Monday, March 27, 2017

Learning in the Savior's Way

Hi Family!!!

This week was a significant week for me in my missionary growth, so I feel like my thoughts are jumbled and I pray that what I want to express is able to come though, but first I'll start with telling you about transfers.

There was a lot of anticipation leading up to transfer day because half the people in our house was going to be changing.  Now we live with Sister Utsch, Sister Weyand, and Sister Fuimaono. Sister Utsch is a Sister Training Leader with Sister Norgrant.  She just got transferred from Bella Vista Zone, so we had a special moment of BVZ nostalgia when I realized that.  She's a super awesome sister, and I'm so excited that she is an STL.  Sister Weyand and Sister Fuimaono are Spanish missionaries, so that brings a new dynamic into the house.  Sister Fuimaono is brand new to the mission field, and she and Sister Weyand just throw sass at each other all the time.  Everyone in the Highland Zone seem like awesome missionaries too, so I think it will be a great transfer.

We started out the transfer with a fun service activity.  We got to help out at a Fun Run that was being sponsored by the local hospital.  It was to raise awareness for Autism(?) and they had a little path laid out that people would run along with the bounce house obstacle courses along the way.  Each was themed as a superhero and there were lots of people who dressed up as different superheros.  I saw a lot of Batmans and the Flash-es.  Sister Johnson and I got to be the mean people who make you wait until the other person is a safe distance ahead in the obstacle course before another person goes in.  I was talking to the little kids and asking them about their costumes, and I had one little girl come up to me, poke me in the name tag and say, "Who is Sister Sabey?"  I told her it was me, so she asked if that was my superhero.  I told her it was, and it made me smile because it reminded me about the significance of my calling..

One thing I learned is that the only thing better than being the best of friends with your companion is being the best of friends with your companion in front of members.  Sister Johnson is just the realest MVP, and it's so fun as we teach to have members notice to the point of commenting that we work well together.  It's been an incredible experience to teach our missionary lessons to the members in our area, and it's having a bigger impact than I ever would have guessed.  It's probably going to sound super obvious, but it was really cool for me to experience.  Even as we have been teaching the lessons to members, it has helped me so that I am more prepared to teach our friends that are just learning about the church.

This week, we went to visit Nicole and taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I was nervous because I was afraid I had gotten into a habit of teaching people who already had heard this message a million times, but it was actually the opposite.  Because I knew the basic layout, it helped me be able to push beyond that so that we could address what Nicole needed to hear.  It has been so cool to see how far Nicole has come.

I also learned something cool about the message we teach as well.  During Sacrament Meeting, I was reading my Spanish Book of Mormon, and I was trying to slow down so that I was actually taking it in and not just reading for the sake of reading.  I was in Alma 42, and as I slowed down, I realized that there was some pretty profound doctrine, and I had some questions about it.  I finished the chapter and wanted to more fully understand, so I pulled out my English Book of Mormon.  Instead of just reading it, I really wanted to understand some things it was saying, so I took time to write down what it was saying, and it was an incredible experience.  In Alma 42, Alma is teaching his son about the Plan of Salvation.  Did you know that there is a reason why death and the Resurrection are part of our Father in Heaven's plan? Because I sure didn't. But guess what?  It's in the Book of Mormon. In this chapter, Alma goes through and explains why the Fall, physical death, repentance, the Atonement, law and punishment, the Resurrection, and mercy are all so key to our Heavenly Father's plan.  It was so cool!  It made me really appreciate just how much our Heavenly Father loves us and how much is in the Plan of Salvation so that we can become like Him.  I'm going to do that annoying missionary thing where I say y'all should read it:  Y'all should read it.  It's Alma 42.

I learned several important lessons all due to the fact that some of my good missionary friends were completing their missions.  On Monday, I was straight in denial, but when Sister Burden and Sister Irvin left for all the departing missionary things, it began to hit me that they were not going to be in the house with me (and I did not like idea that because I've lived with them for the last 18 weeks).  I felt really sad as we went out to proselyte, but here is the first lesson that I learned: TESTIFYING OF JESUS CHRIST ALWAYS MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER. We had lessons with members that night, and as I got to teach them, I felt my Savior's love and reassurance.  As I testified, I learned what He needed me to learn, and I felt that calming peace as I was reminded of the eternal perspective of the Plan of Salvation and that that same eternal perspective applies to missions.  By the time we got home, I felt much better and was able to enjoy my evening with them.

So now that I had one spiritual experience, I was all better, right? LOLS, NO!  The next morning, I got up to say my goodbyes to them and hug them until they were like, "Sister Sabey, you can let go now", and I found myself right back where I was the night before.  I got out my favorite talk and read it for studies (which I was surprised when I felt like I should because I didn't think I would need that talk until the end of MY mission).  God is really patient with our shortcomings because once again, I felt a comfort that I needed and I gained new thoughts as I read the talk.  In his talk (It's called "Grateful in Any Circumstances" just in case my hyperlink doesn't work), Elder Uchtdorf says, "True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony."  I've read this talk, I don't know how many times (because like I said, it's my favorite), but that really stuck out to me and I realized that if I were really grateful for the impact my missionary friends had on me, it would be a force to move me forward and increase my testimony.  I thought about what I had learned from the departing missionaries that most changed my mission, Sister Burden, Elder Green, and Sister Irvin.  I thought of how Sister Irvin taught me what it means to "Forget yourself and go to work".  Sister Burden taught me that if I don't know what to say, just testify.  She also taught me to just love the Gospel.  Elder Green taught me about having a vision to teach repentance and baptize converts, and that it is possible for me to see the mighty change of hearts in the lives of people I teach as I stay focused on that vision.  I realized how much that would go to waste if I just sat around feeling sorry for myself, and I made a determination to really apply those things in my work.

I am realizing just how short and just how important a mission is for my life.  I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who nudged me just enough until I realized that I needed to be on a mission, and for His call to have me come to Gilbert, Arizona where I am learning lessons that change everything from the most incredible people.  I love this gospel and I am so thankful for all those who help me live it more fully.  I love each of you so much!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

Reading Conference Talks with my awesome Comp.

Fun Run Service

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