Thursday, October 6, 2016

"Good to See You All At Conference!"

Hola Familia y Amigos!

It has been another life changing week in the MTC! Here are a few updates before I get into my awesome experience singing in GENERAL CONFERENCE!

-I got to go to Walmart this week because my comp needed some medicine. It was sweet to be in the outside world, but passing my old apartment and campus was so weird. I can't believe i'm saying this...but I miss BYU. HA everyone stop laughing at me...thanks. lol. 

-I was teaching a lesson and somehow I told our investigator that I've been married for a month...when he looked confused I tried to say I was embarassed...but I accidentally said "I'm pregnant". At least I had already told him I am married right? lol... afterward I learned the ACTUAL phrase for 'I'm embarased'. I've needed that phrase since the beginning of time....

-At one point this week the sun was hitting the mountains PERFECTLY and I could remember so clearly what it felt like to bike up the hills every day. I totally teared up and my district thought it was the darnest thing. I don't think I'll ever live it down. I can just hear my hillsdale buddies laughing at me and calling me "NEATURE GIRL" hahaha miss you guys<3

Craziest experience just the other night.So my companion is Hermana Jackson, and the other two sisters we are with all day are Hermanas Dodds and Boyson. Boyson is 29, Dodds has a lot of social struggles and has a hard time fitting in (probably and ongoing struggle... not just with us) and Jackson has the patience fuse of a roman candle. Everyone is going through their own struggles and doubts, but we don't really relate so sometimes the frustration just builds. Literally there is no way any of us would have been friends in normal life. We are all SO DIFFERENT. Hermana Dodds was struggling the other day and asked us to make her an appointment with the president. We were worried about her...but I think the annoyance was at all level where we just put it out of our minds (no bueno). That night at a devo, Dodds and Boyson left their stuff saying they would "be right back" A half an hour later the devo ended, people were headed home for the night, and we couldn't find them anywhere. Jackson and I started looking and we realized pretty quickly that they weren't anywhere to be found. We got the security office involved and everything. Being the STLs, having a time crunch of 10 minutes before we were supposed to be in our residence, and being partially at fault for hermana Dodd's stres, we were freaking out. Especially Jackson. She had given Dodd's the evil eye this morning (I swear Satan came out of her eye balls) and we both knew that had something to do with this disappearance. It was pouring rain and we were walking around...until Jackson suggested we run. That lasted for about 15 feet and she about died. Bless her heart. Any way we prayed we would find them, and that we could know how to love them and help them. It was a really good moment for us to realize that they were probably somewhere safe, but we needed to do a different kind of rescuing. We finally found them. Dodds was in a room on her knees sobbing uncontrollably. I wrapped my arms around that girl so tight....the Savior really loves her and I could feel it so strongly. I said a prayer and words started coming out of my mouth that I have never thought. It was crazy. I learned so much from what was said.... . We sat on the ground, all four of us, and some major growth/healing went down. I thought of what was said in conference. "The way you see [someone] is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become." (Robbins) Hermana Dodds was feeling like an outcast, and like she couldn't do the mission....probably because that is how we saw her. Since then, as we literally and figuratively put our arms around her, she has been doing so well. Just a great lesson in learning to love, and a night I will probably never forget.

Oh my goodness conference! Literally one of the coolest days of my life. We arrived early to warm up and went straight into the "Little Theater" where they do Savior of The World at Christmas time. I remember going to the play when I was 12, sitting in the back row, and feeling the most overwhelming confirmation that Jesus lives. It was the first time that i KNEW He is our Savior. I remember the moment so clearly. I sat in the exact chair I was in when I was 12, and thought about all that has happened since then. Once I had that testimony that the Savior lives I had so many awesome experiences that reaffirmed that. I remember being in the play a few years after, actually getting to play an angel in this show all about Jesus, and feeling SO STRONGLY that Jesus loves us. I remember sitting in my spot on stage during a show and wanting to never leave. I felt so close to the Savior and the thought of the show ending and going back to the real world made me sick. I didn't want to lose the peace I had of KNOWING. There is no better feeling than being close to the Savior, and (like was talked about in conference) knowing him. 

I thought about high school and a time when my faith was really struggling. I remember a time when I felt that I didn't believe in anything. I struggled with the same things a lot of people do....I didn't get the church's stance on some social issues...I didn't want to feel like my destiny was to be a mother/ relief society lady....I didn't like to go to church...I didn't like accepting that God lets bad things happen.... and lots of other things. Kind of crazy and sad to think that I was so far off the path. I remember showing up to church one day, (pretty sure I went home half way through...but I decided to come back to be at YW with my sister).... Anyway I remember sitting in the lesson getting so mad and offended by what was being said....I thought I was for sure never coming back. But then the teacher stopped talking and played a slideshow of pictures of the Savior. I didn't look up until the end...but when I finally looked up it took my breath away. It was a picture of Jesus with His arms outstretched. My heart softened instantly....I knew him. He is my friend...and I would never deny that He lives. I remembered that relationship that I had with Him...and all of those times when I had KNOWN that He loves me. I decided to rebuild. As I read the scriptures and attended church with a humble heart I felt like I was learning everything from scratch. As I did this, all the happiness and peace that I had felt in the Little Theater at the Conference Center during Savior of the world came back.

As I sat in the theater this weekend I thought about all of these experiences and felt so grateful. "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Heleman 5:12

That is exactly what happened. Because my foundation was Christ the rest of my testimony could fall a house getting destroyed or something (or whatever you want to picture) but because I had that foundation I could rebuild. I don't think very many people know that story....I wanted to share it because I am SO grateful for my testimony now and all of the turns I've taken to get on a mission, and so that my family can know that nobody is perfect. I remember sharing that story with one of my friends once and he was SHOCKED to hear that I have ever questioned my testimony. HA! Who hasn't? Anyway.... most of all I share it because of what was said in conference. Elder Rasband told us to record the times when we KNEW the gospel was true and to think about all of the ways the Lord has blessed you. He literally begged us..."do not forget". It was so powerful. Our minds forget so quickly, just like how I forgot about the times when I KNEW.

Write you experiences down, SHARE them, SEEK more of them, TRUST them, and LIVE the testimony you have gained from them. Even if your foundation is built upon a feeling you had when you were twelve when you were watching a play about Jesus...I promise it is enough. JUST DON'T FORGET!

While we were singing in conference I was SO nervous. I eventually chilled out as we got singing. I was just thinking about everyone who was tuning in and how lucky I am to have such awesome family and friends. The best part was when we were singing "I'll go where you want me to go". I was thinking about Molly, Sam, and Katie and how CRAZY it is that I left them. But then we sang the line "So trusting my all to thy tender care, and knowing thou lovest me, I'll do thy will with a heart sincere, I'll be what you want me to be." 

Whoa. It makes so much sense. I left everything that matters to me in God's care.... Trusting that he will take care of it all.....and the key to trusting is KNOWING that he loves me. That's it. If you know He loves you, you can trust him. Simple as that. I know that this gospel isn't about having a strong community of people, getting our food storage together, mutual, or any of the things I used to think I needed to have a testimony of. It's about the relationship between YOU and GOD. That's it. The rest will come. When we find that relationship and learn to trust Him we will be lead to know truth. We will be on a road of true happiness! 

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8: 35-39
Peace and Love! 13 more days in this crazy place....Shout out to Eyring! He was lucky enough to serve in the same mission as me (lol so backwards) AND lucky enough to have my mom almost marry his son back in the day. HAHAHA SORRY ya)

"part of loving your companion is making sure she was ready for the picture"
 "Snuck in here to grab a pic of the old dressing room from the Savior of The World Days....then got stressed cause I was alone and I'm a missionary. That's Bad! You can see the anxiety on my face....alone...taking a selfie...sneaking into places...too many rules broken at once." 
"Happy to be out of the MTC"
"Shout out to Trump making a guest appearance at the priesthood session. Make America Great Again! SIKE that guy is a racist...not the guy at preisthood. I'm sure he is a good guy and has a great future as a trump impersonator. 

 "guest appearance of Vocal Point and a mini eagle reunion."