Monday, September 28, 2009

I had an interesting Friday.

Saturday, September 26th

I have only ever been to the state of Washington once in my life. It was the worst road trip I had ever taken. The best part was the ten hour drive there and the ten hour drive back to Rexburg with, who was then Mallory Mills, and is now, Mallory Daybell. I am grateful and excited that my second trip there will be much better, one in which I will be able to fall in love with Washington.
Last night we all went to President's house to gather before we went to clean the temple. We were all excited. He read a string of scriptures about missionary work. He then pulled out a piece of paper and informed us that we were not going to clean the temple, that instead, he had decided to tell us where the Lord was sending us next. I did not want to know. I had set myself up for Monday. I was the third name called. The Lord has sent me to the Washington Spokane mission. I will be flying there on Wednesday October 7, 2009. The call really came from left field for me. Shock is probably the best word to describe my initial reaction, but as soon as my brain shut up a feeling of peace started to grow within my heart. The peace I expected to feel upon opening my original call letter, one that I did receive concerning the Nauvoo Illinois Mission, but not until much later. I needed to struggle with that first call. I needed to. Not with this one. That feeling of peace was such a sweet assurance that the Lord is mindful of ever needful thing. Not just for me, but for every one of us.

I will be excited to write again on Tuesday when I have been able to gather my thoughts a little better. I wasn't even going to write today, but I thought you might like to know as soon as I did.

Sister Bailey. D&C100

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Time moves quickly, no surprise

This letter is an odd one to write because so little time has past between this one and my last. Sister Brinkerhoff and Sister Stagg left this morning. It was a very bitter morning in the Hatch house.
Transfers went great. My companion is Sister Lukens. She is 5' 2", an amazing missionary, and from California. She graduated as an English major and is planning to do graduate school when she gets home. I love her. The past 48 or so hours have been good ones. I feel like we have a good plan for the next 2 weeks. This transfer is going to be/already is so weird. So short. It's like a little goodbye transfer for all the Sisters. We are making our preparations to leave both temporally and spiritually. Yesterday, Sister Lukens asked me what the best experience from my last transfer was. We both laughed at the impossibility of the question, but it made me think back on things I need to write about. My loftiest goal is to get caught up in my journal before we leave on our outbounds. As Nauvoo has slowed down the Lord has blessed me with so many tender mercies. So many spiritual experiences. It felt like Pageant was one big spiritual experience, but after pageant, as things slow down and people say goodbye, there has been something each day, something distinct and over powering that has built up my spirit like the saints did the city of Nauvoo. It makes me feel strangely close to this place.
The words obedience and obey often have a negative connotations connected with them. However, we are teaching lesson four this week in "Angels in the outfield" and it is entitled "Keeping the commandments. Commandments are given so that we can be happy. "Men are that they might have joy". Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy! Wouldn't it make sense for Him to give us instructions on how to do all that? I want to testify now that when we willingly put forth effort and do what our Father in Heaven has asked us to do, no matter how hard it may seem, He will provide a way for us to do it.
He will help. He wants to help. Let Him. Besides, if "obedience" makes you feel like a tool I would invite you to read and ponder upon Mosiah2:33, "For behold, there is a wo pronounced upon him that listeth to obey [the evil spirit]; for if he listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth in his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul; for he receiveth for his wages an everlasting punishment, having transgressed the law of God contrary to his own knowledge". The funny thing about obeying the evil spirit is that often times we think that we are rebelling or being open minded, or freeing ourselves of some oppression. Really what has happened, is that instead of obeying God, someone who loves us, and wants the best for us, who promises us eternal life and happiness, we choose to obey someone who only wishes to do us harm, to drag us down, and break our souls. Who promises us an eternity of punishment and anguish. Sometimes, when God asks us to do something, we have a tendency to ask why. The same question can be asked when Satan asks us to do something. "Why?" I can promise that a reasonable, logical answer will not come.

Obedience to God brings the blessing of Eternal Life.

Sister Bailey

Mosiah 13

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Getting sick gets worse as you grow up. Or life keeps getting better. Maybe it's a combinations of both.

Our p-day was changed from Monday to Friday due to the mission presidents seminar we hosted. So the e-mail for this week is rather late. A lot has happened. About three quarters of the way through September 7th I began to feel awful. It was a steep down hill from there and today is my first real day of feeling better. I served until Wednesday when Sister Ludwig found me at the Visitors Center. To my raspy "Hello Sister Ludwig" her face quickly dropped and said, "Are you getting sick?". My stomach dropped and after some very short and pointless protests she had me in the car and headed back home. I have to admit, in high school getting sick was like getting an unexpected holiday. I much preferred my warm bed to a cold dull classroom any day, even if I felt as though my head would fall off. Then I went to college. Getting sick at college is no fun. There is no mother to care for you, you feel crummy, your roommates avoid you like the plague for fear they will get sick, and if you miss classes it means a lot of catching up to do before you begin to feel well again. I never thought getting sick could feel any worse, but alas, I can assure you that getting sick on a mission is worse. Getting sick means you can't serve until you feel in tip top shape again and everyone wants to help you feel better. I have been in and out of serving since Wednesday, but I am back on my feet and ready to go! I can only imagine how getting sick must feel as a mother. Yuck. I was able to serve the mission presidents, their wives, Elder and Sister Perry (Yes, Elder Perry, an Apostle of God) and all the other General Authorities. It was an amazing weekend. I loved it! The weirdest thought was that some of these mission presidents were some of the Nauvoo Sisters future mission presidents. We had no idea who they were, but there knew who we were. It was fun. The thing that really put the icing on the cake was when we sang "Called to Serve" for all who were in attendance. It was the last time we would all sing together as Sisters. Sister Brinkerhoff and Sister Stagg are leaving next Thursday. The spirit was so strong. We were able to sing a rendition of the song that was arranged by a Nauvoo Sister that served here last year. It really does those sweet, quiet, really joyful moments on a mission justice. Elder Perry stopped all of us as we started to exit the room and made sure that we received a standing ovation. He then asked who had had their companionship study the previous day. We all raised our hands and laughed as he let us all leave.
Today has been absolutely fabulous! How could it not be? We got up, exercised, went to the Temple and now are writing to our loved ones! The Temple was so good today. I love it there. It will be hard not to have it so available when I leave this place. I was reading Alma Chapter 8 today while I was at the Temple. This is the chapter in which he meets Amulek. I love Amulek. I also love the example that Alma is to me as a servant of the Lord. In verse 14 it describes Alma as he travels away from a city that he has just been essentially kicked out of because he was preaching the Gospel. The people there were offended by truth and saw that he was removed. Alma is "weighed down with much sorrow", not for his own persecutions, but because the people had rejected the Gospel. Alma wanted nothing more for those people than to feel the joy the Gospel brings. In verse 14 the Lord commands Alma to turn around, go back to where he just came from, back to a place where he was just spit on, yelled at, and cast out, and preach the Gospel again. Alma's response? "He returned speedily to the land" of those people that had cast him out to do the will of the Lord. Not only did he return, but he did it "speedily". I can only hope that I will be as quick to hearken to the counsel of the Lord.
For the rest of the day I am going to write my mission president, go out to lunch with the other p-day Sisters (I have been out for 6 months today), run some errands, and write letters. I have A LOT to write. Thank you so much for the sometimes overwhelming amount of support you all extend to me. <333

Sister Bailey

Suggested reading : Mosiah18

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Rock Of Our Redeemer, Who Is Christ

    We are going to Hannibal for P-day with the Henricksons (sp?), which leaves pretty much no time for letters. I cannot grantee that anyone will get a letter this week, so forgive me in advance for your empty mail boxes. :(
       A weird thing happened to me this week. Sometimes, when I study, I read over my ministerial certificate to remind me what I'm doing and who my call to Nauvoo has actually come from. This time, as I read, I took more notice of my tentative release date..... "August 31, 2010". The most evasive thought pushed itself into my head, "If the date on that card holds water, this time next year I will be home". And today, if that's true, this time next year I will have been home for a week. I love all of you and miss you a lot, but I don't like to think about it. Part of me wants to be a missionary forever.
       This past week was the first week of "Angels in the outfield". This is when we get to teach the Seniors. It has been so fun. I have to admit, about an hour before my first lesson, I was scared out of my mind. I couldn't think straight. I had no idea where it was coming from, which only made it worse. I only remember thinking, "I have to write this down. I never want to forget how hard this was". From Tuesday on everything was coming up roses. I had no idea how creative the Seniors are here. We have been having so much fun. I have now taught the first lesson roughly 19 times (not counting the MTC or the visitor's center, this is just for angels) with 5 different companions. It has been so amazing to learn from one another and teach together. I have taught with Sister Alexander, Sister Lukens, Sister Westwood, Sister Reece, Sister Thomas. It was SO good.
       To make it even better, yesterday was fast Sunday. We broke our fast at President Ludwig's house and then all sat down in the living room and talked about Angels in the outfield and then our outbounds. President doesn't know where we're going. ( I think I told you otherwise last week. Please forgive me, this is the Navuoo mission... rumors spread like fire on prairie grass). Transfers have been pushed back a week because next week we're going to be hosting a "Mission President's seminar" here in Nauvoo. Some of us will be meeting our future mission president. We  wont know it when it happens. Many of the mission presidents coming next week are presidents of missions who often times shelter Nauvoo Sisters for the winter. Many sisters are really nervous about the field. When I really think about it, my excitement drowns out any nerves I have. As the upcoming months unfold I hope to keep two things in mind. One "I am a Nauvoo Sister, who is now going out to proselyte" (Sister Lukens, dispelling the thought of "Ok I'm no longer a Nauvoo Sister I am a proselyting sister"). And two, I have been called by the Lord, and the Lord has not called me to failure.
"And now my sons remember remember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer who is Christ that ye must build your foundations, that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea his shafts in the whirlwind, yea when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless woe, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation upon which if men build they cannot fall" (Helaman 5:12)
       The same can be said for each one of us here on earth. We are God's children, He loves us and He sent us here to learn the things we need to learn and do the things we need to do in order to become like Him. The whole purpose of this life is to one day return to Him. That is how we are happy, that is how we are successful. We have not been sent here to fail, just as every missionary has not been called to fail. And just as every missionary must turn to and depend on his arm for strength, we must "remember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer who is Christ, that we must build our foundation.
       A lot of times in the mission we talk about our "mission life" and our "real life". In some ways it's true, there is a bit of a difference, but in a lot of ways the line between the mission and "real life" is much finer, much blurrier than we give it credit for. The principles for success are the same. "Remember, faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence. Ask and ye shall receive, knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen."

Sister Bailey.

D&C 4