Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 4: Priesthood, Snow, and President Eyring

It's that wonderful time of the week again!! How are all of my wonderful friends and family? Finding lots of missionary opportunities?? I have lots of challenges for you all, and I expect reports back on how you all do!
Today I was studying in Alma 2 and Alma is just amazing. It led me to studying the Christlike Attributes chapter of PMG (so fantastic), and especially focusing on faith. Read the Bible Dictionary entry about faith - it's absolutely amazing what we can do when we have faith! It was an awesome study session this morning.
Read Elder Ballard's and Elder Nielsen's talks from General Conference. Then be excited to work with your missionaries, and be as amazing to them as the members here are to us sisters!
We're just going to take this week day by day. Enjoy.

After emailing you all, we made an awesome program insert (our picture with a short testimony for all the ward mission leaders to hand out with the program on Sundays), then headed to Walmart to grab some necessities. Then it was back to work! 
We went to contact a referral, and it was a very rough experience for each of us. Read Alma 30 and there you have the person we were talking with. We were all pretty shaken, and some of us were in tears. We called the district leader for a Priesthood blessing. What an amazing experience. He and his companion gave each of us exactly the blessings we needed to hear. I am so thankful for the Priesthood, and more importantly, for worthy Priesthood holders who are willing to serve at a moment's notice. 
Another tender mercy of the day was our dinner appointment. We just talked about the joys of the gospel. And their living room had several pictures that I've seen in my home, then a beautiful piano. It just felt like home right when I needed it.
And then we went to visit one of our investigators, Val. We were talking about what was going on with her, and I finally asked what health problems she was having. I could completely relate to her, and so I shared my experiences with her and then D&C 121:1-9. The Spirit was so strong! It was just a beautiful lesson that we had with her, and it strengthened our faith yet again after the rough experiences of the day. I love this gospel!

Best thing ever: we went to an assisted living center and sang and played piano for an hour. It was heaven on earth to play piano and talk with these wonderful sisters. Service is the greatest. Challenge: go visit a nursing home this holiday season and just talk with the people there!
We visited members and referrals, then headed to the Scout Celebration for hot dogs since we had no dinner appointment. But it was all good because we saw several less-actives there. Lastly a new member lesson with Sam to wrap up a wonderful day.

More contacting referrals, visiting members and ward mission leaders, and lots of phone calls!
We had dinner up on the mountain with this awesome family! 
We had a meeting scheduled with our Stake President. That man is amazing. President T shared his vision for the area with us, and we shared ours. The stake now has a direction and some specific goals in getting the members involved with us. I cannot wait! Miracles are happening already in this area, and even more will happen as the members exercise their faith and reach out to those around them!! 
Then we went to the Fall Festival and saw lots of adorable little kids in adorable little kid costumes. So fun. 

Our P-day for the week!! We couldn't be out trick-or-treating that night, so President Hansen decided that not only would Halloween be our P-day for the week, but we also got to go to the Bountiful Temple!!! That temple is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been. I love the temple so much!! Challenge: make the temple a priority in your life. Please. Go every week, or as often as you can. We wish we were able to go far more often than we do. Enjoy the Spirit and the blessings that are there!
Lunch, car wash, free ice cream at Coldstone (seriously, everything here has a missionary discount or someone just pays for you. so cool), then off to a zone activity! Soccer, swings, letters, and ninja. 'Twas fun. Our zone is amazing, and our zone leaders are just the best.
We had a short time to visit a Bishop and then we were inside for the night!  We cleaned out the area book and visited with Sister G (the awesome woman we live with) and learned all about her life. She's pretty incredible. And she knows EVERYONE. Perfect missionary contact right there.

District Meeting and weekly planning! Planning is such a great time. We set goals then make plans based on those goals. Challenge: set a goal for how you can reach out to someone this week, whether by serving them or telling them about the Church. You decide. Anyway. We also have an awesome district leader, Elder B. He's the Best. 
After planning, we invited Kate along to go on splits with us. Which means that while Sister Beeton and Sister LeSueur were off contacting referrals, Kate and I were teaching one of our investigators the Plan of Salvation!! Craziness! It was an amazing lesson, and Kate is going to be an incredible missionary - she heads out in January. Our investigator asked great questions, and the Spirit was so strong. Whenever the Spirit leaves, I have found the best way to bring it back is to bear testimony or read a verse about the Atonement. Jesus Christ is our Savior! He understands our pains and trials completely. Through Him, we can change and become more like our Heavenly Father every single day. Repentance is a beautiful thing. Read the Bible Dictionary about that, too. It denotes a willingness to change, and through the Atonement we can completely change ourselves. How incredible is that?! Repenting is a daily process, and I am so grateful to be able to change and improve each day.

Another wonderful day in the mission field.
We spent about 3 hours in the morning raking leaves and picking apples at some less-active and members' homes. It was a blast! But we're all pretty sore now haha. Lots of phone calls, a meeting with our amazing stake Relief Society President, then off to a BAPTISM!!
Ricky is this adorable little 8 year old we've been teaching just to help him understand what he's committing to do when he is baptized. I've never seen any kid so ready to be baptized; he's absolutely brilliant, and his testimony is amazing. The Spirit at his baptism was so strong! I know that he knows he made the right decision in choosing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and take His name upon himself. Ricky is going to do great things!
We had another amazing experience with the Priesthood; Val came over to the Ward Mission Leader's home for dinner, and afterwards, she received a blessing. It was a beautiful blessing, and the peace of the Spirit was just wonderful. We are praying that she will soon accept the gospel and want to be baptized as well! 


Probably the greatest day of the week. We got an extra hour of sleep, and were up an hour earlier so that we could attend stake council! President T is amazing and really wants to get the stake excited about member missionary work and working with us. Great things are happening in this stake, and it's awesome that we get to be here to start seeing miracles happen!!
AND it SNOWED!! SO EXCITED for Christmas to come!!
We had three more ward meetings after that to talk with the Bishops, Ward Mission Leaders, and Relief Society Presidents. They are so excited and so willing to learn.
Great idea from yesterday: we're going to have a night in one ward where we have dinner with all the priest age young men, then we're splitting up into groups and helping them learn to teach the first lesson about the Restoration. I cannot wait for that!!
Since it was Fast Sunday, we were able to bear our testimonies in the two wards we visited. The first ward's theme was all about missionary work (which was totally ok with us and their ward mission leader), and the second ward was all about the love of our Savior and the power of the Atonement. Both incredible meetings. We went with our investigator to the second meeting which was so cool.
Oh, the second ward was President Eyring's ward.
And since we had an investigator, we totally got to meet him. 
I met a prophet of God yesterday. How incredible is that?!
Plus he was so cute to watch as he was sitting on the stand. He even nodded off at one point... Dad you're not alone!
Challenge: go to Church like President Eyring was sitting on the stand watching you. Because that was definitely an interesting experience. Most well behaved ward I'd ever seen haha :)
Our dinner appointment was fantastic. The family invited over a non-member family and we had a short lesson with them. I also got to speak spanish with the family's grandma who spoke no English. Good times.
Final thoughts:
HAPPY ALWAYS, CONTENT NEVER. We can be a happy and joyful people, but there is always work to be done! We cannot be content with the way things are. Keep on changing, improving, serving, and reaching out to others!
Do your duty - be Diligent Under The Yoke. LOVE that. Thanks Megan! (from stake conference)
Look up "Dan Jones Taiwan mission" on Youtube. Our ward mission leader's son is serving there, and it's a pretty cool video.
"Just eat chocolate cake for breakfast." -Sister G. Love her.
Rubows, Cooks, and Embrees - the Hileman's say hello! They lived out in Long Grove like 8 years ago and still remember all of you!
Mom - I forgot to tell you that I decided I will never have a dog that sheds. We cleaned over at an investigator's home and there was dog hair EVERYWHERE. Thanks for teaching me to clean! You're the best :)
My last Sunday at the MTC our zone sang the EFY Medley for the musical number in sacrament meeting. Talk about a powerful meeting; 10 Elders and 4 Sisters singing that song was amazing. And a dream come true :)
I know this Church is true and that Christ is that the head of it. Miracles happen every single day!! Challenge: write down a miracle you see every single day. They are there - I promise you that. Then share them with others and testify of the hand of God in your life! 

The Atonement is real, and it's power can heal and change us every day! I love my Savior, and I am so grateful for all that He experienced for us. He loves you. It is amazing to be able to feel of that love as we teach and work with people here. Challenge: Look every single day for how the Atonement has blessed your life.
It is the season of Thanksgiving. Share your gratitude with the Savior always! We are so blessed to be here on the earth at this marvelous time! The work is hastening! 

I love you all, and so does Heavenly Father! Keep smliing!
Sister Lauren Holbrook
Moroni 7:33
PMG Chapter 6

PS Christmas packages are to be sent to the mission office address! Thanks :)
PPS The actual address I live at is great for letters.
PPPS Look up paintings by the Oburn's. They are LDS artists who live in our area, and their home is AMAZING. It's covered in paintings they have done. So cool.


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