Be loyal to the royal within.

Monday, July 28, 2014


This week has been stellar! Life is seriously such a roller coaster, but it's just SO AWESOME (which is ironic, I know, because I absolutely hate roller coasters haha).

Soooo I call my personal study time "companionship study with the Spirit". Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humour because all week he's just been pointing things out in the scriptures to me and I just start laughing to myself at what he's trying to tell me.

Anyway, you ready for a double flash-back?

So one of the days this week, I woke up hurting, not understanding why, and begging Heavenly Father to take it away. I did my studies before getting ready and I was debating whether or not I should get a blessing. The first person I usually turn to for a blessing is my district leader. But sharing a ward with Elders is a new thing to me and I've been slightly struggling with how to deal with them. (Mission BG: I whitewashed Elders out of Paris and was there for 6 months. I whitewashed Sisters out of Glen Carbon, shared the ward with the Sister Training Leaders there for 3 months, but were also the last Sisters to serve there because Elders whitwashed us out. Then I whitewashed Elders out of Farmington and was there for 6 months.) So as you can see, whitewashing Sisters out and having Elders already there too is new to me. Its so different. I'm so used to cleaning up the area and picking it up from scratch. But now I'm sharing a ward and I have to deal with who's area is who, and who shares the evening thought with which family, etc, etc. For example, members from Paris giving me referrals for this new ward I'm in, but the person is serving in the Elders side of it.  I don't know, I guess I'm just used to taking control of the situation and it's new for me to have to turn and ask the Elders what goes first/ask their permission for anything/run anything by them. Urgh. Anyway, I just really wanted a blessing from someone I knew, or at least my district leader. And it was literally eating at me because I really didn't want to ask the Elders in my ward.

So there I am in the shower (go figure, it would happen in the revelation station ;p), and I'm thinking about how things would be so much easier if I didn't have to run things by the Elders first and yadda yadda yadda. Then all of a sudden I flashbacked to last General Conference:

I was sitting in the chapel listening to Elder W. Craig Zwick (his talk: "What Are You Thinking?") and near the end of his talk, a really loud voice came into my head saying, "You need to trust your Priesthood holder". Something Elder Zwick said made me flash back to when I was in Paris, and one of the members was telling us a story about their move back into the area. Her and her husband had been praying about what they should do, and one day her husband says, "I feel really strongly that we need to move back to Marshall". She said that when her husband told her that, at first she was like, "how come I didn't get that answer?" and it really confused her for a bit. But then she realized that her husband is the Patriarch of their family, and that he is a worthy Priesthood holder, so she just needs to trust what the Lord is telling him. Flashing-forward, I wrote in my journal during conference that I had to be careful and make sure that in the future, I trust my Priesthood holder. Not gonna lie, at first I was like, "well no duh I will", but then I started to realize how a situation could easily turn into like that of the member's where I will question what the Lord tells him verses what He's telling me.

So in the shower I flashbacked to that memory, right? And all I could hear Heavenly Father say after was, "don't you get it Sister Limas? Elder Flowers and Elder Bae are your Priesthood holders right now, and you need to trust them. You need to learn to let that leading side of you give way for others who have stewardship too. Don't you get it? This is all just preperation for the future". And I'm standing there like OOOOOOOKAY, you would put me in a ward with Elders right before going home. And He says, "Sister Limas, just CHILL OKAY?" (Oh my goodness, I can't even tell you how many time He has told me that this week!)

Anyway, it was a humbling experience for me because I do just take the lead with the areas I'm thrown into. If I have companions that's dont pick up, I keep going. And I realzied I can't let that side of me desire to take over the Elders stewardship because it's theirs and not mine. Sister Tonnies has been great at reminding me though. She served with Elders in her last area so she's used to it. This is why we're companions.

But yeah. I got the blessing, and it was a very comforting one. Even though we get at it sometimes, Heavenly Father's always looking out for me :)

So I hope you liked my "Patience" thing from last week. Sister Tonnies and I decided we'd pick a Christ-like attribute for every week this transfer, study it throughout the week, apply it, and then define it every Monday right before emailing. This week's was Virtue. I did a study chain on Virtue when I was being trained in Paris. And let me tellll you, MIND=BLOWN. So studying it again has been a joy. All the new mission knowledge has definitely deepend my understanding of virtue. So here we go:

Virtue / being Virtuous is...

  • Our true identity.
  • The power of God within us.
  • Understanding our worth.
  • Recognizing our divine heritage and working towards our divine potential.
  • The goddess (or god) within us.
  • Becoming holy.
  • Our purified, true nature.
  • The process of becoming perfect.
  • The level of perfection achievable in this life.
  • Recognizing the God-like attributes within us.
  • Living unspotted from the world.
  • Rising above the things of this world.
  • Perfect faith.
  • The act of BECOMING greater than your mortal self.
  • Living like you're in the eternities.
  • Keeping yourself worthy of the Spirit of God.
  • Having the pure love of Christ.
  • Understanding the potential in those around you.
  • Becoming more like Jesus Christ.
  • Putting God first.
  • Takes practice, and practice make perfect.
  • Knowing you are worth the struggles of this life.
  • Letting your desires determine your destiny.
  • Turning out because you already know what's in.
  • True beauty.
  • Your best you.
  • Living up to our divine calling and responsibilities.
  • Who we are as well as who we're striving to become.
  • Having an eternal perspective.
  • Partaking of our divine nature.
  • The difference between a rock and a jewel.
  • Allowing ourselves to be cast into the refiner's fire.
  • Trusting our Heavenly Father enough to love whatever comes.
And my two favourites:

  • Living the words, "I am a Child of God".
  • Being loyal to the royal within.

I wish I could share all the dissected scripture verses with you so you can see how we came up with this list, but I don't have time. But I will tell you, the key that helped me realized that it's all about living up to our divine callings and responsibilities was from a scripture chain I did when I was in Paris. Proverbs 31:10 says, "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies". The footnote says to check out "Marriage; Marriage, Wives; Woman" in the topical guide. This was over a year ago, so I forgot the chain, but the gist is: When we are men and women of virtue, we live up to our divinely appointed callings. And something I learned from Sister Tonnies: We don't normally hear ourselves telling young men to virtuous. We tell them to be worthy of their Priesthood. Being a Priesthood is their divintely appointed responsibility. And a worthy Priesthood holder needs to be supported by a virtuous woman.

So how do we live the words, "I am a Child of God"? How do be loyal to the royal within? It starts first with remembering who you are, and then living up to it. In my last area, Sis Gratton always said to her daughter, Eden, "remember who you are", and before leaving Eden will respond, "daughter of God, born to be a queen!".

Do we forget the message of the primary hymn we all know how to sing? We are children of God. We are royal sons and daughters of a Heavenly King! When we wake up in the morning and leave the house for our various activities, do we remember, "I am a daughter of God, born to be a queen!" Do we remember, "I am a son of God, born to be a king?" And most importantly, do we act like it? Are we loyal to the royal within us and live up to our birthright? Its amazing how much trust Heavenly Father puts in us.

Anyway, that's all!

Highlights/funnies of this week:

* 4 new investigators baby!

* It seriously has been such a blessing to be back in the area. I called up Sis Delp this week and asked about her neighbor in the area that she had referred to us over a year ago. Sis Delp excitedly told me about the spiritual experiences her neighbor was having and how much of a coincidence that I happen to be back in the area.

* We were looking for the post office last Monday, and we get to it and it's under construction. I'm standing there saying, "are you kidding me?!" The all of a sudden a huge white van pulls up and this guy rolls down his window and says, "you looking for the post office?" He's giving us directions to another one, but Sister Tonnies and I are just standing there, pretty sure our mouths gaped open, because this guy is seriously good-looking. Bahahaha I had to ask him to repeat the directions. When he drove away we were like, oh nice man please come back so we can teach you the gospel!

* We has an appointement with a potential investigator, but when we knocked on the wooden frame of the screen door, her dogs got excited and pushed it open with their nose and escaped! Oh my goodness, it was chaotic. It was a pitbull and a little chuweenie. Oh my goodness, we had to chase them around and we couldn't holler at them cuz we didn't know their names. We finally got them inside and shut the door, and we turn to each other completely out of breath, and say, "what?! Still no one?!" The owner didn't even come out to check the dogs. We got ignored HARD-CORE. Hahah but it was such a hoot. Oh missionary moments :)

Have a fan-tab week y'all!!!!!

Sister Limas :)

Cool story, bro. But we've been under the same management for eons.

I can tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Street!!!

Don't stop believing, hold on to that feeling.

Monday, July 21, 2014

SOOOOOO leaving Farminton was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. After emailing last Monday, we got home so I could start packing. I was standing there looking at my stuff and my heart just sinks. The fact that I was stressed from trying to get all my stuff packed and ready to go may have been a factor, but I think it was more the realization that this place has been my home for 6 months. There I am taking all my stuff down with notebooks and supplies and clothes sprawled all over my desk and floor. I sat down and just thought, "I can't believe I'm leaving."

Tuesday was cray-cray. We were running everywhere like crazy. We managed to get in some pretty good lessons though! The last lesson of the evening was with Ananda and James and the rest of their family. That was the first time I taught such a big family. It was pretty intimidating just because I never know what to do when so many eyes are staring at me. But the Spirit was super strong and when we were talking about the Spirit World, everyone's gaze was fixed. Part of me was like, "woah, what's happening", and another part of me was like, "yeeeah you go, Spirit!". Oh man, I am going to miss them mucho. We were all like whyyyyy didn't we meet each other sooner?! But they are in good hands. Pretty much everyone who has met James really likes him. And Sis Craig and Sis Sheppard are going to do such an amazing job in Farmington. Gah! I'm going to miss Sis Craig so much!!! It was so hard leaving her. She didn't even get to drive up to St Louis with me, so we dropped her off to stay with Sister Richardson. It was so hard to walk away and leave her. I know she's going to do so amazing though. I have learned so much from being with her the last 12 weeks.

Transfers were great, as usual. I just love watching trainers pick up their greenies. I got to see Elder Weight, which was a HOOT. I ran up to him and said, "MOOOOM!!!!" and we both start jumping up and down. Kinda reminds me of what I do whenever I see Tito Josh hahahaha. Oh glorious. We are in the same zone!!! So I'm super excited for that. I had to say goodbye to Sister Minyard and Sis Sudweeks for the last time. That killed me. And saying bye to Sis Wright, Sis Toombs, and Sis Thomas after they dropped us off was also killer. I got to see Elder Rauche (one of the Elders that I came out with) and he had the nerve to ask, "so you feeling trunky yet?" OOOOOOK there. Way to remind me this is almost over. Aaaaand if leaving wasn't hard enough, me and my new companion just absolutely HATE each other.


Sis Tonnies is AMAZING!!!! She's been out as long as I've got left hahaha. She's only been out for 4 months, and the greenie fire is still burning in her. It's pretty awesome. We've just had a wonderful time getting to know each other the past few days. We are like two peas in a pod. I had similarities to each of my companions, but Sister Tonnies and I have pretty much the same personality, to the tee. She loves reading and wants to be a novelist and took creative writing in college. She loves fantasy and fairytales and romance. And she talks a looooot. It's such a hoot. She basically doesn't have a filter for what she says, which makes me super relieved because I don't have a filter for my mouth either! Hahaha. I feel like I've been holding back so much, but now I can feel somewhat normal again. She loves Disney and musicals and we both love bursting into song. And the best part is, when one starts singing the other joins in and we just finish the song together. SO LEGIT. She follows me around the house like a lost puppy dog which is hilarious because Laura used to do that. She says, I really hope this doesn't bother you. I'm just like nooo, it's fine! My sister did it all the time bahaha. So we've just been having a blast. And our companionship studies have been SO AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL! We just share what we've learned, but we're both really deep thinkers so our whole comp study is just going into depth about what we've learned and how we're going to apply it. I learn so much from her. And she is just what I really need right now. She is so open and doesn't mind me being open too, so I feel like I'm finally able to express everything I'm feeling inside without worrying about her mindset changing or judging me or anything. She just gives the best advice and calms me down, and its been working vice versa with all the stuff that's happening with her right now. So basically, we were meant to be. We're asking President if we can just stay together for the next 3 transfers so she can kill me off hahaha.

So here I am in Charleston, Illinois, sitting in front of a Mac in the Booth Library of Eastern Illinois University, in the exact same spot I was emailing home just over a year ago when I first got to Paris. It's such a weird feeling. It's a new area with a lot of new things to get used to, but at the same time I feel like I've come back home. SO ODD.

Sister Tonnies and I have been doing our best to try and figure out this area. It's required a whole lot of patience on our part. I just left an area that was filled with work to do, and then I get here and find out that it's been white-washed twice in a row already and we're the 3rd set, AAAND everyone keeps saying 'this area is on fire' when in actuality, while looking at the records and stuff, know we've got to start from scratch pretty much. Part of me was like uhhhhhh I just want to get out and work! But the white-washing experienced side of me knows we need to get the place organized first before we start seeing the miracles happen. So we've been organizing the area and member book and getting to know each other at the same time. I really needed that. I can't even explain how grateful I am to have someone I can confide in and takes me seriously and gives me some good advice. Anyway, we are both just so ready to tear this place up!!!! We don't know what's going to happen at the end of this transfer, so we've pretty much decided we're going to get everything done in the 6 weeks. I'm so stoked! The few times we did get to contact some people I just felt the fire burning inside. I am just so ready to hit the ground running! But like I said, focusing on the organizing first was vital and required a lot of patience.

All week we've been trying to understand time. The days are long, the weeks are short, and the month goes by in a blink of an eye. (Like, I'm pretty sure we just celebrated the 4th of July. How is July almost over?) The two of us just can't comprehend time right now and its SO WEIRD. But we've concluded that time doesn't make sense because we're on the Lord's time right now. So of course time doesn't make sense. It reminded me of a training Sister Richardson gave us on patience. She told us, "a day to God is 1000 years for us". Then she put up a chart and asked us to do some calculations. This is what was on the board:

1 day to us is 24 milliseconds to God.
Church (3 hrs) to us is 3 milliseconds to God.
A transfer (6 weeks) to us is 10 seconds to God.
A Sister mission (18 months) to us is 2 minutes and 24 seconds to God.
An Elder's mission (24 months) to us is 2 minutes and 57 seconds to God.
A lifetime (90 yrs) to us is 2 hours and 24 minutes to God.
Time since the Restoration is 4 hours and 48 minutes to God.
Time since Christ lived is 2 days to God.
Time since Adam is 6 days to God.

So basically, we have no reason to not be patient and to keep pressing forward. There's something we feel we can't do? Try again. And again. And again. Do it again until you've got it. I think about how my mission is only 2 minutes and 24 seconds to Heavenly Father, and how He could probably be irritated and impatient with me, thinking, "goodness, Sister Limas. You couldn't stay steadfast for 2 mins and 24 seconds?" You know what I mean? But He loves me so much that I get the span of 18 months to grow and learn. Its a short time for Him, but I think His satisfaction comes from seeing the growth. Afterall, His purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. So what are we here to do? Learn eternity, that's what. Patience is the key to happiness.

So today during our morning walk/run, Sister Tonnies and I talked about patience. I know I've already written an email about what I've finally figured out what patience means, but here are some things that we wrote down this morning, straight from our experience as missionaries:


  • ​Running the race of life--you step in faith and diligence, but you keep going because of your hope to cross the finish​.
  • Hope and courage.
  • Knowing a sunny day will come even though you've had a whole week of rain.
  • Understanding our purpose of our mortal experience while preparing for the eternities.
  • Pressing forward even when its hard because you want to obtain what your heart hopes for.
  • Accepting when its dark but preparing for when the sun will rise.
  • Knowing God trusts you, even when you don't trust yourself, and letting Him do the molding.
  • Trusting that God loves you.
  • Putting aside immediate gratification in hope for the eternal blessings.
  • Putting an eternal perspective over a temporal one.
  • Being compassionate and sympathetic to others, but to yourself as well.
  • Doing your best with what you've got.
  • Recognizing your weakness and hoping the Saviour will help you strengthen them.
  • Alighning your will with God's.
  • Keeping on keeping on.
  • Becoming the divinely being we were called to be.
  • Expecting your investigators to keep their commitments even though they haven't before.
  • Knowing a really bad week is a miracle in the making.
  • White-washing into a new area, trusting that God sent you here for a reason, and watching that reason slowly unfold.
  • Trusting in God's timing.
  • Putting aside our own desires and fulfilling God's expectations.
  • A way we act in faith.
  • Trying again even if you've failed many times before.
  • Remembering you were sent here to become like Him.
  • Believing you're on God's path for you even when you can't see where it leads.
  • Learning how to lean on your Father for support.
  • Working towards your goals no matter how hard it can be.
  • When you go and do without murmuring.
  • Trying to keep standards and commandments so that you can be worthy of the guidance of the Spirit.
  • Accepting things as they come but not being defeated by them.
  • Enjoying the beauty as you gaze into eternity.
  • Taking the steps of faith towards your eternal destiny even when you don't exactly know what that is.
And my last two favourites:

  • Knowing your Once Upon a Time will eventually have a Happily Ever After.
  • When you don't stop believing, but hold onto the feeling.
Patience has so much to do with faith, hope, and enduring to the end!! I love those last two definitions we came up with. Uchtdorf says, "Sandwiched between their 'once upon a time' and 'happily ever after,' they all had to experience great adversity" but when we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can have our Happily Ever After that is not only existant in fairytales. "[We] are truly royal spirit daughters [and sons] of Almighty God. You are princesses [and princes], destined to become queens [and kings]. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your 'once upon a time' is now." Goodness gracious, I just love Uchtforf.

"Don't stop believing, hold on to that feeling". Uhmm, so those song lyrics are just so dang true!! We don't have a hard time believing or hoping for things, but sometimes we forget "the feeling". Let me explain. Sometimes we forget the reasons our heart holds on and why we do what we do in the first place. Then all of a sudden you're believing in / hoping for something and you're doing it bitterly because the reason you once had to belive in / hope for in the first place has been forgotten. Don't do that! HOLD ON TO THAT FEELING. Just like I've heard many times on my mission: "if you feel like you've wandered off the path, go back to where you last felt the Spirit/knew the Saviour, and you'll see that He'll be right there waiting for you". Don't give up and don't give in, on anything! If you're forgetting why you do what you, and you're starting to feel bitter or downtrodden or hopeless about it, then try to remembering why you did it in the first place. Remember the reasons why your heart has its hopes in the first place, and press forward with love. Getting from point A to B with that perfect brightness of hope is what patience is. Patience is the key to happiness.

Anyway, love youuuus all!
I'm so stoked for what this week brings!
Have an awesome week. And for all y'all going to YSA Conference, have fun! Go with questions :) And tell me what you learned :D
Sister Limas

Katelyn Hafnerrrr

With the Bohns

Roy and Neola Haynie. They aren't members, but they are pretty much my adopted grandparents haha

If that's what the planner says...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hey hey err'body! I have tons and tons of stuff to say and I'm praying that the Spirit is going to help me with this. This week has been a very humbling, yet fulfilling, one. I just love everything right now.

I've been anticipating transfer calls all week. I knew that most likely I'd be leaving Farmington so I've been reflecting a lot on what I've learned the past 6 months here in this area.  

For every transfer in Farmington, I've tried to put a meaningful quote on my planner; something for me to live by and achieve. Although my initial thought process was "I'll see the quote everyday and hopefully that'll do something", I never actually thought about what those chosen quotes/themes for the transfer have done for me. I didn't realize what it has actually done until after my exchange experience.

On Tuesday we were on exchanges, and I had the privilege to go to Glen Carbon (my last area) again with Sister Webster. That area is on FIRE! The last time I went there for exchanges, Sis Webster and I went to see all of my old investigators. This time, we mostly saw their people. I was just brimming with joy the whole time. Their were times it was a little awkward because I didn't know their investigators too well, but I couldn't help but just smile so hard inside. I know that the Lord sends specific missionaries at a specific time to meet specific people and help them with their specific needs. There are no accidents. The Lord knows what He's doing. At one point, Sister Webster turns to me and says, "so what do you feel like Heavenly Father has been teaching you?" I thought about it (because lets be honest, I tend to babble for quite a bit if I don't organize my thoughts :p), and I started telling her all the things I've been learning about myself (all the stuff I've been sharing in my emails with you the past few weeks) and how the Lord has helped me realize how I work/learn, how to deal with it, and how to be confident with it so I can share it with others. I was telling her about my experience at David's appointment and shared with her my thoughts about what I was like when I first came out here and how different I view my mission now. The next day during exchange inventory, Sis Webster starts talking and all of a sudden....she's crying. I'm sitting there looking super concerned, but she just went on saying all these nice things. But what stood out to me the most was when she said, "you can tell by the way you treat people and by the way you talk about the Gospel that you have tried to become exactly what Heavenly Father wants you to be and that you've really developed your relationship with Him" She said some other stuff, but that part was what got me crying. I told her afterwards that I really appreciated that because sometimes I'm super hard on myself and think I'm still so far from where I need to be. Why it meant a lot to me was because of what my "theme quote" was for this transfer:

The front of my planner are lyrics to a song that Sudweeks and Rouse had composed when we were serving together here: "My fears are washed away when you say, 'Child of Mine, you are Divine. I am on your side'. 'Father, I know; here, watch me grow! I am on Your side." Then on the back I had a quote from Elder Bednar that said, "I will strive to become what I should and must become". That was from a talk he gave when he first got called as an Apostle and he talked about finding strength from the Lord to fulfill his new calling.

My reasons for setting that as my theme for this transfer was because I wanted to always be reminded that this isn't about what I want and what I think is best for me. It was about having a "Thy will be done" attitude and becoming what the Lord wanted me to become in those 6 weeks. It was also a reminder that no matter what happens, the Lord is on my side and that He is helping me and cheering me on every step of the way.  Sooo that meant a lot to me.

I've been reflecting on what my other Farmington planners have said (which I don't have pictures of and JUST mailed in a package home so I can't look at them -_-") and realized how they've been an underlying factor of what I've been trying to become and accomplish.

Right after my experience of being in a tri, it was:

"You're braver that you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" with 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 arm to be revealed" at the back.

Throughout that transfer it reminded me that there's more Heavenly Father expects and more the He requires, but also that I had to do all the He asks with a cheerful heart.

And when I started training, it was a photo of the Bassett girls each wearing my glasses in the front and on the back:

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love".
Throughout that transfer it reminded me that even though I feel inadequate on my own and feel like I don't have any talents or capabilities whatsoever to do this work, I know that at least I can love. And that's what qualifies us for the work. And with the Lord's help that love can become charity, the pure love of Christ.

Anyway, it was just an eye-opener to me how we all change little by little. Sometimes we don't recognize it, but the small increments of growth accumulate together in the long run. It comes from our intentions, our goals, our worthy desires, and it's all about "what am I going to do this day, this hour, this minute, to show Heavenly Father that I love Him and that I am His".
Yesterday was my last Sunday in Farmington. I cannot believe the amount of tears that came out of my face. Leaving every area and the people there is always hard. But I have never cried so much in front of the members before about leaving. The Farmington Ward has been SUCH a blessing to serve in. I just love everyone here so extremely much. I don't even know how I got so lucky to have the privilege to serve here around and with them. I've been having anxiety all week because this transfer isn't going to be just another area. It'll probably be my last. And it KILLS me inside to think that this mission experience will soon be coming to an end. It absolutely breaks my heart that in 4 months I have to remove this tag (and I don't care if you all think 4 months is still a lot of time. TO ME ITS NOT ;-;).

During Gospel Principles we talked about sacrifice. Tons of stuff were buzzing through my head, especially because of all that has happened in the last few weeks with all the miracles that we've seen. Then a thought that Sister Toombs had shared with me back in January when I first got to Farmington popped into my head. She told me about a Sister Missionary who bore her testimony right before going home and said, "My mission is not a sacrifice". When she told me that, I remember thinking, "wow, I wish I could say that." Because with everything that had gone on right before I came into Farmington, I had just gotten over being bitter about a lot of things and was in the middle of the healing process. The thought made my heart sink and I honestly thought I'd never be able to say what that Sister had said. But as I was sitting there in Gospel Principles, and reflecting on everything that has happened in the past 14 months, I realized my mission really isn't a sacrifice. I didn't realize I reached that point in pivotal perspective. So I put my hand up to make a comment about sacrifices and how the Lord requires us to give up some things than can be harmful to us, but sometimes He requires us to sacrifice even worthy pursuits because He knows what we need at the time, even if we don't understand why. I just briefly shared my experience in choosing to serve a mission, and I'm starting to cry a little bit because I'm still flabbergasted that I'm finally realizing that this isn't a sacrifice at all.

Then all of a sudden Sis Hargiss says, "now hold on a minute. If Sister Limas decided not to come on a mission..." and then she starts crying and telling everyone what she feels like I've done for this ward and the blessing that I've been to this area. As if I wasn't crying enough already, I just started bawling. Then she let me finish what I was saying, and I said: even though it may have felt like at different times that I was making a huge sacrifice, it really isn't. Not when you look at it on the long-run. Because Heavenly Father knows what's best for each of us. That's when sacrifice becomes sacred.

And I just want to testify to that again. This mission experience is not a sacrifice. This mission experience has been able to help me grow and learn and strengthen myself in ways Heavenly Father only knows best. When I first got out on the mission I mentioned how it was a sacred experience to be able to be a part of the journey of someone who is coming to know Jesus Christ. But now I see that part of what has made the experience go from a sacrifice to a sacred experience for me is because of the purifying process that has taken place. Reflecting back on my past few planners and what my hopes and intentions were for my attitude toward the work, I've realized that I've been able to reach them. I've been able to let the Lord mold me. Don't get me wrong, there's still TONS more molding to do. And boy, do I look forward to it. But there is just so much peace that I've felt over the past few weeks of Heavenly Father's love and approval and I am just brimming with so much love right now. For everything and everyone.

I had requested a blessing of comfort and council from Bro Gratton because I was feeling the anxiety all week and I was just so emotional on Sunday morning. We went over for it to be the last thing on our plans that night. I am so grateful for worthy Priesthood holders. I can't even express that enough. I have depended on them countless amount of times since I've been out here. Anyway, it was a beautiful blessing, but the one thing that stood out to me was, "it's good that you're feeling the anxiety. That shows how much you love your mission". I started to tear up because for a long time, I felt like I was trying so hard to stay positive and optimistic to prove to Heavenly Father that I really do enjoy being out here. And maybe for a while I was trying to prove it to myself. So to hear that felt like, once again, like a hole I didn't know was there was being filled.
So my art for this up coming transfer?

"I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God for in His strength I can do all things". &
"Upon the Rock of our Redeemer" &
"I am with the faithful always".

To remind me of all the miracles, the tears, the blessings, the trials, and the joys of the past 4 transfers. D&C 62 has become such a special section to me and has got me through a lot. But no matter what, the Lord promises that He is with the faithful always. No matter what comes with this new transfer and area and with the mission coming closely to an end, He's with me. That's all that matters. If that's what the planner says, I'll get 'er done ;), sorry I didn't intend for that to be as long as it was. You're probably wondering the transfer doctrine! I'm white-washing into (no surprise there....): Charleston, IL!!! Which is soooooooooooooooo far away. BUT! I used to be in the same district as the Charleston sisters when I was serving in I'm only 40 minutes away from my first area :D Also, Charleston has a university! That means opportunities to do street contacting with students, baby! Aw yah! And it'll be the first time I'm serving in a ward with Elders. Errrrr. I guess we'll see what happens haha.

Other tender mercies:

* I've been shown time and time again that the Spirit also helps with temporal things. I don't know how it happened, but I actually played pretty decent in soccer. I'm pretty sure it was the Spirit.

* James brought his wife and youngest son to church!!!! Oh my heart! It made me so happy! And Ananda brought the friend Kate to church too!

* 6 new investigators this week. Holy what? We added up numbers and we're like, "how did this happen??"

* Just so so so many good lessons this week! Ah I just love it!

* We've been finishing up our training and watching The District DVDs. Now that I've been out for 14 months, I finally understand what those missionaries are talking about. I agree. There is nothing more satisfying or fulfilling than doing the Lord's work.

* President talked with us on the phone yesterday. He asked about transfers and he said, "Sister Limas, that's a huge compliment that you've white washed into every one of your areas. The Lord just trusts you and knows you can get it done".

* While I was on exchanges in Glen Carbon, I found out that Carla Johnson is getting baptized on August 10th!!!!!!! I don't know if you remember this, but my first teaching appointment with Carla Johnson left me spiritually exhausted because the Spirit was completely guiding how I was to teach to her boyfriend Dale Haynes (does this sound familiar? Maybe?) Anyway, soon after our first lesson with them I was transferred. OK, so as a missionary you get used to the fact that the majority of the time you will never see the fruits of your labors. Ever. And it's fine. You know there's more work to do. But it was just such a tender mercy to see what has transpired with her over the past 6 months. She's so strong! And I didn't even think she would remember me, but she did, and invited me to her baptism, which was super touching.

....Ok there's a ton more, but I've already written more than I have time for haha. I need to start packing!!!!

Hope you all have a fab week!

Sister Limas

Promises Fulfilled

Monday, July 7, 2014

This week has been so amazing, I don't even know where to start! I will just tell you the main highlight of the week, and then share all my other little highlights.

So Sunday was THE BEST Fast and Testimony Sunday EVERRRR. I like inviting people to church, but I like it even more when it's fast Sunday (my district leader thinks I'm crazy). Why? Because it is when everyone has a chance to actively participate. But our investigators NEVER come the 1st Sunday.....EXCEPT FOR YESTERDAY! AND IT WAS AWESOME!

Matt Westrup, Ananda Messer, and Edward Wylde came. Jim, Ananda's dad, finally came! We've invited him more than once and he finally came! So after Bro Bohn bears his testimony and opens the pulpit to the congregation, the first person to get up is Matt! He bore his testimony on prayer and his experience at a church camp. I was so proud of him :') After Matt, 18 other people went up to bare their testimonies! It was amazing!!!! We've never had such a busy testimony meeting before! The last person to get up was Jim. He introduced himself and said it was his first time here, and who he was with and who invited him...and then he says "in God's name!" while punching his fist in the air. Hahaha it was pretty awesome. Anyway, this testimony meeting was just SO AMAZING because it really set the tone that ALL were welcome. It started and ended with a non-member; and in between there were kids who grew up in the gospel; there were people who had fallen away and have become reactivated again; there were people who shared their conversion stories; and there were people who have moved away and came to visit; and there were people who were new moving into the ward/visiting. There was just such a wide variety of people who spoke, and I couldn't help but feel SO LUCKY that I am a member of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This is HIS Church, and I am one in 5 million to be a part of it! Everyone is welcome here! Doesn't matter if you've fallen away, doesn't matter if you're from another country or state, doesn't matter if you're visiting for the first time....ALL are welcome in Jesus Christ's true church, and more importantly ALL are entitled to partake of this magnificent Gospel, ALL are able to access the Atonement, ALL can feel the Saviour's saving grace. It is just all TOO WONDERFUL!!!!

And then comes Gospel Principles class. Probably the biggest class we've had in a while. We had less-actives recently activated there, an ex-communicated member, recent converts, investigators, AND we had 2 other members join in because they wanted to "get to know all the new people" (gah my ward is amazing). Anyway, Charlie is teaching about Fasting and we're going in and out of the lessons and I'm slightly getting confused. Then Jim starts speaking up about certain things. Then Irish, a Filipino lady in my ward, raises her hand and starts saying, "Jim, I want you to know..." and she starts baring hear testimony about the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement. Before you know it, everyone in the class is raising their hand to share their testimony with Jim. Oh my goodness, there were tears everywhere! The Spirit was just so strong in that room. When Jim was sharing his experiences, Ananda had to leave the room because she got emotional when he started talking about his family. Oh man. I cannot even believe what happened! At one point, Jim says, "I'm here because of those two ladies", and he points his fingers at Sis Craig and I and we're both like O_O. He continues to say, "they've been coming to teach my daughters, and I've been eavesdropping in on their conversations as I go around the house to work. They have a certain peace about them. I came to church today because I want the peace that those two ladies have when they come over". I didn't know whether to feel ecstatic that he wanted to learn, or terrible for not being able to teach him sooner!!!

Anyway, it's just been such an amazing Sunday!

I just want to share a realization I had this week.
We had some appointments dropped, and so we decided to check up on David. Our last lesson with him was kind of frustrating, and I was so not up to talking with him again because I didn't have the energy for it (I was sick the day before). So we get there and follow up on his commitment to study the Word of Wisdom pamphlet. He says, "yeah no coffee, no tea", and we're like, "uh, yeah, and NO SMOKING!" So he starts going on and on about how God is being silent again. I felt impressed that we should share the brother of Jared's story with him, not really knowing what this was going to lead to. But we were talking about commandments and how sometimes we don't understand why God gives us commandments and how we are even going to fulfill them. Out of no where I'm starting to say, "and we all struggle sometimes when God asks us about something...". I was originally referring to something else, but somehow I found myself sharing my decision-to-go-on-a-mission story. I've NEVER told anyone this perspective of my story before, so I was a little surprised with what came out my mouth. I told him that I knew God wanted me to go on a mission. At first I was all up for it, but later on I started questioning WHY. Why do I have to go now? Why can't I finish school and graduate with the rest of my friends? Why can't I pursue other worthy desires? (Yeah yeah we've all heard this run before). Then I told him even though I questioned His command, I still came. And even though I struggled with understanding my purpose of why I'm out here for a while, the Lord has been able to show me little by little the reasons why, and promised him that the Lord will show him the blessings of why He asks such things of us...but first we have to show Him we're willing to do what He wants first. So there I am crying. Im pretty sure I needed to hear that more than David did. I think I started crying because when I said that the Lord shows us little by little the reasons why, I think every single person that I've met out here just flashed through my head. And it was just one of those moments where I'm reminded (which happens quite often) that this work isn't about me. It's about the people here. Every single person that I've met has been such a blessing. And just recapping on my mission decision one small decision of saying, "I don't want to go anymore" would have changed my life completely. And this place in my heart that is filled with the people of the Missouri St Louis Mission, would be empty. Decisions determine destiny, I tell ya!

Now for highlights:

* We finally got to visit Bishop's house for a bit. He is just so cute and reminds me of dad. When we were done going over our progress records, he's like, "I want to show you something", then pulls out one of his most prized possessions and starts telling us a story. He is just the sweetest.

* This week the Thomas' took us out to the Habachi buffet. Sis Thomas was just so bold at asking our waitress if she wanted to take lessons with us. And she said yes. SCORE!

* 4th of July was pretty chill. I have never missed swimming so much in my life. EVER.

* We are playing soccer with the Cape Crew today (and I'm going to suck like mad!). But my district leader assigned Sister Craig and I to make tie-dye shirts for the district. They look SOOOOOOO SIIIIICK.

* When Bro Gratton got up to bare his testimony, he ended it by saying, "I love that we have Sister missionaries in our ward. I don't want the Elders to come back. I just want the Sisters to know that I love them and don't want them to leave." OOOOOOK, way to make my heart sink. Transfers are coming up! I just love Bro Gratton, he is such a hoot.

* Sis Stringer went up to bare her testimony as well. We had seen her earlier in the week and I honestly thought we could have been more prepared. We were originally going to talk about strengthening testimony, but we talked about her conversion story, her activation in the church, and then watched Uchtdorf's, "your potential, your privileges". We left the appointment not really knowing if it did any good. But when Sis Stringer went up to bare her testimony she talked about her experience when we came over, and thanked us for helping her remind her of her testimony. I was sitting there like :O

* Katelyn Hafner got up to bare her testimony too. She was the only person that made me cry. I just love that girl so stinking much and she has become one of my closest friends out here. To hear her bear her testimony about her struggles in the past and see her standing up there, glowing....gah. Love it!

* Ok, this is no big deal, buuuuut it is to me. We usually sit on the left side of the church, but for the past couple of weeks because so many investigators have been sitting with us, we've moved to the middle rows. I'm like struggling to get out of the middle row, but there at the end is my little sunshine, Taeler Duvall, excitedly waiting for me to get out so he can give me a hug. Oh I just love him. And then the Pyatt girls are swarming us. And then a bunch of other little kids. It may seem like no big deal, but I just LOVE the little kids so its a big deal to me!!!

* I was reading my past journal entries and came across a time when I was just super bitter and sick and Elder Smith had given me a blessing in which he said, "we bless you that when the blessings do come, you'll be able to recognize them". I remember thinking 'wow, of course I'm going to be able to recognize them.' But now that I've surpassed that bitter stage and that time is long-gone, I'm starting to see how ungrateful I was at that point. I was just so bitter about the world. And now that I'm here and we have been seeing miracles, I've just been pouring our gratitude in prayer that we have been able to recognize the Lord's hand. Promises are being fulfilled :) Also, all these miracles are just reminding me of one of the things Pres Hynynen said in my setting apart. He said that "you will be more successful than you imagined" or something along the lines of that. And I just feel uber humbled that I see the success and miracles, but knowing that when he said "you", he wasn't referring to just me. The areas I work in can bloom, we can be finding and teaching a ton of people, BUT IT IS NOT US. I have said that about a billion times this week to people. IT IS NOT US. And it isn't! We're just the tools being used in the Lord's hand. And I am STILL baffled He has even trusted me to be a part of His work.

hope you have a fantab week!
Be good, have fun, and just LOVE LOVE LOVE :)
Sister Limas

Making tie-dye shirts for our district!

St Genevieve with Sister Craig

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