getting ahead of myself Destin was this mornin' (a week ago)
The last two weeks have been sweet.
Such a spiritually uplifting and strengthening time (whats new)
SO MANY THINGS but I will talk about a few subjects super quick
stats for finding:
Lady walks up to us
"You ladies look like you just went to church. Did you?"
"Nope! But we do love church!:)"
"Are you Mormons?"
"Yes! Where have you heard about us?"
"I read the Book of Mormon and went to church a few times but went back to my Baptist church. I'm sorry."
"Well I live right above your apartment come stop by any time!!"
I love when that happens.
D***** is so sweet! We went to her baby shower and met some more people.
A cool moment last week was when our ward mission leader gave D*****'s future mother in law a blessing. The Spirit was touching and we believe it is softening the whole families hearts so that they will all be more open to the lessons/Spirit.
The mother in law even listened in on the plan of salvation and asked a ton of questions that lead back to the restoration and D***** said that she just knows Joseph Smith is a prophet. Period. She said something just tells her so, and we then taught about the Holy Ghost and It's role as the ultimate truth testifier of God.
Stats: Others of importance
Shirley has her temple recommend and is going through in November!!!!!!! YAYYYYY
Ashleys husband is getting home from his deployment soon and we are going to work with them to be able to get sealed to their two adorable children. PRAY FOR THE VANK FAMILY.
We went on exchanges with the head sister training leaders Sister Stephens and Sister Smoot whom I love both dearly.
Sister Smoot was my sister training leader in Gulf Breeze before we both got transferred so I have been on a couple of exchanges with her that were life changing. As dramatic as that sounds it's actually 100% truth.
Sister Stephens was serving in this zone when I became an stl so I went on an exchange with her as a leader and then she got called to the head honchos so going on an exchange with her was super humbling and kind of hilarious as we both tried to figure out what to do.
LOL we were going over the report and she was asking me the same question I had asked her when I was her stl, and I just told her wow.. now I know how I sounded. And we laughed and she told me some very kind things that she loved about me and the way that I carry out my calling and watching her incorporate those things to the way she now leads over me was so wonderful. She is amazing, and I learned that the Spirit is truly the leader in all things. It is just our duty and our privilege to keep ourselves finely tuned in order to let that Spirit teach and lead through us.
Interesting fact about our exchange.. a lady we barely met visiting from Utah told me she has a gift of being able to see guardian angels. Without any info, she told me I definitely have a grandpa with me. "He has silver hair." and she said that she thinks he goes back and forth somewhere else a lot because he was harder to discern.
My grandfather has silver hair. He is the only grandparent that is deceased. And I have a cousin serving in Washington state whom he would also be looking after.
WE HAD A MISSION LEADERSHIP COUNCIL/HALF MISSION CONFERENCE WITH AN ELDER OF THE SEVENTY
He is from Kenya, and his wife and him were amazing to say the least. They trained us, blew our minds, and filled our hearts with the Spirit.
The next day we had a half mission conference with them IN PENSACOLA
which means I got to see Pyper and my friends that are still west of Crestview in the mission.
God is so good. <3
Some things I learned:
The gospel is simple. Try to keep it that way, and the complex subjects will be just as simple as the basic doctrine if your foundation is truly rooted in Christ and your understanding of His gospel is firm. The appendages will be just as simple if you build on what you know, but you have to know what you know really well for those things to make sense and add rather than destroy.
Service is love. When Christ came to His apostles after His resurrection and they went back to their old life styles hardly different or changed, Peter jumped out of the boat to go meet his Master on the beach.
Peter was not naive. He knew that he was not doing what he probably should have been doing, but he also knew that despite that true fact of his imperfections, Jesus loved him and would continue to love him perfectly.
So much so that even though he had
"gone a fishing" for fish instead of men, Jesus still loved him and therefore Peter ran to embrace whom he loved:
Him who loved Peter first.
When we make mistakes or fall into a rut an automatic reaction to it is sometimes to run, but unlike Peter, we run away from the Savior instead of to Him. We are ashamed.
We feel possibly that we do not deserve His embrace His love or His mercy because of how we are living our life.
I think perhaps that the problem with this, is that we do not understand His love for us.
We can learn from a couple of people.
Peter: No matter what we can repent and run to the Savior who will embrace us and metaphorically prepare us a meal afterward to help sustain us enough to feed His sheep, become fishers of men rather than fishers of the meaningless fish we've been fishing for our whole life.
We can obviously learn from another
Jesus: Who served his disciples and forgave them quickly for their inability to follow Him when "Him" wasn't around. He showed the perfect leadership example by
1. causing them to have success "cast your nets on the right side" and there were so many fish the apostles could hardly pull the net in
*boost of self esteem and gratitude
2. embraced them and even
3. cooked them a meal. Taking care of them, serving them.
*an increased understanding that Christ loved them
4. an invitation to follow Him through thick and thin. FEED MY SHEEP. Carry out the work I have called you to.
Don't fall back into your old ways, go forth! Preach my gospel! Set up my church! Testify!
Though brutal death may follow
(and it did)
and they did.
Parents, serve your children, make sure they know that you love them no matter what they do. Embrace them. Invite them to make changes that will lead them to happiness even if those changes cause frustration, grief, and endurance.
(I have fabulous parents who love and serve and have embraced me despite my shortcomings and set backs. And hey.. I turned out pretty good;)
Not parents: do those things for those you love and those you don't, then those you don't will be added to those you do, and you will receive more added to to you.
Missionaries: (me) Show others the successes of the gospel, help them to feel the Spirit and your love for them. Serve them in word, work, at all times..Feed His sheep!! and invite them to come unto their Shepherd to guide them home.
I am very thankful for the Spirit that taught me so much from Elder Sitati, and for these little snip bits aforementioned.
okay muchas mas.
I woke up
at 6:30 am and my comp rolled out of bed and said "happy birthday"
and it only got better from there.
I opened the package from my family. Thank you so much for the goodies and for your love, prayers, and testimonies in those Book of Mormons. I'll make sure they make their way to some inspired people to be blessed with your knowledge of the truthfulness of that book.
Then at church, a half hour before the meeting started, I was sitting there on a pew talking to Shirley about her appointment to see the stake president about getting her recommend completed so EXCITING and in walks...
PAUL AND PAULA TOWL.
WHAT THE FLIPPING FLIPPERS
Paul and Paula. came to the Crestview two ward. FOR MY BIRTHDAY.
I sat between them. It was a fabulous time. I may have shed a few tears.
My companion bore a powerful testimony because it was indeed her last Fast/Testimony meeting as a missionary
then Paul and Paula took us to the park for our lunch and they brought a picnic, cake, and SO MANY THOUGHTFUL THINGS.
Somehow they remembered how much I love Sister Bradburys chocolate pudding cookies, asked her to make a batch, and picked it up and brought it to me. Somehow, they found adorable little plates that say "love you to the moon and back" because I always say that. They brought me tortellini because that's my nickname.
Paul gave me a catalog thing all about the year 1996 and the things that were notable about that year in the world bc that's when I was born.
Paula gave me an adorable prayer box and Paul made a craft for me with "My Florida Family. Dad, Mom, Me and Sweetie"
Then they sent us on our way with flowers from their garden, and a huge bowl of Paula's homemade stew for another day and some delicious coconut things with chocolate on them.
Easily. They made my birthday one to remember for the eternities and completely exploded my heart out of gratitude and love for them. I have no Idea what I did to deserve Paul and Paula in my life.. but I'd do it again and again in a heart beat.
Some other notable things.
We were able to see Madison Corbin in the flesh because she came home to visit and it so happened to be on my birthday!! AHHH I was so pumped to see her again.
We ate dinner at the Ferris home. This woman. If I could cook half as good as her I could probably become the next Rachael Ray. She is the sweetest human, and her and the fam set up all sorts of birthday shenanigans.
|Ferris family :)|
For those of you that worry about your missionary on his/her birthday.. don't
the ward/everyone will spoil them to death.
Then we had a fireside where President Smith spoke and it was awesomely spiritually uplifting and edifying. After, he personally wished me a happy birthday which I feel honored and blessed because I look up to and respect this man SO much and he's usually in Tallahassee so I was so happy the fireside happened to be that day.
Tender Mercies From The Man Upstairs
Then we had a lesson with Ashley and her adorable kids + she let them pick out some fun things for me. Kaid gave me a bear that dances in the sun in the car, and Capree picked out a wash cloth that has Ariels face on it because she knows I'm secretly a mermaid. :)
PLUS I had cute cards, and cute clothes from grandma and cute wishes from aunt Kim and basically I have the best friends and family and ward in the entire universe to the point that I almost feel terrible because I am hogging all of you.
Monday was crazy which is why I had -10 time to write about all of this.
But we went to Destin.
For a day on the beach, yes.
ATTENTION FELLOW PEEPS IN UTAH AND BASICALLY ANYWHERE BUT FLORIDA
yes. It is October. Like half way through it in fact. AND IT HAS BEEN MID TO LATE 80'S ALL WEEK. Last week was 90's.
*fanning myself with a Restoration pamphlet
*excitedly pointing, slowing down, almost crashing, and screaming when we find one of the 10 trees in florida that has colorful leaves.
And they turn yellow-brown.
There's only 3 in the whole state that turn red so you can imagine when we see those the kind of reaction that follows. ;)
there are two Mcguires in the world...
so we went and get this...
Destins Mcguires is three times as big as Pensacolas.
AWESOMELY WONDERFUL AND GREEN AND THE STEAK WAS PERFECT
(which has nothing to do with the fact that we will be eating canned beans and peaches for the rest of the month)
then.... guess what I'm out of time.
but this last week was wonderful and I am having the time of my life. I'm serious.
|Popcorn man at a Fall festival where we found a "gator"|
I ate soup baked in a huge pumpkin yesterday... how can life be anything but wonderful?
Plus I get to knock on doors with salvation in my hands and see people change their hearts over to Christ.
|Service with our new filipino friend|
|Exchanges with Sister Dom in Paxton, Florida|
CONGRATS to Ben (did I say this yet?) and Ashley, welcome to the Saunders Clan :))
I love you all to the moon and back and around the world twice.
|Thanks Nanny & Grandpa for the package and puzzle!|
-Sister Ryanne Saunders
|Cotton fields<3 My Great-grandma use to pick cotton in fields like this in Alabama|
|ps...I found the Black Pearl;)|