October 12, 2015
My dearest peeps,
My dearest peeps,
These are the things I have learned from this past week:
1. The Lord always provides. When we had nobody to teach we were given 6 referrals.
2. Conversion is forever long and if nourished properly can increase rapidly.
3. It is critical that God directs our path in order for us to accomplish all He has in store for us. Found in Proverbs 3:5-6
4. Just because you are soaking wet, there is thunder and lightening, and 50 mile per hour winds doesn't mean people will let you in. President was inspired when he invited us all to get flu shots. They are working, haven't gotten sick yet.
5. The ratio of times I have been offered drugs from my whole life to my mission life is 0:1. They were mushrooms too, by someone we thought was a great potential. Eh, I don't think so anymore. Oh and I said no.
6. Being poor is not a sufficient reason for skipping Sweet Mona's on a Monday. It brings sunshine to the soul.
7. Saying yes has it's downfalls when a hoarder invites you over for dinner. We prayed really hard for the 3 days prior to the appointment. God hears and answers our prayers- we are still alive.
8. Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles and brownies. We won the obedience game at zone conference again. WOOT WOOT.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
I love the footnotes to this scripture and how it allows the meaning to go more in depth. The very first word is trust, we should trust in the Lord and not in ourselves. We should have faith in him. I also love the footnote "trustworthiness" because that can be applied to us. We need to be trustworthy so the lord can give us assignments/guidance. I also love how it says we need to trust with "all thine heart." We cannot just pick and choose when we obey or when we turn to God. "With all thine heart" means at all times, and in all things, and in all places we will trust God, exercise our faith in him, and be obedient to all his commandments. God's ways are so much greater than our ways and that is why it is critical we do not lean unto our own (worldly and blind) understanding. We can only see so much of Heavenly Father's plan and that is why we should put all of our faith in him rather in our own limited understanding. As we humble ourselves and acknowledge the Lord in all things then he promises us that he will direct our paths. WHAT A PROMISE! I love the footnote for path. It says, "walking with God." Heavenly Father wants to help us so much just like any parent does for their child. However, he cannot help us and he cannot walk with us if we aren't worthy of his presence and if we aren't doing the basics. At my farewell talk I shared my "conversion story" and I want to share that again now because that is the time when I have seen this scripture so largely apply into my life.
Once upon a time I was really, really into soccer. It was my whole life and first priority. Nothing came before soccer except school every once and a while. A mission had never crossed my mind. A mission was for boys after they had grown a foot or two. However, every once and a while the word "mission" would pop into my mind and I would just throw it into the junk file. But sooner or later it started to become more frequent thoughts. I think at one point I felt the spirit so strongly that I wrote on a program, "I want to quit soccer and go on a mission." I gently threw that to my mom in the middle of sacrament meeting when it would be quite inappropriate for a big gasp. But even then I still continued to throw it to the back of my mind, deny it, and think about all the future things I already had planned. Towards the end of October 2013 (which sounds like ages ago now) I started to become confused. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing and I had major decisions coming up in the next few months. I decided it was time to receive my patriarchal blessing. I wasn't expecting to be told what school to go to or what to study but I did expect to get a little bit of direction in my life. OH MY GOODNESS, my answer came much more clear than I ever wanted. I was told that I was to serve a mission. It wasn't the words I heard but it was the feeling I felt, it was a command to follow. And the worst part about it was I couldn't deny any of it. Especially because my parents were right there listening. My blessing helped me know which direction to go in. The following Sunday my dad gave me a missionary action figure that I think he stole from the nursery. And that's the moment I knew I was doomed. For once it wasn't all about me and what I wanted, but it was what the Lord had planned for me. For the next couple months I was still searching for some more confirmation- because you know, that wasn't a great enough sign or anything. Stubborn teenagers. One day my mom came downstairs to my room while I was doing homework and gave me a talk by Dallin H. Oaks. I don't know what it is about my mom but she has a sixth sense. And I don't know if all moms have this or if she is even more special than she already is but she always knows when something is wrong, when I am struggling, or when I need something and that day I needed this talk. It was titled "Good, Better, Best." In his talk he states, "We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives." So that's when I started to make prayer, scripture study, mutual, and other church meetings a priority in my life. This also helped me make the decision to get my young women's medallion even though I was already 18. After passing off some of the smaller and required values all I had to do was read the Book of Mormon. Night after night I read. You have to understand I HATE READING but I could not put it down. That's when I gained my own real testimony. At that point I didn't have to rely or depend on the testimonies of my parents (and my awesome brother!), leaders, friends, or other young women. I could rely on my own. And let me tell you that is the best feeling in the world. To me it was mind boggling that my foundation and my faith were based on the simple things. Before I knew it I was done filling out mission papers, I was opening my call to the Washington, Everett Mission and then I was reading this conversion story with 72 hours remaining before I left. And next month I will hit my year mark!
I have always considered this my "conversion story" but really this is my "testimony story". I have only crossed the starting line of my conversion race of eternity.
Previous to the knowledge I had of my family "Ponderizing" scripture, Sister Bell and I chose one of our own (I ponderized two scriptures this week!) It is Alma 17:31, "My brethren (or sisters, hehe) be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king..."
As I was thinking about this scripture and how it applied to me I remembered an experience I had in my last area. My companion and I were struggling to find investigators. We decided that we needed to fast. That day we were not trying to do missionary work (the Lord's work) on our own, we were doing it WITH the Lord. Just like Ammon said to the servants of the kind, "Be of good cheer, and let US go in search of the flocks," the Lord said the same to us in our hearts. That day we "gathered them together." We found two new investigators and got one of them on date. WE (the Lord and us- His servants) brought the one that was on date "back unto the place of water" where she was baptized. And "thus we are preserving her unto the king." She is now an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who surrounds herself with good people, good morals, and a great testimony. She is attending BYUI in the fall of 2016 and is considering serving a mission.
Just like each of us she is on this eternal pathway of conversion. She humbled herself to the will of the Lord and allowed him to direct her paths. These paths were difficult at times and changed a lot of her lifestyle but nothing can bring as much joy or success as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am so grateful for all of you! I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUUUUU!