Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Missionary Work is my Catharsis

Catharsis. C-a-t-h-a-r-s-i-s. Catharsis.
Word of the week, my friends.

But where did it come from, you ask? Well. We went on an exchange this week with the Carlisle sisters and I stayed in Carlisle with Sister ginger Jones. We had dinner with this EXTREMELY intelligent sister... talk about walking dictionary! Her vocabulary was so exceedingly great that it did cause me to quake and tremble for fear that I couldn't actually understand what she was saying. 
Legit though. 
She builds 3-D puzzles and teaches math and uses the word "catharsis" and I was blown away by her massive wealth of knowledge.
No one is smarter than her. 
No one.
(Okay, God is smarter than everyone. But OTHER THAN GLORIFIED IMMORTAL BEINGS. She takes the prize.) So yes. I've felt like the prince of London walking around using my new vocabulary word. 

Speaking of weekly themes.... The meal of the week was definitely stuffed peppers. Did you know that was a real thing? I've had them three times this week and they're probably my new favorite food group. 

More themes! The mission theme of the week for Sister Talbot and I is obedience. We have been working on being more exactly obedient and WOW. Wow you guys. Just wow. The miracles that we've seen just because we have the desire and have started to put forth our meager effort to be obedient. The steps that we've taken in our personal lives and in our mission lives to get ourselves in order and follow the will of the Lord... wow. They've brought some of the sweetest feelings of peace and comfort and reassurance; and some of the choicest blessings and most incredible miracles that I've ever seen in my life. 
D&C 11:20.
Obedience rocks. 

We're done with themes now.

This week we had a zone training meeting in Chambersburg and we were talking about the role that the Holy Ghost plays in conversion, and why it's so important to have the spirit present in all of our lessons. We read a powerful quote about how, regardless of how righteous or faithful we are, we can never fill the role that the Holy Ghost plays in someone's conversion. So, one of the elders raised his hand to comment, and I thought it was so profound that I wanted to share it in this email. He said: 
"The Holy Ghost is supposed to enter into the hearts of men. If we did that...... they'd die." 

His name is Elder Klima and he's fabulous. 
So that was definitely a high point for us. 

Also we played knock-out in basketball and one of the poor elders ripped his pants and we were laughing so hard we cried. 

The priceless moments of being a missionary. 

The lowlight of the week is that our wonderful senior couple - the Clarksons - were taken from us to go work in the office in Pittsburgh. Saying goodbye was like... the hardest thing ever. I cried for a whole hour. It was awful. I love them so much! We still call and talk to them, and we're planning to stay at their apartment in two weeks when we go for MLC. But it's still rough. The whole ward is missing them. But now with the elders gone and the Clarksons gone, we really have to step up our game. We have a lot of ground to cover and no time to waste. We have a really busy week planned this week, all leading up to our baptism that we've got on Saturday! We're so thrilled for Faye to get baptized. This has been a long time coming, folks. But I'll talk more about that next week :) 

The only good part of the Clarksons leaving is that Elder Clarkson is now in charge of the cars for our mission and he TOTALLY hooked us up! Cause our car is getting pretty old (for a mission car) and plus the radio doesn't even work so we can't listen to music. Guys, I've been 3 weeks driving with no music. It's awful. But anyway so we're getting a brand new 2015 toyota corrola so try not to be too jealous about that ;) 

Some fun things we did this week:

We went to our ward's spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Sister Mealey brought her delicious cheesecake for the dessert auction that they were doing and I tried so hard to win it... but I only had $16.50 in my wallet and that cheesecake went for like $48 so I didn't have a chance. 
Luckily we got a free box of dinner rolls just for being sister missionaries so I guess that made up for it... not really... 
Ward members are so nice though. Seriously. We have the best ward in the whole Hanover area. (Don't mind the fact that we're also the only ward in the Hanover area. But still the best.) 

We also got to go to a baby shower. One of the very few that I've attended in my 20 years. We made babies out of playdough and I named her Roja because it was a baby shower for a Mexican lady and because it was made out of red playdough... Then I thought it was funny because I've been out for 9 months and I said, "Hey. It's my mission baby."
I should have got a picture. 
She even had a little red playdough bottle.
Well, I have some leftover playdough so maybe I'll make another one. It just wouldn't be the same, though... 
Eh. Whatever :) Just know that she was beautiful. She even had fat rolls and a diaper and a bellybutton and a creepy little playdough smile. Then I won a prize for the cutest playdough baby and I got werthers candy! And I won another prize and we got laundry detergent! It was the most productive baby shower because I'm actually going to use those things! Yay! 

Well. I just want to close by sharing a miracle we received this week. We have these amazing member missionaries in our ward who are always reaching out to their friends and inviting them to learn more. Well, we sat down to visit with their friends Steve and Christine this week, and it was the most amazing privilege to be there with them. We were honored to share our testimonies with them. They are some of the most amazing people we've ever met. They have so much light in their eyes, and as we were talking and sharing the scriptures with them, Christine stopped us and said, "The Holy Spirit is in the room right now." it was awesome! And then Steve was talking about, "Well, we've just been searching for the truth for so long..." and then Christine pitches in, "Well, I think we've found it." and the spirit in that room was so sweet and amazing... it was just a real blessing and privilege to be a part of teaching them.
Unfortunately, Steve is from Harrisburg and Christine is from Manhattan, so we won't be able to teach them... But we committed them to read the Book of Mormon and compare it to the Bible, to ponder it's message, and to pray and find out if it's true! They said they'd do it! It was incredible. We're just sad we can't teach them! 

But I know that God has miracles and blessings out there for each of us; and I testify that He will give those blessings only to His servants who are working hard to be worthy to receive them. As our hearts were changed this week and as we worked our hardest to be exactly obedient (although we still fall short - all of us do) the Lord was able to bless us because of our efforts.
If you're an employer and you've got a special project or assignment and you're trying to choose one of your employees for the job, you're not going to pick the employee that sits around and waits to be told what to do and to be guided step by step. You're going to choose the employee who is proactively working to improve and strengthen your company or establishment. He's the employee that's going to be given the special assignment, because he is trustworthy and prepared to do the work. 
It is the same with us. The Father will bless us as we are constantly giving our best efforts to strengthen the kingdom. The Spirit doesn't necessarily cater to us by telling us step by step what we need to do, or constantly directing us where to go, what to say, what to do. Sometimes his promptings are so subtle that we don't recognize them as promptings. But as we are consistently doing "many good things of [our] own free will" the Lord will bless us because of our efforts. 

So go out. Work hard. Do good. Keep on praying. 
And you just wait and see how the Lord will bless your life because He can see that you have been a wise servant in the small things, and can therefore bless you with big things. 

I testify that He lives and that He has a perfect plan for each of us if we will turn to Him with full purpose of heart. He will guide us and protect us from evil.

I love Him.

I love each of you.

Have a wonderful week.

Hermana Bills