Monday, July 1, 2013

Fasting with a Purpose

Dear family,
How are ya'll doing?  How is Kory doing and getting ready for his mission?  Kory, you should write me :)  It's almost time for you to leave!  And your leaving on Kiki's bday?  That is cool! By the way... I think it's some birthdays this week, Aunt Laura, Matthew and Chanda.  Happy birthday!  Speaking of Matthew... a couple came to the visitor center just getting home from their missions in Philly.  Elder and Sister House? They said to tell Matthew "Hi" :)
This week seemed to go by really fast.  We had some awesome times.  We had training with President Vellinga and some of the head sites Directors and Elder Sorensen.  The director was actually one of the ones who made it possible for sister missionaries to dress somewhat cute on their missions.
So Brother and Sister Edwards (in ward-kinda)... they want to get skinny so I wrote out the "my body makeover diet" and just within this last week they have lost over 10 pounds!  I didn't think they would lose so much so quick, but they are super proud and Sister Edwards was like... I want to die every morning when I am eating those egg whites.  It's super funny.
At church yesterday everyone said that there were people looking for me.  They said "Bishop Johnson's grand-daughter is serving in this ward!" and I guess Lauri Nunley-Malolo and her husband came and were talking to me about how they know my whole family!  Everyone in the ward knows the Nunley's.  One lady said she had the biggest crush on Randy and she wished he baptized her. haha.
We also had a bonfire last night at a less actives home.  The Roberts:)  It was so fun!  So many people came... the Robert's invited all of their family and even people from their church and tons of our ward members came and we had s'mores and we shared a message with everyone.  It was really successful.  The other sisters who serve in our ward with us... they came and have a couple new people to teach.  The bonfire was really helpful for them and then Brad called this morning saying how much he loved it and he wants to do it again. :)
Oh, but something cool happened.  We go downstairs to meet up with the family we were about to take on tour and they introduce themselves... and we take them into the movie and then... he starts telling us how he is an Area Seventy. haha  So we took a member of the Seventy on tour.  I got a little nervous after that :)   He had a lot of good insight... he liked to talk, it was a really good tour.  He brought all his oldest grandchildren.  I believe his name is Elder Chedister :)
Did you know that there are beer drive throughs?  I see them everywhere!  Also, I have also never seen so much road kill in my life.  I always kinda wanted to live in the country, but probably not ever anywhere this country. :)
A little church history... :)  In the Whitney Store there is a trade and work room.  After Brother Whitney became the bishop, it actually became one of the first bishop storehouses.  The storehouses that we have now are quite a bit bigger, but it is so neat to see where it all started.  The saints would fast for 2 meals.. or 24 hours just like we do, except they would actually give a chicken and actually bring in the food that they would eat as their fast offering.
I was thinking about how fast Sunday is coming up this next week and to be honest... I am not the best faster.  I just get headaches and count down the time until I can eat again.  I am working on becoming better, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts. :)
Fasting is supposed to help us come closer to Heavenly Father and strengthen our faith.  So how can we make our fast more meaningful? ...

1. Always start out and end with a prayer.  The sons of Mosiah in Alma 17:3 talked about how they had MUCH prayer and fasting.  We should have much prayer and pray not only beginning and end, but during in our hearts as well.

2. Purpose.  If we fast with a purpose, it will be so much easier.  Fasting is a form of worship and is showing our gratitude and can really strengthen our testimonies.

3. Honest Sacrifice.  When we are sacrificing it makes us teachable.  It is between us and the Lord.  We should be honest with ourselves as well.

4. Paying a generous fast offering.  These funds are used for the poor and needy.

I heard something where someone was talking about our pulmonary and cardiovascular systems and how they need each other!  They provide living.  That is the same for the law of the fast and fast offerings.  I never really thought about it, but you can't do one without the other.

The blessings will be ours if we participate in meaningful fasts.  We are promised to have a clearer mind and spirit, develop courage and confidence, increase our faith and even gain control of our appetite, etc.

It can be hard to fast sometimes, but I know that if we follow these steps and even pray to remember the purpose of your fast, it will become easier and a sacrifice worth making.
I am sorry I write so much and that this wasn't very organized, but I hope you have a wonderful week.  May we all have a meaningful fast this next Sunday.
Love you, love you, love you :)
Sister Johnson
ps~ it's transfers next week, I don't want to leave Rootstown!
"It’s not about being the best.  It’s about being better than you were yesterday."

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