Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Atonement is amazing and I love it. I also saw a raccoon.

E-mail last week didn't treat me well. Let's hope it goes better this week. MY p-days have officially moved to Tuesdays for the rest of the transfer.One thing that is really unimportant, but that I was really excited to tell everyone was that I saw a raccoon! In a tree! He is one of the locals here in Nauvoo. We are friends. A new kind of wild life has sparked my interest since then so I guess it's good to get all my wild life mumbo jumbo over with in one e-mail rather than two. The earth worms here are the size of small snakes! They are Huge! and SO cool. Sister Stagg is afraid of them which makes it all the more fun to save them on our runs. I don't know what inside of me finds her high pitched noises coupled with her high-step dance so amusing, but it always makes for a good morning.
I am serving in Carthage for at least this transfer. I love it! I love it more than I ever thought I could! Every time a visitor leaves I feel apart of my heart leave with them! At first I thought That this might pose a problem in the future. It seemed as though in a very short time there would be nothing left of my little heart to give! But oh how the Lord helps your heart grow as you serve him. It's like the loaves and fishes! The more you give your heart away the more the Lord replaces it with his. When we keep our hearts to ourselves they will dwindle and shrink. It is quite possibly the only thing that multiplies faster and faster the more we try get rid of it.
One funny story from this week was when Sister Stagg was trying to learn the notes on the key board. Sister Reece was just about to explain "Every good boy does fine" when Sister Stagg beat her to the punch. "Roy G. Biv!", she exclaimed, followed by an ever apprehensive "wait. Is that the rainbow?". It was funny.
I have two companions. Sister Thomas and Sister Goodrich. Both from Utah. Sister Thomas is my trainer and served her outbound in New Jersey with one of my friends, Hermana Stead! Small world! and the Church makes it smaller!
This mission is a very unique one. I am so blessed to be here. We get opportunities here that no other missionaries in the world get. For one we see our mission President almost EVERYDAY. And he is so cool! We eat a meal at his house every other Sunday. The Seniors are so funny, so nice and really become close friends. I love the people here. And I love the Spirit here. It is so strong and so constant! When I left I really didn't care if anyone came to see me on my mission. In fact, I kind of preferred they didn't. I am on a mission after all! However, I think I underestimated how much I was going to Love Nauvoo. What kind of place it is. I have since had a change of heart and would encourage everyone to come here and see it! I want everyone to see hear and FEEL my mission. I hope that all who can get a chance to come. There's a pageant in July and I hear that it's spectacular! Anyway, I don't want to make it sound as if you have to come. You don't. But by all means feel free to.
Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is Christ and His Atonement for us. How complex it is. This topic has occupied my mind many times before but as a missionary it has been one of the most popular topics of both my day dreams and directed study time. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the importance of utilizing the atonement in our lives everyday! This world is dirty. We are Sons and Daughters of God! we are not meant to be dirty. The weight of the world can bring us so low, drag us so far out of the light. The only way to be clean again, walk in the light, rise above it all and have the weight lifted is to LET him take it. To use this infinite atonement in the way he always intended us too.(Matthew 11:28-30) We have been promised peace and rest when we do. We need to stop trying to find a place for Christ and his atonement in our lives and start to find our place in his atonement. We should not live in this world with a piece of his atonement in our pockets we need to live in His Atonement and leave the world behind completely! We were never meant to set up our permanent residence here anyhow. If it feels at times that we don't belong here it is because we don't. We are strangers here, visitors from "holier spheres". That is why things feel so empty when we are estranged from God. He is our literal Father in Heaven and we were with him once. That is our
home! We were always intended to return. He awaits our return! And although we get to be and are expected to be happy here (2Nephi 2:25) our true joy lies elsewhere. Our true Joy lies with him. And it is made possible to get there through His Atonement. He died for us. He conquered death both spiritually and physical that we may live again! He made the way. He is the way. Let us not waste it.
I have a deep and abiding Love for each and everyone of you. You are in my thoughts and Prayers through out the day. <3333333

2Nephi 25:26!!! And remember! "Joy is a very serious business of Heaven." C.S. Lewis

Sister Bailey

P.S. 3Nephi 4:10 (add 8 and 9 too it still works beautifully!) change "Nephites" to "Missionaries" and "Giddianhi" to "The Advisary" It's kind of funny and Kind of cool. Something I did this week in my studies.

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