Mission Brain: N. Similar to pregnancy brain, forgetfulness, but never a lack of concern.
each day that I cram more information into my brain the less I retain
some things that I absorb as a missionary on a daily basis
family members names
companions life and everything in it
Preach My Gospel and every bit of bible bashing material I never thought I'd figure out and all of that equals pretty much up to all the info ever in the universe crammed into one single naturally-manned brain
pregnancy brain sounds like a picnic compared to this
but I've never been pregnant so I'll have to ask Chelsea about that ;)
Congratulations Chelsea on a beautiful baby! -and look at all that hair:)
So how do I keep it all straight?
the answer is that I don't
For one thing we have the area book which I've honestly learned to love. It is one of my brains best friends. And another tool, my companion that somehow remembers the things I don't and forgets only the things I remember.
but the greatest of these, that overcomes all that is piling up on my plate, is by far the gift of the Holy Ghost who brings all things to remembrance.
What an incredible gift and promise that is.
So my testimony to you today begins with this, I know that no matter what you have going on, the Spirit will always bring to your remembrance what you need when you keep Him part of your daily routine.
Before you leave your house, say a prayer. Every single time. So many things will unfold that you have never before experienced.
I am so grateful for that incredibly precious gift.
I am also grateful for the strength provided by the atonement of Jesus Christ that allows my father in Heaven to forgive me, and ALSO:
Helps me to forgive others and myself.
We talked a lot about forgiveness yesterday in church and it really allowed the Spirit to "work in me" teaching me some things in my own life that I have learned about forgiveness.
A few years ago, I was in a situation that is best described as "between a rock and a hard place"
I felt very trapped. I allowed myself to be hurt over and over again by someone, saying to myself something about the scripture forgiving 7x70.
Well I've realized since that forgiveness does not equal allowance.
When I was able to take a step away and free myself from this mindset, I was happy, but I was not whole.
I allowed the hurt of the past to continue to bother me once in a while because I soon realized, I did not forgive this person. At. All.
At first I was sad, and angry with myself for not forgiving. I knew that was a commandment.
Ultimately I came to this conclusion as I have in many other aspects of my life...
We are not going to be able to forgive like God does. Instantly and full of love and righteous judgement.
To claim that would probably be a little bit hypocritical and possibly blasphemous.
Forgiveness of the most unforgivable things ironically starts with the integrity it takes to honestly admit that
"I cannot forgive this person"
Then recognize that the aforementioned statement is incomplete
When I realized that I had not forgiven this individual, and that I couldn't, I
did. not. give. up.
My desire to forgive led to sincere prayer.
My sincere prayer led to more than a year of healing, and finally a single decision that has left me happier and more full of joy.
that decision was to forgive.
And I have.
It was a decision, but it took some time and the Lord prepared me to be able to make that decision with His help.
Who do you have a hard time forgiving? Don't suppress it. Allow it to come forward, be honest, and pray. I promise if you do this, you will reach a point of healing and love for God and for that person that you had no idea was possible. You will feel joy, and you will still have the ability to judge righteously and know how not to allow someone to hurt you whilst still forgiving that person.
We had the priviledge of attending the yearly Century Flordia Sawmill Festival
We had a giant Book of Mormon and a giant Bible
I'm talkin, almost as tall as me three dimensional
We passed out A TON of Book of Mormons and pamphlets and found new investigators. It was so much fun. We walked around for hours talking to everyone and inviting them to our branch building open house taking place this Saturday
We met SO MANY people and learned of some incredible stories!
At the end everyone was taking down their booths there were few people around and I noticed a young girl sitting down on a picnic table bench.
She looked sad so I sat by her, she is twelve.
Shortly after I began to speak to her about her hobbies, her friends, her family, etc I noticed the deep cuts on her arm that were obviously not a result of a fall, or a scrape
but definitely self imposed
I kept asking her all about her life when finally the subject of school came up and she mentioned that she doesn't like the people there
after a few more probing questions she opened up
I had the opportunity to bear witness of the love of Jesus Christ for her.
Sister Fast shortly after walked over and we both teared up with this young girl as she told us why she started doing this to herself and how her parents had gotten mad at her and she felt very alone, ready to end her life.
We testified and the Spirit was so strong. She was so grateful and noticeably happier, we gave her our number and hope that she will call us.
We told her that we are her new friends, that we love her, and that God has a special purpose for her, otherwise the adversary wouldn't be working as hard as he is to stop her from that purpose.
I am continually amazed at the simplicity and profound joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ accurately communicated to our hearts through His spirit.
I was able to meet another memorable member of the Century inhabitants
Trooper the Goat <3
fun fact about Sister Saunders
She is as of late obsessed with goats, this obsession began about a year ago with the famous goat story told to me by Nathan Wheeler
so meeting this little guy was a treat
-buying an adorable matching cup with Sister Fast filled with lemonade that says
"always be a unicorn" was also a treat ;)
While at the booth, a man walked up pointed to the Book of Mormon and said that he was interested in it because he was an ancestor of "Someone named Sidney Rigdon. Have ya'll ever heard of him? He had something to do with your religion."
YES. YES WE HAVE HEARD OF SIDNEY RIGDON
There was an amazing Baptist choir that sang and my fam knows how much I love some good Baptist Spiritual music <3
Sunday there was quite a miracle
After Church we gathered some members and went to a bunch of streets with flyers and handed them out door to door tracting
We were with the Potters and decided to stop by Diannes house
We had lost contact with her because she kept rescheduling and was always busy
but we figured what the hay
We pulled in and immediately she pulled in behind us.
She was so kind, invited us in, and an hour later she without prompt from anything we said but all that the Spirit was telling her told us she has been praying about if this is the direction for her, and she has decided that it is. She is going to be baptized. She testified of the miracles leading up to this moment, of the things that have told her that this is where she needs to be, and we all had tears in our eyes.
She will be baptized in two weeks.
PLEASE OH PLEASE
pray for her.
It will be huge for this area, she will be a pioneer, as she will be the first African-American baptized in the Jay branch.
The area has a very sad and very recent history of racism and it's hard to get African-Americans to come to church in Jay especially, they are afraid of Jay, there was some KKK activity there and only in the past ten years there has been a racial fight.
Diannes faith will be a huge door opener for the majority of the people we teach are African-American.
WE LOVE DIANNE SO MUCH
and all of these wonderful people here!
Come all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest!
that is His promise to ALL no matter the size, shape, or color.
there is a lady we know
she is the neighbor of an investigator
she is about to have a baby girl
and that baby girls name has already been decided
"Hey I'm naming my baby after you Sister Saunders. I told my in laws your name and they loved it. I told them it's the name of a missionary girl!"
<3 AHHHH so adorable
From the Belden Clan I heard a particularly memorable story last week at dinner
they told us about a certain dream that Addison had
"She had a nightmare that there was a man with crab hands sitting on Jeff eating his honeybuns."
please listen to this song :
"Britt Nicole, Through Your Eyes"
I love my Father in Heaven
I love you
SHOUT OUT TO MY DA WHO IS CELEBRATING HIS BIRTHDAY TODAY AND MY MOM WHO IS CELEBRATING HER BIRTHDAY IN THREE DAYS
You two are the most amazing parents and two of my best friends. You are my shoulder to metaphorically cry on because your shoulders have been a little distant for the past little while;)
You are my biggest support, my teachers, and I love you for all that I am continuing to learn from you. Thank you for your kindness and words of wisdom. Thank you for loving me no matter what, and for all of the fun, silly, memories, laughter, tears, and joys.
You are not only the bees knees, but you're his ankles, toes, and feet too :)
Mom happy mothers day, I'll see ya'lls faces on Sunday!
(TIME FLIES SO FAST IT'S UNREAL)
the rest of you
Have a beautiful day,
|May the Fourth|