Monday, June 11, 2012

Coming Home

Well, as many of you now know, I am home a earlier than expected. There were some health issues that needed to be resolved and so my mission president felt it best that I return home and I agreed. Since most of the problems were stress-related, just being home has been quite the cure. Now, don't let any of that fool you, I am still going to work. I am still striving for missionary opportunities and will update this blog with my adventures. Thank you all for your wonderful love and support for the last four months. I loved getting your letters and packages and just hearing what's happening from you and my family was so much fun. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I know that this is the best choice for me. I know that I am where God needs me to be right now.

Monday, June 4, 2012

BONUS POST-- Pictures!

She sent this one because V for Vendetta is one of my favorite movies. :)

 First companion!


New companion!

So much driving!

So on Tuesday, we got a ride to Raleigh to drop off Sister G and pick up my new companion. Surprise! It's sister W again! My MTC companion. She is really fired up and I'm working to keep up with her but we are going to see miracles here. It's way different with a new companion but change can be good :)

E came to church! Testimony meeting was amazing and perfect - the Spirit was so strong. Quite a few of our lessons have been bailing out on us, though. We need to find more people to teach!

Then on Friday we had a sleepover with the Greenville sisters so that we could make it to Raleigh on time on Saturday. We had to be there around 8:30 and are not allowed to leave the Residence until 6:30. It was fun to be with the other sisters. Saturday was a mission conference with Elder Holland. It was amazing and, as tends to be the case with this particular Apostle, I walked out of there feeling soooo not good enough but ready to do better. He linked the Fall to the Atonement in such a simple way and it made the Plan of Salvation make sense. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were stuck. They could not have children in the Garden, they could talk with God, but had no progression. So they chose to progress, knowing that there would be a Savior who would come and allow them back in the presence of God, but in a position where they could have a family and learn and grow and progress. Heavenly Father really does love us.

The first thing we did when he walked in was everyone got a chance to shake his hand. He said that that was his interview with each of us. Back when the missionary force was much smaller, each of the missionaries were interviewed by an Apostle every year, but now, with 50,000 missionaries, it's a bit much. So in those few seconds, he is able to feel the spirit and allow himself to learn what the mission needs to hear.

For those of you that don't know, our church has 12 Apostles, just like Christ had apostles, and a prophet. These men are called of God to be special witnesses of Christ and they hold all the keys of the priesthood (or the power and authority to act in God's name).

Wednesday we did get lots of rain. We had to drive to our district meeting 45 minutes away and it was no fun - especially since I'm the driver now. But it was fun.

I got a lovely package from the Maneys and a note that was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Changes!

No, I do not know who my new companion is yet. We have the transfer meeting tomorrow. The way it works is that new missionaries arrive late on Monday night, spend the night at the Mission Home, get orientated on Tuesday Morning, go to the transfer meeting and head out to their area Tuesday night. Departing missionaries head out to the transfer meeting, spend the night at the mission home, and head out on Wednesday. So tomorrow, we drive to Raleigh. You find out on Friday or Saturday night if you are being transferred or training or whatnot. I am a little nervous - so is Sister C. We hope our new living companion is easy to get along with.

We got to have a little Cottage Meeting on Saturday. We went to the B's home (the one with the farm) and invited investigators and a few members. Had a little lesson and then food and fellowshipping. It was really fun. Only one investigator ended up showing up (one of the Elder's investigators) but he brought family. His wife is on the Mercy Ship? Anyway, grandfather is staying with them and he really misses his wife. I believe she is a member. His sons are really cute.

We also taught a great man on Tuesday. We went to lunch at a less active member's home and she was like "well I'll come out with you" when we started talking about needing to find someone to go with us. It was awesome. They were both military and bonded. He was babysitting and his wife was at work. They totally met online and he went out to the Philippines to pick her up. Her family is very religious. He really enjoyed being around them. He accepted baptism! It was a really powerful lesson. I think the reason it was so powerful for me was because I had really been studying up on the Restoration in Preach My Gospel. I was reminded of what a miracle it is that God still talks to us today. Prophets aren't only a thing of the past.

Basically, if you read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true, believing that God will tell you the answer, then you will know. Actually, the promise is that if you ask if it is *not* true. That book is a miracle. It is another testament of Jesus Christ! Everyone should read it because it will remind us of how merciful God is and how much we are loved, cared for, protected, and guided. I know so many people don't get why bad things happen or refuse to believe in God because if there was a God, then there would be no suffering. God allows some to suffer so he can punish the wicked and those that suffer will be exalted in their righteousness. Yes, it is hard to know that they are suffering. I don't like hearing about the terrible things that happen or that I see, but I know that they are beloved sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to allow agency. He loves them and knows exactly what they are going through.

I love you!

Monday, May 21, 2012

There's a storm a comin'!

Hm. I don't really have much to report this week. Teaching, attempting to find new investigators, visiting people, studying the scriptures.

We just found out that Elder Holland will be coming to our mission conference on June 2. That is exciting!

I am very sad because this is Sister G's last week. It will be interesting to have a new companion.

Sorry this email is so boring, I just can't think of what to say right now other than that I know that Christ lives. I know that he is my Savior and Redeemer and that because he came to earth and suffered in the Garden and on the Cross, my imperfections are taken care of. This is what I am here to teach people - faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement.

-----
Sent about an hour later:

So the reason the subject heading was about a storm, is because apparently there is a big storm coming. Hahaha! Just realized I never said that.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NO LETTER THIS WEEK

...because we got to talk with Sister Benning on the phone for Mother's Day! She gets to call home twice per year: Mother's Day and Christmas.

She is doing well, is appreciative of all the letters and packages, and is excited to be serving the Lord.

Monday, May 7, 2012

When it rains, it pours

We had a NC storm on Saturday night. We had to pull over for a bit because we couldn't see out the window - it was like going through a carwash. There was lightening and thunder! So much fun! However, it caused some problems. E. and her family had a "sewer gas leak" right after we left their house and they got moved to a hotel for the night, meaning that she didn't make it to church and she smoked a ton (she has been trying to quit) because of the stress of it all and we have to push her baptism date back. We talked to her a bit about vision on Sunday. Where does she see herself in the future and what does she need to do to get there and how can the Gospel help her.

We heard the sweetest testimony from one of my favorite members on Sunday. They are converts of almost a year and right after they were baptized, they did a "construction paper prayer" for a family activity. They sat there and talked about what they wanted as a family and made a picture out of construction paper and popsicle sticks and whatnot. Then a friend pointed out to her the other day how eerie it is that it is exactly their life now. The house looks like the one they moved into a few months ago, they have their trampoline and dogs and van. True evidence that God listens to us.

My thing this week has been the family. I give you "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." http://www.lds.org/family/proclamation?lang=eng. When the family doesn't work, nothing happens. The family is where we learn about God and how to be good people and how to do things. Yes, we are taught at school, but it isn't anywhere near as effective as learning at home from loving parents on a constant basis. Everything is a teaching/learning opportunity. It breaks my heart to watch some of the families we see where the parents forget their divine role as caretakers of the children God has entrusted to their care. If you aren't ready to take on that responsibility, then maybe you shouldn't be doing what you are doing.

More info on families: http://mormon.org/family/

 

Editor's Note: In a short missve sent last week, Laura instructed us to thank the Merry Miss girls for her package. I have no idea what was in said package, but she used words like "awesome" and "thoughtful." :)