Dear Family,I cannot believe I forgot to say Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad! In my defense, I knew it was going to be your anniversary, but when I sit down at the computer to sometimes I forget everything I am going to say! So anyways, Happy Anniversary! I love you so much! It sounds like you had a fun Spring break.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
Dear Family,I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I really enjoyed mine. We had teriayki chicken with home made teriayki sauce-so good! We had dinner with the Ta'a Family. They are just awesome. Sister Ta'a is Tongan and Brother Ta'a is half Samoan and Half Irish and is a convert to the church. We definitely had a lot of good laughs at their home. We are also going to start teaching their son's girlfriend, Brittany! She is so nice and she is just trying to learn what she can about different churches. I told her about Dad's conversion story and I think that really peeked her interest. Church was wonderful as well. All of the talks were about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Brother Bolles talked a lot about how Jesus Christ is there for us over and over and over again. We can never overuse the Atonement. When we hit our lowest lows, Christ picks us up and we are able to keep going, and we realize after the fact that we were able to keep going because of him. It's very similar to the message that was shared in that video that I shared with you last week called "Because of Him." I hope you all were able to watch it! It's so good!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Dear family,Last week I talked about the atonement and Nephi's experience with it. I studied this in Elder Bednar's talk called, "The Enabling Power of the Atonement." So before I forget, you should check out that talk, especially with Easter coming up! Which leads me to my next point! The church has created a video about Jesus Christ called "Because of Him." Visit http://easter.mormon.org/ to watch it and read the story about Jesus' sacrifice for us. It's filled with the Spirit and is a wonderful reminder that Jesus Christ suffered and died for each one of us. He made it so that we could be saved from the storms of this life and from our own weaknesses, fears, and mistakes. Because He died and lived again, so can we. There is no greater knowledge than this, that we have a Savior, that we have a Heavenly Father who would not leave us to bear the burdens of this life alone, that we might have hope, and that we might be able to become free through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I feel privileged to be a representative of Jesus Christ at this time of year, similarly to how I felt around Christmas. I am grateful that we can know every day of the year of the principles of the gospel, that we can have faith in Christ and repent, we can receive strength from baptismal covenants, and rely on the Holy Ghost for peace, comfort, and guidance.
the Book of Mormon and I love reading it with others. I always learn so much. We also got to meet one of the families who has 2 boys about to be baptized. The elders in our ward have been teaching them, and we are kind of going to be like on-the-side teachers, I guess. I love those boys! One is 9 and one is 7. They have some trouble concentrating so lessons are a bit crazy, but are so fun. They are just the sweetest and they are so excited to come to church.
The ward members are great. We are slowly, but surely, getting to know them. President Eaton's father and step-mother actually live in our ward! They are so great! Brother Eaton is making us birthday cards, because he apparently has some awesome cartooning skills. We went over to practice teaching them about the Restoration and the Spirit was so strong from all the comments they made. They are awesome people.
All the families that we've visited are great. One lady in our ward is someone I've met before at zone conferences. She mends our clothes for us. She is so great! I can't remember her name, because it's pretty unique, but she is awesome. She told us how the missionaries taught her years ago and it took her 11 months to decide she wanted to join the church.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. I will be thinking about you guys! And even though I've been booted out of the Easter Egg Hunt, because I'm an "adult," I will miss the great fun that we always have! (I hope they still give you some candy, Brooke!) And I hope that we can all remember, amidst the fluffy bunnies, colorful eggs, and yummy candy, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and that we each have the opportunity every day feel of His love in our lives. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Dear Family,I love change! (only sometimes though) And I love Auburn. I'm serving here in the White River ward. It is such a different place. I am so grateful for what I learned in Maple Valley-it is invaluable knowledge about the gospel of Jesus Christ that I can never replace. But I am so grateful for this opportunity to start over in a new and different area and to learn even more! One of the best parts is that there are people everywhere here, and most of them will at least take a few moments to talk to us. It is refreshing to be able to be so bold, and to not be afraid of what people think. There is so much diversity here as well. We meet all kinds of wonderful people everyday. I also really enjoy being companions with Sister Evans-Bottoms. I can already tell we will learn a lot from one another. We have a lot of the same struggles and ideas about things. We are excited to work together and learn how to be missionaries in Auburn, which is quite different than both of our last areas! By the way, we are white washing, which means we are both new to the area and have to start blind. But it's great! We love it!
What I am most grateful for is the power of prayer and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Lord truly helps us become who He wants us to be when we turn to Him and rely on His Atonement. I can promise you that I am a different person than I was 10 months ago-more sure, more confident, and more driven. (I still have so so far to go!) But I know I am moving in the right direction. All because we have a merciful Savior who will help change us and who can bring a joy and light into out lives that we cannot on our own. Elder Bednar talked about the Atonement in his talk in conference, how it is not only for the redemption of our sins, but it is there to provide us strength and to help us become more Christ-like. One example of this in the scriptures is when Nephi was bound by his older brothers and left to die in the wilderness. 1 Nephi 7:16-18.
"16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to passthat they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did abind me with cords, for they sought totake away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.
17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me fromthe hands of my brethren; yea, even give me astrength that I may bburst these bands with which I am bound.
18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stoodbefore my brethren, and I spake unto them again."
Nephi understood the enabling power of the Atonement, which can strengthen us spiritually, physically, emotionally. Christ has suffered all that we have suffered, and He knows how to help us. Nephi did not pray for his circumstances to be changed, but because he understood the Atonement, he prayed that he might be changed to overcome his circumstances.
I loved Conference. It went by way too fast. One of my favorite talks had to have been President Uchtdorf's talk about Gratitude. I have been wondering how I can be more filled with happiness. I felt like his talk was written directly for me. If we become grateful to the Lord in all things, whether easy or hard, we will be happy. Rather than being grateful for selective things, we should be grateful for all that the Lord sees fit to give us. I want to develop gratitude as a greater part of my character. All of the words we heard at conference were amazing! You cannot help but feel the Spirit as you listen to the words of those who are called by God to lead and guide His Church. I cannot wait until I can go back and re-study the talks. We are so blessed to have a prophet of God on the earth today.
I am so grateful to know that God lives and that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die and atone for our sins. I am grateful to know that we are never alone, and that we are God's children and He loves us infinitely. I am grateful to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I am grateful to know that families are forever. I love my family!!! I hope you have a wonderful week. Remember to rely on the Lord in all things. He knows what He's doing much more than we do!
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Dear Family,It happened. I've been transferred. Getting that call from the zone leaders on Sunday night was probably the worst moment of my mission so far. I have to tell you that the only thing that helped me get through it was the power of prayer and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. As I prayed Sunday night feeling much despair, I felt the gentle promptings of the Spirit bringing peace to my heart. I know all will be well. I LOVE MAPLE VALLEY. And I do not want to leave. But I am so so so grateful for what I have learned here and for all the people who had such a wonderful influence in my life. I just can't believe my time here is over! It was almost harder than leaving home. When I left to serve my mission I knew you would all be there in 18 months and our relationships would never fade. But I can't know for sure that these people that I have come to know and love will be a huge part of my life here on earth. I love them so much! But what I do know and have hope in is knowing that one day I can see them all again on the other side! The gospel is just great! (Plus, facebook! Haha!)
Oh, and please pray for me that I might start liking change. ha! :)