June 10, 2013
I tried to read up on some of the things that everyone sent... but, I definitely have to print the emails out. Thanks for the pictures and thank you Mom for the letters :) It made me so so happy, I didn't expect anything when I came home from sites. Dad- 17 stitches plus 13? Ouch! Good there will be no scar. :)
My memory is gone on the mission... too much happens every week that I wish I could tell all! I will just start listing some things I wrote down.
For starters, this morning I made Sister Joseph get up with me atso we could go bike. :) When we started biking this morning it started to rain pretty good. Our clothes were drenched!
To answer your question... no, I haven't missed a day in writing in my journal. :)
We made a trip to Pennsylvania! On accident :) Don't worry... we told our district leaders. We made a wrong turn somehow after zone training, but now I can add another state to my list of states I've been to. :)
A guy in our ward is from Page, AZ and was in the Anderson's ward (our cousins).
We had a tour with Jackie Waldron's (from Newport Beach) best friend.
A new sister serving at the visitor center lived in Ventana apartments annnddd we were definitely in the same ward and know all the same people. She is friends with Salah, Christopher and Johnny Ahn haha and knows of Aubrey.
We also went out with a member of the Stake Presidency. The spirit was really strong at both lessons. The member of the Stake Presidency told us he has been going out with missionaries for years and he had never had such a good experience before. He said he was going to call our Mission President to tell him how awesome we were. We were like... uhhh that was definitely just the spirit that was there. We didn't even think it went that great haha but, his testimony really made it great.
We had a mini missionary this week with us! She was just putting her papers in and so she came and stayed with us for three days. By the end, she said she was really tired, but that it was fun. We tried to get her to come to Kirtland with us, but she was so exhausted haha. We said, we hope you still want to go! haha She was so cute and will do great on her mission. It was fun having a third person with us.
We were able to take some amazing tours this week. One family was just baptized this last weekend and wow... they were so amazing. They were just driving down the road and saw an LDS church one day and felt the spirit. So, she became interested and read Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants... then she called the missionaries and the missionaries said...."You are so prepared, would you want to get baptized this weekend?" So they were baptized and then came to Kirtland. We were able to talk about how the first patriarchal blessings were given there and how they can start preparing for that and going to the temple.
Chuckie came to church:) (yesterday) Do you remember when I talked about him? He is the one who loves learning about Jesus... he is super cool, and he is learning. He was looking at pictures in the church yesterday of Jesus Christ and he said, "hey! That looks like me." So, yes, Chuckie looks like Jesus haha. Everyone at church kept telling him that. He said he has a lot of questions... we are going over tonight to talk about how it all went. I am a lil nervous because the lessons in church yesterday were kind of hard topics. Sister Joseph kept looking at me and saying, "pray harder, pray harder that the spirit is here." :)
This week I was trying to figure out what else I could say in Emma's kitchen inside the Whitney store. I started thinking about how much family meant to the Smith family and how they would eat together as a family in that room. They had to endure so much and sometimes... they weren't able to eat together, or be together. They had 11 children and only 5 lived after childhood. They lost everything, they were persecuted, looked down upon, threatened and so much more. They were tested and tried in so many ways. I tried to put myself in their position and it hurts... I don't know if I could do it. And especially seeing my husband after being tarred and feathered... that would be so awful. When did it ever end? When does it get better? These are questions that we all ask at times....
I was reading in Doctrine & Covenants 122 and it talks about a revelation from the Lord and he is talking about all the trials Joseph went through. At the end of verse 7 it says, "if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that ALL these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good". Then he goes on to say in verse 9...."Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore fear not that man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever". One of the reasons we go through hard times is for our own good, so we can grow! He tells us that He is aware of us and our days, but NO MATTER WHAT influence man or the world has on you or your family - FEAR NOT! He promises He will be with us forever and ever. The Smith's went through so much, but we all have our own personal trials... just remember He is with us forever and ever. We just need to remember to be faithful.
One more quick thought to add... our Mission President encouraged us to memorize a hymn or song in the children songbook. He told us that when we are faced with hard times, we can overcome it with a hymn in our mind and hearts. It can be a way to overcome an attack from the adversary and all the commotion of the world. In the hymn book... read the preface by the 1st presidency. :) Just a simple hymn can do numbers. I think about our home and the hymns and uplifting music that we played growing up. Whenever there is contention or discouragement, think of, sing or play a hymn. It promises in the preface... that they move us to repentance, good works, builds testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning and inspire us to endure to the end. It can also bring a spirit of beauty and peace and can inspire love and unity in the home and families. What AMAZING blessings from just listening, reading, singing a hymn.
I'm so thankful that we had those hymns playing in our home. It created a place where the spirit could dwell. It is just ONE way that we can overcome that adversary. May we all keep a hymn in our heart and overcome the challenges that face us and remember that He is ALWAYS with us. I know this is true. Doctrine & Covenants 25:12 "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."
I am so grateful to have such amazing examples in my life... and an amazing family.
I love you :)
ps~ sorry this was so long!!
"Our desire to share the gospel takes each of us to our knees, and it should, because we need the Lord's help."
"The seed of kindness you plant today will one day bloom in the hearts of all you touch."