(This is one of those emails that parents of missionaries live for!)
Hey! My doctors appointment went well!
Well. My cup runneth over. This has been one of the best and most spiritually edifying weeks of my life! Through my life, I have some big spiritual events that make me feel the Spirit and then I feel good and then it fades. Those are great and really give you big boosts!
But this last week I have been really, really trying to be the best I can be, lots of prayer and fasting and studying. Just a week of it has changed me. Rather than having a big moment change me, my work and actions have slowly helped me change all week, and everyday I got better and better. I went to bed just wanting to fall asleep and wake up instantly so I could keep feeling good and keep doing everything! My studies have been incredible, and I am learning tons of things! And then it all got even better on Sunday!
I fasted on Sunday that I can keep it up and keep doing better. Then we went to church and A**** and S*** came!!! S*** got off work early so she could come!! It was another great Sacrament. Lots on family history, and they made it interesting. There was stuff on voting for Christlike principles. They liked it a lot!
Then I spoke in Relief Society. They asked me to go in and talk about how you got converted and how you were accepted in church Mom! So I did. 🙂 Then, we run to the Cleavers for a quick dinner and so I can practice that song a few times before we leave at 5:30 so we can be at the fireside.
We get a call from the ZL’s who we were going to pick up, and found out that we were supposed to be there in 20 mins. Nobody had told us that there was a practice at 5:00!! And it takes an hour to get there. So I get a small roll, a carrot, and half a paper cup of pork and beans to end my fast. I prayed really hard that I could survive on that. So we speed down to Port Orchard, and after about an hour we are about to get to the Bremerton ferry, which is not anywhere close to the building we need to be at. We were given the wrong directions! I needed to be there so we could practice our musical number, and so I could play Called to Serve (Wa-Tac style) for the entire choir! We called Brother Knapp, who gave us directions and saved us!!!
We got there an hour late, and walked in right as they were playing Called to Serve. Sister K was doing it, but she plays the way the hymn book says. They have me do it then. I had been speeding for an hour and a half, and was in speed mode. I hadn’t calmed down at all. SO we start it, and I get faster and faster. I think I set the record for fastest sung Called to Serve! And it was really hard with all the extra stuff! It was awesome!!!!! A bit too fast to do in the fireside, but everyone thought it was cool. I needed to calm down though, because I was speeding when we practiced for the musical number. That piano music doesn’t flow well, and I struggled with it. Plus, I didn’t really get to practice because we have work to do during the week.
A**** and S*** decided to come to the fireside, and they even picked up P*****! That is so cool that they drove a member to it! They liked it! Both seemed to really feel it. Especially during Amazing Grace. Brother Jacob and his daughter were there, as were two others, who are two youth who are awesome missionaries!! And Doug and Vickie Clarke! I was overwhelmed by the Spirit as I looked out and saw all these people that I really, really love.
This is why I am here. I get it. The fireside was good. Eight converts gave their testimonies and conversions stories. The Spirit was there so strong. They were so sincere, and everyone in there could feel the power and truth of their words.
After, we all got to talk for a while, and I had them meet President Blatter. They aren’t big fans of him cause he takes away their beloved missionaries. 🙂 He talked to them, and promised them he would be at their baptism! Every time I have ever brought it up, it gets shot down. After he said that, I asked A**** right there to do it. And, she didn’t say no! It kind of sounded like a yes? We will follow up on that one! S***asked for a Book of Mormon and is really excited to read it. I about fainted I was so excited! Rather than hanging out with all my missionary buddies, like I usually do at these things, I got to hang out with my investigators, who are some of the people I love most in this world. It was a really good night.
I had a revelation while sitting up there during the fireside. We worked so hard to get to the fireside. We were speeding, breaking laws, getting lost multiple times, not knowing what time things were. It was a mess. It left me feeling frantic and isolated. We get there, and that feeling continues to my practicing. And then, it is show time. I am expected to perform perfectly. I had time to prepare.
As I was sitting up there, I was able to feel the Spirit, and think about it all. We spend our whole lives rushing, making mistakes, forgetting why we are rushing and doing everything. Getting lost, being stupid, all while trying to do good. We can isolate ourselves from God, and it can mess us up, leaving us feeling alone and not ready when it comes time to prove ourselves to God. When I performed last night, I know that God helped me. As he does when we need it in our lives. After I had done my songs, I sat there, next to Elder Shuler, one of my best friends, looking out at the people I love. Listening to testimonies of those who have chosen Christ. I looked back at all it took to get there. Not just that day, but all week. All the fasting and prayer to come closer to Christ. All the piano Practice.
Then, in that moment, I realized that that is what it will feel like when we die and stand before God. We will be in the presence of those we love. The people that helped us get there, and that we helped to get there. We will look back at all the mistakes we made, and we will thank Jesus Christ for his atonement that allowed us to perform well when it was important that we did so. Our mortal life will be over, and that is the moment when we look at God, and hope to hear, “Well done my good and Faithful servant.” We will be at peace. We have done what we can to put off the natural man and come unto Christ. And then when you have actually made it, the feeling we will have, will be incredible.
I feel like I got a small glimpse at what it can all be like at the end. If I strive to be like I was this week every week. The lesson in Relief Society was on love in the church. I shared Paul/Moroni’s words on Charity, which is the kind of love we strive for. Perfect Love. That is what I felt sitting there. Love for Christ, Love for my friends, Love for my investigators, family, and myself. I don’t really mean I love myself pridefully, but I could feel the perfect love that Christ has for me. And I realized, that when you actually posses Charity, you don’t keep it. It is real Charity, you share it. You can’t keep it to yourself. Christ has a gift for everyone, and if I can share that with them, I will. I got a look through Christ’s eyes. The cool thing I thought about that Sunday, as it will be in the next life, isn’t the end. It is only the beginning.
I wouldn’t trade this week for anything! Christ has helped me to a new level. I can do it now too. I am ready. If I had gone home without this experience, I would have wasted so much. This was very important to me. I have never felt the spirit so constantly in my life. And it wasn’t the fireside alone that gave me a spiritual high. It was hard work, to come unto Christ myself. I have worked at it my whole life at different times, but it really, really worked this time. And, I got to see some success. This has been my scripture for my week. God’s love sustains me!
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
I love you! Roll tide.
Sister Hunt is standing next standing next to me complaining that she isn’t on the blog, and now she is. Sister Hunt, when you read this, know that you owe me. You whiner! But now you just gave me a referral, so you are good!! 🙂
Gail, who wrote that letter to y’all, is buying a CTR ring!!!! SO COOL!
I love my ward!