"It's a beautiful day even though it's dark out there"
"It's a beautiful daaaaay don't let it get away"
Awkward moment of the week:
Elder Wood was singing that song.. It's a U2 song and I said
"I LOVE U2!!!"
He looked at me very concerned then I realized even though I said U2 it sounds the same as you too...
So I clarified that statement and all is well in Zion.
We stopped in on Genoa Monday, she is really sick but she allowed us to read some of the Book of Mormon with her.
I've heard some really cool miracle stories about missionaries going to a house where the man was not interested but he did allow them to read the Book of Mormon to him. After a short while, he began to read it on his own and was later baptized.
There was a sign in Crestview a while ago apparently that said,
"Don't read the Book of Mormon. That's how they'll get you."
Which was 1. Free advertising, thank you.
and 2. Defeating their purpose because the Book of Mormon wouldn't be "getting" people if it wasn't the word of God.
Can you tell how much I love the Book of Mormon :D
Anyway, we also were able to go to lunch with Mary and she told us she was going to take us somewhere nice in case it was my last meal with her here as transfers are coming up.
A lot of people keep asking me if I think I'm out, as in, getting transferred.
My honest answer is I have no idea
I knew without a shadow of a doubt when I was leaving Gulf Breeze, I had even started packing before I was called and told
Right before Sister Baker left I felt like a change was going to happen so I assumed I was going to leave because she had only been here one transfer, but instead she left.
After Sister Jamison and I had been together almost one transfer, I had three dreams where I looked at the transfer sheets, and I was staying in Crestview all three times.
Well transfer calls are Saturday which means I will know what's happening next Monday.
Here are my feelings: IDK
Here is my dream: I've only had one. And I dreamed I was white wash training in a place called Lynhaven
I don't actually know if I spelled that right, I don't even know where that is but I do know that it is an area in this mission. So we will have to just wait and find out :)
Tuesday was honestly one of the most fun days ever.
We had District meeting, then we all brought a potluck to share.
Elder Langston made salmon, Elder Wood made hamburger helper, Elder Smith made soup, and we made tortellini, and Elder Nunez watched.
He also watched while we did the dishes after. SMH.
We still love him appropriately.
Then we all went to one neighborhood and we tracted/street contacted in the pouring rain for a few hours.
We met L** who knew some members of the church. She is from Scotland, lived there 20 years, and she has the coolest accent. She said we can come back.
We also met T**** who.. get this.. grew up going to our church for 6 years because her friends that are still in the ward today couldn't play on Sunday so to be together she went to church with them all the time. Right now her daughter is in Sister Baltimores class (Sister Sarah Baltimore is a teacher, and one of my favorite people in the Crestview 2nd ward.)
We will definitely be going back there.
That night we ate at the Nelsons.
Okay.. So this is the same family that I Face timed from their house on Christmas.
They are perfect.
Brother Nelson is a total boss, he shoots guns for a living, gave us a sick knife, and has survived stepping on a land mine because he says he was wearing his garments.
Sister Nelson is one of the most talented, beautiful, kind people I have ever met and she pulls off her electric blue hair. #GOALS. She has helped us with missionary work and she's going to sew my ripped skirt for me. She is such a good mom/chef/Young Women's leader.
They have two adorable little girls, and their house is famous for Brother Nelsons sermons.
1. The Real Man
"I have three colors in my closet. Black, orange, and black."
2. Video Games
"If you ever talk to someone who plays video games, I will punch the dude in the face, chop him up, and somehow still bury him alive."
3. Blown Up
(The land mine story)
4. True Love
"When people tell you love is not like the movies, it's because their love isn't like the movies. Love can be just as great and even better than any chick flick in the world. Just look at my wife for example."
"I left my mission with two fingers in the air and my cheeks out the window. It was a ten million dollar experience that I wouldn't pay a dime to do again."
Side note: He was similar to a body guard on his mission. His mission president was sick of the sister missionaries getting threatened by Brazilians saying they would do horrible things to them if they didn't give all their money.
Well, Tuesday they shared with us the family chocolate chip cookies which were life changing to say the very least, and they taught me a lot about the Holy Ghost.
They shared their experiences with the Holy Ghost and we all came to the conclusion, that if we are doing right by the Lord, experiences with the Holy Ghost become so part of who we are that we don't even recognize them as being such.
It's like second nature to act on a prompting, because instead of the Spirit whispering to your brain, your thoughts become His thoughts which means they are His thoughts.
"I in them~them in me that we may be One"
One heart~one mind~one purpose
Elder Bednar has talked about this so many times but recently in the missionary broadcast training where he was part of a council that taught the missionaries around the world, he mentioned it again.
Someone asked about knowing whether or not it's a thought from you, or a spiritual prompting from God.
Elder Bednar said something like:
Half the battle is won when you quit worrying about it. If you are doing good things, the Spirit is part of you. Being able to acknowledge what is or isn't the Spirit doesn't matter- is not a requirement to receive revelation. What is required is your continued faith and diligence, the rest will take care of itself.
My favorite story to tell that I have told about the Holy Ghost to about a million people, is actually one of recognition however.
I think when God does tell us a little more bluntly what we need to do, it is because it will make a bigger impact. In our everyday life He respects our agency enough to use His still small voice. But sometimes, there is danger, or a huge life question, that will affect our lives and those around us dramatically. At those times He has to speak a little louder.
Young Sister Ryanne Saunders was playing in the water at Pineview Reservoir.
The boat was anchored close to shore but the wind started up and was pushing it closer to the bank. I was only a couple of years old, and my parents were on the boat with my baby brother as it was drifting in to the beach.
The Spirit said to my mother
She knew instantly that I was under the boat.
I had a life jacket on but the boat was pushing me under.
She yelled to my Uncle Mark on the beach and he jumped in and started pushing the boat back out so my dad could reach down and pull me into the boat by my life jacket.
I do not remember this at all, but I remember from a young age my mother telling me this story, and I remember feeling the Spirit testify to me that if my mother had not been living right she might not have been able to hear that warning, and I would not be here on this Earth.
I am so thankful for the third member of the Godhead.
Without it, missionary work would be impossible.
Life would be hard.
And the bad days would be much more discouraging.
Elder Stevenson was teaching us about this Saturday before last.
He said, imagine getting a call that Elder Holland had entered your mission field, and you would be in a tripanionship with him.
Do you think planning would be a little different? Don't you think in lessons you would look at him and want him to teach the whole thing?
That is how the Holy Ghost is. Sometimes we plan or teach as if Elder Holland was sitting right there, and we don't even ask him a single question or listen to what he has to say.
We should always seek for and listen to the Holy Spirit, and we must never view our companionships as just the two of us. We are always in a tripanionship.
Okay Wednesday we had some really cool experiences testifying to a woman with cancer about God's plan for her. We were all emotional and she taught us a lot about hope and faith
Thursday we were fed by a spiritual firehouse from members of the missionary department
We learned how to be better missionaries and it was perfect because the day after that began my secret mission within the mission
Operation Six Months To Tango
So I can now implement all of the things I learned that day to be better.
ALL OUT FOR THE SAVIOR NO REGRETS
SIX MONTHS TO TANGO
Now it's probs no secret that the baptismal font has been dryer than Utah in August round these here parts.
So I'll just say it like it is
but I learned something at that conference
It's my fault
Success as a missionary is baptisms okay
I'm not saying you're a bad missionary if you don't get baptisms
but what I mean here is that baptizing converts IS our job.
We are here to HARVEST
to lead the souls willing to drink of the life giving waters of eternal life
to make the promises with God that will enter them in by the way
to prepare to receive the gift of the third member of the Godhead into their beings
and whether or not we do or don't do this is contingent upon whether or not we (member missionaries and full time missionaries) have faith
Don't believe me? Sister Housels brother had like.. four baptisms his first year in Tampa Florida, then he made a decision that he was going to baptize.
That's it. A decision. He had about 42 the next year.
Faith is a decision.
it's an action.
but mostly an attitude.
It was like five hours of motivation from clips of prophets speaking including President Monson talking about Kingston (look that up it's powerful) when he was the mission president in Canada.
Sunday we had such a stellar day. We played a musical number in both wards, and the piano player for primary was gone so Sister Jamison filled in which meant I got bombarded with cute little primary girls sitting all around me for two hours telling me things like "You're so pretty." and "You're my favoritest person in the world." "I love you sitting by me today." "Wow I love your ring." "I love your hair." "When are you coming to my house again?"
It was really the best thing ever. Plus I learned two primary songs in sign language so that was also stellar.
We taught Q*** the Word of Wisdom this week, he promised to test it out by putting a halt to his pot smoking past times.
His aunt gave us her number so we are going to try teach her and her family!!
J** is still loving family history and reading the Book of Mormon, he thinks it's true, but he still doesn't want to come to church but we are hoping he will.
A******* is awesome. She made us arapas which are these pancake looking cornmeal things that you fry and scrape out the middle to stuff cheese, kale, chicken, cottage cheese, and avocado in it. It's delicious. It's a Venezuelan dish (she is from Venezuela)
She is working on her testimony of church. Everything else has been awesome.
People around here don't understand why they can't do church by themselves at home everyday.
It's low key frustrating but high key influenceable by the Spirit and we just keep on keeping on which means testify 'till the day you die.
Yes. I am aware that influencable is not an actual word.
but I am okay with that now.
Went over and did a family home evening with the CORBIN FAMILY
They are seriously spiritual giants.
I learned a lot from them.
my friend from heaven
Today. We. Went. Fishin'
Oh my goodnessssss
it was so fun
Gerald and Legrande Steele, brothers of Cherry and Johnny Steele, my grandparents in Florida took us fishin'
Gerald and Legrande live together, just a couple of older gentleman bachelors out in the middle of nowhere that love the outdoors, their dogs, their donkey, and their cute baby chickens.
They are awesome.
Taught me how to bate my own hook with a worm
and scale/gut fish
I caught four fish, and Sister J caught a huge catfish
We are eating all of them on Wednesday when they fry them up for us!
it was so fun and so beautiful, a little disturbing when scraping scales off of a fish that is still somewhat alive.. but it made me feel like a true 'Merican and like I could maybe survive in the wild ;)
Then we came back, and played zombies
Pray for me to find peace with transfers, it is very likely that I will be leaving Crestview next week. It will definitely be a bittersweet thing if so.
Pray for us to find those ready to receive the ordinances of Baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost
Pray to be able to assist your current ward/stake missionaries in the work of salvation
then do it
I love you all sooooo big.
Dear Ashley Vank
thank you for feeding us pizza and cookie dough and for letting me steal one of your hard boiled eggs <3