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"Love is your strength"

Monday, September 15, 2014

This week has been cray-cray! I don't even really know what to tell all of you haha. Life as an STL is freaking busy. I barely have time to write in my journal at night. I think that's the only part that's stressing me out now haha because it's the only way I'm able to release and relax and remember anything anymore because so much goes on. So the fact that I don't have time to do it drives me nuts!

Monday night was really hard. I was up in the early hours of Tuesday morning, cringing. Way back when, my district leader, Elder Williams, had told me that when that happens I just need to get up and read my scriptures. Which I did. Receiving revelation and chastisement at 3:43am is like no other, I'll tell you that :p

Tuesday I got to go to the YSA area (covers two zones/stakes!) and be on exchanges with Sister Sperry. I just had a HOOT with her! We have a lot of the same interests, so we got pretty excited about that. They had a lot of appointments set up, so it was pretty much running from one to another, which was FAB. She is just the cutest ball of fun! At one point she was like:

Sperry: Yeah, Sister Bailey and I made it a goal to take pictures with all the cakes.
Me: Err...do you go into bakeries a lot?
Sperry: You look lost. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Me: No...
Sperry: It's the cakes for St Louis' 250th bday!

A St Louis 250 Cake!!! :D 

HA HA HA! So there are like 250 cakes all around the St Louis area and people have fun taking pictures with them and collecting them all! We were driving around a sketchy neighborhood and found one. I got so stinking excited! Oh, here's another convo:

Exchanges with Sister Sperry :)
Sperry: Pray for the car. I'm pretty sure this is a no-sisters area. It's really dangerous.
Me: Really? This reminds me of home.

That was super funny. It was such a tender mercy to be in the city!!!! I get a little too excited seeing the city lights and the freeways and seeing public transportation and seeing shops upon shops with no end. 

And because I was with a YSA Sister, we got to see...YES, YSA!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!! Oh my lanta, I didn't realize how much I missed being around the YSA. We had a less active lesson with girl named Kellie Little, and had Julie Humphries, one of the active YSA, to come with us. Oh man, I was dying. Julie is a riot. She served a mission in Chile, graduated from BYU, and was doing graduate stuff here in St Louis. Kellie is 20, lives on her own, and has a preeeeetty sweet lookin' apartment for a student. Quote of the night: "I came out of the womb wreaking in awkwardness". Oh yes. I love YSA. Being with the two of them calmed my nerves a whole lot. I realized that I'm young and still have tons of time to accomplish the things I want to, even before I hit 25. Oh the tender mercies of being with successful YSA.

With the YSA Sisters: Sister Sperry & Sister Bailey!
Wednesday was just weird. We exchanged back and had less than 24 hrs to work our area before we had to go on exchanges again. Exchanges drain the energy out of me. They always have. And now I do 5 of them in a transfer instead of only 1 haha. I'm not complaining though. My point was, Sister Webster and I were so out of it. I couldn't think straight and it was really frustrating me that I still didn't know what this area needed. We requested blessings from our district leader that night. 

It was definitely a "trust-your-Priesthood-holder" type moment, yet again. I love my district leader and everything, but he gets super frustrated easily and is always so mad about how difficult our areas are. At first I was going to get Bro. McDermott to give me the blessing (one of the members in the ward here that have honestly become one of my best friends. HAHA. He's 42 and has ADD and is the funniest person I have ever met). Anyway, I let my district leader do it. And I'm glad I did and just trusted him because it was one of the most comforting blessings I've gotten. My favourite part about blessings is when the Priesthood holder takes pauses. Why? Because that's when I know they are really seeking for what the Lord wants them to say. Two comforting lines that got to me:

1. "Love is your strength. Teach and council the sisters how to love."

2. "The council you give is Heavenly Father's will and is what they need to hear."

That just brought a lot of comfort because it told me that Heavenly Father trusted what I had been counseling and advising the Sisters on, and that He already trusts what I will counsel and advise them on. As for love...that's something a lot of people tell me, but I never take much thought about it because all I can think is, "you don't really know what my heart is like". But to hear from Heavenly Father that love is my strength and that I can teach others how to love was definitely a startler. Especially the teaching others part. 

So I love Priesthood blessings because the next morning I was just so excited for the day! I went on exchanges with Sister Oberfield. That Sister is a powerhouse. She is so close to the Spirit and it is manifest by how confident she is when she speaks and teaches. Loooove it! And we had such a deep comp study. Man, I love deep comp studies. They are the best! She is a huge example of someone who puts her whole heart into all that she does. 

Lesson learned this week: I can do this and I've been prepared. 
Counseling and advising the Sisters is most definitely what I was most nervous about. But as I've been going on exchanges and getting to know the Sisters, it really isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. The Spirit can't draw from an empty well. As I've had to counsel, advise, train, correct (gah that's the scariest one for me!), and uplift these Sisters, I realized that the Spirit was only able to help with it all because my well isn't empty. Heavenly Father has let me experience what I had on mission so that I would be prepared to help these Sisters out. I used to think that I'd have to come up with some genius thing to tell these Sisters about how to fix their concerns and issues. But I don't. The Spirit just helps me remember what has helped me through my mission, and all I have to do is open my mouth and share it. 

I know what it's like to be on the receiving end. I know what qualities I loved in my past STLs. I also know which qualities I wish they did have.  I've been lucky enough to have Sisters that were actually excited to have me be their STL (oh whew). That's a blessing in itself because most Sisters don't like their STLs or exchanges. I know because I've been one of those Sisters. But as my love for the work has grown, my feelings towards it has softened.  And I'm grateful I have the opportunity to be someone my Sisters feel comfortable turning to and opening up to, and also feel like any correction that is given is out of complete and utter love for them and their well-being. 

I'm closing with lyrics!

I stand in holy places, protected from the storm.
Anchor safe in harbour, though my sails are ripped and worn.
I stand in holy places, and I will not move
Until the Lord has come and says, "well done",
He is the hope I hold on to.

Standing in holy places means to lift where you stand. Love where you stand.

See you in 9!
MUCHO LOVE (with more love than I know what to do with)
Sister Limas :)

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