Monday, June 30, 2014

We Are All Strugglers

This has been a wake-up call sort of a week. First, Monday night, after I emailed ya'll, we went to a  member's home to have a family home evening devotional. As we shared our messages about sharing our testimonies with those around us, we bore our testimonies, and I don't even know what happened, but my testimony hit me so strong that I started to cry. I haven't ever done that before. I think it surprised m--the spirit and truthfulness I felt when I said it. It has been a while since I have gotten to bear such a sincere testimony. It shocked me, and I probably needed to hear it more than anyone else.

And then, this week we had exchanges with the Franklin Sisters. I got to go to Franklin with the nicest sister. She just served me all day. Making me lunch, and always making sure I had what I needed. I was again shocked by the love that she had for me, and wanted to show me so badly. She is from Spanish Fork, and her dad is best friends with some of the Lone Peak basketball coaches. Crazy right? Sometimes, we all need to be shown a little love, and go the extra mile for another.

The next morning, during morning exercise, I was running and pondering. My mind wandered to all the great missionaries, and the pretty people I know, and oh, how they are this and that more than me. Insecure moments...ah they happen. But I had this huge realization like, "I bet they have hard times on their missions too. We just all have different weaknesses. We are all strugglers." It hit home in my heart, and I started thinking, we are all strugglers. That's what kind of people we are. And that is enough. And that is fine. We are all struggling through one thing, to the next along the journey of our life, and Christ is there to help us along. There is no need to judge another because maybe they are a different type of struggler. They may not struggle in the same way I do or you do. So what! It is our job, because we are all children of God, to look at another with LOVE and help them on their journey. Help them across their speed bump. Instead of making their burdens heavier.

Everyone in the world. Everyone in our ward. Everyone in our family, is imperfect, weak beings. Why do we have this pressure on us to be perfect, or to look good all the time, or to impress those around us? Why aren't we relishing in our weaknesses, and building each other up? I get so discouraged by the mere fact that perfection isn't attainable, and that I will never be doing as good as I want. BUT THAT IS OKAY. At least that is what I am trying to understand. THAT IS WHAT THE WHOLE ATONEMENT IS FOR. Why is it so easy to lose sight of that?

This week more than any, I just want others to realize that it is okay to STRUGGLE. Smile about it. Laugh about it. Do a little bit better the next day, and if not, relish in the fact that we have a Savior who took on our sins, our weaknesses, our awkwardness, so that we can in turn find peace.

Every less-active I met with this week, gave me the same answer as to why they didn't come to church this week. Not because they didn't believe in it. They knew the gospel was true. But they lost hope in the people and they didn't want to be around that. Oh boy, can I relate to that. Yes, I have felt that. Oh, and I used to get so angry with the people. The only reason I kept going is because I remembered the sincere words of my parents saying, "We don't go for the people, we go because we LOVE GOD." God loves us, and he has blessed us with His house to feel peace, love and kindness. And we go, every week, even grudgingly sometimes, because we love our Heavenly Father and He has asked us to go.

A member shared this witty insight with me this week. He spread his hands out wide, and he said, "If you let a person get between you and your relationship with God, then who is closer to God?" Isn't that true? Isn't that true?

So, this week I had moments of struggle. I had moments of opposition. I had small moments of triumph, but that gives me hope. This week I heard someone say that we are all Doubting Thomas's with HOPE! It's true. Our faith isn't rock solid sometimes, just like Thomas. But we can gather enough hope to act in faith and little by little it will grow. 

Just act with all the faith you have, struggle through it, and the Lord will reward you with more blessings than you can ever recognize!

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm a red neck! Literally.

Well, gosh, you think that 14 years of living in Hawaii would have helped me prepare for the humidity. No WAY! Not even close. Oh boy, it was wicked hot and humid this week and we didn't have the car. I learned that it is vital to wear mosquito repellent and sunscreen at all times. To drink more water than you would ever want. To not give blood because it makes you even weaker during it all. And no matter what, you will sweat everywhere . . .all the time . . . even if you are wearing the lightest material you can find. And it is only going to get worse, so that being said, here we go!

It feels like opposition is just boiling on top of you, and you need a cane to walk with to help you cut through the thick air ha ha. There is no point in fixing your hair, or putting on make up ha ha. The joys of life, huh?

But I had soo much fun this week! Maybe too much fun. I think the humidity makes you go a little loopy! I laughed sooo much. Gosh, you just get so giggly at all the events that occur. Missionary wise, we didn't see too much success, but I think it will come as we find happiness in our circumstances and share that with others. So, I am learning to love this area, the people and my companion is so nice. I am grateful for all of the many blessings the Lord has given me. Now, it is important for me to learn the lesson Heavenly Father is trying to get me to realize!

This week, I studied the Restoration of the gospel a lot. It truly is the most important message we have to share with the world. I finished The Book of Mormon again, so as I restarted it, I thought I would read the testimony of the 3 and 8 witnesses. It hit me so hard, that these men had no reason to lie, and that they put their lives on the line to support this book that was being so heavily persecuted. And I think eventually, each one of us has to add our names to the list of a witness of The Book of Mormon. Would we all stand as a witness of The Book of Mormon through persecution? I love those moments when the absolute truthfulness of the book just covers your soul. No room for doubt. Second thoughts. Laziness. It just is true. That's all. And its AMAZING! A truly marvelous work and a wonder.

I am working to strengthen my testimony and to trust in the Lord. And realize, that though the opposition is strong and can feel heavy, the Lord is stronger and can help us see miracles if we let Him take over. I am grateful that I can work on this, even though it takes time.

We were at the dentist today for sis Slaymaker. She lots of health issues ha ha, she can't eat any wheat either so that has been fun. But I'm doing good. Thanks for the positive encouragement. I truly need it, it's easy to get in your head about how weird you are here ha ha.

We have the car this week so miracle! We will keep on keepin on! 

On other notes.I can't believe Kelsee Wagner is married! Wow! Congratulations! I would love to get Keilani Hayden's email or address too. Zach is home from Origination! I have been sharing that geologist story with everyone in the ward. That truly is such a miracle and doesn't happen every day! I am so grateful he was able to serve the Lord in that way and be ready when the opportunity came. I told Cassidy's cousin the story and she was grateful her niece was dating such a good man! Yep, that's my brother. Oh ya, and Zach, there is a ward missionary, who went to BYU, and leaves this next week to Peru on his mission. He reminds me so much of you. He taught us the restoration in Spanish last night, and I was just thinking, this is going to be my brother for two years soooo soon!! It's wild to think of you preaching the gospel in Spanish.

Wyatt, glad to hear your leg is getting better and you are going fishing! Boo yah! I miss eating the fish after you used to catch it for us. You are the best fish catcher in the family. When we were little, I never caught any, and you would catch like 8. You've got the magic touch.

Garrett, proud of you! Dubai sounds crazy, glad you all did so well. Aunt Jen sent me a letter telling me she was going beans! Shelby is training a new sister missionary and comes home in August! Time is flying.

Dad, thanks for your letters every week. They always make me feel better. I am glad the house, and the garden are turning out so well. Even with the stuff about Chad. And soon everyone will be together at home too. How is work going? It is so cool that you and Mom have been doing so much together. People here are just so busy, I am so grateful you took so much time to spend with us. Also, funny connection. The Bishop Lameroux of the ward that goes after mine every sunday, His uncle also another Bishop Lameroux, was my singles ward bishop that did my mission papers. How crazy is that? Small world.

Oh, did you ever get ahold of my USTA scholarship?

Mom, I love you so much. You look so good in all of the pictures you send. It is so fun to see and hear all the little snippets throughout the week. Sister Broome loved you!! She had a really hard trip and was really frustrated with the people in Utah, but she said it was so nice to meet you because you weren't like those Utah people at all. I was happy to hear that. She thinks we are spitting images of each other. And that you are so outgoing, and vibrant and loving. It made me proud. She needed to meet someone like you on that trip I think actually.

Man, do I have the best family. Things on the mission are good. I am learning a lot. It is a lot harder than I thought to constantly be obedient, diligent and effective. It is a choice every day. Every day I am here, I gain a testimony of the fact that Lord knows me, and what I needed, and what would try me the most. I wanted to go out of the country and get sucked up in another world. But here I have to learn to separate the world I am so familiar with and the gospel. It is more difficult and there are constant reminders of home. But you keep pushing. Fight the beast, and have faith that there is someone here ready to hear the message of the restored gospel.

I know that THIS CHURCH IS TRUE! It has all the doctrine. IT is in it's fullness. Trust me, I get to hear bits and pieces of it every day. But none of these churches have a full understanding, but gosh are they great people. Who I believe will come to this knowledge one day. Joseph Smith, was not a perfect person, but he was a Prophet of God, who had a humble enough heart, for God to work through to restore the gospel on the earth today. Miracles are coming. Love you all. Just relish in who the boys are for now, it will fly by way too fast. I love love love you and miss you all!