Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Ship Wrecked! BOOYAH! (Week 24)

""To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition." -Elder Dallin H. Oaks
How many of us are grateful for the opposition that comes into our lives? I have been thinking a lot about this week about the choice of being happy. The choice of letting Christ influence our lives in every single aspect. I could be frustrated because we haven't baptized yet. I could be down because it's cold and rainy and just downright dreary almost every day. I could have a really bad attitude because of a lot of things! But what good does that do? Paul teaches such an important lesson about the trials in this life in His epistle to the Corinthians:
2 Cor. 12:7-10
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

He was beaten with rods. He was stones. And yet, he gloried in my infirmities, because he knew that the power of Christ is manifest in us when we are going through hard times. I don't know if I'm at the point yet, where I feel like I'll pray for trials. But wow I am so grateful for everything that I have experienced. The good and the bad. It's interesting how it's a lot easier to pinpoint the hardest times in our lives. I truly believe it's because those are the times when we learned the most! One of the APs was giving a training at zone conference this week and he said something that really struck me. He said something along the lines of..."I imagine Paul saying this every time he has a trial...'YES! I SHIPWRECKED! Now that means I can use the Atonement! Booyah!'" Wow, not going to lie, that struck me to the center! How many people have that attitude? maybe like 0.0001% of the population. And we aren't perfect, but we need to be striving to be at that point! And the coolest part is that Heavenly Father doesn't expect anything more than us trying our hardest. It's so wonderful. Okay, the fact that this email is spaced all weird and I cannot figure out how to change it is REALLY getting on my nerves. Hope all of you wonderful people don't get too annoyed by it haha sorry bout it.

Enough preaching! This week was so much fun! We had Zone Conference, which is always a blast! Sister Orr and I got to do an example role-play in front of our whole zone! so scary, but so much fun! it's all about improving our contacting, so it's definitely important to role-play. I'll probably role-play for the rest of my life for every single situation that I encounter so as to be ready. Highly recommend role-playing in everyday life it's a great tool!

If anyone is looking for an interesting study, study Mosiah 13 and the Law of Moses in the Bible Dictionary. And then go to all of the references and footnotes in the Bible and BOM for the Law of Moses and you will find some really cool things!

Love all of you so much! Have a fantastic week, and don't forget that Saturday is always Seattle Saturday and it's a day of miracles! Look for and embrace the beauty in others. Every single person is loved equally by God. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sister Jenne"

She didn't send any pictures this week, but I'll be sure to ask her to send some for next week!! 

Aggressive Driving (Week 23)

I totally forgot the password to this, but I just figured out how to get in! YAyy!!! 
Here's the first one we missed:

"I'll start out with some funny things from the last 2 weeks (since last week's email was a mess and I forgot to put everything in there haha). Some stories:

I went on exchanges with a Samoan sister. We were teaching a little 9 year old girl and her grandparents were there. We were teaching about what happens when we die. She asked when people die. We responded that it's usually when they get old. She looked up at her grandma, and really innocently said "sorry." We all laughed so hard. Except the grandma. Polynesians>>>

Typical Sister Missionary
You know how Sister missionaries are characterized as frumpy and just not super cute or fashionable? Well Sister Orr would be the perfect embodiment of that (haha jk only this once). She might or might not have left the apartment with one of those big clips that they use at the hair cutting salon in her hair, and neither of us noticed it until we got home. It was wonderful to make fun of her for a few days hahah.

I had to drive (really scary) and guess what? I don't know how the heck to get home, especially not in the we were in the car and I knew that we lived near the airport and so I just told the sister that I was with to put "airport" in the GPS. Well, it definitely took us straight to the airport and we drove right through the arrivals and departures and that place where you go to drop people off. What an adventure. It was pretty stressful, but really fun to laugh about afterwards. Don't worry, I eventually found the apartment, only a few minutes late to nightly planning!!

"Aggressive Driving"
Sister Jenne really shouldn't be driving in seattle. I somehow ran a red light but also skidded to a stop in the middle of an intersection ( I don't really know what happened exaclty) and so it was really scary because there were cars and I had to figure out how to get out of that intersection without dying. so the tiwi box in the car yelled at me for aggressively driving (I was swerving a lot). Sooo now I have that on my record.

This week we did a lot of fun things! Exchanges with Russian sisters! Preparing 72 hour kits for the whole mission! Leadership meeting! Meeting unexpected members who gave us water! Meeting and talking with a lot of less actives "by chance." God was guiding us so perfectly this week. We didn't find a Russian who wanted to hear the gospel, but we definitely were able to help other missionaries in their areas with English speakers. One girl has never heard of the Book or Mormon or seen missionaries! She was so hungry for the life that Christ gives to all of us. It was such a powerful experience to find her, even though we won't actually be able to teach her. I know that she will be taken care of.

Just so everyone knows, I would not be here today, alive, if it weren't for a prompting that I received. There were a lot of close calls with cars this week. We were in a parking lot, parked near the entrance. It's a mission rule that I back the car to make sure that Sis Orr doesn't run into anything by standing behind the car and telling her to stop if there's anything in the way or a car coming. I usually stand about 10 feet behind. Essentially in the middle of the road. This particulzar time, I felt a quiet thought tell me that I needed to back up to the curb, out of the middle of the road. Not 10 seconds later, a car turned the corner and zoomed past the exact spot where I had just been standing. My heart was beating so fast. I knew that I had come really close to death. Sister Orr and I just talked in awe, afterwards, about how God saved my life. There were a few times this week in sketchier parts of Seattle where I might not have felt comfortable walking if it weren't for the protection and guidance of the Holy Ghost. I bear testimony that the covenants that we make as members of the church at baptism and the temple really will protect us spiritually and sometimes even physically! Don't forget that!

An interesting passage that I have been thinking about is somewhere in 2nd Thessalonians. I don't remember exactly where, but Paul (I think?) is talking about missionary work. What I got from the verses is that even when someone doesn't want to listen to us, we still need to listen to them. Even if they want to argue, we still need to try our hardest to be edified and inspired by what they are saying.

Mosiah 2: 20-21
A good thing to ponder is how we can rejoice. I've been thinking a lot this week about how and why I am feeling certain feelings. If we want to go through that (sometimes painful) process of "peeling off our dragon skin" (narnia/c.s.lewis), we really do have to take the time for self-reflection and looking at the why and acknowledging our own faults with the intent of letting the Atonement heal us. Prayer is my favorite time to do this.

Important principle of life:
Constructive feedback is done out of love. How can we improve if we don't even love each other to give each other suggestions on how to improve? How can we expect to do better next time.

Love all of you so much! The work is moving forward, and the world is full of miracles everyday. Don't forget that if we focus on the world, we will forget about what's really important. Just like if you are driving on the loud freeway, and playing music at the same volume that if you focus on the freeway (world), then you won't even be able to hear the music (important things in life). Maybe we should all focus a little more on our families and how we can become more Christ-like. I invite all of you to choose one thing that pulls you away from christ this week to give up. I'd love to hear the difference that it makes!


Cectpa Jenne"

Love you all!! :)

Monday, November 7, 2016

You Are A Son or Daughter of God (week 22)

So Sister Jenne emailed me separately and had me go back and take out any names from converts or investigators (apparently they aren't supposed to post names online.... which actually makes sense). So I did that and some of the past posts are a little confusing now. But yeah. So any brackets you see anywhere, that's why. 
Here's our email! 

"For the first time this week, I talked to a Ukrainian man all by myself without any help. I was on exchanges with a sister who does NOT speak any Russian whatsoever (except she knows how to say goodbye). Lemme tell you, that was a pretty scary prospect, knowing that I was going to be alone in talking to people! It worked out so well! It was so amazing how much God helped me. I could understand the basic jist of every single thing that was said, and I was able to reply and testify and bring the spirit into the conversations that I had with people. I was thinking a lot about how far my Russian has come over the last 5 months (I also hit 5 months this week, which is absolutely insane!). It's incredible to see the improvement in myself. And to recognize God's hand in everything. I believe that trusting Heavenly Father's plan is one of the hardest things that we will learn in this life. There are so many aspects of life. Ups and downs. It's so easy to blame the bad things on God and then take credit for all of the happy things that happen. Or give the credit to other people. Is that how things should be? Do we truly believe that God has a perfect plan for everything that happens in this life? Something that was created from the foundation of the world? That's an impossible concept to grasp! It's something that literally takes a lifetime of faith in our Savior to even begin to understand. My journey to discovering the mysteries of God has started with my mission! I challenge all of you to work on your journey today...because if it doesn't happen today, it probably won't happen tomorrow either!

We had a really long weekly planning session this week. Like 6 hours long. Quite a long time to be planning and setting goals and being inside on one of the only beautiful days of the week (of course). We were spending a lot of time using a GPS to figure out how to be effective in our routes every day. here's my metaphor for the week. So basically we went into the abyss of our GPS's abilities. And found some pretty cool features. There were a lot of features that weren't particularly helpful. And then OH WHAT JOY! We discovered something that will change GPS usage in Russian South forever. The "OPTIMIZE" button. There is a button that will optimize your route for you! Who would have known! (probably everyone except Sister Orr and I already knows this, but bear with me please)... The GPS will do everything for us, all we have to do is load in some addresses! The GPS is like a map of our lives. We can enter in destinations in our own order and time and then get to them eventually. The GPS has all of these tools that are meant to help us find our final destination, but sometimes we put in other addresses too and so there are stops along the way. Each stop could either be a positive or negative experience. The Atonement helps us to optimize our route. it works for us and makes each stop along the way happen in the nest way that will lead us to the final destination after this life. The gap between our own attempt at navigating life (what we can do) and what we need to do, is closed. All of the features like church, scriptures, and prayer hep us to have a personalized route, but the Atonement is the best way to have the most efficient guidance. We put forth as much effort as we can, but ultimately christ has to do all of the hardest work for us. We can type in as many addresses as we want, but without christ, we don't have the eternal and overall perspective which will cause a bunch of back-tracking and driving around in circles rather than following the straight and narrow path. Isn't the Atonement wonderful?

Also something I learned: When I was praying last night, I learned something! God gave us this body, our personality, our intelligence, our strengths, our weaknesses, and our spirit! Most importantly, we are who we are as his sons and daughters. When I am self-critical, I am criticizing one of God's creations! Me! He created me. I have to respect myself just as I respect god'd other creations. Find joy in myself as a daughter of God.This was revolutionary to me!

The spirit taught me some really important things this week! sorry for the crazy email. I'll include more funny stories next week when I have more time!

Love you all!

Cectpa Jenne"

Sister Jenne had some really awesome insight this week. Hope y'all all enjoyed. STAY TUNEDDD :)