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Miracles and Tears

Monday, January 27, 2014

First of all, I HATE PACKING. Nuff said.

But let me start with another quote :) 

"Through my biggest trial came my greatest tender mercy" -- Sis Morgan, Sept 2013

This week has been so insanely wonderful! We have just been seeing miracle upon miracle and I can't seem to fathom it all. I will share some experiences with you :)

Shirley Guffey: We visited Shirley on Tuesday and as usual she went on and on about the stuff that she was learning from the manuals and pamphlets we gave her. And then she says, "...and so the Mormon religion has some of the same things I knew growing up. Some things are so new to me, like Joseph Smith, and that's why it's hard for me to believe it sometimes. But I keep studying and praying. And now I understand why God had to call Joseph Smith to be a prophet. Joseph probably didn't even know God was going to do that. But I understand why it was important". We're sitting there like "wait, WHAT DID YOU SAY?!" ahahahahahaha Shirley is so awesome! SHE HAS A TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH SMITH YAYAYAYAYAYAY!

Dale Haynes & Carla Johnson: Sis Linton and I had street contacted Dale a couple weeks ago. We dropped by last weekend and did a super short restoration/BOM lesson. He said he'd read the book. NOW, this week, it was just Sis Clements and I who went to visit Dale. We get into his apartment and the BOM and restoration pamphlet is sitting neatly on the table. He tells us to sit down, like he was so ready for this discussion. I ask him how his reading went and he had a couple questions, so I answered them. And he starts telling me "Yeah, i'm just letting you know that people know me to be really stubborn because I won't just listen to anybody. You can't just tell me something and expect me to believe it. Whether its a woman..." and i'm thinking woahhhh k buddy, don't got there. He pretty much sounded like I needed to convince him real hard but I wasn't capable because I was such a young girl. Oh dear. But I let it go. I just agreed to what he said where i didn't expect him to believe me. But we expected him to study and pray like he knows how to do. And so we're about to start the lesson (doing it with the photos in the pamphlets like we've been told to do) and right when I say, "When you look at this photo on the front, what do you see?", Dale says, "Those pictures don't mean anything to me. I only believe in the WORD (like he has said a billion times already)". I was honest with him and told him strait up "ok, i'm not a perfect teacher and you probably know the bible a lot better than i do. But i'll try my best". As i'm saying this my head is like whizzzzzing and my heart is pouding cuz A) WHAT THE POOP DID I JUST SAY? I dont know ANY scriptures in the bible in reference to the restoration! and B) Where the poop do i start?!?! I'm so used to starting off with discerning where they are at by how they describe their feelings towards the photo of Christ holding the lamb. OKAY, so this was all happening in the span of a minute, so you can imagine how fast my thoughts were going. WELL, i took a deep breath....AND HEAVENLY FATHER MADE THE MIRACLES HAPPEN. OH MANNNN IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!! The Spirit was totally helping me out with inspired questions. None that were hard, but simple ones that just got his mind thinking simply about bible stories but still allowing him to make connections to the big picture. It just came out with the flow. And OH MY GOODNESS, i was asking him to turn to scriptures left and right! THANK GOODNESS FOR SEMINARY. Seriously. All these scripture mastery verses started popping into my head and i was just flipping to them like it was noooo big dealllll. Like one of the questions I asked was "why was Christ sent to earth?" and after people answer, I usually outline 3 reasons. And when it came to the last one, that "most people don't realize Christ did was..." and I explain that Christ DID set up His church and here comes Ephesians 4 popping into me head. And then it happened again, and again, and again for all the questions and answers Dale and I were giving to each other. And then at the end of the lesson I testified of the BOM and how much Heavenly Father loves Dale and Carla. GAAAAAAH. By the end of it Dale wasn't arguing, being defensive, or being stubborn anymore. Like he was just pondering the depth of the message. He said he would most definitely continue reading and praying. I asked him what it would mean to him if all this stuff was true. And he says "that'll mean i have found what i'm looking for". GAH. I just love people. Sister Clements and I left their apartment AND I WAS JUST SO FREAKING HIGH ON THE SPIRIT. Like I was literally spiritually exhausted from what happened inside. I couldnt even comprehend what had happened. And i was sweating cuz it was sooo hot in there cuz the SPIRIT WAS BURNINNNNNNNG. Sis Clements was like "GIRL YOU WERE ON FIREEEEE". I'm like IT WAS ALLL THE SPIRIT. I dont even know where all that stuff came from!!!!! And you know what's so cool? I just instantly fell in love with Dale and Carla. It's funny, cuz once the Spirit penetrates from one person to another, you kinda just instantly fall in love with them. Cuz you're experiencing just a smidge of the infinite love their Father has for them as He trusts you enough to deliver His message. SO INCREDIBLE.

Oh, but there's more. The next day we stopped by to drop off another BOM and Joseph Smith pamphlets, and the moment they open the door Carla has this HUGE smile on her face and she's like "what time does your church start? We were talking about it last night and we want to come check it out". I just about pooped my pants. I was kicking myself in the butt cuz i had forgotten to invite them to come, but here she was asking about it herself!!! Hallelujah! When he got back to the street Sis Clements was laughing at me so hard cuz i was preeeetty much jumping like Zaboomafoo cuz i was so dang excited.

Andrea Hardy: We stopped by to see Manual, but only Andrea was home. So we followed up with her. She's been struggling to read the BOM. BUT this is what she said: "I've been reading the Book of Mormon! And last night I read the restoration pamphlet. And for the first time in a long time, I've been able to sleep (she has a high blood pressure scare and her doc said she could die in her sleep). But while i was sleeping i had all the bad things i've ever done come into remembrance. It was kinda scary. But the weird thing is I had a really really good sleep. And I think God is showing me the things I've done wrong in the past...which is a good thing. So I KNOW that it a true book." Once again, Sis Linton and I were like WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!??! Ahahaha oh i love everything!!! And thenn we went back a few days later so the Elders could give her and her boyfriend, Randall (Eleanore's brother) a blessing (remember, they all live in the same apartment). Elder Smith says "so are you guys married" and Randall says "no, not yet". The whole room looks over to him and we're like "YET?! YOU MEAN...?!?!??!" And so we discussed briefly that the bishop could marry them. When the Elders left Andrea goes to Randall with the biggest smile on her face and she's like "did you hear that?! We can get married!" OHHHHHH MYYYYYY GOODNESS. I could not stop jumping and dancing ahahaha. WEDDING AND BAPTISM. HERE WE COMMEEEEE. oh life is too good. 

BUT, let me share with you what I wrote in my journal Thursday night:
"We told Sis Garber about transfers coming up and she looked super disappointed. I told her I didn't feel like we were leaving just yet... BUT, on the way home Sis Linton said, for the 5th time this week, 'this area was so dead when we got here. And now we have so many people we are teaching! And 5 with a baptism date!' The moment she said that, I felt in the pit of my stomach that I was done. I flashed back to the first week I got out here to Glen Carbon and how stressed I was because there was nothing going on in this area and I didn't know what to do. But Heavenly Father assured me that I DID know. He reminded me of what Paris was like and that we were going to be capable of helping this area out too (refer to 1st blog post from this area). And it really has been a rough 3 months. New area, new ward, new companion, finding stuff out, the holidays, getting physically sick, and just a whole bunch of trials...but the Lord has been so true to His word. Its amazing cuz He ALWAYS is so true to His word. And He tries us so hard sometimes to make us prove we're worthy of the blessings. I can't fathom h ow extremely lucky I've been to be a part of the blooming of this area; that Heavenly Father has allowed me to see it unravel before my eyes. Like, who am I to be this lucky to be part of such a great work? I'm seriously forever in debted to the Lord. But that isn't a bad thing :) Cuz it means the gratitude will push me to continue to serve Him for the rest of my life. Oh, life is so beautiful!"

Ok, so it's one thing for me to write it as I'm talking to myself, but it's a whole other story when you're reading it out loud to someone else. The next day when we were doing weekly planning, I told Sis Linton that I knew I was being transferred. So I read what I wrote in my journal and there I am choking back tears, barely able to get it all out cuz i'm CRYING CRYING CRYING SO HARD. Seriously, like Sis Morgan says "from my biggest trial came my greatest tender mercy". I can't even explain how difficult the last 2 transfers have been. But it was all so freaking worth it. I have come to love these people so much. Oh wait, before I keep going on and being sappy....TRANSFER DOCTRINE: I am moving to Farmington, Missouri with Sis Rouse (been out 4 months) and Sis Linton is whitewashing into St Charles, MIssouri with Sis Scott (MY MTC COMPANION!!!!!). Anyway, back to sappiness. I can't even explain how much my heart is crying crying crying. No matter how stinkin' difficult it has been, I have just learned to love them all so much. And it's soooo hard to leave them. Like in Paris, we had 3 baptisms right before I left. And even though I loved Paris, I knew it was time for me to leave. The funny thing is, we have 4 solid baptisms in February and I wont be here to see them! BUT, I still feel like my work here is done. And Heavenly Father is assuring me of it. I didn't get that epiphany for nothing! I know I came here to do what I needed to, and it's time to move on. Sis Linton said she hates how in every area she's been in, right as it's starting to progress, she gets taken out. I get what she means cuz I've noticed the same way for me. But I told her that it's a compliment from Heavenly Father cuz he knows that we're the missionaries to get it done. That's why He trusted us specifically to do it. 

Anyway we are getting whitewashed out by Elders. gaaaaah. OH THE NERVE. THEY BEST TAKE CARE OF OUR GATORS OR ELSE. I've been praying so hard that Heavenly Father will help them. Like, before I left home I was telling Sara how I had the slight worry of "who's going to take care of all my loved one?" But she reassured me that because I was doing the Lord's work, He was going to take care of them. And I've felt that comfort multiple times since I've been out...when Stan got into his accident, when Laura got engaged, when there were family health scares, with Holly leaving for a mission.....I've felt the comfort time and time again that everything was going to be ok. But its so much more difficult to let people go when you don't know when you're gonna see them again!!!!!!!! Like I feel like I'm giving my children to people I don't knwo (which i don't. i have no clue who these Elders are)...but I just keep praying and praying and trusting Heavenly Father that our investigators, these people that I have just fallen in love with, will be taken care of, just like my loved ones back home.

Other tender mercies:

* Abbie Hawk gave me a stuffed envelope after sacrament meeting. inside were these pages she coloured and a little note telling me that she was going to miss me. She is 7. GAH. I turned to Sis Linton and i'm like "oh just rip my heart out already". I love little Abbie Hawk! She's my little buddy and everytime she sees me she's like "hi EH!" ahahahah i love her. 

* Elder Smith gave all of us letters after our last district meeting. On mine he wrote "I can honestly say that in the 10 1/2 months as a district leader I have never seen a sister work so hard!" Well, that was nice to hear considering me being sick made me feel like such a PILEEEE. Whew, at least i know my leaders know i'm working ahaha

* Sis McGuire told me on Sunday that even though we were here for only a short time, the ward is definitely seeing the fruits of our labours. I was a little surpirsed to hear that, but also very grateful.

Aaaaaaaaaand, that's all I have for now. I gotta go cuz its just going to be crazy the next couple days. 

Just know I can handle all the tears. I'll be ok. BUT I CANT TAKE IT WHEN OTHER PEOPLE ARE CRYIIIING. Oh just rip my heart out already. Gah.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week :)

MUCHO LOOOOOVIN
Sister Limas

Photo 1:

 Sisters Zundel, Johnson, Limas, and Linton


Andrea, Randall, Eleanore, Lina, Zhaiya, and moi



 Me with bro and sis Jamboretz





It's Worth Everything

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yeyeyeyyeeee I am SO EXCITED to tell you about this week! But fiiiirst things, first. Let's start with a quote :)

"I know it gets hard. I've been there and it sucks. But you know what doesn't suck? THE GOSPEL. ITS TRUE." --Stanton Fisher, Aug 2013

^Aaaaaamen to that. The mission is such a roller coaster. And I am not the biggest fan of roller coasters (haha, minus Space Mountain :P). Seriously, why would anyone put up with having a bajillion ups and downs every single minute of every day? No wonder I get so nautious all the time. Sheeesh.

Haha, BUT I'll tell you why :)
Something as special as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is worth everything.Every little bit of pain from any trial, every sorrow, every mistake, every weakness. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, THE ATONEMENT, the infinite love...it's worth it all. And as those trials come, our understanding of those blessings just increase. Let me share two teaching experiences we had this week.

1st, Kathryn Moss.
She is our less active member we have been working with to help her stop smoking. I love that old lady. She is spunky and so much to talk to. Every week it's pretty much the same though...she tells us why she hasn't been able to quit. This week we gave her a commitment chart (one that we've been inspired to give to all the members we visit). From our discussion this past week, it sounded like the addiction had just taken a hold of her. She has the desire to stop, but she can't exactly get hold of grasping the "stopping" part. We read a article from the Addiction Recovery Program website. One of the stories was about this guy and he had talked about weaknesses (ether 12:27). I was able to bare testimony of that scripture and how true and real it became to me on the mission. Tears started running down my face (oh be proud of me, i haven't cried in a lesson in weeks! And i was able to control my voice :P). Why they did? Because I now have such a deep conviction of how the Lord helps us to overcome our weaknesses. I told her it's not easy to let go of some things, and they are always going to sneak up on you. But I promised her with my whole heart that when we rely on the Lord, He does make us strong to overcome the weaknesses. She started crying too and Sis Linton was able to atest to what I said. Sis Moss says, "i can't imagine you two beautiful girls having any addictions or weaknesses. Other than drinking Pepsi maybe." BAHAHA oh i just love her, I've never had Pepsi in my life bahahaha. But in all seriousness, no one is perfect. I'm NO WHERE near perfection. What is so awesome is that Heavenly Father knows we can be. And so Jesus Christ did what we did so we can move one step forward in becoming like our Father. Like Elder Wadsworth says, "we dont get to our state of happiness/righteousness without God's help to lift us up to be there". And it's so true. Despite all the heartache and trial and craziness, happiness can still be acheived because we know who to go to when we need to be on higher ground.

2nd, Ginger Atwood.
We watched Together Forever with Ginger this week. Afterwards she started telling us about her friend, Candy, and how 3 people that were very close and dear to her had passed away. She was taking it very hard and Ginger just felt so sad for her because she knows Candy needs God in her life. She asked us, "as missionaries, do you guys ever feel like you don't know what to say sometimes? Cuz i know Candy needs God...I just don't know how to tell her". I told her that of course sometimes we don't know what to say and it's something that both me and my companion had had to work very hard on, and still do. BUT, what gives us the biggest motivation to keep trying is knowing that people, like her friend Candy, need to know there's something so much bigger and better waiting for her. I just started getting sooooo emotional as I continued to bear my testimony, I cant even deal! Like if i were to describe that moment, it'd probably be like in The Best Two Years when Elder Rogers bore his testimony about Joesph Smith and said "that's why I'm here" and it hit him so hard. THATS EXACTLY HOW I FELT. That's why I'm here. Cuz there are just so so soooo many blessings Heavenly Father has in store for His children. They need that guide to help them know where to turn to when there is no more hope. Like it says in the Mormon Messages video Look Not Behind Thee, "sometimes people are afraid to move because they don't have something to have hope in. And for me, that's the Saviour." He's the hope we have to know that everything will be A-OK because He's done it all. He's provided the way for us to gain that eternal happiness. No worldly pain, no aching sorrow, no longing for something more, can be made right or satisfied without our Saviour's saving grace. Can you imagine if everyone knew that? If they knew that simply having faith in Jesus Christ can heal any yearning of the heart.

ANYWHOOZERS, we've been working out butts off this week. So what does that call for? SICKNESS, yet again. I guess not getting any sleep catches up to you (no duh.) I've just been pushing making "faith the fuel" my energy to keep going. But on Saturday I had the biggest migrane of life. I have never hurt so bad before. It got to the point where I was close to tears and practically said "I want my mom". It was that bad. Elder Smith and Elder Oskins were already planning to meet up with us to come with us to a lesson to give Andrea a blessing. So I asked them for one too. How grateful I am for the Priesthood! Andrea wasn't home, but Eleanore was, and she was sick as well. They let me go first so Eleanore could see what it would be like. Since Elder Oskins was going to do Eleanore's, Elder Smith said he'd do mine. Right before I sit down he says,

"Just remember. If it doesn't get better, the church is still true".
"Oh right, cuz I'm going apostate if it gets worse".
[Our mission speaks waaaay too much sarcasm...]

So he says the blessing........and let me just tell you, I know the trials aren't going to end. If anything, from the blessing it sounded like there were much harder things to come. This just calls for a time to say "I believe in Christ so come what may. Life--bring it!" (Baha, i seriously set myself up for all the trial by challenging it to come bahaha.)

But just like Stan says, and just like Elder Smith says: No matter what, THE GOSPEL IS TRUE :) That's what makes it all worth it.

So0o0o0o0o on to successes!:

* A few months ago, all the stake presidents in our mission had a meeting with Pres Morgan and some of the 12 Apostles. They discusses the "20 lessons program", which was to get us missionaries to ask the "harvesting questions" at lessons with lessactives, members, recent converts, invcestigators, etc...to work our way to getting 20 lessons a week. WELL GUESS WHAAAAAAAAT. SISTER LINTON AND I HIT 21 LESSONS THIS WEEK!!!! WOOOOO!!!!! 9 of them being lessons taught with a member present, which is huge!!!! GAH! I AM SO SO SO HAAAAAPPY!

* We got 3 new investigators this week which brings our teaching pool to 19. Is it overwhelming. Oh heck yes it is. But we're teaching!!! That's all I care about! Like, the appointments just keep coming and our week has pretty much been filled before this week even came. AND 3 OF THEM HAVE A BAPTISM DATE!!! And 2 more have potential dates. GAAAAAAAAAAH SO STOKED!!!! I really hope i dont get transferred!!!

* Shirley came to church on Sunday! We had to leave early cuz Sis Linton got super sick (im telling you, we pretty much just take turns getting sick). BUT! Sis Clements drove Shirley by our apartment after church and Shirley said she really liked church and wanted all our manuals so she could study....AND she bore her testimony during Relief Society. Oh i am so proud of her :') that's my gaaator!

* I just love my companion. We have pretty much gotten back to joking around with each other like we used to. And I think it's because we're on the same page now. We've been watching Together Forever quite a bit with investigators. There's this one couple in the video that talks about how nothing was going for them in their marriage anymore, and it was because they didn't really have any goals anymore. I'm so proud of my companion. She's been studying really hard and after we were asked to pray about our goal of 521 baptisms, she did and told me that she knew that was the goal we were supposed to work towards. SO STINKIN' PROUD OF HER. And so with any relationship, goals fix things. Bahaha. It's true I tell ya.

* We visited with the Garbers (less actives) this week and gave them their commitment chart. When we first got to Glen Carbon and met the Garbers, Bro Garber was too busy watching TV to really invite us in further than the door mat. And he kept talking about the previous sisters. And he wouldn't look at us. SO AWKS. BUUUUUT, we've been seeing them every week for the past 3 weeks, and setting goals with them. Bro Garber is still the one that seems less interested (Sis Garber is always giving him grief about it), but when we asked them if they kept their commitments, Bro Garber was like "yeah i read the Book of Mormon". His wife didn't believe him at first. But he went to his book, which was ON the table and not IN the drawer!, and he flipped open to what he read and told us what he learned. OHHHH MAN, I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!!! And I made goals with him to study what he read so I can answer his questions the next time we came over. And he said that he'll read x amount of pages before we came next. Before we left we asked him to say a prayer. AND HE DID :D :D and he thanked the Lord for us because we brought joy to him and his wife. D'aaaaw. I can't even deal with how sweet that was.

* OH, but while at the Garbers we checked our blood sugar (dont ask). Bro Garber pricks my finger and barely any blood came out. He's like "dang girl, you've got no blood". I'm like "yeah i know....that's probably one of the reasons why I'm anemic". Dumb blood probs. Because I have iron deficiencies, it makes my body more tired than it's supposed to, and that's what triggers the stupid migranes. GAAAAH. So dumb. Anyway, the next day we drive out to district meeting (for some reason Elder Smith decides we should have it in their building in East St Louis...) and Sis Linton and I saw THE MOST DISTURBING THING EVER. I was so sick to my stomach. We ended up having to call the police to report it. On the way home after our meeting we were just in complete silence because we were so traumatized by what we saw.....but then I busted out laughing. Sis Linton asks me what's up and I say "Well after reflecting upon how sketchy and eerie East St Louis is, the good news is if we get attacked, we know I can't bleed to death *insert Ate's mischevious smirk*". Bahahaha my companion was like k my companion has gone nuts. BUT HEY, you gotta take two negatives and turn it into some kind of positive, right?? Hahaha. Also, I am officially scared of East St Louis. I am carrying my pepper spray from now on.

* During district meeting we played Jearpordy :D oh mannnn i had to bring the competative level down to a minimum! But we stunk so hard! Haha Elder Smith made the questions so hard! But we bet all our points for the last question, AND WE GOT IT RIGHT! Bahaha we won!!! Our prize: the Elder have to wash and clean our cars :) Hahaha alll right!

* Yesterday Sis Clements took us to the zoo for pday. I just looooove going into the city!!! It reminds me so much of Toronto! And I love how the St Louis Zoo is free :) and i got WAAAAAAAY too excited. I havent been to the zoo since the 1st grade. I was all over the place. I just started "shmaaaaa"ing when I saw the elephants. And when I saw the giraffe, I was pretty much close to tears cuz i couldn't get over how beautiful they were (Sara knows bahahahaha. remember that time i came to your lecture and we watched that documentary on giraffes? hahahaha) And when I saw the lemur jump around like Zaboomafoo, I may or may not have jumped with it cuz it just got me that excited. LOLOLOL. That's Sister Limas for ya. Sister Linton also paid for me to get a Build-a-Bear!! I got an elephant and I named it PUNKY :)

Anywhoozers, that was my week!
Last but not least, I want to share something Sis Linton shared with me this morning. So she's reading out of the general conference ensign and starts reading off one of my favourite scriptures...

Sis Linton: "And Jacob served seven years..."
Me: Ohhhhhh I Looooove this scripture!
Sis Linton: Shush. I know. But just listen! I changed it.
...She applied the scripture to herself!

And so now I love Genesis 29:20 even more now becauseeee in my journal it now says:
"And Ariana Limas served 18 months for God; and they seemed unto her but a few days, for the love she had to Him"

Why do I put up with all of this? Because I love my Heavenly Father too much to not to.

Oh and I atest to the "few days" part. I JUST hit my 8 month mark, and now all of a sudden I'm about to hit my half way mark. I can't even comprehend how fast this is all going. It is ridiculous. But that reminder is good motivation cuz it reminds me to keep working cuz time is so short. Like, 2 transferrs (aka 3 months) is the typical amount of time President keeps us in an area. But I still feel like I just got to Glen Carbon. OH MAN, let alone sometimes I still feel like I just got on the mission. It just whizzes by. But I think I'm mostly just looking forward to my half way mark just so I can put a piece of clothing on FIYAAAA :) tehehehe

HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A FANTABULOUS WEEK!
Keep on keeping on. Work on those goals. Be good. Be obedient. Be cheerful. Be happy.
And just LOVE LOVE LOVE :)
Mucho Lovinnnn from
Sister Limas!

Photo 1: Pre-Zoo photo
Photo 2: Oh, I just loooooove elephants so so much :3
Photo 3: Me and PUNKY :)Yeyeyeyyeeee I am SO EXCITED to tell you about this week! But fiiiirst things, first. Let's start with a quote :)

"I know it gets hard. I've been there and it sucks. But you know what doesn't suck? THE GOSPEL. ITS TRUE." --Stanton Fisher, Aug 2013

^Aaaaaamen to that. The mission is such a roller coaster. And I am not the biggest fan of roller coasters (haha, minus Space Mountain :P). Seriously, why would anyone put up with having a bajillion ups and downs every single minute of every day? No wonder I get so nautious all the time. Sheeesh.

Haha, BUT I'll tell you why :)
Something as special as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is worth everything.Every little bit of pain from any trial, every sorrow, every mistake, every weakness. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, THE ATONEMENT, the infinite love...it's worth it all. And as those trials come, our understanding of those blessings just increase. Let me share two teaching experiences we had this week.

1st, Kathryn Moss.
She is our less active member we have been working with to help her stop smoking. I love that old lady. She is spunky and so much to talk to. Every week it's pretty much the same though...she tells us why she hasn't been able to quit. This week we gave her a commitment chart (one that we've been inspired to give to all the members we visit). From our discussion this past week, it sounded like the addiction had just taken a hold of her. She has the desire to stop, but she can't exactly get hold of grasping the "stopping" part. We read a article from the Addiction Recovery Program website. One of the stories was about this guy and he had talked about weaknesses (ether 12:27). I was able to bare testimony of that scripture and how true and real it became to me on the mission. Tears started running down my face (oh be proud of me, i haven't cried in a lesson in weeks! And i was able to control my voice :P). Why they did? Because I now have such a deep conviction of how the Lord helps us to overcome our weaknesses. I told her it's not easy to let go of some things, and they are always going to sneak up on you. But I promised her with my whole heart that when we rely on the Lord, He does make us strong to overcome the weaknesses. She started crying too and Sis Linton was able to atest to what I said. Sis Moss says, "i can't imagine you two beautiful girls having any addictions or weaknesses. Other than drinking Pepsi maybe." BAHAHA oh i just love her, I've never had Pepsi in my life bahahaha. But in all seriousness, no one is perfect. I'm NO WHERE near perfection. What is so awesome is that Heavenly Father knows we can be. And so Jesus Christ did what we did so we can move one step forward in becoming like our Father. Like Elder Wadsworth says, "we dont get to our state of happiness/righteousness without God's help to lift us up to be there". And it's so true. Despite all the heartache and trial and craziness, happiness can still be acheived because we know who to go to when we need to be on higher ground.

2nd, Ginger Atwood.
We watched Together Forever with Ginger this week. Afterwards she started telling us about her friend, Candy, and how 3 people that were very close and dear to her had passed away. She was taking it very hard and Ginger just felt so sad for her because she knows Candy needs God in her life. She asked us, "as missionaries, do you guys ever feel like you don't know what to say sometimes? Cuz i know Candy needs God...I just don't know how to tell her". I told her that of course sometimes we don't know what to say and it's something that both me and my companion had had to work very hard on, and still do. BUT, what gives us the biggest motivation to keep trying is knowing that people, like her friend Candy, need to know there's something so much bigger and better waiting for her. I just started getting sooooo emotional as I continued to bear my testimony, I cant even deal! Like if i were to describe that moment, it'd probably be like in The Best Two Years when Elder Rogers bore his testimony about Joesph Smith and said "that's why I'm here" and it hit him so hard. THATS EXACTLY HOW I FELT. That's why I'm here. Cuz there are just so so soooo many blessings Heavenly Father has in store for His children. They need that guide to help them know where to turn to when there is no more hope. Like it says in the Mormon Messages video Look Not Behind Thee, "sometimes people are afraid to move because they don't have something to have hope in. And for me, that's the Saviour." He's the hope we have to know that everything will be A-OK because He's done it all. He's provided the way for us to gain that eternal happiness. No worldly pain, no aching sorrow, no longing for something more, can be made right or satisfied without our Saviour's saving grace. Can you imagine if everyone knew that? If they knew that simply having faith in Jesus Christ can heal any yearning of the heart.

ANYWHOOZERS, we've been working out butts off this week. So what does that call for? SICKNESS, yet again. I guess not getting any sleep catches up to you (no duh.) I've just been pushing making "faith the fuel" my energy to keep going. But on Saturday I had the biggest migrane of life. I have never hurt so bad before. It got to the point where I was close to tears and practically said "I want my mom". It was that bad. Elder Smith and Elder Oskins were already planning to meet up with us to come with us to a lesson to give Andrea a blessing. So I asked them for one too. How grateful I am for the Priesthood! Andrea wasn't home, but Eleanore was, and she was sick as well. They let me go first so Eleanore could see what it would be like. Since Elder Oskins was going to do Eleanore's, Elder Smith said he'd do mine. Right before I sit down he says,

"Just remember. If it doesn't get better, the church is still true".
"Oh right, cuz I'm going apostate if it gets worse".
[Our mission speaks waaaay too much sarcasm...]

So he says the blessing........and let me just tell you, I know the trials aren't going to end. If anything, from the blessing it sounded like there were much harder things to come. This just calls for a time to say "I believe in Christ so come what may. Life--bring it!" (Baha, i seriously set myself up for all the trial by challenging it to come bahaha.)

But just like Stan says, and just like Elder Smith says: No matter what, THE GOSPEL IS TRUE :) That's what makes it all worth it.

So0o0o0o0o on to successes!:

* A few months ago, all the stake presidents in our mission had a meeting with Pres Morgan and some of the 12 Apostles. They discusses the "20 lessons program", which was to get us missionaries to ask the "harvesting questions" at lessons with lessactives, members, recent converts, invcestigators, etc...to work our way to getting 20 lessons a week. WELL GUESS WHAAAAAAAAT. SISTER LINTON AND I HIT 21 LESSONS THIS WEEK!!!! WOOOOO!!!!! 9 of them being lessons taught with a member present, which is huge!!!! GAH! I AM SO SO SO HAAAAAPPY!

* We got 3 new investigators this week which brings our teaching pool to 19. Is it overwhelming. Oh heck yes it is. But we're teaching!!! That's all I care about! Like, the appointments just keep coming and our week has pretty much been filled before this week even came. AND 3 OF THEM HAVE A BAPTISM DATE!!! And 2 more have potential dates. GAAAAAAAAAAH SO STOKED!!!! I really hope i dont get transferred!!!

* Shirley came to church on Sunday! We had to leave early cuz Sis Linton got super sick (im telling you, we pretty much just take turns getting sick). BUT! Sis Clements drove Shirley by our apartment after church and Shirley said she really liked church and wanted all our manuals so she could study....AND she bore her testimony during Relief Society. Oh i am so proud of her :') that's my gaaator!

* I just love my companion. We have pretty much gotten back to joking around with each other like we used to. And I think it's because we're on the same page now. We've been watching Together Forever quite a bit with investigators. There's this one couple in the video that talks about how nothing was going for them in their marriage anymore, and it was because they didn't really have any goals anymore. I'm so proud of my companion. She's been studying really hard and after we were asked to pray about our goal of 521 baptisms, she did and told me that she knew that was the goal we were supposed to work towards. SO STINKIN' PROUD OF HER. And so with any relationship, goals fix things. Bahaha. It's true I tell ya.

* We visited with the Garbers (less actives) this week and gave them their commitment chart. When we first got to Glen Carbon and met the Garbers, Bro Garber was too busy watching TV to really invite us in further than the door mat. And he kept talking about the previous sisters. And he wouldn't look at us. SO AWKS. BUUUUUT, we've been seeing them every week for the past 3 weeks, and setting goals with them. Bro Garber is still the one that seems less interested (Sis Garber is always giving him grief about it), but when we asked them if they kept their commitments, Bro Garber was like "yeah i read the Book of Mormon". His wife didn't believe him at first. But he went to his book, which was ON the table and not IN the drawer!, and he flipped open to what he read and told us what he learned. OHHHH MAN, I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!!! And I made goals with him to study what he read so I can answer his questions the next time we came over. And he said that he'll read x amount of pages before we came next. Before we left we asked him to say a prayer. AND HE DID :D :D and he thanked the Lord for us because we brought joy to him and his wife. D'aaaaw. I can't even deal with how sweet that was.

* OH, but while at the Garbers we checked our blood sugar (dont ask). Bro Garber pricks my finger and barely any blood came out. He's like "dang girl, you've got no blood". I'm like "yeah i know....that's probably one of the reasons why I'm anemic". Dumb blood probs. Because I have iron deficiencies, it makes my body more tired than it's supposed to, and that's what triggers the stupid migranes. GAAAAH. So dumb. Anyway, the next day we drive out to district meeting (for some reason Elder Smith decides we should have it in their building in East St Louis...) and Sis Linton and I saw THE MOST DISTURBING THING EVER. I was so sick to my stomach. We ended up having to call the police to report it. On the way home after our meeting we were just in complete silence because we were so traumatized by what we saw.....but then I busted out laughing. Sis Linton asks me what's up and I say "Well after reflecting upon how sketchy and eerie East St Louis is, the good news is if we get attacked, we know I can't bleed to death *insert Ate's mischevious smirk*". Bahahaha my companion was like k my companion has gone nuts. BUT HEY, you gotta take two negatives and turn it into some kind of positive, right?? Hahaha. Also, I am officially scared of East St Louis. I am carrying my pepper spray from now on.

* During district meeting we played Jearpordy :D oh mannnn i had to bring the competative level down to a minimum! But we stunk so hard! Haha Elder Smith made the questions so hard! But we bet all our points for the last question, AND WE GOT IT RIGHT! Bahaha we won!!! Our prize: the Elder have to wash and clean our cars :) Hahaha alll right!

* Yesterday Sis Clements took us to the zoo for pday. I just looooove going into the city!!! It reminds me so much of Toronto! And I love how the St Louis Zoo is free :) and i got WAAAAAAAY too excited. I havent been to the zoo since the 1st grade. I was all over the place. I just started "shmaaaaa"ing when I saw the elephants. And when I saw the giraffe, I was pretty much close to tears cuz i couldn't get over how beautiful they were (Sara knows bahahahaha. remember that time i came to your lecture and we watched that documentary on giraffes? hahahaha) And when I saw the lemur jump around like Zaboomafoo, I may or may not have jumped with it cuz it just got me that excited. LOLOLOL. That's Sister Limas for ya. Sister Linton also paid for me to get a Build-a-Bear!! I got an elephant and I named it PUNKY :)

Anywhoozers, that was my week!
Last but not least, I want to share something Sis Linton shared with me this morning. So she's reading out of the general conference ensign and starts reading off one of my favourite scriptures...

Sis Linton: "And Jacob served seven years..."
Me: Ohhhhhh I Looooove this scripture!
Sis Linton: Shush. I know. But just listen! I changed it.
...She applied the scripture to herself!

And so now I love Genesis 29:20 even more now becauseeee in my journal it now says:
"And Ariana Limas served 18 months for God; and they seemed unto her but a few days, for the love she had to Him"

Why do I put up with all of this? Because I love my Heavenly Father too much to not to.

Oh and I atest to the "few days" part. I JUST hit my 8 month mark, and now all of a sudden I'm about to hit my half way mark. I can't even comprehend how fast this is all going. It is ridiculous. But that reminder is good motivation cuz it reminds me to keep working cuz time is so short. Like, 2 transferrs (aka 3 months) is the typical amount of time President keeps us in an area. But I still feel like I just got to Glen Carbon. OH MAN, let alone sometimes I still feel like I just got on the mission. It just whizzes by. But I think I'm mostly just looking forward to my half way mark just so I can put a piece of clothing on FIYAAAA :) tehehehe

HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A FANTABULOUS WEEK!
Keep on keeping on. Work on those goals. Be good. Be obedient. Be cheerful. Be happy.
And just LOVE LOVE LOVE :)
Mucho Lovinnnn from
Sister Limas!



Oh, I just loooooove elephants so so much :3


Me and PUNKY :)



Relationships and Love

Monday, January 13, 2014

The title is supposed to throw you off a little bit. Haha. But I have a good explanation for it! (also, this might be a little long cuz i'm trying to sum up two weeks. I wouldn't, but much has happened that calls for some gratitude remarks, especially since i've been such a downer the past month or so. SORRY ABOUT THAT! But sister limas is pretty much back to her normal self now :D).

"Oh Sister Limas, trust me...This hurts more than breaking up with somebody"
--Sister Lindly Fernandez, Oct 2013

Bahaha, yep that's my baby girl! She had said that when we found out Nancy wanted to go to the Terre Haute ward; thus we would have to drop her and give her to the Terre Haute sisters (but we all know she continued meeting with us :))

Anyway, I learned plenty o' things from Sister Fernandez, one of those things being comparing the mission to relationships. And I bring this up because WE GOT DUMPED ON FRIDAY! Oh my goodness, I felt like my heart dropped into my stomach and was being broken into a billion pieces! Lydian Johnson texted us and said we couldn't come over anymore because she was no longer interested and was going back to her church. Agh! Sister Linton, of course, says, "Sister Limas, GET OVER IT!" And obviously I say "I CAAAAAAN'T!" This is the 1st time I've ever had an investigator drop us, and I was so insanely sad about it! Oh yes, like Sister Fernandez, I can say it hurt. Why? Well, let me take you back to my highschool days for a sec.

If you knew me in highschool, then you know how shamelessly boy crazy me, Christine, and Simmin were. Like, so boy crazy that for our Writer's Craft finale project, we made a yearbook summing up the fabulous 4 yrs at MGCI...which included a "crush count" competitaion between the 3 of us of who liked more boys each school year (and I won twice -_____-"). Only Christo, Sims, and Ari! (hahaha i'm shaking my head at our ridiculousness right now). BUT despite the boy craziness, if you know me well enough, then you know I could go on pretty bad rants about relationships. Why would you set yourself up for hurting and heartbreak? Why would you start something that isn't going to last? Why would you get attached to someone if you're only planning it to be temporary? Why would you make yourself so vulnerable?

Why I thought those things? I have nooo clue. What I did know was I was capable of loving with my whole heart, but guarded it and was not willing to give it to just anybody. And here's the part that most people don't know: I avoided being vulnerable and getting hurt at all costs.

NOW...going back to mission relationships-- similar thoughts formed into my head when Lydia dropped us. It just confused my mind that we had clicked so well, we had a really great lesson with her, she had great potential, and then BAM, we're dropped like a hot potato. Then the negative side of me says "if you were your old self, you probably would have guarded your heart and backed away if you had a hunch this was going to go no where". But I've been reflecting on it and realized: I had faith it was going to work out! And I still do!! There was no hunch whatsoever that it wasn't going to work out!

When I first got out here, I thought I was able to love some of these strangers. But as I've grown the past 8 months, I've come to realize how guarded my heart still was back then. But over time, the bricks around my heart started to break away little by little. Why was there an imaginary wall in the first place? Because I didn't want to get hurt. I ddin't want to share something that was so special to me and have it rejected/trampled on by someone who I though wasn't ready for it. (Once again, I didn't realize any of this back then haha). But eventually I learned that NO WAY do I have the right to say whether someone was ready for the gospel or not. I was called to share it with EVERYBODY.

So, why do we make ourselves vulnerable? Because if you don't for anyrelationship, you can't LOVE the way God intends you to. Why do we set ourselves up for heartbreak? Because we know the person is worth it. And they really are because they are a Child of God! We've got the important and sacred duty of taking them by the hand and introducing them to their Saviour like they've never know Him before. And that's not just a job for the missionaries. It's a job that everyone baptized into the church has made a covenant to do. And not with just non-members, but everyone who needs to get to know their Saviour all over again. Why does it hurt? BEcause you know how much wonderful potential they have. When you love someone, you always want them to have the best, no? It's always hard to see someone you love not make the right choices. And with our investigators, they truly do become people you genuinely love. Like President Moore says, "you can't serve in a calling without falling in love with the people".

So Lydia Johnson is one of the many heartbreak I'm going to get out here, I'm sure. But let me introduce you to some of the others I have come to love :)

- Richard Jamboretz: He's in his late 80s (i think). White hair, eye patch, and walks with a cane. He is the father of Steve Jamboretz (recent convert) and he's been over at their house a lot for the holidays watching the BYU channel and asking tons of questions about baptizing his wife who passed away 4 yrs ago. We met him for the first time on Saturday and I instantly fell in love with him. He's so old and cute and so funny. He calls me "Sissy" LOL. But while we were watching "Together Forever" it was just the two of us on the couch and he kept whispering to me and asking me questions. Sis Linton told me afterwards that she wanted to take a photo of the two of us cuz it was just so darn cute. AHAHAHA. Right after Lolo, he's probably the cutest old man I've ever seen. But he wasnts to learn more!!!!! We are going to set a baptism date with him at our next appointment :) Sis Jamboretz, 1 of 3 of my mission moms in the Glen Carbon ward, has been texting us and been giving us all the deets and ins for Richard. She is so great.

- Ginger Atwood: I talked about her before and how the Lord lead us to her...but I didn't realize how prepared she is!! She told us during our first official lesson that she had been praying to God for help to know what to do...and then we knocked at her door. OH THE MIRACLES! She's taken the discussions before in a different area but wasn't interested in joining. Now she wants to know for herself and make sure she's not joining cuz of her ex or step mom. I asked her, "Ok Ginger. What IF, and I will testify that it is, but what IF this was all true? What difference would that make for you?" She said, "well...I would stop going to my church and go to yours. But I would need a ride" Hahaha do my ears deceive me?! She had just said she had a problem about coming to our church cuz she needs to be with her family. OH MANNN. I love it. I'm always caught so off guard!

- Shirley Guffy: We had helped this lady move. She has a bunch of health and money issues and we were glad to do the service. Our leaders pretty much reprimended us for spending so much time helping her. WELL, she is currently our most progressing investigator now! She has a baptism date for the 15. She too has been so prepared. She has a lot of religious backgroud. But she loves to learn. So our lessons with her are pretty much just answering her questions about the pamphlets we have left her to read. She still has an issue about Joseph Smith, but she knows we are speaking truth...so she's just waiting for her own answers. Everytime we talk about something in the lesson, she'll be like "ok, i can relate that too..." and then will share an experience. Hey, that's the way she learns. I'll go with that! At least she's progressing!

- Sean, Alexis, and Laneea: This is a family that the Bryan family have been working on for some time. Sean is a single dad. Waaay nice. Looking for a church to join. Alexis is 21, has a disability so she is still in highschool. She is an instant best friend. I just clicked with her so faaast. Laneea is quiet and kept to herself. I'll break through to her, I guarantee. The family has been through a lot so we are super excited to continue teaching them!

- Elanore Cox: Elanore is Manuel's wife (ugh, i don't even know what happened to Manuel. We haven't seen him since we taught him while he was drunk -__-"). Anyway, Elanore is such a doll! SHE CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY! Ahhhh! Tears of joy!! Oh man sacrament meeting and all the other classes were just SO GOOD and SO PERFECT for her. Gah, I love it! Elanore has this squeaky and raspy laugh...and it brought so much joy to my heart to hear her laughing through all our classes because she was actually having a good time. And everyone was so welcoming! Way to go Glen Carbon ward!! We've been pretty lucky that the investigators that DO come to church are in part-member families, so they are taken care of. But I just really appreciated that everyone was so open and welcoming to Elanore. She even made a comment during gospel principles! She said "I'm glad to know the God now is the same God with Moses, and Jesus, and the same one that appeared to Joseph Smith." I almost fell off my seat. SHE HAS A TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH SMITH!!!! Oh my goodness. Sister Linton and I were like yeeeeeuh that's our gatorrrr!!! After church she went to the bathroom and didnt come out for a while. I went in to check on her and she's like "sorry. I was praying". Oh my goodness, tears of flipping joy. I just looove her.

- Eli and John Duque: Ok my relationship with these two have pretty much become like "Ate time with Jared and Andrew" LOLOLOLOL. You know...like when I sternly talk to Jared and Andrew sometimes. The Duque bros are both in high school and can be stubborn, and sometimes obnoxious. But sometimes you gotta play it like a highschooler to get through them. 

- The Meadows: Sis Meadows is one of my mission moms in this area. "You've been here more than twice? You're not a guest anymore. Get it yourself" BAHAHA love her. She has 3 kids and her husband is usually out of town for work. Her oldest, Chantal, is 27, less active, and is pregnant with twins...but she just makes my freaking life. Everytime we come over for dinner I just get a hoot out of her comments and stories bahaha. Oh man. But she is such a missionary and she doesn't even know it. When we ask who can we teach, she just starts listing nonmembers and less actives we can visit. Haha yeah she is pretty awesome. 

- The Clements: Sis Clements is my other mission mom. She pretty much drives us everywhere and comes to all our teaching appointments. Her daughter Michaela hasn't had school due to the snow, so we've been taking her out with us. Oh man, she is clueless sometimes and ususally doesn't know what's going on. But then she'll open her mouth and make a comment and I just start dyinnnng. Oh she is just specail baahahaha.

- My district. Yeyeeee East St Louis! It's always such a party with them. Elder Dingman is my foster child so I just take so much joy watching him be his powerhouse missionary self. Elder Wadsworth is way sweet and I pretty much talk his ear off about the most random things. Elder Oskins is so so funny. He looks super shy, but when him and Elder Smith get at it, it is just HILARIOUSSS. Whitty comments, I tell ya. They just make me laugh so hard! Elder Smith is a way awesome district leader. His trainings are just so interesting and part of the time when he looks at me while he's trining i'm like oh nooooo, he's directing it at me. But he is a huge example of just trying to be everyone's best friend. A couple Mondays ago he was like, "oh sister limas my parents read your blog. They were like 'oh we read the blog of this sweet sister in your mission. we are friends with someone in Toronto who knows her! do you know who she is?' and i just said 'uh, yeah. She's in my district! I told you about her when we skyped!'" LOLOLOL oh man. So everytime we're together I'll randomly get, "sister limas do you know this person?" or "btw, my sister said this..." etc etc. And he wants to go to York. I told him it's like the Babylon of all schools, but I think he's going anyway HAHA. It's just so funny to hear so much about home from someone else XD

- Edwardsville Sisters: Sister Sabey is my mission "sibling" and i'm just uber happy I get to serve near her. They live like 10 mins away, so we get to chill with them for lunch when we want :) We were both trained by sister ash and so all the stories we say are about things we've experienced with her and it is just a laughing party. She just makes my life bahaha. Also, we had no hot water one day, so living so close to other sisters is pretty helpful.

- My companions: I have just been so uber lucky! I have learned so much from each of my companions. I still can't believe Julie Burnett pretty much introduced me to Sis Scott before we entered the MTC...and then we end up being companions. It was meant to be haha. It was only 2 weeks, but that chica is attached to my hip! Seriously best friends for life. She always reminds me there is a reason to smile. Sis Ash is pretty much the best trainer anyone could ask for. That's why she keeps getting called to train! Haha. She made me fix things when I needed to without sugar coating it. And i have super grateful for that cuz it's shaped the missionary I needed to be. She also taught me the importance of balancing hard work and fun. You're not doing it right if you're only doing one. Sister fernandez....best trainee i could ask for. She taught me how to study and as you've read above, she's taught me how to love. Actually...all my companions have. Because I'm different from them in so many different ways, I have been able to grow in ways that I couldn't on my own. Including on how to love and serve different people.

- Sister Linton: So we've had it rough the past couple months. And the past 2 weeks you could really start to feel a rift in our companionship because we weren't on the same page in purpose anymore. BUT, we've talked things out....(oh man, communication is SO KEY in a relationship! I have come to learn that too!), and now we're teaching in unity again and finding success. WOOOOW! The past few days have really been so good. And even though it doesn't show much in numbers, we know we worked hard. AAAAND we have some pretty good potentials! Yeyuh. We are also now in a "Open Your Mouth" Competition. She told me when we first got out here that she wasn't very good at talking to people. I'm not the best either, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And have fun while doing it :) Sometimes i will walk towards a person and she'll follow, but i'll keep my mouth shut to make her talk bahaha.

ANYWAY, back to my topic.
Sister Fernandez also taught me something else. She knows the both of us had put our whole hearts into the relationships we were in before coming out. Then she talked about a conscious and subconscious part of our hearts. This is what I've learned: We loved with what we thought was our whole heart. Like 3/4 of our heart was what we were conscious of and with that 3/4 we loved people the best we could. But the mission teaches you how to use that other 1/4; the part that you didn't know was NOT being used to love. The mission teaches you how to love because using that 1/4 of the heart you didn't know existed allows us to love strangers, people we have absolutely nothing in common with, people who reject us, etc. Why? Because that's what Christ wants us to do because that's how He loved. The profound thing that Sis Fernandez taught me was that if we've learned to love complete strangers with our actually WHOLE heart, the whole 4/4, then how much more deep will our love be for the people we already do love? Our family, friends, future family... The mission teaches us how to love those we already do with an even deeper love.

And I can attest to that.

- Mom & Dad: Between me and Laura, we all know Laura's the one who misses home the most when we are away for conferences and stuff. And I don't normally admit I miss home, but I do. As much as I'm enjoying holding myself accountable for being responsible for myself out here, I do miss listening to parental advice. I still don't like being nagged (hahahaha) BUT I miss receiving council from you both. And I realized how much love you both have for me, Laura, and Arielle. And if I've gained gratitude for anything, a lot of it would be having you two as my parents. I'm grateful for you teaching me everything I need to know. Also, there's nothing like being sick physically and really missing your mom and dad to take care of you. My companion tried, but it wasn't the same :P

- Arielle: After Laura gets married, it's just gonna be you and me. Everytime i read your emails I can't help but feel uber proud of you for all the stuff you're doing. Keep it up! And choose something you and I can do together after the wedding. I'm taking you on a sister date XD

- Laura: No matter how many companions/partners in crime I get out here, you're always going to be my #1. Like I said before coming out, if we were mission companions we would just own it! Haha! And I loved how deprived we sounded when we finally talked to each other on the phone/skype bahahaha. Best friends for like and eternity, yo!

- Sara: Thanks for being my bestie. I ennjoy the fact that even though we've been away from each other for so long, we still chat like I'm gonna see you tomorrow HAHA! Like, thank you for still coming to me with rants. It makes me fele like I'm still fulfilling my job as your best friend haah. And I love the fact that even though I'm a missionary, I can still tell you boy stories and joke around about guys who try to hit on me here. HAHAHA. No but seriously, thanks for always being there for me and looking out for me :)

- Nick: Oh, my relationship with you is a special one. I mean, no one else has ever heard so much ridiculousness come out of my mouth and still accept me as a friend. Afterall that IS how we became friends ;) (stomach flu & sara's bathroom bahaa). Oh man. I'm super stoked that you're going to officially be my brother. This is my best friend/sister we are talking about. And I can get pretty strict and protective about who get to take care of my sister's heart. I'm glad it's you and I wouldn't have it any other way :) I've never seen my sister so happy (or mushy gushy) in my life! Haha! I guess I can share her with you... (LOL kidding! Sweep her off her feet ;))

- Holly: Thank you for teaching me to be better through your example. I don't know anyone who is as good at listening with love as you are. You are going to rock it so hard out in Mexico. Listening, and then speaking as the Spirit directs is definitely one of your spiritual gifts. I can't imagine how much more that's going to magnify as you serve the Lord. Im proud of you, Egg!

- Stan: Thank you for teaching my heart how to be vulnerable; for allowing me to learn how to tear down the wall that guarded it :) You're pretty special...I guess ;P Thanks for helping me prep to be out here and for sticking by my side no matter how tough things got before coming out. You're always telling me how much of an example/motivation I am, but I want you to know you are likewise. No matter how much I rant, or feel exhausted, or don't know if I can handle the challenge, you always know EXACTLY what to say to put things back into perspective. Always :)

- Autumn: Even though we haven't been close for as long as I think we have, you have definitely made your way into a big part of my life. I know you always got my back and I hope you know I've always got yours. I am also so ridiculously proud of you and everything that you're doing. Way to be Autumn! You are such a huge example!

I always say my life is so far from perfect. But it gets pretty darn close because I've been lucky enough to have you all be such a big part of it. I just love you all. And the above comments seem like they are just words on the screen. But I DO mean it with all my heart. I promised I would come home better, and I'll prove it in action at home when the time comes. & Sister Limas doesn't break promises :)

NOW ENOUGH OF MY SAPPY-NESS!!!
This wouldn't be My Lovely Chaos if I didn't delight you with my jumble of things:

*So we have a teaching pool of 16 and it is pretty over-whelming. We've mastered teaching the Restoration with the pamphlets, but then I got stuck with teaching the Plan of Salvation with the pamphlets. Bro Donaldson said it would be the hardest. Man, I always though POS was the easiest. But there's so much to it. And i have my version, Stan's version, and Jayman's version of the visuals; there is the NEG/POS chart that Elder Corkin and Elder Nelson used to teach Bryan way back when; and then there's trying to relate it all to the Atonement. So i've been begging pretty hard for help on how to deal with it. THE LORD ANSWERS PRAYERS! We've taught like 4 POS lessons already and they have gone so well. All taught differently, but all focused ONLY on the Atonement :) whewww

* I hit 8 months last week! usually we go and do something special, but we didn't. Sis Linton kinda volun-told sis clements to go on splits with me because she wasn't feeling well. I was a little peeved cuz I didn't get any sleep the night before and wasn't feeling too well either, but I wanted to work. And she wanted to sleep and get better. Le sigh. So I was bummed. BUT we taught 4 lessons that day and they all went SO WELL. And one new investigator too! Gah! YAY! Best 8 month celebration everrr! And I also got a letter from Nathan Lim and Jason Parker that day. Tops it all off (Y)

* New Year's eve was a blast. Sis Clements let us invite the elders in our district over. It was just way fun and relaxing, and we pulled a bunch of pranks on each other hahaha. It made me miss chilling with the YSA real bad.

* I HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU! General Conference is in 12 weeks :) There are 39 talks. Read 3 a week (4 on the last week) and apply what you learn each week. I've been trying to do that with my studies. OH MAN, PROPHETIC COUNCIL IS JUST SOOOO GOOD! Love the Priesthood session!

* Our mission goal for this year is 521 BAPTISMS! In 2012 we overshot by 7, and for 2013 we were under by 7. But this year is a whopping 521!!! But we are supposed to focus on finding "the one". WOOO. So stoked!

* Speaking of mission goals...2014 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS! I wasn't going to come up with a list...but I caved. I'm going to be out here most of 2014, so I made my goals for the mission, and then my goals for after November 18th ahaha. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? Hit me up and tell me!

* We've been sharing the Mormon Message: Look Not Behind Thee for our member lessons. Ugh, that video is SOOOO GOOD. We've watched it so many times already and every single time something new sticks out. Sis Linton said something way interesting: Sometimes we'll accept the challenge, but then we'll hit a bump on the road and are tempted to go back. But that isn't putting trust in the Lord. It just reminded my of that Greek Mythology story of the guy who wanted to get his wife from the underworld. Hades/Pluto says he can take her BUT only if he doesn't look behind him. He just had to trust that she was following him. And right before he reached the surface, he caved and looked behind him and POOF his wife went back down to the underworld. Look forward and MOVE forward with Faith. LOVE IT. Take the past, learn from it, leave the bad, take what was good, bring it with you and pay it forward.

* We've been jamming to our Christian music in the car and I just love this one song called Stronger: "Hey, heard you were up all night, thinking about how your world ain't right, and you're wondering if thing will ever get better. You're asking why is it always raining on you, when all you want is just a little good news instead of standing there stuck out in the weather. Dont hang your head, it's gonna end, God's right there. even when it's hard to see Him I promise you that He still cares. When the waves are taken you under, hold on just a little bit longer, He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger. The pain ain't gonna last forever, things can always get better. Believe me, it's gonna you stronger." OH I JUST ATTEST TO ALL OF THAT.

* Health wise I'm good. Still get migraines and can't sleep, but at least i'm well enough to work. And i gained a whopping THREE POUNDS. Bahaha. At least i'm getting somewhere.

* This week I randomly started singing one of the songs from Land Before Time 3 (the one about the bullies/no water): "If we can bring them home, show them they're not alone, that they're just kids--kids like us". And it hit me so hard how MORMON that is! Like that's what we're here to do!!! We bring Heavenly Father's children back home no matter who they are because we are all HIS KIDS.

"We are here to prepare the world for the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. That makes us very special. Live up to it." AMEN TO THAT! Neglect not the gift that is in thee. Help people know there is a way to return back home.

Sorry if this is way long!
I haven't been able to check ANY emails (both last week and today) SO SO SORRY ABOUT THAT! But i'll reply next week. Promise! Just know that I have skimmed through some and they have made me cry. I was just super touched. Oh and BTW next Monday is a holiday, so i will be emailing next Tuesday! Talk to you then!!

Have a wonderful week!
Love you loads!
Mucho Love from

Sister Limas :)


 Me and Elder Smith! Or some of you may know him as Logan. Get at me if you know him!


 Sis Linton and I. Paused the jamming for a photo :P


Our district on New Year's Eve :)




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