so happy to hear the updates and the miracles!

this week has gone by so fast we are seriously so busy but in the best kind of way. first off, let me just say that serving with sister carver is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and i still can’t believe we’re together. we made a huge life changing decision last week that will bind us forever and has opened all sorts of new doors: we bought jeanie pants.

they’re all the rage here in russia and they’re SO comfortable and breezy and we can do ANYTHING in them! they’re so ideal for our pday rompings and adventures…and they played a key role in our trainings haha so last week we went on our first split! we went to zeleningrad with is about an hour or so north of us so it wasn’t a night train (we’re working up to our bigger trips)…but the city is BEAUTIFUL and we had so much fun! i got to be on a split with sister mcdaniel who came into the mtc a transfer behind me and lived in our room and we were soul sisters from the start. we used to run together in gym and have such intense heart to hearts and she inspires me so much and we always dreamed of serving together so this new service opportunity is opening up so many doors! dreams come true! splits are so incredible because you learn SO much–i really didn’t teach anything. and you get to see new ideas/ways about doing the work and you see so many miracles. sister mcdaniel is so cute and taught me this idea–it’s the BEST i don’t know how i never thought of this before! she picks little yellow flowers that are growing with the dandelions everywhere and just walks up to a hunched over grandma or a little child with his mom or a 15  year old girl, etc. and says, “can i give you this flower?” or “this is for you” or just hands it to them and smiles. and the people just melt.  their eyes just LIGHT up. sometimes they get bashful and try to say things like, “oh no, i don’t need that” or try not to smile but they always give in! and then their hearts are softened and they wanted to talk to us. or sometimes that was it–we just gave them a little handpicked flower. pretty much a weed. but it’s so simple and so beautiful that i felt like it spoke so much louder than any of our words….ahh i just loved it!! unfortunately such flowers are a lot harder to find walking aorund moscow but that’s okay…

i had yet another one of those epiphanies where i thought, “this is my life!! i walk around the most beautiful enchanted country with my best friends and we talk to the most beautiful, interesting, kind people about God and I get to be a “minister of grace” and get to be a healer because we share the words of God with people who really need to hear them!” in the white handbook where it has all of the rules, it says, “how great is your calling!” and we read three pages of it everyday and whenever we get to that part, i always yell that so loud: “how great is our calling?!” I was just overwhelmed with the Spirit when we were there. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to testify with my whole heart of truth! because there is sadness and pain and sickness and darkness and suffering and evil and death BUT there is truth, there is light, there is hope, there are answers, there is healing. And that’s what we have to offer because the Lord restored His church in its fulness.
 It was pouring rain and we were standing under a covering of a bus stop and started talking to this lady and Sister McDaniel asked about her family and the lady told about her kids and sister mcdaniel asked if she has a husband ( and i’m so bad because i kinda cringed when she said that because i sometimes fear being nosy or touching sensistive subjects)…and sure enought the lady started crying and told us that her husband had died in april–indeed a sensitive subject but i realized in that moment that obviously we must always be polite and respectful, but also we have to listen to the Spirit and we have to get personal–because we would have never known about her husband if she hadn’t asked and we would have never known how deeply she was suffering. we would have never known how desperately she needed to hear about the plan of salvation! i will never forget hugging a stanger (she said we could) in the pouring rain under a bus stop and saying, “I can’t imagine life without the knowlege that death is not the end! God loves us and gave His Only Begotten Son so that we could be with our families forever” I will never be able to express how sacred this is to me–this gift! this gift that i have been given…that is, my mission. it means everything to me.

i hope you have an incredible week and when you see flowers growing on the side of the sidewalk, stop and pick one and stick that baby behind your ear and smile and pick another one and give it to someone else and make them smile.
i love you.

 

oh and i forgot that i left you hanging…the jeanie pants came in handy for our trainings because we got there at night and before we went to bed, sister carver and i surprised them with delicious brownies we had made AND we choreographed a dance to this ridiculous song called “Work” about missionary work and i’m not gonna lie, we’re really good dancers but jeanie pants gave us superhuman dancing abilities. hahahhahah i love being a missionary. and a sister missionary no less because we can bring brownies and tell the other sisters that they are princesses and precious beautiful daughters of God and we can wear paisley jeanie pants. so we had that as a silly but also a serious “pump up” the night before and then in the morning we did this training about the Atonement and missionary work and we watched this video spencer gave me that makes us all ball our eyes out but it invites the Spirit SO strongly and we just bore our testimonies and read scriptures about the Atonement and how often as missionaries we focus so much on helping our investigators understand and apply the Atonement, that we forget that we also need that support and that strength and comfort and peace and that the Atonement can carry us. I’m so grateful for that knowlege because i really need to be carried sometimes. And I like it–i used to pretend that I had fallen asleep in the car because I wanted dad to carry me up to my bed and it was so hard to keep my face straight because kevin would be saying, “she’s faking it! she’s totally not asleep!” hahaha kev always called my bluffs. anyways, I know that our missions are wonderful and amazing but they also “require a part of our soul” (like it says in this movie) and it’s really hard. so beating around the bush on that one. it’s really hard, and sometimes we ask, “isn’t there some easier way?” but Jesus Christ, the greatest being who ever lived on this earth, asked the same thing. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with Him, and we have every reason to stand tall.

 

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