Monday, January 5, 2015

A Time To Change

Happy New Year!

It was another great week here in Stillwater. Last night we got "transfer doctrine" meaning that we found out where all the other missionaries are going, and every other companionship in our District is changing but Sister Chandler and myself. It should be very interesting. Lots of new people! We're excited!

All the days just blend together... let's see...

If you're wondering what we did for New Year's Eve... We had permission to stay out until 10:30 instead of 9, and I'm sure we could have gone to a party or something, but we wound up teaching an awesome lesson to Larry about Joseph Smith and modern day prophets until 10:20, and afterwards he prayed, "I know they don't believe in female prophets, but to me, they're prophets. Future prophets!" So... we may have to go back and reevaluate.

We also got a lot of texts this week from people telling us to leave them alone. And that we need to stop harassing them. And that they're comfortable where they're at. You name it, we heard it. So it's been interesting. We've been sorting through everyone we're teaching and trying to focus on those who are sincerely interested and working toward progression. It's hard to do!

"Gee, Sister Best, I thought you said this week was really good?"

Oh! It was. It definitely was. We were able to go on exchanges with the Spanish Sisters that we live with, adn that was so fun for me. I adore Spanish. Speaking it, listening to it, singing it in the shower, eavesdropping on people in Walmart speaking it. It's just the best. So that was the selfish side of things, but then I was able to be with Sister Haddock and we saw so many miracles together. People promising for the first time that they would come to church, and seeing people have a spirit of repentance and a desire to change. Feeling the spirit in their home as we spoke to them in our broken Spanish. There's something so humbling about teaching basic truths with basic vocabulary. We have to rely on the Spirit much more to teach. And it's always a wonderful experience.

We also had a cool experience where we were helping a recent convert with her Doctrine & Covenants seminary packet so she could graduate seminary, and we were answering her questions with ease, things I'm sure I never knew before my mission, and it took me back to studying before my mission. And how I was so lost and really struggling to grasp simple concepts. Now I can hardly believe it. My faith and understanding of this Gospel have grown ten-fold. I feel as though I understand my purpose in this life. And I have such a strong desire to change and come closer to my potential. Change is something I've been studying a lot lately.

I've been reading the Book of Mormon through and really delving into it, studying Jacob and Enos this week. I found a lot of similarities between the two that were really helpful.

Sherem is a man who come into town and starts persuading the people to not believe in Christ. Jacob tells Sherem that his blasphemy needs to stop and stands boldly against him, helping Sherem see what he really believes and what he really wants for himsel. Then Sherem acknowledges that Jacob was right, and apologizes to all those he had led astrat. This is a great display of Sherem's character. Enos has a similar story. He heards of his potential-Eternal Life-and recognizes that he wants that for himself, so he relies on this Father in Heaven and forsakes his sins and pours out his soul to him. Then his heart is turned outward, like Sherem's was, to reach out to his brethren and strengthen them. All of this has testified to me that people can change. No metter how far they've slipped, they can turn around. And when they.we do, it is our responsibility to strengthen those around us.

We are not our faults, our flaws, or our inadequacies. We have agency to choose to be better and prayer as a lifeline to help us achieve it. We are not bound in negativity, or bogged down by anything we can't change, we are empowered in Christ to be and do anything that we want! The strong, beautiful people that we fantasize about!

I know that's true. I know that prayer is the first step to change, to happiness, to solving problems, to New Year Resolutions... to everything. And I know it's possible because God never wanted us to feel alone, or like we've reached the point of no return.

I stinking LOVE you guys!

Love, Sister Best

Photos: Our district, minus Sister Haddock who was too slow getting into the picture.

Proof that even though it doesn't snow, it is SO COLD. It might as well say "20 degrees, feels like, negative 15"

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