"Be true to the faith you DO have"

Monday, June 23, 2014

OOOOOKAY, so this week has been SO ODD.
We had dropped appointments one after the other for FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT, including 3 dropped dinner appointments. What the cheeeeeeese. I mean, I totally understand that people are busy and things come up--whatever, that's totally fine. But to have all your teaching appointments in a row cancelled STINKS SO HARD.

Even though it has been rough, there were a ton of tender mercies and Sis Craig and I have learned so much in those 4 days.

On Monday, Sis Craig got sick so we were in the apartment all day. Poor thing. Being sick on the mission stinks. But she's handling it well. Staying in the apartment was a tender mercy just because I got to catch up on a whole lot of letter writing. AND, Sis Craig's family sent back her iPod with lots of good pday music, so that made me uber happy to just jam and write letters.

Tuesday, Sis Craig is still feeling sick. I wanted her to get the rest she needed for all our appointments later in the week. But then I ran out of things to do!!! Haha I had a bunch of Ensigns in front of me that I was reading, but then I got bored. Then I started going crazy. Tender mercy: Jennifer Owen, who is preparing to serve a mission, said she wanted to come out with us to our lesson with our investigator. But the investigator cancelled. BUT she was still willing to come with me tracting while Sis Craig rested at the Bassetts just so I could do sooooomethinnng. We had dinner with the Toombs that night. It hit me that this is probably the last time I'm going to see Bro Toombs in a while. The Toombs have two sons on a mission right now. Sis Toombs has us over for dinner every week. Bro Toombs works in New York and comes home every 6 weeks and stays for 2 weeks. So I only get to see him every so often. But he's so awesome. I was just so sad thinking this was the last time I'd get to see him  before transfers! Anyway, dinner with them was a hoot. We were going to have bacon burgers, but then the BBQ grill caught on fire HAHAHAHAHA. It was hilarious!!! So we used Sis Toombs home-made buns and had lunch meat. It was still good. Oh mission adventures :)

Wednesday, Jennifer came out with us again to Park Hills. Which was awesome because we ended up having two random lessons. Having a member present was a bonus! All our other appointments in the evening got cancelled, which was a bummer. But Matt, our 17 yr old investigator, came to mutual! I just love the youth. Chelsea Adams from Fredericktown was there so I was happy to see her. She's like "you're still here?!" Sis Gratton, our YW president, says, "didn't you know she's not allowed to leave? We took her name out of the transfer book so President can't move her". BAHAHA I love her.

Thursday, we had district meeting and I felt SOOOOO CHASTIZED. Our trainings were on humility and diligence. I think those are the two Christ-like attributes I'm constantly studying and I always feel like I STILL have a hard time with those two. GEEZ SISTER LIMAS, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO PRIDEFUL FOOOOOOOR. AND WHY DO YOU HAVE TO GET SICK ALL THE TIMEEEE. Yep, pretty much what goes through my head all the time haha. The Cornicks, the senior couple that checks our apartments, came to our meeting. They are leaving next month! Oh my!!! I just love Elder and Sister Cornick. Sis Cornick is such a sweetie. When I was sick in Glen Carbon she just gave me a ton of tips on trying to get better, and every time she sees me now she tells me I look good (and not sick) hahaha. We had gone to Wal Mart to get my glasses fixed, which was so inspired because A) we bumped into Sis Thomas and she offered to take us out to dinner since our dinner appointemtn got cancelled, and B) We saw the Penroses! It is sooo hard to get a hold of them! And they are both trying to quit smoking. We told them about our Stop Smoking Workshop and that there are some items in there that will help them make the quitting process a little easier. So they invited us over for an appointment later in the week. FINALLY. The Widdows (a part-member, less-active family) were the only ones who kept their appointment today. I love meeting with them. The kids are awesome and Cassie, our investigator, is so mature about the gospel. I just love teaching her. Dinner with Sis Thomas went awesome. We went to El Tapatio mmm mmm mmm :) We were talking about missionary work and formulating ideas for a Family History openhouse, since that topic is what brought us most success at our booth. She told us about her son, Zack, who is a less active and is currently working in Alaska right now. She said that our previous dinner discussions at their house and the commitments we gave them were really good because apparently he's starting to read his scriptures again!!!!! Sis Thomas says to me, "you never know what happens to people by what you say. I'm so glad that at the dinner table you said you 'DONT know'. I think that made him feel like he wasn't alone in searching". :') And then we did a role play with her. HAHA it was so random but we were showing her how we teach people with the pamphlets and she says, "oh oh pretend I'm an investigator!" So we practiced, and she told us she really felt the Spirit SCORE. I think that's the first time we've ever done that with a member, and it was so great! Then we went to the Toombs to share something with Bro Toombs. It was like eating at me a couple nights ago that I had to share the Questions of the Soul with him. We had a really great discussion with him. I am going to miss that man! Kay, you should see my journal for Thursday. SO MANY LESSONS LEARNED!

Friday, our flipping service opportunity got cancelled. And our dinner appointment too. And all the other teaching appointments UGHHHHH. But as we were calling people during weekly planning, a family we have not met before (Brad and Melissa Minks) called us back and said they didn't have time the upcoming week, but they could have us over tonight. Super last minute, but SUPER BLESSINGS! We had an awesome evening with them and talked about Alma's conversion and there conversion stories. I LOVE CONVERSION STORIES. THEY ALWAYS BRING THE SPIRIT IN! We had a stop-by lesson with David Thorn, my most stubborn investigator. Haha oh but how I love him. We taught him about the Sacrament and told him we were going to start teaching the commandments to qualify for baptism. He had said at previous appointments that he can't come to church with us again because of his knee. But right before he left he summons me back and says, "i have to tell you something! God's telling me that I need to come to your church on Sunday". EXCUMEH!? OOOOK! :D Sis Craig left him with Mosiah 2 to read and told him it talks about how we can obtain joy in this life. Renee, his daughter in law, is sitting behind us smoking and says, "oh i need to read that!" PERFECTO! The Spirit's been eating at me that we should talk to her more, and that just brought up the opportunity! So she took a Book of Mormon and said she'd read it! WOOT! Oh, and my only progressing investigator with a baptism date relapsed on alcohol. OH MY HECK, I my heart just sunk. It took us a while to convince him to see us. Uhmmm, so turns our him and our ex-communicated member thinks its too hard to separate, so they'll just get married instead. Oh man, there is just way too much about that story. But long story short, there was a lot of chastising on our part--still no date, BUT at least they plan on getting married. Le sigh.

Saturday, we were kinda just going with the flow and seeing what would happen. We got to do service at the Hargiss. They have been remodeling their home for months! It's looking so good! I'm so glad that I've been able to help a bit as the house has progressed. They a friend named Randy over there helping out with the porch. Sis Hargiss said he knows the church is true, but wont join because he's afraid of what his family is going to say. Bro Hargiss kept going off on him about how true our religion is. But we got some time to talk to Randy while we worked on the porch, and he's super nice. We asked him a lot of questions and he said he's willing to have us over. Aw yeah! AND Sis Hargiss' neighbor apparently came up to her and said, I want to come to church with you. I know how the Owens family is and I really like them. I want to check your church out. HOW AWESOME IS THAT???? Oh and I really like this whole building-a-house thing. I just have so much fun doing it with them as I've been in this area. We had dinner with Whitney Shumway, one of our recent converts. I just looove her. She love hunting, and guns, and believes in disciplinary action, but she's also really good at doing nails and is gorgeous and is hilarious beyond belief. Her husband, Mel, was less-active and is starting to become active again. He's a sweetheart. And Whitney's son, Trent is SO hyper-active. He makes me laugh sooo hard. Anyway we had an awesome dinner and lesson with them. We did our Alma 50 lesson, but it was like a duo reading-lesson for Trent as well. It was a hoot.

Sunday was uber good, as usual! Bro Felker gave a really good talk about holding onto the iron rod, and shared 5 things Elder Bednar says we need to do to hold to the iron rod:
1) Have family prayer
2) Have weekly family home evening
3) Pay an honest tithe
4) Attend church every Sunday
5) Study scriptures individually and as a family

Bro Bassett's Gospel Principles lesson was about the Sacrament. The past couple of weeks I was answering questions left and right mostly because the topics of "Holy Ghost" and "Gifts of the Spirit" are two of my favourite. I was surprised to hear some of the things that came out of my mouth during this lesson though...and I got emotional! I guess I didn't realize how much the Sacrament actually meant to me. It was definitely a testimony-builder. Relief Society was about missionary work. BOO YAH! After church we had lunch with the Duvalls at church. Bahahah oh I just love them. And then we had dinner with the Bohns and had a uber good lesson with them. Ha, Bro Bohn knows I love my red pepper flakes on his home-made pizza....but we had pork steak this time so he got me some ground up red pepper. Hahahaha I just love Bro Bohn. He challenged me to put in on my cookies. Ha-ha! Man, I just love the people in my ward. They are all so different from each other and come from all different walks of life (literally, most of the people in my ward that I associate with aren't even from here), but they all have a love for the Saviour. I JUST LOVE THEM SO UBER MUCH.

ANYWAY, I'm so sorry I just went off on all of that. Not that you need to know every detail of my week....but there were so many bummers, but so many more good things that happened too.

Spiritual thought for this week!:

This is a mix between what Sis Chapman shared last week, what we taught Bro Toombs this week, what we have been sharing with members during dinner appointments, and some of my studies.

As a mission, we are currently studying the 4 Gospels together (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). So there's this story in Mark chapter 9 where a man comes to Jesus, asking Him to heal his son. Jesus says, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (v23). Verse 24 says, "the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief". So if you've seen Finding Faith in Christ, then you know when it comes to this part in the movie, after the man said "oh, I believe", Jesus gives him 'the look'. Then the man quickly responds "help thou mine unbelief". That's probably the most funny part of that movie just because of Jesus' face expression. ANYWAY, because of this hilarity running through my head with those lines, I never thought about the deeper meaning of it. Sis Chapman shared that this was the theme for camp: JUST BELIEVE. The man crying, "help thou mine unbelief", is a lot more profound than I realized. The man knew he didn't have faith enough sufficient, but he cried for help to have the faith. Sis Chapman says that at camp they tried to help the girls not to focus on the trials, tragedies, and unbelief, but to "LEAD WITH THE FAITH YOU DO HAVE." We are a lot like this man. We have faith. We like to believe we have enough faith. We work to acquire/build/nourish that faith. But sometimes we feel like it just isn't enough---sometimes we have questions, sometimes we're unsure, sometimes we just don't know. But this is where "help thou mine unbelief" becomes profound--we can cry to the Lord to help us, and He fills where we fall short. It's okay to not know everything. I tell Sis Craig all the time that I am my worst investigator. Any question that any investigator has asked, I have already contemplated myself. Not because I don't believe it's true--because I know without a doubt that it is--but I'm always trying to look for more proof to prove that we're right. (Geez, like the spiritual experiences and testifying aren't enough. Goodness Sis Limas, just stop being so stubborn). I know I don't know everything. But I know enough. And I've experienced enough with the Spirit to know I can never deny the truth of the Gospel. I guess I'm just still learning to be patient about wanting to know and learn all the answers of the universe. 

Anyway, I know there are a lot more people whose wanting to know is a lot deeper than mine. Bro Toombs has an extraordinary testimony on prayer and the love Heavenly Father has for him, but he still doesn't know if the Book of Mormon is true or if Joseph Smith was a prophet. You know what's so awesome about the Book of Mormon? It answers the questions of the soul. I have a DVD from the California Oakland/San Fran Mission (via Sudweeks) that plays a short clip about conversion through the Book of Mormon/member missionary work and people's experiences. The song that plays in the background is "Healing Water". I've been thinking about the message a lot. We are told to immerse ourselves in living waters--our scriptures, most especially the Book of Mormon. But why a song about Healing Water? Here's what I've concluded: Living Water--the nourishment from the scriptures for our spirits--becomes Healing Water when we are able to fill the holes in our hearts through the messages from the Spirit as we read the Word of God. And sometimes, it takes a while. Conversion doesn't happen in a snap. But I love what Holland says, "be true to the faith you DO have". Just like the man in the Bible--his belief gave him enough drive to go and ask Christ to heal his son. That portion of faith he did have still drove him to do something. Christ filled in where his faith was short. So sometimes, yeah, we don't know. BUT, let the portion you do have faith in, no matter small it may be, be the drive that leads you to continue to search, and ponder, and pray, and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep on keeping on your whole life. Let your love for Christ be the motivation to do what is right. And like Elder Holland says, "Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." The blessings will come. The testimony and faith will come. The knowledge and understanding will come. It is promised! All that is asked of us is that we keep on trying and JUST BELIEVE.

I'm sorry that was so uber long. I wasn't expecting my spiritual thought to be as long as it was haha. But I hope you all got something out of that. Quotes for you to ponder:

"More important than speaking is listening. These people are not lifeless objects disguised as a baptismal statistic. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and they need what we have. Be genuine. Reach out sincerely. Ask these friends what matters most to them. What do they cherish, and what do they hold dear? And then listen. If the setting is right, you might ask what their fears are, what they yearn for, or what they feel is missing in their lives. I promise you that something in what they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can then offer more...If we listen with love, we won't need to wonder what to say. it will be give to us--by the Spirit and by our friends".--Holland

"He was a carpenter, a teacher, an outcast, a leader, yet he did what no carpenter, teacher, outcast, leader had ever done. Like all who preceded him, he lived and he died. But unlike all who preceded him, he rose from the dead. He lived again. He lives and because he lives you, you, and you, and she, and he, and they, and we ALL will live again. Because of him death has no sting, the grave no victory. We can start again, and again and again. Because of him guilt becomes peace, regret becomes relief, despair becomes hope. Because of him we have second chances, clean slates, new beginings. There is no such thing as the end. BECAUSE OF HIM"

Have a uber awesome week!!!
Sister Limas

PS check out #calledtoshare on Facebook! Sis Craig's aunt and uncle started it in their mission and its going worldwide! Its awesome. We are participating in it with the help of members :)

Momma Bear and Papa Bear Toombs

Me and my little sunshine, Taeler Duvalllll. Isn't he such a cutie??

Me and Jade Duvall. Oh I just love their hugs :)

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