(Bryan, Sis. Pearson, Sis. Woods, and William--a recent convert of less than a year who baptized Bryan)
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
This is Skylor, an 11 year old who got baptized on Saturday. He wasnt very excited about it, as you can see! Haha. But how excited are most 11 year olds supposed to be for their baptisms? This is how excited he is about most things, so I don't know... :P
Sis. Woods, Skylor, and Sis. Pearson
I had a really, really great week!! Lots of cool and exciting things are happening in this area. Miracles, even! This week was our "power week" and I'm happy to report we actually met ALL our goals this week! (for those of you who are unfamiliar with missionary work, we set goals each week for how many new investigators, referals, member present lessons, etc. we hope to achieve each week.) Weekly, goals, daily goals, personal goals, companion goals... I love setting goals! :) It was a glorious week. Time flew by once again. Thanks for all your prayers! We are being SUPER blessed right now.
Where to start... well, Trish is super excited about her baptism!! She's been telling her whole family about it. She went to church with us yesterday and felt the Spirit. She thought we set everything up because she felt like everything said was aimed at her!! Haha, nope, we had nothing to do with that. We actually made her a calendar and planned out everything we need to teach her before she gets baptized on May 31. She is SO prime, so excited and we are beyond excited. She knows the Book of Mormon is true. Her challenge will be living the commandments (work of wisdom and her work schedule (Sundays)). She wants to change and is super willing, she's just not confident she'll be able to make it permanent. We know the Lord will help her, though! We love Trish, she's hilarious. :)
We set another baptismal date this week with a girl named Crystal. I won't go into lots of detail because she doesn't seem as committed. She did at first. She doesn't really believe in God yet. But hopefully she will come around and read the Book of Mormon soon. Once they do that, they become committed. Kyle, that scripture you showed me in Alma 32:26, has been SUPER USEFUL. That is a scripture that changed my life, and I use it all the time when I teach. It tells you how you can know when something is true. You do an experiement, plant the seed, act on it, and see if it grows! It's how I became truly converted to the Gospel and came to know through my own experience that the principles I was living are true.
Well, I'm not sure if I mentioned this last week, but President Hassler and his wife did something SCANDALOUS (going to a restaurant on Sunday). But they ended up meeting this lady named Cindy Hunter, who is moviing and looking for a new church family., So they referred her to us and Sister Pearson and I helped her move last Monday. This week we are going over again to help her clean. She is a very, VERY interesting lady, to say the least. We taught her about the Restoration and invited her to church and things like that. We are referring her to the missionaries in Madison.
Funny story. This week we met a guy raking leaves outside. His name is Scott and he's an atheist with lots of cuts all over his arms. Anyways, it was weird to go up and talk to him. But hey, we're missionaries, we do weird stuff all the time and we're used to it. Haha. So this guy says "You know, it's really awkward to be talking about this ( religion ) right here, right now..." Hahahahha. Most people don't come right out and say it like that, but yep, he's absolutly correct! Me: "tell me about it! How do you think we feel!?"
Another funny thing. So, Sister Pearson and I are striving to avoid eating candy, desserts and other such scandalous things in our apartment. It can be a struggle when the members give us too much of that stuff. So Sis. Pearson had this idea... that we should post a bunch of signs all over the apartment. Things like "Eat more! Get fat! Love Satan's followers" so we would be like "ha! take that, Satan!" and refuse to eat them. :) Genius, right? It's super hilarious actually. This was one of mine: "Say moo to the new you! -Satan"
Well, we finally had that showdown with Abigail this week. We shared Matthew 19:29 with her. Turns out her fiancee might actually be alright with her investigating another church... eventually. He already found out about it and so far the wedding is still on. We tried to still set a baptismal date because she was claiming she hadn't received her answer to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Well, that's because now isn't the right time for she's not prepared to act on it yet. She said her life is too crazy right now and we should ask her that question again in 2 months after the wedding. Sigh. :)
As you can see from the pictures, we had another baptism! This was for Skylor, an 11 year old. Baptisms are always exciting and wonderful. :) But it's over too quickly, then it's back to work!
So get this. At the baptism, the Elders receive a phone call from a random guy who wants to get baptized. Crazy, right?! So they go over and teach him and that's that. They are going to teach him all the lessons before he moves to Nevada, where he will be baptized.
And THEN!!! For the first time. Ever. We actually received some referrals from the Spaulding family! Bro. Spaulding teaches institute. Seriously, my jaw dropped when they started giving us this big list of 15 people they are doing missionary work with! That's not supposed to happen?! :P Hahah. They are an awesome family.
BUT THEN!! Get this. After we leave their house after our dinner appointment, he calls us telling us that this YSA guy he knows, Eric, texted him asking "what he needs to do to get baptized and converted." So he has given us the referal and we are going to start teaching him at the Spaulding's house!! Hooray!!!! :D Amazing miracles are happening.
And, great progress is being made with Sister Wilson, the less active lady (Trish's aunt). She has been trying Chaffix, (fake coffee) and because of this, she has cut down her coffee intake to only 2 cups a day! (She started at 8). She now is telling us that she CAN and WILL ask to take Sundays off from work so she can come back to church!!! She has been eating up the Book of Mormon chapters we've been recommending to her. Seriously, the Book of Mormon is what changes people. It is the key! Anyway, and then she is also committed to stopping smoking. Sis. Pearson and I told her we want to fast for her to be able to quit for good next Sunday. We love her lots and are so excited at the progress she's making.
The more you share the Gospel the more you appreciate it, the more you feel the Spirit, the more your testimony grows. The more you love people. I've really found that I'm learning to love people more than I ever have before! :D I also love the Gospel more than I ever have before. I'd even go so far as to say I'm quite passionate about it. I've really seen that in myself! I'm also learning to love fast Sundays. This last week was fast Sunday before stake conference next week. I've had some really great spiritual experiences doing that. There are all sorts of lessons I'm learning in many ways about temperance and keeping my mind focused on the Work. I really, really love my mission. And I love my companion, and I hope this transfer never ends!!
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
This is what spring looks like in Wisconsin!!
(April 20, 2014)
Sis. Woods' "district" in Stevens Point
Joyful reunion with MTC roomies at their first mission conference
(Sis. Matheson, Sis. Osmond, Sis. Woods, Sis. Askerlund)
Went on "splits" with Sis. Smith
Thanks to my wonderful mother for sending me a delightful Easter package!!! And... a cello string!! I am not sure yet if I can keep the cello in my apartment or if it will even sound good, but I will keep you all posted! I'm pretty excited because chances are good that I will get to play a cello again!!!! :DD It's nothing fancy, just an internet cello that a member family had. Their daughter played the cello for like a week and it's been in their basement ever since.
Wow, time really does fly by on your mission! I've really noticed that this week and last week. I feel like I've had lots of experiences but most of them aren't anything I can write about in lots of detail. We've been blessed with lots of appointments lately and I haven't been bored! I totally can relate to the prophets in the Book of Mormon when they talk about how they can't write the smallest part of what they feel! There's too much to talk about and not enough time. Soon enough it will be Mother's Day and I'll get to call home!! :D Time has really flown past me this week, but I'll do my best. I spent most of my email time reading about all that has happened to my family this week!
Poor Ash, so sorry you broke your foot... well, at least it wasn't your leg again!! :P And poor Kyle!! Mom, I'm super excited the house sold!!!! I've been praying a ton about that. It was hilarious to hear about the G-parents giving their talks at church. Poor Mom!! Haha, it sounds like you had quite a disaster Saturday night. I can imagine how frustrating that would be!!! I would be super upset. But I'm glad you pulled it off. I bet your talk rocked! It seems like so much is happening at home right now.
I find that even though I'm away from you, family, my love and appreciation for you is increasing all the time!! Especially as I teach people how the Gospel blesses families. I miss you and pray for you all the time! We will have an even better, closer relationship when I get home, I know it. :)
I had a great Easter yesterday. It rained. I had to give an impromptu talk in church. That was exciting! I just hurried and shared a few scriptures I studied that morning and bore my testimony about Jesus. People still think I'm super fiery and excited about the Gospel. I guess I am! Simple, right? I think a few months ago that would have been much more terrifying than it was. It was fine.
We had a new missionary meeting on Wed. in Oshkosh. (all the city names in Wisconsin are super fun to say... more about that another time.)
It was so great to see Sis. Osmond and Sis. Askerlund again. It was a 6 hour meeting, actually, but I enjoyed every minute!! I learned a ton about how important it is to talk to everyone and many other valuable things of that nature. We have to do so many "role-plays" as missionaries. It's rather awkward if you think about it. But, that word can't exist in the mission field! (because it's all awkward and you have to roll with it.) I wish I could write more but the meeting was super inspiring. They encouraged us to pray to feel the strength of the Atonement every day!! I've been doing that and it's awesome, so you can all try it. :D It works.
On Friday we had companion exchanges, which last for 24 hours. Sister Smith, one of our sister training leaders, switched with Sister Pearson. It was quite terrifying, actually! Suddenly I became in charge and had to drive the car and decide what to do!!! Talk about scary. Imagine me, new missionary, in charge of all the responsibilities!! It was quite funny, because I didn't remember which key opened the door and we had to stand outside for like 10 minutes trying to figure it out. We had to say a prayer... haha. :P But Sister Smith is an amazing talker and I feel that I learned so much from her. We went college contacting, and taught so many lessons! It was really great. We met an awesome part-member family that is interested in hearing the missionary lessons again. We are going to start teaching them, hooray! Lots of good things are happening in this area...
We had dinner at the Nation family's house. They made ham, mashed potatoes, and THE MOST EPIC banana pudding vanilla wafer dessert. Ever. It was super good. And people gave us Easter candy, which must be destroyed!!!! :P
The weather has finally warmed up. It's been rather humid and rainy lately, but very nice weather. Even 62 degrees! No tights or jacket or anything. ;)
We had a church tour on Saturday with Trish. We invited William, the enthusiastic guy who baptized Bryan last week, to the lesson, hoping he would help Trish see that there are some really fun people at church. Well, this was the wrong decision because he acted crazy and kept interrupting the Spirit by talking about crazy Mormon tattoos/ I don't even know... It was craziness! But, Trish had a good laugh, I suppose. And the Spirit finally made it's appearance after we watched the Restoration movie. So, miraculously, Trish still wants to be baptized!(?) We are thinking the end of May but it may get pushed back a bit. She wants SIs. Pearson to be there, but she will almost for sure be transferred next time b/c she's been here for 6 months. Yep, you guessed it, the first transfer has now passed and Sis. Pearson and I are staying together!
I had a cool experience yesterday. We were walking outside and I say this guy on his porch w/ headphones on. We walked past, but then I felt like we should go talk to him even if it was weird. So we did. Turns out this guy was just thinking as we walked by that he wished he'd gone to church that morning and wants religion back in his life. He said he felt like God answered his prayer by us talking to him. (even though I felt super uncomfortable the whole time!) His name is John and his Mom was reading the Book of Mormon before she passed away. He is totally open and receptive to our message and he's a new investigator now. But, he's in the Elder's area so they will be teaching him. Anyway, it was a neat experience for me because it's still really hard for me to approach and feel comfortable talking with strangers about the Gospel. It's a big challenge for me, actually, but I'm hoping that my mission will enable me to conquer this fear for good!! As we learned in the new missionary meeting, excellence in missionary work requires time and practice, just like music. You can't expect yourself to play a concerto on a new instrument overnight! I know that the Lord will qualify me for the work as I continue to do my very best. The Lord is toughening me up, I can feel it!
For something inspirational, I read a wonderful talk about how to receive personal revelation. It's called "Opening the Heavens" by Elder Kikuchi of the Seventy. I have to say... I tried what he suggests this morning and I totally had an amazing experience. That's all I'll say, but I definitely received some much-needed counsel and reminding from Father in Heaven (about having courage)! :D I'd encourage you to read that talk and apply it. Totally awesome.
Skylor is being baptized this next Saturday!! I can't believe it, time is flying by.
That's all for now!!! The church is true!!! Love you all!!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Well, I awoke to a good 5 inches of SNOW this morning! My, what a pleasant surprise! :P It has been raining lots these last few days. In other words, I hope you all are enjoying the sunshine!
I am getting a haircut today so my letter will be more brief. My hair has grown super fast since I've been out here!
Before the spontaneous snowfall the weather was super nice. Nice enough for us to start contacting people outside. In my interview with President Cutler he suggested that we take advantage of these last few weeks of school and go college contacting. Surprisingly, contacting is MUCH more terrifying than tracting! At least you catch their attention when you knock on the door and they can't escape! (unless they shut the door). Anyway, I have MUCH to learn about how to do good contacting. Both Sis. Pearson and I have no experience in that department. (because it's an eternal winter here and people aren't usually outside!)
Interviews with President Cutler was amazing! I wish we could spend all day with him. He had lots of great ideas for us. I wish I could say more, but time is limited! Let's just say, he's my favorite. :) And he was excited I found a cello (though it's missing a string! Argh).
Saturday was Bryan's baptism!!! I only got to teach him for 1 out of the 4 months he's been investigating, but I'm very grateful for the small part I got to play. There was a great turnout. Both sets of his parents and grandparents were there and we all wrote him a nice message and our testimonies on some notecards. There are at least 40 of them and we are making them into a nice book for him. His countenance is shining now, you can tell he feels so happy. And of course we as missionaries are super happy and excited for him!!!
Sis. Pearson and I are very excited for Easter!!!! I hope you all will reflect on the Savior this Sunday. Apparently there is a mormon.org message called "Because of Him" that is worth seeing! :)
I'll be honest, this week we had some tough and trying circumstances! Especially when we went to Almond with Sis. Cousno to visit her daughter and son-in-law (aka the shark tank!!! :o) She is a former member of the church. But they are now super super intense Born Again christians who are adamantely opposed to the Book of Mormon. But, we went to try and talk with them because it was a member referral. Let's just say they were not very nice at all! They raised their voices quite a bit. But Sis. Pearson and I held our ground and handled the situation quite well, all things considered. All we could do is testify and invite them to ask God if the book is true. Yikes!!! I will spare you the details, for it was kind of ugly. But my testimony wasn't negatively affected at all. I still know it's true!! :)
We actually had lots of people show up at church yesterday, which was a cool thing. President Hasler, from the mission presidency was there. We had a missionary fireside last night, which we had a whole bunch of members participate in. They each were assigned a section of the "Missionary Next Door" talk that they had to present on. We are HOPING that that has made them all fired up about member missionary work so they will work with us, the missionaries, to invite their friends and give us people to teach! That would be divine. We will find out, I suppose! We would MUCH prefer a referall to tracting!!!! According to Pres. Hasler we shouldn't need to tract. They should be filling our time with lessons with their friends. But, alas, this is not so. But maybe things will be better soon! :)
Things were hard this week, but I'm certainly learning some good patience lessons. That is the hardest part for me! :) I wish everything would happen right now! Haha. I especially wanted to talk to Abigail this week and it didn't work out... but we will see her this week for sure!
The fireside was super powerful. President Hasler and his wife are amazing member missionaries that have brought over 50 of their friends into the church. Their family had a goal to bring someone new to sacrament meeting with them every week and it worked! They had some great ideas for us missionaries. We have to be super bold with the members and get to know them. We may even have to invite ourselves to dinner, haha.
This is kind of random, but Sis. Pearson and I have developed a mutual back popping arrangement. :P She pops my back, I pop hers. Very awesome after a stressful day. Kimi is jealous!
Also noteworthy is that we had a law of chastity lesson with our 11 year old investigator, Skylor, over the phone! It was funny because we were all uncomfortable with the idea. But it's a requirement for him to get baptized this month on April 26th! :) It turned out okay. He was stuck in the car traveling so I guess he couldn't escape.
We went over to this less active lady's house, Sister Guise. And she LOVES to cook and bake. Seriously, she's amazing. She spends all day cooking for the missionaries (for fun?!) and made us 3 desserts!!!! I chose banana pudding and she sent us home with a lemon cupcake. Phew, I avoided the cheesecake tart. And she made us little easter baskets. :)
That's all for now! Got to go.
Love you all,
Monday, April 7, 2014
Hooray! Thanks for all the prayers, everyone! Sis. Pearson and I have lots of appointments set up for this coming week. Plus, we finally found some new investigators!!!!
The weather has FINALLY warmed up!!! It snowed TOO MUCH one day this week. Seriously, I've never seen so much snow!!!! It never stops. But today's weather is lovely. :D We can actually talk to people outside! Now that conference is over we are back to working out only 30 min. instead of a full hour. We went running this morning and I actually ran the whole time! Sis. Pearson is way too fast for me, but I feel that I'm definitely more "fit" than I started out! :P
One of them is Jimmy. He and his wife are actually part of a Christian fellowship at UWSP and Shelley is a missionary, haha. They are Protestants but Jimmy is super nice and has clearly done lots of studying! He has read the Pearl of Great Price already. He has asked us some very tricky questions about the Great Apostasy so thank goodness for Kyle's smarticle blog post to help us out! :P Jimmy has some potential. He's like "please, PLEASE come back and tell me more!" which is both unusual and refreshing to hear. We hope he will read the Book of Mormon and pray sincerely for that is the key to finding a testimony.
There is also a Hmong lady who INVITED US IN her house!! Sis, Pearson was like, "do you even know who we are?!" And she was like "nope!" *lets us in anyway*. hahahaha. The hmong people don't believe in God. They worship their ancestors. BUt this hmong lady has a cute baby AND a sister who is a Christian and she admires that. She invited us back!
I got to go to institute for the first time this week! It was awesome. I absolutely LOVE institute! :) The focus of institute this week and the big zone training meeting we had was about how the spirit changes our hearts. We studied about the people who listened to King Benjamin and how their desires were changed. (see the beginning few verses of Mosiah 4 and Mosiah 5). The Book of Mormon has such a powerful effect on us because when you read, it you feel the Spirit! That was definitely a key aspect to my personal conversion. That, and asking questions! The Book of Mormon truly answers many of life's questions. I thank my wonderful brother Kyle for teaching me that! :) I hope to make it my life's handbook, both on my mission and beyond.
I also love learning about the savior's grace. It's amazing how the more we learn about Jesus Christ, the more humbled we become. Like those people in Mosiah 4, we become humbled to the dust because of His matchless glory and perfection. As we humble ourselves and have faith, With the Savior's help, we can truly accomplish anything!!! (see Ether 12:27). I've seen that so much in my life. In school, cello, my weight loss... I've had too many miracles to count. But I know that I couldn't have done any of those things without the Savior's help, and ultimately, the grace of God. I have had many of these "changes of heart" that have stayed with me to the present day. I'm so grateful for my Savior. :)
Guess what? Our zone got 9 baptisms this month! Our numbers were the highest they have ever been. 9 is a lot for our zone. Our goal this month is 3 baptisms, and I'm happy to declare that, (assuming all goes as planned!) Sis. Pearson and I will be contributing 2/3 of those. :) Skylor and Bryan!
We are sad for Bryan though. He has a bad past (a DUI) which prevents him from being hired. And he needs a job so he can pay tithing!!!!! He kind of lives off of unemployment right now. We are praying for him. He loves to ride bikes and might look for a paper route job. Other than that he is totally ready. You can see that he really loves coming to church and that it has changed him. He is feeling the spirit and knows what to do to stay converted. He is almost done reading the Book of Mormon! He has such a bright future ahead of him... he's already looking forward to getting his patriarchal blessing and the temple (in a year from now!) He gets baptized this Saturday! Hooray :DD
And.... get this! We visit this less active lady named Sister Wilson, who is working on giving up coffee and smoking. She is reducing it by 1 cup every other week, haha. Slow but steady progress! She is coming to Family Home Evening tonight which will be good for her. Anyway, she has a niece that lives with her, Trish. Trish is a sassy and hilarious lady! seriously, all she wants to do is chat with us and we always stay at her house way too long. But, she grew up with the Book of Mormon and is not a member. But she loves missionaries and wants to come to church. She tells us all the time she is ready to be a mormon and is ready to give up coffee, etc. and that she would totally like to join our church! Sweet. :) I think Trish has a referall for us, too!
We also met the sweetest, nicest lady ever who has already met some missionaries, Rain. We are going to teach her this week!! Hooray, new investigators! I've actually only taught 1 new investigator in their house. So I'll be getting lots of experience this week. We have a few more return appointments that I don't have time to mention. But the Lord is truly blessing us!!!! We had fasted last week for new investigators.
We also saw Abigail this week! We will see her this week. Pres. Cutler told us to be super bold and read her Matt. 29:19. Gasp! Read it, it's intense! This is the one whose fiancee is hard core Catholic and might break off their wedding if he finds out she's been investigating the church. But she totally knows it's true! Pssht, men are lame and just don't get it. They ruin everything! :P haha. Actually, we've seen lots of instances where the girlfriend tells us the guy isn't interested (even after Sis. Pearson says they had a totally spiritual lesson! Grr...).
I'm getting better at following the spirit!! I felt like I should follow up with investigators in a certain building and then... we ran into Olivia! (no, Kimi, we didn't literally run into her that would be rude! :P) Olivia is super stressed so we were able to show her a perfect relief from that stress... and read with her from the Book of Mormon! #lovethatbook. We definitiely caught her interest I think, and we are gonna go back this week to read with her some more!
Now, brace yourselves everyone... I have found... a cello!!!!!!! It definitely nothing fancy. It's basically a Cindy (or an internet cello) but a cello nonetheless! One of the member families has a daughter who used to play for like 5 minutes in middle school and it's been in a basement ever since. It needs a new C string and a rehair. I sort of feel bad they have to fix it up just so I can play it... but SIs. Pearson and I are going to play on Easter (the 20th?)! Actually, one of the members, Brother Martz, played the trombone in the symphony and was a music professor. And he told us he arranged a super pretty song for cello and piano and we are going to play that one!! Hurrah!!!! :D That good Lord sure does bless me with lots of tender mercies.
I LOVED general conference! It was like Disneyland for missionaries. Haha, maybe a slight exaggeration. But we took notes and watched all 4 sessions at the church. I loved Elder Holland's talk!!!! I love how he raises his voice and gets slightly scary, haha. And at the end! When he was like "I'm more sure that all the priesthood keys have been restored to this church than I am that I'm standing before you right now!" My jaw dropped. He's the greatest! I also loved Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude. We are eternal beings so of course we don't like it when things "end." There are no real endings in life! I loved that. I'm glad he made you feel all tingly, Mom! ;D I also really liked Bednar's talk about spiritual traction. And, Gary Stevenson's talk about how life is the 4 minute performance! And the vital checkpoints are attending sacrament meeting weekly and scripture study. May I just insert right here how much I LOVE studying for 2-3 hours a day?! It's awesome. I know scripture study is super, super important and makes all the difference in life. There is always so much more to learn about the Gospel and how to apply it to life.
I felt so bad for those missionaries that got spat on! That's so rough. I know one sister got punched in the face over in Milwaukee. Luckily, that hasn't happened to me! (yet. :P)
Also, last thing. We have this HILARIOUS recent convert guy named William. He's hysterical. So he took me, SIs, Pearson, and the Elders out to La Pachanga (one of the ONLY mexican food places in town, ahah) for dinner!!! Mmmm... I sure do miss mexican food! I'm super jealous you went to cafe rio, Mom! :D When me and Sis. Pearson go out to eat, we usually go to Noodles and Co. But lately we've been fed almost every night.
Well, that's about it for now. I can't include everything, but just know that I'm thinking of all of you back home. I love you and hope life is treating you well! Remember to be grateful, for "the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest!" (Joshua 1:9).
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Sis. Woods and Sis. Pearson enjoying the beautiful "spring" weather in Wisconsin!
Still happy, in spite of all the snow!
Ice Overload!!! It just keeps coming and coming . . .
The sisters' humble abode!
Lacey made chicken enchiladas for her and Sis. Pearson. Success!!
As of 2 days ago Wisconsin is warming up for spring!!!! Last p-day it snowed lots. Too much snow! But now you can actually see the sun and it's like 40 degrees. Hotness!
Guess where I'm going for lunch today? Yep, you guessed it, Sweet Frog frozen yogurt!!! Hooray. :D
I hope all of you are doing well. I miss you all and think about you lots.
We still haven't gotten any new investigators!!!! This is saddening, but on the other hand we've still had a pretty good week. Brian and Skylor are doing great in preparation for their baptisms this month. We did get a referral but it's to a former church member who is loaded for bear with anti-mormon literature. So that will be fun and scary!!! But, it's a referal nonetheless. :)
Yesterday was fast Sunday and we had to teach a lesson before we could break our fast!! Almost 24 hours, which is a lot! Especially for me. But it was a good experience!
I guess I don't notice it, but EVERYONE keeps telling me I'm so happy all the time. I got up to bear my testimony in church yesterday and the branch president told me afterward he thinks I am a Mary Poppins and that I lightened the mood. I can't help it! I don't intend to be super smiley or anything. It's just how I feel the Spirit, I think. Even during these discouraging times when we are out tracting and no one wants to hear our message, or when people we visited last week don't answer the door, I'm still super happy!! It's probably weird. Poor Sister Pearson, haha. Jesus makes me happy, so what!? :P I feel the Spirit testify to me really strong all day long, which makes me happy, but I wish everyone we talk with could feel it too. It breaks my heart that people don't realize all the joy, peace and happiness that the Gospel brings. They don't know all the blessings they are missing out on! (baby come back! :() The Savior's Sacrifice has given us unlimited chances to change and improve which I'm so grateful for, because only through Him we can feel lasting peace and happiness.He already paid the price for all of us. I just wish everyone could take advantage of that supreme and eternal gift!
I'm feeling more comfortable talking to people, so that's good!
Sis. Pearson and I are praying for our luck to turn and find more people to teach. If you feel so inclined, a prayer would be much appreciated!
Anyway, here's a quote I really like from Our Search for Happiness: "I often suggest to those who want to know if the Church is true that they spend a few hours working with our missionaries. It doesn't take long to learn that no one can do all the things a missionary does every day without knowing beyond any question that what they are doing is right and true." This is so true!! Seriously. If I didn't KNOW and FEEL for myself, the truth of what I'm teaching (as I teach), you can bet I'd be back on a plane to Vegas pronto! Missions are hard work and involve lots of sacrifices, like getting smoked on and talking to strangers who don't want to talk to you! Talk about Awkward! :P Feeling the Spirit is what makes it all worth it. I know that the Gospel truly changes lives. I just wish everyone knew!
Here's an insight I have discovered from the Book of Mormon. If any of you happen to have that awesome book handy, flip to 1 Nephi 7:17. I love how it was Nephi's faith in Jesus Christ that enabled him to break the bands that he was bound with. Totally cool! Well, I think this has an application to each of our lives as well. The Savior's Atonement is an enabling power, in that it allows us to overcome not just our sins, but any type of struggle, whether it is doubt, discouragement, temptation, despair, or fatigue. If we can focus on our faith in the Savior, we can overcome these things in the very moment we are experiencing them. Here's just a simple example: When it's time to get out of bed at 6:30 am and I'm still tired, I think about Nephi, those chords, and the Savior. Then I find the strength to overcome and roll out of bed. I'd encourage all of you to try to access that enabling power of the Atonement. The Savior can give us strength to overcome any discouraging or difficult situation for He has already overcome them all! And He is always there willing to help us through our struggles in life.
I love all of you!