I'm going to talk about some things that have been happening as usual, I don't really remember all the things I have included the past couple of weeks so hopefully I don't repeat maself.
Yes, I said maself not myself because maself (muh-self) is what we say here in the south.
I have realized recently that I have left out a certain specific bit of info that might be of use to ya'll, it's not super important or vital to anyone's salvation but I'm sure you'll still appreciate it and it will at least help you to appreciate where you live especially if you live anywhere north of me.
This story involves poop and blood so be leery if you are queasish
two and a half weeks ago.
"What's this bug on my bed?" -Sister White
"I don't know" -me
*squishes bug between fingers and washes hands
(I've gotten really good at that)
The next day the Elders called us in a panic because they had bedbugs.
Fun facts about bed bugs
-they spread like mad
-are super hard to get rid of because they lay eggs everywhere
-you can BARELY see them because they are so small
-they hide during the day in your mattress so you cant get to them to kill them
-the only way to know if you have them is if you take all your sheets off and find either
a. small dots and dribbles of bed bug poop all over the edges
b. little tiny DROPS OF YOUR BLOOD ON YOUR PILLOW/SHEETS/MATTRESS BECAUSE AT NIGHT THEY FEED ON YOU WHILE YOU ARE PEACEFULLY SLUMBERING.
nothing is safe anymore
the Elders were not about to let that be a problem.
If you have bedbugs you have to wash and dry all your clothes then put them in garbage bags right after they're done drying so that the heat will kill all of them and the eggs because yes, they do get on your clothes and any other cloth around to hide in the seams during the day.
(I'm itchy now how bout you?)
Well the Elders did not have garbage bags and we had a bunch, so we went over there and gave them some, then they showed us the four bedbugs they found...
AND IT WAS THE SAME AS THE ONE I HAD SQUISHED THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Quickly the elders gave us half of our garbage bags back, laughed us to scorn, and we rushed home to spend the whole day pulling everything out of our room drying all of the cloth in the apartment in the dryer, vacuuming everything (we found about 16 more bedbugs, poop in my pillow, and blood on Sister Whites sheets) the Elders brought us a bedbug bomb that we set off in our room and had to leave for a few hours so it could suffocate everything then we vacuumed some more and put everything back together. After the second day we have seen no more but on the morning of the second day before we bug bombed I woke up with blood coming out of my hand dripping off of my thumb.
BUG VAMPIRES PEOPLE.
It was so funny.
Not really:) but we can pretend.
The Relief Society had an activity about medical relief and there were two noteworthy things
Sister M brought us. WE WERE SO HAPPY she came to the church and braved her social anxiety. Now we are praying that she will be able to make the next step which is to come to church on Sundays!!
She really is a wonderful human being. Not to mention she asked us to keep her in our prayers because she just got a dencher and it hurts her mouth. :)
Date day with my companion.
So sorry about all the confusion last week, our p day was Tuesday because our Zone had Zone Conference on Monday.
Zone Conference went super well, we taught about companionship inventory and unity which is super fitting because as President Smith said, "You two together are one spiritual powerhouse."
Just like Amulek helped Alma in the physical ways that Alma couldn't help himself by feeding him and giving him shelter, and how Alma helped Amulek in the spiritual ways that Amulek couldn't help himself by lighting his testimony and inviting him to preach the gospel with him, all of us have personal strengths and weaknesses that can be completed by our companions to help us work on those things we lack, and help us become two parts of one instrument in Gods hands. That goes for marriage, and companionship as missionaries alike. Our job is to prayerfully help, lift one another, and accept help from them in the ways we lack. Sister Baker has many strengths that are my weaknesses and vice versa -we complete each other. #mushygushy
I love my companion.
Well for p day the next day Sister Baker and I went and got some new shoes, a new shirt, we ate delicious Panera Bread, and got matching night gowns. It was fun just to be 20 years old for a few hours. Well, as normal as you can be wearing name tags and handing out pass along cards at the store ;)
Cute little old black lady at the store "Let me give you my name and number, I need yall to come over to my house. Where's your church?"
uhhh. YES MA'AM
Then we had interviews with President Smith.
This man is amazing. His wife is amazing.
They are both incredibly intimidating sometimes, and last week on a conference call President Smith informed everyone in the mission that we would be role playing with him in our personal interviews.
one word: Panic Attack.
Two words: intimidating.
It went pretty well and the cool thing about the whole ordeal, was that the Spirit rushed that tiny room when I testified to "Brother Smith" that Jesus loves him.
"Do you know that Brother Smith? Do you know He loves you?
The most powerful thing in the world is His love.
"it's old magic" -dumbledore
Another good moment in the interview was when President Smith asked me
"Sister Saunders are you worthy of your temple recommend?"
The good feeling that comes with that never gets old.
We had a Missionary Leadership Council meeting the next day.
I have been praying to my father above that He will make me the teacher He needs me to be.
This is significant and personal to me because I have often felt SO intimidated around other missionaries. They are amazing, representatives of Jesus Christ with knowledge/testimonies that sometimes are seemingly deeper than mine.
How can I possibly raise my hand and open my mouth in one of these meetings?
How am I supposed to train missionaries in the zone, I know others could do it much better.
Well I received my answer that day.
I prayed and told my Father in Heaven that I have a desire to become the teacher He needs for the zone, for the mission, for everyone around me. I told Him I don't care if I say the wrong thing, or have an embarrassing moment or stumbling of thought while I teach even in front of President Smith, as long as I can become what I need to become.
As soon as I let go of the fear of failure and held on to the thoughts of what is to come with His help because of failure, something clicked.
My heart was filled with the Spirit. I raised my hand many times, I opened my mouth and learned just how instrumental I can be when I let Him be the teacher. It felt awesome. I know it had nothing to do with my strengths or abilities, but rather, my willingness to risk showing my weaknesses so that I can acquire the strengths and abilities of my father in heaven. But it didn't even take failing to learn, it took submission and I was strengthened that whole day to say what He would have me say.
" It came right when I needed it, right when I was at my lowest. And after that call I looked up and said, “I trust you. I trust you.”
God knew me. He had answered my prayers. But He made me wait on it. He made me stretch. And sometimes He does that—even when we want good things, even when we’re focused on things that will matter in 1,000 years. The point is if you trust Him, He will never let you down, because He looks out for us today, tomorrow, 1,000 years from now, and for eternity.
So what are you worried about right now that’s not going to matter in 1,000 years? And what are you going to do that’s going to matter in 1,000 years?
Answer those questions. Ask God for help and clarity.
And then trust Him.
God knew me. He knew the purpose of my failures. He knew the purpose of my wait and how I would grow because of it.
I just needed to learn to act and to trust.
Because sometimes the greatest “failures” in life turn out to be just what we needed."
Stephen Jones from his article on lds.org
"One question that puts life in perspective"
I know that making a fool of myself, saying something silly, or making a mistake will not matter in 1000 years, but what will matter is if I allowed those mistakes to happen or not because if I do jump even if I might fall, I will become who I need to be. Christ will lift me higher. That's what will matter in 1000 years.
BEING REAL IS REALLY HARD SOMETIMES
but it's the best thing about the best leaders
At times Missionaries, humans, have kind of an issue with this --with face fronts, hypocrisy, and "look how obedient I am" attitudes.
From personal experience, those are the most unhappy missionaries. I've tried it. But exact obedience does not mean perfection. NONE of us are perfect and that's okay, it's more than okay, it's to be expected. It's when we are honest with one another about what we can improve on because of our love for God and the work that changes happen, humility is present, and joy abounds in the hearts of His servants.
So many life changing stretches, and I would love to be fortunate enough to witness more around me. I have seen hearts soften here in Crestview, but we are still praying for hearts to change.
I have heard it said that in some areas you are there for the people, in others you are there for you. Crestview has been one for me and my conversion more than anything, I simply hope and pray that the Lord will continue to guide Sister Baker and I that we might continue to witness miracles in ourselves, and bring about miracles for others through the Savior and the Holy Spirit.
so many ramblings
Sister Shirley is going through the temple this week I AM SO EXCITED she has wanted this for such a long time and it's happening! We talked with her about the temple and there were tears in all of our eyes as we felt the truth of what was said. Families can be together for ever through Heavenly Fathers plan.
She will be sealed to her parents shortly after.
Her parents died many years ago, and I know they will be there.
Sister Fon was having a rough day last week--she didn't want us to come but sometimes we are pushy and it's a good thing:)
We went over there and she was in tears talking about how she's giving up the fight she has been fighting to quit smoking so that she can be sealed to her family. She said she's done she doesn't want to go to the temple
As we taught we tried to figure out what the real concern was, as we continued praying silently, we were led to ask her how she feels about her decision to give up. She said terrible but she didn't care. We asked her how it feels to not care. She said terrible. We asked her who makes her feel terrible. She said that old devil. She realized that happiness doesn't always come from achieving our goals, it comes from having hope that someday even if it's far away, we can. Gratification doesn't come from giving up what seems impossible, it comes from trying to make the impossible possible.
Her countenance changed, she is so much happier and on board to try again. I know she can do it, the Lord knows that she will overcome it because He already did.
Pray for Sister Fon
I received some information that I don't think I have shared on this weekly email ever that I want to let ya'll know about
Matt is doing awesome blessing the sacrament on his deployment and studying the gospel. Lexi is AMAZING and sharing the gospel even though she told me she didn't know if she was brave enough to do so months ago. Her kids by choice bring their Book of Mormons to school. LOL Aren't they amazing?!
Chandler is also continually getting deeply rooted in the gospel. He blesses the sacrament and gave a talk in church yesterday. I am so proud of him and the path of faith he is pursuing.
Vicki Bond is my hero. I haven't talked to her super recently but I have heard from others she is a rock star, and I miss her so much.
Paul and Paula went to the temple for the first time last weekend and LOVED it. They did baptisms for the dead. I'm so incredibly happy for them. Shout out to my Florida Family Paul, Paula, and Sweetie. I love you so BIG
I have been studying Faith this month and I am learning so much and one thing I am learning is that there is a major difference between Faith and Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. I can't just have faith that Jesus Christ lives, I have to have Faith that He has made the way possible, and that He continues to illuminate the path day by day. Not just faith that He can help me, but faith that He will/does help me. Faith to not just know that He is real, but Faith that I can know Him personally even though I do not visually see Him. I can feel Him, and I can see Him with spiritual eyes, hear Him with spiritual ears.
I thank you all for your prayers for your support for your love and for your letters.
I sincerely love you, and you help me more than you know.
Make it a gr8 day <3
|Paul and Paula <3|