"This is the Lord's work. Let Him do some of it."

Monday, October 27, 2014

That is a quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks; and is a quote that I have tried to live from the beginning of my mission. I share it with you now because of the crazy experiences we've had this week! You ready?

#1. "Yeah, you're really hot."
Literally. I got sick this week; and for the first time on my mission--a fever--ALL DURING EXCHANGES. Oh my lanta. It was like a nightmare coming true. Remember my rant of worries of becoming an STL and not being able to do it because of how often I get sick due to fatigue? Yea...OK. It just happened. I was with Sister Koffard in Crystal City when it all started, and when I went on exchanges with Sister Gunter it got a ton worse. Longest 30 minutes of tracting of my life! Haha. But as bad as the sickness was, I just had an absolute blast. I got to bond with my grand-baby, Sister Gunter :D How I was able to function and teach and talk? No clue. That was definitely not my own strength. I bare solid witness of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Time after time, despite my physical weaknesses, I've been able to teach, testify, and work. Jacob 4:7 describes exactly what I'm trying to say: 
"Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." 
This has been SO TRUE for me countless amount of times on my mission and I am extremely grateful for that knowledge. Every time I let out a breath of frustration of my physical, emotional, and mental weaknesses, Heavenly Father always kindly reminds me its so that I have that constant renewed witness that the enabling power of the Atonement is real. So yeah, I was hot. But the Spirit of God is a fire burning! This is His work.

#2. "It's my job to chase you away."
What the freak lady! Right after the ex-communicated anti-Mormons, that lady tenant was probably the meanest anyone has ever been to me my whole mission ( & its been a blessing to not have so many:)) We were just dropping off an invitation and note to a couple of our potential investigators living in the same complex and she cornered us and totally chewed us out for "soliciting". Gah. Whatever, lady. God loves you too. Anyway, that happened on Saturday...which was one of the most discouraging days ever existent! least that's what satan tried to make it be. We were receiving one bad news after another! One of our investigators texted us in the morning telling us her parents didn't think she was ready for baptism; another one of our investigators said that he no longer wants to meet with us because the Father of his mom's Episcopalian church invited him to come back to their church; another investigator texted and said she knew the church was true but was having an over-whelming feeling to back off; a potential hung up on us when we told him we were outside for our appointment; another investigator cancelled on us and the Priesthood holders we brought after we showed up; and when we went to reschedule with one of our investigators we caught her in the middle of a moment with her boyfriend....oh gross. That pretty much threw everything out the door. It made me so sick to my stomach. BUT despite all this that satan was trying to discourage us with, it didn't weigh so heavily. The Lord lifts burdens. All the GOOD that happened that day wins a ton more points than any bad can. This is His work.

#3. Be bold with the Lord.
So it's Saturday night and we are planning for Sunday. We get to # of new investigators and I kept my mouth shut. I had a feeling that 3 would be a great goal. But I let my natural woman doubt and rethink it over because of how slim finding has been for us lately. Sister Huppi interrupts my thoughts and says, "1? 2? 3? 2?". I jump in and say, "3. I don't know how or why, but we are going to find 3 new investigators tomorrow". Sunday approaches and I feel slightly jittery for what the day was going to bring. But beginning at 6:30am, we prayed to the Lord with bold faith, pleading that we would find 3 new investigators. 

Right after church we decided to go across the street to Trish Hubbard, a lady we had street contacted the week before. We ended up sitting on the sidewalk with her and as we talked she started to open up and cry. We introduced her to the Plan of Salvation. Her kids joined us on the sidewalk and asked a ton of questions. It was so great!!! Trish agreed to meet up with us to give her a church tour and teach her more! There goes miracle numero uno! :) 

Next we drove over to Patricia's. She didn't come to church and her phone was disconnected...which made us super worried. We get to her place and her boyfriend, Steven, is standing outside. YEEEEEEEUS!!! He is never home and we've been wanting to start teaching him for quite some time. We told him we wanted him to come join us. We all talked on the porch and got to know each other, and then the inspired questions started coming. We are teaching them as a couple (FINALLY) next week. There goes miracle numero dos!! :) 

We had a couple of appointments right after, but every single prayer we said was in thanks for finding two and still continuous pleading that we would find one more. Being busy as we are as STLs, we almost never get our full 3 hrs of weekly planning done in one sitting. It was 7:30pm and we were ready to go home to make some goals for the upcoming week. But we decided to do one last stop. Charles was a media referral that we've been trying to contact over the last couple of weeks, but we just haven't been able to catch him. We've met his roommate multiple times, who was less than happy to see us keep appearing. But I was like "let's just drop this Book of Mormon off for Charles, then we'll head home." Well, guess what. Charles came to the door and BOY, DID OUR FACES SHOW OUR GLADNESS. He is quite the happy guy. We stood on his porch talking and he says, "I want to know why you guys do what you do. No one leaves everything behind to go out and talk to strangers. And you're all so happy! I see the Elders on the street a lot. And I drive by the temple everyday. It always reminds me of you missionaries and I just want to know what is the driving force behind all of it." We bore testimony of the blessings of the Gospel. We taught him about the Book of Mormon. He is super stoked to meet with us. CHYEAHHHH. There goes miracle numero tres!!! :) 

AH! THE LORD IS SO WONDERFUL. Sunday's experience definitely strengthened my testimony of the Lord's power in this work and the importance of following the Spirit, despite how small of a whisper the direction is. It was a great reminder to me for a bunch of other things I've been pondering about [I shouldn't turn away the small whisper. I shouldn't let worries overcome that calm peaceful feeling.] THIS IS HIS WORK, GUYS!

"THIS IS THE LORD'S WORK. LET HIM DO SOME OF IT." If anything, this week has been a huge testimony to me of the truth of that statement. All I do is work. None of these miracles happen because of what I do. None of these people are converted because of what I say. It's all the Spirit. The Lord works the miracles even before we get to them. All we do is be obedient and follow. NBD. 

Oh and I just want to add this because it brought me great excitement this week...JACOB CHAPTER 5, GUYS! Oh my laaaaaanta! Let me just share what I wrote in my journal that night because my MIND was definitely =BLOWN!

"First of all...I had an AMAZING study this morning! I just remember feeling slightly discouraged this morning because of...well--you know. I studied first and my prayer was quite long. i just wanted Heavenly Father to know what my desires were and that I really did want my will aligned with His. I open up my BoM and of course I'm on Jacob 5...longest chapter ever. At first I was like 'aw man, what am i going to get out of it this time.' Normally I think way to hard about the allegory. It hurts my brain. I learn about the gathering of Israel and about covenants, but I still try so hard to understand everything about this chapter. It almost becomes a chore. But for ONCE in my life, the Allegory of the Olive Tree applied to me and my situation! Boy, was I edified! It was pretty much about the 'Creative Process' (refer to Elder Hales' talk 'Every Good Gift'); goals; conversion; the Atonement; decisions; refinement; agency; holding on just a little longer; patience; staying anxiously engaged; beware of self-righteousness...oh it was AWESOME! I didn't get any detailed answers, but I felt like i got instruction as to how I need to deal with things, especially when I get home. And of course as I'm sharing and explaining my thoughts to Sister Huppi, I heard more stuff of what I needed to hear (the Spirit is so great!)."

​Seriously, guys. Jacob chapter 5. It is the bomb. I wish you could see my Book of Mormon. It is craaaaazy filled with notes. Anyway....sorry, that was like super exciting for me. Who knew I could get so much personal stuff out of that allegory?!?! 

I hope you all have a fan-tab week!
See you in 3 ;D

I've been neglecting my "home-prep" real bad, its stressing me out. There's so much good work happening I don't have time to think about home (which is FANTASTIC!) But that puts my temple-trip and highlight entry and everything else on pause....which isn't good. I'm pretty sure I'm stressing the APs out for not getting on it for the temple because they still have to find someone to go with me. Ayaaa. Just pray I get this stuff done.

Oh, and President sent me this this morning in response to me asking for permission to apply to school: "Yes you may apply for school. What if I don't let you go home because you are doing such a good job here. You know I couldn't stop you, but know also that we will miss you a lot."

Dang it. Now I am in tears. I feel like he just finalized my death sentence. GAAAAH. I still have 3 weeks of good stuff to do. The killin' ain't happening yet!!!

Sister Limas

Fake St Louis Cake!
Me and my grand-baby, Sister Gunter, after exchanges :)

Miracle Madness

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hey hey famjam! I will apologize now if I don't respond to anyone's email today. I am short on time and only have time for the mass email...BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY MIRACLES TO TELL YOU ABOUT! Oh liiiiiife :)

I would love to tell you the detail of each miracle, but to sum it up, I will quote some of my investigators/lessactive, and hopefully you'll understand:

"Yea, I prayed about being baptized. At first I felt weird about it because I've already been baptized, ya know? But as I was praying I felt really good and I knew this is what God wants me to do."
--Nicole Amelung

"Can I know what day I'm being baptized on now? Pleaaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeee?!?!?!"
--Ciara Kerpernien

"Being baptized is definitely something I need to do. I know I need to get married to Steven and I need to stop smoking."
--Patricia Diehlschneider

"I thought about what you said about coffee and tea. I can give it up. I will just drink hot chocolate in the morning and find some herbal tea the next time I go to the store."
--Patricia Diehlschneider

"I read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and highlighted my favorite line, 'The Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth'. That's so cool!"
--Ciara Kerpernien

"Yes I read the chapter you told me to read. It was about Jesus Christ being with the people and about baptism. I felt so good and so at peace when reading it. It really helps me feel better throughout the day".
--Nicole Amelung

Mark Rode: I don't know if I want to come to church this Sunday. Hearing people be closed minded and say 'This is the only true church' turns me off.
Me: No, Mark. You need to come to church. Look back at verse 38 (of Alma 32).
Mark Rode: So if I don't come that will make me lose the faith instead of build it. Which is what I want. Ok I'm coming to church then.

​"You know, when the Sisters used to come I would be joking and fooling around like a class clown. They would show me a couple videos, but that's about it. It's like I was postponing ​any messages they wanted to give me. And now I realize that it was because I wasn't ready to make a change. I am so happy you encouraged me to talk to the Bishop because I've never felt lighter in my life. And now I'm seeking for more change. I'm wanting to understand the scriptures."
--Teena LaRoue

Yeah, this week has been SO INSANE!
...back-to-back exchanges, seeking members for lessons, doing mission prep for a YW, intensive planning, prepping a training for the zone, planning a surprise party...OH BOY. It has been a whirl! By the time Friday rolled in and we had exchanged back, Sis Huppi was like, "Sister Limas, I don't even know you. We haven't spent any time getting to know each other!" Hahaha. And it's so true. I've known Sister Huppi since she got out, but this was really the only time we've been given the chance to work with each other. But with all the busy-ness, we just haven't been able to take the time to get to know each other personally. 

Saturday comes a long and right after comp study I say, "it is such a HUGE test of my faith when we don't have any set appointments!!" Haha, I am so grateful for Sister Huppi. She says, "we can do this. We're going to find people!"

AND WE DIIIID :) Man, I don't even know where the day went. We talked to some pretty cool people and had a couple three return-appointments. Here is one cool experience that really fortifies my testimony that the Lord is preparing people and putting them in our path. Literally.

So we are on our way to visit Nicole. We are like 3 minutes away and she calls and cancels on us because she isn't feeling well. Sis Huppi asks me if we should turn around. I say "no, let's just go. We were going to visit that less-active that lives in her apartment complex." And of course, the less-active isn't home. We're walking back to our car and bump into this girl throwing out trash. We start talking to her and, yep, 1 NEW INVESTIGATOR, BABY--teaching by the dumpster like a boss. Her name is Kylie. She's 13 and loves God. A LOT. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was so fascinated by it!! We get to see her again this week with her mom and sister!! Woo!

So why I tell you all of this is a) because you need to know that I know that God works miracles EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. He loves His children too much to not to. And b) so you have a little background of what I'm about to tell you next.

For some reason, I felt such a huge burden on my shoulders all of Sunday morning and all throughout church. I was looking forward to taking the Sacrament and listening to the Primary Program and was hoping that would make me feel better. Don't get me wrong, church was inspiring. I loved the program and gospel principles and our unique lesson during relief society, but my mind was so clouded and I wasn't completely all there. 

We got home from church to do studies. I went to the bathroom and when I came out Sister Huppi was praying. I just thought to myself, "I need to do that right now". I've come to learn to just take in deep breaths when I'm feeling the stress and strain. I guess Sis Huppi caught on because she turns to me and says, "are you ok?" 

Normally, I'm too prideful and say, "yeah I'm fine! I'm just..." and quickly brush off what's bothering me. But as Sister Huppi asked me this, I couldn't answer. I just took a deep breath and said, "Yeah...I'm just struggling right now". I don't think anyone gets how much it takes to get the word "struggling" out of my mouth. I always refuse to say it and give in to my weaknesses. She sits me down and asks, "what's up?" And I say, "that's the thing!!! I don't know!!!! It's just been such a weird day." And of course, my voice is now starting to tremble.

I don't really know why I'm explaining this to you. People always tell you that the mission is difficult. But it isn't until you are on one when you realize what plays into that difficulty. Anyway, I'm super grateful for Sister Huppi because she patiently waited as I was trying to muster up the courage to tell her what was wrong. Mind you--I actually didn't know what was wrong. But opening your mouth and just talking definitely helps you realize what is actually bugging you. So my rant went along the lines of the following (and please, you really don't have to read the fine print. I'm just doing it so you see the contrast point of something I'm going to bring up after):

"Ughhh...well I woke up feeling super weird this morning. Heartbroken almost. And then while I was getting ready all these worries were just filling my head and engulfing me. Like I've been doing so well this week not thinking about stuff, and then all of a sudden I felt like it just weighed on me today. And then while I was praying I felt so distant from Heavenly Father. And then I flipped through my journal and read some of my entries from last transfer. I realized there were some experiences that brought me peace but I completely forgot about. So it was a blessing to be reminded of it, but then I realized because we've been so busy I haven't been recording our experiences this transfer and now I'm not going to remember any of them when I go home! And the Spirit keeps prompting me to read my patriarchal blessing and I've been putting it off for weeks! So I said ok I'm going to repent and read it now. But when I pulled out my folder, a bunch of paper falls out and that letter fell into my lap...the exact thing I've been AVOIDING all week. I was fighting the temptation so hard in the shower today to not read it, but then there it was in front of me. So I figured Heavenly Father's saying now is the time to read it. And I did. And I felt so at peace about everything. I felt the Spirit as I read it. But then Patricia and Nicole said they couldn't make it to church which of course adds to the heartbreak!! Like we worked so hard to find them rides! And then the Glen Carbon sisters texted and said Eric wasn't getting baptized today, and that threw my emotions completely off the boat. AND I DONT EVEN KNOW THE KID! He's your investigator! But I just felt so defeated hearing that he wasn't getting baptized. And then the primary kids singing that song just made me miss my family so much! And I have never admitted out loud how much I actually miss them. And then Mark and Ciara didn't come to church! And I don't even know why I"m crying right now but it 's just one thing after another and I just feel so weighed down right now!"

THANK GOODNESS for Sister Huppi, because right after my rant she told me she was struggling today too. Gah, see communication is so key, and I'm so glad that we've established to be open with each other. Sister Huppi is a ROCK. I have always looked at her as such and have always admired that. She shared some things with me and I'm sitting there getting more emotional because I realized why Heavenly Father put us together. She gets it. Emotionally, she gets what I'm going through. And that's because we had similar experiences. And I am just so grateful I am with her because she's showing me that I'm not alone and that even though we're strong and focused, there are times it's going to haunt us. I can't even express how grateful I am for her. She then shared a scripture with me that she shared at her farewell. It was the story of Aaron teaching Lamoni's father. Important thing she taught me:

"O God...if there is a God, and if thou art God; wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my [ FEARS ] to know thee". 

She talked about how giving away our sins to know God is one thing, but giving away our fears to know Him takes our faith to the next level. 

I then shared D&C 62 with her in hopes it would help her out. This section of scripture has been very sacred to me, so I won't go into heavy details. But as I read it to Sister Huppi, I just started bawling my eyes out. The Lord is so wonderful and He has so many precious promises to the faithful. Gets me every single time. 

So after talking and praying with each other, we then had to decide a gameplan for the rest of that day. I start laughing and say, "Wow, we have had such an AMAZING week. Its crazy how the adversary tries to play with you. Everything I told you--what I felt like were my failures for today--weighed on me because satan was making me feel like that failure was a reflection of my whole mission. But it's not!! This week has been so wonderful!" Satan is the freaking devil, fo'shoz. 

 We felt really strongly about giving Melinda a visit. She is a friend of Jake, one of our recent converts. She was able to sit in on the last lesson we had with Jake and the Spirit was super strong. The only reason she wasn't a new investigator was because she couldn't commit to a return appointment because of work. So we drop by Melinda's with cookies and she invites us in. She then proceeds to tell us that she's been reading the introduction to the Book of Mormon over and over and over again. She's in love with it! And she is so fascinated by Joseph Smith. She kept saying "I wanted to read more, but I can't do it without your help! I just want to learn about these prophets! I was looking at the cross-references and they connect back to the Bible. They fill in what I don't know. I just want to start reading it but I don't know where to start. Like I know about Jesus Christ, and the Bible talks about His teachings and His death, but that's about it. I have a feeling I will learn more about Him in here.

OH MY LANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!! We taught her the Restoration and I was pretty much speechless because she was basically teaching herself. The last time we were Melinda she said that she's open and that she doesn't like how religions feel like they are the only one that's right because that just causes the drift between all of us. But this time she referenced back to that and said, "but this is different. There is something drawing me to this. And I respect all other religions and they can do their own thing, but me, I'll be right here learning from this book."

WHAT A MIRACLE!!!!!!!! I all of a sudden understood why Sister Huppi and I were struggling all this morning. Ohhhh the nerve satan tries so hard to discourage us to keep us away from great things that are about to happen. But he didn't succeed :) Gah! Melinda is so amazing!!!! She was so over-whelmed with emotion as we talked about the Restoration. THE LORD LOVE HIS CHILDREN SO MUCH!

...And thus we were late for our correlation meeting. But as we walked into Brother Holland's home, we said, "we're late because of a miracle!!" So we tell him and the Elders about it and it was like MIND=BLOWN all over the whole room. Brother Holland was looking over our progress record and he's like, "wow you sisters are on fire! Sister Limas, you're going out with a bang!"

I looked at him for a second with a confused look, and then I realized what he was saying. GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP DOING THAT! I keep looking at our transfer calendar with a smile because there are so many great things going on. But every time I get this sinking feeling in my stomach reminding me it's also my last. But I will tell you right now it doesn't even feel like it. There are so so so many beautiful things happening and I am just so excited to be a part of it all!!!

OK OK, my time is up. I have to jet to the surprise thing for our sisters:) So excited! Life as an STL, I tell ya. 

Once again, I'm REALLY REALLY REALLY sorry if I haven't been able to reply to anyone! Next week, I promise! Just know that I love you all!

See you in less than 4.
Sister Limas

Exchanges with the Webster Groves Sisters: Sister Fisher & Sister Hayden.
Sister Fisher knows Jonathan Bernal!!!!

Exchanges with the St Louis Hills Sisters: Sister 'Alofaki & Sister Mortensen

My companion :) And the Canadian Thanksgiving sign she made me :)

Sending you a glimpse of my heart

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Since I have last emailed you my life has been INSANELY WONDERFUL. It has been crazy and hectic but beautiful and exciting. I don't want to bombard you with all the details (even though I really want to because none of it is recorded in my journal because of how hectic its been!), so I will just send snippet updates. And pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Because a picture is worth a ton :) And so you can see all the people I have been so blessed to meet and serve with. Gah, I just love them all so much. 

1. YSA = Medicine for my Soul!
Adventures with the YSA Sisters!
Sister Sperry and I at a Hindu temple!
As you know, my companion Sister Webster went home last Monday. I got to spend all of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning in the YSA Area with Sister Bailey and Sister Sperry. Those 2.5 days were definitely medicine for my soul. I love those two Sisters with all my heart. And even though I am their STL, I was super grateful they didn't treat me as such (aka act weird around me lol). Monday night we tag-teamed teaching one of the YSA's non-member boyfriend during a BOSS. Then we went to FHE with the YSA. Their branch president is bomb! He has a daughter who is going home the same time as me, so we kind of bonded over that. On Tuesday we knew adventures were ahead of us....and we were proved right! We got a phone call after one of our lessons and there was a Sister who just got home from her mission in Brazil but wasn't going to be released until 6pm that night. Her name is Sister Fuller. So we pretty much did DIVIDE and CONQUER. It was so great. Sister Sperry and I went to all the planned lessons and Sister Bailey and Sister Fuller went to contact a bunch of people. So great! Gah! Productivity is the best. I have also learned the special spirit YSA have when it comes to missionary work. Sperry and Bailey are the PERFECT Sisters for the YSA. And the YSA that come out to help us in the lessons are so powerful and caring towards their fellow YSA. They are so amazing. To you YSA, if you haven't gone out with the missionaries recently, please do. They need you.

We found a cake at the Fox Theatre. Score!
Us and Rose. She is leaving for her mission in the Philippines in a month!!!

2. Last Transfer Meeting

My MTC District. We hit 17 months! We've come so far :)
Well, I made it through without crying!! It was probably the best last transfer meeting I could ever ask for. Why? Well, A) I became a great-grandmother of THREE! Every single one of my grandbabies got called to train!!!!! I am SO PROUD :') And, B) This was the first transfer meeting where all the Filipinos in the mission were there. I am pretty much the Ate of Sister Gadi and Elder Abad haha. And they both got called to train too!!!!!!!!! Super excited for all of them :) It was also my 17th month mark and all the missionaries I came out with happened to be there. Reunion!! Oh, and some random missionary I don't know comes up to me and the following conversation happens:

Elder McKeen: Sister Limas, how many days did Jesus fast for?
Me: Uh...40?
Elder McKeen: Why is that significant?
Me: What?
Elder McKeen: Why is that significant to you?
Me: ...Err..... because we did a 40 day fast in Farmington?
Elder McKeen: No. How many days...
Elder McKeen: Hahaha you have 40 days left.
Me: Who are youuuuuu? 

What. The. Freak. Why are other people always counting the days for me? I only count the weeks, but that's only because I am doing the 12 week program right now for studies! People.

3. Last MLC
We had a special Mission Leaders Council to start off this transfer. Elder Sitati of the 70 joined our meeting and trained us. Here are some of his words of wisdom:

"The journey of life is meant to be lived together. Without your eternal companion, it's hard to reach your fullest magnitude.

"How do you change a Laman into a Nephi?"

"Radiate love. Let them be confident in the knowledge that you love them. If you have love you will move this mission to where it hasn't been. As you are prompted by the Spirit, if you are to influence anyone, love needs to be there. I've never met anyone who doesn't need love. Heavenly Father made us to crave love. Only the Spirit of the Lord can help us to love other people."

Leaving MLC was probably one of the hardest things I had to do. I couldn't help but keep going back inside and lingering and talking to my fellow missionaries. I knew I would have the opportunity to see them one last time at Mission Conference, but I knew since the whole mission was going to be there, it was going to be crazy busy and packed. Gah. I just feel so blessed that I've been able to serve with these fantastic Elders and Sisters!

Mission Leaders Council with Elder and Sister Sitati of the 70.

4. The Work
So because of the craziness of this week, we only really had Thursday and Saturday as our full days to proselyte. They have also been two of the best days I've had on the mission, teaching-wise. SO MANY MIRACLES! Sister Huppi, my new companion, is AMAZING. She is such a rock and powerhouse missionary. I have had an amazing past few days with her. She is one who truly relies on the Lord in all things. She is such an inspiration. Here are some of our miracles:

* Mark Rode, a media referral, WAS LEGIT. He so badly wants to learn! And he's been getting answers to his prayers since we've been meeting with him. WOO!

* Ciara Kerpernien is the daughter of my recent convert, Debbie Gray. When we first started meeting with Debbie, Ciara was not interested at all. She found church boring and found some of the YW weird. But Ciara has been noticing the difference in her mom since she got baptized. She sees how happy and at peace her mom is. And she wants it too. Ciara has been impressing me quite a bit the past couple weeks. She's coming to church, she's asking really good questions, she's sharing what she has learned with her friends at school, and she is excited to go to the youth temple trip in December! Which means getting baptized this transfer. At first Debbie seemed kind of leery about Ciara jumping in it too fast, but I think Debbie has been seeing the changes in her as well. THE GOSPEL IS AMAZING. THE ATONEMENT CHANGES PEOPLE! Setting a date for November 8th tonight!!!!! So excited!

* Awkward experience of the week: We street contacted this kid named Eric and gave him a Book of Mormon. After him we went to his neighbour and had a really good gospel-teaching door talk with him. When we were done, Eric is walking towards us asking if he can talk to us. He seemed a little disheveled and was talking way too fast. All I got was "feet", "massage", and then him putting his hands out signified "prayer" to me. So the way it connected in my brain was, "my feet hurt and I need a massage. Please?" And so I responded, "we can pray!" When everything calmed down a bit and he continued talking I realized he was telling us that he had a foot fettish and wanted to massage our feet. Sister Huppi and I were both stunned. Part of me wanted to laugh because this probably was the oddest thing someone has ever asked me my whole mission. But I could see he was pretty gittery and anxious about it. So I continued talking to him about prayer and how because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Lord can help us overcome our anxieties and weaknesses. So we each said a prayer. And he invited us back :) Boom. 

* We had an AMAZING lesson with Nicole Amelung. The Sisters were teaching her husband, John, and Nicole hated it. And them. But Nicole has been so receptive to us and wanting the gospel to help change her life. We invited her to be baptized at the beginning of the lesson (when we were doing How To Begin Teaching) and she said she already had been baptized. But as the lesson progressed and the Spirit filled the room so immensely, when we asked her again at the end, she said YES! She wants this for her and her husband so they work out their relationship. 

I know I'm being repetitive, but seriously, the gospel changes lives! It is so incredible how taking the steps of faith toward Jesus Christ changes your life forever! The Atonement is so real! And I'm so grateful I've been able to witness the power of the Atonement in so many lives. Seriously, who am I to be this lucky?

5. Mission Conference
I feel SO SO SO blessed that for my last transfer we had Mission Conference. This is the first time in MSLM History that the whole mission has been able to get together for Mission Conference. It was so exciting!!! It was a tender mercy for me because I got to say goodbye to all my favourite Elders and Sisters. Our group sang "Come Unto Christ" and thankfully I did not cry during that either. I was close to, but didn't :p My favourite lines from that song are:

"So let Him in and He will take away the pain. When you feel His love you'll never be the same"

"So let Him in and you'll remember who you are. He will mold your life and change your willing heart."

"Come unto Christ, come unto Him. And by His grace be made wholly again".

I'm surprised I didn't cry while singing. Those lines are so powerful and have been so true for me, especially throughout the last 17 months. How grateful I am for the Saviour and His Atoning sacrifice. It is only by Him and through Him that we can be changed. 

Oh, I realized I'm not going to get a Thanksgiving this year. American Thanksgiving is after I get home haha. But we Canadians gathered together for lunch during Conference to celebrate haha. 

At the end of conference I was really hoping President Morgan would let the departing missionaries bare their testimonies. But he didn't. Sadface. But as they were dismissing Elder and Sister Sitati, he told us to get up and stretch. While doing so he was talking about "Meet the Mormons" and then said, "and we're going to watch it here today. The chapel was suddenly filled with screams of excitement that kind of caught President of guard. IT WAS HILARIOUS. He got so red from laughing then finally mustered out, "I was not expecting that reaction". It was so great. And it was an AWESOME film!! Oh I just loved it! And I loved being able to sit together as a mission, having this little break, and being able to laugh together. Oh my heart. As we stood and sang "Now Let Us Rejoice" for our closing hymn, I took a deep breath as I looked at all the wonderful missionaries standing behind me. I love them all so much and I am so grateful for everything they have been to me.

My baby-girls: Sister Emily Craig and Sister Lindly Fernandez

But yeah that's a little piece of my heart for you :)

Oh, I also got my death papers in the mail this past week. Sister Huppi took it out of the mailbox and the moment I saw the church logo I was like O____O "oh no!" I ripped the top open, but I couldn't take the pages out. I chucked it onto my desk and said, "ain't nobody got time for that! We only have 20 minutes for lunch today and I can't deal with that right now!" Hahaha. Sister Huppi was super supportive in helping me open it the next day though. Le sigh.

The death papers. Sigh.

I hope you have a wonderfully, spiritually-filled week!
I love you all loads.
I will see you at 7:43pm in 5 weeks ;)
Sister Limas

I am grateful for eternal friendships.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Here I am, sitting at a computer in the St Louis County Library...COMPANION-LESS. Talk about having a broken heart! 

This past week during district meeting, we sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" as our closing hymn. All the other sisters in my district are going home. We're sitting there singing--some of them crying--and I couldn't help but feel so broken-hearted. The reality didn't hit me as hard as it did then: missions end. And for a moment as we were singing, I realized that I won't see these people again for a very, very long time. Reality hit: I live on the freaking other side of the continent from them all! Not to mention, another country! 

But I am grateful for eternal friendships. I am grateful that relationships last beyond this earth life. The BOM Institute Manual states, "those who labor in the Lord's vineyard share a bong of love that comes from laboring in the 'harvest' together. [Its] deepened by common experiences of faith and testimony." As I've gone along my mission journey, I've recognized that these people have turned into more than just my companion, or just another Sister or Elder I serve around. They have all become family. And so being torn apart from people you love ALWAYS HURTS! And even though I stick out like a sore thumb, culturally, and feel like I come from a completely different world than all my mission friends do, I am grateful for the reality that when we do meet again, I will, like Alma, "rejoice exceedingly to see [my sisters and] still [be sisters] in the Lord". I'm glad we can say "God be with you till we meet again". 

Anyway, this week has been so great despite the emotional tragedy of my companion leaving. Every single day just brought more exciting news and experiences, but left my heart breaking a little more every day that our companionship was coming to a close. I'm so uber grateful for all the teaching experiences and miracles that Sister Webster and I had witnessed in this area together the past transfer. I have been so blessed to have her as my companion. 

On Wednesday we had visited one of our less-active members. Every visit with her is the same and I never know what to do to help her feel better. When we visited her this week though, she was going off and ranting like mad. Oh my curse words.Then just when I was pretty fed up with all of it, all of a sudden she starts pouring out her heart about her past and all this guilt that has been weighing upon her for years. She has a picture of Christ in Gethsemane hanging on her wall behind the chair she always sits in. Sometimes I wonder if she really looks into the depth of that painting and what it means for her personally. But this time as I was listening to her sorrow, the painting stood out. I told her, "you know, every week we sit here in the exact same spot. You have that picture of Christ hanging there. As I'm looking at you, and looking at what's behind don't ever need to question who in the world loves you. Because He does. No matter what you've done, no matter where you're at, He loves you. And He suffered for you so that its possible to be relieved of that guilt through repentance". We both bore testimony of the Atonement and of the help that the Bishop could give her. We invited her to set an appointment to meet with the Bishop, and told her we would followup with her in a couple days to see if she did it. 

Right after the appointment, one of our investigators called and asked if we could come over. We had been trying to reschedule with her all day, and we weren't going to pass up this opportunity to have a lesson with her this week. Even though it was 8:45 at night -_________-" We get there and I'm super excited to see her because our last lesson with her had gone so well and it seemed like she was finally lightning up a bit. But this lesson was so dreadful. I realized part way though it that she was totally tipsy on alcohol! Ayaaa. She started getting all needy (just like our first few lessons with her) asking us for money, to use our phone, for a place to stay, and swearing up the a-wall. What the cheese?! I felt like all swearing that I've been sheltered from the past 17 months all just came in buckets over the last two appointments that night!! Goodness gracious. I've just about had it with her. I am SO grateful for Sister Webster and how kind she is. I know I was supposed to learn grace from her this transfer. And I'm so glad that she says things with grace...because she balances me out when I don't. So I went off on our investigator and pretty much called her to repentance. Not that she got any of it because she was drunk. UGH. 

Anyway, although that night left us flabbergasted, we couldn't help but feel so energetic. We were like, "wow usually this would leave me spiritually exhausted, but I'm on a high right now!"

A couple days later, we followed up with our less active. To my surprise, she DID call up the Bishop. I asked her how it went and how she felt and she said, "much lighter. Thanks to you. My spirit is high today for the first time in 35 years.

OH MY WORD, AM I HEARING WHAT IM HEARING RIGHT NOW?! Gah! The Atonement is SO AMAZING! Heavenly Father pores out so many blessings, its ridiculous! Seriously, I could go my whole mission working my butt off and not see any fruits of the labor. If I was designed to be a planter, then so be it, I'll plant the seeds. But He has allowed me to see countless  amount of times the way people's lives change when they choose to exercise faith in Jesus Christ. GAH! I LOVE IT!

And bless Sister Webster's heart. I felt a little bad that I sounded a little harsh at our investigator's lesson. But during our studies the next day she told me that she was reflecting on everything that had happened, and that she honestly believes that there was a shield around us that night. Then she says, "you don't even realize how strong the Spirit works in you. That shield was there last night because of you. I'm going to miss having that shield with me when I go home."

And thus it was all throughout the week, speaking lines like that to each other and realizing how much we were going to miss each other. 

We were finally able to find two new investigators!! All the investigators picked up thus far have been formers. But we were finally able to teach two brand new people! One of them is Debbie's daughter who really really wants to get baptized! WOO!

I don't really know what else to say. I just feel gratitude. 
Because I was able to drop Sister Webster off at the mission home, I got to see all the other Sisters going home (Its a whopping 13 sisters!) That was a huge tender mercy. Sister Minyard, one of my best friends, was there and I was pretty much in tears as I was saying goodbye to her. 

And now I get to hang with the YSA Sisters for the next two days. OH YES, ITS GOING TO BE A PARTY! :) I love Sister Bailey and Sister Sperry!!! 

And my next companion is going to be Sister Huppi!! I love Sister Huppi! She is such a fireball! She is a hardworker and has so much energy! I'm super glad she's the one killing me off hahaha. We are going to have a blast!

Anyway, that's missionary me. 
Also, GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING! I can't do my normal "media fast" to prepare for conference because, lets face it, missionary life is already fasting from media haha. So I just fasted everyday. I definitely have a renewed testimony of the power of prayer and fasting, FO'SHOZ.

Gah! So many awesome things happened this week! Sorry I can't share it all with you. This is already an essay enough ;P

Have an awesome week! 
Ponder and apply what you've learned at conference!
See you in 6 ;D
Sister Limas

I thought this would be fitting for my last transfer planner.

Waiting for General Conference :) My companion is a beauty!

my lovely chaos © . QUINN CREATIVES DESIGN .