families home to give aid to the mother and her four young children.  The oldest boy was nine years old. He was upset and confused with this trial he was being put through. My Dad felt so sad for this family.  During the evening the boy said to my Dad, "Bishop, I have so many questions about death, dying and my Dad.  Where is he?  Did he hurt? What is he doing?  Will you answer my questions with the scriptures?"  My Dad sat down and read the scriptures with this young boy for quite a while.  Later that evening my he told his mother what he had read about in the scriptures and that he felt better.

This nine year old boy is such an example to each of us, of the kind of Disciple and Follower of Jesus Christ we should be. Although he was being faced with the most difficult challenge in his life, he knew where to turn for answers and strength.  He chose to be faithful in following his Savior, rather than giving up hope and becoming lost in despair.

He found that BECAUSE of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, his Dad was okay. BECAUSE of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he would see him again. And BECAUSE of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he could feel peace, hope, comfort and guidance throughout his life, and his burden could be lightened if he but acted upon his faith in his Savior.

In Preach My Gospel it tells us that as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He did NOT however eliminate our personal responsibility. We must show that we accept him, repent, and that we will follow the commandments.
In order to truly accept Jesus Christ as our savior we must have faith in him. Faith is the first principle of the gospel. To have faith means that we recognize Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Faith leads to action.  Action such as keeping the commandments Christ has given us through the scriptures, Prophets and modern day revelation.

As we obey the commandments, he blesses us. He gives us power to meet life's challenges and helps us to change the desires of our hearts. When we have faith we know that Christ really is there for us to help us through our times of trouble, heartache and afflictions. When we know he is there for us carrying us along our way, our burdens can be lifted.

Like the nine year old boy searching the scriptures and finding that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he could see his Dad again.  We too can find peace and solace in our faith in Jesus Christ. As we continue expanding our faith and knowledge about the gospel our minds can be enlightened and our hearts can be filled knowing that all will be made right if we but turn to Him and believe.

The second principle of the gospel is repentance. Our faith in Christ will lead us to repent and to change. If we sincerely repent we turn away from our sins and do them no more. Our desire to follow God grows stronger and deeper and we feel forgiveness and peace in our lives. Our guilt and sorrow are swept away and we feel the spirit in greater abundance. We can feel great joy in repenting daily, and our burdens can once again be lifted knowing we are free from our past guilt.

One of my favorite examples of the blessing of repentance and change is Alma the younger.  When he tells his conversion story to his son, Helaman. At first he talks about how he was "racked with torment" and "harrowed up in the memory of his sins." But then he remembered what his father had prophesied unto the people concerning the coming of Jesus Christ the son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. When he remembered this thought he cried out for mercy in repentance of all his past sins and transgressions. When he earnestly repented he said, (19) "And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more."

(21) "Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."

I love the comparison he gives when he says there was nothing so exquisite and bitter as my pain, and nothing so exquisite and sweet was my joy. Through Christ we really are able to feel that exquisite sweetness if we truly accept him, have faith in him, and repent.

The third principle Preach My Gospel gave was keeping Christ's commandments. Christ gave us commandments for a reason. Not to constrain us and layout a bunch of rules. WE HAVE OUR AGENCY. He gave us commandments because he loves us, and wants the best for us. One of these commandments he gave was being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we are baptized we make a promise that we will obey all his commandments and strive to do good works, serve others, and follow His example. By keeping these promises, we are enduring to the end.

As we follow this gospel path, and endure, we can draw closer to God, conquer temptation, and develop a pattern of living. Peace and Joy come from following the way Christ has prepared for us. By keeping simple commandments such as prayer, scripture study, and attending our church meetings we can learn more about the promises and blessings God has in store for us as we continually live righteously.

A long time ago I heard this poem, that I loved, about our burdens being lifted as we follow Christ and I thought it went along perfectly with this topic. It says:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with The Lord
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
Each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints
Other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life
When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to The Lord
You promised me lord, that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed during the most trying periods of my life,
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?
The Lord replied
The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand
is when I carried you.

I love this poem because countless times in my life I have seen how following Christ's example has blessed dear friends, family, and myself. Christ has promised us he will be there with us, to carry us, to lighten our load and lift our burdens if we follow him. He leaves it to us to CHOOSE whether we will follow him and to CHOOSE to recognize his hand in our lives. There is never a time we should feel alone or like it is too late to start over and begin new. Christ has already suffered for each of us individually, he loves us, he is
always there.

I know that as we strengthen our faith, repent, and keep his commandments we will be happier and our burdens will be lightened. We will still be tested and tried, our lives are never going to be PERFECT but PERFECT is not what we intended to come here for. As we grow closer to our savior, he will help us be strong and make it through life's challenges. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and everlasting. The more I learn the more I grow and understand the importance of it.

I would hope that if anyone in this room does not feel like they have a personal testimony of the importance of the gospel, of the savior and of the Book of Mormon, I would hope that they would start now in working towards gaining that testimony. TODAY. 

Through Jesus Christ we can feel peace, hope, charity, love, and happiness. We can live with our loved ones again. We can be an instrument in his hands to bless the lives of others, and ease their burdens as well. Through Jesus Christ we can reach our full potential, And there is nothing greater than that.

In 2 Nephi 31:20...

(20)"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

I know this promise Nephi gave in the Book of Mormon is true. I hope we all can press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ and endure to the end so we can reach our full potential. I'm excited to be serving here with you in the Shenandoah ward.  I know that each one of us is important in hastening his work of salvation so that others may know of these precious gospel truths which we have. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Sister Madison Paige Stucki
Washington DC South Mission
Sent from my iPad
(via email May 26, 2014)

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