Monday, January 25, 2016

The Gospel Changes Lives

This week flew by faster than the last!

We have had a really great week! Better than any of our other weeks this transfer!! Woohoo!! We taught many, many lessons and went on exchanges this week too! They have changed the way we do exchanges now so both of us split with sisters but we stay in their areas... So we lose a day of teaching in our area which sucks... but... we still had a great week and taught more than we have in this area before! So that's really great!

We got to watch a 2 hr training broadcast for Missionaries. It was pretty great! I was expecting some big weird announcement.... maybe that they were extending sisters' missions to 24 months... that'd be nice eh? hahah But it was all the basics. It was a good reminder of the things that we should already be doing, but maybe we aren't.

The work in our area has definitely been progressing so that's great! We've been able to see people take big, scary steps to return to the Gospel that, without inspired and personalised invitations, they probably would not have taken. I'm so grateful that the Lord knows all things about these people and tells me what I need to know to help them. He really could do this all without me.... and way better than I ever could so I'm grateful that He is willing to put his faith in me to do this work.

This week marked 6 months until I go home. I always have weird dreams about going home... Like my parents sending a taxi to the airport, and making me pay for it myself too..  Or that I cry every time I see other missionaries... which would be pretty pathetic right? hahaha Anyway... I'm not ready yet!! Maybe in 6 months I will be. But probably not. Then again, I wasn't ready to be here when I got here... so sometimes you just become ready by doing it . Can I get a trainer for the first 12 weeks of home life too? Is that a thing? It should be!

I'm willing to admit now, that I've been pretty sick for the last 2 weeks... I'm one of those annoying people who has to take naps at the randomest times of the day because I just need a nap ... But this week has been easier to just push through! So that's good. It'll all be figured out eventually so no big deal. As long as I can still be out and teaching then I'm pretty happy with life so all is well!

I can't believe I've already been training for one transfer! It seemed to drag along but now that it's over I'm like holy cow!! Crazy! It's crazy how well you can get to know people in such a short space of time when you are having spiritual experiences with them. Gah... I just never want to not be a missionary! Can I just not leave.... can someone please make that happen....

Yeah, yeah I know I need to get a real life but I actually don't want to, because that's scary... so I think I shall stick to this while I can, thank you!

I love this work. I love this gospel. I love the change that it brings and the visible difference in people once they accept the gospel and start to live by it's precepts. It's just wonderful!! I love it!!

Hope you all have a great week! I will try to have better stuff to say next week! hahah

Love you!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Reverse Tracting

This week flew by so fast that I actually can't even remember what happened! Sad huh?

It was a pretty good week though... as far as I remember! haha

Been a little sick but nothing major! Wee li'l cough! 

Anyway... yesterday... we had a great experience! We had planned for dinner to be at 6 and then the family asked for us to come at 5 instead... so, because we now we had some time in the evening unfilled between appointments, we headed home. Suddenly there was a knock on our door. There was a sales person for Century Link and she was asking about our Internet and TV usage... I explained that because we are missionaries we don't watch tv or have any internet usage in the home. She then asked if we knew where the nearest public restroom or gas station was. She had been out all day knocking doors and hadn't used the restroom all day... Well that sounds familiar!

I mentally scanned through the Missionary Handbook and Policies and Guidelines..

I didn't find anything that said not to, since it says only not to accept visits from members or to teach investigators in our living quarters... So I looked at her name tag etc and decided that I should let her use our restroom. Jesus would!

When she came out of the restroom and was heading out the door she said "I admire you, you know." She then told us that she believed in God, but not the Bible, because she feels like there was too much taken away from it! LIGHT BULB! Luckily Sister Adams was listening and brought over a Book of Mormon for her, We explained the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it... she was really grateful and she accepted it and accepted to have us contact her and come and teach her!

She gave us her name and number and then thanked us and left. HA! Who ever thought people would tract into us?! Not me! But it felt so so so good! I felt like a good missionary for a minute because we took that opportunity. Kind of like those sisters in the District 1, where they go and speak to the postal worker. Once we closed the door Sister Adams and I just giggled like school girls at what had just happened. She was prepared. I could feel the Spirit while I was talking to her and she was telling me her concerns. I'm excited!

So that was pretty cool!!! It's not often we actually have people tract into us?! lol Miracles! 
We had to exchange with some other sisters on Wednesday because they are in a trio, and the only one with driving privileges was going to be away for the day at the temple. So Sister Adams and I split with them so we could drive in each area. It was great! I got to spend the day with Sister Sturgeon. She is in her last couple of weeks of being trained. She is such a great missionary! It was awesome teaching with her! That day went way too fast!

We also had interviews with President this week. We decided that we wanted to do some 'stop bys' before our interview was scheduled so we weren't super early... We go to this one house to see if we can arrange a time to go back and visit with them... "Come in" she says as soon as she opens the door... Well, we weren't expecting that! Needless to say, we were late for our interviews but luckily they were running late... so we were still early!! Schweeet!!

Yesterday for P-day I just played cards... so interesting! hahah But I wasn't in the mood to play sports yesterday.... so I played Cribbage... like an old person! But all good! Then we played 'apples to apples'. That's always fun.

Well this week marks 12 months and 3 weeks that I've been out... which means it's exactly 6 months until I come home... and that's terrifying right?! Can I just not?! Please?!

Well... the time is running out... But I love you all.

Thought for the week is super short... but it's true.

Sometimes life is pretty crap! And sometimes that crap is fertiliser!

Truth though!!

Love you all!!! Have a great week! :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

If You Love Me....Because I Love You

This week was soooooooooooooooo long!!!  I know I said I wanted time to slow down but really... that was long! Hahaha

Well... I had been studying on Saturday the scripture that says "If ye Love me, keep my commandments"

I'm weird and I like to see real deep into these short little scriptures.

I came to the conclusion that this is one of the most loving scriptures that I've ever read!

It's really not a case of "if you love me, prove it to me by listening to what I say and do it"

I feel that it's more a case of "I love you and I want to be with you for eternity. Do you love me too? If you want to be with me too,  here is how you can do it. Follow these instructions and we will see each other again"
How loving is that?  It's not because He wants us to shut up and obey... it's because He wants us back! He wants us to be in His presence for the rest of eternity, and the only way we can do that is by following His directions that will help us return.
If we 'Hold to the Rod' we will be safe.
In His presence for eternity
I studied this on Saturday morning and then had the opportunity to feel that... I felt a little of what I think Heavenly Father feels when we disobey him. I imagine that His heart breaks so much and He wants to take away all of the consequences, but He knows that the only way we learn and progress is by dealing with the consequences of our choices...
I imagine it must be very painful for Him to go through that multiple times a day.

On a funny note... lemme tell you why you should always keep your eyes on where you're going.

On Wednesday, Sister Adams and I were leaving the place where we were doing service and, as we walked outside, these 2 guys who do service there said "You leaving already?" so me... now I'm playing it all cool, slowly stepping backwards as I tell them "We've been here since 11 already" and then...... SMACK!!!!! Stepped right off a curb about a foot high... and I didn't tumble or roll... just from feet straight to my butt... in the middle of the street... a main street, none the less. They jumped up, but I was so embarrassed I was already up before they could get to me... My ego was so bruised... and so was my butt. OUCH!

I was so mortified!!  Everyone always says I fall so gracefully which is nice and all... but it means they've seen me fall multiple times... so yeah.. awkward!

Anyway... this week had been an odd one... I'm excited for the start of a new week now!!  

I don't have too much to say right now... or rather the desire to say too much.. haha I'm sleepy.

Well... I love you all!! I hope you have a great week!!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Just One Hour

Mission Family - Sis. Aukuso (Gran), Sis Botts (Mom) and Sis Adams (Daughter)
Well well... 'tis the New Year... how weird is that! This week has gone so slowly. I kinda hate holidays right now!  But this next week is gonna be boss!
We did so much tracting this week! It was pretty awesome!  I can successfully say that I LOVE TRACTING!  Who would'a thought?  Freaking not me! That's who!
But anyway! It has been good!
Sis Botts and Sis Adams

We got to go to the 'Work of Salvation' fireside last night! I really missed attending those while I was down in the valley!  We had two people who came to it with us. It was so great! I really felt the Spirit there!

Meeting friends at the fireside

It's weird... I think my mind just went blank as to what to say in this email.

A couple things I had on my mind.

First of all... I did something stupid this week and played flag football when I knew I shouldn't have... I'm ashamed.  And as a result I lost one of my rings and hurt for like 3 days straight.  Seriously!! I knew I shouldn't have done it.  So so stupid! This is what happens when you are disobedient! SO DUMB!!

Secondly... we have been sharing messages on the Sacrament with all the active members that we come in contact with. It's been really great! We only started to do it this week but it's been so good.
I though about the symbolism of the Sacrament.
Symbols of the Sacrament
Then I thought about how it's an hour long.
Then I thought of how different the story would have gone in the Bible if, when the Saviour returned
to the Apostles who were waiting just a "stone's throw away" and, instead of being asleep, they weren't even there.  One was too tired and went home, another got offended by something someone said, two of them thought a hike in nature would be just as good, and a few more had a sports match that they had to catch.

Don't these excuses all sound quite familiar? And what does the Saviour say?
He says "Couldst not thou watch one hour?" Can we not watch one hour?

Couldst thou not watch one hour?
I've come to see the Sacrament as the hour that we can watch with the Lord. One hour. One hour to think about the sacrifice that He has made for us.... In Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-10 it talks about 'keeping ourselves more fully unspotted from the world'. The word that sticks out to me is "Keep" which, to me, would suggest that we already ARE unspotted. Which again suggests that we prepare ourselves to partake of the Sacrament by repenting before we take it... Taking the Sacrament is not repentance. To partake of it worthily we need to ALREADY have repented when we take it thus, KEEPING ourselves unspotted.

So... this is my invitation to all of you....  Prepare yourselves for the Sacrament each week by repenting daily, and then not to just watch with Him for one hour... but for one hour and 10 minutes, by arriving 10 minutes early to the chapel and sitting in reverence, listening to the prelude music as you prepare to participate in this sacred ordinance.
Prepare to participate

 Furthermore, I would invite you to recognise the sacredness of the chapel, and to treat it with respect and reverence. Keep your conversations for outside, so that all who are in the chapel can feel the Spirit and reverence themselves. That means sitting quietly when you get there but also saving your conversation for outside once the Sacrament is over... Respect those who are about to start their sacred meeting once yours is over.

 I really have a testimony that the reason the 1st Presidency and Apostles are focusing on this one thing is because, once properly observed, the Sacrament is going to be the key to our success as followers of Christ in all aspects of the Church. I know it!

Well... I guess I just wanted to talk about that today a lot more than I wanted to regale you with exciting war stories of a mission...

We tracted in below zero temperatures, my knuckles cracked and bled, and I could not be any happier. Not a single person let us in... but I could not be any happier!

Correction... ok... there's one pretty hilarious story. One person did let us in.

So we're tracting and there's an hour left before  our dinner appointment... This one dude answers but it's over an intercom... He is rude and tells us to go away. I am polite and prepare to leave... A familiar face opens the door. He is a member. They let us in. His poor wife looks shocked at our arrival. We come to realise... that we have now discovered where our dinner appointment for the evening is... because we tracted into them. First they thought we were joking but we really did have no idea that we were supposed to have dinner there... We were gonna just look up their address just before it was time to go to dinner! Ha... so we left... did some more work and came back at the right time!  AWKWARD!!!! I was so mortified! But it was pretty funny!! I still laugh when I think about it! hahaha

Anyhoo... that's me for the day!

So be obedient because disobedience is so so so dumb!!!

I love you all!  I hope you have a wonderful week!