Monday, May 18, 2015

Last Day with Sister Ibarra!

This weekend was GREAT.  We had stake conference!  I really enjoyed it.  There was huge emphasis on the family and marriage- not that I'm marriage hungry but I am excited to have a family of my own one day whenever that happens.  We rode up with members for both sessions which was fun being able to get to know them better and what not.  On Sunday my companion and I sang in the choir and the spirit was definitely super strong after we sang 'I believe in Christ'.  I love how music can bring the spirit and allow us to focus our thoughts on the Savior. 

I have been studying the topic of conversion a LOT this week.  It has just caught my attention and I am finding really good material that has helped me prepare and get ready for training.  A testimony is what I had before my mission I realized, and having served for a little over 8 months, that is slowly morphing into something greater.  A testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation.  That happened plenty of times for me back home.  But conversion is an enlarging, a deepening, and a broadening of the under girding base of a testimony. 
- An offering of ones self, of love, and of loyalty we give to God in gratitude for the gift of a testimony
- Getting it requires individual repentance, obedience, and diligence.  One thing that I am learning is that conversion requires both persistence and patience, HA.  Both things that a lifetime can grant us.  But I know that testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion.  Testimony is a point of departure and is not the ultimate destination.  A strong testimony is the foundation on which conversion is established. 

I am a bit nervous to be training actually.  It is a big task, one that I am not taking lightly.  But I know that we are all there at one time or another.  For me, the unknown is very scary.  I like having things planned out and in view so I can fully prepare and be ready for what lays ahead.  But that is not always how the Lord works.  President Monson said, "Difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us and to become something different from what we were.  Better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before."  I love that those two thoughts go hand in hand.  Difficulty & Testimony.

This was Sister Ibarra's last week in Pinehurst, and everyone was really sad to see her go.  It was great to see how much she meant to this ward; so special!  The week held many goodbyes and seeing the members.  On Tuesday we held our weekly Spanish class (which I don't know how I will keep it going...lots of prayers!)  And it is so funny, each class we hold, one more lady comes.  So this time we had 4 ladies learning English!  It was a blast and we had Patty read some verses out of the Bible afterwards so we could have a spiritual lesson.  Her Bible wasn't a King James version, which is fine, but the stories were different:) Ha.
We went to Elmcroft, the nursing/Alzheimer home after that.  This time only the little old ladies showed up- none of my main men!  But we had a great time sitting around the table talking and chatting.  They asked us a lot of questions, and we asked them a lot as well.  The only difference was that we didn't get any answers :) They are so cute though. 

Wednesday morning we had District meeting and focused solely on how we can be better receptive to the spirit.  That is something we always need to be reminded of, because we are so busy doing a million things per day.  That afternoon we went out to lunch with Sister N. and immediately following we saw two of our investigators.  The one only speaks spanish so we got a lady from the ward who is hispanic and speaks fluently to come with us.  My companion and her taught the whole time.  I unfortunately kept nodding off!  because it was warm, the afternoon, just had a great lunch, and I was listening to the wonderful spanish language!  Ha.  I felt bad afterwards. 
That night we decided to go over to a sweet woman’s house who lives alone, and make her dinner.  We made chicken, sweet potato fries, and mango salsa with a spinach and strawberry salad on the side all from scratch.  Some serious home making skills right there!

Friday was a busy day.  We went out and saw 3 less active ladies and visited with them.  I wonder what it is like to get visited by the missionaries...I AM the missionary so this is normal for me to just show up and say 'HI! You haven't been around, how can I help?' (Not really.) But for them it is probably really weird and random, haha. 
After doing that Sister S. gave us a wonderful cooking lesson!  She is so talented! We made chicken with white cream sauce, an appetizer, and carrot and leek vichey.  Oh it was yummy and I learned so many tricks.  Man, I'm gonna be a good wife! ;)

Bed and Breakfast from the 1800's

All in all I am still learning the area, I am being humbled every day, and I love my Savior.  I am so grateful for the conversion I have experienced by serving selflessly, acting in love, and doing what Christ would do.
I love you so much and hope you are doing well! 
Till next week!
Sister Golden

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