Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 25, 2016

I love love Illinois skies 😻
Wait corn ???? HAH. 
Illinois State University

Sis. Mehr, the Bishop's wife. We were twinning. I love her !!!! #SOULSISTA❤️❤️❤️

We went on exchanges with the Sis. Training leaders. It was cool. 


HEY YALL !!! I hope all is well with each of you. 
Thanks for those of you who still read these long things I send out each week! It means a lot!  You better believe missionary work is SUPER EXCITING! Each day something new happens. You seriously see miracles allllll the time. It's awesome!

You know you're a missionary when you get excited about granola, going to the bathroom by yourself, and when a non churchy song comes to your head and you actually remember the lyrics, and then BOOM all you can think of is churchy songs 24/7! Hah, that's when Heavenly Father reminds you it's HIS time and NOT the worlds. 
I've been thinking a LOT lately about being a consecrated missionary. Cause there are good missionaries and better missionaries. But I don't want that. I  have such a strong desire to be the BEST missionary God needs me to be and knows I can become!¡ 
I will NOT settle for less than the best. But I know I cannot get there without a strong desire to sacrifice everything and leave everything behind. Literally everything. It's hard, but worth it. I'm still not where I wanna be but with Christ's help I can become who I wanna be. I'm slowly seeing myself get to where I wanna be. I recently read this about becoming a consecrated missionary and I loved it: 
"WHAT DOES IT COST TO BECOME A CONSECRATED MISSIONARY?  Some time ago I saw a movie on the life of 
Martin Luther. He was about to be tried for heresy. Shortly before he was to meet with the Court of Inquisition, his spiritual mentor (a monk who had trained him and loved him) was cutting his hair with a razor. At one point the monk reprimands Martin Luther for having turned the world upside down, leading the world in revolt – Protestants against Catholics. Then in a stirring moment, Martin Luther grasps his arm and asks: 'You wanted me to change the world. Did you think there would be no cost?' You came out here to change the world, to change lives, but there is a cost. It costs everything that you have on the altar of sacrifice – your fears, your pride, your laziness, your disobedience, your weaknesses; we cannot hold anything back. When you came to the mission field you burned the bridges behind you, you burned the ships in the harbor. There is no retreat to your former life. You cannot have one foot at home and one foot in the mission field. The Lord demands our whole soul on the sacrificial altar. That is the price we must pay, and when we do, we become instruments in the hands of God." 
I will GO AND DO.  I will continue to do my best to give it my ALL. 
I only have 11 months left. AHHHH SCARY to think. I ONLY have 11 more months to give the Lord my EVERYTHING. It's hard, but I CAN do this.  

We've been talking to EVERYONE we see, even if it's SUPER awkward, because Sis. MΓΌhlestein and I ARE gonna baptize a family. I CAN FEEL IT in my bones. For example, we literally ran down the street to talk to a guy who was walking way fast with his dog. 
He was pretty anti and didn't want anything to do with us, but we did our very best and talked to him until he walked off. 
And just yesterday we walked with a lady for 2 miles in the DEAD of the HEAT to teach her about the GOSPEL.  She was a STONG apostolic Christian. She kept changing the subject, but we kept bringing it back to Jesus since he's why we're all here obviously. 
It's interesting how so many people from that religion always seem to abbreviate the name of their church. They don't usually say the full name. They have a lot of things in common with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Very interesting. Goes to show that Christ's church--the Latter Day Saint church--is the one and only true church upon the earth. And it is evidence that during the Great Apostasy (the spiritual darkness  on the earth) there were many great men and women seeking for the fullness of truth but knew not where to find it all. Well people of Illinois HERE I AM .... So LET'S BAPTIZE YA  πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š NO JOKE. 

We even went outside last night when it was lightening, and we could've died. We had 10 minutes to spare and went out walking.  No one was out, cause they were actually being smart and finding safe places to not die.  But since this message is FOREVER LIFE changing we went out anyway. We were able to knock a couple doors.  We talked to one lady, "Well I have family who's Mormon, but I'm strong in my faith.  You girls are really awesome to be out doing this for Jesus in this weather cause you could die. You need to get shelter."  We said,  "We know this message is for your eternal salvation, so it's more important than anything. That's why we're out right now."  Then she slammed the door in our faces. Hah!  But hey, we think maybe she needed 2 crazy 19 year old girls out in a storm teaching her about the gospel to soften her heart and prepare her to be ready for future missionaries. Even though it probably wasn't the smartest thing, I literally WILL DIE trying to bring people into the gospel because I KNOW it is true. 

This new Pokemon game is  like a plague.  Everywhere we go people are playing it. I think Satan had his hand in making this app--bad things are happening because of it. People are getting killed and robbed. It's a sketchy game. We met one family at this park & they said it's what they do for "family time".  I honestly don't understand how you can have family time while you're glued to your phones looking for fake Pokemon all over the world. This is just seriously super ridiculous if you ask me. We met this creepy guy at the park who was playing with his other creepy/super sketch buddies.  They saw us walk past and were trying to flirt and talk.  When they asked our names and we said "Sisters"  you could see their countenances change. They were way disappointed (which was good--oh definitely not my flavor, and I'm a missionary!)  They thought we were nuns. The guy said,"Where's all your batman up do ?" πŸ˜‚  We answered, "no. We are not nuns. Definitely not nuns." 

A members  non member  friend had a dream she got married in temple. Y'all seriously how cool is that ? #miracle #babystepsto1000baptisms 

At a members home she fed us EPIC quesadillas that really filled us up.  It made me so happy. I love good quesadillas.  The trouble was she then asked if we wanted cake. "Sure! Small pieces please." OH MY GOSH, THAT THING WAS BIGGER THAN what I was expecting. I felt like Bruce off of the movie 'Matilda'.   I ate it ALL. #GOBRUCE 

I really love this quote:  "We aren't called to fill the pews with members; we are called to fill the world w/ disciples." - Stacy L. Sanchez.  It reminded me of something I read recently in the Book of Mormon Alma 32:37–38, 42–43. Which reminded me of something I read recently from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency on how to become a disciple of Christ:“This is the peaceable way of the follower of Jesus Christ.  Nevertheless, it is not a quick fix or an overnight cure.  A friend of mine recently wrote to me, confiding that he was having a difficult time keeping his testimony strong and vibrant. He asked for counsel.
“I wrote back to him and lovingly suggested a few specific things he could do that would align his life more closely with the teachings of the restored gospel. To my surprise, I heard back from him only a week later. The essence of his letter was this: ‘I tried what you suggested. It didn’t work. What else have you got?’
“Brothers and sisters, we have to stay with it. We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint--this is a race of endurance. We have to apply and reapply the divine gospel principles. Day after day we need to make them part of our normal life.
“Too often we approach the gospel like a farmer who places a seed in the ground in the morning and expects corn on the cob by the afternoon. When Alma compared the word of God to a seed, he explained that the seed grows into a fruit-bearing tree gradually, as a result of our ‘faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering’ [Alma 32:43]. It’s true that some blessings come right away: soon after we plant the seed in our hearts, it begins to swell and sprout and grow, and by this we know that the seed is good. From the very moment we set foot upon the pathway of discipleship, seen and unseen blessings from God begin to attend us.
“But we cannot receive the fulness of those blessings if we ‘neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment’ [v. 38].
“Knowing that the seed is good is not enough. We must ‘nourish it with great care, that it may get root’ [v. 37]. Only then can we partake of the fruit that is ‘sweet above all that is sweet, and … pure above all that is pure’ and ‘feast upon this fruit even until [we] are filled, that [we] hunger not, neither shall [we] thirst’ [v. 42].
“Discipleship is a journey. We need the refining lessons of the journey to craft our character and purify our hearts. By patiently walking in the path of discipleship, we demonstrate to ourselves the measure of our faith and our willingness to accept God’s will rather than ours.
“It is not enough merely to speak of Jesus Christ or proclaim that we are His disciples. It is not enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our religion. Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessings of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, ‘spectator discipleship’ is a preferred if not a primary way of worshipping.
“Ours is not a secondhand religion. We cannot receive the blessings of the gospel merely by observing the good that others do. We need to get off the sidelines and practice what we preach. …“… Now is the time to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, become His disciples, and walk in His way” (“The Way of the Disciple, Ensign, May 2009, 76–77).

Which in turn reminded me of this quote I love: 
"If you aren't willing to fight for what you believe in, then you don't even enter  the ring." - Madonna 
The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is sooooooo very important.  If we are't willing to keep the promises that we made with God through baptism or other covenants we make or if we aren't willing to OPEN our mouths & share the gospel then DON'T enter the ring of the gospel. It's hard work, but soooo beyond worth EVERY second. 
It's been a hard 7 months, but I am soooo happy to be here in the land of Illinois. Even though it's hotter than anything I've ever experienced, I wouldn't wanna be anywhere else because I'm soooo happy here. I get " beat up" in the "ring" ( mission filed of Illinois) sometimes, but I CAN TAKE IT cause I'm TOUGH.   So DON'T MESS WITH ME πŸ˜Š Most importantly I KNOW where my power comes from. I KNOW I am a child of God. I KNOW I'm a precious daughter of HIM who knows me better. I KNOW I am supposed to be a full time missionary in Illinois right now. I KNOW the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints IS SO TRUE. I KNOW without a DOUBT. 

We Taught GOSPEL principles class this last week it was "Work & Responsibility " Alma 34:32-- this is our time to meet God. Like GOONIES always say, "THIS IS OUR TIME. OUR TIME. Up there it's their time,  but this is our time. Tomorrow we're gonna be in some other town in some other school. So this is our time. Let's make the most out of it." (or something like that).   Everyone can do this, but ESPECIALLY as a missionary we don't have a ton of time. If you think 18 months or 2 years is a long time, then you're seriously nuts-- it AIN'T  even close.  Let us always remember that THIS time here on earth is OUR time to prepare to meet God.  Just as a teacher gives us time to prepare ourselves for the next class by giving us homework and other assignments--God has given us so many things to help us through this test of life to prepare to meet him. He gives us trials and tests. Well more so he gives us agency, our freedom to choose.   Then we get trials because of our own choices or through others poor choices.  We all have trials but all are different. So suck it up buttercups, haha just kidding. πŸ˜‚That'd be hard, cause life is hard enough.   I just wanna encourage each of y'all to look at work and responsibility differently. I want each of you to look through your window of life differently. My grandpa Christensen always says, "two men look through self same bars.  One sees mud, while the other sees stars." I hope after today we each look through our windows of life just a little differently.  I promise as you do YOU WILL see the beauty all around you. I have seen this myself. HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU ALL.  OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOKπŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€ AND YOU WILL SEE. 

The Church IS TRUE. 


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