Letter sent June 9th, 2014: (“Tornado’s to Miracles”)
Hello! Greetings Earthlings.
Guess what?... yep. you are right. another incredible week full of miracles. I feel SO blessed to be out here in the best part of the country, among the most amazing people. I don't know why the Lord has been blessing us so much lately, but man am i grateful and humbled. This is seriously the best work on earth.
First things first:
1. Congratulations to Hayley! Her wedding pictures/the musical looked SO beautiful and fun! So happy for her. Beautiful bride and couple.
2. Happy Father's day to the best man alive! I am so grateful for you, Dad! You are my favorite and i love you so much.
3. Happy Birthday to the greatest Mom! It's kind of fun to be able to celebrate both of my parents on the same day this year! Maybe president will give me permission to skype home? ha just kidding. But really i love you so much and can't be more grateful for your example to me. Love you!
4. Happy Birthday to my fav French missionary, Kales!! Love you! Miss you and can't wait for the reunion of a life time.
... and happy birthday/anniversary/wedding to anyone and everyone i may have missed!
What a great week. Literally so much happened this week that i dont know how i am going to be able to fit it all into a tiny little email. Ill try my best though!
We started off the week with a bang, literally, seeing that we had a tornado on Tuesday! I was on exchanges with Sister Pettyjohn, which was way fun, ha except that right around 4 oclock the sky started turning green/black and the rain started to pour. We drove as fast as we could to get back to the Trail Center, and by the minute the weather was drastically changing from blue skies to "the jaws of death". We had no food at the trail center, haha so we decided to drive through Jimmy Johns to pick us up some food in case we actually got hit by a tornado.. dumb idea. We were ordering and the sirens were going off, and the lady that was taking our order was so slow sister pettyjohn almost had an anxiety attack! ha we grabbed our food and rushed to the trail center right as the hail was starting to come down. It was awesome. We all went down into the basement, including guests ha, and waited it out. it was a fun adventure.... yesterday at church we had our lesson on "signs of the times" and it was so fitting for our experience this week. The Savior's second coming is drawing near, and there is no place i would rather be than here!
A lot happened this week, tiny miracles every day. I wish i could tell you all of them, but i aint got no time. Just know that the Lord is involved in the very details of our lives, and is aware of every single one of His children. If we look, we will be able to see His hand in all things.
Yesterday was one of the greatest days of my mission.. Big statement, i know. But it really was so miraculous and i attribute it to fasting. We decided sunday morning that we were going to fast for our investigators to come to church. We saw Chris this week, and really were praying that he would come to church because he is seriously so solid. We also had invited several other investigators and less active members, so we knew we needed the Lord's help in getting them there.
Sunday morning one of our investigators, Lena, called to say that she wasnt coming to church. We were totally bummed, but didnt give up hope! We knew that the Lord would provide a way. And he totally did. In relief society, our less active/returning member, Sue, walked in right after the meeting started. We havent been able to get ahold of her all week, so we were extremely worried about her.. seeing her walk into church and then stay all 3 hours was such a huge miracle. We then went to gospel principles, and there was John, in a white shirt and tie (!), with our other investigator named Michael! I couldve cried. John looked SO good all dressed up and i felt the Lord's love for him so strong. He is getting baptized this Saturday at 10, and he couldnt be more prepared or more excited.
After gospel principles we went into Sacrament, and were waiting for a text or a call from Chris to tell us he was there. We waited and then had the feeling to go outside and wait for him. Right as we opened the door to go outside, there he is, with his girlfriend Girly, in their sunday best. Elder and Sister Cleverly were there as well to welcome them in and to help fellowship. They loved Sacrament, and the ward council is on board to helping them feel completely fellowshipped. I am so excited to see what happens with them! Please pray for them!!
As we were sitting in sacrament, ( which sister Brough and i werent even together, we were both sitting with different families because of the number of people there - not a bad problem to have! ) in walks our less active/recent convert, Rochelle. We didnt think she was coming because of her heart attack, but there she was, smiling from ear to ear. Ah! it was amazing!
Sister Brough and i sang Savior, Redeemer of my Soul in sacrament meeting, and that was another miracle because it went over great, even with only running through it once. It was a sacred experience as i know that the Lord helped strengthen my voice.. there is no other explanation to it. The harmony went perfectly, and we were truly able to bear testimony through song. The spirit was so strong, and i really hope it touched the investigators/less actives hearts that were there.
All in all, i KNOW that the Lord lives and that He blesses us as we sacrifice and show our obedience to Him. He is so good. He wants us to be happy and so He has prepared the perfect way for us to be! It is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ, made possible because of the Savior's atonement. I feel His love every day, and it is the greatest gift.
I love you all! Continue to endure!
Letter received June 16, 2014 (“John the Baptized”)
Hello from Omaha!
My heart is full of gratitude today, and i am just so thankful to be a missionary. I remember when i first came out i would get kind of nervous to have people notice i was "different" .. wearing a skirt, and a big black name tag on my chest. I dont know what i was thinking, because now it is literally the greatest joy of my life to wear Jesus Christ's name over my heart each and every day! What a blessing, and i wouldnt trade it for anything!
We were able to witness a miracle on Saturday, as John entered the waters of baptism! it was a beautiful day, and my heart was so full as i realized, once again, the sacred nature of baptism and the importance of that covenant. It is the only way back to live with our father in heaven, and is made possible because of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to have His authority on the earth today so that we can have hope that one day we will live with God again.
Saturday was a crazy busy day - by the end of the night my head felt like a bowling ball and i couldn't even make it through my nightly prayer without dozing off! i love days like that. We started out the day with Trail Center Training, which was so totally awesome! We had asked the Assistants to train on obedience, and they did such an incredible job. I have had so many trainings on obedience, but this one was still so enlightening. Some points i loved:
- There are 3 motivations to be obedient:
2. Praise of man
Love is the greatest motivator, and as we obey the 2 great commandments (to love God and to love our fellow men), obeying all other commandments will come easier.
- Jesus Christ was perfectly obedient to the Father. His will was "swallowed up" in the will of the Father. Even though He asked for the "cup to be removed" three times, He still was able to say "not my will, but thine be done". He set the perfect example of loving God and His "fellow men" (us) by suffering the atonement, and therefore being exactly obedient.
- Being exactly obedient doesnt mean we are perfect. It means that we are trying our very best, and then continually repenting.
- Why am I obedient?
I was so motivated after this training to be obedient in every aspect of my life, and to evaluate my standing with God in order to become more exactly obedient. I have a lot to improve on, but i know that being obedient is the only way to bring the greatest amount of blessings!
So, if you can't tell, the day started off AWESOME.
THEN. We rushed off to the stake center for John's baptism! It was supposed to start at 10, but right at about 9:55 we got a call from John who said that he had lost the keys to his car, and he was still at home! The stake center is about 30 minutes away from where we live, so we quickly said a prayer and petitioned the Lord for a miracle. And of course, right after we prayed he was able to find the keys! Satan is one tricky guy. But John was able to make it by 10:30, and the baptism went just great. Sister Brough and i sang "I know that my Redeemer lives" and it went so well. The spirit was the strongest it has ever been, and John broke down in tears as we were able to sing TO him our testimonies of the Savior. It was powerful, i wish you could have all been there. I know Sister B and i were blessed and that the angels in heaven were singing along with us.
* a little side note about John. He is a talker. He has come into the trail center many, many times and each time stays for at least 4 hours. He LOVES to talk and it is one of my favorite things about him! Well, after his baptism was performed, he bore his testimony and he was literally speechless. He talked for about 5 minutes but that was all he could say - it was so cool. He was completely overwhelmed with the spirit, that all he could really say was that he felt "glorious". What an amazing day.
After the baptism, Sister B and i and the Cleverly's drove down to Nebraska City to help with a fair they were having in the town. We had a booth all about the Mormon Trail Center/Pioneers. It honestly was a really small turn out, but the best part was that i got to spend the whole time with my trainee, Sister Palmer! She serves there, and is doing great. It was like being reunited with family to see her - i love her so much.
We were able to see SUCH an incredible miracle this week with Chris! AH! Here is the week's break down of events with him:
Wednesday: We had a lesson at his house with Brother Portwood in our ward. They totally hit it off and we had a great lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ/tithing/ a bunch of other things. Brother Portwood was going off on all sorts of tangents, haha but it totally worked. The spirit was there and it was exactly what needed to happen.
Thursday: Chris calls and says "Did you girls say an extra prayer for me last night?" we told him that we always pray for him at night, but nothing in particular! He then went on to say that he woke up Thursday feeling totally energized and like he had been re-born. He said that he got a bigger check that day, bigger than he had ever received and had really no way of explaining where it came from. He also said that he was feeling so peaceful, and that he was on "the right track"! The greatest thing about it is that he attributed everything to the Lord, and him coming closer to Him. Chris said that if things continue going the way they are, there will literally be no denying what his next "step" in life is.. baptism! SO awesome! We were able to bear testimony over the phone of the reality of God, and how blessings truly do come when we are obedient to Him.
Sunday: Chris and his fiance Girly came to church, and they loved it. Second week in a row(!) which is such a huge miracle.
Continue to pray for him! He is so awesome, and i feel seriously so privileged to be able to teach him.
We were able to see the Lord's hand every second of this week. I really felt like every prayer offered was answered, and that is a very humbling thing to experience. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and His great love for us, His children.
Love you all! Have a wonderful week!