I never know how to start off my letters haha
A prophet said that, so I will follow his counsel as scripture. Heavenly Father WANTS us to be happy. Plan of Sadness? Plan of Stress? Plan of HAPPINESS. Men are that they might have joy! We were literally created to be happy.
Today I hit my two month mark! I can't believe it's already been two months. I had no idea it was possible to learn and grow this much in such a short amount of time! I guess a mission will do that for ya.
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, theyspeak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 3 Nephi 32:3
Transfers are this week! As a trainee, we do this course called "The First Twelve Weeks," which is a program we do every morning to help train! Usually, the new missionary stays with his or her trainer for the first twelve weeks, or first two transfers (a transfer is 6 weeks), so it was no surprise when I found out I was staying in San Leandro/VC with Sister Harper. Of course, I was ecstatic because I love San Leandro and the Visitors' Center and Sister Harper :) My whole district is actually staying the same!!! I don't know how rare that is, but I am so happy and excited because I LOVE my district. We actually had the most lessons taught in the whole zone last week, so we are a good team and I am grateful we get to stay together :) I am also so excited to stay at the Visitors' Center for the HOLIDAYS!! I have heard it gets really busy and stressful, but I say the more the better!! Maybe I'll just extended the invitation of baptism over the loud speaker to the thronging crowds. Miracles do happen.
The Bishop has asked us to visit a few less-actives and one of them is an old lady named Sister Crumpton who is a HOOT. She weighs probably 80 pounds. We went to visit her the other day and she started telling us about how she feels like she is going to die soon so we asked her, "what is the first thing you are going to do when you get to heaven?" She paused for a second, looks around, and jumps out of the couch and goes, "HOW-DYY!" It scared us so bad I almost started crying and we were all laughing so hard hahah. Then in her prayer before we left she said, "And Lord, we know that if we are ever out of sorts, we can just call the sister missionaries and say, 'Hey! We're out of sorts!' and they'll come runnin'." OH MY silent tears running down my face I was laughing so hard. Seriously the best.
Once a week we do weekly planning which is where we plan our whole week and it usually takes 3 hours. Since this week is transfers, we didnt get our VC schedule or meeting schedule until Sunday, but we had weekly planning on Friday, we did our very best to plan out our whole next week with no schedule (which is impossible). So that took like 3 hours then we finally got our schedule and it took another 3 hours to plug it all in and coordinate and everything, so talk about the longest weekly planning EVER. I'm pretty sure I subconsciously ate a whole party size bag of peanut M&M's (I can thank my Momma for that addiction). At the end of it, Sister Harper and I just laid sprawled out on the floor haha. You dont really think about all the logistics of things like driving time, meeting places, relying on other missionaries, coordinating with members, finding times that work, debating whether or not to go to downtown Oakland past 5 pm, adding in time to find our way after we get lost, ALL coordinating around our VC schedule. BUT I love it. It's great. I am just taking in ALL the ups and downs and stresses of missionary life. What good does it do to stress out and get frustrated? So we just laugh. This has become like MY FAVORITE QUOTE:
SO Ann-Helen and Roslyn are doing great! Keep them in your prayers, we know Satan works the hardest on those who are about to make righteous choices, choices that will bring you closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Lucia accepted our invitation to baptism and we are still working on a date! She wants the elder who taught her to come back and baptize her (he is already home from his mission.) Should be sometime in December! We were teaching Paradize about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we were about to get to baptism, the Spirit was so strong, and his granny butted in and started arguing and changing the subject. The Spirit left and despite our efforts to bring it back, we decided to set up another appointment, so we are going to ask him this week!! Keep them in your prayers as well :)"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." President Hinckley
Like I said in my last email, we dont have a lot of time to just go door to door because our time away from the VC is filled with lessons and dinners and referrals, WHICH IS GREAT! But on Saturday, we had a few hours of extra time (if that's what you want to call it, there really is no extra time here) so we decided to go FIND! President Frandsen has been emphasizing this to missionaries lately, to FIND, for we cant baptize if we don't find. We went to about 15 different houses and we giggled in between, talking about people answering the door with their shirt off BLASTING satan music saying they werent interested. And I know this is going to sound so cliche, BUT we decided to go to one more house before we went home. This sweet lady answered the door and her eyes just lit up. She quickly invited us in to her home and said she had taken the lessons before and we were an answer to her prayers. She said she felt so special that we had chosen her out of all the other houses we could have gone to. She just kept saying, "thank you, thank you, thank you." THE POWER OF FAITH and the power of finding. The Lord truly does lead us to those who are prepared to hear the gospel.
I saw the fulfillment of a beautiful promise this week in my own life. We have a recent convert named Manny who loves the scriptures and asks a ton of questions. As he brought up questions and concerns, lots of scriptures and thoughts began to fill my mind. FILL MY MIND. I was able to share many inspired scriptures and thoughts THROUGH THE SPIRIT, that were able to touch his heart and answer his questions. He was in AWE as I shared these and called me an angel. He was amazed at my answers, BUT I was able to bear my sincere testimony to him that it was not me. It was not my answers. It was the Holy Ghost teaching him THROUGH me. Those were not my brilliant answers that I came up with on my own. I don't know his needs, his true deep concerns and worries, but His loving Heavenly Father does.
Don't worry about what you are going to say. If you read, study, and ponder the scriptures, you will know what to say. The Spirit will tell you what to say. I saw this beautiful promise come to pass today. I have been studying and pondering the scriptures more aggressively than I ever have before. I had heard this scripture 1,000 times, but it means so much more to me now that I have experienced it in my life!! This may seem silly to those of you who have served, kind of like DUH, but it was very powerful to me. I did my part, I read and studied HARD and prayed for the Spirit even harder, and I was able to witness this miracle. He called us angels. In a way, missionaries ARE angels."The Spirit is the most important single element in this work. With the Spirit magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field. Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent and ability." Ezra Taft BensonI have the sacred and BLESSED opportunity to help bring answers to one of His LOVED children. There is a promise found in the scriptures that is emphasized to us as missionaries:"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; buttreasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." D&C 84:85
One last thing I would like to share that I learned this week. Helaman 15:3 says that the Lord chastens those that He loves. I always thought this was so interesting, so I studied into it a little bit more. The Lord chastens those He loves. This may seem a little backwards, but once you have truly experienced it, you can feel the truth of this message. The Lord wants us to return to live with Him again, in never-ending happiness and rest, because He loves us, of course He wants to be with us. The only way we can return to live with Him again is if we become like Him! We become like Him by going through trials. We grow and learn in hard times, which help us become more like the Savior. The Lord gives us trials and sorrows and weakness and tribulation so we can live with Him again! This is hard to remember in our trials or when we are being chastened, BUT I have experience this and have gained a small, simple, and ever-growing testimony of it. If we didnt have trials, we would never become like Him, never live with Him again, and never be happy.
The Savior loves us. He loves all of us perfectly. I love Him. I can feel myself growing closer and closer to Him every single day. I know I say this every week and you probably don't believe me, BUT.... I AM SO HAPPY. The reason I am so happy is because my life as a missionary is CENTERED around the gospel of Jesus Christ, which makes me happy. I love being a missionary and am cherishing every single precious second I have.
Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. Stay WARM! Tell your loved ones you love them, they can't hear it enough. Pray for charity. Thank Heavenly Father for everything you have, even your trials ;)
|Christmas lights are slowly getting out up!!|
|Love my name tag on my scriptures, going to keep it there forever :)|
|Me and Sister Housley MATCHING|
|Sister Winters is leaving the VC :'(((|
|Me and Sarada matching (again)|
|Sister Frandsen, the Mission President's wife. She is THE BEST.|
|Sturggle of a picture, this was after a Visitors' Center Training|
|My momma made this grateful tree and I hung it up in the Visitors Center so all the sisters|
could add on. WE LOVE IT!