Monday, December 30, 2013
Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas like I did this year. It was different, but so great. I absolutely adored all the Christmas cards I received! Thank you to everyone who send me one! And Grandma Baker the mint brownies totally made it! They are delicious and I love the scarfs! :) Thank you sooo much everyone! :)
So a big part of my Christmas this year was spent talking to my Mission President. He has been talking to the Travel Office and they are telling him that it really doesn't look like anything is coming anytime soon for the Visa. So after awhile of talking in through we came to the decision that the best thing to do was to sent in my name for reassignment. When they do this the brethren have the option to ask me to continue to wait, they can keep me here, or they can send me to a different mission somewhere else. They pray about it and the answer they receive is directly from God. It is hard to submit my will to His will. Part of me really does not want to, but I believe He is teaching me a lesson on Trust.
This week as I was focusing on Christ I read the account in Luke of the suffering of our Savior. He is in the Garden of Gethsamane praying and He says, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Then in the next verse it says, "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him."
When I read this it really made me reflect on the example Christ is setting here. He is in pain and doesn't want to have to go through it, but He knows what the Father is doing and tells Him that He will do it. From there the angel comes and helps him and He is able to endure the pain and agony of the Atonement. Now, I am not saying that what I am going through even compares to the Saviors suffering for us in the slightest. All I am saying is even the Savior knew that trusting the will of God was the best thing to do even when the outcome seemed pretty bleak.
So I realized that really if I can just put my trust in God then I will be better off in the end. So I am trying and trusting that that angel will come and strengthen me as well! haha :) All joking aside I really know that God is there for me. He is looking out for the best. He wants me to succeed. I love Him and He loves me more than I can even know. It is the same for all of you! He knows who He wants you to become. The trick is letting Him shape you in the way He knows will be best. :)
One of my new favorite scriptures is in Helaman 3:35
Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stonger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy an consolation, yea even to the purifying and the sanctification which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
I testify that this is true and that the best thing we can do for ourselves is ask God what He wants us to do. Especially at the beginning of this year. Ask Him what your goals should be and what you should work for. He will tell you if you really want to know, and He will let you know how to do it. :) Believe in God, trust Him, and let Him work things out. I am learning that.. slowly.. so we can learn together!
Happy New Year!
Well this Christmas is turning out to be quite different than I even expected. I have eaten Jalapeno Sushi, going to 3 different dinner appointments today, with 2 other eating appointments tomorrow, and I received a flu shot.
Merry Christmas to me!
Really though this Christmas is different. I thought I was going to be really torn up about not being home, but I feel so good. I know this is where God wants me to be right now and there is nothing more comforting than that thought. The things I am most excited about this year is Skyping my family and the people excited to talk about baby Jesus.
This past week has been filled with miracles and I just love that I get to be a witness of them.
First of all we are working with a less active recent convert in the YSA branch named Emma. She is Bulgarian and is working as a nurse in a clinic. She lives alone and has sooo many health problems it is hard to even know what they all are. She was just baptized a couple months ago and has a hard time coming to church every week because of her health. We just were able to finally meet with her this week for a lesson and while we talked it became so clear to us that what she really needed was a priesthood blessing. So I asked her if she had ever had one. She responded with, "well I was given the Holy Ghost, that is a blessing right?" We then went on to explain that she could receive a blessing of healing. We talked about the Priesthood Power that God has given to man to act in is name. Literally it is the power for us to do the things that God or Jesus Christ would do if they were here. We explained that not everything would just be made right, because it has to be according to Gods will, but we promised her it would help her. We testified the Power of God and His love for us. We told her that if she had the faith that God could help her then the blessing would most definitely work.
So this Sunday she came to church. She was late and missed more than half of Sacrament Meeting, but she came. Right after Sacrament Meeting we went into the Bishops office and she was given a blessing. (I was suppose to teach Gospel Principles so I gave the book to the Elders and said, "Will you stall for a min? The topic is repentance. He looked at me and said, "Uh, sure. I mean, yes." hahaha)
She got the blessing and then had to go because she was still not feeling very good. So Sister Wolfgramm and I proceeded to go to the next class. (and yes I took back over the class so the elders could stop trying to lead the class. :P)
Later that night we got a text message from Emma.
"I don't understand it, I feel sooo much better. I didn't have to take my steroids today!"
The church is true. God does work through us to bless His children. He loves us, I promise. I know sometimes we feel like He doesn't, but He always will. "His love is", like what President Monson said this last conference, "simply always there." I testify of this truth.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to have a Christmas Mission Conference. We got everyone together for spiritual thoughts, talks, music, talent show, food, and give exchanges. It was really fun and it was sooo good to see all my favorite people from transfers before.
This work it true. God lives and so does Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for his wonderful sacrifice and love for us.
Merry Christmas Ya'll!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Another thing I love about Texas is that a lot of people really understand what Christmas is suppose to be about. So many of the houses have little nativity sets outside. People are talking about Christ all the time, but now is the time where it really shows in all aspects of peoples lives.
This Sunday I saw one of the more charible acts of love that I have seen so far on the mission. So to start I am going to introduce you to the Zarsky family. They are an active family in the Clear Lake 2 ward. Bro and Sis Zarsky have 3 kids. Two boys and a girl. A little while ago they were in a freak accident where an electrical cord fell and zapped the two younger children quite badly while they were playing in the backyard. The girl has to wear thermal clothing and the younger boy lost his leg beneath the knee. Both of the children have developed some minor mental issues and the older boy feels guilty that he didn't do anything to help his siblings.
With that backdrop I am going to take you into our Sacrament meeting this Sunday. Sister Wolfgramm and I are sitting down getting ready for the opening song when the Zarsky family comes in and sits in front of us. Halfway through the song the little girl starts to jump up and start dancing and making a lot of noise. Sister Zarsky tries to get her to sit down and stop making a scene, but she was not going to have it. It got to the point were Sister Zarsky had to take her out of the room. As soon as she got up still struggling to keep the young girl still another lady in the congregation a couple rows over got up and followed her out of the room.
5 mins later this other lady came back in with the young Zarsky girl in her arms rocking her softy while Sister Zarsky went back to help her husband take care of the other two children.
I couldn't help but feel like Christ was looking out for this family. I know that God lives and that He really sent His son to die for us. Because of that Atonement we can be saved from the most tragic and depressing times. He truly will succor us. Sometimes it is through other people, but He is always there and He loves us unconditionally. I know that those children are going to be ok. I know that God is supporting Bro and Sister Zarsky through their pain and anxiety. I know that He really knows exactly how they feel. He knows that they feel guilty for this thing that happened even though there is nothing they could do about it. He knows that they worry about their children. He know that the children worry about each other. And He also knows who is willing to help.
So the Spirit of Christmas becomes the Spirit of Christ. We do the things that Christ would do if He was here. :) I am grateful for the examples that I have seen of this kind of love.
Thanksgiving was awesome this past week. We ate a couple different meals and got a bunch of leftovers afterwards. Needless to say I will not need to spend very much for groceries today. :)
We went to the Bishops house for breakfast and it was awesome! We had pancakes and a bunch of turkey bacon! :D It was perfect. The only thing about that is from that point on we really did not stop eating the entire day! haha For the actual dinner of Thanksgiving we went to the Liddles house. We ate shrimp for an appetizer and then feasted on all the normal Thanksgiving foods that we all love so much.
Around the dinner table we had 5 members of the Liddle family (one who is on a mission now) and then my companion and I, but we had soooo much food I could hardly believe it!! Sister Liddle made 250 rolls, a 20lb turkey, potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, stuffing, and shrimp. Then for dessert she had Apple pie, a tester pie (cherry, raspberry, apple, and peach) pumpkin pie, and chocolate dream pie. Just looking at the spread on the table made me feel full!! It was absolutely delicious in everyway and we were grateful to the Liddles for having us over. It made for a really wonderful Thanksgiving despite the fact that my family was not with me.
The funniest part of this meal was Sister Liddle told us that she would be doing it ALL over again on Saturday! Yes, you read that right! She made the rolls and the turkey and everything all over again a couple days later! Oh Texas, what are we going to do with you? haha :P
So yes the holiday was definitely a success. :)
This week I have been thinking a lot about diligence.
God has asked us to do certain things because He knows that it will be for our good if we do them. I have been working on talking to everyone and really truly loving people everywhere I go. I know that if I can do this more fully then God will be with me more and it will be easier to do the other things that God has asked me to do.
On Sunday we get out of our first meeting for the Clear Lake ward and a lady comes up to us and says, "There is a guy that just walked in to church. I sat by him and now I am taking him to class with me. You should meet him."
Ok! Sounds perfect!!
So we did and he actually stayed at the church until the Singles ward started as well! His name is George and he decided he wanted to come and check out the church since he knew a couple people that went. :) It was so cool and he has so many awesome questions. :) God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes you find someone to teach and sometimes they find you. :)
This week was awesome.. I wish I had more time to tell you about it.. but unfortunately I am almost out of time!
Have a great week!!
My mom asked me last week if there were any food down here that I have had lately that are different. I have already talked about Kolaches which are SOOO GOOD and one of my weaknesses.. :)
But this last week we saw this sign on a little shop and I decided we just had to figure out what that meant!
RITA'S ICE CUSTARD HAPPINESS
So we decided for the first couple minutes of our dinner break to check it out! Turns out it is a place that makes fresh Italian Ice every day and Frozen Custard!! I just about died of happiness!! It was so awesome. The thing that they really wanted people to try was a thing called the Gelati.
It involves your choice of vanilla, chocolate or orange creme custard covered with one or two of 8 choices of fresh Italian Ice with a little bit of custard on top. It was a little different, but it was awesome. I will definitely be going back one of these days. :)
Other than that everyone down here puts this spice on their food called Tonys Cajun something or other. It is so good. I honestly love it especially on pasta with alfredo/cheese sauce. Yum yum yum. I am developing a real love for spicy food. I have always been a little indifferent to spicy things, but the more I eat it the more I love it. I even eat Jalapenos! :P I guess I was just a late bloomer in the spice category.
So ya, food is good.
Speaking of food.....
HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone!! This week is going to be filled with all sorts of food! So many people invited us over to have a meal or just to eat some pie. I am good with both of those options!! I will admit my favorite part of the food at Thanksgiving is the bread.. and the Pie! :)
This week was a good week for missionary work too. We were able to see a lot of Less Active members who others have not been able to talk to in a long time. I definitely see God helping us in this area. We are both very new. My companion was only here for a few weeks before I was put here so we are learning together and God is letting us know where He needs us.
We had a Zone Meeting this week and a couple things really stood out to me. We talked about Prayer and the importance of really sincere personal prayers. I have always known that when I pray I am talking to God, but sometimes I let my mind wander or get distracted while I am in the middle of my prayers. When we pray we are literally asking for help or thanking the most magnificent being in the universe. He is our Father and He loves us so much. As I have taken more time to really think about my prayers and pray about things I really am grateful for or I really need I can feel more of His love in my life. I am so grateful for prayer. It really is the only comfort that works sometimes.
As I have been thinking about Thanksgiving I have been trying to think of the things that I am really not grateful for and figure out the bright side. :) For example.. I am not grateful that the weather is suddenly really cold outside, but I am grateful to have a warm car to drive around in. And I am grateful for my coat and my newly bought thick tights. :)
There are tons and tons of things that we can think of that have a bright side. We are blessed more than we realize, myself included. :) So this week think about those things and find the things you are truly thankful for. God has a way of sneaking those things into our lives without us even knowing sometimes! Surprise him this week and thank Him for the things that you have not noticed yet.
I promise you will feel more peace and more happiness. It may not come in the form of Ritas Ice Custard Happiness, but it will come! And it will give you renewed strength to be the person that God knows you are and can become.
I love all of you! Have a great Thanksgiving!!
Monday, November 18, 2013
This week has been another building week for us.
Sister Wolfgramm and I are working on a lot of different things and slowly we are becoming more unified in our work.
I forgot to mention last week that I got my Tiwi card! So now I can actually drive the mission vehicles. I have been driving all over Houston. From Sugarland to Clearlake.:) It is super fun I wonder why I didn't try to get the card earlier! :)
This week we got to teach a girl named Krista. She has a Baptismal date for the 14th of next month! We are excited for her! :)
We had Zone Conference this week and it was an answer to my prayers. All the things we talked about really address all the things we need to be better at in our area. I was grateful for the help. God really understands what I need. Its awesome.
This week I talked Sister Wolfgramm into going biking for an afternoon. We actually talked to a lot of people who were interested in learning more! Sometimes all God needs is for us to make an effort. When we try then he can really bless our efforts so that we meet the people who are really searching. :) I am so glad that I am here and that I have the blessing of being a missionary. People really need this gospel. It makes all of life so much better. I love my Savior. :)
Sorry this is short! Not much time today!
I love all ya'll! Have a great week!
So last Tuesday at 8 30 pm Sister Bearnson and I get a call.
Sister B grabs the phone to silence it since we are teaching at a members home, but changes her mind when she saw that it was the Assistants to the Mission President.
"Hello, this is Sister Bearnson," she says a little wary of what was going to be said in the next couple minutes.
"Hello Sister Bearnson this is Elder Case. How are you doing tonight?"
"uhh Great! What can I do for you?"
"Actually is Sister Earl there? We need to talk to her."
"Uh yes. She is right here..."
I heard this whole thing and at this point I am trying to figure out what might be possibly happening. Getting a call from the Assistants is either really bad news.. or just something crazy.
"Hello Elder Case! This is Sister Earl!..." (trying not to sound super nervous or anything.)
"Sister Earl I am sorry that this is super last minute, but you will be transferred tomorrow. Please be packed up and at transfer meeting by 12:45pm tomorrow."
WHAT!!!! The first thought I had was pure excitement. Then I started to feel really sad that I would not get to say goodbye to anyone in Silverlake. I had been there for 3 transfers and had really grown to love that ward. I still feel a little sad when I think of Megan Aikens and her family getting so close to baptism!!! AHH!
So we sped home on the bikes, so I could start packing up my life!
The next day I found out that I was going to be moved to the Clear lake 2nd ward and the Armond Bayou YSA Branch. I am now Sr companion and my companion is Sister Wolfgramm. She got here last transfer and that is when they added the Armond Bayou Branch to this area. Needless to say they are still trying to figure out what is going on when I got put here.
I had an interview with my Mission President after transfer meeting and he told me that this area is having severe obedience problems. He had been praying on what to do, but couldn't quite figure it out. When he prayed for who would be able to help Sister Wolfgramm the only person that kept coming to mind.. was me. No pressure right?
I said that to President and he laughed and said that all I needed to do was to be myself and follow God. So that is what I am going to do. Hopefully God shows me how to be the kind of missionary I need to be in order to understand and effectively lift this area up.
My companion is really awesome. She is Tongan, but mainly grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. She loves to sing and can do all the traditional Polynesian dances. (I told her she needs to teach me sometime :)) She came out the same day as me and I am glad to be her companion. :)
Ever since Wednesday life has been moving at a different pace. I am in an entirely new area with new people and I am trying to be the Sr. companion. :) It is interesting, but really fun. God knows me better than I give Him credit for. This will take more prayers and faith, but I am willing to give it if that is what will help this area and show these people how much God loves them.
So, here goes nothing. :D
602 Eldridge Rd
Sugarland TX 77478
Yes, another transfer is happening this week. I can hardly believe it!! It comes so fast. I found out this morning that both Sister Bearnson and I are staying in Silverlake!! This will be my 4th transfer here and this is her 6th!! haha And now this will be our 4th transfer together! :) Good thing I like her because if I didn't this would be a little hard! I am so happy to be here still though! There is so much that needs to be done and we get to do it together!! YAY!
This week was Halloween!! At first our Mission President was having everyone go inside at 7, but then we were told to do a training at the church on Sunday. The training took about an hour so afterwards we got to play board games! It was actually really fun! Our district is really cool.
One of the highlights of this week was the chance to have interviews with our mission president. I know everyone says that their mission president is the best, but our president is one of my favorite people ever!! He knows when to work and when to relax and he always makes you feel like you are doing good, but helps you know where you can improve. President Ashton is awesome!!
I don't really talk about it very often, but since it came up in my interview and a bunch of people are probably a little curious I will give the update on the status of my Visa. President Ashton said that he had his people contact the travel people and they said that recently the travel office had to send out for updated documents (since the last ones I sent were in January!!!) The travel people predict that since this recent set back there will be no Visa in the near future. President also asked me to start thinking about and praying about staying in Texas. If it takes much longer he said an option would be to just choose to stay in Texas. I don't know how I feel about that.. He said I didn't have to make a decision now, but that I should just keep it in mind and pray about it.... So ya. That's where that sits.
So there you go. I will be here in Texas at least for a little while longer! :) Its a good thing I am doing pretty good. I truly love Texas. I love my companion and I trust God. I don't know why He would give me a call for Brazil and then send me to Texas.. but He knows. I guess it is always the safer decision to trust Him and make the best of what comes along. :) So I am doing my best and allowing the Atonement to take away all the disappointment. Since I really turned over my feelings to Him I can honestly say He has taken the sting away. Some days I find myself thinking about what Sister Lillian is doing in Brazil.. or Elder Bybee.. or Elder Miller.. Elder Park .. Elder Nielson, Elder Crapo, Sister Peterson, Elder Stilson, Elder Sewell...or Sister Parks and Sister Jones (Moyle)... But mainly I am just curious as to what wonderful things are going on in their lives. Most days I feel excited and ready! God can do that for us. Even when things are not 100% easy He can make up the difference.
Sigh, Thank goodness for that.
This week we got a HQ referral for a girl in high school. She was just researching religion online and came across some Mormon blogs. From there she went to Mormon.org and somehow requested the missionaries to come visit her! She is very cool and has a lot of questions. She actually grew up in an Atheist home and so she decided that she wanted to check out the religion thing for herself. We are excited to teach her and know that God is really looking out for her. :)
We were teaching this older guy who really does want to know more about the gospel, but this week he actually asked Sister Bearnson on a date.. :/ So now we are letting the Elders teach him. Hahaha. Poor Sister B went bright red and we both didn't know what to say. What makes it even funnier was that it was after church.. in the hallway... with a bunch of members standing there. It was so painfully awkward, but now it makes for a great story. Hahaha.:P
Anway, This gospel is true. There is nothing else I would rather be doing. I love being a missionary!! Have a great week everyone! Eu Amo VOCES!!
Oh and Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This week has been a whirlwind of crazy. The highlight was definitely helping Megan Aikens to get baptized. She is a 13 year old who really wanted nothing to do with us at the beginning. Slowly she warmed up and the gospel has made her one of the happiest girls I know. Before she was pretty negative and slightly mean... but now she is always smiling and giving people compliments. The gospel has completely changed her life and I have had the blessing of watching it happen. :)
Sometimes the evidence of Gods love for his children is a little overwhelming. Usually I feel it for others, but sometimes He takes the time to remind me that I am His. :) The joy that comes from this message is nothing that I can describe but when you see a beautiful Daughter of God coming to know who she really is.. well that is just about as close as you can get.
Besides the baptism we really have not focused on many other things.
The trunk or treat was this week. We went and dressed up as... Elders!! haha It was fun and we got a couple laughs which was what we hoped for. There were some pretty good costumes and a lot of members invited their friends to come so we got to meet a couple people. :)
We fully decorated our door in preparation for Halloween this week. (all of it came from my momma so Thank you momma!!) And momma, when it comes to Christmas I really have no idea what I want.. Any ideas?
Cassidy!! I finally got your letter with the bacon chapstick and gorgeous picture of you!! I don't know why it took more than a month to get here but I was so excited when I got it!! Thank you. :) As for quotes this is all I have for today.
"Ask God to put you just where he wants you, and tell you what he wants you to do, and feel that you are on hand to do it"-Brigham Young
I will gather some better ones soon I promise. :)
In closing I just want to say that I know this gospel is true. The best indication of whether or not something is true is what comes of it. As people learn about the gospel and act on it they change for the better! There are some people who ask for a sign from God telling them which way to go. He gives us signs! They just come when we choose to act and actively ask him what we should do.
God lives and He is a great listener. Don't forget to talk to Him.
Have a great week all you crazy people!
Monday, October 21, 2013
This week Sister Bearnson and I decided we needed some Pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies. Sooo last Monday when we went shopping we got the stuff and decided to make them the morning of weekly planning day so we could have something to munch on as we talk about all the people in our area.
So Thursday morning we mix it up. Little did we know that we were making enough cookies to build a house with!! We have been eating cookies for days now and trying to give them away to anyone that will take some. haha Then today just as we were down to our last 10 or so.. a member gives us a plate of snickerdootles.. and there are about 20 cookies on the plate!! haha
And people wonder why missionaries gain weight! They get stuff from members... and they make a fair amount of sweets themselves. haha I better start learning some portion control tactics though.. :/ haha..
Anyway, along with the cookie explosion we have had an awesome week!!
At church on Sunday a member ended up inviting one of her newly found friends to church. This friend was sooo excited to be there!! She was introducing herself to everyone and telling everyone how good it felt to be here. She even asked if we could come over so she could cook for us and we could share a "thought" with her. :) We are so excited!!! She is so cool and she already loves church. :) Member missionary work is the best thing ever!!
I forgot to tell everyone that last week I went on exchange to the southern part of our mission. I went to Lake Jackson! It is essentially a swamp with a bunch of wide open spaces and broken down buildings.
The street names are crazy there. They had a "this way" "that way" "his way" "her way" they even had a "What happened was" and "It's complicated" that intersected so they were on the same street sign...it was pretty funny. :D
While we were there a member took us to a seafood restaurant where the food was actually not expensive! I asked where the fish all came from and what was the fresh-est fish and they said that their catfish was the best... soooo I got some catfish!! It was delicious! :P
The rest of the week has flown by so fast I really don't even know what has happened. I know it was good... just can't think of the specifics. :)
This work is the best thing I have ever taken the time to do. I love being a missionary because I see people change. I see people become what God already knows they can be. :)
I testify that God lives and if you let Him He will help you be better than you ever thought you could be. :)
Stay positive everyone!
Love, Sister Earl
Monday, October 14, 2013
This week as jam packed with awesome news.
First of all Elder Golden from the first Quorum of the 70 came to visit our mission. He spoke to all of us on Thursday from 8 to 1:30 with one 15 min break! Haha It was so awesome though I hardly realized what time it was besides the fact that my tummy was super hungry!
He gave us a bunch of things to focus on and really brought the spirit to the day. He told us that our mission was one of the best missions he has visited. He was impressed with our obedience and our reverence in everything we were doing. He told us that our mission is going to baptize a ton more in the coming months because of our increased faith and dedication. :) It was a great thing to be a part of. He also took the time to shake each of our hands and talk to us for a couple seconds. :) I love the leaders of this church. They are not perfect, but everything they do points you to Christ. It is wonderful.
I also found out this week that we are going to be rolling out the Facebook/Social Media and opening the churches up for tours in the next month or so!! We are working with our wards to figure out the best things to do in the church and how to get people to "Come and see" what we are all about. I am really excited to be a part of this new way of doing things. I don't know all the details yet.. but they should be coming in the next little while.
This week we have been teaching Haleys family a lot. Megan and Tyler both have baptismal dates in the next couple weeks and the parents are loving the gospel truths more and more.
Last night we had a Missionary Devotional where a bunch of recent converts bear their testimony of how they came to know the church was true. We arranged it so Haley would be able to speak and her family came to watch!! She bore a beautiful testimony about how she knew this is what she was looking for. She is turning 16 next week, but her testimony sounded like one from a much more experienced member. She was really searching for the truth. She said that ever since she was 12 she was super interested in religion. If a 12 year old girl can be so concerned about the welfare of her soul then why is it so weird for a 14 year old boy to be concerned as well. Joseph Smith didn't know what church to join. Much like Haley he search for a lonnng time! He asked all sorts of preachers how to know what was right.. but they never could fully answer his questions.
He went to the Bible trying to study it out for himself and read a verse in James 1:5 which says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God; which giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him."
He realized God was the only one who could give him this answer he so desperately needed. So one morning he got up and went out into a grove of trees so he could be alone. He knelt down and offered up his first vocal prayer with all the questions that had been weighing on his mind.
As he was praying something incredible happened. In his own words he said, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to Joseph to answer his questions. They told him that none of the churches were completely true on the earth and that he needed to bring back all the lost truths. They called him to be a prophet and gave him all the things he needed to know to bring back the same church that Christ established when He was on the earth.
This is the blessing of the gospel! We have the truth! The full 100% of everything we need to make sure we get back to live with our Father in Heaven and become like Him.
Haley came to know this truth by asking for herself and so can you! No matter if you have already received a witness of not God wants to let you know that this message is true. He wants you to know that He lives and He loves you. He is there for you and He has his church for you so you do not have to be confused.
I love Him!
In other news my brother recieved his mission call!!! He is going to the Mexico, Saltillo mission!! Reporting in February!! :)
The way I found this out is quite funny actually. WE were at the devotional last night and President Bergeson comes up to me. (He is the 1st counselor in the mission presidency but he is also my Dads cousin. Yes I am related to everyone even outside of Moses Lake as well. haha) He said that he had gotten a text from my Dad and he found out my brother was going to Mexico!! :) I was so happy and excited I started to cry a little. I don't even know why I just couldn't help it!! I love my brother and he is going to be a fantastic missionary. I am a little sad that I won't see him for a long time, but its all for a good cause. :)
We actually got a ride to the devotional from the Sneddons and Sister Sneddon is from Mexico. She said that Saltillo is a poor part of Mexico and the people are either really nice and humble or really mean. There is not much in the middle. haha :P So I am sure Elder Earl will be able to work with that. :P
Missionary work is the best thing ever. :) I love all ya'll :) Have a great week
Adoro ouvir a Conferencia Geral!
Conference was great right? I can't even pick a session that I liked best! It is awesome how God works. He will always give us direct revelation. We can get it ourselves and He gives it through his leaders. All we need to do is LISTEN. Listening is the key to a lot of lifes problems.
For example, when we listen to the people we are talking to and take time to let them express how they feel then we can better understand them! Its crazy~! haha
When you listen to your companion (whether missionary or spouse) you can figure out how to work through problems and make necessary changes to yourself.
When you listen to the teacher (whether in school or sunday school) then the information with stick and will make sense.
When we pray and then take time to listen we can hear the things that God wants us to do. He literally can and will talk to you if you take the time to listen.
When we listen we are blessed! It doesn't matter where you are or what you are trying to accomplish. Listening is the way to understand, develop, and correctly apply things to our lives.
For conference we had 5 of the people we are teaching watch a session in a members home! :) The spirit was there so if the people there were listening they would have felt and understood the things that God was trying to tell them.
Earlier this week we had a really awesome experience.. and now that I think about it.. it all happened because we listened to the Spirit telling us what to do.
Sister Hanks is a 51 year old lady who lives alone in the apartment building next to us. She was baptized in 2006, but has spent most of that time being an inactive member. We had been trying for months to talk to her, but she suffers from extreme depression and so has struggled a lot. One day she actually answered the door and let us in. We talked to her for a little while, and even set up another appointment. The next appointment she was even more depressed than the time before so we decided to challenge her to read one chapter a night from the Book of Mormon and we gave her a list of chapters to read.
That was Sunday.. on Wednesday she texted us and said that she was being admitted to the hospital for in patient treatment. She told us she had nobody to take care of her cats so she left us a key under the doormat and asked us to go and feed them for her.
We were happy to help her out.. but we were also sad that we were the people she had had to ask to do it. She honestly had nobody else to ask..
She was in the hospital for a week and when she got out she texted us and asked us to come over. We went as fast as we could and found her in much better spirits with tears of gratitude in her eyes.
We listened as she told us how when she was in the hospital she read all the chapters we had given her to read. She asked us in complete amazement how we knew to give her the chapters we did in the order we gave them. The warmest feeling came over the room and we all knew that there was higher help in this.
We are now teaching her all the things that bring joy. She is learning about the scriptures and how they really can answer the very questions in your personal soul. She is learning about prayer and how to listen for guidance. She is learning about the temple and how she can be sealed to her family for eternity. She is the only member in her family so we are teaching her how to do family history work so her ancestors can have the same joy that she is experiencing.
This church is true, my friends. I know for a fact that God is leading me in this work. We have the true and everlasting power of the priesthood here on the earth. God has given us the blessing of having a piece of this power to seal our families together forever. We have prophets who give us the same guidance that Moses and Noah did for their people in ancient times. We have all the pieces of the puzzle to get to live with our Father again one day. The teachings will bless us then and bring real and lasting joy in this life.
Yet, he gives us the choice. Will we listen?
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
There where some awesome days this week! Partly because missionary work is the best and partly because it was a little cooler this week! Biking around town is actually quite enjoyable when you are not an oven on wheels! Plus, Sister Bearnson and I have a lot more energy when we are not being zapped by the heat in the afternoon.
We are grateful for the kinda-sorta-somewhat of fall weather that is happening. Just watch.. now that I said this tomorrow is going to be up in the 90's with 100% humidity again.... haha But, like I've said Texas does what it wants.
One of the moments this week where I realized that God is looking out for his children happened on Monday. A member invited over their neighbor for Family Home Evening and we came along as well. The friends name is Christian and he is a professional clarinet player in the Houston Symphony and the Boston Symphony. Music is his entire life and he really takes it seriously! He said he could get us free tickets if we wanted to go and could get permission! (not sure if that will happen, but isn't that so nice!!) We had an awesome lesson and invited the friend to church on Sunday. Tuesday comes along and the members call us saying that Christian fell and broke his elbow! He had surgery on Friday, and STILL came to church on Sunday. This week we are going to teach him again and help him out with some chores around the house along with the members. We are really glad we could be there to help this guy out. He recently went through a divorce and now that his elbow is broken he might have troubles playing his clarinet. Look at the timing of this event.. there is no way this was just by accident. God really knows us. He knows what we need and he knows that Christian needs this. :)
This week we also taught Haleys siblings (Haley is a recently baptized girl) Her sister Megan is very interested in the people at the church. She realized that the people care about her so we are making some progress. She even opened the Book of Mormon this week and read some! We are confident that she will feel the Holy Ghost the more she opens herself to it.
Tyler (Haleys brother) is a big gamer. He is almost always in front of the TV playing some new game. The funny thing is even though you would never guess it Sister Bearnson is a big gamer too! :) She loves video games and has played pretty much every single one you can name. She has been relating gospel topics to video game talk so that Tyler will stay interested. It is actually working! Tyler is slowly starting to realize that we have something that is sorta interesting. :) Sister Bearnson is amazing.
Speaking of Sister Bearnson!! It was her Birthday this week!! She turned 23 on Friday. I made sure the entire ward was aware so she got a ton of calls and texts on Friday saying Happy Birthday! :) It was a great day for her and I am glad that we got to celebrate it! I love being able to find things to celebrate. It doesn't matter what it is. I just love being happy and so Friday was an extra happy day! We are opposites in a lot of things, but we really get along really good and can use each other to relate to different people. God really is in control. I needed to meet some of these people here. :)
Today for Preparation Day we went to check out Buc-ees. It is this store where everything is covered in Beavers.. and I hear people talk about it all the time!! We were expecting a little more since we have not heard the end of his place since we got here.. but it was still pretty cool. We got a good laugh at all the Beaver things.
Great week this week. One of the highlights was the
Ward ARTS NIGHT!
It was a big talent show that also involved visual art like paintings and quilts. It was so much fun to see the random talents that people in our ward have. We brought some investigators so we got to see it all! Some members sang Opera (and I was actually impressed) One of them was in Italian and I thought it sounded pretty good, but if anyone has heard me try to speak Italian then you would know I have no idea. haha
Some of the youth danced. There was a lyrical dance that was pretty good, but my favorite was one of the guys doing a hip-hop locking dance. He is a less active that we have been working with to come back to church. He mentioned a couple weeks ago that he use to dance and so of course I had to ask him what he does and why he stopped doing it. He said that he didn't know why he stopped, but it was something he missed. We had a a little conversation about it and pretty much at the end Sister Bearnson and I talked him into taking up dancing again. At this point I had never seen him dance and I totally forgot about the conversation. Then in the talent show he is called up on stage and he says in the microphone, "I love to dance and it is a talent that I have been given from God. The sisters have helped me to see that I can use my talent in good ways that uplift others. I will forever be grateful to my Father in Heaven for his gift" :D It was such a cool looking dance and he choreographed it all himself. We were impressed and we are glad he is getting more involved with the ward.
Other than singing and dancing there was a couple piano pieces played and there was even some stand up comedy. It wasn't the best thing I have ever heard, but it was still pretty funny. There was even a violin and viola duo by a pregnant mom (due in 3 weeks) and another lady in the ward. I was impressed at all the talent.
At the end of that night I realized that so many people had talents that I would have never even realized. Then I thought about spiritual talents. There are a ton of people in the world who have certain talents, whether it is something they have really worked to develop or it is just something that comes naturally, God gives everyone a talent. My companion, Sister Bearnson is very good at listening. She almost always knows exactly what investigators are feeling because she can listen in a way that really allows her to understand them on a deeper level. Some people are blessed with teaching skills or people skills. There are talents of being great helpers, of always being considerate of others. All of these talents as a whole can come together and benefit all of us.
God never intended for us to get to heaven all alone. We need each other to learn and to grow. If we were all individual people fending for ourselves then we would never have the need to be anything other than what we are. The talents and abilities of others challenge us to be better than we are. It is a wonderful system that God knew would help us out in the best way.
Other than that we had our first Cottage Meeting this week! This a smaller group of members inviting their friends over and we all eat goodies and talk about the gospel. It actually was really awesome and we are planning another one in a couple weeks.
We also got to help out at the library this week! We got to sort through book for 2 hours! haha It wasn't the most wonderful job, but we were happy to see the librarians smile when we were done. Service really is the best medicine.
Don't worry...we never go over the speed limit!!!!
Monday, September 23, 2013
I feel like my life should be the next season of "The District" So much has happened and it would be so much easier to show you than to type it all out on this here computer, but here it goes. :)
So first off last week we got in contact with a family who we were teaching before summer hit. This family is awesome and really wanted to be baptized a couple months ago, but when summer came along and they all went to Mexico we really didn't have anything we could do for them. They came back and we went back to see them as soon as possible, but they were not as excited as they were before. We went back a couple times, but they were always busy and having to reschedule appointments. This Tuesday they officially told us to go away and not come back.. We were a little depressed about it because they were so awesome and we know how much this message can really bless their lives.
Hopefully down the road a little they will come back. I know God knows how to help them. They will be willing to learn again a little later.
My favorite thing about this week was going on exchanges. I got to go to a SPANISH area for a couple days! I just talked it Portuguese and anything that didn't exactly translate Hermana Carlson would help me with. It was sooo much fun and I actually surprised myself with how much Portuguese I know.. and how much Spanish I understand! I was definitely seeing the grace of God helping me to communicate with those humble people. If I don't go to Brazil next transfer I would really love to serve in a Spanish area! Sure it would be a little bit of a stretch, but I have full confidence in my Heavenly Father. He knows what I need to be doing. :)
While we were on exchanges I was talking to this lady about the Holy Ghost. She asked what it feels like and as I was thinking how to say what I wanted to say in Portuguese the video we watched in the MTC came into my head. In the video there is a lady who is talking about the feeling she has is almost too big for her body. It fills her up and makes her feel peace. I was able to remember how the lady talked about this feeling in spanish... and told her. Right now I couldn't tell you what I said, but I know that it was exactly what that video said... hah Sister Carlson was impressed, but I was just so grateful. The only way to describe that moment is to say that it was not me. God brought that to me and I was able to do it only because of Him.
I love being a missionary. I see so many blessings everyday!
Speaking of blessings- Haley (new convert) brought her entire family to church on Sunday!! Her brother and sister stayed the entire meeting and they had an awesome time. We also had a couple less active families come to church on Sunday.
Church is the place where we really gain a greater understanding and appreciation of our Savior. So many times during the week people say, " I just don't see the reason to go to church. I can study the scriptures on my own. I can have a relationship with God on my own."
Yes, a relationship with God is very important, but church is your time once a week where you can really let go of everything else and completely focus on the gifts from your Father and your Savior. Church is a place where you meet other people who will support you in your beliefs. You have a family and a support system.
Church is a gift from God, not an annoying obligation.
I would rant some more, but you get the picture. I love my Savior. I love His gospel. I know that this church is true because I have asked and God has given me my very own personal witness of the truth. I know that families are meant to be together forever, but you need to correct priesthood authority to do so. I know that we are so blessed and that more blessings are in store for those who keep the commandments with a happy heart.
Have a great week everybody!
Eu amo voces!
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Monday, September 9, 2013
Hello all my lovely friends,
This week has gone by especially fast since P-day was on Tuesday last week. Luckily the entire week has been awesome, with the little rocks in the road to keep it interesting.. just like always. :)
I think we finally figured all the stuff out with the apartment. We have gone a couple week now with no late fee notifications or last minute faxes to the mission office. Thank goodness for that.
This week was filled with more and more learning opportunities that I am so grateful for. I am really trying to keep up with my journal so I can record all the blessings I see everyday. Really if you look anything can become a blessing.
One of my blessings this week was went I was in a lesson with a member and her friend. We were talking about reading the Book of Mormon and the member piped up with this little nugget of wisdom.
She said " The Book of Mormon talks about Jesus Christ just like the Bible does. When we read them both we get a better idea of who Christ is. When we know someone better we naturally trust them. So the more we can know about our Savior the easier it will be to turn our pains and worries over to Him. We will trust Him and know Him as an individual."
Wow, when she said that the spirit just flooded into the room. Her friend talked about the desire she has had to know the Savior better. I couldn't believe how strong the spirit was... I seriously felt like Jesus was right there personally inviting her to read the Book of Mormon and I was just the person speaking the words. It was powerful and I know that I was not in charge of that moment. That was completely the Spirit taking over. :)
This stuff is powerful. We are not talking about a Book that simply makes us feel good when we are reading it. We are talking about TRUTH. It contains the Truth and there is nothing more powerful than that from our loving Father in Heaven.
I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it will help you to know Jesus Christ right along with the Bible. When you know Him then you can trust Him and he really can lift you up.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it and I know God knows it. He wants everyone to know.
Eu Amo Voces!
What a wonderful week!! So many great things are happening everywhere I go. All you people are people I look up to. I admire your leadership and your influence on me. I truly believe that every one I meet has something to teach me. Everyone has strengths and the way those strengths shine through teaches me more about myself and about the love of my Heavenly Father.
Just as an example: This week I had the opportunity to meet a Less Active member of our Silverlake Ward. She invited us in and we began to talk. She talked about how a long time ago she was married to a member of the church. She said how she pictured it to be a wonderful story book marriage, but he was abusive and the marriage ended in flames instead of roses. She said for a long time she was angry with God. She decided that He didn't love her and didn't want anything to do with him. My heart went out to this nice lady. She was obviously still in pain from the incident. She went on to say that she has since then forgiven God, but she learned a very valuable lesson. She said "Your religion needs to start from your inner most self. If you are running through the motions then you will see blessings, but you won't feel them. You won't understand the fullness of Gods love until you capture it inside you." I was thinking about that and I realized that she is completely right. She is a wonderful lady and I already love her so much. We talked a lot about the Love God has for her and the way to feel it through the Atonement. It was such a wonderful time. We could literally feel the Love of God filling in all the open spaces in that little room. :)
Now you are probably wondering why the topic of this email involves the Moon. Well.. for my birthday today we went to NASA! It was sorta crazy because last week we were talking about how Preparation day was changed to Tuesday (my birthday) and so we should do something really cool. The idea came up that we should go to NASA and all of us jokingly said that would be awesome, but we didn't think it would actually happen. Then I decided that I could make it happen... and so we did!
It was pretty cool because we got to see the original mission control room and a bunch of videos of space travel and historical things. My companion and I got NASA shirts and we took tons and tons of pictures!!
I am so completely amazed at the progression we have had in technology since the first launch to space. The knowledge of all this new and improved awesome stuff just makes me in complete awe at the great power of our Father in Heaven. We can make human-like robots that can turn a single page of a book without ripping it and type on a touch screen phone with no mistakes! We can create a machine that can travel 5 miles per second! We can create an environment in which we can live in space! We have technology that can hold tons of data that is now the size of a quarter! It is incredible and yet still people doubt the existence of a higher power. God is the source of all knowledge and all creation. He created us! He made our bodies and created our planet for us.
One of my favorite quotes is "Compared to God, man are nothing; yet we are everything to God."
God knows everything. He literally understands all and yet he counts us as His greatest creation. He loves us more than we understand and He will continue to be there for us and help us. He is the founder of all truth and the source of all this wonderful technology that we have today.
What a blessing.
Today as I learned all about the Space expeditions I gained a greater appreciation for His divine love. Just think He seriously knows everything about everything, but does He ever focus on that? No. In our prayers He asks that we address Him as our Heavenly Father not as the most intelligent, all knowing being in the universe. Even though that is exactly what He is. Doesn't that just open your eyes to the love He has? I feel so blessed and happy to have this knowledge. :)
Anyway, God loves you ok? If I haven't made that clear yet feel feel to ask me again. hah He really does though! And he wants to hear from you! :) Talk to Him it will make all the difference to you. :)
Have a great week everyone. Smile a little bigger :)
Love you all
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Monday, August 26, 2013
How are all ya'll doing? Well I am doing great too, let me tell you about it. :)
This week was a good week.. but not a numbers week. All of your missionaries know what I am talking about. Sometimes you get to the end of the week and you go to report on the numbers of the week and you think, "Wow... is that all?" Then you go through your planner and count once or twice more before you realize that you were right the first time.
Even though we only taught a little this week we still had some wonderful things happen! It is crazy how God works that way. He gives you blessings in all sorts of ways, the trick is to find them. It is almost a game! "Where have I seen the Lords hand today in my life?"
Well we started off the week going to the temple (on tuesday) The temple was beautiful and it made me feel so much better. Plus afterwards the members we went with took us to lunch! I love my food.
On Wednesday we were in the neighborhood of a guy we had talked to a couple weeks before. His name is Darryl and he is a big BBQer. He goes with his dad all the time to enter BBQ competitions! Cool right? Well we talked to him just right before he left for his competition, but he took a Book of Mormon and said he would read it on the way. We didn't know if it would happen or not but we decided to choose faith instead of doubting. So this brings us to Wednesday when we saw him outside. We go riding up to talk to him and he recognizes us right away and says, "Hey Sisters!" He then went on to tell us that now was not a good time, but he wanted us to come back soon because he did read the book and he wants to talk about it. I could hardly believe it!
Thursday we had Zone Conference! It was awesome! Our Mission President is so inspiring and we had a lot of really great things to improve on. One of the things I want to work on is developing the attitude of turning outward and helping others when I feel like turning inward. We talked about Christ and how whenever he was tired or in pain he never failed to reach out and help the people in need. He always could go outside of himself and think about others.
The rest of the weekend was filled with all sorts of rain adventures. Actually Sunday was a bit of a miracle. We get up and start getting ready only to look outside and see that it was pouring rain. We sighed a little and just continued our routine. Just about 5 mins before we left the rain slowed down to a little drizzle so we could get to church, but the minute we got inside the church building it picked up again... only to stop a couple minutes after church ended. It was such a blessing and I know it was from God.
It made me sort of reflect on the way God feels about Sundays. He is just fine with us getting soaked through on most days.. haha but he knows that we wanted to look dry and presentable as representatives of Christ in the Lords House. That was a little tender mercy that I just felt so grateful for. He really is in charge of our lives. I don't know how he takes care of all his children so tenderly, but I know He does.
I know He loves us so much. He really cares about how we feel and what we are going through. Sometimes I know a lot of us feel alone. We feel insignificant and small, but God sees what we can become.
I testify that God lives. I know that he love YOU and he knows YOU. I am a witness of His mercy. I am a witness of His Justice. I know that God is perfectly just, meaning that He treats everyone the same no matter where they come from or what they have done. As long as you repent and come unto Him you can receive the mercy of the Savior.
I testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church Christ brought to the earth. It is lead by holy prophets who talk to God and know exactly what we need to do in order to return to our Heavenly Father.
We are in this together, and yes, that includes our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Have a smashing week ya'll!
Love, Sister Earl
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
You know those times when you know where you are going, but when you have to explain it to someone you just can't figure it out? Well that is exactly how I felt Friday night when my companion left me and I had another Sister come and join me for a day.
Suddenly I was in charge and while I acted like everything was awesome and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.. I felt quite small. In fact I suddenly had to figure out how all the neighborhoods fit together and how we would ride our bikes on the safest roads to get there. I was a little stressed.. but it worked out just fine. I didn't get us killed and we actually had some awesome lessons!!
My favorite story happened Friday night. We had just arrived at a members house that we wanted to visit, but by the time we knocked on the door 3 times we figured they were probably not home. (even though there were 3 cars outside) Anyway, we turn around to leave and this HUGE BLACK CLOUD IS COVERING THE ENTIRE SKY.
Of course everyone knew that a huge storm was coming.. and that it would be best to stay in doors.. but nobody thought to warn the innocent Sisters on their bikes... hah
The rain starts to pour down in buckets. It seriously looked like there were a billion buckets just dumping huge sheets of water down, because of the winds being blown in different ways. The lighting and thunder started and I seriously thought we were going to be hit. The flashes of light and sound were so close it was obvious that the storm was just right over us. The street was already flooded so that we could not even see the lines on the road. All of this happened in like... umm 2 mins maybe. haha just picture us standing on the covered porch thinking.. "What in the world are we going to do?" Hermana Carlson (the sister with me) looks at me and says, "um, what do you do without a car?" I looked at her and said, "Well lets try the neighbors" So we run across the street dragging our floating bikes with us trying to see good enough not to run into a car or a tree or something. We knock on the door and a lady barely cracks open the door and yells, "What can I do for you?" I sorta laughed to myself and yelled back, "Would it be ok if we came in, its sorta raining out here." She laughed and let us in! Yay! We were completely soaked through.. but we went to the kitchen and sat at the table. We taught the first lesson and will be going back soon. :) They are an awesome family. Storms sometimes come in handy ;)
On Saturday we got to talk to a lot of people and have some new investigators that I am excited about. At the end of the transfer I must say I was proud of how I handled the situation. I hope I can continue to have that fire and motivation now that my comp is back. :) It changes your outlook a bit when you have to be in charge. haha
A bunch of the missionaries from my district at the MTC arrived in Brazil this week! I am excited for them!! :) I will join them one day! haha
We went to the temple today! It was a great day! :)
(OH and the picture of the lizard is just one of the things I see everyday about 20 billion times. There are lizards everywhere! Especially after the storm! They are cute though and really fun to grab. :P )
Have a great week everybody!
Monday, August 12, 2013
It is transfers again! I can hardly believe it.. Just as I expected I am staying in the same place, which I am actually super happy about. I love Pearland and the Silverlake ward is seriously filled with the best people. We get dinner pretty much every night and they are always giving us people to go and visit or inviting us over to there house to meet their friends! It is the greatest.
Funny/awkward moment of the day
The first happened the other day when we were going to contact a referral we received from a member. We knock on the door at about 6 o clock in the evening and a short blonde lady comes to the door. We start off by talking about her children who also came running to the door and eventually got the the part when we introduce ourselves as missionaries. Now at this point people usually completely stop wanting to talk to us, they are friendly, or they don't react at all. However, more often than not we get the people who are super busy all of a sudden. haha This time the lady was actually completely calm and so we talk about what we do as missionaries and the entire time she is smiling and looking super calm. We asked her a question and then she just says, "We are not religious" Now let me remind you, we are in Texas and EVERYONE (including pets, apparently) is religious! Sister Bearnson and I had no idea what to say at that point! haha We were completely taken off guard with that statement because that is seriously the first time I have heard it. Luckily after a couple seconds of pure awkwardness we figured out what to say and had a good conversation, but looking back I am sure that was really super funny for the lady we were talking to.
Other than that experience we had plenty of awkward moments on our bikes during the day. Wipeouts are the best though. (at least when it is Sister Bearnson) I am proud to say that I have never crashed on my bike... (knock on wood) but she has!! The other day we were coming down a hill and she needed to stop but she used the front brakes instead of the back ones first and so the bike flipped over her! haha From my point of view it looked like the bike suddenly decided it wanted to fly or something because out of nowhere it just flips up and Sister Bearnson somehow got off of it in time. hahaha It was so funny!! We could not figure out how she managed to get off the bike! It hit her leg a little bit but other than that it didn't touch her! Crazy right?
I wish I had time to record every single miracle I see on a daily basis, but unfortunately I don't. Just always remember that God is a God of miracles! He always has been and He always will be! If you really look God will always give you things to be grateful for. Some days I'll admit I do have to look a little harder, but He always comes through because He loves me.
Take the time to think of the miracles you see in your life. Write them down and feel the joy that comes from being grateful.
One of the things on my grateful list today is that my jeans still fit! haha Sister Bearnson and I tried on our jeans for the first time in a looooong time, but we were sure that they were not going to fit. Yes, I will admit they were a little tight, but both of us got them up, buttoned, and zipped! Happy day!!
We have some really cool people that we are teaching right now. I love how God can help us to understand really how people feel and what they need. The other day we were teaching a lady and she said that she didn't think we should come over anymore because her children were really against the church and she didn't want to cause any problems. We talked about it for a little bit and we felt impressed to ask her if her children would be interested in talking to us just to get some of their questions out. She said that she wasn't sure, but she hoped they would. She went on to bear her testimony about the Book of Mormon and how she knows it is from God. She expressed so much love for the gospel and for her children. I just know that everything will work out because God will help her and her family.
Well have a great day everyone! Oh and write me!!
Hello again, its me.
This week has once again gone by in a couple minutes. I vaguely remember eating a couple meals and I guess I must have slept at one point too, but it doesn't really feel like it. hahaha. Luckily we have some great people to keep my spirits up, plus being down never helps anyone anyway.
This week for numbers wasn't the greatest week. We did get 10 referrals though which was a big improvement! We are doing our best to talk to everyone and help them see just how much their Father in Heaven loves them. This entire mission is motivated by the love of our Savior and it is an incredible blessing to be able to feel that for all the people around me. I am hoping to have an even better week this coming week and I know God will help me and Sister Bearnson. (It is the last week of the transfer! Weird right?)
Just to start off I learned something very new and interesting to me this week. I was talking to a member of our ward early last week and I learned something new about a certain insect that lives here in Texas. There is this bug here that stays high in the trees that makes this very loud noise. At first it always sorta scared me when it would make noises, but lately it has been more easy to ignore. Anyway these bugs are called Secadas. (Might be spelled wrong, sorry I don't have google.) These bugs incubate underground for 17 years!! and then live for about a week or so above ground. I was completely baffled by that news! These very loud and obnoxious things only get to live for a week!
As I was biking about this past week it seems like there are a ton of new secadas all around and so as they screamed at me while I rode past I made a couple of observations. Sorry if these observations seem silly to you, but it made sense in my close to heat stroke mind. :)
Observation One: You never know what people are going through around you.
Before I learned about the pathetic plight of a young secadas life I will admit the things really annoyed me. They make these very loud noises that fill up all the empty space around you. As I thought about these bugs and the fact that they only have so long to live I thought about all the other people in my life that sometimes I judge way to soon.
Often we feel like we understand exactly what is going on in others lives. We think that we know exactly how we would behave if we were in someone elses shoes and we judge the way others act. As silly as it might sound I gained a new respect for Secadas this week. Those annoying things only live for a week! So in a way I can see how they would feel the need to live life to the fullest no matter how much it might annoy the people passing by. People are even more complicated than secadas as crazy as that might sound. haha People have so many things that can affect them every day and I for one need to be more understanding of how others deal with the trials they face. Everyone has hard things, some people just handle it differently than you would. Everyone makes mistakes, some peoples mistakes are just more visible than others. It happens.
Observation Two: There is always something harder that you could be going through, so be thankful.
Secadas are quite disgusting looking. I don't know if you have ever seen one, but they are not the most glamorous bug (if there is such a thing). I will admit at times when I felt quite disgusting myself this week I would think about those bugs and think, "Well at least you don't look like one of those things." haha Even though we have been told not to compare ourselves to others sometimes it can be done it an uplifting way. If you can think of yourself and your trials and think, "Well it could always be worse, I might as well deal with it and move on." Then you will be a lot happier with the things you have been given. If it helps you can just think, "At least I am not a disgusting bug that only lives for a week." It helps me, it can help you too. Whatever your tactic, choose to be happy and not be down on yourself. God has given you so much to be grateful for and just to help you out the first thing on your list could be. 1. I was created in the image of God. We have the blessing of being created in the manner of the most wonderful being in the entire universe! He loves us a lot and he wants us to be grateful for the blessings He has already given us. So smile and show off your beautiful self. :)
Observation Three: Prepare now for your future.
I know I already mentioned it, but these bugs live underground doing absolutely nothing for 17 years besides grow. That is all they do! As I was thinking about that I realized that sometimes we do that too. How often to we look forward to a certain event in our lives that we feel will make everything else in our life better, but all we do to get to that point is wait? This life on earth is a time to prepare to meet God. There is nothing I want more than to make it back to see my Father in Heaven, but I want to be sure that when I get there I have something to say to my 17+ years I have been "growing" on the earth. I want that glorious day to be glorious for many reasons. 1. I want to remember the face of my Savior. 2. I want to have Him be proud of what I did while I was on the earth. and 3. I want to be proud of what I did! I want to feel like I did the best preparation that I could do while I had the blessing of being on the earth. I want to have helped everyone that I could, and gotten as close to my Savior as I possibly could.
So even though these little bugs really don't have that much of an impact on the world as a whole, they made me think about a couple things this week. And you might say that I was thinking a little too hard about an insignificant bug, but who knows maybe God wanted me to learn that lesson and this was the only way it was going to stick. I testify that God knows you as well. He knows how you learn and how He can help you understand. No matter how small you may feel your Father in Heaven loves you with an infinite love. He wants more than anything to help guide you through this life so that you can live with Him again someday. Turn to Him! Pray to Him and let Him help you to become what He knows you can be.
I love all of you. Have a great week!!
PS Keep doing the wonderful things you are doing and let me know what exciting things are going on in your life! I would love to know.
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