It's me Sister Saunders
Walking into the church yesterday morning at 7 for ward council and it was 85 degrees 100 humidity.
SEVEN IN THE MORNING.
The humidity heats up from the sun.
You know when you leave a water bottle in a hot car for a while and it heats the water up, well walking outside is like walking into a giant water bottle of sun heated water.
-boiling, sweaty, hot, and foggy.
Praise the Lord for air conditioning.
(people say Praise the Lord a lot here)
GUESS WHAT'S HAPPENING IN A WEEK?!?!?!?
that's right fast Sunday.
(oh yeah... happy fourth too)
What I used to think about fast Sunday^
Regular people: Fast Sunday is tomorrow! Hurry eat like a cave man.
Better People: Remember fast Sunday is tomorrow, start with a prayer and have a reason for fasting.
Me until recently: Fast Sunday is one week away which means I need to stock up everyday by eating four meals so that somehow I don't die of starvation on Sunday. And if the latter still happens, thank goodness for spotting the biggest piece of bread on the sacrament tray way before it is handed to me.
Yeah.. not a good idea I don't recommend it.
but because of the past few months and even more so the past few days, I have obtained something that is well overdue but still just as precious to me now as it would have been a few years ago:
A testimony of the divinity and power of Fasting.
In the beginning, God created man in His own image but it was more complex than even that. It was organized in the way of Spirit before Body.
He created our spirits first.
When we fast we are going back to that organization of putting spiritual needs, before physical needs.
(thoughts derived from Bro. McEwan quoted in Gospel Principles class by Sister Stubbs)
Fasting is discipline.
It's no secret, I think, that when we go without food and water for an extended amount of time our bodies will die.
Food and water is something that sustains our Life!
But we have been taught that if we will sacrifice it for twenty four hours a month (or more as needed)
the blessings of heaven will pour out upon us.
Sitting in class yesterday I received some spiritual guidance as to the symbolism of fasting.
Jesus Christ came to the Earth, God's only begotten in the flesh, to be sacrificed for our spiritual AND physical needs.
Because of His sacrifice, our lives are sustained.
It's not hard to figure out the spiritual sustenance that comes from fasting: BLESSINGS
We all love blessings right?
But the saviors sacrifice resulted not only in spiritual life sustaining but physical as well. Immortality and Eternal Life with God.
Does fasting benefit us physically too?
Apparently there's a rumor going around that Mormons are outliving the rest of the population.
Just look at John the beloved.
(that was a joke)
but for real, Mormons are living longer than others.
Well yeah, we believe in the Word of Wisdom so our health is better and stuff. So duh...
Not so duh.
Scientists have linked back the extra life of Mormons to our monthly 24 hour fasts from food and water. Apparently as we fast it brings blessings that extend even beyond the spiritual unseen realm, we are literally benefiting and receiving LIFE as we fast.
Fasting is not a cause to shrivel up and die after church because we just want to eat the nearest piece of food.
(Let's be real, even the old piece of Halloween candy that has been sitting on your desk for months starts to look amazing on Fast Sunday)
Fasting is a cause to rejoice--it is LIFE SUSTAINING
In reality it is not even a sacrifice at all to go without food.
(Sneaky Heavenly Father giving us commandments that are actually all gifts to us.)
When we forgo fasting we forgo the blessings both physical and spiritual and mental that come with it.
Spiritual: More in tune with the spirit's guidance in all things
Mental: Self mastery and control which results in more agency and power
Physical: More LIFE.
So my challenge for ya'll is to fast this Fast Sunday. Not just until you get home from church, but for 24 hours.
Go without food, go without water.
If you are pregnant or otherwise physically unable, fast from Facebook and electronics and music/tv that is not conducive to the Spirit.
My mom would fast chocolate/sugar when she was pregnant because there wasn't electronics to fast from and she wanted to sacrifice something she loved to show God He came first while still obtaining nourishment for her and her babies...one of them...ME:)
One thing I have not mentioned about fasting is the power to withstand temptation.
My dad taught me about when the savior was fasting in the wilderness and Satan came tempting Him to eat, to test His power and jump off of a roof, and to worship Satan. My father taught me the very real truth that Jesus Christ quoted scripture to find the strength to withstand Satan, but guess what else Jesus did? He kept fasting.
When you fast think about that.
Prepare to fast by having a purpose, having a prayer, pondering your purpose throughout the day, and then end with a prayer.
Prepare: Purpose Prayer Ponder Purpose Prayer then Prevail Progress and Perfect
Go Without Because What You'll Get Within Is Much More Than You Can Imagine
Now some fun stuff that happened this week.
We get to Lexi's house to have a lesson, her husband had been deployed the day after receiving his temple recommend and so it was Lexi and the kids. All of the sudden, we hear a ring.
"Oh that's Matt, I told him about the lesson so he wanted to facetime for it."
Our recently baptized convert to Jesus Christ in a hotel room on his way to his destination of deployment facetimed us for the lesson.
Later when he hung up Lexi said
"Matt came home the day before he left after a meeting with the bishop, and he had a temple recommend! I was like, i've been a member my whole life (but not active since she was 14) and I have never had a temple recommend like.. What?!?!" She is so excited to get her own, but it was pretty hilarious to hear about that. She was also a little sassy about it because she is competitive, and her husband got a TR before her. ;) lol
Another really cool thing about this amazing family that I always rave about. Lexi had a dream that Matt got called to serve a mission in Africa (where he's deploying)
a mission within a mission
I don't think it was by chance, he will be such an example to those around him and I am so happy for all that lies ahead for this family.
BEN YOU'RE HOME hi. I love you. I love you. I loooooove you.
Happy Homecoming, please know how much I look up to you for your courage and testimony, thank you for being my cousin and my friend.
PS Remember when I got lost at Seaworld and you and grandma saved my life?
|Welcome Home Ben!!! I told my mom to give you nine hugs|
|My cousins Boston and Ben before their missions (April 2013)...now they are both home and I am on MY mission...but without the growing a foot or two;)|
My time is short, there is so much I want to share but it will have to wait.
I love you to the moon and back and around the world twice.
Make it a good day:)
<3 Sister Saunders
|Hannah searching out her ancestors...https://familysearch.org/|
|"The Fart" hahaha|
|Wet hair don't care...the Florida rain tho|
|the things we find in our apartment...|
|The "baby" Paul "saved" from Hurricane Ivin|
--appropriately names Ivin.