Chinatown & Charity
We went to Chinatown and ate Chinese food. What a life right?
On Preparation day we also went to the Botanical Gardens on the mall and took some pretty swe(awkward)et pics. There was a man on the metro singing "I Need Thee Every Hour" to everyone. It was kinda sad because nobody was even phased. They just kept scrolling through their phones. It was pretty darn great though.
Tuesday afternoon we taught our Zone about Accountability. I think it went well but then again you'll have to ask the Zone. Not me. I think it's funny the things you have to do to get people to participate in a lesson. Why can't everyone just share their stinkin ideas! That's what brains are for. Not that they didn't... but I was just thinking about that the other day. Anyways.
We went on Exchange number #one with Sister Kennedy and Malufau. I went to Kingstown with Sister Kennedy. She's pretty awesome. She lived in St George for a while and knows everybody there. She is cousins to the Cummings boys that I went to high school with and cousins with Carter Taysom who always hung out with Spence. AND she hung out with Elder Tanner Day, who is one of Spencer's mission friends in Indiana. So we took a couple selfies to send to all of them... and others. It was fun reminiscing with her. She's pretty darn cool.
We have been teaching a lot of less active, recent converts and part member families. It's nice because we went through our Ward list and are visiting everyone we don't know. So it's changed up our schedule quite a bit but we have enjoyed it a lot. We have some busy weeks ahead of us. Plus this next week is TRANSFERS. I'm pretty sure Sister Eddy and I are both staying here. We are praying for that anyhow. It is her last transfer so I don't think either of us will leave. I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE GOES HOME IN SIX WEEKS. We are still going to the transfer meeting though because we are Sister Training Leaders. Woop woop. Props.
We went on another exchange with Sister Hill and Sister Dallon. I went to Alexandria with Sister Hill. We all went and ate at this most amazing place ever called la Madeleine. It's delicious and there is free bread and jam so I died and went to heaven. Love love love. We have to go there when we come back out here.
It's been freezing cold here because the wind is blowing like "60 mph" Apparently and the wind gets YA. We are hoping March will start to warm up a little bit and start off spring. I'm excited because then I can send all my winter clothes home.
And shave my legs again.
I've been having some pretty wild dreams lately. I don't know why. But it's lame because dreams actually take an immense toll on me throughout my day. I JUST WANT TO SLEEP. For Valentines we made these cute decoration things to hang out on investigators doors. We also began a weekly newsletter that we are sending to our Sisters by mail about Mlc, Mlc Phone calls and etc. It is pretty stinkin' awesome.
Plus, everyone loves mail. I don't think I have much to say. I feel like I haven't been on my area all week because of the double exchange thing. But I'm alive and well and excited for winter to end :)
Dad shared a very interesting perspective on charity with me the past two weeks so I think he's pretty obsessed with it. But I've been sharing it with sisters on exchanges and I had a dream that I shared it with a class of students and everybody was like "ohhhhh dannnggg wassuppp" in a good way so I think I'll just go ahead and uh share it with all y'all bloggies.
Especially because VALENTINES
So here's a late valentine schpeel
We seem drawn to those that are like us.
People who have similar styles, beliefs, likes, interests and etc. right? We hang around and befriend those who are like ourselves. In the scriptures it says...
..For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence, wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth, virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth his course and claimeth its own." Even the best attributes we can gain seem to seek their own. Like things attract like things.
Except for love (charity)
Charity seeketh NOT her own
(1 Corinthians 13 / Moroni 7)
Charity, is the pure love of Christ. And charity doesn't seek her own like other attributes do. True love, or charity, doesn't only love those who love them back. Charity loves all.
It's easy to be nice to someone who is nice to you.
It's easy to to show mercy on someone who is merciful to you.
It's easy to share wisdom with someone who shares wisdom with you.
And vise versa
It's easy to be mean to someone who is mean to you.
It's easy to discourage someone who discourages you.
It's easy to dislike someone who dislikes you.
Like things attract like things.
It's super easy to replicate what people do to us, back to them. But true love, is Christlike love, which is charity. Christ loved everyone, even those who disliked, discouraged and were absolutely terrible to him. He loved them anyway.
Real love not only loves those who love them back, real love loves all.
Sometimes in life we will be put into situations where we have to face this predicament. You know, loving somebody who is not exactly easy to love. Where we have to show charity no matter how we are being treated or how we may feel. Because charity seeketh not her own. It's easy to love those who love us back. But the real lesson is learned, and we truly gain charity when we love somebody who has absolutely nothing in common with and who may not show that love in return.
"If you really want to know what love is, and if you have Christlike Love (Charity), God will allow you to be placed in those places where your true feelings can be tested. Even the most extreme acts of service will profit us little unless that service is motivated by the pure love of God. If our service is to be of most worth, it must be out of love for God and His children. No matter which child it is. Charity seeketh not her own." (Dad)
In second grade, I remember there was this specific girl I would always see around my elementary school. For privacy reasons we will call her Annie. (although this is not her real name) Annie was nothing like me. In fact I didn't really know Annie's story but I imagined it was a bit more difficult than my own at the time. We were both eight years old, so pretty young children.
I don't think Annie knew who I was but I knew who she was. She had raggedy long black hair and a white face. She always looked tired, and sad. And she was always alone. At recess time all the kids would go run around and play. Everyone had friends. Except for Annie. She would go sit on the jungle gym and want to get involved but kids would run past her, look at her and run away. Nobody talked to Annie. And as most eight year old kids are, they didn't quite notice how sad and lonely she was, or recognize how she felt.
Annie also had a speech impediment. She was always being pulled out of class to go to speech therapy or something. She was always super embarrassed by it. But what do you do? Because she was embarrassed she didn't talk. Ever. Which made it all the more difficult to make friends.
One day my friend that I hung out with at recess recognized this. And we talked about it. We watched as Annie sat on the playground alone as all the other kids played freeze tag. They paid no attention to Annie. My friend, as awesome and courageous as she was decided "Hey! We should ask Annie to play tag with us and see what she says!" So she did! She marched right up to Annie and said "hey! Wanna play freeze tag with us?"
I have literally never forgotten her reaction. Nor the look on her face.
I honestly think for that whole school year, and maybe years previous,
talked to Annie.
And why would they right? Because like things attract like things. Annie didn't wear the trendy neon colors that all the other girls wore. She didn't talk and scream and giggle like all the other eight year old girls. She was incredibly shy and sad and lonely, and nobody else in our class felt that way. They were simply different. So what attracted my friend to her? They were different people all around.
The one thing that drew my friend to talk to her was charity. Or Christlike love. Because charity seeketh not her own. She recognized Annie was lonely, and wanted to help. She recognized how she felt and wanted to share her love with Annie.
And when she did, Annie looked up, shocked! And SMILED. and not only did she smile but she SAID yes! She actually talked, despite the fact that she was shy and embarrassed and had struggles speaking. And that smile, despite the fact she was terribly sad and lonely.
As I watched this all play out I felt something different in side of me. That night I went home and I laid in bed. I could not fall asleep because the only image in my mind was Annie's smile that day at recess. And it's stuck with me ever since. I'll never forget Annie.
Looking back on my mission I've realized I've met lots of people that I've had little to nothing in common with. Even people I've lived with and companions I've had. And sometimes it was not easy to get along with them. And sometimes I did a terrible job at showing charity! But in order to know what true love is... that is what we must strive to do.
To be a disciple of Christ, we should be striving to become like Christ.
And charity is the catalyst of all Christlike attributes. So try to show a bit more love today. Try to become a bit more charitable. Charity not only blesses yourself but those around you. Because yes... like things attract like things, but charity seeketh not her own.
I love you guys!
Sister Madison Stucki
Sent from my iPad