You Need to Fight Your Fight, Sister Limas

Monday, February 24, 2014

So this week has been way interesting. Working in a tri is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I looove being with Sister Rouse and Sister Sudweeks. We have tons and tons of fun and I've been learning a TON from Sister Sudweeks. But I just had a super hard time feeling the Spirit this week because I was just feeling super inadequate compared to them, and just feeling left out sometimes. Stupid Satan. He needs to not do that. I hate how he takes little things and magnifies them to bug me. UGHHHH.

Anyway, all week Sister Fernandez's voice kept popping into my head:
"You need to fight your fight, Sister Limas".

She said that to me in Paris after teaching a minister. She told me about her karate experience and how she was doing real bad in her sparring during one of their competitions. Her teacher pretty much told her, "if you don't fight your fight, you're never going to win. Don't use their moves to fight them. Use yours to beat them". Her pro move was doing a kick in the air (sorry for my lack of karate terminology haha), and when she fought the last person, she pretty much beat him to shreds hahaha. So moral of the story, she told me if I try to fight a battle using the other person's tactics, I'm not going to win. I need to fight MY fight.

So that line just kept going through my head over and over and over again. Just because I felt like all of a sudden I didn't know how to do missionary work anymore. Weird, I know. Like I felt like I was doing something wrong in my teaching as I was watching the way Sis Sudweeks taught and stuff (yeah I'm chastizing myself. Don't worry). And I kept waiting on Sis Rouse to do something because I was a little tired of being senior and making the decisions, especially when the Spirit was really guiding me to make them. And they are always jamming on the ukelele and harmonizing, and when they tell me to join in I just completely ignore them cuz I can't do either of that. On Saturday I completely broke down after one of our lessons in Farmington because it was just way to awkward in their. There was no direction in the lesson whatsoever and the unity was ka-put. I just hate not being able to feel the Spirit. What made my anxiety go off the wall though was that we were supposed to speak on Sunday and I STILL didn't know what I was going to talk about. You know it's bad when the Spirit isn't directing even that. So I started my fast on Saturday night because I was just really desperate. I've been praying really hard all week because being in a tri is just straining. It's fun at times, but I was just so scatter-brained cuz everything in the apartment is all over the place, including our schedule because it's just different with 3 people and 2 areas to cover. 

Anyway, Sunday morning comes and I'm still not feeling the Spirit. I'm just like WHAT THE CHEESE?!?!?! I went to do studies in my room by myself and I was just not taking anything in. And when it came to comp study I was just all over the place. Ugh. All I could think was Why isn't this working?!?!?! I STILL wasn't gaining inspiration as to what I needed to talk about at church. Ayaaaa.

We get to church and I'm desperately looking for a program to see which of the three of us were bearing our testimony first. Yeah, didn't get one. I was panicking and I was thinking, I hope they go up first so at least I can get some sort of idea what exactly to bear testimony on. 

BUT, as I was sitting there praying as the sacrament was being passed, IT CLICKED!!!! I all of a sudden was filled with the Spirit and knew exactly what to bear my testimony on. Bro Chapman calls us up and both Sisters look at me and say, "you go first". I was like "fine". Ahahaha. Normally I probably would have been a little shaky being thrown under the bus like that, but I wasn't :) I knew the Spirit was there and was going to help me. So I got up there and talked about my decision to serve a mission and how gaining a testimony of the Atonement had influenced it. Then I bore testimony of Jesus Christ and the Atonement and I'm tearing up waterfalls. Then i said some stuff about member missionary work. But be proud of me. My voice was so calm ;) ahahhaa. 

Anyway, Sis Rouse told me she was glad I went up first cuz that set the tone for hers cuz she didn't know what to bear testimony of either. And then Bro Bassett (our ward mission leader) gets up to give his talk and he starts tearing up cuz he said that our testimonies made him emotional. Man, the Spirit was so strong in there! I was just soooo grateful cuz it was what I've been longing to feel all week. 

After church we did some weekly planning and man oh man the Spirit was totally guiding it all. I was so relieved. After not feeling it all week, I was just so happy it was guiding me again. I fought my fight. I took control of the weekly planning as the Spirit directed. Ideas for lessons were popping left and right. We had a last minute member lesson, and once again, lead out as the Spirit directed. Man, I can't even explain how awesome it feels to have my mouth filled with inspired questions from the spirit when I've felt tongue-tied all week. And to teach the way I know how to and NOT try to change it because of someone else. Goodness gracious. All Sunday evening though you could tell things were getting a little awks between the two other sisters. And so once again Sis Fernandez's advice to "fight my fight" popped into me head. I needed to do what I knew how to do. So I had some one-on-one time with the both of them just to ease whatever was on their mind. In other words, I went all Ate on them :P ahaha. But it was good.

.....And we were back to laughing by the end of the night. Whew, thank goodness. I am so pumped for this week!!!

Only thing is I'm sick...again :( But Im super grateful for Sister Sudweeks cuz all the pain I'm feeling right now, she's been through. So she's been doing a great job at giving me tips. I might have to go see a chiropractor though cuz the back and hip pains are totally doing me under. And I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with the flu cuz I was shivering like mad last night. Sis Sudweeks had to come and help warm me up cuz I was shaking so bad. 

ANYWAY, other than sicknesses which will be taken care of sooner or later, things are great :)

Last I just want to share something I read during studies this week. Sheri Dew says:

"Is it possible to be happy when life is hard? To feel peace amid uncertainty and hope in the midst of cynicism? Is it possible to change, to shake off old habits and become new again? Is it possible to live with integrity and purity in a world that no longer values the virtues that distinguish the followers of Christ?

"Yes. The answer is yes because of Jesus Christ, whose Atonement ensures that we need not bear the burdens of mortality alone...

"Through the years I, like you, have experienced pressures and disappointments that would have crushed me had I not been able to draw upon a source of wisdom and strength far greater than my own. He has never forgotten or forsaken me, and I have come to know for myself that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His Church. With Ammon I say, '[For] who can glory too much in the Lord? Yeah, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy....? Behold....I cannot say the smallest part which I feel' (Alma 26:16). I testify that in this, the twilight of the dispensation of the fulness of times, when Lucifer is working overtime to jeopordize our journey home and to separate us from the Savior's atoning power, the only answer for any of us is Jesus Christ". 

I will atest to that again and again. 
I love my Saviour. And He loves each and every one of us.
I bear my simple testimony of that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all!
be good! be obedient! be happy! and just love love love :)
and be prepared. most definitely that too!

Sister Limas

Me and my lovelies, Sister Rouse and Sister Sudweeks :)

Are We Ready?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

First of all, I really hope this email doesn't scare anybody. But there is urgency in my heart right now that I've been pondering about all week, and our new tri-companionship has preeeetty much discussed it and now I know it's not just me. So please bare with me cuz I don't exactly know where to start with this. 

I guess I'll start with what happened on Sunday. In Relief Society they announced that the Relief Society broadcast this conference wasn't just going to be for RS women, but for all ladies 8 years old and older. The moment that was said I was just writing down all the emotions that were coming to me at that point. I wrote,

"It's amazing how so much of the curriculum is changing. They need these generations to be ready and strong for what's coming. At age 8, they are being expected to know what the prophet has to say to all the women of the church! They are calling EVERYONE who is old enough to be held accountable to be a part of this work! They are REALLY trying to strengthen and prepare this army. ITS CRAZY! Are we all prepared for what's coming?!"

I discussed this with my companions this morning and let's just say I'm not the only missionary who is feeling the urgency. We all know something big is coming. I don't know what's going to happen, but all I know is that I keep asking myself if I'm ready enough, if I'm capable enough, if I'm strong enough--strong enough for what's about to happen. There have been a few times during my mission where I've felt that something huge is going to happen so soon. So huge I don't even know if I'll make it back home. (please don't let that freak you out. it's just that much of an urgent feeling).

Let me share one of my favourite quotes from Gordon B. Hinckley which has pretty much shaped my mission life, even before I came out here. And the more that I experience things out here, the more I see the Lord's hand in everything that has happened in my life pre-mission and during my mission, and how that's going to effect my life post-mission.

When I finally decided that I was going to serve a mission for sure (cuz let's be honest, that decision was a roller coaster one since I was 14...), it was just after YLC 2010. I had gone through some things that year and bearing testimony of repentance and the Atonement was something I found I enjoyed doing during that conference. And so when I got back home, "mission" just kept popping into my head. I went on splits with Hermana Martinez the next day before church and I was telling her how I thought I was pretty sure I wanted to serve a mission. Then she recited this quote my President Hinckley: "Today many sisters are being called to serve, many more are preparing to serve, not because they aren't married or don't have anything else to do, but they have the desire to serve." After that I was like DONE! I am going on a mission for sure now. 

I can't even begin to explain the gazillion of things that happened in my life between when I heard that part of the quote and when I heard the 2nd part of it. For real. I just attempted to type it all out and JUST deleted it because there is just waaaaay too much information about my personal life. Really relative information to what I'm about to say, and it would make this story make a lot more sense cuz you'll see the connections I saw, BUT its just too much of my personal life. I wish I could, but I can't. Too many stories. Too much time. Just ask me about it some other time haha.

I was in my first 4 weeks of being in Paris that I heard the 2nd half of that quote. And when I did my heart was just brimming with joy because everything just began to make SO MUCH MORE SENSE. The 2nd half of the quote says,

"Reason: The Lord wants more sisters to serve because within the next generation He will be sending His Priesthood Army to the earth. he wants to send these choice spirits to mothers who are prepared and who have been properly trained and taught the gospel. What better schooling can a mother have than the experience and growth she has gained through serving a mission."

Do you know how much this rings more and more true to me the longer that I'm out here? I'm not exaggerating when I say something HUGE is happening soon. The second coming IS just around the corner. We are at freaking war right now. There are unseen spirits that are trying SO hard to beat us. Feeling like things are hard lately? Yeah, it's because Satan wants your downfall. He wants you to fall so hard. But we all need to stand strong. And Heavenly Father can't have us just focusing on keeping ourselves strong. We need to be helping His other children too. But the strength continues to come when we help His children come to know their Saviour and know Heavenly Father's plan. There is so much more to this picture than we think there is. And I can't even explain how much I have been seeing the Lord's hand shape my life. In my upbringing, with the whole decision process to serve, with all the steps of faith He has begged me to was all for something. They aren't just things that have happened in my life. Instead they are actual events that the Lord has so intricately woven in my life. He has carefully chosen and saw them fit to happen to me so that I could be brought to the point where I'm at right now. It's insane. And if you all just look at your life and do a a self evaluating recap of it, I promise He has done the same for you. Guys, I have the sacred duty of being a mother to Heavenly Father's Priesthood Army. I am literally going to be one of the mother's of the Army of Helaman. This is insanity. And it's not just me. It's this whole generation. And therefore I keep asking myself: ARE WE ALL READY? ARE WE ALL DOING ENOUGH?

There have been multiple times where Heavenly Father has said "Prove it to me, Sister Limas. Prove it. What makes you think that in the future you'll know how to do this with your future family if you don't decide to learn to do it now? PROVE ME." And so I'm always like ok ok ok, I'll do it. No matter how awkward or weird or uncomfortable the idea is. But now I'm realizing there's a reason why Heavenly Father's making a point that I be learning it for my future family. And it's because I need to be prepared for them. 

I don't exactly know where to continue on with talking about this, so I'm really sorry if I have to leave you on a cliffhanger. Just know that we need to be prepared. Just know that we need to be sharing the gospel. It's your job to plant the seeds. It our job as missionaries to harvest. We need all the help we can get. The Lord HAS made the call. The Lord has COMMANDED at the last conference that members and missionaries need to be working together in strength than ever before. We need to constantly be strengthening ourselves and those around us. Don't think it's okay to stop and take a break because you're at an "Oh, I'm good" state. There is so much to do. I don't even know how much more pleading I can put into this email. Everyone, just please please please be ready.

SO, enough of that. I hope I'm not scaring anyone. I just want to know if y'all feel the urgency as much as I do? Because I've been feeling it for a while and haven't really said anything to anyone about it. But we've just been put into a tri-companionship and we've been having super in depth conversations and now I'm realizing it's not just me. It's never just me. Heavenly Father is letting us all know. 

Speaking of the tri-companionship!! So the Fredricktown sisters in our district, Sister Sudweeks and Sister Larimer, have been with us pretty much the whole weekend. Sister Larimer is a visa-waiter and she finally got her visa to Brazil. But that leaves Sis Sudweeks without a companion. So they spent the weekend with us so they didnt have to keep driving back and forth for weekly planning and church. And now that Sister Larimer is gone, it's just the 3 of us. And we're all going to be working Farmington and Fredricktown. That's a whoooole lot of area. The furthest north our area goes is 45 mins away from where we live. Between Farmington and Fredricktown there is 30 mins. And the furthest down south Fredricktown's area goes is 30 mins. WOWEE. It's going to be so fun though. God puts us together for a reason.

Tender Mercies & Funnies:

* We found SEVEN new investigators this week. WOOOO!!!

* We went on exchanges and that was probably been the best exchange I've been on. Sis Sabey was my companion, and I know her first as my mission sibling and friend, and second as a sister training tracting was just way fun. I didn't feel like I was being judged on my missionary work at all.

* During exchanges Sis Johnson and Sis Sabey were just saying how happy they were to see me so happy and see how much I've changed over the last 3 months. Sis Johnson asked what happened that made the difference. All I could say was, "The Atonement works wonders". And it does. It truly does.

* So my reputation of rapping the first discussion has just gone everywhere -_-" After the last workshop at Zone Conference, a bunch of Elders I didn't really know go, "So Sister Limas are you going to rap for us?" Oh goodness. Elder Stewart and I had already planned to record ourselves again after conference, but I was like shaking my head that this many people in the mission have heard about me rapping. Cuz I can't rap to save my life hahaha

* Apparently I show a ton of Canadian pride. Random missionaries will come up to me and be like "sister limas I heard you were canadian. I am too." LOLOL. So that happened right after Zone Conference. Elder Merrill comes up to me and asks that. And for SOME REASON a whole bunch of missionaries join in the conversation. Not to talk. They just stand there and watch me. And i'm like o_O what?!?! I think people just think Canada is so foreign and interesting ahahaa. Anyway, Elder Merrill asks me how long I've been out and I say "9 months" and Elder Stewart goes "NO. Has it been that long already?!" I'm like "i knooow! I can't even deal!" And he's like "man, they grow up so fast!" Elder Stewart was my 1st district leader out here, and Sis Ash said the exact same thing to me last week during Zone Leader Training. Man. I feel old. I can't imagine how much more mission old they feel.

* We were in the mission office yesterday to drop sis larimer off. We got to see the photos of the new missionaries coming in next transfer. One was a Sister Gali (sp?) and her middle name was Calica!!!! I asked if she was Filipino and the office sister pulled out her file and said yes! SAY WHAAAT! She's from Los Angeles, California. Ask the Calicas if they have any family there! So now there's going to be an American Filipino (sis gali), a Canadian Filipino (me), and a Filipino Filipino (Elder Abad). Ahaaha. President Morgan laughed at me so hard when he saw me put that together and excitedly jump with excitement. 

* We did a church tour for one of our investigators. Man, the Spirit was SO STRONG. That was my first time doing that. All that went through my head was what Bro Donaldson had said to us at his training: "you know what the problem with us Mormons are?! We're too used to it. Too used to the Spirit". And it's so true. We are so used to church, to the spirit, to reading scriptures...that sometimes we forget about the basics and the WHY. But watching Felicia Twomey go around the church and seeing the difference it was for her from other churches just amazed me. And I had the privilege to bear testimony of the YW's theme, the Sacrament, and the gathering of the Saints. It was awesome. 

* Sis Clements and Sis Jamboretz from my last area came to Farmington to bring me my bike. They took us out to lunch. It was sooo fun and so good to see them again!

* HEART ATTACKS! Oh i love acting like a spy ahaha. Valentine's Day Heart attacks were a success. My favourite part was just seeing the smile on people's faces when I saw them at the Ward Valentine's Party and they told us they saw our gifts. I love making people happy :)

Those are my highlights for this week. 
The mission is awesome. And I'm hungry. It's lunch time and I still need to check the rest of my emails lololol. 

I love you all bunches. Never forget that. 
I hope you have a fantabulous week!
Just remember to reflect.
Sister Limas :)

So Sister Sudweeks just told me that her mom said that Elder Millora is serving in her ward back home!!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!! She said that his face lit up when she told him that Sister Sudweeks and I were going to be serving together and that he just keeps asking about me. BAH! That just made my day. The world is soooooo small! I pretty much squealed in my chair cuz Jared is one of my closest friends. We've worked pretty much every job together and he's my bro. I'm just so happy he's doing well :') AND, I got a letter from Stefanie Chen this week. Her and Jared are serving in the same district. OH MY GOODNESS, i just love 'em both!

Sis Sabey, Sis Ash, and I after Zone Conference
Sis Rouse and I. Preeeetty much describes our relationship.

Our tri-companionship at the zoo!

I Love Farmington!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey all!
I dont have too much to report on. It's been another slow week. Snow day + being sick + new tends to pile up. But despite the slowness...I am just SOOOO in love with Farmington already!!

Here are some highlights / tender mercies / funnies of the week :)

1. Last Saturday we tried to contact a bunch of less-active families with primary kids so we could invite them to the primary party. We were on Fox St trying to contact the Sidebottom's, but no one was home. So we tracted the near by houses. The 1st house we knock on, this lady opens the door and she's like, "oh hey. can you come back Monday? I love having missionaries over" LOL we didn't even say anything yet aha. Turns out this lady, debbie, was meeting with JW missionaries and wanted to learn from us to. Now get this. We go back on Monday and Debbie isn't home. So we try the Sidebottom's again. Paula Sidebottom lets us in right away and she was just super friendly. She said that she wants to start coming back to church, and she's trying to do what's right (she's getting married to her BF who lives with her). GAH! So awesome! We told he we were tracting around her neighbourhood and she says, "you should go see the Henroses who live across the street! They want to learn more about Mormonism. If you want, we can have the discussions here cuz I'd love to learn again too". SAY WHAAAT? Man, I was just like WAY TO BEEEEE.

2. Sis Rouse and I continued our search for LA primary kids...on the coldest day ever! But i know from experience....working in cold weather brings blessings :) We got to talk to so many people in the process! I feel like it's been forever since I've street contacted someone. My last few week in Glen Carbon have been so hectic. We just jumped into the car and dashed from one place to another with no extra time on the sidewalk. So it was super refreshing being able to talk to people. We got a few potentials in the process, and set up appointments with them for this next week. SCORE! 

3. We had dinner with the Bassett's (ward mission leader) on Tuesday. THEY ARE SO AMAZING. They did this really cool surprise for us for dinner. I would tell you BUT they told me I have to do it when I get I'd be ruining the surprise ;) ahaha. Their kids are so darn cute. Kyree (8), Kalene (5), and Khloe (3) put on a performance for us. They were just singing and dancing to Frozen. SO DARN CUTE! I just love them so much. Bro Bassett is so on top of things with trying to help us out with our missionary efforts. We've been getting so many referrals from members because of the appointments he's been setting up for us. And Sis Bassett...she wanted to serve a mission but she got married (way cute story). Anyway, she is awesome and taking the opportunity of having sisters in the ward to do missionary work. So she's been taking us everywhere to meet people! Not to mention, they have the SICKEST and BIGGEST truck I've ever seen. We just feel so cool cruising around Farmington in it ahaha.

4. We had dinner with the Gratton's on Wednesday. Oh man, they are so fun. Bro Gratton is hilarious. I pretty much told him my quotebook would be filled with stuff he said ahaha. Sis Gratton is the YW's president and she said she wanted to do this sister missionary activity with the girls, but couldn't because they had Elders. But now that we're here, she can continue on with the activity! YAY! I love Young Women's! Their daughter Caroline isn't a member, but she is just so fun to talk to. She sits in on the discussions and totally helps us out with trying to contact their less-active family members. She's a year older than me and is a photographer like Sis Rouse and I. She also works at a coffee shop, so I like talking to her about coffee, CUZ I CAN. Bahaha. 

5. We had our Zone Leader Training on Thursday. A ton of stuff happened, so let me just list em out for ya.

*  We got there early cuz we needed to practice a musical number. So we're singing and all of a sudden I hear "BABYGIIIIRL!". Baha! I turn around and Sister Ash is standing there with her arms wide open. hahahah oh i love my momma ash! And she's companions with Sister Trop! gah, i just love them both. 

* Every month at Zone Leader Training, we've gotten a new rule. And the hardest one just came out: WE CAN ONLY LISTEN TO MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR AND GENERAL CONFERENCE TALKS ON PROS DAYS. That was a hugeeeeee stab in the heart. MoTab is probably my least favourite form of LDS music (no offence), therefore I have NONE with right now. Oh, the silence is soooooo hard. So anybody, if you have really good MoTab music or GC talks you wanna send me, i will love you forever! Also, there's no more Disney music for pdays either :( We can only listen to music. Which isn't so bad cuz I love the songs on anyway. WHEWWW. We were basically just promised that this will help us reach our goal of 521 baptisms at the end of the year. Our mission is pretty musically talented, and loves the music freedom Pres Clark had originally given us, so this rule has pretty much taken a toll on people. BUT Sis Rouse and I have decided not to think negatively about it. We've pretty much been singing to make up for the music that no longer exists in our apartment and car. So hard! But "if ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper". I think that's motivation enough.

* Soooo there's an Elder Weight in my mission who has been writing one of my friends (i'm not going to say who ;))...and I met him for the first time! We are in the same zone! I go up to him and I'm like "So how's writing so-and-so, Elder Weight?" and he's like "YOU'RE SISTER LIMAS?!" I'm like, "dude we just did a musical number together. I am the ONLY sister limas in this mission!" Bahahahaha. He said he was trying to hard to never meet me BAHAHAHA. Oh but he is so funny. 

* One of the trainings was about prayer. All of a sudden Sis Ash says, "something Sis Limas taught me was daily repentance. So our prayers shouldn't sound repetitive if you're sincerely repenting daily". After the meeting I just wove my whitehandbook at her (she gave the WHB thought on music and we have matching covers haha). So she says, "I totally thought of you when I was giving the WHB thought. You were the one who did the WHB thought at transfer meeting about music being the testimony of the artists?" I'm like WHY THE POOP DO PEOPLE REMEMBER THAT?? That was 3 transfers ago!!! Ahaha. She's like "cuz you WOULD say something like that". Then I said I couldn't believe she remembered my thought about daily repentance. Then she says, "of course I remember! Baby girl you changed my life!". And i'm standing there whimpering and saying "that's what you wrote in my tag journal but i thought you were just saying it! i didn't know you meant it!" bahahaha. Oh man. I love her. She was hard on me at times, but she really is the best trainer ever!!

6. We met with Sis Toombes this week. She has two sons on a mission right now and her husband works in New York. She served a mission in North Carolina. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met. She is so sweet and so loving. And she makes everything home-made. SO COOL. Anyway, Sis Rouse and I had planned on doing the "Alma 50" lesson with her, and I was supposed to lead out. The Alma 50 lesson is something Sister Rouse JUST taught me, so I was a little nervous about doing it. But as we were talking to Sister Toombes I kept feeling like I should show her the "look not behind thee" video. And I kept pushing it out of my head. I thought maybe that was just my nerves getting to me and scaring me out of doing Alma 50. YOU'D THINK I'D KNOW BY NOW THAT WHEN THE SPIRIT TELLS YOU TO DO SOMETHING, THEN YOU JUST DO IT. Ahahaha. She finally said something about the atonement and im like that's it...., "hey can we share a video with you?" I turn around and mouth out "sorry" to Sister Rouse cuz I was totally taking this lesson in a different direction. But it went so well!!! Afterwards I apologized to Sister Rouse that it came out of no where, but she's like No i'm SO glad you listened to the Spirit cuz I didn't feel like Alma 50 was right, but I didn't know what to do instead. OH WHEWWWW. The Spirit is awesome!

7. Soooooooo I'm sick, yet again. I've got a cold, I'm losing my voice, my body hurts, and I've got the chills. BUT IT IS SUCH A BLESSING, I KID YOU NOT. I'm not being sarcastic this time. It seriously is such a blessing. Cuz it's better than it being my gall bladder/acid reflex/migrane/anxiety. Whewww. Like, of course my body feels so blah right now, BUT ITS BETTER THAN WHAT IT WENT THROUGH BEFORE! HALLELUJAH!

8. We found out on Thursday we had to do a musical number at Sacrament meeting with the Fredricktown sisters. I DID ALTO! LAURA BE PROUD OF MEEEE! I practiced so hard to get that alto dead on. But then my voice got more and more raspy the sicker I got. BUT THEY STILL MADE ME SING AT SACRAMENT. Oh goodness. Sis Adams was like, you sound fine and you're still on key. We'll just put you right next to the mic. OH MY GOODNESS, when it comes to singing I have a freaking fear of microphones! Ask anybody. When it comes to kareoke, i'll sing with the group, but once you hand me the mic, I shut up. BUT I PULLED THROUGHHH. I kept coughing afterwards, but hey, I DID IT :)


10. We had dinner with the Elkington's last night. Bro Elkington is hilarious. We were just swapping mission stories. It was so funny. Their kids are so cute! They remind me of Arielle when she was each of their ages ahaha. Two of them were like, "IM GOING TO BE A MISSIONARY WHEN I GROW UP!" Oh sooooooooooooo cute. 

11. I hit my half way mark. WHAT. THE. CHEESE. I burned a tshirt on the grill :) ahahaha. Sister Rouse was like "i hit 5 months soon" and i was like "what, no. that can't be. IM about to hit my 5 months." Then i realize, no i just hit 9 doofus. Holy frizz, I don't know where the time is going. Gah. It is freaking me out!

12. SISTER ROUSE IS TOTALLY MY BFF. Ahahaha she is just so much fun. We have matching infinity rings. We made this scrapbook and my name was written on blush pink paper with an infinity sign in the corner. Hers was on mint green with an anchor. When we went shopping we found best friend iPhone covers that had the infinity ring and anchor in the same colours. BAHAHAHA. We bought it just because. Oh my goodness, seriously forever best friends. And cooking is so much funnnn. I made us fajitas and sweet potato fries to celebrate my 9 month yeyeuuuh.

13. When we did weekly planning this week I started getting super frustrated. We were trying to come up with numbers, but it was just so hard cuz we had no appointments with investigators. Going from having your planner completely full to zilch is heart-wrenching for sure. But we sat down and the spirit guided. We called up a bunch of people and picked out a bunch of part member families and formers to contact. YEEEUS. Once again, the Spirit is awesome.

ANYWHOOOOOOOOOOZERS. That's all for now :)

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY IN ADVANCE!!!!! I'll tell you about our Valentine's Day adventures next week :) Sis Rouse and I already have souped up a plan :) hehehe

-Sister Limas

Sis Rouse, me, and papayaaaaas

My awesome decorating! Yes, we girlified apartment.

My posterity! Me, Sister Fernandez, and Sister Gunter.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Ok so I only have an hour on this computer at the Farmington library...blaaaah. So I will try to squeeze everything in. In report form hahaha.

Between Sunday and Tuesday I don't even know where the hours went. It was just running from one appointment to another. We were in a tri from Monday afternoon till Wednesday morning cuz Sis Corder's companion went home. Poor girl got sucked into our crazy schedule.

a. East St Louis District.
Oh man, I can't even explain how much I'm going to miss them. Like, hanging out with the district every Monday has done so much good to keep me sane hahaha. Sister Linton and I went shopping with Elder Smith and Elder Oskins before we met up with Elders Wadsworth and Dingman to play basketball. Oh man, I am just going to miss those two. I mean, what other district leader is going to ask me for my fashion advice when choosing shoes? BAHAHA. And they put in a group effort to buy my a moustache ring :3 tehehehehe. Hey, I was obsessed with moustaches even before they became popular, kaaaay? They pitched in to make a whopping $2 bahaha we are just all so broke at the end of the month.

b. Glen Carbon Ward.
It's so heartbreaking to leave. I knew it was time to go, but I always forget how hard it is when you start saying goodbyes. To the Bennions, Holbrooks, Clements, James Cathey, Jamboretz, Meadows, Hawks, Wallace's, Ginger, Sis Spencer, Sis Moss, Shirley....thanks for being my fam for the last 3 months. GAH. It was so hard to say goodbye to Sophie Bennion and Abbie Hawk. Those two little girls have just stolen my heart! Right before we were leaving the Hawk home, Abbie's voice started quivering and she burst into tears. ahhhhhhhhh. I can't even deal with tears! Especially from little children. Seriously, just rip my heart out!

c. Things I learned from the area/2 transfers/Sis Linton.
- Patience. Oh yes, I've learned a ton of that. But you already know this from my past emails home haha.
- The Atonement. I shall give details about this at the end of my email.
- "Don't go out of your way to serve, but serve as you go". Sis Linton was definitely a pure example of that.
- Exact obedience brings MIRACLES. Ha, never has that statement ever been so trueeee. Last words I say to Sis Linton: "If ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper". Mhmmm. That scripture has most definitely come to life.

I just looooooooooove transfer meeting. I walk into the gym and the first sister I run up to is Sis Felt. Oh man, it was like reuniting with a best friend...except Sis Felt and I have NEVER served together hahaha. She replaced me in Paris, so she has heard tons and tons about me, and she served with Sister Linton in the MTC, so I know quite a bit about her as well. She was just updating me on a whole bunch of things and then said "Sister Fernandez is in the new trainer's meeting right now". EEEEEEEEEEK!!!! I could not contain my excitement! MY BABY GIRL IS TRAINING!!!! WHICH MEANS IM GONNA BE A GRAND-MOMMA!!!!! Ahhhhhh. I am so stinking proud of her! Sis Felt also told me Sister Fernandez had to "finish-train" another sister the past transfer, Sister Chatterson. She's Canadian. I went up to her and i'm like ahhh you be my grand-baby too!! Hahaha. So in one of my first letters home I had said that being around the other missionaries just made me supppperrr awkward when I first got out here. But I can't even describe how much I love it now. I can't even tell you how happy my heart was when I saw Sis Bierman, Sis Trop, Sis Sabey, Sis Sheppard, Sis Scott, and Sis Fernandez. Like, I was super excited to see some of the Elders that were in my district before too, but the bond you create with these sisters...gah, I just love them all. To think I wouldn't have met any of these people if I didn't decide to go on a mission. Oh goodness. My life is seriously so blessed because I have learned so much from each of them.

So during transfer meeting I sat beside Sister Fernandez and guessed with the Spirit who her new baby girl might be. AHAAAAA, we got it right :) Sister Gunter!!! Oh my, the moment Sis Gunter called out Sis Fernandez's name, we both squealed and were bouncing in our seat. Bahaha like mother, like daughter. Sis Christensen came up to me afterwards and says, "so you trained Sis Fernandez? You did such a good job!" I'm like "OH NAY NAY, she came pre-trained." Gah, I am so unbelieveably proud of her!!!! Speaking of "nay nay"...I got it from Laura. But I started saying it out here and Elder Stewart, Sis Fernandez, AND Sis Felt are all saying it now bahahaha. Oh goodness. Laura, your legacy lives on :P

Sooooo, I also just love my Canadians. It's so super weird to think I'll be seeing Elder Smith and Elder Rassmussen at home bahaha like SUPER awkward and weird. But it's kinda nice to be able to joke around about home with them considering Canadians are scarce out here. LOL. I hate packing just because I have waaaay too much stuff. I just told Elder Smith that when he comes to visit the mission, he's just gonna have to take some of my stuff and bring it back to Toronto with him ahaa. And Elder Rassmussen...oh goodness, him and his bromancing. I just keep telling him I'll go with his parents to come pick him up when he comes home to Toronto. Hooray for mission friends!

Lets back track a bit. When I found out that I would be joining Sis Rouse in Farmington, I will admit I was kinda lost. This would be the first time I get into an area where my companion had already been serving there. WELL, I get to transfer meeting and I'm talking to the Elders that were white-washing us out of Glen Carbon--Elder Austin (my MTC district leader trained him so I have to like him) and Elder Besendorfer (super super nice)--and Elder Besendorfer says to me, "oh you're whitewashing into Farmington?" And i'm like no, I wasn't told we were whitewashing. And he's like "i'm pretty sure you are cuz I served there. It's an Elder's area". So I go up to Sis Batchelor and ask if Sis Rouse and I were whitewashing in. And we were. OH LIFE MAKES SO MUCH SENSE AGAIN!!!!!! Ahaha. As stressful as white-washing is, that's all I really know how to do. I was so relieved!

So we white washed Elders out. Oh man. Elder Campbell says, "we scrubbed the floors as best we could". Oh Elders. Their version of clean and our version of clean are on two different levels haha. The apartment smelled like boy. And not the whole "mmm mmm mmm-totally-get-high-off-AXE-spray" boy smell. It was "walk-into-a-gym-of-boys-playing-sports-and-hit-a-wall-of-musty-sweat" type smell. Ahaa oh dear. But Sis Rouse and I have worked our magic and totally "SISTER-FIED" the apartment :) Our ward mission leader, Bro Bassett, is awesome! I've never had a WML set appointments for us before cuz in my other areas we've done it independently. So there is much to get used to, but I am super grateful for his help. Sis Bassett is so awesome. She's a photographer!! And so creative! And her and bro bassett are just the cutest couple ever! And their kids are adorbs!!! Sister Rouse and I are literally working from the ground up. The Elders before totally cleaned out the potentials and formers list, so we've basically got nothing. TOTES GOING TO BE AN ADVENTURE!

Now let me tell you about my lovely companion, Sister Rouse. She is from Boise, Idaho!!!! (totally thought of Holly hahaha). We had like a 7 hour comp inventory the first day. It was much needed though. She told me how she was sitting in the room crying and then the spirit told her to talk to her companion. GAH. Those 7 hrs, we really got to know each other. I just love her to bits and pieces. And the past few days have been such an adventure with her!!!! OH MANNNN. SHE MAKES WEIRD, AWKWARD NOISES AT THE MOT RANDOM me! I just about died. It is such a hoot! And her voice goes super high and she dances on the spot just like I do when she gets excited. Bahahaha. Oh man, I just love her. She can pretty much pick up any instrument and jam on it which is WAY cool. And she's a writer and didn't even know it! We practice on the type writer we have in the apartment :) Aaaand she's a photographer as well. Seriously? This is the best companionship ever! After planning at night she'll be like "sister liiiiimas let's work out!" bahaha so we'll work out and laugh our butts off at the most random things. Whenever I say something funny she'll be like "oh sister Limas you make my heart smile" and whenever she says something funny I'll be like "oh sister rouse I enjoy youuu". We also found out that this stake is the only one that isn't doing the 20 lessons program. Errrr we have to tract for 10 hrs a week? WEIRD. But she says "yeahhh forward with faith!" haha so stoked!

So going back to my point on the Atonement. Sis Rouse says to me, "I heard that your second area is when you really come to know Christ" (Farmington is her 2nd area. she's been out for almost 5 months).

...And I have so much more to say but this coputer is about to log me out. GAH NOOOOO.

but let me just say I love you all and you'll hear from me next week!
Score! I got another another library -_-" ahaha so going back to what I said...
I thought about it. Then testified to it. I told her that the last two transfers have been super hard for me, but I have gained such a conviction of my Saviour and the Atonement. Sunday morning I realized "oh man, it's February." If you know me well enough then you know I have a super crazy memory. Which is a blessing. BUT, it can also be a curse ahaa. Fun fact: my body/emotions go through these "year rounds", where I start to feel things I felt 1 year ago. ITS SO WEIRD. Anyway, I realized it was February and i'm like "oh great". But as I was reflecting and praying, all I could think was "I'M A MISSIONARY!" and the biggest smile just went on my face. I am a missionary. I am serving the Lord right now. I am SO lucky to be a part of this great work! The same thing happened this morning while I was doing exercises. I'm like "oh man, let the emotions start...", but then I flashbacked to when i first got out to Paris and where I was at emotionally then and where I'm at now. Holy moly, I didn't think I've changed that much, but in so many ways I have. I just got the most peaceful feeling and I couldn't help but smile as I was doing my workout. Like, I don't think I've ever been so happy in my life. My heart is just smiling so huge right now. And so again, I testify of the Atonement and everything that our Saviour has done for us; done for me. I don't even know how to express my gratitude right now. Sis Rouse asked me this morning, "so with all that you left behind, and all that you went through, how has your decision to serve blessed your life?" I just listed and listed...and the list could go on. Sis Morgan is always telling us how she's the luckiest woman in the world because she gets to serve us. But I'm going to steal her words right now and say I feel like the luckiest woman in the world because I get to be here and be a part of something so wonderful. (Baha, did i just call myself a woman? bahaha that's new.)

Other than "Neglect not the gift that is in thee", my other favourite mission scripture is in D&C 123:17
"let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for His to be revealed".
I find the longer I'm out here, the more and more this scripture comes to life for me. Because sometimes that's all I can really do. I can only work on what I have control or stewardship over. So everything else? It's out of my power. BUT, when we work as hard as we can, the Lord lets the miracles come. Both miracles that are unraveled before my eyes and the miracles working within me that are changing me. That's what I've come to learn what hope is. You do the best you can with whatever you have control over. Everything else will just fall into place the way the Lord will have it be done. And you know that whatever way it's done is what will make you the most happy, because you've done it the way the Lord wants you to. And i've seen that time and time again, and I know it'll continue to happen.

"If it is true, then we are sitting on a spiritual goldmine. We better do something about it". --Bro Montey Blum, Feb 2014
That's what Bro Blum bore testimony of yesterday at church. And I atest to that! THE GOSPEL IS SO TRUE. Share it with somebody. Help the missionaries out. We have something so special that needs to be shared. You'll find a way to do it your style. Just do it. There's a reason the work is hastening. I don't know about you, but that just tells me something big is coming. Are we all prepared for it? Neglect not the gift that is in thee :)

To end I just want to share the verse and chorus of one of my favourite sister missionary songs!!! :)

I am a daughter full of faith
I have been nurtured by God's grace
Joining the throng of valiant youth
I heed the Lord's clear call to share His truth
My generation has been raised
Ready to serve in latter days
Now we go forth in strength and might
Endowed with power from on high
His work is hastening day by day
And I stand ready to obey
I am prepared to do my part
Ready to serve with all my heart
There are blessings I would miss
If I did not share this sacred gift
For I have been prepared to serve
For such a time as this

Gah. Being a missionary is so awesome. LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE IIIIIIT.
I wish I could send home photos of me aned my beautiful companion and the wonderful decorating we have done to the apartment. but this 2nd library we went to doesn't allow us to plug things in -____-" Sis Rouse and I are just going to venture to find a place that allows us to be on the computers for more than an hour. This is ridiculous. We are so not library hopping every monday lolololol.

PS, last Monday...I drove a car :3 tehehe. We were waiting for the Elders to come to the church so Sis Linton made me practice. PERFECT PARKING! Aww yahh. Ahahaha. Anyway...

Have a wonderful week :)
Sister Limas

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