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 :)

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