Monday, June 20, 2016

Florida: Where Feet May Fail

But Faith Will Win

"You call me out upon the water.  The great unknown, where feet may fail.. I will call upon your name, and keep my head above the waves.  When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace. 

I am yours and you are mine."

Hillsong United

This week was a battle.  I won't go into detail, but it was.  So I wrote a poem about it.

but first, this week I went on exchanges with Sister Carter and this is from her weekly email home to Cali, 

 Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

"This week I discovered how much Satan hates us and how prideful he is as a being who will never progress but stay miserably the same.  Sister Saunders, one of my Sisters in Zion, shared this on an exchange. It went something like this, she says it way better though "I used to wonder why Satan kept with his plan instead of Heavenly Fathers, doesn't he know that opposition is necessary to help us grow? But as I studied I realized that Satan is extremely prideful, so prideful that he refuses to admit he is wrong. His thought process is that if he can cause 1 child to stray and never come back to God then he can throw in Heavenly Father's face- "see your plan failed." He is willing to bring about all evil, as long as he can damn 1 soul. So interesting though that Jesus Christ was willing to suffer the sins of every human being that ever was and will be born as long as He could save 1 soul."

"The worth of every soul is great in the sight of God" It said in the December 2015 Ensign on page 66 in the article "Asking the right questions" what is the worth of a soul? well the worth of something is how much you are willing to pay for it. God sent His own Begotten Son Jesus Christ to suffer for us on an individual level. That makes our souls, in short, priceless."

Isn't she incredible?

She blew me away.  Sister Carter taught me so much about asking the right questions and how important knowledge is for us to develop. 

 I have been studying Knowledge for the month of June and I created a catchy saying (at least I hope this hasn't been invented already... awk)

Knowledge obtained but not retained is: nothing
Knowledge obtained and also retained is: something
but Knowledge Obtained, Retained, AND Explained
is Everything.

Well, here's a poem about some things I have learned lately.

I Could Not Deny It

With this new realization there are things I cannot do
I can't deny this revelation
it's Him I belong to
I can't deny His existence 
I won't defile His name
I'll serve with more persistence
this war is not a game 
the fight is never ending
the chains unseen are tight
but chariots of fire He's sending
to battle day and night
I know Jesus has already won
the outcome was made sure
because of the only begotten Son
all we must do is endure
but first have faith though we cannot see
then repent He's by our side
baptism the first step to make us free
and the Holy Ghost to guide
because of this realization 
I can say without hesitation
I believe in Jesus Christ
because of what I feel inside
though the world attacks this belief
He overcame all of our grief 
He saved the world both you and I
Wonderful! Councilor! I can't and won't deny
and though I may lose some battles 
He has already won the war
If I walk in faith my crooked path
through Him is made narrow and sure
He paid the price we could not pay 
and broke the chains of death
so I'll fight for Him day and night
until my final breath. 

I have been learning so much about opposition, and even beginning to be thankful for it. 
My heart breaks every time we hear of how wicked and scary the world is becoming, but it also rejoices as the prophecies of old come to pass

He is coming. "Behold the Bridegroom cometh."

Christ will rule and reign forever

Here are some fun facts about the first six months of my mission

1. Yes I know I have not been out 6 months.

2. But they will all have been spent in the town of Gulf Breeze.

I am not being transferred!

This was a five week transfer and the next transfer will be a seven week transfer so by the time this one is over, I will have been on the mission for six months and therefore I will have been in Gulf Breeze for six months.

This place is a home away from home.

So here are some things about it :)

Gulf breeze is a tiny strip of land surrounded on three sides by the ocean, it hinges off of mainland Florida and attaches by bridge to Pensacola beach which is another strip of land in the gulf. 

The worst thing about living here, is about every ten years there is a major hurricane that hits right here. The last was Hurricane Irvin and that strip of land surrounded by water called Pensacola Beach/Gulf Breeze was demolished.

 Luckily it only happens about every ten years.

Unluckily this happens to be year eleven.

How exciting is that!?!?!? :)

Hurricane season lasts from June 1st to about September but does vary I am told by the locals. (Paul and Paula)

The best thing about living here is
the ocean (in our case to look at from afar)
the beaches (same^^)
the food (okay we defs enjoy the food)
the fact that it's not touristy because it's for the most part a hidden treasure
The warm weather starting from February
The local grown fruit 
the locally grown people
and Sister Saunders and Sister Pyper live there

Some of the negative side affects are: 
the bears 
(yes I soon learned that Florida has more bears walking around and even attacking people than in Utah. What? Yes. I made that up I don't know how many people get attacked by bears in Utah, but we have been warned many times that there are many bears in the area and have heard of an attack nearby)

The couple of swarms of termites. 

Hey sister Pyper, remember that one night we stayed up all night killing and disposing of hundreds of termites in our apartment the second day you got here? Then they disappeared forever? Yeah me too.

Snakes.  See them all the time.  Poisonous and not poisonous.  There are also a plethora of lizards. 

Basically every bug you can think of is twice as big and twice as abundant here.

The humidity that makes you feel like you're boiling outside and makes you sweat/swell but when you walk inside, because you're soaking, and Floridians believe in MUCHO air conditioning, you freeze your rear off.

But I get to go running every morning to a secluded dock by the ocean so... Life is good. <3

I'm serious though, the best thing about Gulf Breeze is not the tourist attractions (even though they are pretty amazing too)

 (We went to Fort Pickens today and walked (goofed) around with our District family)

There's also the zoo, McGuire's, the protected wildlife park, the beautiful beaches, 
the American history:  The very first settlement on the continent was right here in Pensacola and technically this area was Spain until 1821 (right after Joseph Smith's first vision)

I could go on and on... but the ultimate best thing about Gulf Breeze/Pensacola/the Florida panhandle is the

*drum roll


just kidding lol

(only not really, the food is amazing)

but the <PEOPLE>


One day we visited with a woman that was recently baptized but can't come to church for a while because she has such an intense schedule of chemo and radiation for her throat cancer.  
She made me and Sister Pyper cry.
She told her radiologist she was Mormon and he started treating her different because he was uneasy about it. (some people from other religions are scared of Mormons)

well.. she tore him up.

"We believe in obeying the ten commandments just like any other Christian church, we believe in Jesus Christ and loving one another.  There is NO reason to act that way around me.  Do you know anyone else that takes up their bikes and cars and leave their families for a long time to preach the word solely because they love Jesus!?!?  We are not strange, we love God and we ACT accordingly now do you have a problem with me or Mormons or any of that I've missed?!?"

he said: "You're exactly right." and apologized. 

I love sister Moore :)

I learned a lot about the priesthood power this week

The priesthood is intended to help Heavenly Fathers children access the atonement.  It can heal cracks in the heart. 
"As we remember Jesus Christ we will remember the priesthood" 

Last night we were privileged to go to Matts house as he was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood.  He is deploying soon, but this was very important to him, he will also be getting his limited use temple recommend asap because even though he will not be able to go do baptisms for a while, that piece of paper is worth so much and he is understanding of that.

The spirit was so strong, and right as the ordination/blessing began I knew straight from the Spirits mouth that Lexi wanted a blessing. 

After the ordination, I turned to Lexi and said "Do you want a blessing too?" She said "For what?" I just smiled because I knew she wanted one.  She then said "Yes" and that blessing was so powerful as well.

No matter what the priesthood power blesses ALL 

It is not for a man, it is for a man to bless and build others in the name of God.

Lexi is one of my heroes in life no joke, we also have a lot in common.

She loves U2 I love U2

she's amazing at shooting her pistol I want to be amazing at shooting a pistol

she sews and paints really well I want to sew and paint really well

really, we are just two peas in a pod ;)


to my daddy

Happy Fathers day dad

Remember when you read me stories as a kid and it was magical because all of the princesses had my name?
Or when you came home tired and beat from work and jumped in the pool with your clothes on and swam with us.
And how many times have you unclogged the toilet with a grin on your face pretending to touch us with the plunger
"I'm so glad when daddy comes home, glad as I can be clap my hands and shout for joy and climb up on his knee.. 
wrap my arms around his neck hug him tight like this, pat his cheeks and give him what? a great big kiss"
Remember when our roles reversed a bit and instead of that happening ^^ when you got home from work
You squeezed me half to death before letting me go for a time to do His work? 
I love  you.  I miss your hugs and stories and life lesson talks, but I know there are many more to come.
p.s. bittersweet that this is the second Fathers day I have missed because I was in Martha's Vineyard last summer, and now I'm in the Lord's Vineyard for two.



Love Ya'll so so big
Make it a great day!


4 months already--almost 5!