Wednesday, December 17, 2014
'Tis the Season to go caroling! Fa La La La La La La La La
This week was phenomenal!!!
Let me just begin with all of the miracles/joys/happy things.
(that doesn't mean I'm going to end with the negative things...because there really weren't any.)
So we're going to go day by day right quick.
Monday-Wednesday: Normal missionary blurs. We had an exchange with the sisters in Edmond, and their area just got shut down, and one of the sisters just finished her mission. So it was an odd exchange. I've never been good at preparing people for change. I can't recall too many other specific experiences from the week, but it was just a bunch of goodness. Except that LeRoy ended up dipping on Tuesday. So we had to push off his baptism until this upcoming Saturday. But so far, so good! He's excited to be free from his addiction. Also, we found out his real name is Fenton. Which is super cool.
Thursday: We had our Christmas Conference! Which basically means we woke up at 5, drove to the city, and had trainings for 12 hours. It's funny how the things that sound like torture to any normal teenagers (shoot..I just realized that I'm 21 and definitely not a teenager.) are considered gifts to missionaries.
Here was some wonderful takeaway:
The Lord knows that we CAN change. And as such, he expects us to. We need not bog ourselves down with the things that make us feel worthless. That's not how our Heavenly Father wants us to feel. He wants us to feel like we're progressing. If there's something about our lives that we don't necessarily like, we have the opportunity and command to change it so that we can accommodate our own feelings and allow ourselves to be individually happy. That is what the Atonement of Jesus Christ has allowed us to do.
Also, my Papa collected a series of Christmas cards from family members. If you were a part of that, thank you so much. I received a little package of them at the end of the conference, as well as a Christmas card from the First Presidency, and it just made my heart melt. I love you all a lot.
Friday: Was our ward Christmas party! Any everyone who doesn't come to church was there. And it was adorable. I will attach a picture of the amazing nativity set. They were 2-D realistic animals. Hahaha. So awesome.
Saturday: We drove to Perry and visited several members of the ward that we hadn't met before. I always love lifting up people who confine themselves to their home. It's easy to help people feel the spirit when they already have a testimony of their Savior. Then, in the evening, ALL OF OUR PLANS FELL THROUGH. It happens. Including the member who was going to come out with us to visit Larry. So, in a panic, we called every single member in our phone. They were all hanging out with each others, I'm pretty sure. So we prayed fervently in a Wal Mart parking lot that this would work out. Then my companion had the idea to call the Spanish sisters that we live with, so that we would at least be able to get into his house. They agreed to join us if they could bring Juan, someone they're teaching, so we agreed, and we called up Michael Whatley, one of the coolest fellas on the planet, and we all went to Larry's house for a lesson on the Word of Wisdom. And it was so solid. We asked Larry if there was anything that would keep him from living the Word of Wisdom, and he boldly resounded, "No! I mean, I'll have to quit drinkin', and smokin', and drinkin' tea. But I can quit anything with God's help." What?! That doesn't happen. We love Larry a lot... he is solid. IN his prayer at the end of the lesson, he prayed that Juan would get baptized, and during the lesson, Juan helped Larry by talking to him how he's in the process of quitting drinking. So... it was pretty much the greatest.
Sunday was kind of the same story. The day was great. We got a lot accomplished, but at night, all of our plans fell through. We went caroling with the Elders and wound up getting to chat with someone we have been trying to visit for months but haven't had any success with, then Sister Chandler and I prayed and prayed that we would find two new people to teach that evening, and it worked! We called up Sister Meldrum and, well, had the following conversation...
"Sister Meldrum! Wanna adventure?"
"...yes! Unless if's the Narnia... I really don't need that trouble in my life right now."
So, she showed up ten minutes later and we walked around a sketchy apartment complex (don't worry, Mom and Dad) knocking on people's doors that had told us they might be interested in listening to us. Sometimes those efforts are futile. But we wound up meeting two new people and teaching them on the spot. One of these people was named Faith, and boy did she fit her name. We taught her all about the Restoration, prophets, the Book of Mormon, just, everything. And she loved it. And the spirit was so powerful. And we taught her standing on her door step. We even set a baptismal date with her and got her a ride to church.
The Lord has just shown us miracles... That's all. Just. Miracles.
As the night wrapped up last night, Sister Meldrum told us that we could Skype our families at her house on Christmas. So now that that is secure, it will probably be around 11:30 or 12 when I call. Let me know if that works for y'all or if it needs to be swapped around.
I'll leave you with Life Lesson #20: Becometh as a Child
Children are innocent, they forgive quickly. They retain knowledge. They aren't hard on themselves. They have no problem trusting others. Their opinions don't impede them from choosing the right. I'm sure many tired mothers would disagree with me on some of those qualities, but God wants us to become like Children. I remember the exact moment when I was younger and I learned what sarcasm was. Somebody had made abiting comment, and for the first time ever, someone told me, "I was just being sarcastic", then they had to explain that to me. As a child, I never sought to hurt any one's feelings, and if I ever did, I was too tender hearted to go with out apologizing moments later (I'm sure Katie can attest to that)
This is what God expects of us. That we "becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his Father." (Mosiah 3:19)
Most children don't have a sense of independence, they rely on their parents for happiness, approval, and instruction. Luckily, we are able to generate some of those elements on our own, but we are to always look to our Father in Heaven. Because like Children are carefree and not bogged down by their circumstances, neither do we need to be. We have the ability to find joy in all things and trust in God that all things can and will be solved in due time. We are expected to love and make friends with just about anyone, to seek not to contend, and find joy in every situation life brings us to.
I love you all!
I know that our Father in Heaven lives. And I know Christ is the savior of the universe. And my whole life has been changed with that knowledge. Give back to Christ this Christmas! Remember that "he who is in the service of his fellow man is only in the service of his God".
Some of you may have gotten Christmas Cards. If not, I'm sorry. But here's a picture of them anyway! And a typical porch display in OK.