There are hardly words to describe how I feel right now.
-there probably are, but I don't think I've been getting enough quality sleep to think of them all.
First item of business:
TRANSFER CALLS WERE SATURDAY
I haven't been talking much about how that would do because I didn't want to jinx myself and I have some fabulous news
I will be staying in CRESTUCKY
which means I will have spent at least thirteen and a half months of my mission in only two areas which is SO incredibly a gift from God because He knows how much I hate leaving areas.
(I've only done it once and it was awful. I'd try to sugar coat it for you, but I don't think you will judge me for being honest about this)
So luckily I get to stay with the wonderful people I love, and the wonderful AMAZING companion Sister Jamison I have <3
SISTER RACHEL SAUNDERS WHO IS ACTUALLY MY REAL LIVE SISTER
and my favorite one
TURNS 14 TODAY woah... Time is such a weird thing
I love you sissy and I hope you got my birthday card.
You. Are. One. Of. My. Heroes.
Thank you for all the good memories, thank you for going to the gas station to get ice cream with me, reading books for hours, and for just loving me.
I love you so much.
Happy Birthday today~make a list of all the things that make you happy and experience as many as you can!!
You only turn 14 once <3
Well last monday the Elders and Sister Jamison and I played zombies for like... three hours.
The gist of zombies, is that we all have some pipe and a bunch of nerf bullets and we are trying not to get eaten (tagged) by whoever is the designated zombie
If the zombie gets shot before it gets to you, then it has to go to a base somewhere designated in the church before it can come try to get you again. It's super intense.
esp. when you are running around trying to hide from multiple zombies and you have to stay in sight/sound with your companion
|Elders bought us Kool-Aid to pretend like we are five year olds because we are already playing zombies so we need more evidence that we aren't actually 20 years old ;)|
The next day we taught T----
Now I have something to say concerning what I said last week
picture me eating a slice of the most delicious pie you've ever seen in your life...
except it's humble pie which means it's made of veggies
doesn't taste very well, but it's good for you and will help you grow ;)
We weren't sure if we would see her again because if you remember last week, she was talking about believing in abortion and my brain assumed a bunch of things and we thought maybe there was somewhere else that we should be.
Well, we went over to see her and maybe "drop her."
Important Side note:
Dropping someone is a missionary phrase that means ending our visits.
As a missionary we must move on if people aren't willing to keep commitments NOT because we've given up on them but bc sometimes this helps them realize what they need to do and we will be there when they are ready. Also, we are called to serve and find those who are ready to hear the good news of the gospel:)
It is a discussion. We give them every opportunity in the world to accept our message and be willing to keep commitments and at least pray to find out if what we are saying is true.
Because there's nothing we can do to help others to come unto Christ if they aren't willing to
1. Ask for/receive personal revelation
2. Act on personal revelation
So we talk about that, read some scriptures, testify of Gods love for them, and kindly tell them that we won't be coming back BUT we invite them to contact us when they feel a nudge from the Spirit or decide to ask for/receive/act on personal revelation.
Sister Jamison and I had fully intended on doing this, but the lesson did not go like that at all.
Her heart was notably softer than last time, she asked more questions, and FINALLY we got to the bottom of some very key bits of information.
For example. She explained that when the general public hears the abortion word, they automatically picture selfish women killing their unborn infant to save themselves from the "consequences"
She explained that she doesn't believe in murdering babies, but if a young girl for example is raped, she should have the option to abort the pregnancy. 2. If a woman's health is at risk having the baby (extremely at risk) like baby versus mom situation, the mom/dad should have the option to abort the baby in order to save the mom because her life matters too.
Does that sound familiar to my Mormon friends that have read the statements from the church/handbook about abortion?
If it does, that is because that is exactly what we believe. In other words that is what God has revealed through His prophets on the Earth today.
She was shocked when I told her so, and we were able to teach her more about the Plan of Salvation and the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith.
The Spirit was strong, then Sister Jamison said something about "Heavenly Mother"
in other words
and I held my breath because people around here consider that damnable to even think that is true, that we have a Heavenly Mother.
part of me was like... oh no.. what is she doing..
but T----- brightened up and was blown away. She was like... wait.. WHAT?
We explained that it only makes sense.
Almost everyone in the South can agree that we are children of God
so why is it so unfathomable to believe that we can become God's ourselves?
Why is it so shocking to think that God is not just some distant mysterious being that is single and obviously asexual because he created all of us by Himself just for kicks and giggles, but that he actually has a partner, an Eternal Companion and they both spiritually created us their children together.
She wanted to know more about that, she seemed to really love it actually. She never looked or expressed disagreement or concern.
"The most notable expression of the idea is found in a poem by Eliza R. Snow, entitled “My Father in Heaven” and now known as the hymn “O My Father.” This text declares: “In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare;
Truth is reason—truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.”
We invited her to read that and pray about it and we promised we would talk more about it next time we meet with her.
Sister Jamison and I were bombarded with questions for about an hour about everything under the sun, but they weren't interrogative or doubtful questions, her heart truly was softened and we felt the Holy Spirit upon us as we answered with much more eloquence that would be possible of two twenty year-olds who learned just as much from the Spirit that day as the lady we were talking to.
I LOVE IT
reminds me of Lexi Pich and our first lesson with her just question after question and back and forth but in a positive way and it was like electricity the kind of doctrine we were spittin... like an eminem rap but a spiritual vibe flow
<don't mind that paragraph idk where that came from but it's kind of funny so I kept it>
So there have been a couple of really cool themes this week
Sister Jamison and I started counting the number of fake rocks people have to cover the pipes in their yards (defeating the purpose because they are all the same shaped fake rock) I think we counted nine
We also counted the amount of times this general theme came up--
-growing pains are painful but they are necessary for growing
-problems are simply invitations from God to come unto Christ
-God gives us experiences that are tough for us at the present, and for us to help others in the future
-every time I think back to that hard time in my life I look back with joy because of the many times I can look back and remember the times I have helped others with those same hard times
Here are all the people that without prompt, said something like that to us this week
It's been really cool to keep hearing that. It's even cooler to experience it when we meet people that need our experiences to help them with their trials. To know that God loves them, and that things are going to turn out SO good we will question why we ever questioned Him at all.
I've been studying that principle "God is Our Loving Heavenly Father"
"He gives us hard things for ourselves to help us grow and for ourselves to be able to help others"
to me has been an answer to the question
"How do I know God is our loving Heavenly Father?"
Not only that but He places people in our lives at just the right moment that have done what we have done, or experienced the pain we have felt. He gave us His only begotten Son in the flesh, and He gives us people to lean on, we are all so fortunate to have prayers answered with peace and people in our path to help illuminate it for us when we are just short of a working flashlight.
The stumbling blocks turn to stepping stones
He is the light
Ye are the light
another evidence of God's love is the love we can feel from Him towards others
At the Soup Kitchen on Thursday (we serve lunch to the homeless about every week)
there was a young looking lady that was skin and bones that walked in and I could not stop staring at her
I knew I didn't know her, but then again by the end of the day I definitely knew that I did
The Spirit told me I needed to talk to her
she looked so sad
so skinny, and probably addicted to a lot of substances.
My heart hurt for her, her clothes were stained and she had bruised patches on her body.
Now her appearance is not different from most of the people that we serve lunch to. In fact, some are even worse. But she stuck out to me like a sore thumb.
(what does that even mean, I've never noticed someones sore thumb... smh)
She headed for the door after her meal and the Holy Ghost practically screamed at me to follow her, but I was handing out the rolls and there was quite a line of people that needed my roll handing out capabilities
Luckily she hesitated and started to sift through the donations of jackets on the table near the door.
I practically threw a roll at the next person in line, told Sister Jamison i'd be right back and rushed across the room to the lady.
"Hi, how are you"
"I'm fine how are you?"
"Great! I am a missionary from my church, and I just felt like I know you."
"I feel like I know you too! You look so familiar!"
I asked what her name was and told her mine.
She tried to figure out how she might know me, but I told her I'm from Utah and hadn't been there very long.
We basically figured out that there is no possible way we have ever known each other, in this life.
I asked her again how she was, she teared up. I told her that I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and that He knows how she feels. I told her He loves her. She thanked me tears filling her eyes, my own were filled as well.
I hugged her, and the love I felt for her was stronger than I have felt in a long time. I don't even know this woman?!?
but then.. I know that I do.
I told her it was nice to meet her and went back to handing out rolls
but I noticed she didn't leave for a while, she sat back down and she beamed!
It wasn't until we left that she left and she just smiled at me so brightly I don't know when the last time is she felt the Spirit, but I am determined to teach her when we go back this week because the Savior loves her and so do I.
Sister J and I passed a house that I was familiar with but she has never been there. It had been a while since I had met the lady there but I knew her name...
I didn't say any of this and Sister J said, "We need to go knock on that door."
I hatched a super hilarious and mildy devious plan..
I love learning about all the women in the Bible but how can you trump Mary?"
I like the name Mary, I hope we get to teach someone named Mary.
She agreed and we walked up to the door.
Again, Sister J had no idea that I had ever knocked on this door before so imagine her shock when the lady answered and introduced herself as Mary:)
I almost died right then and there
Mary didn't even recognize me, so we talked to her a bit
but Sister J was freaking out when we left and I just smiled and said..
don't hate me...
"....I knew her name was Mary" :)
Then she punched me in the arm as I explained that I had met this lady before and we both died laughing and Sister J was a good sport.... LOL
missionary humor.. keeps things interesting ;)
Well I am fresh out of time but I will definitely mention a few more things about this week next week because an Elder of the Seventy came to Stake Conference, and we went to dinner with the Marshals who I knew from Gulf Breeze and they moved here because they just want to follow me around my mission jk;) and they gave us some super awesome knitted socks.
I also have to mention the deep Southern breakfast for supper meal we had at the Steeles that consisted of bacon, grits, biscuits, tomato gravy, and eggs. IT WAS SO GOOD!!!
The Steeles have quickly become like another set of grandparents to me:)
I can't forget to mention how ya'll need to please pray for Quan
and how Sister J and I star watched for a few minutes next to a HUGE pond on the roof of our car in the middle of nowhere and both saw the exact same shooting star
Okay I guess that all about covers this week so more adventures to come;)
xoxo Make it a Murica Day!