Monday, September 15, 2014

Angleton: Brand Spankin' new building!! (and more YSA!!) September 15, 2014

So this week I am soooo suuuper excited to announce that the new church building that they are building in Angleton is actually ready to be occupied AND we will be doing the new ward boundaries very soon!!

I have been serving in the Angleton ward. Just to explain a little this new building was announced about 20ish years ago and has been being built only for a few years. They have been waiting on the numbers to pick up in this area to actually move the Angleton people to the Angleton building. So I live in Angleton, but we go to church in Lake Jackson which is another (slightly bigger) town a little south of Angleton. 

Hopefully that made sense... hah :)

So yes we will be in the NEW building!! AND they are creating a Young Single Adult ward down here as well!! The Brazoria Singles Branch! :)  Which is exactly what we need actually. We have been working with a lot of YSAs and it would help them to be strengthened so much. (I have a soft spot for YSA wards..) 

When I was in the Armand Bayou YSA branch there were a ton of YSAs that lived in this general area that didn't really go to church because it was soooo far away from Clear Lake. Now it will be much easier and I am overly excited to see how it all plays out. :) 

So we should for sure be in the new building by Conference time. :) maybe before then if we are lucky. 

So all that being said.... This week has been great!! 

We had a lot of people lined up to come to church, so we were a little bummed when only one came.. but we were still really excited for Hannah! She is the granddaughter of a less active member who taught us how to much homemade tortillas!! 

Hannah is the daughter of an Inactive member who doesn't believe in religion. He believes that God exists but he said "I don't want to change and I don't believe that Satan exists." Because of this Hannah really knows NOTHING about God. She only has learned the things that she learned in school about Christianity. It is a really different experience teaching someone the very basics but it is so rewarding. This past week we taught her how to pray and she was so excited to tell us the next day that she really felt like someone was there and was listening to her prayer. :) It was humbling and wonderful to hear about her experience. We were overjoyed when she was able to come to church and the speakers testified of Gods love. It was perfect. Sometimes I am just blown away by the perfect plan that God has for each of us. :)

We finally saw Bernice again this week!!!! It was a tender mercy from the Lord. We really wanted to talk to her and we haven't been able to catch her or call her. We decided to stop by one day with a member and just prayed all day that she would be there. When we went by she didn't answer the door.. we were a little put out but we decided to go somewhere else and then come back and try again. By the time we got back over there we were excited but not all that surprised to see her getting out of her car with groceries. I say that we were not surprised because from our prayers and studies that morning we knew that God told us that we would be able to talk to Bernice today. So while we were overjoyed we knew it was simply God following through on his promises. (which he does EVERY TIME by the way) 

So we got to talk to her and she told us that her boyfriend was just a little upset about having to live the law of chastity and so that is why they have been off the radar. We testified to her about families and the way that God views them and set up another appointment to meet with her. She told us that she has still be reading and she still loves the things that she has learned. She KNOWs this is true. She is just a little scared of the little bumps in the road.. That is ok! Just don't back away from a good thing! 

The thing about Satan is he is super sneaky. If he doesn't get you to do something wrong he will get you to doubt for forget the light and knowledge you have received. The danger of not reading our scriptures everyday and not going to church is not that we will suddenly become this horrible person.. the danger is that slowly we lose our reverence and sensitivity to spiritual things. We slowly loose the reality of our identity and our potential as children of God. We might always remember that Jesus Christ is our Savior, but can you feel it? Can you say right now that you can feel the power of Christs atonement making you clean and guiding your path? If not then guess what? YOU CAN! just do the things that God asks. It is simple. 

To end I just want to include a part of a a talk by Jeffery R. Holland. It is called "Cast Not Away Therefore Thy Confidence" and is suuuper good! 

"An entire article could be devoted to this subject of the adversary’s strong, preliminary, anticipatory opposition to many of the good things God has in store for us. But I want to move past that observation to another truth we may not recognize so readily. This is a lesson in the parlance of the athletic contest that reminds us “it isn’t over until it’s over.” It is the reminder that the fight goes on. Unfortunately we must not think Satan is defeated with that first strong breakthrough which so dramatically brought the light and moved us forward.
To make my point a little more vividly, may I go to another passage of scripture, indeed, to another vision. You will recall that the book of Moses begins with him being taken up to “an exceedingly high mountain” where, the scripture says, “he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses.” What then followed was what happens to prophets who are taken to high mountains. The Lord said to Moses:
“Look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands. … Moses looked, and … beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God. And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not.” 3 
This experience is remarkable by every standard. It is one of the great revelations given in human history. It stands with the greatest accounts we have of any prophet’s experience with Divinity.
But Moses’ message to you today is: Don’t let your guard down. Don’t assume that a great revelation, some marvelous, illuminating moment, the opening of an inspired path, is the end of it. Remember, it isn’t over until it’s over.
What happens to Moses next, after his revelatory moment, would be ludicrous if it were not so dangerous and so true to form. Lucifer—in an effort to continue his opposition, in his unfailing effort to get his licks in later if not sooner—appears and shouts in equal portions of anger and petulance after God has revealed Himself to the prophet: “Moses, worship me.” But Moses is not having it. He has just seen the real thing, and by comparison this sort of performance is pretty dismal.
“Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? … Where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?
“For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me. … But I can look upon thee in the natural man. …
“Where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God. …
“Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not.”
The record then depicts a reaction that is both pathetic and frightening:
“And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
“And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God [the very phrase used by Joseph Smith], he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
“And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook. …
“And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence,” 4  always to come again, we can be sure, but always to be defeated by the God of glory—always.
I wish to encourage every one of us regarding the opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul was trying to encourage new members who had just joined the Church, who undoubtedly had had spiritual experiences and received the pure light of testimony, only to discover that their troubles had not ended but that some of them had just begun."

THis is just part of that talk, but it is one of my favorites! Go and read it if you would like. Anyway,  this work is true and it is right. I love it with all my soul. :) 

Have a great week ya'll!
-Sister Earl

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Angleton Birthday Week September 8 2014

Howdy peoples!

This week was an absolutely amazing week!! :) Not only did we have a lot of awesome lessons with prepared people, but I was absolutely spoiled this entire week for my birthday!! :) 

For one my companion Sister McBride is adorable and made me a cake as well as put some candles on some cinnamon rolls that we had gotten from our downstairs neighbor! (Last week at the store she made me close my eyes and hold on to the cart while she picked out all the stuff to make my birthday surprises.. :) haha it was fun) 

One of our neighbors Jennifer got me a 25 dollar gift certificate to Walmart and Julie got us a gallon of Blue Bell ice cream and cinnamon rolls! (We have been sharing all these goodies with others.. not eating them all. Don't worry!!)

​Then we have gotten countless other goodies and dinner requests to celebrate. It was fun.. but lets just say birthday week in a mission is a little crazier than birthday week at home! haha I have eaten enough ice cream and cake to last me a little while. ahah (I blew out 3 sets of candles... ahah )

The best part of birthday week was the awesome success we saw in the work!! Jason Key (the guy we found last week) now has a date for the 27th of Sept and he is really excited! Bishop Whipple and their family are AWESOME fellowshippers invited us and Jason over for dinner yesterday! We had a wonderful lesson about the Restoration and the spirit was so strong. Jason was so excited and told us that he has gone to so many churches looking for one that really has the things that matter and not all the extra fluff. Bishop Whipple was able to testify that this gospel is true, and it is not the church people go to to be entertained. It contains the doctrine needed for salvation. Jason was so moved by that. He said that he doesn't believe that this was a coincidence and that he needs to move forward and feel if this is really true. 

We are so excited for him and his kids!! :) 

We also received a referral this week for a lady named Celestina Guzman. We went by with the Primary President Sister Handly and had a wonderful lesson with her and her 6 kids!! :) It was a miracle having Sister Handly there because Celest is looking for some friends in this area and Sister Handly holds a play group at her house or at other places in the community every Wednesday morning!! Celest was excited and she had so many questions that were PERFECT. She asked us, "Ok, I want a for real answer now.. So are the people in your church the kind that go to church on Sunday after partying all night the night before? Please be honest.. do ya'll really try to be Christians all the time?" 

YES!!! YES WE DO when she asked that question I testified that her Heavenly Father had lead us to talk to her today because of the desires that she has. She felt the spirit strongly and we talked about how this gospel will bless her and her family more than anything. :) She is awesome and her family will be baptized on the 3rd of October.  

That was just a few of the incredible miracles that we are seeing!! 

I love this work! I know that we are working for the best cause in the universe. God lives and he loves us so much! He knows what we need and when we need it. He will lead us to those who are prepared to hear and recognize the truth. The elect hear this message and know that it HAS to be true. It is the hope and light of the world. This is the only thing that makes all of this life worth it. 

I love it more than anything. 

Have a good one!
-Sister Earl


September 2 2014

​​It was another great week! We taught 35 lessons this week! And had 7 new investigators!

One of the experiences was crazy. We had a new investigator that we talked to outside about his family. He told us how he had just gone through a divorce, the death of a child, and the death of his dad. I could just see the pain that this guy was feeling and I could also feel the spirit testify to me about how much God loves him and understands him. We testified briefly about the Plan of Salvation and made a return appointment. We came back with a member and when Jason opened the door the member and him knew each other from their kids football practice! We had a powerful lesson on the Plan of Salvation and invited him to be baptized. This week he is going to come to the members house this week for dinner and a lesson! :) He is awesome! There are so many prepared people around me. If we look then we will see the ones that are prepared. They are the ones looking for direction and answers in their lives. I know that this message is the only way for us to receive lasting comfort in our trials. 

This is the Relief Society President Sister Jackson! Her husband is our Ward Mission Leader and they are both Bowling instructors! 

It was really fun! (and we got to wear pants!) (notice the Earl Reunion shirt!!) 

​This is from when we went to the temple to see the Chaplins get sealed! That is Sister Anglin! She is the best!!!! 

​She surprised me with a picture! 

We are really excited to see how this next week goes since we will have 7 or 8 new baptismal dates set up in the future. The Lord really blesses us if we want to be a part of this work. The work is hastening and if we decided to jump on board He will let us be a part of the wonderful work. It is the best feeling teaching and testifying about things that will have an eternal impact on people. I know that God lives and that the choices we make really play a big part in our eternity. 

Sister McBride is celebrating her 2 month mark today! That is just CRAZY!! hence the picture.. 

​We are loving every minute of this time together in the mission field!! There is so much to do.. AND SO LITTLE time. It is flying by faster and faster. 

Thank you to all those who have wished me a happy birthday! Either in their minds or through email! I really appreciate it! It is hard to believe I am 21.. that just sounds way too mature for how I feel... (again refer to the picture above.)  hah 

Also this week we had a member refer us to a lady that had a friend growing up that was a member of the church. Her name is Sarah and she grew up in Georgia. She told us that when her friend went to the temple for the 1st time she had all sorts of dreams about being in the temple. Very vivid and she said she felt so much peace and light. We told her how she could go to the temple and feel that feeling again and she was overcome with the spirit. Again, this work is hastening!! There are people who are ready, but they just don't know where to find the truth. :) 

I LOVE this work. Ya'll have a great one! 
-Sister Earl