Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Halloween :)))

     Happy Halloween this week everyone! We have to be in our apartment at 6. I wanted to dress up as a sister missionary and pass out pass along cards but I guess I'll be obedient 0:)
Happy Halloween!
     This week was so amazing. I am in love with everything about being a missionary. I LOVE running in the morning. I LOVE our apartment, it feels like home. I LOVE Sister Harper. I LOVE the Visitors' Center. I LOVE the busy roads and all the palm trees. I LOVE all the people we meet. I LOVE the VC sisters and senior couples I serve with. I LOVE bearing my testimony of the Savior. I LOVE MAIL! I LOVE being so close to the ocean. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. I LOVE praying, my knees are getting carpet burn from being on my knees praying so much. I LOVE driving with my window down, waving to everyone. I LOVE my ward. I LOVE the people who have zero fear and just walk across the busiest street of your life without even thinking or glancing either way. I LOVE listening to church music in the car (never thought I would say that, I do miss my country music). I'm sorry, but I could go on and on.
     I teach the gospel in my dreams now. So when I say I preach the gospel 24/7, I seriously do because I do it in my sleep too haha. I will seriously have dreams that we get new investigators or a baptismal date. Wow.
     They are putting up the lights for Christmas on OUR temple square. It makes me so happy. 
     I don't remember how much I have told you about Linda but she is the lady who is hospital bound-she had a stroke 7 years ago that left her with only movement in one arm. We go and write letters to her family for her as service. She has a board with the alphabet on it and she points to the letters, because she cant even speak. We always sing with her and she has this new thing where we ask her what hymn she wants us to sing and she points to random numbers on her board and its always the weirdest hymn we have never heard of. We just laugh and she just covers her eyes, which means she is laughing. She thinks its the funniest thing of her life. It is seriously the best. She has so much sunshine in her heart. 
     This week we got FOUR baptismal dates! And THREE new investigators. Two of those baptisms are this weekend. The other two are in November. I love all of them with all my heart. 
     I had two WONDERFUL surprises this week. The first surprise: I was watching a movie and Ben VanTassel (family friend from Virginia) sticks his head in the room. Ben and Betsy came to Oakland! It was SO good to see them, I just cried and cried. They are some of the sweetest people I know. LOVE. Then the other day I was in doing phones and chat and Dave Richards (my uncle) sticks his head in and again, I just stood there with tears streaming as we shook hands. He uplifted me so much, telling me how much of an influence I was having on all of my cousins. It was really something I needed to hear and that really touched my heart. I love him. Tender Mercies. 
Ben & Betsy Van Tassell came to the Visitors' Center!!! Tears!
Dave Richards...TEARS!!

     I had my very first district meeting this week! It was really good I like my district a lot! The Elders don't even look at us sisters, it cracks me up. Little babies. 
     So we had stake conference on Sunday in that gorgeous ISC building. The opening prayer was in Spanish and the Musical Number was in Tongan. All the Tongan men wear skirts. I LOVE the diversity that is here!!!! I have seriously think there is one couple in my stake that are both white. Stake Conference was all about happiness. The gospel brings happiness. This was PERFECT for our three investigators who came!! YAY
This is the ISC building, right across from the Visitors' Center 
and next door to the temple. Gorgeous!
     I dont know why I even put makeup on anymore. I am seriously crying all day, starting with morning prayer. My heart is just so full of joy and gratitude and the Spirit. Everyone knows how much of a crier I am haha I can barely get through a tour without crying at some point. I think I get it from my Momma (and my Daddie :) ) and I absolutely love it. 
     I have learned so much from studying the scriptures that it is hard to even comprehend. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the revelation and things I want to apply to my life! I just want to be the best missionary I can be and work as hard as I can and be the BEST that I can. But I am learning that I just need to take it step by step. We become like the Savior step by step, one decision at a time, not all at once. Every time I do, I know I am becoming more like Him and getting to know Him. I just wish I could tell you all EVERYTHING I am learning and share all of the amazing scriptures I am reading. Come be my companions :) 
     I want to share one thing I learned this week- probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever learned. It really really touched my heart, as a missionary and as a daughter of God. The Spirit testified to me as I read it and I hope you can feel the Spirit and the DEPTH of this scripture as I share it with you. 
  "And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ." Mosiah 5:9
 "I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you." Mosiah 5:12
      We covenant to take upon us the name of Christ at baptism, then we renew that covenant each week as we partake of the sacrament. We covenant to live our lives REPRESENTING Him, following in His footsteps, becoming like Him, learning of Him. We are commanded to be perfect (3 Nephi 12:48) and to be a man even as Christ is (3 Nephi 27:27). The reason any of this is even possible is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If we strive to take upon us the name of Christ, we will one day become perfect like He is and we will answer to the name "Christ" because we aligned our lives with His!! We became like Him, until we literally took His name upon us and shall be called, "Christ." We shall be one with Him. Our actions, His actions. Our words, His words. Our thoughts, His thoughts. This is extremely beautiful to ME because I am on a mission, where I wear His name on my chest EVERY DAY. I am called to represent the Lord. He has chosen me to represent Him- to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. How great is my calling!!!
     I hope you feel the depth of this promise, that as we strive to live like Him, we will recognize the VOICE by which we shall be called and the NAME by which we shall be called. How will we recognize His voice if we have never heard it??
     I LOVE YOU with all my heart. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Every prayer I say goes like this: "Dear Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary.." I am so happy. I know I say that every single week haha but I AM!!!! The gospel is what makes us HAPPY! I hope you all have a great week and a HAPPY HALLOWEEN. I couldn't do this without you. I love you.
Sister Brinton
Sister Harper had to borrow Sister Housely's name tag because she forgot hers! 
Literally the cutest puppies in the world. I am holding "Sweetheart."
Sister Obando
Baskin Robins - duh!
THE MARINA - our view at dinner..
So gorgeous! Can't you just smell the ocean when you look at this picture?
This is like 5 minutes from our apartment.

Pday at the Oakland Zoo

Road in Oakland

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