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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 story...by 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.

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

Making tie-dye shirts for our district!

St Genevieve with Sister Craig




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