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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.

PSYCHHHHHHHHHH!

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:

PATIENCE IS...

  • ​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
MUCHO LOVINNNN'
Sister Limas

Katelyn Hafnerrrr

With the Bohns

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

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