Monday, January 27, 2014

The Fear Factor




Oh man, what a week. It is amazing how many feelings you can have in such a short period of time. For the most part this week has been a trial for me. There is so much I need to improve on, and so many things I don't understand or know how teach. And there are so many times that I get scared. Plus, I am not preaching the gospel by myself... My companion is SO outgoing and cheery and is comfortable teaching the whole entire lesson. She is so powerful and strong. But somehow I need to figure out how to add too. I get defeated when I have to fight to get a word in. And sometimes I just hang back, and let the lesson pass me by. Ah, that is what I struggled with this week. 

It's scaring me to death. To lose myself.  I talked with my companion today too, and since I don't talk enough, I get to lead the lesson tonight. Ha ha. Leading my first lesson. Let's see how that goes. Pray for me!!

Thanks for all the prayers that you guys have been sending out to my investigators and me as well. That is so kind and humbling. I know they can feel it. Mary is still struggling with giving up cigarettes, but I have hope she can do it.

Okay, I will end with a MIRACLE!! Literally, best thing ever! Micheal and Sherry are two people we have been teaching. Young married couple, one less active and one investigator. Teaching them I have felt the Spirit the strongest and seen a different light in their eyes as they have began to study the scriptures, pray and sincerely look for truth. And yesterday, at church I was talking to Michael about  the Word of Wisdom and he told me that he made the decision to be baptized!!!! MICHEAL WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!! What the what?? I was so overjoyed and in shock, I tried to act casual, but I think I was dazed and looked odd. Oh well, what a miracle. The Lord truly prepares people to hear his message, and when people will honestly look, this gospel is where they will find happiness. 

I didn't even have to drag baptism out of him, he wanted to on his own accord. February 22 is his date. Keep him in your prayers that he will be able to withstand the opposition that comes his way.

I love you all. I am so blessed that people even want to listen to what I have to say. This is where you will find true happiness. And I promise that when you come unto your Savior, Jesus Christ, that a real joy will take over your soul. 

Well, until next week. 

Stay good! 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When Pigs Fly

So sorry that I couldn't email yesterday. It was Martin Luther King day so the library was closed. Don't worry, I was bummed that I didn't get to hear from to you either. 

My week was pretty great for the most part, actually. Miracle and after Miracle. I will just try and tell you all I can before the time runs out.

So, we are working with these two ladies named Mary--one Mary is the mom, and the other is the daughter. (Remember the ones with the duck and the dogs?) They are the most humble happy people I have ever met. Mary Ruth has decided to get baptized and all she has to do is quit smoking to get there. Now, lets be real . . . that is REALLY hard to do. And she has been smoking for over 50 years. In the past she has had bad experiences with missionaries pushing her to live the word of wisdom. So, my companion had a brilliant idea: Let's have THEM teach the word of wisdom to US the way they would want to be taught. Wow, I learned so much from that. The Spirit sat heavily and peaceful throughout the little room. Mary, the daughter said something really cool. 

She talked about how Christ never had a smoking addiction, but he felt all the cravings of those who do. He doesn't ask you to come to him clean and perfect and okay. He wants you to come dirty, broken, hurt, sad, and imperfect so he can HEAL you!!! It might take time, but just focus on every 5 minutes you don't smoke a cigarette, or the five minutes longer you were able to resist one. Just keep trying. This lesson hit me so hard. Jesus Christ is there and if you at least strive to keep your body clean, He WILL pour out the blessings of heaven upon you.

We went back later in the week and helped them smash cans, and I got to hold and play with her Duck, Jumper. (Ducks are way softer than I realized.) But anyways, we had to leave and come back for some reason, and I had this prompting that I should leave my Book of Mormon with her. Not my mission BOM, but the one I have read every night since I was 12. It is my comfort here on my mission, and I thought, "Why would she want it?" But I did it, and when I came back, ahhhh, the coolest thing. Mary came up to me, and said  "You are always worried that you can't say your testimony, I see it in your eyes.  But this is your testimony. This is your heart. I can't believe you let me read your heart. You shouldn't let people read your Bible (they call all scriptures Bible). I was reading it and the Spirit just flew to me and told me that you are the one that needs to speak at my baptism." 


I was FLOORED!!! This lady is so special to me. I almost started crying. She sat and read my Book of Mormon for two and a half hours. She marked things in her Bible, and found answers to her prayers. I struggle getting things across with words, but my Book of Mormon was able to testify of what I haven't quite been able to get out yet. 

When we left, she gave me her pig that flies. She said that whenever people say to her, "When pigs fly," she shows them her pig with wings. She gave it to me so that I would feel comfort writing my talk for her baptism. It is hanging up in my apartment right now. True miracle. Sister Hargadon thinks that is why I am here in Mt. Juliet. This makes the fact that I only had five days with my family before my mission worth it. 

Please pray that she will be able to stop smoking.


Something that was really special and hard this week . . . my companions Grandfather passed away. When we got the news, the silence that death brings just flooded the apartment. I was just stunned and didn't know what to do. She was so worried about him because he never accepted the gospel. It wasn't until the next day that the miracle happened. We pulled up into this guys driveway to try and meet a Less-active guy, and a huge pot hole caused a piece of the car to fall off--not the happiest moment of my mission for sure. We drove into this gas station and had to call the mission office. After we got everything taken care of, nothing in our plans felt right. We prayed about who to go see and nothing felt good in my head. I told my companion, I don't think we are supposed to go anywhere. And all the sudden, I felt good about that. I was like what??? I am on a mission. I am supposed to be hurrying around and teaching people about Jesus Christ. I thought, maybe we needed to read a scripture to help us know what to do. I said another prayer to ask to know what to read, and then I just opened my Book of Mormon to a random page, which happened to be Alma 19. I started reading and my faith began to waiver a little, like, "Oh gosh, what is this story even about? Maybe I wasn't in tune with the Spirit. What does my companion need?" But I just kept reading. Suddenly the Spirit filled my chest so big, almost like I couldn't hold it all in. My companion sat next to me silently, with her eyes closed, sniffling. It was what she needed to hear. And she needed to talk about her grandpa. This was probably the most amazing spiritual experience I have ever had because it testified to me that Heavenly Father knows what we need SO WELL!! HE cares about how we are feeling. At that moment we couldn't help anybody else because there was something else we needed to work through first. I will always be grateful for the Lord giving us that moment to figure things out. 


The Lord is so mindful of each of his children, it is hard to even imagine.

I am starting to see people change. Things that I never even realized or truly believed in are happening. I feel like the Spirit is slowly telling me, "Listen it's me. Now do what I am telling you. People need you." I am like that guy in Polar Express and the train conductor just punched out my ticket saying, "BELIEVE!"


This work is the Lord's work. He is helping me in ways I can't explain. We are teaching a family and the wife told us that there is something different in her home since we have been coming over. She is treating her children better and there is more love around. I can see it. All the kids are fighting over who gets to say the prayer. The little boy, Logan who is three, poked me during the prayer, and when I opened my eyes he said, "I love you" and then ran away. Oh man, precious moments.

The last thing I would like to say is that this gospel is true. I have told you all a lot of stories, but I haven't really shared my testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and a honest seeker of truth. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will change your heart if you let it. Have hope and faith and just BELIEVE!!

I love you all! Send me letters. Thanks for all the support. Just keep praying.

Oh and my nicknames on the mission are: Frampthechamp and Jellyfish because people think I am so chill. Funny times. 

They also tell me that I am like Dory on Finding Nemo

 

Phebe from Friends 


and the girl version of Napoleon Dynamite. 


I am rocking the mission!! Ha ha

Monday, January 13, 2014

What a Week!


The mission is hard. I have never felt so much power working against me in my life. As a missionary, you need all the encouragement and support you can get. Oh man. This week has been like ten years and a day, I swear!!! Isn't that just crazy how seven days can go on forever? It's because mission bi-polar syndrome is a real thing. Honestly, this week was a real test of my faith. I have never had so much opposition from different churches. 


THE BIBLE BELT IS NOT A JOKE!


Let me start at the beginning, huh? 

So, my companion is a rock-star missionary. Literally, she has a powerful voice and isn't afraid to talk to anyone about the gospel. And it's great, but I have been trying to find how I can add to the companionship. I could sit there as a bystander and the lesson would go great. Well, not true, but it is easy to feel that way.

So, I had my first missionary exchange. I was so bummed because I needed to work in my area. I didn't want to leave and go to some random place. But I went....and it turned out to be a miracle day for me.

I went to a place called Murfreesboro, with Sister Lamb. We worked with the YSA ward there. She had been really struggling with her companion I guess, and was growing less and less confident in her teaching skills. So, we went into a lesson and I could tell how nervous she was, and hesitant, and quickly would jump through things. I just went for it and tried to expound on the Plan of Salvation. I felt so needed in the lesson, and even though she has been out longer than me, she looked at me because she wanted me to help her teach. I realized that I knew more than I had thought. By no means was it perfect, but I didn't even know I could say that much.

We left that lesson and I asked her, "How do you feel that went?" She said, "Okay..." I looked at her and screamed, "THAT WAS AWESOME!! YOU DID SO GREAT IN THERE." And just built her up with all my might. Everyone here tells you things you could improve on, but sometimes people just need a little positive feedback, no matter how bad it went. And before we went into our next lesson, I told her, " I can feel it. You just got to let loose and go in there and be the best Sister Lamb you can be." It was a powerful experience for me because I realized that somebody needed me, and maybe I did have a purpose here.

When I got back to Mt. Juliet, another interesting event happened. We prayed to know who we should go visit--the name Anita came to my mind. I told that to my companion and she had the same feeling. While walking there, in a hail storm, we saw two men outside of a Baptist school (I am so glad that I didn't know that before I went up to him to pass out a card talking about Jesus Christ). He proceeded to tell us that we were Satanic and on and on. He felt so bad for us that we believed in a different presence and had been tricked. WOW. Mind-blowing. I just told him straight-up, "Have you ever read the Book of Mormon?" Of course he hadn't and said he wouldn't. I said, what if you tried to read just one chapter with as much of an open mind as you can muster. He agreed. And I don't know what happened after that, but Anita wasn't home, and I know we were lead that way to talk to that man. As he was telling me all of these things, I knew in my heart that I was not filled with Satan. If that was the only thing I knew, it was that.

And then we went and taught a lesson to members of the Church of Christ who asked us deep doctrine question after question. My companion and the member that was with us answered all of the questions really well. I felt so inadequate and so unprepared. I couldn't even chime in, and when I got home, I couldn't help but cry. I don't mean to sound sad or depressing. I wanted to open my mouth. I should have. I learned that I NEVER want to let that happen again. I am here for a reason, and I need to add my testimony in lessons.

Well, to end of this week facing opposition, last night we were invited to share what Mormons believed at a Bible study for the Church of Christ.....What IS MY LIFE!!!! Haha, My companion and I prayed so hard, and fasted the day before to prepare for this. And I am so happy to say that we went in there, and we shared the message of the restored gospel. I felt the Spirit burning inside of me giving me courage and peace to share my testimony. I looked at a crowd of 15 adults and recited the first vision. It wasn't me who did that. I couldn't have done that on my own. I am so grateful for the help I was granted that the Spirit worked through the room. They all looked at us after and had a respect for what we believed and invited us back, and took Book of Mormons. Way more than I could have ever asked for. Honest, truth seeking people who told us they admired our desire to share our love for Jesus Christ.


 MIRACLE MIRACLE MIRACLE MIRACLE!!!! 

I gain a testimony every day that the Lord knows me so well. Nashville was the perfect mission for me because if I can hold my faith here, against all those who tell me everyday that I wrong or crazy, than I can hold it forever. I am grateful the testimonies of my family and my parents and my brothers. I am grateful that I have been able to see God's hand in my life and hold on to what I know and pray to open my mouth. Pray for me. It was a great week. We had seven investigators at church! It was so cool. Look up the Vision of the South. It is so inspiring. 

I love you all! 

_______________________________________________________________________

A  lLITTE  LOVE  note  from a MOM to her  DAUGHTER





Monday, January 6, 2014

Nashville, Week Three--or, Pooh Happens




WARNING: Pooh ahead. I would say don't step in it, but that would be an inappropriate play on words for a missionary mom. Tatum has a way of giving each experience meaning. Even the "yucky" ones. Gotta love it.

There are actual photos today! (Except for a few that I added. I couldn't resist.) 
__________________________________________________________________________


Wow, this week has been a crazy week. Not a normal week. On Monday, for P-Day, we went to downtown Nashville, with an investigator named Sydney. She is awesome! She is actually the first person I ever talked to in Tennessee, and she is pretty much a Mormon, but doesn't know it yet. haha. I LOVED Nashville. My adventure instincts exploded and I was overcome with happiness. It says HONKY TONK everywhere!!!!" 


Nashville with Elvis, and our investigator, Sydney

Ha ha, I forgot what the real world was like. Man, and I got to eat . . . guess what . . . DEEP FRIED OREOS!!! Boo yah!!!



They are delicious, and so bad for you, it's not even funny. But I relished in them like that was my last meal. 
And then Tuesday, we had to come in early because of New Years Eve, so I got to sit and contemplate about my year. I realized that 2013 was probably the best year of my life. Literally, lucky 13. I was blessed with so many great things and adventures. I think 2013 was a year of self-discovery for me. And I am determined to make this year even better, because I get to take all I learned and use it to help other people. So here we go!
Then, Wednesday was SUPER P-DAY! Which means, I got to sleep in. The one day of the year. I could only make it to 7:30 . . . what is the mission doing to me? Ha ha it was great though. We got together with the whole zone and played soccer, basketball and got to watch Monster's University. I must be getting really sappy, because that movie inspired me. I told my companion, "We are going to be the best team, just like Mike and Sully. Just you wait!" I also got to go to Good Will. Never been there until my mission. It is my new favorite place. It is so cheap with vintage MODEST church clothes. Oh my, I got two solid skirts for a dollar each! What is my life?  I have been there like three times now. ha ha. This email does not sound like I am on a mission. Oh boy.

Anyways, when we got back into the swing of things, teaching and all, I realized that I might have what I call, "Mission Bipolar Syndrome." One minute you feel confident in your knowledge, or your testimony and then next minute you are doubting everything. It is so weird. I have never felt this way. I really believe that Satan works on the missionaries. Man, it bothers me so bad. Like, why I am feeling this way? Why do I feel all of this opposition against me, trying to shut my desire down, my belief down, my hope down, my VOICE down?  And it is easy to fall into. I just pray so hard for the Spirit and for comfort and for a conformation that all of the things I have trusted my whole life are true. Missions are hard because they are mentally tough. I am responsible to inspire and teach people. I used to be the one to sit and listen to those trying to inspire me. And now that is my responsibility. I have to find the way I teach. I have to find the way I touch people. Oh man, it's a journey . . . .but guess what, I AM ENJOYING IT!!!
Not Ingabrit! llustration added
(by mom) for entertainment
 purposes only. 
There are some really happy, happy times. I am loving the scriptures. Oh my, and I realized that I connect best with crazy old ladies. I don't know what it is about me, but I get so excited and intrigued when I talk to them ha ha. It is probably because I want to be one. There is this lady named Ingabrit, and she says her mind so loud no matter what. It IS SO GREAT!!! Once she saw this lady, and turned to me and said in a direct tone, "That lady has got the Spirit in her SO STRONG. Is she a recent convert?" I told her she was, and she yelled to the lady, " You have got such a strong spirit." 

Now that is my kind of people.


I thought I should tell you guys that I stepped in pooh this week . . . yep. Since you loved when I did it in Paris, I thought you would love when I do it now. Ha ha. It happens. Afterwards, I was hiding in a bush trying to get it off while my companion was knocking on a member's door for dinner. That was an awkward dash to grab the hand-sanitizer.  Pooh moments--gotta embrace them. 


That family was freaking awesome! They lived in the Laie townhouses growing up too! So they made me Kailua pig, musubi, Panipopo (She spelled it panipoo poo first, so I had to edit.) and Haupia pie. Can you believe that? My stomach was happy!

 People in Tennessee are the greatest. Nuff said.


Oh, and this Sunday, two people, Micheal and Sherry came to church. One is a less active, and the other is an investigator. I have never felt to much push in my heart for someone to like church and to have a good experience there. I had never considered how weird or different our church could be from someone else's. Ah, I just wanted them to like it SOO bad. And to feel the Spirit SOOO bad. My heart was pleading in prayer. And it was testimony meeting, so I was hoping nobody would say anything offensive. I don't know, it was a whole new experience. And I was so happy they came. They are such awesome people, and the Spirit is so strong whenever we teach them.
Also, guess what? It is freezing here. It is colder today in Tennessee then it has been since 1996!  School is even shut down because there was a wind/rain/snow storm last night. We weren't allowed to go home until 9, but we weren't allowed to drive either. I was so bundled up, with sweats up under my skirt, and we pretended like it was the last night of our missions. Freezing for a purpose. I thought people would let us in, or be like, "Wow, you must really believe this gospel to be out here teaching it in this crazy weather." No, the opposite. Everyone thought we were nuts. Literally nuts. They yelled at us, "Are you guys INSANE!!! Get inside!! It is an emergency weather alert. Get home quick. Stay warm. You are going to get sick." I heard it all. I was pleading that 9 would come sooner. It was hilarious.

But on the bright side, I met a lady who knows PETER FRAMPTON. They are Facebook friends and he lives in Nashville. Who woulda known? I am going back to her house. Anways, fun times in Tennessee. Hard week. Good week. I can never decide because I am Mission Bipolar at this point. I feel like the mission is doing so much good for me though. It's exposing my weaknesses so I can use the Lord to make them strengths.

 I love you all. I pray for you all the time. Please keep writing me. It means so much to me. Could you send me inspiring talks from general authorities. I try to read a talk a day and it helps me a lot. I would love to hear cool stories of faith and encouragement. I love you so much. I am so blessed to have the best family in the world! Stay safe. 




This is for the boys!

This is proof that my companion looks like Jessica Biel