Monday, December 15, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to my scriptures. I don't know where you are and I'm so bummed out. I had them at church yesterday and I left them in the sacrament room and I accidentally forgot them there but I went back and they were gone! My name tag and my name is on them too. So whoever it was, stole scriptures in God's house from a servant of the Lord. What's funny, is I got a prompting before church not to take my scriptures. I thought that wasn't a prompting because it sounded really strange but now I know why. Bummer :(
It's been real guys. This week has been really strange because I guess I'm coping with this whole idea of going home. For 18 months, home has been from apartment to apartment, ward to ward, and my real home with my biological family has been like a dream. Just doesn't seem real. Or possible. It's so bittersweet. It feels like I just left yesterday for my mission, but it also feels like I've been here forever. But luckily, I can go home after 18 months with no regrets. It still amazes me that I made it this long hahaha but it's. I'm really just lacking the words to express myself. I've learned so much and I know I'm not going to return the same person as when I left. And I'm 99% sure it's for the better. I know God loves all of us. He has made me aware of all the tender mercies we receive each day, things we take fore granted, but things that are so intricately woven into the fabric of our lives. It's incredible. The doctrine taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's gospel that was taught when He was on the earth, and the Book of Mormon testifies of it. There is no greater work this His. And this is it.
Love you all and I'll see you soon.
Posted by PL at 3:02 PM
Monday, December 8, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to the rain! It's so awesome and I'm so grateful for it!
It has been quite the week- lots of wonderful service opportunities with lots of potential people to teach, and many who we are teaching! We got a hold of a lot of people we thought we wouldn't, so we were very excited. This week is the Christmas party and it is an excellent opportunity for us to invite people. Candy, Laymon, Chauntel... all wonderful wonderful people that God has blessed us to work with. There have been so many tender mercies this week. Such as, receiving a turkey! That we need to find someone to give to. I don't know will get it yet, but. We will find someone. People are so nice. I don't have too much to say this week haha
Posted by PL at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to Maile. She's blind, but she's so happy and open. She's the sweetest.
What a week! So many miracles and tender mercies.
Laymon is doing. Interesting. He's meeting with us rather frequently, we just can't quite get him to church, or to stop smoking and drinking. He finally admitted it to us (after he tried to hide it under his side table) but was super defensive about it. He knows he needs to quit though, so we are working to help him overcome that. He likes everything that we say and he's very open with us otherwise. Last week, Laymon asked us if he could join two churches, and Matthew 6:24 came to mind, but I didn't say that. He answered his own question, and it's clear that he truly is contemplating the correct course of action here.
Finally caught the Soliman's! Only we are experiencing a lot of strange things with them. We aren't entirely sure what to do with them, because they keep dodging us and it's like. We know Christien is home, but you're going to lie and tell us she isn't? I have no idea what we are going to do, but hopefully we can sort this out soon. Luckily we have the spirit to guide us in what to do!
Thanksgiving was probably my favorite part of this week. I love food. And this is the day we get to eat as much as we want! We made a lot of visits to members in the ward. They are so kind, I love this ward so so much. Some of our Thanksgiving experiences were more entertaining than others, considering we had some kids at our dinners. So funny. Scissors are not weapons. And we also took apartment pictures for the Christmas card we will be making. I will attach some for your enjoyment. Shout out to Caroline for taking those pictures for us!
This week we had a zone training, and well. It was good. At the end, they had all the departing missionaries bear their testimonies. It was really neat because a lot of us shared the same things. I feel like there were a lot of lessons learned that we can't even begin to express, but of the ones we did, I know there was someone in the room who needed to hear what we said. And there were different people who, even though we said the same things, needed it said by one person and not the other. It's crazy how the Lord works but it's so good!
Alright, I will start advertising this because we've been asked to. And I guess it's safe since we have cleared Thanksgiving. The church is putting out a new initiative called "He is the Gift." It's all about the gift God gave us- Jesus Christ. I know I'm so grateful for Him. Without Christ, there's no way I could be the person that I am now. There would be no hope. So I strongly encourage you to hop on the wagon and share. I'm not entirely sure what this means, but you're supposed to use #sharethegift or something. Coming home is going to be interesting. But check out the website. By sharing, you not only change someone else's life, but you change your own.
Love you all!
Posted by PL at 5:59 PM
Monday, December 1, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to the Native Americans. I'm pretty sure they all got the short end of the stick, but it's alright. Sort of.
It's been crazy. I'm running short on a lot of sleep and it's just been crazy. Our apartment is still super cool. The picture a day challenge is still going except... I forgot my camera cord. Man. We've had some pretty funny pictures this week, I'm kind of bummed I forgot!
Laymon is doing great! He has been meeting with us pretty consistently. Did not make it to church, but he did meet with us three times this week. He said once he knows the church is true, he'll be baptized. Pretty stoked.
Rose, who got baptized a little bit ago, has been meeting with us weekly. She's only 18 but she's super mature. We have really good talks with her and recently we found out about her love for One Direction. And cats. We love her, and she's really growing in her testimony every week. She's striving to read her scriptures and do the right things.
Went on exchanges this week in San Ramon! Had dinner with the Cooks, and turns out it's Bishop Cook's son and it's even crazier because I was there a year ago! We also did the Chinese class, which was super fun. Talking about things that are good for our body. We had a really hard time talking about vitamins. How do you even explain that in English? Could not do it in Chinese. Visited a lot of really sweet, really prepared people. Talk about tender mercies. They are so prepared, it blows my mind. Lots of miracles. And it's been raining a ton! Which brings me to the bad news- we are on bike part time again. However, we just found out that there's not enough bikes for us to rent out and borrow. So I guess we will be part time walking. Which is ok, there's a smaller possibility of me hurting myself if I'm walking haha
Finally met with Chauntel! She's super sweet. She has been engaged for awhile now and should be getting married soon, but she quit one of her jobs at iHop. We are hoping to figure out how we can get her to church, because she ALWAYS works Sundays. It's kind of a bummer. We are working on it. She also has the cutest kids, Larisa and Vince, and they are a little rowdy but it's all good. Hopefully we will get to meet with them more and continue to strengthen them spiritually.
Well, this week's Christlike attribute was patience, and I sure did learn some of that this week. I always have a hard time studying things like that because I know it's just going to make things really hard. And it did, this week was definitely difficult. But I've learned a lot about relying on the Lord and the atonement of Jesus Christ. We had a meeting with our stake president and all the missionaries in the stake last night and the spirit was so strong. And just about everyone talked about the atonement. I put my own personal spin on it because that's what's been on my mind lately, but it brought my to 1 Corinthians 10:13. And I looked at the footnote for "escape" because that sure does sound good. It took me to D&C 95:1 which I really liked.
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you—
I feel like a lot of times we wonder why we go through hard times. Well, here is the answer. Because He loves us. Which sometimes I still don't really understand, but I'm working on it. Especially during this Thanksgiving season, I know that is one thing that I am really grateful for- that continuous love that is not based upon anything that I do.
If you've forgotten what I look like, this is not the week of good pictures for you.
Love you all!
Posted by PL at 8:47 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to my apartment. By far one of the most ridiculous things I've ever walked in on.
It's been a crazy 2 weeks. I'm going to fill in the last couple weeks, as (mostly) uneventful as they were.
-Really got to know a family in the ward and they are the sweetest. We tried to help them move, but they declined, and instead had us set up shelves and racks and gave me some essential oils to heal my foot. She told me it was frankincense! And I was like, "No way, isn't this the stuff they gave Jesus?" And I felt pretty good about myself until Sister Seegmiller told me that frankincense is actually very common. As is myrrh. So I think my whole perception of the 3 wise men has been shot.
-Played soccer for exercise one morning. I think I worked my abs more than my legs watching Sister Astilla and Sister Seegmiller play.
-We went over and taught Christien, and it was interesting because she had a lot of commentary. She was able to understand what we were saying and respond. She had a lot of clarifying questions, and you could tell she is still sincere about learning. Her dad told us he's going to a church on Clayton Rd. Still looking for a job.
-There's a recent convert here, Michelle, who is the funniest person ever. Sis Seegmiller speaks sign language, and so she was spelling out Michelle's name and Michelle goes, "My name has 2 L's" because it looked like she only did one, but it was a very subtle L I guess. Anyways, Sister Seegmiller's closing us out with a prayer later, and she says, "It's Michelle, right?" And Michelle goes, "Yes. With 2 L's." I died. I was laughing so hard.
-We were trying to meet with a member and the lights were on but no one answered the door. So we were leaving a note, when a car pulls into the driveway. Some members were coming by because it was her birthday! They knocked and this time she heard, and it was rather amazing. We had no idea it was her birthday, but talk about impeccable timing.
-Laymon called us! We thought he was going to be in LA until Christmas, but he came back because he couldn't find work and he asked if we would come over! He's so cool. We took him to a baptism and it's kind of random, but in the middle of it he started bleeding. No idea what happened but I haven't ran that quickly in a long time.
-Met with Akira and his family and man. He does a really good Gollem impression. And he can recite movies from memory, which is amazing. I can't even do that with anything. Their family is so sweet. And they fed us cheese and apples. Which was an odd concept, but very delicious. -Laymon called us! We thought he was going to be in LA until Christmas, but he came back because he couldn't find work and he asked if we would come over! He's so cool. We took him to a baptism and it's kind of random, but in the middle of it he started bleeding. No idea what happened but I haven't ran that quickly in a long time.
-Met with Akira and his family and man. He does a really good Gollem impression. And he can recite movies from memory, which is amazing. I can't even do that with anything. Their family is so sweet. And they fed us cheese and apples. Which was an odd concept, but very delicious.
-ELDER BEDNAR CAME TO THE MISSION!!! It was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Oakland temple. He is so cool. I really like the way he speaks and how he captures the audience and breaks the ice.
Given that introduction, of course I will be sharing some insights from Elder Bednar. It was really funny because so much of it was on staying converted and staying active after the mission. I imagine with so many missionaries going home at the same time, that's a valid concern. The main thing I got out of it was to be good, and not worry about it. The first part, to be good, is just to do the things we know we should be doing. That includes a lot of things. So do them. One of the things I really liked that he said was, "There is no temptation if you know what the consequences are." The second part, not worrying about it, is mostly in relation to where we stand and what we are doing. If we are being good, then we really don't have a lot to worry about. The Lord is with us and He will carry us.
Love you all!
PS- I didn't realize that taking a picture a day would give me so many to choose from to send home! So here's a couple. Well. I'll just send out more because I can't decide.
Posted by PL at 8:45 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to my camera cord. Which I left at home, so no pictures this week haha. Well. I can attach some from my life I guess. But as of right now, my goal is to take a picture everyday. We will see how this goes haha
I don't really have much time this week. But I do want you all to know that I love you and I promise you a decent letter next week. Full of inspiration and perspiration and wonderful-ation. Let's see... I love Sister Seegmiller. She's so great. And we live with Sister Anderson and her trainee Sister Astilla and it is by far the funniest thing in my life sometimes. The other night we just sat there and laughed for like. 5 minutes straight. I don't even know why we were laughing. Super cute.
Just wanted to leave this video with you all. It's super cute and I just about cry every single time I watch it. It's crazy how God fits everything into our lives, and we don't even realize that He's helping us and that we are doing things for our brothers and sisters around us. We all go about our lives trying to accomplish different things, but the truth is.. you never know.
Love you all!
Posted by PL at 8:48 PM
Monday, November 3, 2014
This week's shout out goes out to the CDC. You guys have a hard job.
Went on exchanges this week with Sister Wiser! She is so nice. We had a great time, so it was awesome! Learned a lot and hope to improve a lot. We only almost died on our bikes... twice. Maybe. These bikes are so dangerous. But we see so many miracles on bikes AND exchanges. It was a miracle-full day. We not only didn't die, we also had a ton of great lessons!
In other news, transfers! I will be staying here. Sister Vaiangina's going back to the Visitor's Center and she will be serving in Oakland 1st. I'll be with Sister Seegmiller, who came out a transfer after me! It will be interesting. It IS the last transfer.
Candy is doing well, the Soliman's are alright, and overall I just really love this area. This next transfer is going to be awesome.
Halloween we spent it with some less active members! She made us carve pumpkins to earn our dinner haha she's awesome, I love her. Her name is Jennifer and she's just doing her best. And then we went home and cleaned our apartment... the slime is officially off the ceiling. Which took awhile, but it's all good.
I don't really feel like writing more, unfortunately... But this week I've been thinking about God's plan. I was reading Alma 41-42 today and I realized how perfect it is. Everyone is accounted for and no one is left behind! It's amazing really. And all the laws are kept and there are no loopholes. Strongly recommend to... everyone. Read those chapters and pray about it, and I know you'll understand it. Maybe one day we will be as smart as God haha
Love you all!
PS- next week we go to the temple! Won't be back until Wednesday.
Posted by PL at 8:07 PM