There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today

Monday, April 28, 2014

Where do I even begin?!?!?! I guess I'll just share 3 teaching experiences and then tell you about all the tender mercies from this week.

UNO. On Thursday we had a lesson with the Barragans at the Grattons house for the first time. It was awesome! We taught Tim about covenants and about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Kaylee, Sis Gratton's daughter who just moved in, was AWESOME at getting Tim to participate. Michele started talking about her concerns again, and Sis Gratton and Kaylee did such a marvelous job answering her questions and reminding her that Heavenly Father needs to be the #1 man in her life. I've heard Michele's concerns over and over so I was super relieved that Sis Gratton and Kaylee could help her out. Michele kept brushing some of it aside, which made me sad. Then I felt prompted to share the I am a Child of God Mormon Message and Dieter F Uchtdorf's "True Identity". Holy cow. I don't know WHAT happened but I started to get super emotional while watching the video. Bro Felker walks in so he could assist Bro Gratton in the blessing they were going to give Michele. So I'm like aw, great..I'm about to cry and there are 9 other people in this room -_-" So after the videos finished I started to bare testimony to Michele, and of course I'm crying my face off. Aaaaand, she once again brushes it aside. Man, that kills. It is so hard for me to watch people not understand the fact that they are a Child of God. SO HARD. Life became so different once I realized what being a daughter of our Father in Heaven meant. It kills me when people don't see that, because life is so much more bitter, more sad, more empty, more lonely, more hard, more broken when we don't know Whose we are. So then, Bro Felker and Bro Gratton give Michele a blessing and it was one of the most beautiful blessings I have ever heard. Man, I was an emotional mess!!! After the Barragans left, I thanked the Grattons for their willingness to help us out. The difference in the Spirit when we teach the Barragans at their home compared to teaching them in the Grattons home--a covenant keeping home--was over-whelming. Gah! If you can have the missionaries teach an investigator/family at your home, DO IT! There is such a huge, huge difference!

DOS. On Friday Michele was going to show us where one of her friends lived so we could try contacting her. But we had to wait for her to pick up her son. We had 10 mins, so we attempted to tract her street while we waited. The first house we knocked on had a Pentecostal lady living there and we pretty much taught the first discussion on her door step. And she set a return appointment with us! Then Michele drives is over to where her friend lived. She told us to tract her street because she didn't want her friend knowing she sent us there. So we go a few houses down and the first door we knock on, we meet a young lady named Rikki and we talked about Jesus and miracles for about 20 minutes. It was awesome! Return appointment! :) Next house we knock on, the girl didn't seem like she really wanted to talk to us. We asked if we could come back and share a message and she kept asking for more details. Anyway, she set a return appointment with us (YEUUUH! 3 appointments set while tracting!). After we asked her about what she did. She said she was just about to graduate from Nursing school from MAC. So I asked her if she knew Lucresic Ferris. And she did! She opened up to us a little more after that which was great! Woot! We finally get to Michele's friend's door.....and she said she wasn't interested! Then we went to contact another one of Michele's kid's friends, and they weren't even home. But in the process, we tracted into a really sweet lady, who seemed kind of stand off-ish at first, but she started opening up after she asked if I was Filipino. She told me she worked with a bunch of them haha. So she said she was all types of religions and would be interested in our message because she did have a Mormon friend. YEYUH THAT IS WHAT YOU CALL BEING ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED! We were out to find 2 different families (which wasn't successful), but in the process we got 4 appointments set! Oh, I love it when Heavenly Father dishes out the tender mercies :)

TRES. Let me give you a little BG on Debbie Penrose before I tell you this miracle. When Sis Rouse and I first go to Farmington we were assigned by Sis Bassett to find some of the less-active primary kids and invite them to the primary party. We were searching for Saydee Sidebottom, who wasn't home, so we tracted around their house. The first door we knock on is Debbie's. We barely said anything and she's like, "are you missionaries? I like missionaries. Can you come back on Monday?" PSH, YES! So we did. But she wasn't home. So we try our less active family again. Paula Scott is Saydee's mom. She was super nice, let us in, and told us she wants to start going to church again. Then she says that Debbie and Bill Penrose, her neightbours, had some questions about the Mormon religion and told us to check them out. We told her we already met Debbie! So Paula set up an appointment for us to come teach her non-member fiancée and the Penroses. That lessons went AWESOME because they all had so many questions. Plus, they came to church that Sunday :D So that was like our first week here and we haven't been able to have a formal lesson with them since then. A really short Book of Mormon intro lesson with Debbie, but that was about it. Anyway, on Friday we went to Debbie's and she told us she couldn't let us in because Bill had pneumonia. So she talked to us on the porch. The conversation got more and more interesting to her so she ended up just coming outside and talking with us. I asked her how her BOM reading was going and she kept apologizing for not finishing the book. I'm like are you kidding me?! With everything that's going on, that is awesome that you have read how much you did! And then she says: "I know it's true." I turned to her and I'm like "WHAT?!". She continued to explain and gahhhh I was just so extremely happy! She also told us how she keeps feeling guilty about drinking coffee ever since we had our 1st lesson with her and told her we are commanded not to drink it. I was like "you know why you feel bad?" She's like "cuz I'm not supposed to?" Im like yeah, that's the Spirit telling you not to". On Saturday, we went to see Paula and Brad. They were super busy and couldn't see us for too long, so we went over to the Penroses again. I just wanted to give her a conference talk, but we ended up having a really good lesson with Debbie! She told us she read Mosiah 18 and she knows she needs to be baptized. Then we started discussing churches, and we pretty much taught her The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Restoration, AND the Plan of Salvation in the span of 30 minutes. It was crazy! The Plan of Salvation really got to her. The moment she left she went over to Paula's to try and get them to set an appointment with us so they could all listen to the rest of the Plan of Salvation. On Sunday we talked to Debbie on the phone and she said that her daughter and her daughter's friend want to sit in on it too!!! Gah! I just love her!

ANYWAY, tender mercies:

1. Trainers' meeting consisted of very few Elders and Sisters, which is different considering there are always so many new missionaries coming in. But we only had 12 this time. Sis Fernandez (my babygirl), Sis Villiniga (my sister), and Sis Herdman (my god daughter aka my MTC companion's daughter) were all training as well. Yeeeuh family reunion! Sis Fernandez, Sis Villiniga, Sis Ash, and I all sat together at the front to welcome the new family members haha :)

2. My new companion is Sister Craig from Bountiful, Utah!! She is quiet and cute and short. Ahaha. She said she isn't crazy at all and that I have to help her have fun. I was glad she said that cuz I was starting to tone it down a little bit so she didn't think I was too crazy ;p And she just graduated from nursing school!

3. I have a renewed testimony on the power that comes from being exactly obedient the moment you get up. Bro Donaldson made it stick in my head that the power comes when we make that decision to get up at 6:25 in the morning. For the past 2 transfers, I've been doing it all by myself. And no matter how hard I tried to be exactly obedient, the miracles couldn't come. Why? Because I was doing it alone. And that's what frustrated me. No matter what I did, no matter how obedient I was being, I knew success wasn't going to come because that area was only getting 50% obedience from the companionship as a whole. The past 4 days, with Sister Craig getting up with me at 6:15 and us both ready and studying by 8am made the biggest difference in the world!! I'm still senior companion and I still have to lead out (that much more because my companion is new), BUT I don't feel like I'm facing the work alone anymore. I know that the power will come as we go and work because the area is getting 100% obedience. And the awesomeness of this week has proved that to me. And no matter how exhausted I get, some how I'm provided the energy. And I have Sis Craig to thank. Sis Craig doesn't think it's a huge deal, but she doesn't know what went on last transfer, so this is a HUGE deal and tender mercy for me.

4. I got to attend Stake conference for the first time on my mission!!!! And it was AWESOME!! :)

5. When I first got out here, I got to skim through Sis Ash's book "How to be an extraordinary missionary" by John Bytheway. A few months ago, I started wishing I photocopied it like she told me to so I could self evaluate myself and improve on some things. This weekend, Sis Toombs played some of the audiobooks from her ipod as we drove to Cape Girardeau. And How to be an Extraordinary Missionary was there! :') GAH! Tender Mercy: It's nice to know I'm not failing at the attributes John Bytheway listed.

Questions I have for you:

a. Think about this as you go throughout your daily activities: What would a holy woman/man do in this situation? How would a hold woman/man do this activity differently? (This is inspired from Elder Nelson's wife's talk: "What would a Holy Woman do?") I challenge you to ask yourself that questiont during a different activity everyday throughout this week. Let me know what you've discovered :)

b. This one is for the Priesthood. When you give Priesthood blessings to people, does your love for that person all of a sudden change? I've been paying a lot more attention to blessings since I've come out on a mission and I just figured, because Heavenly Father is channeling this blessing through you, do you grab a glimpse of how much love Heavenly Father has for that person? Just a thought. But let me know, cuz I'm curious.

And a quote:

"The only way to be happy is to live the Gospel. It is not possible to sin enough to be happy. It isn't possible to buy enough to be happy, or to entertain or indulge or pamper ourselves enough to be happy. Happiness and joy come only when we are living up to who we are". --Sheri Dew

...AND THAT'S A CHILD OF GOD! As Elder Callister says, "I do not believe there is one [person] whose weaknesses are greater than the potential strengths within [him or her]. Why? --because each of us is a son and daughter of God, with [his or her] divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls."

Neglect not the gift that is in thee. You know who you are and whose you are ;)

Have an awesome week!

Sister Limas :)

Posterity photo!! Sisters Hayden, Viliniga, Ash, Limas, Craig, U'tai, and Fernandez ;D

Making pizzas at the Bohn's house :)

The Bathroom Really Is the CR

Monday, April 21, 2014

in Filipino: Bathroom = CR = Comfort Room
in Canadian: Bathroom = Washroom (wow, it sounds so weird to me now)

Hehehe. Wow, I am such a child. Bathroom jokes and stories are the things that make me laugh the hardest. For serious though, the bathroom really is the comfort room. The bathroom is the place where I get most of my ideas, revelation, inspiration, etc. Elder Davidson likes to call it his "Revelation Station" hahaha. I think it's because its the only place where we can actually be ALONE. Thank goodness.

Well let me tell you about how I've been feeling lately before I talk about the Comfort Room :)

Transfer calls were on Saturday. Of course with transfer calls coming up, we all started making our predictions. I kept saying, "I'm going to leave for sure. There's so reason for me to stay here". Deep down inside I knew I was lying to myself. I wanted out of this area! The members and this area are amazing and I don't want to leave them, but my investigator and companion situation were stressing me out so bad, I just wanted out. But Heavenly Father works in patterns and I knew no matter how bad I wanted to be taken out, I knew my work here wasn't finished. Heavenly Father never said or signified that it was. And that's what stressed me out even more! I knew my work wasn't finished, but I didn't know what to do with anything anymore. I was just absolutely burnt out.

I was talking about it with a member, telling her that part of me thinks I'm leaving, but then again I don't even know if I've done everything I needed to. She started getting emotional telling me about all the excellent work we've done and that she really hopes I stay because they need the work to continue to move forward in the area. Geez, she made me tear up.

Anyway, another member offered to make Easter cookies with us to deliver to our newest investigators, the Simmons family. I have super high hopes for this family. They actually came to the church looking for us a few weeks ago. One week later and we were finally able to get a hold of them. After our first lesson with them I was just so excited to keep working with them. But they kept cancelling on our next appointment which bummed me out. So dropping off Easter cookies to invite them to church was such a marvelous idea. It was almost curfew, so we only had time to drop it off and chitchat for a short while. The moment we stepped foot into our apartment, I turned to my companion and said, "if I'm staying, it's because of that family."

So Saturday night FINALLY comes and we receive a call from the Sister Training Leaders:

"Sister Limas, you're going to be staying and training a new missionary!"

OK, I don't think I've ever been so excited in my life!!!! I was just dancing around the apartment the rest of the night haha.

But satan works waaaay too quick. After the excitement, I was like, "wait...I don't remember how to train a new missionary!" The last time I trained, it was right after I was trained, so all that new missionary stuff was still fresh. Things would pop into my head and I'd say, "oh yea...I forgot we had to do that". I think just the idea of forgetting to be detailed-oriented with a new missionary is what put me on the edge. I've been out for so long that most of the time stuff is just clock-work...but I need to remember the new missionary needs to know that stuff too. Anyway, the next morning I was still silently freaking out about it.......until I get into the shower. Oh, hello revelation station!

While I was in the shower I flashbacked to a time I told one of my companions off because we kept getting into trouble with our leaders. I was making a comment about the White Handbook and how our leaders are supposed to trust us, and that because we kept getting grilled by them, they most likely didn't. Then I may have said, "see, now I'm never going to get to train again if there isn't that trust!" Oh man, I was just livid. Anyway, after that flashback, Heavenly Father's like, "Did I not just call you to train? I DO trust you. Now quit worrying about it. You'll be fine". And then I just smiled and enjoyed the rest of my shower :3 See, the bathroom really is the comfort room.


So I'm SUPER stoked for the next two transfers and UBER happy I get to stay in this ward. The Farmington Ward really is amazing and is the perfect place to train a new sister :)

ANYWAY, quick excerpt from the September 2009 Ensign:

" can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in any situation you are in. Indeed, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life--in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced.

"In one way or another; great or small, dramatic or incidental, every one of us is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail--spiritually speaking. We will face things we do not want to face for reasons that may not be our fault. Indeed, we may face difficult circumstances for reasons that were absolutely right and proper, reasons that came because we were trying to keep the commandments of the Lord. We may face persecution, we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones, we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. Yes, before our lives are over we may all be given a little taste of what the prophets faced often in their lives.

"But the lessons of the winter of 1838-39 teach us that every experience can become a redemptive experience if we remain bonded to our Father in Heaven through it. These difficult lessons teach us that man's extremity is God's opportunity, and if we will be humble and faithful, if we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn the unfair and inhumane and debilitating prisons of our lives into temples--or at least into a circumstance that can bring comfort and revelation, divine companionship and peace."

^Amen to that. You having a rough time? Then find strength on bended knee. As one of my companions have quoted, "don't expect a million dollar answer from a 10 cent prayer".

Tender Mercies & Funnies:
* Timothy Robertson has a baptism date for May 4! Yeyeyeyeyeye!

* Skye Paige bought us a booth for Farmington Country Days. Its a huge event and over 30 000 people come to it. Proselyting to the max! And because I'm training and will most likely be in Farmington for the next 12 weeks, I get to attend it and proselyte at the booth. SCORE!

* Sis Rouse is going to be companions with Sis Sudweeks. I'm sad to see her leave, but I don't even feel like she's leaving me. She's just going to my other half haha. We chat with Sudweeks every Monday and send letters back and forth, so it's like she didn't even leave. So I'm relieved she's going to someone we already know.

* We met Sis Kerfoot's husband for the first time this week. He's a non member and she's told us before that he'll tease about the church. Well, I met him while we were making those Easter cookies. He is such a hoot! He thought I was an Eskimo hahaha! That's a first. I enjoy people I can joke around with.

* We had Easter dinner at the Bassett's. SO STINKING FUN. They have the cutest backyard. We ate on the marble table Bro Bassett built for their yard. Then the girls made us play with them on the trampoline. HAHA what a work out. Sis Bassett is so creative and has the best fun ideas ever! We played "poison egg". Basically you put chalk eggs on the trampoline and bounce around trying not to get touched by the egg. Too funny.

* The Simmons came to church on Sunday! I was so surprised and so happy! And the kiddos LOVED LOVED LOVED primary. So proud of them :') And by the sounds of it, everyone was introducing themselves to the dad before he even got to Priesthood. Yeeee way to go Farmington!

* A member's less active son and gf came to church...and they said we could come over to share a message O_O Oh, hello!

* A new family moved into the ward! The first thing Sis Thomas says to us is that she wants to help out. YES!!! And she has a less-active son about my age. Time to reactive the kid!

* For once, I'm going to get to attend a stake conference! :D Thank goodness for not getting transferred :)

* I've been pondering and wondering about something a lot lately, and I got an email and multiple letters this week that were answers to the question I was pondering. So to Melissa Popiel, Stanton Fisher, Michelle Donald, and Elder Vi, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me, for following the Spirit to do so, and for answering my question without realizing it :)

So how was everyone's Easter!?

Watch this video because it's AWESOME.

Because of Him, what can you do?

I know that my Saviour lives!
Because of Him I can overcome my weaknesses.
Because of Him I can do hard things.
Because of Him I can live with my family for eternity.
Because of Him I can have hope for good things to come.
Because of Him I can find happiness in my struggles.
Because of Him I can find joy in the little things.
Because of Him I can change and start again.
Because of Him I can find peace.
Because of Him I can live with my Father again.
Through Him we CAN do all things. And we WILL do all things when we choose to be on His side. There is no healing balm more peaceful, more satisfying, more fulfilling, than the one our Saviour gives to us. Come unto Him and you'll find what you are looking for. I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

One last quote:
"I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent". -- Written on a wall during the Holocaust.

Think about that one.

Hope you all have a fantabulous week!
Tell me about your missionary experiences!
Sista Limas :) 

District at B-Dubz! Elder Weight, Elder Davidson, Sister Minyard, me, Sister Lynch, and Sister Rouse.

With Sister Bassett

With the Bassett girls :)

Bassett girl pyramid

Me, Kalene, Kyree, Sis Rouse, and Khloe :) Love them!
Bassett family :)
I'm so happy I get to stay another transfer with them!

Are You For Serious?

Monday, April 14, 2014

So this week has been......interesting. Don't ask -_-"

But on a more positive note, we had President interviews and exchanges this week! Which was awesome :D

So I'm sitting there telling President about my life, and of course he's laughing at me, like always. He makes me feel like the funniest person in the world (even though I can't tell a funny joke to save my life!) because he laughs at everything I say. Hahaha I love President Morgan and I'm glad I can joke around with him. I also love that he can tell by the look on my face that something is up. I also love that I don't have to say anything except for a sigh, and he knows exactly what to say to me.

Anyway, my interview is coming to a close, so I ask him, "what can I do better? Or what can I do to best help my companion?" 

Right away he replies, "you're doing great!"

And I just stare him down with a "are you for serious?!" look.
Hahaha. I don't know what this mission has done to me, but I kinda thrive on constructive criticism now. If I'm not being given something to improve on, then something is wrong. Like, I get fidgety if I'm not working on something. Weird, I know.

So I guess President could tell I wasn't satisfied with his answer, so he goes into depth WHY he gave me that answer. I was a little surprised I must say, but it made me happy. He basically told me he needs me to keep my personality and keep being me because he needs that in the mission right now. I'm just really easy. Whatever that means. I just told him I'd try my best....cuz lately I haven't been feeling like me and it's frustrating. But I'm glad I don't stress my President out hahaha.

Exchanges were AWESOME. Gah, I can't even explain how good it felt. I went with Sis Webster back to her area (Highland), which meant I got to be back in the Glen Carbon Ward area!!!!! I was so excited!!!!! (Glen Carbon was my last area). We worked Highland and Troy for a little bit, and then she asked if there was anyone I wanted to see. YEEEEEUS! We went to see Shirley Guffey, one of my investigators who had been baptized recently. Oh man, I just loved the shock on her face. It was so good to see her. It was also very, very heartbreaking to hear all the things that she has been going through. Man, I didn't realize how much I missed these people until I saw them again!

Next we went to the Ward for a bit to check out the RS activity. Gah, I just love seeing the members :') Its funny cuz it was like coming home. Which was only funny to me because I had the hardest time emotionally and physically in the Glen Carbon area. But it was still home :)

Then we went to Collinsville to visit some of my other investigators whom the Elders haven't been able to contact for a while. Baha, once again, I love surprising people and watching their face expressions. Andrea and Randall told me they had moved out and had come to church! I was so shocked and so happy!!! Eleanore and Andrea asked how come no one was coming to teach them. I'm glad Sis Webster was with me because she wants to pick them up as her investigators so they can continue being taught. Yeyeyeye!

And yesterday at church was our last day for the 40 day fast. Our fast and testimony meeting was AMAZING. How did I get so lucky to serve with these members? Seriously, the Farmington ward members are so, so amazing. I can't believe how fast two transfers have gone by. I don't want to leave them!!!

Also, I got to be in seminary all week! :D Oh how I love seminary. I got to teach the class on Thursday. It's funny how the mission changes the way you teach (but then again, not really because we do it all the time haha. I guess it's funny to see the change from the last time I taught a youth class.)

Anyway, that was my week. Sorta-ish.

If there is one thing I learned this week, its how grateful I am that I was raised in Toronto. As I've listened to the youth and some of the YSA bear their testimony, it just amazed me to see how strong they are. There aren't a ton of members here. But the few that are here, they strengthen one another. There are only 5 members that go to their school. But they are all strong. And that's what's so intriguing to me. They keep each other strong. And living in these circumstances where there aren't a lot of members, it teaches them to be strong. These youth are going to make amazing missionaries. I have just been super impressed with their testimonies and for their diligence in living the gospel. And so Im grateful that I grew up in Toronto--Mormon ain't the mainstream, but there were enough youth my age that we could help keep each other strong. It made the youth years way fun...just building up your own testimony, together.

You know who you are ;)

Anyway, I hope I didn't bore you. I'm sorry there isn't too much exciting to report on from this week. It's just I'm just glad transfers are coming.

My spiritual thought for you: Read Mosiah 24:13-16 :)

Also, Alma 48: 11-13; 16-18 and Alma 53: 20-21. On the side I wrote "Qualities of a Future Husband". Don't judge me haha. The mission teaches you a lot about relationships, okay? :p Anyway, I took into consideration what y'all told me about what Elder Bednar said during his visit. I figured, ok if I expect these in a future husband, then I better dang right work on those qualities too. Haha. What I love though, is that any attribute or characteristic I've tried to develop has come through putting my best effort in the work. So I know that's how all those qualities will come too. By just doing the work. Which is cool. Haha God is so creative.

(But seriously, I'm sorry if this email isn't any good haha. It's just been a little rough this week.)

But I hope yours will be amazing!!!!!
Of course it is, because Easter is coming up!
And mine will be too. It just is.

You should already be thinking about your Saviour everyday, but don't forget the reason for this season :) As a Baptist church sign says, "Easter bunny? Easter is about Jesus!!!"

Amen to that. I know that my Redeemer lives!!!!
I believe in Christ, so come what may. Satan can suck it. Life--bring it.

Sister Limas :)

Ready for one of the best songs ever?

I haven't seen His face
But I have seen His miracles
I haven't heard His voice
But His spirit speaks to my heart
I haven't felt His hands
But I have felt His peace
And blessed are those who haven't seen

And still believe that He lives
And still believe that He walked upon the earth
And though my faith is just a seed
I still believe

I didn't walk with Him
But each day He's here by my side
I didn't watch as He healed
But His love has changed my life
I didn't see the cross
But I know it was for me
And blessed are those who haven't seen

And still believe that He lives
And still believe that He walked upon the earth
And though my faith is just a seed
I still believe

I haven't seen His eyes
But someday He'll look into mine
And if He bids me come
I will worship at His feet
For blessed are those who haven't seen
And still believe.

The Life of a Missionary

Monday, April 7, 2014

You know what's AWKWARD?
Checking the mailbox, having no mail, and hearing your companion say, "maybe God will love us tomorrow" (Uhm, I'm pretty sure God still loves us even without mail).
You know what's even more awkward?
Having a certain zone leader--who you used to get into trouble with ALL the time in your last area--all of a sudden is being super chill and asking for our secret to finding investigators. ( I'm not in trouble?)
Ha, you know what's even more awkward than that?
Meeting with a non-member family for the first time and having one of the adults totally wasted on Moonshine and asking us if we are virgins and then "suggests" that when we get home we "find a boyfriend or husband or whatever and start popping kids like tic-tacs". (Errr...thanks? We'll talk about the Law of Chastity next time, ok?)
You know what's even MORE awkward than that?
Having your companion give you the Law of Chastity chat right after the chiropractor just adjusted your body (Ooooook. Someone's got the wrong idea).

Bah, and you know what's awkward and sad?
Getting to the register and finding out there's STILL no money on your card. (But, but, but it's the 28th!)
Oh, and that awkward situation when an investigator drops you and says, "but we can BBQ and swim together!" (Uh, not the swim part, my friend. Sorry.)
Oh, the life of a missionary.
But you wanna know what's FUNNY?
Making cookies for your neighbours and some of them say "I'm not interested". In what?! Cookies? Or Jesus? Cuz those are both bad excuses.
Tehe, you know what else is funny?
Having a sister in the ward ask if she can put eyeliner on our teeth and have us walk into her husband's dental office.
Haha, you know what's even funnier (I know I know, that's not a word)?
Convincing the Elders to pull over on the highway to come "check" our car just so we can put slimy lotion all over their door handles.
Bahaha, you know what's funnier than that?
Watching an investigator's five year old daughter climb over a fence like Spiderman, and then fall on her face, just so she can get a Book of Mormon.
Oh, oh, you know what else is funny?
Inviting an investigator to be baptized and having them respond, "I've already been baptized", and knowing that they are chill enough that you can say "by the Priesthood authority?!" while making the "raised-eyebrow-pinched-nose-smirk-on-face" look.
Hahaha, oh man, the life of a missionary.
You wanna know what's AWESOME?
Having a member offer to pay for a chiropractor to fix your aching body, and then having the chiropractor do it for free anyway.

Fixed neck = "this should help get rid of your headaches". Thank you Mr. Chiropractor!
You know what else is AWESOME?
Having a 3-yr old take your name tag, put it on herself, put her hands on her hips and say "I'm SUUUUUUPER Limas!"
& Watching parents hold back giggles as they try to discipline their kids because one tooted in the other's face at the dinner table.
& Having little kids run up to you to hug you.
& Country drives on gravel roads.
& When members make or buy you Filipino treats.

You know what else is AWESOME?
Being included in a family picnic and playing general conference charades in between sessions.
& Having an investigator call us "her angels".

& Having mothers come up to you and say "my little girl was asking if she would get to see you today".

& Seeing the Bishop grin super big for the first time when you tell him he reminds you of your dad.

& Receiving calls from missionaries you have served with and getting referrals from them.

You know what else is AWESOME?
Having parents come up to you and tell you their kids are more excited about serving mission after you've visited their home.
& Having an investigator want to make it to the temple.
& Asking a couple how they met and watching them laugh with joy as they reminisce.
& Having your 9-yr old convert come to conference and list things she is grateful for.
& Watching your 9-yr old convert keep her covenants by serving others.
You know what else is AWESOME?
Getting letters from members and investigators from your past areas.
& Seeing the Young Women get so excited about serving a mission in the future.
& Bearing testimony of the Saviour and the Atonement and what it means to me.
& Realizing how much you've changed.
& Personal revelation and knowing you can have conversations with your Father in Heaven.
You know what else is AWESOME?
Knowing someone for a few days and having them trust you with their life story.
& Seeing the glimmer in an investigator's eyes when they talk about how they've developed faith in the Lord.
& Watching an investigator want to change her life and try it God's way.
& Having your testimony strengthened as you bear it.
& Finding out an investigator you taught for almost 6 months is FINALLY getting baptized.
Oh, the life of a missionary :)

Oh, the wonderful tender mercies that Heavenly Father gives.
Geez, I thought this mission was supposed to be selfless!
He just keeps dishing out the blessings!
It has its ups. It has its downs.
But it's definitely a wonder-filled one.
And I wouldn't change it for anything.

ANYWAY, moving onward.
General Conference was AMAZING! So you know how I have an impeccable memory? I don't know WHAT happened, but I can't remember a single story from general conference! We were playing charades and I couldn't remember any stories for me to act out. BUT, this is why :) The revelation and feelings and thoughts I got from conference were AMAZING. And I wrote them all down as certain words and phrases stood out, and as names of individuals popped into my head. Gah, I love general conference. I love being able to meditate. And I love personal revelation. God is good :)
My little thought for this week starts with a couple of scriptures.
D&C 75:22 - "Gird up your loins and be faithful, and ye shall overcome all things, and be lifted up at the last day."
Alma 44:3-4 - "But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that the has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith. Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea,  ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith."

All I have to say is STAND STRONG. You heard it again and again and again throughout conference. These are the last days. Satan is so tricky, sneaky, and powerful. I've seen it. It's around everywhere, and sometimes even the strongest fall away. It is the most heart breaking experience in the world to watch satan split families and bring down soldiers of Christ's army. That's who he attacks the hardest. STAND STRONG! There's only one being more powerful than satan, and that is our Lord and Saviour. And with Him, we can crush the adversary. You think you're going through hell? Then just keep going; keep pressing forward. You think you've hit rock bottom? Good. Then all you know is up, right? STAND STRONG. Stand for what you believe in. Don't settle to for following the easy way out. Fight for what you know is right, stand up for what you know is true. The prophets and apostles have been and are preparing us for what's coming next. How prepared we are depends on our faithfulness on acting on their council. Don't be left in the dark when the war hits its peak. Stand for Him at ALL TIMES, IN ALL THINGS, AND IN ALL PLACES.
I will share with the world that I know what His grace is.

In a nutshell, just listen to this song:)

It's not in the letter, i can't wait to open.
It's not in the badge that will carry his name.
It's not gonna come in just three weeks of study
Or magically come when I get on a plane,
So today I'm becoming who I'm meant to be,
The worthy unshakeable witness He needs

At all Times, All things, All places,
I will sing and shout His praises,
I will tell the whole world that I know what His grace is
At all times, in all things, in all places...

It comes as I study the words of the prophets,
And think about all of those words meant for me,
As Abraham's son I am part of the promise,
That all of the earth would be blessed by his seed,
I know what my savior expects me to be
the faithful unchangeable witness he needs

At all times, in all things, in all places...
I will sing and shout His praises,
I will tell the whole world that I know what his grace is
At all times, in all things, in all places...

All eyes, All ears, All hearts,
All faces, All rich, All poor,
All live, All ages, All roads. All doors,
All lands, All nations, All Earth, All kin.
All Tongues, All races

At all times, in all things, in all places...
I will sing and shout His praises,
I will tell the whole world that I know what his grace is
At all times, in all things, in all places...
At all times, in all things, in all places...
I love you guys!
I'm cheering you on. Heavenly Father's cheering you on.
Our Saviour has always and will always cheer you on.
Have a wonderful week.
Sister Limas :)

April Foolin' our Ward Mission Leader

Out in the sticks!

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