Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 17: Look At Your Life Through Heaven's Eyes

It's appropriate that this is week 17, because guess who's birthday it is this week?!
MEGAN is turning 17!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY little sis :) 
We're all getting waay too old. 
Isn't life wonderful?

Title of this week's email comes from a song we listened to extensively this week. 
Last week's email title came from a wonderful quote by Sister LeSueur. No context to it whatsoever. I just needed a creative title :)

SO MUCH happened this week. I am completely exhausted. As in I can barely keep my eyes open and move my fingers to type. I love it :) Sister Juarez is just amazing. She knows and loves the basics of the gospel, and that is truly what makes you an amazing missionary.

I'm trying a new tactic with emailing where I take bits and pieces from everything I send to everyone and put it all together in one amazing email. Prepare to have your mind blown with awesomeness!!

Time for the instant replay of this week [my only reference I will ever make to anything sport related]:

I love seeing people let the Atonement change their hearts. The Atonement is completely real, and it changes people for the better. Missionaries, members, investigators, inactive members, small children, adorable old people. Everyone. We can all be touched and changed by our Savior's Atonement if we truly have the desire to turn to Him and become like Him.

Yesterday we were in our third sacrament meeting yesterday, and I was flipping around in my scriptures and came across 1 John 5:3-4: 
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
Obedience is hard at first, but when we continue to be obedient, particularly EXACTLY obedient, it all becomes a whole lot easier. The things Heavenly Father asks us to do are not a burden, they are a blessing meant to make this life a whole lot easier!! It is an incredible gift that we have to be able to have these commandments so we know how to achieve the greatest level of happiness in this life! 
And then the kicker - OUR FAITH is what will overcome the world. Acting in faith by being obedient gives us power over Satan. Look at D&C 10:5. Faith is a principle of power, and I didn't understand how literal that statement was until these past few weeks.

COOL STORY: We visited a less-active sister in one of the wards per the request of the ward mission leader. Turns out this sister is the grandmother of the less-active woman Tia lives with in a different ward!!! And she told us to keep coming to visit with her!!! We're totally reactivating this dear sweet sister and getting her into lessons with Tia. It's happening. 

Tia is completely prepared and is totally ready for her baptism on March 15th. As in she could be baptized tomorrow if she wanted to, but she's set on March. She came up to us after Sunday School yesterday and was like ok when are we doing all these lessons? LOVE HER. She gave up coffee two weeks ago and now drinks Ovaltine instead!! :) She loves the Book of Mormon, she knows the prophet is called of God, she is so ready. We just have to finish teaching her everything....

Autumn however, is a different story... her mom isn't giving up smoking and they just came to church the first time yesterday. So yeah. She probably won't be baptized until March. We had a whole Word of Wisdom lesson planned for yesterday, but felt like we should talk about prayer when we got there. Poor Sister Juarez hasn't taught about prayer before and so she was just kind of going with the flow. AMAZING LESSON. And Autumn gave the first prayer all by herself!! We text them every day to remind them about scriptures and family prayer. We'll see what all happens. Keep them in your prayers!

I am seriously so grateful every single day that I get to stay here in Mueller Park. So many miracles are happening. An inactive woman accepted a call and was sustained as an activity day leader in church yesterday. We have an appointment with a young man on Tuesday who wants to come back to Church and give up a ton of addictions. The youth here are incredible. We've been to several activities and lessons, and as they have been catching the vision, so has the rest of the Stake. Whitney is so excited about coming back to Church! We'be been battling with the YSA Elders over who teaches her... we finally went in and lovingly told her it was her choice and she basically said the Elders had been pushing her into YSA and she wanted the family ward. Score one for the sisters. Ann has been at church the last two weeks - she's feeling a whole lot better finally!

Marilyn loves the Book of Mormon and she knows it :) And she was talking about spiritual things and then all of a sudden stopped and was like I hate talking about all of this! Love her :) We're trying to get a dinner set up with her! We read Alma 5 and she talked about how she thinks her heart is super crusty, and we talked about being spiritually born again and how she has a desire to experience that. Good things are happening with her!

Everyone in Mueller Park is on their own time table. And it is so stinking frustrating. But I still love it :)

I got to spend Saturday with Sister Taylor!! Ok we literally are the exact same person. Love Disney, grew up in Salt Lake area, love the same foods, siblings the same ages, etc. Scary. And amazing. We went to the Stake Baptisms on Saturday - Tia was supposed to be there but wasn't - and this adorable little boy came out with this future missionary badge on. I LOVE THE YOUTH HERE. And we had a fun dinner at Cafe Rio where everyone wanted to help out the sister missionaries. I love Utah.

Ok ready for the COOLEST STORY EVER?! One of the Bishops told us to go visit this man who just had knee replacement surgery and his wife had surgery and is inactive. Guess what their last name is? HOLBROOK. Yeah, no Holbrook's are going inactive while I'm here. So we go over (me and Sister Taylor) and we were talking with Brother Holbrook (his wife wasn't home sadly) and comparing family history and I pulled out my little family tree (seriously, bring it on your mission) and he says, "Oh, I know Fred! He's on the newsletter!" And he starts pulling out all these old newsletters for the Holbrook family with Grandpa's picture on them.
 And then he says, who's your dad?
In Chicago? 
Yeah... how do you know my dad?
Well I sent him a bunch of copies of Joseph Holbrook's journal a few months ago because I own a print shop. 
Oh my gosh he gave one to me just before I left!!!

Crazy stuff. So then he put Joseph Holbrook's journal, my fifth-great grandpa, both the full transcription and the edited version, on to a disc for me. And I'm totally helping out with family history with him after my mission. It was the coolest thing in the world.

I have had amazing studies this week about meekness. There's this incredible talk by Elder Maxwell about meekness that just blew my mind. In my studies, I think that in it's simplest form, meekness is gentleness and humility in practice. It encompasses all that Christ is, accepting His will, and continually acting in faith to accomplish that will. The truly meek find great joy in the things of God and in His creations and plan. There is so much more to it, but if I share it all, meekness suddenly becomes a little overwhelming :) But there are also great promises given to those who are truly meek!

I figured out how time works on the mission, thanks to Sister Taylor. Every day on the mission is actually three days - study time before lunch, lunch to dinner, and then the evening. The days really do just drag on for forever. And then it's Monday again and you're like where on earth did the week go. Time flies on the mission. Enjoy every single second! In both a mission and in life!

Well, time's up. I love you all, the gospel is true, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father love each one of you so so much! Look for miracles this week and always act in faith! Keep smiling!

ALWAYS INVITE. Always always invite people to do something. Anything. Help bring them closer to Christ!

The hymn 293 "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good" is one of my new favorites.

There is someone always watching, and the Lord is very much aware of our needs. Our dinner appointment on Friday cancelled, so we were heading to go somewhere for dinner and Sister Juarez was super hungry and there was traffic so we scratched the plan for Cafe Rio and headed to Pizza Pie Cafe. We paid, got our food, said a prayer, and dug in. And then this girl comes up to us and says, "I just need you to know that I have had a really hard day and I saw you two praying and it just made everything okay." She burst into tears, we hugged her hard, and told her how much Heavenly Father loves her. She headed back to work, we went back to our food, and I will never forget that experience. Our Heavenly Father will make sure that we are taken care of and that we can feel of His love for us.

That's all.
Til next week!!

Sister Holbrook

Beautiful, beautiful Bountiful. I cannot express how much I love this place.

The bedroom wall of hilarious companionship quotes, quotes and verses from study time, and my calendar. Let me know if you want any of these quotes :) They're pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

At the stake baptism. Me and Sister Taylor with basically the cutest boy ever, Caleb. His family invited Tia to his baptism (she didn't come. sad day.) but we were there, and when he came out to be confirmed, he had this adorable little missionary tag on. Made my day!

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