Monday, January 23, 2017

Ain't No One Taking This Testimony

Hi Family!

This last week flew by!  So many crazy, funny, and miraculous things happened this week, so prepare for a novel by yours truly.  I got to see the Richards family this week, and it's always a blessing when I run into them.  I hope that Mum enjoyed the picture she sent.  We were going to our bishop's house when I saw them, and I notice a car following us--I didn't know who it was yet.  I was just like, "Okay, that's kind of weird," but not horribly concerned because members just really love missionaries.  Then I saw it was the Richards and it made me smile.

This week at the Old Folks home, I was talking to Opal (the yodeler).  She told me out of the blue that she has one hundred forty kids. I went to ask her more about it, and she got a super confused look on her face.  I reminded her what she had just said.  Opal got very upset with me because she does not have one hundred forty kids.  I love serving there.

Sister Miller had a birthday this week.  It was one of my favorite days as a companionship because I got to spend the day trying to make sure it was a good day for her.  The other sisters went and got her McDonald's for breakfast, and then we went to Yo Waffle for lunch.  I don't think they have Yo Waffle in Utah . . . it's like Orange Leaf or one of those other self-serve frozen yogurt places, but they also have warm waffles you can pile your frozen yogurt and toppings onto.  (Also, my waffle had it's picture taken for Yo Waffle's snapchat--it's kind of a big deal).  We had a super awesome day of teaching and working hard, and we got to finish it off by having dinner with one of our favorite members.  They were super kind and made a cake just for Sister Miller.  It was so sweet of them.

Also, here's another example of the extent of how weird missionaries are:  Sister Miller and I were biking one night, and somewhere during that, we rewrote the Phantom of the Opera so all the lyrics were about cereal.  Sister Miller came up with the genius of turning "Past the Point of No Return" into a song about milk, so it's "Past the Expiration Date".  My favorite of my creations was, "You alone can make my tummy full.... It's all gone, my bowl of cereal."  Anyways, know that we've reestablished that Sister Sabey is nuts, let me tell you about some miracles.

I was on exchanges with Sister Irvin this week.  I love exchanges from Sister Irvin because I always learn so much.  This time, I finally learned what it means to "forget yourself and go to work" like President Hinckley was counseled to do on his mission.  Sister Irvin and I were talking about it, and she said that it means that despite whatever is going on in your life, you testify of the Savior.  It completely changed what I thought it meant (I thought it was more like "even though your kidneys are hanging from your body, just tuck 'em in your skirt and keep going") to help me in the work, and because I've been able to refocus on my purpose, it lead to the Lord placing some incredible miracles in my path.

We had a lesson with Rachel.  We are going back over the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her, so we decided it would be fun to watch a video about the First Vision with her.  I love the Restoration story, and the video just brought the spirit so powerfully.  Afterwards, we were talking about the Restoration and what it means.  Every time I am absolutely astonished at how solid Rachel's testimony is.  Her faith is such an example to me.  She always talks about how she used to be one of those people who thought Mormons were scary, but as she came to understand, she felt the truthfulness of our message through the power of the Holy Ghost.  Now her testimony is unshakable.

We were also able to go with some ward members to give our friend, Kaitlin, a blessing.  The ward has totally taken her under her wing, and even though we haven't been able to teach a lot, it's the best to see how loved she feels.  She'll be moving in a couple weeks here, but already she has friends that she knows she can reach out to and has asked to be able to continue to stay in touch with (even though she's only moving down the road a little).  Also, the sisters that will serve in her new area are awesome.  I'm so excited for Kaitlin.

The next day, we got to visit Amber and Kyle.  Amber was baptized earlier in 2016 (and Sister Kranc was a missionary who taught her, by the way), and Kyle has been totally supportive the entire way.  We got to sit and talk with them about how knowing our divine identity and destiny helps us understand why we keep the commandments, including baptism.  Amber and Kyle are the best at answering questions.  They ponder and really discuss, so it's like having them bear their own testimony all along the way.  We then talked about how we eventually see Amber and Kyle being sealed in the temple.  Amber says she really wants that to happen, so we were able to talk to Kyle about his thoughts on baptism.  Another thing I like about Amber and Kyle is we can be totally straight with them and have a little fun along the way, so I told him, "Yes, we want to dunk you!" He thought that was funny.  He says he wants to get to that point, but doesn't feel ready to make that commitment with God yet.  I'm excited to keep getting to know and love them.

And speaking of baptism, that leads me to one more miracle.  We have been trying to get in touch with our friends, Jen and Robin.  Jen was baptized as a young adult, and missionaries have been getting to know Robin on and off for the last couple years.  We kept getting mixed messages from the ward of "they want you to come over" and "they need you to back off", so we were super confused on what to do because we hadn't seen them at all.  Well, we took Sister Erb with us and felt like we needed to go visit them.  We were talking to Jen and having an amazing conversation.  I felt prompted to invite her to spend more time in the temple.  Sister Miller told me after that she wanted to strangle me in that moment because she had sworn that she had told me that Jen hasn't been to the temple yet.  But I guess the Spirit knows best.  Jen admitted that she had not been to the temple yet, but that she really wanted to.  She said that she had told her husband that she wanted to go to the temple, but she did not want to go without him.  Because of that, he has been praying for the last several weeks to know if God wants him to be baptized.  Miracles.  It was absolutely incredible.  Please keep Robin in your prayers as he continues to seek for his answer.

The best and worst part of being a missionary is that because you are so close to the Spirit, you know what God needs you to do, so I have been learning a lot about overcoming pride.  It has been a painful experience, but a totally worthwhile one.  It's helping me develop a more sincere testimony.  My last story for this week is about developing testimony.  Last night, we were talking with some members and then with Sister Burden about personal conversion.  I cannot tell you how many people on my mission have told me that I need to keep my mind open and really look, and when doing so, completely dismissing my testimony.  It's hard to go out and have people attack what you know, but that doesn't change that I have had to really look to find my testimony in the first place.  It was the years of doubts and wondering and questioning, but relying on what I did know until answers came.  And because of that, I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, I know that Thomas S. Monson is called of God to be a prophet in these days, and I know that because God loves us so much, he answered a little boy's prayer when he used Joseph Smith as an instrument to restore the precious truths to the earth that have blessed my life so greatly.  I know it because I have struggled to find out for myself.  And that has made all the difference in the world.  I saw a post on Twitter before I came on my mission that I think about every day.  Yes, I know all of those things I stated, but even so, "my testimony is based on one simple fact: I am happiest when I am living the Gospel".  I love you, Family!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ


 Arizona has a lot of state pride

 Yo Waffle with Sisters Miller, Rogers, and Scarlet

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