Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 77--"SISTER. . .The Gospel is NOT a drop mic!"

Hello, Everyone!!!

First of all, I must attribute the hilarious title of this email to one of my favorite Sisters ever, Sister Osmond, who returned home last Thursday! #sistercomeback #thussaiththelord.

This is one of my favorite mission quotes which was said to my new companion, Sister Nixon during a role-play. ("The church is true. BOOM!" "Sister!!")  I have been laughing about it all week. Why, you might wonder? Because sometimes the Gospel really does seem like a drop mic! For example, last week I met a Super Contentious Guru Indian man on the bus who proceeded to tell me that my testimony, my spiritual confirmation of the veracity of the Book of Mormon was a "hallucination." I was so mad at him! Sister Poole said it looked like I was about to punch him in the face ( I wouldn't, so don't worry! I'm pretty sweet, I'm told, however I do get rather intense when I share my testimony and have become quite "feisty" on my mission!! :)) but to make a run-on sentence complete, I was telling my companions about what to do in that kind of situation. You don't punch them in the face (that's not what Jesus would do! Nor is it effective) but you say "I know this is true because I've lived it. I know it's true because I know it about as well as I know that I'm alive. The Church is true the Book is blue. Living this has made me happier than anything else in the world. That's why I'm out here sharing it." BOOM (that's the drop mic)" You testify and BAM that's it, walk away. It's a fine balance between sweetness and boldness. :) The Gospel really is that epic. But, Sister Osmond is right, it is NOT a drop mic!!! xD We must be respectful always and testify with love. THis was a prime example. :) 

Anyways... I have only 10 more days on my mission! Which is crazy. ANd I might have forgotten to mention that I am now training two missionaries! It's another fabulous trio. :D 

The goal this week? Taking the cello out on capital square. We are inviting the elders and it will be awesome!

We have been very busy trying to cover both wards and deal with the fact that we have 4 miles left in the car, enough to go around the block like once, so the members have been saving our lives again by giving us rides. We have accumulated a massive "brownie" list of people to make brownies for. :) 
Serving a mission makes you feel so needy sometimes! I try to remind myself I'm giving them opportunities for blessings. :) 

So we had a great experience tracting this week. We decided to knock on 5 doors out in the Boonies of Wisconsin (pronounced Wis-CAHHN-SIN) and we were able to place Books of Mormon in 4 out of 5! Everyone was like: "Sure." *Since when?! Haha. This 14 year old girl was in her nightgown. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was like "group hug!" It was so precious. :P There were some other stories like following up with Jwanda (jwanda get baptized?!) but those can wait for 10 more days or so! Ah, I have too many silly mission stories. 

Also, I'm going home really soon so this is the time for me to share what my mission has meant to me. This means that my email next week will be super short (to make up for the huge email I"m writing this week!)

So, here we go!! 

Ahem. :)

In 18 short )months, I've experienced the most concentrated emotional, social and spiritual growth of my life. I decided to serve a mission because I knew, based on events of my life, that God wanted me to serve. I knew it would help me become who He wanted. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be hard. 
I was right. My mission was far from easy. It was the complete opposite. It was replete with new experiences, both positive and negative, rejection, unanticipated physical and emotional trials, sorrow and struggles I didn't know I had. There were times when I felt I could sink no lower. Despite all the amazing experiences I've had (many of them breathtakingly epic and awesome) I am most grateful for these times of agony for it was then that I learned to find the Savior. I learned for the first time to truly , fully and completely rely on Him, which brought such profound peace and strength, and ultimately, a sense of self-worth and confidence that I'd never felt before. My mission was a miracle. I have so many wonderful, faith-filled memories, times when I was able to act as the Lord's instrument, filled with the spirit, and touch lives. I met incredible life-long friends. I learned to turn my fears into faith through Christ, how to turn outward and truly love others as He would. I learned to trust Him. I learned  that through Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). I experienced a deep and true conversion and a change of heart I didn't realize I needed. My Savior and His Atonement have become written indelibly in my heart. I've learned more than I can possibly express. Most importantly, I know what truly matters in life. I know that my testimony of the Savior and the Restoration of HIs church is my most important and prized possession and that an eternal family is an essential priority in my life. Thanks to Him, I've become and am continuing to become the person God wants me to become, the person described in my patriarchal blessing, in ways I never could have achieved without this experience. I thank Heavenly Father every day for the blessing of serving a mission!

Here is a quote that changed my life last week. And since "sharing is caring" I thought I would return the favor. :)

President Eyring taught “I will tell you the rule by which you may know the Spirit of God from the spirit of evil. The Spirit of God always produces joy and satisfaction of mind. When you have the Spirit, you are happy. When you have the other spirit you are not happy. The spirit of doubt is the spirit of the evil one. It produces uneasiness and other feelings (anger, anxiety, frustration, self-pity, suspicion, fear, impatience, bitterness, touchiness, arrogance, boredom, discouragement, despondency, humiliation, envy, hesitancy to take initiative, resentment, contempt, indifference, sadness, feelings of failure) that interfere with happiness. Happiness is an indication that you are on the right course.”

I also liked the "everlasting faith" described in Alma 7:6. I think this is the type of faith my mission has given  me. Words can't describe the depth of my love and appreciation for God for giving me this opportunity! And my family and friends for all of your support. :)

And with all that, and with all the love I can squeeze into an email, I conclude. 


SIster Woods