Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it is already 2015!  I remember last New Years and being in Canada skiing... crazy to think how much has happened and changed 365 days after that.  For New Years we had to be inside by 6pm just for safety reasons.  So after District Meeting and a few lessons we went over to a members home and made home-made individual pizzas!  Sister Searls got a really good dough recipe off of Pinterest- I miss Pinterest ;) Haha.  After that we helped her make their families traditional Popcorn Balls.  This was a bunch of popcorn held together by melted down marshmallow with peanuts and M&M's inside - yumm!  Since we couldn't watch any of the movies they had they kindly pulled up the Restoration movie that is on Netflix and we watched that until we had to go.  It was a pretty fun night:)  

But as for the rest of this week!  
I guess I still have one of 'those' faces.  I was asked to give a talk for next Sunday on the second coming and how the scriptures can aid us as this time draws nearer.  Okay- that is deep!  I hope I do well, haha.  
On a random note, it was also 70 degrees and rainy on Sunday.  This weather is WEIRD!

A really interesting visit we had this week was with a woman who hasn't been to church in 15 years because she got offended a long time ago.  She is a very loud woman and didn't have a filter!  When we first got there she kept saying that we didn't really care about her, and were going to leave soon and not come back, and that we were there to condemn her.  This was all false.  But we didn't get much of a word in because she did most of the talking.  Some of the things she said to us as we were listening to her were, "You look pitiful, pumpkin!"  "Are you TIRED over there? I saw you YAWN!"  And none of this was said in an 'inside' voice.  We couldn't help but smile to ourselves at the very unique situation we were in.  But by the end of the visit we could see how apparent the Holy Ghost was in the room.  She had softened, accepted a return appointment, said she would have us for dinner, and gave us some tea to help our sicknesses we were battling.  My testimony grew and I knew then that having the companionship of the holy ghost when you go visit people is so crucial.  He is the one who softens their hearts and allows them to feel the love we have to offer.  

Another lesson we taught this week was interrupted by what you could call a small 'cat-fight.'  One of our recent converts has a roommate that has been causing some issues in the household.  So rather than listening to us and the message we had to share, a sensitive subject got brought up and they ended up having a full out argument in front of us about their problems and feelings.  We sat there just staring at the random pet turtle that has become a part of their 'happy' family via adoption.

When the roommate stormed out of the house we sat there awkwardly listening to our recent convert vent and ask us what to do.  We gave the typical answer of 'read your scriptures and pray' but couldn't say much else.  We are advised not to 'counsel' people we teach in their problems they may be having.  Half an hour later the roommate came back in saying she just broke a nail and they ended up becoming friends again over the fact that they would go get their nails re-done that afternoon.  Women I tell ya...

FRIDAY.  The day that added to my already building stress!  After studying that morning we got a phone call.  But this wasn't any old phone call.  My companion picked up the phone and immediately her mouth fell open.  She looked at me and said, IT'S THE MISSION PRESIDENT! PRESIDENT BERNHISEL!  We answered the phone and had a few short words before he got to the point.  He said, "Sisters, transfers are coming up and it is time for some changes..."  I was panicking!!!!  My companion that whole last week had been teasing me that I would be called to train this next transfer because she feels I am such a mature missionary and ready for more responsibility.  I brushed it off saying I would throw up and die if I were ever called to train.  Well this conversation flashed through my head as I sat there numbly listening to his voice.  He continued, "I would like to extend the calling to you two, to become the next Sister Training Leaders for the Zone." (This is being in charge of all the Sister missionaries in our stake, teaching at Zone conferences and zone trainings, going on exchanges with the other sisters each week, traveling to leadership trainings with the other leaders in the mission, meeting with the President and his wife, having weekly phone conferences, and making sure we are mindful of the well-being of the sisters in our Zone.)  My companion was jumping for joy because she has wanted to be a Sister Training Leader (STL) for forever!  I was just trying not to pass out- so I sat down.  When the phone call ended she asked me what was wrong.  I told her I felt overwhelmed.  Why would they call me, a 3 month old missionary to be a STL?  I was still so new and so inadequate.  She told me that this was extended from the Lord.  And even though it doesn't happen often, The Lord wanted me to serve this area as well as have responsibility over it.  I had a little cry session, and then got over myself and bucked up.  I am still scared, but I am not as stressed out about it as I was in the beginning.  

De-stressing with a facial mask

Stuff I've learned
I have been able to learn a lot this week in my morning studies.  I will share some of what those things were.  First comes from a talk that was given by Elder James J. Hamula called “The Sacrament and the Atonement” given in October 2014.
Bread and Wine (water):
- Emblems of Israels past  salvation from slavery and death
- Of a future redemption yet to be realized  
The participation of taking the sacrament:
- Is a solemn acceptance of Jesus Christ and a whole-hearted willingness to follow him and keep his commandments 
- Symbolic; "Spiritual death would pass over' them.
Priesthood brethren breaking the bread:
- Are expressing gratitude for and faith in His marvelous redemption of them.  
As we take it:
- We recommit ourselves to more closely align our lives with His in days to come.  We can claim the blessings of this supreme act of grace.

This week I had a bad case of 'stress' (as you have already read). I'm pretty sure you understand what this emotion is and can testify that when it gets bad enough, it can be debilitating!  I get caught up and stressed out about the little details and the schedule that is associated with being a 'Missionary'.  After getting through the week I started studying on the topic of Tender Mercies.  Elder Bednar describes tender mercies as "The very personal and individualized blessings, guidance, loving-kindness, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and through the Lord Jesus Christ."  
President Eyring continues saying that it is important to write down our daily tender mercies.  He says "More than gratitude began to glow in my heart.  Testimony grew.  I became more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  I felt more gratitude for the suffering and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ.  And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance - even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.”
My Mission President wrote to us also about tender mercies in the letters we receive from him.  "Sometimes the tender mercies are the hard things in our lives.  Do we take the time to see how our testimonies grow as a result of those hard times?  Do we grow as a result of those hard times?  Do we take the time to see how we grow and become the person our Heavenly Father wants us to become because of those hard things?"  Nephi states in the Book of Mormon, "Behold I Nephi will show unto you that all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."  As we increase our gratitude and recognize the tender mercies in our lives the Lord will shower us with more.  Learn to recognize those blessings and mercies in your life!

I hope you had the chance to set some goals or resolutions for yourself!  3Nephi 12:47-48 says that Old things are gone away and new things are coming...make a goal for yourself to become more like your Savior:)

I miss you and love you so much! 
Sister Golden

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