|Wearing out my favorite shoes|
|Look... The Elders...|
|I have a 5 year old friend named Graham he reminds me of Eli|
|We like to party|
|Bedazzled Car? Only in Virginia :)|
|David's Gift (it's a tie... Of course)|
|I literally feel like I've never experienced FALL until I moved here|
|Kendra's Baptism Gift|
|ASL Missionaries from DC North, ASL Branch President, David, Shenendoah Sisters|
|What a great day|
|Me and my babies (the Sisters I have been able to train)|
|& The lovely Sister Schramm, my mommy (she trained me)|
|Amazing Day with Kendra|
|Super cute Birthday coat. Thanks!|
|Quick Birthday Dinner on Sunday|
Do you like the Cake?
Family & Friends,
I turned twenty this weekend.
I want to give a a big thank you shout out to all those back home
and here in Virginia who made it extra special.
I appreciate all that you guys do and love you each so much. It meant
a lot to me to hear from each of you this past week, thanks for making
my birthday fantastic!
(Mom: please hunt down and spoil the Sister missionaries in St George.
Buy them things. Take them places. Drop off food. I get so spoiled
here. Please make sure the Sisters in St George are getting spoiled
back... It means so much. Especially during the holidays. Don't let them
forget they have a church family that wants to take care of them while
they are away from home.)
Something really bizarre is I will still be twenty when I come home.
20 years old and a RM Woman! Sup.
I lol every time I think of calling myself an RM.
That was a curve ball in MY life plans.
?? not mad!
This next week I hit my eleven month mark. I'm completely undecided
about how I feel... so no use asking. This year has flown right past me,
I have learned more than I can put a price tag on. If you're considering
serving a mission but are unsure... LET ME HAVE A TALK WITH YOU. I
can't imagine how my life would have turned out, without learning all
that I have. In the least cliche way possible, I wouldn't be who I am
right now. I wouldn't think the way I do now. I am afraid I would
have struggled with many, many more things had I not served a mission.
I am a complete missionary advocate now.
You'll never understand until you know.
Does that even make sense?
We went to our Ward party which was a chili cook off / trunk or treat.
My companion and I and half of the children in the ward were characters
from Frozen. Please applause at our accomplishment of maintaining
"quiet dignity" yet pulling off this costume. Especially because I
haven't even seen Frozen. Props to Elsa. Thanks for teaching me how to
fishtail Kailee Gooch! There was this little four year old boy that
followed me around the chili cook off all night. And finally his dad
came up to us and said are you guys dressed up as Elsa and Anna for
Halloween? Because he is in love with Elsa. And he thinks your her.
I lol'd so hard.
I love 4 year olds.
|Elsa & Anna|
|It may have been a "Frozen" party|
We had a great week with working with members in Burke. We went on
lots of exchanges with the ladies in the ward and had tons of fun
getting to know them. We've been having many member visits as well.
On Saturday D. was baptized. D. is from the Shenandoah ward.
We taught him the gospel and he taught us sign language for a while.
Which was fun. He is awesome and has such a great sense of humor. The Elders from the DC North mission were able to come help us teach and be part
of his baptism. They also translated the entire thing as well. The Branch
President from the deaf branch was able to baptize him in sign which
was one of the coolest things ever. I was excited to go back and see
D. and the Shenandoah YSA's and etc.
I actually spoke at his baptism.
It was funny.
I spoke on the topic of baptism. I started by telling everyone the
story of the first time we invited David to be baptized.
"Over the summer my companion Sister Rossi and I would teach David the
lessons and he would teach us sign language back. We were pretty
confident that we were getting fairly good so one day sister Rossi
decided it would be a great idea to ask David if he would be
baptized... in sign language. The sign for baptism is bending your arms
with your thumbs up. However sister Rossi simply thought it was
keeping the hands flat. But without the thumbs your saying death or die.
So that being said... We were teaching David about baptism one day and
Sister Rossi asked him in sign language to be baptized, but forgot to
use the thumbs which translated into something to the effect of "will
you die?" She used the death sign rather than the baptism sign. D's
face was priceless. He snagged his keys, popped out of his seat and
bolted for the door!
Thankfully we stopped him in time to explain what we actually were
trying to say.We had a good laugh.And we realized were not that great
at sign language. I'm grateful for D's sense of humor."
Then went onto talk about baptism and the symbolism behind that.
We then went to K's baptism. It was lovely. She ended up getting
baptized into the singles ward here in Fairfax county. I don't
remember if I ever told you about how K. decided to just walk up
and talk to the missionaries at Cafe Rio because they were so happy?
Now she's baptized and is working towards serving a mission of her
own. Such a power house missionary already. She's adorable. Bishop
L. of the Singles ward is working with her to prepare to serve.
Aside from other miracles that have happened this week I thought I
might share one simple.... tender mercy that touched me personally. It
was a pretty rough week(s). I've felt as if a lot of weaknesses of
mine have been slipping right up to the surface and everyone has been
pointing them out. I keep reminding myself of Ether and how
"god shows us our weaknesses so that we may become strong"
but man, it's no fun!
being the missionary that seems to FAIL MISERABLY at everything.
And that's how I have felt lately!
In my last area I felt like a powerhouse. I thought I had this whole
"Sister" thing on deck. But lately that whole idea has come crashing
down around me. Maybe I got to prideful and needed a little humbling.
Unfortunately I didn't get a little. I've gotten a lot. Which isn't
very comfortable. In fact I feel as though I've been placed in the most
I mean I was perfectly fine where I was at!
Why did I have to change?
Or be told I have weaknesses
when I was doing quite alright?
This probably sounds funny to those reading.
But really! I was beginning to get real down on myself. So of course I
did what anybody would do and I prayed. And I was expecting to receive
some sort of conformation that I was doing fine or that I was needed
or appreciated or whatever... Immediately!
Show me the signs!
But I didn't get it.
And I carried about my day. Slightly disappointed.
The very next day I got a package in the mail. At first it was just a
birthday package. It contained a few super cute items that looked
interesting and I was grateful for that! There was this little book in
there called the Peter Potential. During lunch I decided I would flip
through it, so I did.
The books format was written a bit differently as to captivate the
reader instantaneously. And as I read I felt like the words on the
pages were written exactly for me, as an answer to my prayer. I wish I
could just quote the whole entire thing for you... but I won't do that,
however I will share a couple favorites and leave the rest to you to read
The Peter Potential is the story of Peter, the Apostle.
It begins by talking about how Peter was a simple fisherman in
Galilee. He thought that was the life he was meant to live. He didn't
feel like he had greater talents and abilities, he thought this was
it. And he felt comfortable with his life as a fisherman.
Jesus Christ extended invitations to Peter, to be a better fisherman.
He pushed him a little further, as to help Peter build faith and
strengthen his skills. Being pushed was inconvenient and
uncomfortable. But Because Peter trusted The Lord, he eventually was
led to the biggest catch of fish in his entire career. He was blessed,
strengthened and confident in his career as a fisherman, because The
Lord helped him improve and become great.
But The Lord was preparing to extend one more invitation to Peter.
This time something even more inconvenient. The Lord asked Peter to:
"Leave behind your nets and follow me" (Matt 4:19-20)
Then the book asks...
What did Peter do?
What would you do?
Here he is a fisherman. The Lord helped him achieve greatness as a
fisherman. And now The Lord is saying, give it all up, follow me.
What would you do?
There has definitely been times in my own life where I've felt that
The Lord has helped me and I've reached my highest potential. Where
I'm comfortable. And I'm on neutral ground. But to have The Lord up
and say, leave behind all that you've just done, and follow me.
Would you do it?
Could you do it?
"To each there comes in their lives a special moment when they are
offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and
fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them
unprepared and unqualified at what could have been their finest hour."
What if Peter would have been unprepared to give up his nets?
What if he would have thought that being a fisherman WAS his call?
What if he was too prideful to give them up?
What if he thought this was his greatest duty, to be a fisherman?
Imagine the life he would have missed out on.
He would never have discovered what The Lord saw in him.
How often in our lives do we find ourselves in a similar predicament.
Where we've become comfortable. And we think THIS is what my duty is,
this is my purpose, this is my highest potential. But The Lord stands
beckoning, calling us to an even higher potential, asking us to leave
behind our nets, follow him, to change.
Even as a missionary. In my last area, I WAS COMFORTABLE. Things were
going just GREAT and I saw NO NEED for change. I thought I reached my
highest potential and I was good. But that's not true. The Lord sees
what we can become, he expects more out of us. We aren't meant to come
here and be comfortable, floating by with the potential we see as fit.
Just as Winston Churchill says "what a TRAGEDY if that moment finds
them unprepared in what could have been their finest hour!"
Just last night, my companion and I knocked on a door of a sweet old
man. We began talking to him about faith. He told us he didn't have
any! And he wasn't willing to try to find any. He said he couldn't
imagine anything greater than this life right now. He was perfectly
content with living, and dying. And spending the rest of eternity in a
dark abyss like he was sleeping. There was no need for a God, for a
life after this! He was happy with what he had.
He was comfortable.
I admire the fact that he was happy with his life,
But what about the potential The Lord has for us?
There is so much more than this life alone.
God had a plan for us.
That plan is to follow Christ.
And if we don't choose to follow Christ,
We are settling for less that our highest potential.
Only with Christ can we achieve greatness.
Like Peter, sometimes we have to leave things behind.
To trust The Lord and follow him.
Of course, it's not easy.
This takes us to the story of Peter walking on water. During a storm.
The Lord asks him to come. So he steps out of the boat, begins walking
on water, but becomes afraid, losing faith and begins to sink.
He calls out to The Lord for help!
The book goes on to say...
"Do you know what it is to doubt?
Have you ever felt afraid?
Unequal to the task, inexperienced, not good enough?
Destined to fail?
Are you familiar with the great storms of life?
Have you ever approached The Lord soaking wet and wind blown?
In the sinking moments of life have you ever wondered if you might drown?
Have you ever cried out,
Lord, save me?"
"In those sinking moments in life, remember what happened to Peter.
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him.
Where was The Lord?
"Not on the shore shouting instructions or in the safely of the ship
giving directions.. He was in the water, with Peter, reminding him
not to doubt."
And That was the answer to MY prayers.
I think it's silly that it took a book to remind me of the simple truth
that my Savior is always there. Right beside me. He never leaves.
This is His work. He won't leave us alone! He's always within reach.
Shouting instructions and reminding ME not to doubt.
What a PERFECT answer to MY prayers.
And the reason I thought this was beneficial to share with you
(reader) is because Christs love and grace and guidance, isn't just
for me, or just for the missionaries. Or just for Peter, or people in
times of old.
It's for everyone.
And in your sinking moments of life, He is there.
Why do we doubt?
Why do we fear?
When he's the one who knows our potential. He knows our duty, what
we are called to do. And if we trust Him, and turn towards Him and
Leaving our nets behind, or whatever it is that may be holding us back
He will save us.
But if we look back at the beginning of Peters story, if Peter would
have held onto his nets, if he wouldn't have given up what he
originally imagined was his greatest potential....
He would have never known the life he could have lived.
Often times we cry out for help expecting The Lord to change us when
were so latched onto something that he has told us to let go of so
many times before.
"Maybe The Lord has extended the same invitation to you to leave
something behind. Yours might not be a fishing net, but it will be
just as difficult to walk away from."
The Lord can save us from drowning but first we have to let go of our nets.
And always remember He is within reach.
That we have great potential
"Welcome the task that takes you beyond yourself" -Louise Robison
So I haven't yet finished reading this little book but that's what
I've read so far and I wanted to share because it was beautifully
written. I also want to say Thank You to the family for sending it
my way because it truly was an answer to my prayers.
It's interesting how The Lord works in so many ways,
and through so many people.
I am Grateful.
I'm grateful that The Lord sees potential in me.
A simple (20 year old) girl.
I'm not more special than you, or your family, or anyone else.
But he cares enough to build me, to shape me, to direct me, to enable me,
And to die for me.
So that through Him, when I turn to Him, He can save me.
And help me to become something greater than what I originally thought
was my highest potential.
You know I never planned on serving a mission.
I never planned on a lot of things.
But The Lord has been there along my way pushing me, inviting me to do
it wasn't EASY leaving my family behind.
It still isn't easy.
It isn't easy to be a missionary.
It isn't easy to be a member of Christs church.
It isn't easy standing up for what's right.
It isn't easy standing up to people you love.
It isn't easy sharing what you believe.
It isn't east having it be thrown back in your face.
It isn't easy going through trials.
It isn't easy watching people you love struggle.
It isn't easy leaving behind your nets.
It isn't easy being a disciple of Christ.
But it doesn't matter!
Because the easy path doesn't lead anywhere.
Sometimes we have to do hard things to become greater.
The Lord has high expectations
And with him we can reach high expectations.
Elder Kabischka of the Seventy came and talked to our mission yesterday.
He talked a lot about this subject. Or maybe what he talked about made
me reflect more upon this subject. He talked about how Christ is the
author and the finisher. And how sometimes we walk in darkness to see
the light and to see that we survived, that Christ brought us through
it. Like Paul when he was sinking after walking on water... The Lord
didn't let him drown. He slipped into darkness for a split second only
to realize that He couldn't save himself. The Lord saved him, and yes
He said sometimes we turn to him and cry out,
"I don't know how I'm going to survive this..."
And how we can always ask
"Can you help me anyway?"
It made me think of this cute little... clay, statute thing my mom has
sitting on her desk at home in her office. It is of a little man hanging
off the edge of a cliff crying out
"DEAR LORD PLEASE SAVE ME, JUST ONE MORE TIME"
And there's a little angel above him rolling his eyes, like this was
the 1000'th time this little man had cried out that same plea. And
every time I see it I smile because I think we are all like that little
man. Crying out for help "just one more time" like it's the end of the
world. When in reality... it'll never be the last time.
I love that.
One last thing.
is the light of the world.
When we follow Christ we are not walking in darkness.
What others do is not our business.
Who they are, the choices they make.
Our business, is to point them to Christ.
So to be clear,
The point of this blog post is because
I want to point you to Christ,
To turn to him.
If you're struggling
Or if you're not struggling
Whatever your situation may be
Come unto Christ!
If you haven't been that person in the past, start today.
He will take care of you and the things you worry about.
He is the author and the finisher of your salvation.
He is your Savior.
He loves you.
He died for you,
And he wants you to return home.
You have great potential! Don't settle for anything less!
I really do love you guys!
Thanks for reading, share this with a friend!
(via e-mail October 28, 2014)
Sent from my iPad