Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
September 13, 2010
This morning we went to the temple. It was a wonderful start to the day and a wonderful start to the transfer. I received a wonderful confirmation about my travel plans, which sounds funny, but I did. I wanted to know that it was the right thing to do, not that I was making an effort to run from everything that makes me nervous about going home. It's not. It's the right thing to do. I don't know why and maybe I never will, but I need to travel. It will all work out. It already is. I know that sometimes when we do the right thing, things are hard, it feels like hell itself is rising up to meet us, but this time it's not. Everything is falling into place.
I had a rather direct answer to my prayers the other day in the visitor's center. When Sister Hamano and I left the call center to go down to the floor I , for some reason had a sadness come over me. I was sad about a lot of things. I was having a hard time concentrating. While on the floor I became very easily frustrated and was caused to go the the Christus, listen and then head for a bathroom stall to be alone. I prayed. I called for my Father in Heaven and felt Him around me. It felt so natural to speak to Him in that moment. I expressed what was going on and then remembered then endless admonitions that we have received from Prophets and apostles, both living and dead, to look outside ourselves and serve. I then expressed my desire to serve, that I wanted to just help someone. Give me peace and help me help someone, lift someone. So then I went to the floor again to stand and wait for visitors. It didn't take long before and visitor found me, walking up to me as I approached him. He was a young man named David, just graduated from BYU and on his way back to Gaithersburg Maryland, not far from my house. The first thing he said to me was, "Hey! can you help me..." I was shocked at how direct Heavenly Father had decided to bless me with an opportunity of service. with a smile I couldn't hide I said, "Yes! what can I help you with?" He was lost, actually stranded. He had been stranded by the storm the night before and now had to wait for his engine to get fixed. He had never been to Nauvoo and was having a hard time "wrapping his brain around this place". We talked about the map and briefly about how God brings people here for a purpose and how excited he should be to be here. He wanted a tour so I grabbed a Sister and we went along. The spirit was very sweet. At the end of the tour we talked a little about youth programs and his plans for home and then got him settled into some plans for the rest of his day, Sunday and Monday. Then he was happily off to the temple. My heart was full as I watched him leave. I always knew God answered prayer, but my testimony has grown so much about how quickly and directly he answers them. He is so mindful of us. I love Him. I love God and I love Jesus Christ.
Yes, we had transfers on Sunday. I am still in Nauvoo. My new companion is Sister Schetelaar. I am thrilled. She's an awesome missionary and incredibly easy to love. I want to be easy to love. That's something I'm working on. Softer though I may be than before my mission I can still be kind of prickly when I want to be. Thank goodness we always have more to work on. Life would get boring if we ever stagnated. Sister Schetelaar and I have set some good goals. We're gathering scriptures this week to help us better teach about Heavenly Father's Plan for us and it is going to be so fun. I love that lesson! It is so full of God's love!
The last day Sister Hamano and I were together was wonderful. We served at the Brigham Young home and told stories as we studied. I was reminded very clearly about certain things that happened right before I left on my mission, things I need to follow up on. I have a goal to write back ten letters today. It should be good. After that happens I will be all caught up and ready to go.
I am excited for this week. Sister Schetselaar and I are going to plow through it. I can't wait to learn as much as possible from her and I hope to be some benefit to her as well. I know that it's all going to go to fast and that, I guess, is my constant for the transfer. It all feels very strange to be at this point.
We were blessed to be able to listen to Elder Hallstrom this week. I learned so much while he was here. I guess the most important thing is that I have learned so much while I've been here. He spoke about "The name of Jesus Christ". Specifically, "In the name of Jesus Christ", which is a phrase used quite often among the Latter- day Saints. He spoke about it's true meaning how special and sacred it really is when we do use it. And how much it can teach us as we think about it's use. It most often refers to " The authority of Christ", "The mission of Christ and "The essence of Christ". I'm excited to go through to Book of Mormon and figure out which way it's being used.
We watched a movie for sociable, which was strange but approved by president. It was a good movie: "The Christmas Wish". It made me think hard about my Savior and my interactions with others. Justice is never ours to administer..... it is God's. We are to become like the Savior and, as such, should learn mercy and love before ever paying a mind to justice.
Eric Sande and also Sister Morgan both said something about missions along the same lines as one another. Eric was referring to his future mission and said, "I know my mission will eternally change me, but I am not scared". Sister Morgan said, "The things here in Nauvoo have changed us for eternity". Eric's comment was the first to bring the concept to my attention. Missions really do change eternities, for everyone involved..... missionary, investigators, contenders and members. Missions draw lines. It redefines lines and continually invites all people to pick a side. It alters eternities. It has altered mine anyway. I know I have said it before, but there really is no going back. We only go forward. "My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is bright", not to mention in the hands of someone who loves me more than I can comprehend. Sometimes, when I listen to myself, a lot of my fears and trepidations feel silly.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
|September 7, 2010|
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Below are four posts dating from August 12-August 31st. I am a little behind as I have been out of town and was unable to post while gone. Lots of reading, I know, but some good stuff. Sister Bailey is scheduled to return home on September 22nd! We can hardly wait!
August 31, 2010
This p-day is not going exactly as planned, but it will be good. All of my companions, this summer and last, have been exactly what I needed when I had them. Sister Hamano is no different. I have learned so much from her just by her sheer example and she is EXACTLY who I needed the transfer before I leave. She is the best listener I've ever met and is going to do incredible things where ever the Lord calls her. She has been such a healing balm in for me. I love her.
We went to the temple today. It was wonderful and I, as I usually do, received some much needed comfort and clarity not to mention revelation while in that Holy House.
You will have to forgive me. I know this letter is short, but I find myself becoming shorter and shorter in words and longer and longer in thought. If that makes any sense.
It was hard for all the Sisters to say goodbye to Sister Quick, Sister Westwood, Sister Barry and Sister Picard. They left on Friday morning. It was a weird day. Every time someone leaves it changes things. Their presence is missed and we're working twice as hard to live up to what they were putting in. I love those sisters. I am so grateful for the friendships I have made. They will last for eternity. I will never be the same.
Well, as it is considered the above thoughts expressed were nothing close to what I had originally intended. But the principle is the same. I am different. I am grateful for it and in the coming years I plan to be even more different. I'm so grateful to be able to part of this work both now and forever, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man", as His missionary, as His daughter, and as a trusted guardian to His children.
August 17, 2010
Nauvoo is insanely quiet. I say insanely because insanity is a good description of what it does to Sister missionaries. Like last year the call center is where I prefer to spend most of my time. There I can be productive and bear my testimony over and over and over again. I love it in the call center. The time I do spend on the floor is time well spent. The annual exodus of Navuoo is in full swing. Seniors are dropping like flies, or rather taking off like them. A happier thought I guess as they are going 30,000 feet up instead of six feet under. The young preforming missionaries are gone, as are the band. They left this morning. Sister Barry, Sister Quick, Sister Picard and Sister Westwood are all leaving on Friday. It's weird because I went into the MTC with all of them. I will miss them so much.
Transfers were on Sunday. Sister Bitter is now in Carthage and so is Sister Johnson. They are companions now actually. Sister Parker and Sister Morgan are the new AP's and are doing a fantastic job. Sister Hamano is now my companion and we are in Nauvoo. This really funny because Sister Parker asked me what I thought was going to happen at transfers and I said, "I'm not sure but Sister Hamano and I are going to be companions and we're staying in Nauvoo". She laughed and we moved on, but that is what happened. I love Sister Hamano. She is of Japanese descent and lives in Hawaii. Well actually right now she lives in Nauvoo but she is from Hawaii. She is a signing Sister. We run together and are a more quiet companionship than most, but we get along swimmingly. She was Sister Quick's companion last and so we spent all our preparation days last transfer together. I'm excited to get to know her better.
Today has been a good one. I did the only thing I cared to do which was to go on an oxen ride. It was so fun! I loved it. Hank and Homer (the oxen's names) took us on a little wagon ride through the trees. After that it didn't really matter to me what we did. We went to the temple and did our laundry and ate food and washed the car and now we're e-mailing. Yes. It's been a good day.
Sorry this week is so short. It felt that way. I have a feeling the weeks will only get shorter from here on out. A strange and depressing thought, one not thought about on a regular basis. Not here in Nauvoo anyway.
Burning myself out
August 12, 2010
The most exciting news I received this week is that my Sister-in-law is having a baby in February.
I'm a little at a loss of what to write this week. Not only have I just barely written on Saturday but I also just spent the past half an hour pouring my heart and soul into a computer with the intention of sending it to my mission president. The Internet crashed and it has now been deleted. This is probably the worst p-day ever for this to happen because we're suppose to be running on a schedule.
On a happier note, Nauvoo is still a spiritual powerhouse to all that come. Just yesterday Sister Bitter and I met a man named Lou. Lou grew up Catholic. He is not Catholic anymore. In fact, he seems to be stuck between not being able to deny the existence of a God and the temptation to demand tangible evidence of that existence. We took him on one of the most powerful and short tours that I or Sister Bitter have ever taken. We shared with him Joseph's Smith's experience. We began from the very beginning at Joseph's confusion over what God wanted Him to do, what the scriptures meant and more importantly what it all meant for him. To this Lou said, with exasperation, "Well, I think I can connect with that". As we moved on he talked about the doubts he's had with the rest of Joseph's experience, the confusion lifting and his prayers being answered, his mind enlighten and as a result the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. He wants to hold it in his hand. Part of me wants to say that holding the restoration in your hand is like trying to hold a sunrise in your hand. It's an event, not a something. When we watch the sun rise into our view we do not say, "Did the sun come up? I'm not sure, I need to touch it". We know the sun has risen because of the light that fills our world and the warmth that creeps into our skin the longer we find ourselves in it. In the same way, we know the restoration has happened..... not because we can touch it, but because of the light that fills our life as we abide by and believe in the truth that has been revealed to us through the Prophets and the warmth that rises in us the longer and longer the spirit has opportunity to testify to us of this truth. We don't touch it. We see it and we feel it. But, for Lou, and anyone else who does wish to hold it in their hands, Joseph Smith was asked to translate The Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Ghost. The same power that brought about the restoration and has built up the Kingdom of God on the earth in our day. One can hold the Book of Mormon and in a sense hold the restoration, and even better, one can read the Book of Mormon and feel Heavenly Father's love for them and know that it is true. The same way one touches a hot stove and feels that it is on. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It testifies of Christ and stands as a beacon to all who seek His face. I echo men of God when I say that I invite all people everywhere to read it and feel of it's power. I Promise you can know it's true. I promise God will bear witness of it in a way that you will recognize.
If anyone is wondering what happened to Lou, he felt the spirit. He filled out a referral card and requested the missionaries to bring the Book of Mormon by. As he reads he plans to call the missionaries in order to get any of his questions answered, and more importantly to call upon His Father in Heaven to recognize the spirit clearly.
These are the things that happen in Nauvoo. These are the things that I plead will follow me for the rest of my life. I will open my mouth. I will speak on His behalf.
I love this place. I love this work. I love the Book of Mormon and I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
I love each of you.
2Nephi 33:10-11 "...All ye end of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye shall believe these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto to me; and they teach all men to do good. And if they are not the words of Christ judge ye--for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory that they are His words at the last day...