Wait...I'm getting transferred?!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Surprised? YEAH, WELL ME TOO. I have never stayed in an area for only 1 transfer before! But before I go onto exciting transfer details, let me give you some weekly headers. I really hope what I say makes sense. I've been up since 2:30am sneezing my head off. I'm kinda drugged up on cold and allergy pills right now and am super drowsy. I am fighting so hard to stay awake if I don't make any sense, please forgive me :p

1. Patrick.
So Patrick has been incredible this week! We met with him on Tuesday and the first thing he says before walking to the park is, "I'm actually happy to see you today." I just said, "you mean you weren't excited to see us the two other times? [You love company. Don't deny it.]". He was like "nope!" and then starts randomly talking about tattoos and about the Word of Wisdom and how he doesn't want to give up his coffee, tea, or Moonshine. Oh, Patrick -____-" .

Anyway, we were teaching him the Restoration, and of course he goes off on tangents. But as we were explaining the Apostasy and comparing it to a puzzle, he all of a sudden says, "I'm the guy holding the puzzle box. I just want the whole picture". I was sitting there flabbergasted because that is probably the most genius thing he has ever said. So I explain that yeah, we want the big picture, we want all the truth. Then he says, "well, I believe that our church...I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I already consider myself I believe that OUR church has all the truth." I'm sitting there thinking, "is he for real right now? Did he just say he believes the church is true? We haven't even reached the Restoration part yet!" HOW AWESOME IS THAT??? He actually invited himself to be baptized. It was so crazy! He told us that he had been keeping our commitment of praying and that the past week, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He says, "I think that's God's way of telling me that He's there." OH MY GOODNESS. SAY WORD. Then he says, "that's why I was so excited to see you guys today. I wanted to tell you that my faith has grown. I don't know how it happened, and I know you knocked on my door looking for someone else. But I believe that I was supposed to learn this from you guys." I started tearing up. Heavenly Father is so mindful of His children. Meeting Patrick seemed like the most random thing in the world! But Heavenly Father doesn't make mistakes, and meeting Patrick has been a testimony to me that Heavenly Father prepares people, and that the Spirit leads us to where we need to be. And thus, WE SET A BAPTISM DATE WITH HIM!!!! WOOO!!!! We went over what is required of him to be baptized, and instead of going off on all the Word of Wisdom stuff he said earlier, he said "I guess I can drink herbal tea. But I don't even drink alcohol all the time, so I don't see why I can't keep that one."

YOU READY FOR THIS NEXT PART?! He comes to church and in Gospel Principles he yet again makes the most random comments, but they all related to the lesson and he kept relating it back to what we've taught him. I'm like are you serious, Patrick? You never sound like you're paying attention during our lessons, but then when you share what you learn in class, its FAAAAR more than what we taught you! After church we met at the park again to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He shows up with a mason jar with Moonshine in it. He then says, "OK, I brought the last bit of Moonshine that is in my apartment. To show you how committed I am, I am getting rid of it." Then he pours it out in the parking lot then and there. Sister Tonnies and I just start hooting and we're like "yeah Patriiiick! Way to go!" I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT THIS KID IS DOING! We sit down and the first thing he asks about is the temple!!! Hahaha oh my goodness, this is too good. We told him we'd discuss it at a later lesson. We taught him about faith and repentance, and emphasized the covenants we make at baptism and the purpose of the Holy Ghost. At one point, Sister Tonnies asks him, "Patrick, why are you choosing to do this?" He starts listing off his reasons. Then he says, "the fact that I don't get any visitors is a bad reason. But I really do feel a lot happier since I've been coming from church and learning from you guys. Now I don't hesitate saying that God DOES exist and that He is real. I just know baptism is something I really need to do." OH MY LANTA, THE MIRACLES.

Patrick is getting baptized on September 20th. Please pray for him!!! He has the speech impediment, asthma, autism, muscular dystrophy, and arthritis. Please pray that he'll be strong enough to fight the adversary.

2. The Funeral.
Elder Flowers, one of the Elders I share my ward with, went home today. So this week during district meeting, Sister Tonnies and I planned to go all out for his mission "funeral". It was so stinking hilarious. There is a family in our ward who just looooves him, so they helped us set up decorations and they made us the biggest lunch ever! It was all too hilarious. We even had a musical number singing a funeral song bahaha. It was so perfect though. At the end of district meeting, Elder Flowers surprised us and had the member read out his "will". Sister Tonnies and I were like wait......we didn't plan this to happen. Elder Flowers gets up and starts giving out his possessions as gifts to members of the district and told us why he was giving it to us. I GOT A HATCHET. BAHAHAHAHAHA. He said it was a token of our friendship and that I can use it to kill zombies. BAHAHAHA. As much as I struggled with adjusting to having Elders in my ward, I am super grateful that Sister Tonnies and I have become good friends with Elder Flowers and Elder Bae.

3. Abide with Me.
I don't know what the heck is wrong with me, but I always wake up at the middle of night from dreams that make my anxiety go way bad. So I'm usually awake all night, attempting to get back to sleep, but not really being able to. This week it was extra bad. But I've finally found something that works! I was able to lull myself slowly back to sleep by humming Abide with Me in my head I just LOVE that hymn. It has become such a special one to me as I've been out serving. When I finally got up, I read over the lyrics:

Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

It is such a beautiful hymn. And the first verse describes EXACTLY how I feel when I wake up in the middle of the night. My only antidote to my anxiety is WORK. And so I push it to the max so that I don't have to deal with it. Its the mornings where I feel trapped because I can't get out of my bed to work while my companion is still asleep (OBV.) And every time I wake up, I am begging Heavenly Father to help me be ok as I try to rock myself back to sleep. There really is no other place to turn. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, the Lord really is the only One who doesn't leave you alone. We can turn to Him, even at our darkest hours (literally) and have hope for the sun to come out on the morrow.

4. Transfer Calls.
The phone call went like this:

Sis Scott: Ready for transfer doctrine?
Us: Yup!
Sis Scott: Sister Tonnies, you are staying and you will be senior comp. Your new companion is going to be Sister Craig.
Me: YESSS!!!!!! SISTER CRAIG IS MY BABY GIRL!!!!!! Hold up.......if you're getting a new comp, that means I'm getting transferred. WHAT?! How am I getting transferred? I just got here!
Sis Scott: Sister Limas, you ready for this?
Me: Errrr, yeah I guess.
Sis Scott: You're going to Fenton, MO to join Sister Webster. YOU'RE GOING STL!!!!

I just about pooped my pants. They just assigned me to be Sister Training Leader. OH MY LANTA I WAS CRYING INSIDE. I've been told from pretty early in the mission that I would probably be an STL. And over the past few months, I've been convincing myself why I shouldn't be put into leadership. And now it's come. And I'm freaking out like mad.

5. Broken.
Why am I freaking out like mad? Because I feel absolutely incapable to do this. I'm excited that I get the chance to serve the other Sister Missionaries in this mission and that I have this opportunity to learn and grown more right before I go home. But that doesn't take away from the reality that I am a weak vessel. For Pete's sake, I beg and plead every morning for help that I will be able to get it through the day physically, mentally, and emotionally. By Sunday afternoon, Sister Tonnies was trying to give me some words of comfort but I ended up in tears. But I want you all to know that this song brings me comfort:

I'm convinced that God loves broken me. My flesh may be weak; I may struggle physically, mentally, and emotionally. But my spirit is strong. All thanks to the Saviour. And it's through His sacrifice that any and every thing I struggle with can be mended. It's only through and by Him that my spirit can stay strong and can help me over come all those other things. Broken things become blessed things when we let God do the mending :)

So yeah, I feel super inadequate and weak to do this. But I know it's what the Lord wants me to do. And I'll always choose to do what He wants me to do. Its all just part of the purification process. Last week my email to President Morgan said:

Do I get a death wish?
I want to stay with Tonnies and die in Charleston. Or train before I go home.
But my true death wish would just be anything the Lord wants me to do with the last two transfers :) So I'll leave that to you haha.

His response: How was that for a death wish?

BAHAHA oh I love President Morgan. But I stand true to what I said. My true death wish would be just anything the Lord wants me to do. I will just trust in the promise that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies.

But on a more positive note, I'm SUPER excited just because I'm ready for the extra challenge. Everything I learned and have become over the 6 months period in Farmington was put to the test here in Charleston. Over the past week this popped into me head: "wow, we picked up work here so fast. I almost don't know what my purpose for this area is anymore. That makes me think I'm getting transferred. But naaaah, I always stay longer in an area. My new challenge will probably be all the students coming in for school." NOPE. The new challenge is to be a Sister Training Leader; to be an example to the Sisters in the mission and help them know they are loved by their leaders. Aaaaand to also get me out of my comfort zone of giving trainings to a huge group of missionaries (that scares the heck out of me!) Is change uncomfortable? Most definitely. But it's what helps us grow, so I guess I'm down :) Just pray for me because I'm sure going to need it haha.

6. Charity & Love
We closed this transfer by studying this one :) Here we go:

Charity is...

  • Seeing people as Christ sees them.
  • Realizing the Lord never gives up on us, nor ever will He, and therefore we never give up on others.
  • Realizing we are all born with the light of Christ.
  • The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love.
  • Wanting what is best for others.
  • The power by which we can change the world.
  • A gift Heavenly Father wants each of us to have.
  • How we find the courage to do what's right.
  • The reason we have second chances.
  • How we find the strength we didn't know we had.
  • Stronger than any base instinct of the natural man.
  • Why we can have a perfect brightness of hope.
  • How we can be the best that we can be.
  • Being willing to walk 500 miles, then walking 500 more.
  • Appreciating others' imperfections.
  • Trying to become like Jesus Christ.
  • To look at another person and see the face of God.
  • How Happily Ever Afters are possible.
  • A tale as old as time.
  • True and eternal love.
  • What makes the journey worth it.
  • The spark in your hear that allows the light of Christ to shine.

And my two favourites:

  • The reason we have hope to "just keep swimming".
  • The level of vulnerability the Lord expects us to give everyone.

I just love referring the Christ-like attributes back to Finding Nemo. When you think about Marlin the Clownfish, he is NOT the type of fish to go on the adventure he did. But why did he do it? Because he had hope to find his son that he loved so much. Love makes us go to lengths that we never knew we were capable of. When you look at the Savior's example through His sacrifice--that shows the ultimate act of love; going to lengths that are mind-blowing to man.

And there's that word "vulnerable" again. I still hate being vulnerable. But like I've explained in my email those many months ago about Relationships and Love, if we don't make ourselves vulnerable, how can we expect to love like Christ did? Elder Holland gave this fabulous talk called "How Do I Love Thee". I suggest y'all check it out because it's just that good :) He talks about what true love is in friendship, family, courtship, and marriage. Like Holland says, it's not about "when do I love thee nor where do I love thee nor why do I love thee nor why don’t you love me, but, rather, how. How do I demonstrate it, how do I reveal my true love for you?" Words of wisdom right there. Jesus Christ is the pure example of that true and eternal love. His reason to keep on keeping on was the hope He had in what we were becoming. And that's because He loves us.

I love how all the Christ-like attributes just intertwine with each other. It was getting harder to come up with definitions because we found we were starting to repeat some of them. But that's because they are all related. Sis Tonnies says, "The Lord doesn't ask us to do a bunch of little things. He only asks us to do one thing and tells us how to do it. That one thing is to become like Him". Christ makes it possible for us to have a magical happy ending. Transformation exists. But we have to choose to let Christ turn us into something glorious. To end, I really want to quote Elder Prescott, one of the most spiritual missionaries I have ever met! But I forgot my quotebook at home and I will probably butcher this. But in summary he said: "We are eternal beings. We are made of celestial things. The scriptures say to be celestial is to be unfathomable. We are unfathomable. Live up to that potential."

Yea...totally butchered that one.

But you get the gist of what I'm saying right? Each and every one of us have the potential to become like our Father in Heaven. That is something unfathomable! But it is so possible because of our Saviour. We need to live up to that. Neglect not the gift that is in thee ;) And so when times get rough, keep the faith. Remember who you are striving to become. Then, like the early Saints, we too can say that we "came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities." It's in the liberty jail-like moments of our lives when God can make our weak things become strong; where He can grant us to feel of His grace and mercy.

ANYWAY, sorry that was long. I need a nap already.
Hope you all have a great week!
Sister Limas

Sand volleyball with my district: Harrington, McEvoy, Bae, Flowers, Edgel, Barrett, me and Tonnies

My stellar district!

Elder Flowers' funeral bahaha!

Let me introduce you to Patrick

Monday, August 18, 2014

I was going to do hashtags again this week, but hashtags don't have the capability of describing the craziness of this week.

I don't remember why, but Monday and Tuesday I was just completely bummed and worn out, and I could feel my patience thinning with every single person we talked to. By Tuesday night, I just about lost it. Our last appointment for the evening was with one of our investigators who we are trying to help overcome a couple addictions. He didn't know we were coming and the moment we walk into his house, all I see are inappropriate scenes on the TV. Yeah, I just about burst into tears. I couldn't feel the Spirit as we were talking to him. I went to bed that night absolutely fed up with the world.

The next morning I was just so down-trodden. Gah. But thank goodness for extra rooms! I decided I needed to say a prayer out loud to get me over this hump. I know that prayer works, and that Heavenly Father is always listening. I know that He allows me hand over my burdens to Him as many times as it takes. Anyway, I had an insanely good comp study with the Spirit that morning and I was just so ready to go out and kill it. Thursday and Saturday were looking pretty slim with appointments, but somehow we were able to fill it up with a bunch of people we had contacted all throughout Wednesday :D

Anyway, I wanted to talk about a particular new investigator named Patrick. Anything in brackets will be whatever I was thinking at that time. This is a crazy story. Trust.

We went to contact a non-member referral and ended up at an apartment complex. The Elders who served here over a year ago left us some former investigators with "Greenview Apartments" as their address [Gah. Elders -_____-"]. But as we were contacting this referral, we noticed we were at Greenview Apartments, and shouted for joy so we could contact the two former investigators who lived there. We tried contacting a lady named Brenda first. We knock on her door and a young man opens it. He isn't wearing a shirt and looks slightly confused [and my under-my-breath reaction to that is always "it is not that hot! Put a shirt on!"]. 

Patrick here has a speech impediment, so it was really hard to understand what he was saying. But he said stuff confidently as he asked us questions. Part of me is saying [do I really want to ask if we could meet with him?], but the words that came out of my mouth were: Hey, we'd love to teach you about Christ! [Oh, the missionary me...]. We leave his apartment and Sis Tonnies says, "I am not sure if I feel safe teaching him. I couldn't tell if that was a speech impediment or if he was on something." [Way to make me feel like I should have gone with my other instinct].

On Thursday night, we called him to confirm our appointment with him on Saturday morning. Trying to understand what he's saying in person isn't as hard as trying to understand what he's saying over the phone. He starts rambling on about a bunch of things and I head him say "26". So I say:

Me: did you say you were 26?
no I think I'm 27 now...." 
Me: [Say what? Ok, whatever.] Continue what you were saying.
Patrick: You know when you asked me if I was 26, you sounded like you were looking for a boyfriend!
Me: Uh, no.

So I'm thinking [WHAT THE FREAK! Why why why do all the guys in this area hit on us?!]
But then he goes on to say that the reason why he wants to meet with us is because he's a little angry with God because his grandfather died from cancer, and that he's hoping we could help him rekindle his faith. And so now I'm thinking [ok Sister Limas, he has potential. Just love him. Just love people. The gospel is going to help him.] So I'm trying to let the guy know that our message will help him build his faith in Jesus Christ, but he interrupts me and says, "But if I tell you guys I don't want to meet with you anymore and you still show up to my apartment, I WILL call the cops." [Oh for pete sake's. We aren't going to come if you don't want to meet with us!]

Saturday morning comes and Sis Tonnies and I look at each other with a "you-ready-for-this?" glance. The moment Patrick gets down from his apartment he comes towards me and he says:

Patrick: So do we kiss now?
Me: What?! NO! [Oh my lanta. What is wrong with the world.]
Patrick: On the phone you really sounded like you were looking for a boyfriend when you asked if I was 26.
Me: NO. I am currently not looking and am SO not available for dating right now. IM A MISSIONARY.

He starts talking to Sis Tonnies and she is thankfully explaining more to him as I storm off and try to get my head wrapped back to Spirit mode.

We are walking to the park and the whole time he kept bringing up things about his life, and I'm thinking [oh my goodness, there is hope! The gospel totally covers this!] So Sis Tonnies and I keep testifying about how the message me have to share will help him resolve alllll the concerns he just brought up. [BOO YAH. 'How to Begin Teaching' done like a boss as we're walking the streets of Charleston!]

We finally arrive at the park and he is parched. So he tries to buy a drink from the vending machine. He had pre-warned us about his anger issues. He tries to fit the bill in the machine but it wont go in. So he flings his wallet past my face and I'm like [geez, calm down. Spirit says: Sister Limas, don't freak out. Just be kind. Show him patience so he learns how to be patient]. So I get up and tell him to give me the money and I get the drink for him. 3 bottles of Sprite came out. Win!

We start teaching him the Plan of Salvation and he kept making obnoxious comments all throughout it. Sister Tonnies and I were doing the best we could to teach in unity, and trying not to get distracted with all the irrelevant things he was saying and all the spit that was coming out of his mouth. [Oh heavens. Just try not to look grossed out.] But to be fair, he took the lesson quite well. At the end of it Sis Tonnies asks:

Sis Tonnies: Patrick do you know that what we've said is true?
Patrick: It has to sink in a bit. But I want to believe it's true.
Me: Patrick, you said you want to build your faith in Jesus Christ. One way you can build your faith is prayer. You can pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him if these things are true.

We go into further detail about prayer and Sis Tonnies asks him to say the closing prayer. We bow our heads and there is silence. I look up and he looks at me and says, "I can't do it." I calmly assured him, "yes you can". He bows his head again and he starts sobbing. [Woah, is the Spirit touching him right now?] Then, wait for it, HE TOTALLY FREAKS OUT, GRABS HIS STUFF AND MAKES A RUN FOR IT. He trips and drops everything. He's sitting there prostate on the ground crying and yelling at us.

I am sitting there, feeling like I'm not in my own body, watching a dramatic tv show about missionaries and excited to see what's going to happen next, except the only problem is that I am the missionary and realize we need to fix this problem. I turn to Sis Tonnies and whisper, "what did we just do?" and she says, "I have no clue".

What happened next was all the Spirit because I was quite surprised with what happened. I calmly told Patrick to sit back down and that Sis Tonnies would say the closing prayer, knowing he may or may not physically harm me because of his anger issues. After the prayer he starts yelling at me. YELLING. Oh my lanta. He's going off saying, "WHY? I told you I was uncomfortable!!!! That's what pisses me off! When people don't listen! It was so awkward! WHY DID YOU KEEP TELLING ME TO DO IT?"

And to my surprise I didn't feel anger, or frustration, or contention. I didn't feel like I was about to go off right back at him. Nor did I feel apologetic or bad about what I just tried to do or what had happened. To my surprise all I felt was genuine love and compassion for this guy. Heck to the yes he freaked me out. But all I could feel was love. I opened my mouth and waited for the Spirit to say something, and then it came: "Because Heavenly Father knows you can."

Out of no where I start baring testimony with a solid and stern, but loving and concerned voice. I bore testimony that the Saviour died for him so he could overcome his weaknesses. I bore testimony of change and how awkward and uncomfortable it can be, but that change is possible because Heavenly Father sent His Son to die for us so we can become who He wants us to become. And of course, tears are starting to form. It came out with such boldness, and in the midst of it I could feel just a smidge of the immense love Heavenly Father had for him.

Silence. As Sister Tonnies bore her testimony, I stood up and picked up everything he dropped, hoping he would realize that all we wanted to do was help. As I sat back down I asked him boldly: Patrick, do you still want to do this? [Because clearly, we're still going to keep asking him to do things and I don't want a drama episode every single time!] He said he did. We committed him to pray in the privacy of his home and ask Heavenly Father if he was there. All throughout the time we were together he kept saying how sad he was that he didn't have a girlfriend and how he never got dates, but as we closed it just came out that he was lonely and never got visitors. [Part of me is like what is with the world and "needing" a girlfriend. The other part of me just felt for him. No one likes to feel alone.] Only conclusion to that: invite him to church! :D

Sorry, that was long. But you needed to hear all that to see the miracle that happened next.
Patrick came to church. Bro Hawk picked him up and they walked in during the opening hymn. To my surprise I lit up when I saw him. [What the cheese? He left me spiritually exhausted yesterday. Why did I just get so excited?] He sits in our row, but on the other side of the disability couple we usually sit with. On his own, he's figuring out what song we're singing and opens the hymnbook and starts singing. After Sacrament Meeting I went up to him, and he looked different. He definitely cleaned himself up a little more. I say:

Me: We're glad you came to church!
Patrick: I did what you said and I prayed last night.
Me: You did?! That's awesome! And?
Patrick: I didn't get an answer. But I know Heavenly Father's a busy guy.
Me: [Are you for serious? He actually prayed?!] Don't worry. Just keep praying, and He'll answer soon enough. He'll answer in His own time.

We go to gospel principles and our lesson was on "Heavenly Father's Family". Patrick kept participating and asking questions. Elder Flowers was sitting beside and thankfully answered them with perfectly. Bro Emmett, our ward mission leader, was teaching the lesson and Patrick was totally engaged. He kept making comments and saying my name and what we taught him, relating the lesson back to the Plan of Salvation lesson we taught him. I'm sitting there like [are you for reals? Is this even the same person we taught yesterday?!]

The Elders said he participated really well during Priesthood as well. After church, we went to say goodbye and he said, "I am definitely coming back. I haven't been to church since I was 18 and I really enjoyed myself".


And just to add the cherry on top: Our atheist investigator, Leon, came to church as well! He too participated in class and totally enjoyed himself. He even made a comment about what being brothers and sister of God would mean to him. AND, when we closed our last lesson with him he said he wanted to know our opinion of being women in the church. Sis Tonnies said that we could answer his questions next lesson, but I told her after that that isn't our purpose and telling him about our roles isn't going to build his faith. So we didn't really know how we were going to avoid the awkward. We decided though that we should teach him the commandments so he could put it to the test and "experiment upon the word". What was sacrament meeting about? The Word of Wisdom!!!!! AND, he talked to Bro Baumann about Institute so he's going. And the talk they are studying his week is "The Moral Force of Women." YES! MIRACLES!

The whole time during sacrament I was just begging and pleading with the Lord that everything at church would be tailored to what the investigators needed to hear and that they'd have the ears to hear it. GOD IS PERFECT BECAUSE MIRACLES HAPPENED! It was such a huge testimony to me of how much Heavenly Father looks after the well-being of His children. All Sis Tonnies and I can do is work and fulfill our purpose to the best of our ability. The rest is all Him. As Dallin H Oaks says, "this is the Lord's work. Let Him do some of it." And He always does.

Sorry that was so long! It has just been such an insane week!
Last but not least, here's our Christ-like attribute for this week:

Hope is...

  • Looking forward to the future.
  • Trusting that the Lord's promises will be fulfilled.
  • Knowing there's always a reason to smile.
  • When the dawn breaks the darkness of the night.
  • Remembering the best is yet to come.
  • Knowing your Saviour's love is what helps you press forward.
  • The source of peace.
  • Courage and faith in the Lord's plan for us.
  • Accepting the worst while expecting the best.
  • Knowing the Saviour's got what you can't do.
  • Believing in second changes.
  • Knowing no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.
  • Expecting exaltation.
  • What allows you to never give up.
  • Letting the Lord be your light.
  • What replaces fear.
  • Patiently waiting upon the Lord.
  • Remembering tomorrow is only a day away.
  • The reason WHY you "just keep swimming".
  • Knowing every story has a happily ever after.
  • Knowing that those who are gone will someday come back.
  • Letting go of the daily struggles by having an eternal perspective.
  • Knowing your atheist investigator is going to be baptized.
  • Knowing we are perfected only through His perfection.
  • What keeps us holding on.
  • Loving the Lord and His plans.
  • Knowing you can become who you want to be.
  • Being willing to make small sacrifices for a bigger price.
  • Understanding that there is no such thing as an end.

And my two favourites:
  • Not knowing all the twist and the turns, but knowing your journey is clear.
  • The reason I smile everyday.
I know I can sound dramatic about how hard things can be. But I seriously have never smiled so much in my entire life. I'm pretty sure Sis Tonnies thinks I'm a little crazy. I always look so mellow when I wake up, but the moment I'm done with the studies and sharing what I learned I just can't stop smiling! This week we stopped by Marla's house. She's one of our investigators and she is just way funny. She said something and I went to open my Bible to give her a reference. Then she says:

Marla: You're a hopeless romantic, aren't you?
Me: Uh, what?
Marla: Yes you are!!!! You glow whenever we talk about love!
Me: [I look helplessly over at Sister Tonnies and they are both laughing hysterically at me]

Marla's boyfriend walks in and he looks confused at why we're laughing. She summons him over and says, "This girl right here knows her Bible better than any preacher I know. And when she talks about love, she just lights up!" 

After our appointment I say to Sister Tonnies:
Me: Ooooook. We never talked about romance with her ever. And you talk way more about it at home.
Sister Tonnies: I may talk about it more, but you definitely show how much you love love.
Me: WHAT?!

Oh dear. Anyway, I realized that we had talked to Marla about love. But our last lesson I had talked to her about the pure love of Christ!!!!! And President Monson's general conference talk, "Love is the essence of the Gospel".

Then I realized, whatever glow she claims to see isn't because of love and romance. It's because I LOVE THE GOSPEL. I LOVE MY SAVIOUR. AND I LOVE TESTIFYING OF HIM. There was a couple times during the 1/3 of my mission where I was completely out of hope. I didn't know who I was anymore or what I was doing and didn't understand why I couldn't just look forward to things positively like I used to. In a desperate attempt I would study Hope in PMG, wishing it would help in some way. But studying it made me realize how much hope I used to have and showed how much I lost. And I didn't know how to gain it back. But if I were to sum up my 15 month experience thus far, HOPE is what I've been able to gain out of it. When I got sick all I could hold on to was the Saviour. Holding onto Him is what makes healing possible. No anxiety, no doubt, no sickness, no heart ache, no depression, no amount of rejection, fatigue, or sadness cant not be healed and overcome through hope in the Saviour's grace. He's the reason I'm still out here. He's the reason I'm capable of still pressing forward. And because I recognize it, I can't help but feel so darn happy inside. He's the reason I have a reason to smile everyday. That's the reason I go out every day: to share with the world that I know what His grace is and that there are so many precious and beautiful promises to look forward to. 

My favourite scripture on hope:
"Hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it". -- Romans 8:24-25

So yeah, I might not know all the twists and the turns. But I know my journey is clear.
Just to end this I wanted to share the song that that line comes from. All my companions will attest that every time I go to the bathroom, I sing "7 am the usual morning line up!" (When Will My Life Begin). I sang it because it was catchy. But in relations to hope, my song has changed. This is the song I sing ALL the time now:

So yeah. I don't know all the twist and the turns. But I know the Lord's promises. I know when we stay faithful, He fulfills them. That's why my journey is clear.

Anywhoooozers. Sorry I brought up love. That's next week's attribute ;)
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Be good. Stay obedient. Share the gospel. And just LOVE LOVE LOVE.
With more love than I know what to do with,
Sister Limas :)

2nd to last transfers' planner :)

We had to. 

We got to cook breakfast for lunch at the Clowards :D

Thanks for making my life fantastic.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Ready for more snippets? :)

1. Setting: Emailing last Monday.
Elder Flowers: My mom just told me I have 1 more Fast Sunday left.
Me: That's so weird.
Elder Flowers: Watch out. You only got 2 left.
Me: Stoooooop it.
#shutup #stoptryingtospreadthetrunky

2. Setting: About to go on exchanges.
Sister Scott: Guess what day it is today.
Me: Don't remind me.
Sister Scott: I counted how many days we have left!
Me: What? Why?
Sister Scott: SO CRAZY! This weather is messing me up. It feels like fall.
Me: I know right? Like, why am I wearing boots in the middle of August? You know what else is scary? I saw Halloween Candy at Walmart the other day. IT IS NOT OCTOBER YET!
#100daystogo #icantbelieveshedidthat #wearenottrunky #idontknowwhattimeisanymore

3. Trying to contact a guy we had tracted into the day before. His wife opens the door and we explain what we do and she says, "so....can I opt out of it?"
#no #justletusloveyou

4. Setting: See that we have two missed calls from our Zone Leaders. Then we receive a text saying...
Zone Leaders: Why does it feel hotter in humid places than not humid places. We need facts.
Us: [our attempt at a scientific answer]
Zone Leaders: Okay so why does humidity happen?
Us: I don't know. Its just a small trial God gives us! IS THIS WHY YOU CALLED US?!?!?! We are writers, not scientists.
Zone Leaders: You are missionaries...
Us: Thank you for stating the obvious.
#whatintheworld #ilovemymissionfriends

5. Baring testimony at people's doors and they interrupt you. "That's twice in less than 24 hrs!"
#ijustwantyoutofeelthespirit #iguesstwiceisnttoobad

6. Weekly planning at the small town coffee shop and the workers start talking about ModCloth.
#weneedtobefriends #wewillteachyouthegospel #iallofasuddenmissmyfriendsinTO

7. Sitting in Relief Society and the teacher says, "today we are going to talk about Celestial Marriage". I start giggling and shaking my head, and glance over at my companion and see that she's giggling too.
#compunity #ilovemycompanion #stopremindingusofthefuture

8. Eating lunch on exchanges and your STL says, "for a Filipino, you don't eat much food."

9. Tracting in the rain during exchanges and having so much fun you don't realize 3.5 hours have passed.
#missionaryfun #allgodsgrace

10. Setting: Happy Hour at Arby's. District Manager, Mike Copsy, starts asking us these funny questions that he likes to post on Facebook:
Mike Copsy: Have you ever wondered why Lawyers get debarred? Or why Ministers get defrocked? Or why painters get...
Me: Here, now I have some questions for you. These are called the questions of the soul.
#icanbejustaswhittyasyou #heresabookofmormon #taughttherestorationoverthecounter #WIN #onedayyouwillbemormon

11. Setting: At our apartment complex and our neighbor Tara summons us over.
Tara: So why do you guys have to back each other? Is that part of your religion?
Us: Haha no, its just a mission rule.
Tara: So....what do you guys believe?
[after much talking]
Tara: I want to change my life. I had a feeling I needed to talk to you guys because you know God.
#goldeninvestigator #shekeepscommitments #miraclefairytale

12. Tracting in the rain and hoping for a miracle. Girl named Priscilla lets us in and we teach the Restoration. Her response: "My sister just became a Jehovah's Witness. She knocks on doors too and says that people are really mean to her. So when I saw you I thought I should let you in. The coincidence is that me and my best friend are actually looking for a home church to go to".
#nocoincidences #godknowswhathesdoing #thelordstimingisperfect​

Well, that was a sum up of my week! Heavenly Father is great!

So, something interesting happened during exchanges. Sis Johnson came with me to Charleston. When we got back to the apartment, the first thing she wanted was a tour. I brought her into the study room and the first thing that catches her eye is my photo scrapbook. She starts flipping through the pages and simultaneously looking at the photos on my wall as well. Then the following conversation happens:

Sister Johnson: wow you have such a great life! Your family, your groups of friends, all the events. It looks like so much fun!
Me: life was pretty fantastic.

She then asks me something, and I tried to make my answer as short as possible. Then she looks back at my wall and says,

"You know, by looking at all these photos, you can really see how you've let your joy and gratitude for life continue on the mission."

At first I was standing there thinking "ECUMEH, why are you analyzing my life for?" But as she was saying this, I couldn't help but feel a huge amount of gratitude. When she said, "you have such a great life", I was kinda taken a back.

Over the past couple months or so, anything and everything mentioned about "home" stressed me out so bad since home is just around the corner. And there is a handful of you that I've complained to and have pretty much said, "gah. I don't even want to think about home and what I'm going to do with my life. It stresses me out too much." It's been a while since I've looked through my photo book. And the pictures on my wall are on the wall my back faces to when I study, so I never look at it. But while Sister Johnson and I were looking through my photos, I couldn't help but feel this huge amount of love and gratitude. I almost feel like I've forgotten how great and blessed my life was back home because all thoughts of "home" are just put into the back of my mind right now. And I just want to apologize for saying those things. Being in a new area and reflecting on my mission life, I feel so much gratitude for learning and experiencing the things I have. But I've also been feeling super excited for the surprises Heavenly Father has in store for my future. So I'm really sorry if I've had such a bad attitude about home the past couple of months. I promise, now I'm more excited than anything else. And I'm really grateful for that tender mercy of Sis Johnson making that comment. Because it reminded me that "heck yeah, my life was fantastic back home!" I just want you guys to know how grateful and how blessed I feel that you are all in my life and have been huge examples to me; examples that have prepared me to be out here. I know the mission life would have been completely different if I didn't have the things I've learned from all of you. If I could write every single person in my life a "thank you" card, I would. To anyone this email is forwarded to/reads this on my blog: thank you for being in my life and for letting me learn from you. And to those 10 individuals I specifically send this weekly email to every Monday (you know who you are ;D): Thank you for making my life fantastic :) You are the people that make the majority of my photo book. And I want you to know how blessed I feel to have you be the majority of my life as well.

Home life was fantastic.
Mission life has been a blast.
My life in general is a wonderful and joyous one.
I say to Heavenly Father, in the words of Joseph Smith to Newel K. Whitney, "thou art the man!". Heavenly Father is too great. He is perfect. I feel absolutely spoiled.

Anyway, last week's Christ-like attribute was Diligence! Here we go:

Diligence is...

  • The enduring part of "enduring to the end".
  • An expression of my love for the Lord and His work.
  • Knowing what you're supposed to do, and doing it.
  • Working hard even when no one is watching.
  • When you keep going when all that's pushing you is thinking that you can.
  • Wanting an action-packed experience.
  • Putting aside yourself for what's right.
  • Choosing to step out that door even though you don't know where the Spirit is going to lead you.
  • Choosing to live the gospel every single day.
  • Understanding its the little things every day, not the big things every once in a while.
  • Continuing to fight the fight no matter what stands in your way.
  • An act of working towards what your heart hopes for.
  • Staying true to yourself despite your surroundings.
  • Letting the Lord's trust be your motivation.
  • Having the faith to never let go.
  • Tracting no matter what the weather is.
  • Choosing to open your heart to everything and everyone that comes your way.
  • Knowing there is good in this world and its worth fighting for.

And my two favourites:

  • Letting 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] be the theme for life.
  • Having a "just keep swimming" attitude.

Yeeeeeeuh, Finding Nemo for the win! Diligence and me are always fighting with each other. Scriptures say, "don't run faster than you have strength", but they also say, " do all things in the strength of the Lord", and so I'm always like WHERE IS THE HAPPY MEDIAN?!?!?!?! But what I have learned about being diligent is basically just keeping on keeping on with a happy heart. When I think about the Atonement and the reason why the Saviour sacrificed Himself for us, I can't not get out there and work. And yeah, the work gets hard. Things get frustrating and sometimes its super tempting to have a sour attitude. But I've come to learn that its the joy the Saviour brings me that makes everything A-OK! In the words of Bro Hawk, "we know the final outcome of the game. We know that no matter how bad things might be, at some point there will be a turn around." And there will always be a turn around. When we choose to be on the Lord's side, life will always be wonderful! No matter what happens. We just gotta keep fighting for Him. Afterall, He's fought the fight for us. His power is real. It moves me until I will not be still.

Anyways, I LOVE YOU!
Hope you all have a fantabulous week!
Sister Limas

Nancy Tomasino, one of my recent converts from Paris, took us out to dinner!

Exchanges :)

Sister Johnson: Aww, you look like "Sister Limas--the Missionary Explorer!"

Be brave enough to surrender.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hey all!
I'm going to give you a little snippit of what mission life has been this week:

1. Setting: Trying to BRT (build a relationship of trust) with a new investigator.
Mike: What is this? Christian Mingle?
Me: What? How are we supposed to get to know you if we don't ask you questions?
Mike: Ok, well I like working out....
Me: *facepalm - thank goodness you're kinda blind and can't see my face expression right now*
Mike: *continues talking about himself*. So what does your Christian Mingle profile say?
Me: Missioanry. Unavailable. Not happening.
#stopflirting #nothankyou #wheredidthespiritgo

 2. Trying to contact an investigator and the neighborhood boys start going, "heyyy ladies".
Initial response: "Ouuu people want to talk to us! Yay!"
Realization: They are boys. They are flirting. Walk away.
#sistermissionaryproblems #beingagirlishard

3. Trying to contact a potential investigator and no one will open the door, but you can hear their conversation behind the door:
Man: Tell them to go home!
Boy: Its church people!
Girl: Just look out the window and make a funny face at them.
Kid: *looks out window* There's a girl and a boy!
Man: Just tell them to go home!
Kid: I have an idea! Lets get the waterguns!
#idareyou #getatme #rejectionatitsfinest

4. Having a frist real lesson with an investigator at the park and then he says, "So what do I need to do to get baptized?"
#golden #flockingtothefont

5. Setting: Waiting for our food at McDonalds; one of the younger workers start talking to us:
Shannon: You girls look cute!
Us: Thanks!
Shannon: I've seen you around before. Do you go knocking on doors?
Us: Yes!
Shannon: I think I saw you knocking near my house as I was leaving for work. You should stop by some time!
#noeffortwasted #blessingsfallingintolap

6. Setting: Happy Hour break at Arby's.
Manager tells us about his family history work and asks us a bunch of questions and then says, "well, I'm here during Happy Hour, Mondays through Fridays. Come by and we'll talk more."
#spiritofelijah #fastfoodsuccessapparently

7. Setting: Leaving the library at the church after photocopying records.
Me: Gimme the car keys.
Sister Tonnies: I have no problem with that. I hate driving.
#perfectreverse #perfectparking #givememylicensealready

8. Setting: Combined Zone Conference
Elder Erickson: Elder Bae, did you know Sister Limas and Sister Vilignia are sisters?
Elder Bae: No they aren't.
Me: Yeah we are. Don't you remember my blessing? My middle name is Tongan.
Elder Bae: So...?
Me: So we're related.
Elder Bae: That doesn't mean anything.
Sister Vilignia: Wow, you sound a lot like me.
Me: No wonder Sister Ash called us airheads.
9. Setting: Catching up with trainee #1, Sister Fernandez.
Sis Fernandez: For my dying wish, I've decided I'm going to ask President Morgan if I can train in Paris my last two transfers.
Me: What? I have two transfers left and I haven't even thought about a death wish yet!
#igohomebeforeyou #allgrownup

​10. Setting: Morning run.
Me: So being a missionary makes me feel like a warrior. Like, I'm tired and exhausted, but there's still more fighting to do.
Sister Tonnies: Well, we are the army of Healaman right now.
Me: Right. But at the same time...I feel like a princess. The longer I'm out as a missionary and realize Heavenly Father's plan for me, and then realize it for others, I can't help but feel so happy. Doesn't matter how tired I am. My heart is just so happy and can't stop smiling.
Sister Tonnies: True words.
Me: So basically, Xena: Warrior Princess?
Sister Tonnies: YESSSSSSS.​
#companionshipunity #specialspirits #ilovemycalling

​11. Setting: Setting up an appointment with a potential investigator:
Me: Hey! How are you?
Him: Stressed.
Me: Err...why?
Him: Because I lost my wallet.
Me: Have you prayed to find it?
Me: Ok, let's pray then.
Him: Err...ok?

At next appointment:
Me: So did you find your wallet?
Him: Ha, yeah. It's funny. I usually put my wallet in the same place. Me and my brother both checked there twice and couldn't find it. But after we prayed I checked there again, and it was there. It's so weird. It's like there's a ghost in the house.
Me: Orrrrrr Heavenly Father is trying to tell you that prayer works.
#inyourface #miracles #whew

12. Setting: One of my investigators from Paris (who is now a recent convert), AJ Scheiner, came out to Charleston to take my companion and I out to dinner. Then he says the following sentences:
"Sister Limas, it was so hard. We were fighting all the time. And so I prayed and told Heavenly Father, 'its in your hands now'." &
"We thank Thee for Jesus Christ and His Atonement and we ask that you help us help others see how wonderful it is" &
"I don't know what happened. Out of nowhere I always get super emotional when I talk about the gospel. You know you're Mormon when..."
#theatonementisreal #thegospelchangespeople

I had to hashtag it:) Our zone is doing this thing called "Epistles" where we send a text about something that happened in our day, and then the zone leaders pick top 5 for the week. Its basically Twitter - Missionary Style. I hate Twitter. So I guess I'm practicing haha. 

But yeah! This week has been the bomb! We had one day where both me and my companion were both so emotionally drained. It was awful. Gah. But like I said above, no matter how tired I get in this battle, I can't help but smile. I don't even know how to explain it. I'm surprised my face doesn't hurt from smiling so much hahaha.

So this week's Christ-like Attribute we studies was Humility. Here you go:

Humility is...

  • Listening.
  • A choice.
  • Choosing to let go and let God.
  • Recognizing you don't know everything.
  • Trusting that God has a plan, even if you don't know what it is.
  • Being happy in any circumstance.
  • Giving way so the Lord can work His magic.
  • When you seek for answers from prayers instead of verification from prayers.
  • Having a "Thy will be done" attitude.
  • Having enough confidence to let go of what you think should happen.
  • Not needing anyone's approval, except for God's.
  • Having a repentant heart and a hopeful spirit.
  • Seeing the glory in all of God's creations.
  • Choosing to see the beauty even when the storm is raging.
  • Seeking to understand, but not needing to.
  • Giving our whole heart to the Lord.
  • Knowing broken things can become blessed things if we let God do the fixing.
  • Being able to honestly say, "Come what may".
  • Doing what the Lord asks even when you don't know why
  • Being able to admit you might be wrong, but never letting go of what you know is right.
  • Trying to love like Christ does even if it means getting hurt.
  • Standing up for what's right even if its not the popular choice.
  • Being willing to look past the temporal and love the eternal.
  • Choosing to bear your testimony no matter what the circumstance.
  • Recognizing that you are a current bush even when you want to be a tree.
  • Allowing the Spirit to lead you through the unknown.
  • When who you are and what you have is enough.
  • Choosing to love the sacrifices.
  • Believing that all things are for your good.
  • Depending on the Lord as your ultimate source of strength.
  • When you see God's hand in everything.
  • Putting others before yourself.
  • Accepting that everyone is different and being ok with it.
  • Waiting cheerfully upon the Lord.
  • Giving your whole heart even when you know its going to get hurt.
  • Letting every experience be a learning experience.
  • Trusting that when you step into the dark of the unknown, the Lord is going to take you by the hand and leads you through it.
  • Remembering we are all on the same boat.
  • Allowing others to help you carry your cross.
  • Seeing how weak you are but not being discouraged by it.
  • Not knowing what the lesson plan is, but trusting the Spirit will speak when you open your mouth.
  • Knowing that even when you think you're winging it, God is directing it.
  • Being able to laugh at yourself.
  • Being able to take correction and allowing the Lord to chastize you.

And my three favourites:

  • The best way to express love.
  • Being brave enough to surrender.
  • Recognizing when its time to hand it over to the Lord.

Here's why those 3 are my favourites.

When it comes to love, you seriously have to forget about yourself. Love isn't about you. It's about the other person. And that's something every missionary has to learn. Otherwise, miracles wouldn't happen.

I guess the last two go hand in hand.
This week we had zone conference and one of the Elders' put up his hand and said, "so what do you do when you can't carry your cross anymore? What if it's too hard". This sweet, shy sister put up her hand and said, "you hand it over to the Lord and say, 'here, take it. I can't do it anymore'. Then you trust that He will. And He will because it's happened to me". I wrote that i my journal that night because that was just a huge reminder to me. There have been countless times where I have told Heavenly Father, "take it. I don't want to carry this anymore. It's in your hands."

Have any of you seen the missionary teabag trick?
I empty a teabag and say, "pretend this is all your worries, sorrows, trials, etc. We're dumping it out and giving it to the Lord". Then I put the teabag on the person's hand and ask them to hold completely still. Then I ask if they trust me. Then I light it on fire. The fire slowly starts burning away the teabag. The fire gets closer and closer to the person's hand. Some people start to flinch because its getting super hot. But right when the fire is about to burn the person's hand, the teabag lifts into the air. Most people's reactions are like, "whew that was close".

When it comes to trusting in the Lord, yeah, sometimes we don't know what we're getting ourselves into. Sometimes we just gotta say, "ok Heavenly Father, I'm trusting you". And sometimes when we finally muster enough courage to make the surrender, things STILL don't seem like they are going to work out. Sometimes we think, "gah what did I do?!" BUT Heavenly Father always, always, ALWAYS lifts us up right before we get burned.

The unknown is scary. But what have you got to lose if you're handing it over to the Lord? Just remember, "when you're down to nothing, God's up to something."

I'm going to end this with my favourite scripture. I share this with almost everyone I meet while contacting:

" And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." --Mosiah 24:13-14

​I share that scripture with people on the street time after time because I am a witness ​of that.  He doesn't take away the circumstances we are in. But He helps you lift the load. The Lord lifts the burdens. If He didn't, our hearts wouldn't have reason to rejoice. I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Anywhooooozers! I'm stoked for this week. I don't really know how I feel about exchanges this week. I'm staying in my area. #stillanoob #seniorcompanionproblems
​Have a tremendously awesome week!
See ya in 3!
Sister Limas​

Dinner with AJ :)
Sister Vilignia!!! No but really, we're sisters.

Owning those country roads.

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