|You gotta love Hospital murals|
|you know your a redneck when..|
|Snow days are service days:)|
|Awesome people make us amazing Valentines Dinners|
|Look who I found... Elder Holdaway he worked for Uncle Brian's Pizza Factory|
|And... Mrs. Person she was my choir teacher in St. George|
What is everybody doing with their lives right now? Plz send pics!
I've gotta say Olivia and Madi are probably the best descriptive journalists I've got on my email list. Thanks for the pictures and stories. #vicariousliving
I never ACTUALLY know what to talk about in these letters. So much goes on in our day to day lives, and after a week I forget half of the stories I want to tell you guys, or the things I learn. But I have a few stories I found particularly thought provoking to tell you about.
We have a District prayer list. On our prayer list we asked our district to pray that we would find some "finding opportunities" and meet somebody new that was ready and prepared to hear the gospel. As we went about our week Sister Eddy knocked on a guys door. He welcomed them right in. He had just recently found God in his life and moved across the country to turn his life around. He was reading his AA book when they knocked on his door and he thought it was a complete miracle.
Our first lesson we met at Great Harvest Bread and we were talking about the difference between missionaries and members and how members are just "normal people." And these two ladies leaned over and said, "Hey, Sisters... we heard your conversation and we are members and normal. Hi."
It was super funny. We have been meeting with him about two or three times a week which is awesome. He is a great guy and we are really excited about that miracle and the progress he is making. At church on Sunday it was completely full. So many people were there. We actually just had sacrament meeting and then canceled the rest of church because of "freezing rain." So everyone went home. We did not have church last week either because it was cancelled. But hey there was a good turn out which was sweet and another miracle in itself.
So the first interesting and slightly thought provoking conversation I had this week was with this missionary mom. She was talking about how much she wants her missionary son to marry a returned missionary girl because all the Sisters she has met are so mature and carry themselves confidently, professionally and act grown up. (And on and on about Sister Missionaries) I was thinking about it... and my thoughts were lol'ing because I totally know there are some awesome girls who are great wives and mothers who have not served missions (like my mom for example) but I also totally get it. I have seen guys that come home from missions and are on this super awesome mature spiritual rockstar level and they date girls who are incredibly immature college kids that expect way too much and give way too little. I was raising my hand like hey, hey, yeah that WAS me. Right BEFORE my mission.
I don't know if it is accurate or not but I just felt like she was this concerned mom because she didn't want her son to marry a difficult bride to be. I think that literally every adult I have ever made contact with is super grateful that I left home to serve a mission and is hoping and praying I don't return the same kid I was before I left. So that concern was amusing to me. I hope I can reach all you "mature" people's expectations when I get back.
*plz accept me*
I am so far beyond imperfect.
But I have definitely learned a lot.
And changed a lot.
And I do feel like it will benefit many aspects of my life.
Especially considering the whole growing up, being a wife and a mother aspect of my life.
Amen missionary moms. Amen.
This week we went on Double Exchanges. Back to back with Sister Kelly and Sister Malufau. We also had a Technology meeting with a member of The Quorum of the Seventy. The Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) is getting new iPads this week. Soon the whole mission will as well. We will be off of Facebook for probably a month as we reboot and reset our technology. Everyone has to buy new iPads. However if you go home from your mission before AUGUST twenty third of this year you don't have to buy one. Those who buy them take them home with them. But I don't need to buy one so don't pay the extra four hundred parents. It was an interesting meeting. He mentioned the whole age change thing, and said that the reason for the age change was...
"Not to increase statistics But to save this generation."
I found that very thought provoking as well. I feel like my mission sure did "save" me from lots of things. Thank goodness for it.
Another interesting experience I have thought lots about was when we knocked on this ladies door this week and she just talked and talked about all the things we do wrong for an hour. It is SO HARD being patient and humble and kind towards people. I feel like because I wear this badge that literally says Jesus Christ's name on it I have to do everything in my power to control my temper.
So that was fun.
I don't get it though. Because she said she was "christian" but she was tearing down everything she knew about "Mormons" which most of it was not very accurate. But idk....
I know people are not perfect BUT I think if we are claiming to be christian we should be a little bit more kinder than that. I listened to most of what she had to say. Her opinions about scripture and the godhead and what not. Everyone is entitled to their own belief system. But then she said something to the effect of...
~What we (Mormon missionaries) are doing isn't going to help anybody. We simply need to preach God, not all the other "Mormon" stuff. It's not going to help anybody, trust me. I know.~
At which point I was thoroughly offended and called her out. AH. you can have your own opinion on your religious beliefs, but unless you have served a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints you have NO SAY and your opinion is completely irrelevant as to what does and does not help people.
Because I've seen lives changed
Because of this Gospel.
I have seen people turn their entire lives around.
I have seen people in their darkest hour.
Their bitterest moments.
Their rock bottoms.
And pit falls.
And I have watched The Gospel of Jesus Christ completely change them.
And I mean THE Gospel of Jesus Christ.
THE Restoration of the Gospel, the Plan of Salvation, the Commandments, the Laws and the Ordinances. The lessons we teach and are taught. I mean the things THIS church is teaching people completely changes them. I have seen that.
And for somebody to say it's not working
Somebody who really has never experienced what it's like to be a
"Mormon missionary" first hand...
For one door to have this opinion that we are not doing anything
...was pretty messed up, that's all.
But everyone is entitled to their opinions, don't worry I'm not mad.
I'm just really grateful for the gospel in my life
I'm really grateful for the miracles I have seen
I'm really grateful for learning experiences
I'm grateful to be serving a full time mission because man,
I GET IT.
After we walked away from that door we saw a man walking down the street and felt like we should talk to him. We thought after a long conversation like the previous one that this would be a super huge miracle golden guy ready to hear the gospel. I think we got five words out before he said "NANANANA I'M COLD LADIES GOODBYE."
I think I may have started laughing at how childish that was and how crazy that night had been! It seemed like one person after the next made it more and more apparent that it was us against the world. Rough life right?
On our way home that night we were slightly discouraged and just ready for bed. Kind of wondering why all the harsh words and opposition tonight man? Couldn't we see at least one little miracle? As we were walking up the stairwell I saw a badge sitting on the railing right next to our apartment door. It was Sister Eddy's missionary name tag.
I wondered what person found it
Picked it up out of the snow
Brought it to our door
Set it nicely on the stairwell
And went their separate way without leaving any trace behind
Who takes their time to do that?
Such a simple thing.
But it was pretty cool.
And I thought about all the people we had met that night.
The ones that really put themselves out there and made their beliefs very apparent
By keeping us out in the cold and ignoring us and talking over us and telling us were wasting our time and putting us down and discouraging us.
And then the one who we will probably never know that took a little time out of their day to show a little act of kindness and charity. Making someones life a little bit easier and not asking for any credit or reward. Just leaving a name tag by a door.
I don't know. It is a very opposite end of the spectrum of ideas but it meant a lot to me.
And I know which kind of person I want to become.
The third thought I had this week...was about us as individuals. On Saturday night President Riggs called a last minute MLC meeting in Centerville at 9:15 PM! We knew it must be important for that to happen because Centerville is forty minutes away and nine fifteen is bedtime! So we went to this meeting for a couple of hours and didn't get home until almost midnight (which is exciting and rare in this whole Sister missionary life thing we got going on)
But it was pretty cool.
When we got there, we went on a church tour. We only talked about two things. We stopped at one picture on the wall and talked about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this dispensation through the Prophet Joseph smith. Then we stopped at another picture on the wall talked about Jesus Christ suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane for the sins and temptations and hurts and heartaches of the entire world. Then we went into the chapel and listened to President Riggs talk and express his feelings.
If we back it up a little bit earlier this day... I was talking to my companion about how I don't have her new missionary fire and I lacked a lot of motivation to get up and go. I just didn't have that same energy and vibrance. I thought it was interesting the events that took place in this meeting after that statement.
I thought about a lot of things. One, how cool it was that I got to experience meetings likes these ALL THE TIME. What other group of twenty year old young adults were spending their time late at night on a weekend receiving revelation on how to improve and become more Christlike and feeling the spirit so profoundly. Idk. Missionary work is so... exciting that way. I take that for granted a lot. I just have all these spiritual experiences lined up for me. It's so easy to feel that closeness to God and the spirit.
I also thought about my personal importance. The fact that I was born into a family that taught me the gospel. The fact that I have TONS of knowledge about the gospel and doctrine. And the fact that I have this opportunity to share it with everyone I see all the time for eighteen months. Somebody at the meeting asked the hypothetical question "Why me?" And it's so true.
Why was I given so much? How am I expected to live my life because of it? I reflected a lot on my own value and importance. I was reminded again and again of the story of Peter, when the Lord made him a great fisherman and then asked him to "leave behind your nets and follow me." (Matt 4) Often times I feel that way, like Peter YA know. I feel like the lord helped me become a pretty decent person before my mission. And I decided to serve. But simply coming out here on a mission isn't enough! He asks us to leave behind our nets. Our nets could be anything! He's asking us to literally, be. All. In. Leaving everything behind to follow him.
And not just as missionaries but as disciples of Christ. What are our nets? What's holding us back? I reflected on that a lot. Why shouldn't we have motivation? To be a missionary? To fulfill our callings? To go to Church? To pray or to read? What is holding us back?
As I was listening I heard somebody say something to the effect of
You don't need motivation if you just remember your purpose or your call.
Realize what you have. Realize your purpose. Your potential.
You don't need motivation.
You need to know who you are.
Who are you?
And that really made me think. As a missionary..
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Why was I prompted to serve a mission?
Why did I decide to?
Later President used that scripture in like 22 that says,
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you,
that he may sift you as wheat."
Then asked if we know what sift you as wheat meant. I always thought it meant to like grind you up in a meat lab or something painful like that, obviously my vocabulary stretch is super minimal. But his answer was quite interesting he said sifting you as wheat means to make you...
Plain. Mediocre. The same. Like everything else.
Nothing more. Nothing spectacular. Just plain, ordinary.
And I though that was so interesting. That the adversary would use that as a tool.
Mediocrity, being the same, being ordinary, nothing more.
How sad! When we have so much potential. And people settle for that.
When really, we could be achieving so much more,
He then read the next verse..
"But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:
and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
Again this made me think of our value. Our importance.
Especially the importance of reaching our potential
Of becoming converted,
Not only for ourselves but so we CAN have the power to
"Strengthen our brethren"
To help others along the way.
I can't help but think how applicable this is to all of our lives, everyday. Not just as missionaries, but as mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, neighbors, primary teachers, bishops, visiting teachers, friends. As members of the Church ls Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
If you ever find yourself asking the same question.
What is my motivation?
Or thinking you don't have any..
FOR ANY REASON
I think this applies to you as well.
Not just me. Not just missionaries.
"You don't need motivation
if you just remember your purpose
or your call.
Realize what you have.
Realize your purpose.
You don't need motivation.
You need to know who you are.
Who are you?
Why are you here?
I've found myself reflecting often on that question. Why me?
And I've found great responsibility in that.
And also great joy.
Just a couple thoughts.
I love you guys!
March 2, 2015
Sent from my iPad