Sunday, September 25, 2016

week 41: "I didn't come this far, to come this far."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Well, I have to say, this transfer has been crazy, like I say every week. But this was the craziest of them all. I literally felt like a chicken with my head cut off running around. Clearly, I didn't involve the Lord as much as I should have, but it was still really good.

To start off, we had an AMAZING pday. Honestly best yet! Never thought anything could beat my Pdays in Redding, but this one did. A member in the first Ward rented an 11 passenger van and took all the missionaries in the zone (some sisters drove with his wife) to a hike by Donner's Pass. I think it was called Independence Trail. It was absolutely beautiful. I love being in nature and exploring and discovering Gods creations. The hike was an hour way and he came late so we're doing this activity from 9 am to about 5 pm so we were exhausted and really didn't have time to do any of our shopping because we needed to eat and go to our lesson with Justin. So it was super fun, but not very productive.

Tuesday was another exciting but exhausting day. We got dressed in our service clothes and headed to Penn Valley (about a 45 min drive) to do service with some elders and sisters. We went to non members house and helped clean out their swamp filled cattail a and other deeply rooted weeds. I don't think I have ever been that dirty in my entire life. It was hard work too. I worked with the wife named Eva. We became good friends and worked really well together. She would dig with the shovel and I would pull it out and hand the root/cattail thing to Sister Dee who would put it in a pile. We were covered in swamp water and mud! We got stuck in the mud up to our thighs multiple times. But we had a BLAST! They even fed us a home cooked lunch after! Apparently they aren't at all interested in learning the gospel, but I know one day their hearts will be softened to hear it.

We were so dirty and exhausted after. We came home, showered and headed to dinner. We ate with the B family and boy do I love that family! It is a young couple with a 16 month old daughter who is the cutest (besides Ella of course). We shared the Mormon message by Jeffrey R. Holland called "Good things to come." This is one of my favorite Mormon Messages of all time. Elder Holland encourages us to keep going, keep trying, keep trusting. Heaven is cheering us on! He reminds us that some blessings come soon, some come late and some don't come till Heaven. But to those who trust in the Lord, they come. That just brings me so much hope. I like to see the results of my hard work; I like to reap the rewards. But often in missionary work we will never know the fruits of our labors, but we trust in the Lord that those blessings will come. But it’s the Lord’s work, not mine!

We went over to see the P family. They are from Hawaii. On our way up to their apartment we met a lady named Patty. She has a beautiful garden that she tends to often. We got to know her and she inquired of who we are and what we did. We explained that we are missionaries that teach the gospel. She thought that was great and said that if we are ever in the area we are welcome to knock on her door and say hello. 

Well, going to visit the P family was truly inspired because not only did we meet Patty but, we learned that two of the daughters sell for Lularoe. Anyone knows about Lularoe you know it's super cute, comfy modest clothes but it is very expensive. Like seriously ridiculous. So, they offered to give us free what?! So Sister D and I each got a dress and a pair of leggings. I also got a top and she got another dress! We are so excited and grateful for their kindness!

We had a really great lesson with Justin that night. The Hansen boys came and so did McKenna and Brother M. We taught the Law of Chastity and went over the baptismal questions. He is just so excited to be baptized and has no hesitation is sharing his testimony! It's been such a blessing and joy to watch Justin grow in the gospel.

Wednesday we had zone meeting and President and Sister Marston came! We discussed goals and set new goals for the next month. We talked about the importance of prayer in teaching and particularly in receiving revelation. My prayers have fluctuated over my mission. I can recall times where I was on my knees for a long time pleading with God for help and guidance. While some nights, it's a check off the list. I have noticed a huge difference, as I take the time to communicate with my Heavenly Father. Once we think we made it, that's when we have the most humbling and growing to do.

Oh a wonderful thing happened on Thursday! Chick-fil- a opened!! Previously, the only chick-fil-as in the whole mission were in Granite Bay and Roseville, so this is a miracle! But also a curse because I'm sure most of my allotment will go to there.

That night we had a lesson with one of my favorite families in Foresthill. The C. family. They have three little girls and a boy. They are the sweetest, cutest family and I just adore them. We taught them the Restoration and I was able to recite the first vision and testify that I know it is true. It was tough to get through, the spirit was so strong I choked up and had to pause multiple times. I have become quite the blubber baby on my mission. 
Justin's mom 

At Justin's baptism

Friday was a blessed day, well actually I was stressed up to the roof but JUSTIN was baptized!! He is a quite serious young man, so he didn't smile, but he glowed! And he sang the closing hymn, which was "I am a Child of God". It made me so happy to see him enter the waters of baptism and make this beautiful covenant with our Heavenly Father. The Spirit was so strong and after his father baptized, he hugged his dad and said "thanks dad." It was a sweet moment I will never forget. I know that God’s hand is in the details of our lives and that He knows our hearts and will place people in our path who need us and we need them.

Saturday morning the stake Relief Society held an activity. The theme was Come Unto Christ. It started with a reader’s theater and musical presentations, which were beautiful. Then 5 classes were held but you were able to go to 4 of them. The first one we went to was all about continual conversion and that's where the title comes from. The Sister spoke about how there is never a point that we made it, we learned everything about the gospel and that the rest of life will be a breeze. But, that we are continually learning and growing and we should always be seeking truth. That was probably my favorite class.

That afternoon we went to a funeral. So far I have attended a funeral or memorial in all of my areas, I wonder if that streak will continue...anyways, our Branch Mission Leaders father passed away this past week. We never had the opportunity to meet him, but could tell by his children that he was one of the sweetest, funniest men you'd ever meet. It was evident that the family had a firm knowledge that they would see their relative again. For the majority of the funeral they were celebrating his life and many of the tears were from laughter. How grateful I am for the knowledge of the plan of happiness. That we can be with our families FOREVER!! It's all made possible in the gospel of Jesus Christ, because of His infinite Atonement.

Sunday was a great day! I love the Sabbath, especially when we feel productive and useful at Church. There were two farewells for missionaries leaving in October and Justin received the Holy Ghost! We were walking down the hall, when the primary President came up to us and asked if we could share our experience in deciding to serve a mission in Primary! I LOVE being in Primary, this little ones have such a sweet Spirit. 

We had another tender K. family moment. Their daughter, (Justin's sister) came up to us and said "I just wanted to say Thank You for helping my brother get baptized." Tears filled my eyes. I could tell she loves her brother and sees a difference in him. I am grateful for the day that they can be sealed as a family for all time and eternity.
10 month mark!
On Sunday, guess what happens?! I hit my 10 month mark! What?! I feel like I tell y'all every month, but 10 months is just weird that I am now in the double digits...this is going by waaaayyy too fast (and so I am not going to bring this up again).

I love y'all! I invite each of you to pray for missionary opportunities and then have the faith and courage to act on the promptings you receive! I know you can do it and I know that God will help you!!

Love y'all 

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