The Promises I Keep

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hey all!

So once again I'm sitting at the computer without a clue of what I'm going to tell you. Haha. Oh dear. So hopefully the Spirit guides this one again. But while the Spirit's trying to process things in my head....let me tell you about two quick miracles!!

But first a little background. We had our Zone Leader Training this Wednesday and our theme for this upcoming transfer is MIRACLE MADNESS!!! We're pretty much sending out voicemails to each other about all the miracles that are happening. Also on Wednesday, our ward started the 40 Day Fast. This was something Bro Bassett (our ward mission leader) came up with. We fast together as a ward, but families take turns fasting for the 40 days. It's supposed to create unity in the ward and help out the missionary work in this area.

And let me tellllllllllllll you...the miracles that we've been seeing....that fast is definitely working.
Both miracles happened while working the Fredericktown area. The first is with Melissa Lewis (a former investigator). Sis Sudweeks has been searching for her for a month now. When she was on exchanges with Sis Johnson they knew they had to find her. When we started working Fredericktown with her we would go around asking people in the area where she lived. We went up to the house people described a couple times, but no one would answer. This past Friday, we went into a shop and asked people again. They lead us right back to the house that was previously described. So we went back to the house and knocked on the door.....AND MELISSA ANSWERED IT! Sis Sudweeks says to her "Melissa, do you know what we've done to try and find you?! Do you know who we are?" And she says, "yes! I've been searching for the missionaries for so long! The last ones that taught me were like my best friends and helped me through a lot of tough times. I've written them, but haven't gotten an answer back. I want to keep taking lessons. I just need to stop smoking so I can get baptized." MOUTH DROPPED IN SHOCK. Oh, Heavenly Father just loves His children!

The second one was with Carrie Chitwood. A couple of weeks ago we were at a gas station asking for directions. We ended up staying there for 30 mins cuz we realized we had to fill up the tank and then pay again inside. Sis Rouse and I were talking to someone and Sis Sudweeks is just standing there going "I just want to teach someone about Jesus!" Bahaha, oh I love her. Then she turns to a lady standing in line and Carrie says to Sis Sudweeks, "you can come see me". So later that day we saw her and taught her the Restoration and she accepted a Book of Mormon. We tried to see her last week but she said she was in the middle of something and to come back next week. So THIS week, we call her up and some random girl answers the phone, says some idiotic things, and then hangs up. Carrie lives way out there and so we were like "should we still go?" We did. And I'm glad we did. Carrie talked to us on her lawn and told us about how he soon-to-be-ex-husband put her in the nut house for flipping out on him when his girlfriend came to pick up the kids from her house. Shoot dang. He had the nerve to do that after being married to her for 20 yrs and they aren't even officially divorced yet. Ohhhhh THE NERVE. Anyway, when she got put in the hospital they told her she couldn't take anything with her. She told them that she wanted her Book of Mormon and that they couldn't take her religion away from her. I asked Carrie if I could give her a hug and the moment she came into my arms she started bawling. Oh my goodness. We asked her if she knew if the book was true and she said yes! She said that before she was just reading it, but the moment she got to her lowest point, she was starting to get more out of it. She started describing Nephi's experience and how she felt like God was telling her she was going to be the one that needed to fight for her children. The moment we were standing there I had NO clue what story she was making reference to, but later that night I recorded in my journal that I knew she got personal revelation from the scriptures. I have such a huge testimony of the Book of Mormon. That is where we receive answers. It's not something said because it's clice or the "right" thing to say---the Book of Mormon DOES answer any question of your soul. That's how God speaks to us. That's how you get personal revelation. And so even though I didnt' know what story she was talking about, I knew God had spoken to her and that she now had a testimony. She said that the Book of Mormon saved her life and it was the only thing that got her through the 12 days in the nut house. Seriously? We met her at a gas station. Heavenly Father loves His children so much!

Well, that was my week :)

Tender Mercies:

* Sis Rouse and I beat our transfer goal! We said we wanted 15 investigators by the end of the transfer.....we hit 16 :D Yeeeeus!

* Sis Rouse and I get to stay with each other in Farmington! Sis Sudweeks is getting transfered and is going to be companions with my grand-baby, Sister Chatterton (from Calgary, Alberta!). I can't even begin to explain the blessing that Sis Sudweeks has been. Like I said, being in a tri can be rough at times. And even though we've only been together for 3 weeks, I seriously can't imagine my mission life without her. 

* This week we had FHE with an ex-communicated member. While Sis Rouse and Sis Sudweeks were talking to her, I kinda had an off-to-the-side lesson with her boyfriend, Ron. Man, he is solid! He wants to get baptized! When I asked him if it was the living situation was the only thing holding him back, he nodded. Oh my gosh, it just broke my heart! The look on his face...he was just so devastated. He's like in his 50's I think, but I felt such a connection with him and I'm like super determined right now to help him get to where he needs to be. And he was so sincere when he responded to my commitment to him to pray about the Book of Mormon. He loves reading the BOM and is obsessed with Ensigns. But he knows he needs to pray about the BOM in order for him to go from "yeah i like the church" to "i KNOW the church is true". At this home, the ex-communicated member has two less-active children. Man, I don't know what it was about this family but I felt so attached to them. While my companions were talking with the mom, I was trying to share and help her boyfriend and kids as much as I could. Gah, I just love them so much already.

* Elder Spencer is no longer my district leader....but ELDER WEIGHT NOW IS! Bahahaha. I laughed so hard. I am so so SO stoked for this transfer. Elder Weight and Elder Davidson together? We are going to have a HOOOOOT! Sis Minyard is whitewashing into Fredericktown. She was a sister training leader, but now she'll be training a new missionary. Hurray!

* On Sunday we went to Fredericktown branch first so Sis Sudweeks could say goodbye. When we got to Farmington, an overwhelming feeling came over me. We were in the hall way talking to some of the members, and all that went through my head was "it feels like home". I told Sis Rouse later on in the car and she said she felt the same way. I don't even know all the Farmington ward members that well, but I have come to love them so much this past transfer. And it hit me hard on Sunday. 
Now for my spiritual though (its still in the process in my head right now lol).

I was reading in Alma 34 for personal study. I've read this chapter multiple times and marked it up to the max that I was kinda like "yawn. here we go again". But I got to the last few verses and noticed all I did was highlight it and wrote "in a nutshell, this is what we are supposed to be doing". I went over the verses again and listed them out in my journal....and then modernized it. So, does it go over your head when leaders tell you that the scriptures tell us what we need to do? Well, IT DOES. The only difference between a key-note speaker at YSA conference and what the scriptures say is that the speaker modernizes it to get it through our thick, young, stubborn heads. But we're told the same principles. So here's my little modernized speal of Alma 34:37-41 (I say read these verses first before reading my version of it :P):

> You need to WORK at your salvation. Is salvation supposed to be easy? No. It takes work.   

> Don't neglect the fact that Christ is coming. Cuz He is.

> Dont contend with the Holy Ghost. Just follow the Spirit, dudes. Simple as that. But in order to do that, you  need to stay worthy of it.

> Take upon yourself the name of Christ. Do what He would do!

> Humble yo'selfffff. Pride is a stinker!

> Worship God-- all day, err'day!

>"Be in places in spirit and truth". You got to stand in holy places! Don't be anywhere where the Spirit can't reside.

> Always have an attitude of gratitude!

> Always keep a prayer in your heart so that the temptations of the devil don't lead you away. Conquer satan, yaaaa! You CAN trample him!

> Be patient. Look forward for the things to come...with a cheerful heart, please!

> Bear all manner of affliction -- SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS. It'll all end soon. (do ya get my girls camp reference here? ;))

So we're required to do a bunch of things, right? Straight up--YES! Much is required of us. Sis Julie B Beck says, "living the Lord's plan with precision, intention, and determination is a conscious, faith-filled choice in today's world". 

Ooooook. So basically, living the Gospel is a lot of hard work. We need to be aware of what we are currently doing and how that is going to help us become closer to our Heavenly Father. It's a hefty task! But then I came to realize: NO WONDER MORMONS ARE SO HAPPY. Seriously, we are asked to do so much. And it can either drive you insane, or you can just bask in the Spirit of it. Wanting to live with Heavenly Father again is a quest, not a chore. I mean if you really don't want to, I guess you can take that path. If it's too much for you to handle, then by all means go the other way. But I can promise you Christ is begging you to choose eternal happiness. Like Brad Wilcox says, when we're standing at the gates of heaven, it's not going to be Christ saying, "oh shoot Sis Limas, you missed it by two points" and me begging Him to let me do something so I can enter the gates. Right now, we're learning heaven. And heaven won't be heaven for those who aren't trying to be heavenly. And so when we're in an uncomfortable situation, what do we do? We avoid it. We turn away. When we're at those gates and we realize we don't feel comfortable there, and want to leave, it'll be Christ saying "please choose to say". What we choose is actually determined by how well we prepare in this life. Am I keeping my covenants? Am I doing everything I can?

Yo, I never understood it when we got made fun of or were teased for being "molly mormons". Like, what the cheese does a molly mormon even mean? She's being a goodie-two-shoes? 'Well, thank you for making fun of me for trying my hardest to be good even though it's hard. Thanks'. Like, what the poop? Haha. I don't think people living the gospel get enough recognition for all the work they put into being who they are to become like their Father. For all those who do, thank you for your example. I hope you feel your Father's love for you and your faithfulness. Don't ever feel regret for doing what's right. Let me share with you the lyrics to Cherie Call's song "Promises I Keep":

If we share this road for a portion of our way
There's something I should tell you in the light of day
Before this goes too far, before I fall too deep
You need to understand about the promises I keep
Because there's strength I want and there's peace I need
In the words I say, in the things I read
From the clothes I wear to the place I choose to sleep
Every thing goes back to these promises I keep
It's not that I don't care for you and wanna hold you near
When the hour gets late and say I have to go
Closer to the truth is that I'm honouring the one
Who loves us both more than we know

So you may think I'm wise or you may thing I'm strange
But my mind's made up and my heart won't change
And when the world falls down you can trust in me
Because I trust in him and there are promises I keep

Whatever covenant you have made, KEEP THEM. Whether you've made promises at baptism, during your endowments, or when you got sealed--KEEP THEM. There is strength and peace that comes when we do. That is our power against satan. Remember that. Don't be ashamed for choosing Christ.
Last but not least, here is one of my favourite quotes from Henry B. Eyring:

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
The dye has been cast!
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I wont look back, let up, slow down, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity.
I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience,
am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.
My face is set. my gait is fast, and my goal is heaven.
My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few,
my guide is reliable, my mission is clear!
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary,
negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity,
or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up, until i have stayed up stored up,
and paid up of the cause of Christ.
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till I know,
and work till He stops me.
And when He returns for His own,
He will have no problem recognizing me.
My banner will be Clear.

Now I ask you-- will you be a part of the fellowship of the unashamed?
I testify that my Saviour lives. He's rooting for each and every one of you. Heavenly Father's rooting for each and every one of you. He calls His children to come home. He sent His Son to live so we know how to get back to Him. Then He let His Son die so we know how we can be like Him. Living the Gospel isn't supposed to be hard. A trying and hefty task--yes. But how worth it is it to live with your Father again? I'd say it's worth it all. Take joy in the promise of good things to come :)
Anywhoozers...I don't know where all of that came from, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Have a fantabulous week! 
Sister Limas

My district :)

Goodbyes to Elder Duke

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