The bridge to George Washington's slave property

Our District & the Military Relations Specialists (Missionaries) The Rothermel's
They are awesome.

Elder Rothermal

George's Home

George's Pet ?

Tour of George Washington's Property

People like to do this to our car...

Exchanges with Sister Wright

Our AWESOME friends

Washington DC South Mission

Can this be my next Instagram post? Cuz it's so relevant. 
#STLlife #inthefort #imamormon #dcsouth

This weekend we got to go back to SHENANDOAH because J. got baptized! 
Oh my how I love Shenandoah YSA. It makes my heart so happy to see the fruits of our labor still kickin' it. 

If there was ever a place God put me in at perfect timing it would be Shenandoah. 
Because man, miracles. Miracles. Miracles. 
All over the place. 
I know I was definitely supposed to serve there. 

David was at the baptism.  It was so good seeing him. I've literally forgotten all of my sign language knowledge, but I typed up the baptism talks for him on my iPad as they were speaking, just like old times. :)
(David is deaf, if you forgot) 
and we took a selfie and sent it to OSCAR because he couldn't make it. 
David looked so good! 
And so happy. 
And he was wearing the tie mom sent him.

Victor was there. 
He was ALSO wearing the tie mom sent him. 
He is starting his mission papers. 
Crazy right? 
So happy for him.  He will be such a stellar missionary. 

Will was there, 
him and Mackenzie are getting married at the end of June! 

Also Joshua was there 
(these are all recent converts)
And he gave me a big hug which is not exactly condoned...
in the white hand book 
...but he's so crazy.

I miss that place.

This week we used our awesome skills 
and Sister Training Leader Love 
and made all of our Sisters 
Mormon Missionary Valentine Cards. 

Sister Eddy's mom bought this valentine kit thing and we added some Ensign knowledge 
and boom. 

Do you love them? 

We sent President one too with a plee not to transfer either of us this month, 
because we're the best.

Oh hey by the way, HAPPY February. 

And thanks again and a ton, mom, for continually improving and updating this blog! 
(And Insta and etc)
It looks awesome and I am still getting wonderful feedback from people all over. 
Thanks for the time and creativity you put into this 
and everything else you do for me! 
(My mom is awesome)

Ugh. My clothing permanently smells like plantains.
All the Hispanic and African cultures eat plantains.
And how they cook things is super strong,
And I smell like a big giant plantain cooked in grease and fish oil.
There is a lot of African people in this Ward.
They make some sick awesome food.
So... now I smell like sick awesome food.

I have twenty weeks left until I come home. Weird right? 
Sister Eddy only has like nine. 
We are veterans. 
It's kind of sad. 
But cool. 
But weird. 
But anyways.

Since being companions with sister Eddy I've gotten a lot better at kick boxing, dancing in public, breaking out in bohemian rhapsody at any given moment, laughing at dumb jokes, cooking potatoes, keeping the apartment clean, talking to everyone we see (like chasing them) drinking green smoothies, running in the mornings, being time efficient, loving people, actually wearing makeup, being creative, thinking outside the box, being sarcastic, pretending to like cats, pretending to like food, pretending to be cool, finding the deeper meaning in things, being bold, taking pictures being proactive and I found a new bridesmaid. 

She's pretty cool.

Speaking of bridesmaid, Madi stinking Wogksch thinks she's going to Florida from, May to January. PUNCH ME IN THE FACE. That's when all the excitement in my life is going to be happening. So shoutout to whoever is interning her, I have something to say:



We're teaching this really awesome family.  They are coming to church and scouts and feed us good food. Pray for them. They are awesome. They are super close to getting baptized, and are super awesome. And so are all the rest of our friends.

When we were doing service this week this cute girl was there, and was like, tell me about your doctrine. Like okay. We set up a froyo lesson and had a great time. She's awesome. This area is awesome. Lots of stories lots of miracles. I always debate whether or not I should be keeping record of these things, and sharing them with ya'll. But there's too much that goes on to choose. And it's just a big pile of "long stories" and "you had to be there's" so just know we are seeing miracles 
and blessings 
and tender mercies 
It's crazy.

But anyways I read this good talk and I want to share part of it with you and ramble on my thoughts about it.

The talk was a CES devo by Randall Ridd
It goes a little something like...

"I learned the importance of real intent when I was a young seminary student. 
Our teacher challenged us to read the Book of Mormon. To keep track of our progress, 
he created a chart with our names down one side and the books listed across the top. 
Each time we read a book, a star was placed by our name. At first I didn't put much effort into reading, and it wasn't long before I found myself getting further and further behind. Spurred by a sense of embarrassment and my innate competitive spirit, I started reading. Every time I got a star, I felt good. And the more stars I got, the more motivated I was to read--between classes, after school, in every spare minute.

This would be a great story if I could tell you I finished first in the class--but I didn't. 
(I wasn't last either, by the way.) But do you know what I did get by reading the Book of Mormon? I know you are thinking "a testimony," aren't you? But I didn't. I got stars. 
I got stars because that was why I was reading. That was my real intent.

Looking back, I can see that the Lord was totally fair with me. 
Why should I have expected to find anything other than what I was looking for?" 
-Randall Ridd

I pray that when I get to the end of my mission, both here in Virginia and at the end of my mortal life, that I don't look back and realize I've simply and only collected a bunch of stars. 

I had a mission companion once, we talked a lot. And one day we were talking about things such as the purpose of a mission. I asked her what she wanted to become by the end of her mission, the kind of person she wanted to be, what she wants to have learned, what experiences she wants to have. I fully acknowledge you can't predetermine your future life events, but I was slightly dismayed that she answered 

"I don't know."

I don't know.
I haven't thought about it.

When I heard this, explosions began to go off in my head. Not that it really affected me personally, but the thought of leaving behind my life, my family, my education, my work, like EVERYTHING and not having the least bit of an idea of 'why' or 'what' I wanted to become /do set my brain on fire.  Just like Randall Ridd said 
"Why should I have expected to find anything other than what I was looking for?" 

I strongly discourage air balling through life and events. You can't expect to find anything other than what you're looking for. I feel like when we're air balling and have no real idea of the 'why' behind what we're doing, and we don't know WHAT we're looking for, we achieve little to nothing. We achieve stars. In my humble opinion, It's the same as not having real intent.

I love when Randall ridd states..
"I really don't want to spend time climbing a mountain 
only to find I've climbed the wrong one."

This quotation or analogy is pristine because I remember climbing Angels Landing with Spencer before my mission. It was strenuous. I wanted to tip over and die at the top. It took all of my energy and quite a bit of time. If I would have got to the top of that mountain and had somebody say 'oh this isn't Angels Landing, that mountain is Angels Landing.' I would have...


Likewise in life. If we are not seeking for something...
If we don't have an idea of what we want to become...
If we lack purpose...
Aren't we just 'collecting stars?'

"An unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates

As well as examining our life and discovering the WHY behind all we do..
Real intent is evident when we are seeking answers and direction from God as well.

Have you ever wondered if God is really there?
If he really cares? 
If he really has a plan designed for you? 
Have you ever wondered what the big deal is to Go to church, 
to read the scriptures, 
to pray? 
Why does it matter if we are baptized? 
Who cares what religion we are?
Isn't it all the same anyway? 
God just wants us to get along and be happy right? 
Does God really care if I get married in the temple? 
Will it really change my life THAT much? 
Like common.

Why does God care if I have fun? 
What's wrong with drinking and partying while we're young? 
Do you really think one drink will hurt? 
One puff? 
One shoot up? 
Do you really think missions make that big of a difference in the life a a young adult? 
Is serving the lord for 18 months to 2 years really going to make 
that big of a difference in my life in the long run? 
Do you really think I need to re align my will with Gods?

Have you ever wondered these questions 
Have you ever gotten an answer to these questions? 
Or any Similar?

Far too often we have the attitude of:

"I'll go where you want me to go dear lord,
I'll do what you want me to do....

As long as it's where I want to go
And what I want to do."

Real intent means we are
to do, to act, to try.

"...if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, 
except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing." 
Moroni 7:6

Just like in the story about the stars, when he was a kid and read the Book of Mormon without real intent, or a purpose, or desire to increase his faith, all he got was stars from it. 
It profiteth him nothing, it didn't yield any results.

This is easily applied to many aspects of life.

Why do we do the things that we do?
Do we really have real intent?

I've been trying hard to find the WHY behind everything I do. Because

1. "An unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates

2.  I don't want to waste my time climbing the wrong mountain! 

3.  I would be mortified to come to the realization that my life is only full of "stars"

I am so grateful for the past fourteen months I have had to spend in Virginia. To apply what I've learned to my life. To change and start becoming the person God needs me to become. I love being able to examine and reexamine my life over and over again.  To apply the gospel to it.  To conquer my weaknesses. I'm grateful to know that this mountain I'm climbing is the right one.  That this is exactly where God wants me to be, and I have no question about it. I love knowing that the past fourteen months I haven't collected 'stars' but I've truly been collecting what I need and desire most.

It takes constant awareness and reevaluation to keep having real intent.  
It takes constantly looking for the why.
It takes humility and faith.
It takes repentance and change.
Trial and error.
It takes organizing your priorities.
Sometimes it takes a punch to the gut.

It takes courage and strength.
It takes standing alone.
It takes leaving behind, moving on.
It takes pressing forward and enduring valiantly.
It takes finding joy in the journey.
Living in the now.
Finding a reason to smile.

It takes enduring trials.
And counting blessings.
And most importantly...
It takes trusting God and his timing.
That he really is there and cares 
and has your best interest in mind.

It takes truly submitting our will to God and doing whatever it takes to follow him.

And in the end it's totally worth it.
{Don't spend your entire life collecting stars.}

Sister M.P.Stucki


Sent from my iPad

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