Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The crazy places He wanted me to go

SAN DIEGO — What is this I hear about SNOW?!? Are you kidding me! I keep thinking it is June here, I can't believe it is already November!

My time is so messed up — first of all, we do the same thing every day and so I can't keep the days straight, and then on top of that I can't keep the months straight because there are no seasons here! I hope you had fun playing in the snow though:) You will have to send me pictures!

Juli, Thank you for the Halloween treats — that was so ADORABLE! I took a picture of it, I will send home soon.

I can't believe Carla is having a baby! That went by so FAST! It is so interesting how life seems to just slip by in the wink of an eye.

Something I keep being reminded of, is that we can't take this gift to be here on earth for granted. This is such precious time and we never know when our time is up. Each time that a transfer comes to an end, I am forced to reflect on what I have done, who I have become, and what difference I have made. Sadly, there are moments I wish I could take back, times I wish I would have opened my mouth and I did not, burdens I could have lifted, smiles I could have given.

But fortunately, there are also miracles I have seen, people I have touched, and lessons I have learned. Every six weeks I think the same thing: what are my thoughts going to be when I get to see my Father in Heaven again? What will I have become, who will I have touched, what legacy will I have left?

I just want you all to know that you have a purpose here! You have a legacy to leave! You have burdens to ease, smiles to give, laughter to share, and only YOU can do what you were sent here to do. You can do this! You have angels in Heaven cheering for you! I am cheering for you!

One more funny thing: Sister Nelson and I were talking to some random person on the street the other day and the lady asked Sister Nelson if she was my mom (Yeah, I thought you all would get a laugh out of that!).

I wanted to share to experiences from my journal this week, so I will just get to it!

November 2, 2011
We planned to go contacting in the park at Mira Mesa today since no one is home and our investigators could not meet. It was so awkward! We promised Heavenly Father we would talk to everyone, so naturally the first people we saw were a couple on a date having a picnic at the park. Sister Nelson and I looked at each other for a second, both of us thinking the same thing: do we really have to interrupt this date?! But we promised Heavenly Father, so we marched up and talked to them.

They gave us a definite NO and did not want to hear our message. There were tons of moms at the park, so that was our next stop. Mother after mother turned us down, some of them were super cranky, we were about ready to head on to our next stop, but another mother was sitting farther back on the playground watching her children play. I thought to myself, "Heavenly Father, I have just been told by about ten people to leave them alone, all of them are watching me, laughing at me, not to mention, there is a couple at the top of the hill that are making fun of us. Can I just run away and hide PLEASE?"

But I promised Him.

So we walked up to her and invited her to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. To my surprise, she wanted it! She has Mormon friends and really appreciated the Church's stand on Proposition 8. We were able to bear testimony of the sacredness of family and of her divine role as a mother of God's children.

I know we went to the park today for a reason. Heavenly Father needed us to find her. I would talk to a million angry soccer moms to find the one Heavenly Father has prepared, because I know He numbers His sheep. He loves every precious soul, and He is preparing them to receive the Gospel. I just love being a part of the miracles and the tender mercies of the Lord.

Now for a really funny day I had this week:

November 4, 2011
We had to go to Pep Boys after study this morning because Sister Kennington (I was on exchanges) and Kearsley had to get their oil changed on the car. There was no room in the waiting room and it was loud anyways so we decided maybe we could walk to the Church while we waited for the car to get done.

We checked how long it was on the GPS and it said 9 miles. We thought, "Okay, we can do nine miles no big deal."

When we asked the Pep boys guy how long he thought it would take to walk nine miles he laughed out loud at us. Yeah, I guess we deserved that. So we reconsidered. We thought maybe we could find a quiet place down the street to read our scriptures so we headed out. This was the day that it was pouring rain outside and we had no umbrella or hood. Don't ask me what we were thinking!

We walked down the street, but building after building turned out to be run down or liqour stores or whatnot- not exactly the kind of atmosphere we were looking for. We did get to talk with a girl at the bus stop and and another girl walking to the bank, but by that time we were soaked and it was time to head back to pick up the car. As we were crossing the street back to Pep Boys, a car raced by and splashed through a HUGE puddle — the kind seen in a movie where the water sprays over the person crossing the curb, only thankfully Heavenly Father gave us a tender mercy and it only got my shoes. Not that it would have mattered anyway, we looked like we had just jumped in the ocean.

After that, we went to contact a referral Sister Kennington and Kearsley had. He is Persian and wanted a Farsi copy of The Book of Mormon. Sister Nelson taught me how to say, "hello, how are you doing?" in Farsi, so that helped us and he allowed us to come in and talk with him about The Book of Mormon. 

It is amazing to me the spirit of The Book of Mormon. Just talking about it, it touches people's spirits. It reminds them of who they are and where they came from. He allowed us to come back and teach him more about it this week.

At the Battalion, we were able to take a member couple through the tour. Afterwards, they wanted to go to the tower, but they wanted to take the elevator. We warned them it was slow, but they didn't mind. We have to wait for our guests to be completely done before we go up to the front, so Sister Kennington and I waited at the bottom for about 15 minutes. All of a sudden we heard, "SISTERS!" They were stuck in the elevator! About 10 minutes later after getting the site director and the senior couples, we got them freed. What a crazy end to a crazy day!

What stuck out to me most is that Heavenly Father will do anything He has to to remind his children who He is and to help them receive the teachings of the Gospel. Whether it means sending two silly sisters who think they can walk nine miles in the rain just to share two mormon.org cards with people at the bus stop, or having my companion teach me how to say things in Farsi to warm up a man's heart, all of it happens for a reason. Because He cares! Because He loves us!

I just wanted to share with you one more thing today. I was reading my scriptures this morning and I was reading the last chapter in Second Nephi. The last words that Nephi wrote down was his testimony of the Book of Mormon. His last thoughts, the last things he wanted to share with us were these:

"And if ye shall believe in Christ, ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ judge ye- for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory that they are his words at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things notwithstanding my weakness. "
The Book of Mormon is true. I know it! I can't explain it exactly, but because of the Holy Ghost bearing witness to my soul as I read its pages, I know that it is a book from God. I have seen it change people, I have seen it bless people, I have seen it work miracles. Such a book would not come from any other source but our Father in Heaven. Reading its pages brings great power.

This world is hard! It is distracting! And Satan is trying so hard to get us to take The Book of Mormon lightly (yes, even us missionaries!). Don't take it for granted! Think of the sacrifices that our ancestors did to bring it to us. We owe them and Heavenly Father more than to set it on the bedside table or let it collect dust on the bookshelf.

I promise that you will receive strength and power as you read, and blessing will pour down on you from heaven!

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