Feb 23, 2016

A Peculiar People

This week brought a little bit of everything. On Wednesday we had Zone Conference and President Gardner had us focus a lot on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how that applies to us as missionaries. I learned that it is not only central to everything that we do as missionaries, but to all things in life. It covers absolutely everything and is the only thing that makes it possible for us to return home to our Heavenly Father. We talked about the sacrament as well and I came to realize how personal the sacrament is. Sister Gardner told us that when we go to church and partake of the sacrament, that is the only time all week when we can and should think about ourselves. The sacrament is what can give us the power we need to fulfill this work that our Heavenly Father has for us to do and we need that time to think about our Savior and grow closer to Him.

We also had a few training's on finding and how we can be more successful at it. I feel like that is something that I have always struggled with because I'm more of a "listener" than a "talker". But I learned that as we are finding people to teach, we are finding the elect. The elect are a "peculiar people" and we need to find people who are willing to be different. We are never going to be in line with the world, but we need people who are willing to stand up for what they know to be true.

On Thursday, Sister Fronk and I spent 45 minutes of our companionship study planning lessons for our two investigators and we were so excited to see them. Both of them ended up cancelling. Missionary work can be so frustrating sometimes! There are so many moments where you wonder why you try so hard because nothing ever seems to work out the way that you think it should. But something that I have come to learn is that our Heavenly Father is in control and is so aware of us. This work is too important for Him to not be looking over, so I have learned to trust in Him and believe that He knows what He's doing. I know that as long as I am doing my part, He won't led me astray.

 Racket ball with Brother Washington makes for a great President's Day.

 I love them all. So much.

We won third place for having the cleanest car. We were quite proud.

 I. Love. Sleepovers.
And pancakes.

Feb 17, 2016

A Year of Learning Love

We were actually able to be really productive this week. We made Valentine's for people in our area, contacted a whole lot of referrals, did some service and even taught a new investigator (which is a big deal for us). So, overall, a pretty productive week.

I still can't believe that I hit a year this week. It honestly didn't feel real to think that I have been a missionary for a year. In a lot of ways I feel like I just got here, but at the same time I feel like I have been away from home for an eternity. But as I was thinking about it, I realized that I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had for anything. I have been able to learn to so much in the last year.

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is what the gospel truly is and what it means to me. I used to think of the church as something I did. I would go to church on Sunday and I knew of the things that I was supposed to be doing, but I didn't take them time to think about the why behind those actions. I have come to learn that the gospel of Jesus Christ isn't about just doing those daily things like reading our scriptures and praying, it's about using those things to become more like our Savior so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. It has come to the point where the gospel isn't something I do, it's who I am. It effects every part of my life and I am so eternally grateful for the testimony that I've been able to gain. I read a quote recently that said "I didn't keep my testimony [through my trials], my testimony kept me." My testimony has become my most prized possession and I know that it will be something I will always be able to lean on during hard times in life.

I also feel like I have learned how to love others for who they truly are and see them through the eyes of our Heavenly Father and Savior. Everyone around us and child of God and they are precious in His sight. I know that my Father in Heaven and my Savior love me and that they know me perfectly and are so aware of me. I love them will all of my heart and I'm so grateful for this time that I have to serve them.

I hope that you all know how much I love you and that you had a wonderful Valentine's day! Oh... and Happy 25th Anniversary mom and dad! I couldn't ask for a better example of love and sacrifice in a marriage. I love you!
 This is how Sister Fonk and I celebrate my year mark.  Pore strips are the best.

 Me a year ago.  I honestly can't believe how much I've changed, but it has definitely been for the better.


 We also threw confetti to mark the occasion.

Feb 8, 2016

Don't Worry, Be Happy

On Tuesday of this week we were supposed to have exchanges, but welcomed another snow storm instead. I thought we were done, but alas, no. Our cars were grounded all day so we had to get creative in finding ways to be productive inside. We made cookies, colored our ward list and tried our best to not go crazy. It was quite the day.

I learned on Thursday morning that I am now going to be in the Ralston La Vista ward with Sister Fronk! I have been wanting to be companions with Sister Fronk my whole mission so to say I was excited would be a little bit of an understatement. I really am so sad to leave Cottonwood, but I'm ready for this new chapter. We also learned on Thursday that Sister Chappell is training a new missionary which means... I'M A GRANDMA! I definitely had a proud mom moment when I found out. She's going to be such an amazing trainer.

Something that I feel like I have learned this week is how to really try to embrace every moment that we are given. Sister Fronk and I didn't realize it was Super Bowl Sunday until we were at church, and it freaked me out a little bit because I remember last year so clearly. Time really is such an interesting concept because it is something that we want to move both slowly and quickly and it is something that we can never get back. It is something that is so precious and I realized that our Heavenly Father didn't send us here to endure through life, but to grow and learn and be happy. In a talk I read recently from President Uchtdorf he says,

"The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."

Life is too short not to be happy, so I'm going to choose to be happy now.
 Our district's last lunch together, so that was sad. But the pizza was good so at least there's that.

 I had to let my baby go. I was not happy about that.

 But now I get to be with Sister Fronk so I'm ok with it!

Four generation picture. So happy!

Feb 1, 2016

Live A Disciple's Life

During a tour this week, I had a spiritual experience that really helped me realize how blessed I am. 

While I was with my tour in the Memorial Room, I shared a quote from Elder Ballard that said,
"This is not to suggest that our challenges today are more severe than the challenges faced by those who have gone before us. They are just different. The Lord isn't asking us to load up a handcart; He's asking us to fortify our faith. He isn't asking us to walk across a continent; He's asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn't asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He's asking us... to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn't asking us to die a martyr's death; He's asking us to live a disciple's life."

After I read that quote, one of the men looked out of the window and said, "President Hinckley wanted this temple built so badly, and he wanted it for them." As he pointed to the cemetery, it was at that moment that it hit me that I am serving on such sacred ground where I am literally in the same place as beloved pioneer Saints. This realization actually brought me to tears, which was kind of embarrasing in the middle of a tour. But I truly am so grateful for what the early Saints went through for us and it has made me think a lot about what I am doing to continue the legacy that they began. I want to do all that I can to let them know that their sacrifces weren't in vain and to make them proud.

On Friday we were able to participate in a Missionary Musical Fireside at the Trail Center and it was such a great experience to be able to help people feel the Spirit through music. It really does amaze me to see how music can touch people in a way that words can't. The message behind the fireside was to testify to people that Christ lives. He is our Savior and is always there for us. I could tell that everyone could feel the Spirit so strong in testifying to us of the truth.

Also, happy news: our investigator, Melissa, and her boyfriend, Matt, have picked a day to get married! They are the couple who came to our Christmas party and she is progressing so well. February 20 is now marked on my calendar and I could not be more excited for them!
 The Rockbrook district, everyone.

 We created a band: First Dragoons.  We're pretty cool.

 She's leaving me.  I'm not alright with it.

I love these sisters. So much.
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