Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Diligence and Patience
December 22, 2014

This week has been…super interesting! I've done..nothing. I hurt my back really bad and I was not able to work for a week and a half. I had to let myself heal, and there was no other way to do it.

At first I thought it was really frustrating because my goal for this month was diligence, and when I hurt my back, I thought, how in the WORLD is this teaching me diligence? I was expecting diligence in missionary work  but, Heavenly Father thought it was better to teach me diligence in another way. I have learned to trust in God's promises, and endure to the end. My faith has increased dramatically through this experience. There was one point where I thought that I might have to go home a few weeks early, and I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how much this devastated me. I seriously thought it was the end of the world, but then I started to change my outlook, and  remembered that I had received a priesthood blessing- that gave me the gift of healing and of understanding of God's will for me.

I started becoming more grateful for the things that I had, like a wonderful companion, and I really was healing, even if it was slow. I began to have even more fervent prayers with my Heavenly Father each night and morning, pleading with Him to help me understand my trials. After I began to do this, a new light came into my life. I understood more that I was learning patience, and diligence, and that I really needed to take care of myself. So I stayed with members throughout the week while my companion got to go out with some other sisters.

There was one night I was praying, and felt the deep impression to pray that I could be healed by Sunday.  I thought- at the rate I'm going, this might not be really possible…but I felt the need to put my faith in it anyway. When it got to Saturday night, my back was actually in one of the worst states it had been in in a couple of days. So all the sisters were saying...well, looks like you'll be down again tomorrow! and I just kept saying NO. TOMORROW IS THE DAY I'LL BE HEALED.

So I went to bed that night really hurting, but really asking my Heavenly Father for help. I knew that I wanted to serve Him and serve the full time of my mission. I wanted to heal and serve the people around me. Sunday came around, and I was really excited to take the Sacrament. I knew that there was a special power in that ordinance, because it had been blessed by the Priesthood. I knew that it could be as powerful as touching the clothes of Jesus Christ, just as the lady did in the story in the New Testament- and she was healed. As I took the Sacrament, I really felt my Savior's love and my Heavenly Father's love. After a few talks and songs, I stood up to give my talk. I felt so grateful for all of the blessings the Lord had given me. I loved Him so much in that moment that I stood up at the pulpit. The Spirit truly guided my talk that day, and when I sat down after I was finished, I sat there and thought to myself, "my back doesn't hurt anymore."

I know that it was by the healing power of our Savior Jesus Christ that I was able to be healed. but, what I really want to show by this story is the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I know how important it is to take the Sacrament every single week. We cannot miss it. We need it, and our Spirit needs it. Our Heavenly Father will bless us as we do so. I believe in Heavenly Father's timing, and although I cannot go out and run a marathon right now, I know that I was significantly blessed by the Sacrament and by His holy day yesterday. I am so thankful for this commandment and I hope we can all strive to keep it. I hope we can always continually look for more ways to consecrate ourselves on this day, because that is how we can come to know our Savior in a more significant way.  Please adopt this principle more fully in your life at this time. I know that our Redeemer lives, and  because of that, we can be instruments in His hands each day. We become closer to His spirit each time we take the Sacrament, and it can become an increasingly rewarding pattern in our lives as we strive to more wholly keep the Sabbath Day Holy. I know this to be true, and I know the Book of Mormon to be true, and I know this Gospel of Jesus Christ to be true. I know it without any doubts, because by the sacred power and help of the Holy Ghost, I feel of its truth every day of my life. I feel the power of His message. I pray that we'll all have a Merry Christmas, and feel the love of our Savior more fully! I love you all! and I love my Savior! AND MY MISSION!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

He is The Gift
December 8, 2014

THIS WEEK. WAS THE BEST. ever. seriously. okay. so. I can't get my thoughts together.

This week was sister's conference, where all sisters from the surrounding areas in our stake come together and we have a bunch of training. Sister Pearson and I were planning it for WEEKS. We had been trying to figure it out, we had asked certain sisters to train on whatever they felt inspired to, and we thought we had a theme in mind. We based it on the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 50:24, about light, and asked all of the sisters to base their training on that scripture. Sister Pearson and I, for our part, were planning on showing a couple of Mormon Messages, and we had it all planned out. That morning, an hour before the conference, we both looked at each other and felt exactly the same thing. We needed to scratch the whole thing we had planned.

We didn't know what we were going to do, we just knew we needed to go by the Spirit. So we showed up at Sister's Conference and it was a FIASCO. haha There was a sister who was getting calls about her health from the doctors and was in tears, some sisters thought it was at 11:00 when  it started at 10:00, and everything was just crazy. Sister Pearson and I didn't know what to do.

Right now we sound like horrible Sister Training Leaders but it's fine because it all worked out.
We got up in front of everyone and just told them exactly what had happened. Our original plan was to have them give their training, then a musical number, then we would train. But we told them that we felt the need to scratch the plan and do something else. We felt that a lot of sisters didn't realize how much they really were progressing, so we all sat in a circle and talked about progression and how Satan makes us think we are not going anywhere in our missions or in our lives. We ended up training on "light", and how when we add more light to our lives, we are continually being converted and progressing towards being like our Savior. All of these talks and scriptures just overwhelmingly came to us that we had studied during the week. The Lord really directed our conversation, and the Spirit was so strong in that room. There was just a feeling of GOODNESS there, and happiness from the sisters. Next, we had all of the sisters give their training, and they all related it to light PERFECTLY.  It went so smoothly and the Spirit was already so strong, we all learned a lot. We really learned what our Savior wanted us to learn that day.  We closed with a musical number, and we all felt so at peace! It started rough but ended up being such a good meeting since we got to hear from all of the sisters!

That was just the beginning of this great week! So as you probably have heard, there is a new video on You Tube called "He is the Gift" about Christmas. We have been trying to share it with as many people as possible, and we had challenged this family in our ward to invite someone over next Sunday to eat with us and watch that video and hear a short Christmas message. They accepted, but about a week into the challenge they still hadn't been able to find anyone to bring!

On Saturday we were tracting, trying to hand out as many "He is the Gift" pass along cards as possible. When we got out of the car we saw a man across the street and I sprinted to give him a card. He didn't really hear what I said and was like, "what?" so I just said ummmm, here's a video we wanted to share with you! bye! (I'm so lame).

BUT then, about 20 min later, we got a call from that family I just mentioned that's supposed to be inviting someone to their house. The husband was so excited.  He said, "Sisters! I have to tell you about this great missionary opportunity I had just now! There was this man that walked by my house and he came up to me saying that this girl just handed him a card, but ran away before he could tell her that he didn't have internet to watch the video! So he told him, that's funny, they are coming over to show us that video on and to eat dinner on Sunday! Do you and your wife want to come?" HE SAID YES! So they successfully found someone to come to dinner!

We thought this was the best experience of our lives at that moment, but what I really learned from it was two things- that God is ALWAYS in the details in our lives, and that if we set a goal, God helps us reach it. I know that to be true. It's through our prayers that others are prompted to be instruments in the Lord's hands. We weren't even planning on being in that area on Saturday, but we had felt strongly to go to someone's house so we followed it!

I love being a missionary, and I'm grateful for this calling that I have at this time. I never want to give it up! It's just so real to me that the Lord is in charge of this work, and I KNOW that He is my Savior. I know that my Redeemer lives and I don't know what I'd do without this knowledge. I really pray that we'll all be able to feel His influence and love this Christmas. It really is such a special time of year and I'm so excited to see what other miracles come. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father! I can honestly say that I feel their love and influence and Spirit just overwhelmingly each day for all the people we come in contact with. That's how I know we are God's children. In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Forgiveness is Necessary for Change
November 24, 2014

Wow! I have sooo much to say! Well, here I am again in Montrose! It's great though, I love it here. I'm glad I get to stay everywhere forever  because I really like change, and well, God is teaching me to love enduring to the end!

The first thing that's on my mind is the HASTENING OF THE WORK OF SALVATION OF GOD'S CHILDREN. I will gladly tell you what I mean by that. If you didn't hear, the movie "Meet the Mormons" just came out and it was wonderful and next month, the church is putting out a new video called "He is the Gift"! and it's the best video of all time. There will be a website,, and I invite all of you to check it out! We get to hand out pass along cards with that on it and we get to share wonderful Christmas messages about Jesus Christ all month to remind everyone about the true meaning of Christmas!

Anyway, so the big thing that has been on my mind is change and forgiveness. I have the opportunity to give a talk about forgiveness next week and I'm really excited. I've been trying to really pray about how and what to talk about because it's such a big subject!
First, I was thinking about a training that sister Pearson and I got to give on how Colorado Denver South is the BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD! We had thirty minutes to convince our zone that that statement was true, and I think it worked. haha. but one of the activities we did was we talked about how much this mission has changed since we first came out and then we talked about how much WE have changed since we've come out on a mission. We had a few minutes to sit and write a letter to tell someone we love about how much we have changed. Something hit me really hard as a wrote that! I was talking about how I've learned so much about my Savior etc, but then I found myself writing, "and I hope I can carry these changes home with me." that's when I realized- what does it take for something to be carried with us forever and through eternity? will the changes that I make now and throughout my whole life carry through to the next life? have the changes been significant enough that I'd do anything to keep them and keep living in the way God wants me to live? All of these questions spun through my mind as I reflected on my mission.

Next I realized that only through Jesus Christ would it be possible to make the changes necessary to receive a continuous conversion and salvation. As God's children, we decide what changes we make and we decided what to do with our lives here on earth. However without Jesus Christ, the 'extraordinary' would not be possible. In that moment, I was overcome with gratitude for my Savior Jesus Christ. I was overcome with the feelings that I just wanted to hold on to my relationship with Him as tight as I could. I never wanted to lose it.

So, what does this have to do with forgiveness? a lot. It teaches us WHY forgiveness is necessary. Forgiveness is necessary in order to change.

Over the course of my mission, I have learned a lot of things. There have been some of the happiest times, and also some of the hardest times. I have made mistakes, and probably have not been the nicest always, but there have also been times when I have been filled with love for the people and devotion to the work. Sometimes relationships need mending, and moments that need repenting. I personally have truly experienced the healing of the Atonement. Sometimes we do things to cover up our mistakes, or our misdeeds. We move on, thinking, it's okay- we will just never get along with a person or its okay, they aren't really hurt by that comment. That is not true. The reason I know that Jesus is the Christ is because of the opportunities He has given me to forgive.

This past week, someone had brought up an Elder that I probably wasn't the nicest to. I thought everything he did was a joke, and I felt that he had hurt more than he had done good. After this person brought him up, this huge feeling of GUILT just washed over me. No, I had never really done anything really mean to this elder. I maybe made some smart comments towards him, but what I really had done was to be angry with him in my mind. I felt like he was very distracting to other sisters and it really made me mad,  but I felt like my feelings were justified because of the harm he had done.

As the week went on, I felt worse and worse! I was amazed at the opportunity that God was giving me to repent of this and to change my attitude.  I was amazed because really, no one would ever know if I forgave this elder or not. He wouldn't know, the other missionaries wouldn't know, but the fact was- I would know and that's what mattered to Heavenly Father. I found myself pleading for forgiveness- I wanted to change. I wanted to recognize every single person as a child of God and I wanted to be better. Though this was not a huge sin, it was one of the hardest repentance processes I ever had to go through. Probably because it was something that we do most often…judge.

I was so grateful that I knew that through repenting, I could be forgiven. It didn't have to bother me anymore. There really wasn't a good reason that this elder bothered me. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I changed. I forgave him, but more importantly I forgave myself.
Sometimes, we think we don't have to change. We may be doing well in life, and everything seems fine, but in reality, there is always something to change. Something to repent of. That's why God has given us the great miracle of sending His son to the earth to die for us, so that we could overcome any challenge sent our way.

Hopefully you don't think my story is too dumb.  I really am not that judgmental haha. But it was really something that affected me and I learned more about my Savior Jesus Christ because of it. I am grateful for every opportunity we have to forgive. I hope you will all keep this in mind this Christmas season- and think, is there anyone that God would want YOU to forgive? I would suggest that this would bring the Spirit more abundantly into your life and give you a greater opportunity to grow yourself.

I love my Savior so much and I love this gospel. I love you all and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God
November 10, 2014

This week had to be the most insane of my whole entire mission and life, but I can honestly say that I've never learned more in my life. I feel like I'm really dramatic every time I write these emails but I really mean it!

I prayed about what I should write this time and all that came to my mind was "the first vision" and "your experience." A lot of different stories could be told about what happened this week, but I feel like I need to humbly tell you how I felt during it. I truly have come to know the meaning of Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon which says:

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

As I tell this story, I would just pray that the Spirit will convey to you how I truly feel about the Lord and about my mission and about this gospel. I wanted to start by reciting the First Vision from Joseph Smith's experience when he was called as a prophet to restore Jesus Christ's church today. When he humbly asked in prayer to know which church to join and which church was closest to Jesus Christ's church that had the full truth, and nothing but the truth, he said, "I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. when the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other, This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!"

I want you all to know the greatness and glory of this experience. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ CAME to Joseph Smith when he asked them a question in humble prayer, which sparked one of the greatest times in history. The truth being restored to the earth and to the children of God.

This is why I'm here as a missionary, because I know this is true. I know without a doubt that this event happened! and that it is what brought forth the power and way to be ETERNAL FAMILIES forever. Yes, people can say that they think they are going to be with their families forever, but this gospel is what makes that thought turn into knowledge. This gospel and religion is more than a belief. It's not just a new church, or something established to keep our lives in order. It's HERE because it's the FULL TRUTH. It's not changed things, not new things, but restored truth that we all once knew. It's the truth telling us that we can know the mysteries of God here on earth. It's the truth telling us that we are going to be eternal beings and we are important. It's the truth telling us the truth of ALL THINGS! So much I can't even contain myself or fit it in this email! Oh,  also Elder Rhoades of the seventy came this week and in the middle of the fireside he asked me to come up and bear my testimony and recite the first vision...I forgot part of it while I was up this email is me making up for it haha. embarrassing.

Overall, what I experienced this week was the truthfulness of the gospel. I can say I know without a doubt that our Savior lives and loves us, which was so apparent in the First Vision. The picture of the first vision is the perfect symbolism. God is there to represent justice- He is a just God and we are accountable for our actions. Jesus Christ is there to represent mercy- He is our advocate and since He satisfied the demands of justice with the Atonement, he can apply mercy, and Joseph Smith- showing that we have to use our agency to search. to ask. to plead. to pray. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God!

I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers! I know that He literally hears every word. Never doubt that. God gives us trials in general on earth so that we can recognize our weakness and then with Him, become strong. I made it to my breaking point this past week on my mission. I knew I was weak and I didnt think I could come out of it. So much of my mission has been spent helping sisters, and doing things that seem like things OTHER than missionary work and it was making me so mad! because it really felt like it had broken me to a point that I had never been broken before, but through this experience I was able to learn that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are ONLY in the service of our God.

We can all change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, even when we don't think we can, or that others can or that we feel like we have before, but this time it's 'not working' or that you have done everything for someone and they still aren't changing. Never blame your circumstances- we can always change. I knew I had to and that was the hardest part, but that is how we learn about our Savior. I'm grateful for the change and growth we have to experience here on earth. I know it's always possible. and that is how I know this gospel is true, because I have learned that even the seemingly impossible is possible with Christ. JESUS CHRIST LIVES!