Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Miracles DO Happen

This email arrived on 4/9/2012. Sorry for the delayed post!

I got a letter from Kimberly! It's a miracle! It only took almost two months, but it has happened.

First, lemme tell you about our temple trip. It takes a little over two hours to get to the temple from New Bern. Sister C. (our house-mom) drove us there and back and she got to spend the day with her daughter who lives up there. The temple is amazing, it's my favorite place. Just like with General Conference, it always helps to have a question in mind when you go to the temple (or to church or when you read your scriptures or pray or whatever). It doesn't have to be a huge question, but having a question shows the Lord that you want to receive revelation and instruction from Him and you will receive it! The funny thing is that my questions weren't exactly answered at the temple, but in an interview I had with President Cotterell right between the temple and lunch. He invited me to go to my scripture study with a question and an open notebook with a pen poised to write any thoughts. Not just thoughts pertaining to the question, but whatever hits you. I know a few of you are trying to make it through the Book of Mormon right now and I suggest you do the same. It will help focus your reading and help strengthen your testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Bible and about the Plan of Salvation and our Savior, Jesus Christ and... you get my point. Anyway, after the temple, all the sisters went to the mission home and had a lovely dinner and little testimony meeting with President and Sister Cotterell. Then Sister C. came to pick us up. She took us to Sam's Club on the way home and bought us groceries. Lemme tell you, if you want to do something for the missionaries, buy them groceries and drive them places. We only get so many miles a month and so we have to be careful. Today we decided to run/walk to the church to use the internet :)

Yesterday we went to meet with a member who is in a long-term care facility. About ten years ago she had a stroke and she did not recover as well as some people I know.  She can't use words very well and I can tell it frustrates her, but she is very animated when she talks and she has the sweetest spirit. Unfortunately, she doesn't get too many visitors. We brought her some Easter Cookies I made (ps make chocolate chip cookies with all butter, use dark brown sugar instead of light, and do half pb chips and half mini choco chips and you will be in heaven). After we shared a spiritual thought just before we left, she said she had a question. She pointed to a picture of an old man and told us, in her broken words and gestures, how they had met one day in the dining room and they became friends, he asked her to marry him...THREE TIMES she said 'no' each time and now really regrets it. He passed away and just wanted to know if she would get the chance to be with him in heaven. We assured her that Heavenly Father knows her and her desires and that she will have the chance to be married because marriage is an eternal principle and everyone will get the chance.
We are also meeting with Robert...a. Miss/Mister Robert takes great care of his mother and just really needs someone to talk to. It is hard for us to get a word in edgewise.He wants us to hold bible study in the courtyard of the housing complex he lives in and offered to hold a bake sale to raise money for us. A non-member wanting to help us do missionary work! But we asked him to find his favorite scripture for next time, so hopefully our lesson will have more of a focus.

We also got to teach Ebony's daughters and they are sooooo sweet and amazing. I love teaching. I can't even describe how amazing it is to watch people as they come to realize how much God loves them. Their eyes change. Their countenance changes.

For Easter, I made a great lunch. I had been having a hard few days and Sister G.(companion) asked if there was anything she could do for me and I said "you can let me make lunch." We had tilapia fillet packets with yellow bell pepper, tomato, onion and garlic, and frozen veggies (spinach and asparagus stir-fry) that I spiced up and made fancy, and some frozen rolls that sister carter wanted to get out of teh freezer. The three of us ate outside and chatted. It was a great Easter. But it isn't about all that. Even the primary children know what it is really about. Sister C. was telling us about how her primary kids knew that Easter isn't all candy and eggs and bunnies, it is about the atonement and Resurrection of our Savior. It is about how much God loves us and how much of elder brother loves us and how, together, they provided a way for us to become like them. We can be made clean of all our sins and our pains and afflictions. I can't even describe it. Have any of you watched the new church video? It is amazing.Go to lds.org right now. Watch it. Then pray about what the atonement means for you, personally. I realized, yesterday, what it means for ME. We always say that "Christ died for OUR sins" forgetting that he knows each of us and felt it all just for one person at a time. He prayed for each person individually. I mean, I don't know exactly how it happened, but I like to think of it that way.

Thank you all for letters and love and prayers :) Love you!!!!!!!!

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Laura won't be able to read these until she returns in 2013, but you are welcome to leave comments.