Friday, February 24, 2017

с днём валентина! (Week 37)

"translation: Happy Valentine's Day!

A week that starts out with 4 of Sister Juchau's snickerdoodles can never be a bad week! It might have been an interesting week, but it definitely was not a bad one. I don't think it's possible to be a missionary and have a bad week. We got to go to a member's house last Monday and make planner covers for our planners for next transfer (which is next week btw). Transfers are always exciting! It was really relaxing to sit back and do some crafts and get this random taste of relaxation and fun together. It's times like that that I am really able to become great friends with Sister Christensen and Sister Hamon. They are so fantastic. There's something about having one purpose and one mind and working together with the spirit. Speaking of which, the interesting part about this week was something that I talked about last week. The more I feel the  spirit in any given day, the more successful I feel about that day when I kneel down at night to account with Heavenly Father. About halfway through the week, the spirit seemed to dwindle in our apartment and in our companionship. Instead of feeling the spirit of missionary work, there was a spirit of tension and over-sensitivity. It's really easy to focus on the little things that go wrong like not being able to go to a baptism because you less active doesn't show up, or breaking the glove box in your car, or missing a bunch of turns and being late or any number of every day things that happen. It's so easy to dwell on the "bad" things that happen. Or, the "bad" things that people unintentionally say.  It's really easy to get to the point where you see love from someone for 23.5 hours of the day, but there's that 30 minutes where you feel left out or lonely or misunderstood and those are the 30 minutes that you are going to remember. It's hard when you just want to fake it til you make it, not cause contention, not hurt anyone's feelings, and just smile through everything. However, that's not how the Atonement works. We have to let ourselves feel what we are feeling and acknowledge it. That's the only way that He will be able to actually heal the root of the problem so that it can in actuality be healed and not happen again or not happen as often, at least.

Jesus Christ told the Nephites:
"Will ye not return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? if ye will come unto me, ye shall have eternal life. Mine arm of mercy is extended toward you; and whosoever will come, him will I receive. I am Jesus Christ. The Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. Come unto me ye ends of the earth..and be saved."

It's our choice! It's completely up to us! He is ALWAYS there. He doesn't leave. He wants us to come unto him. But isn't that why we are here on earth? To exercise our agency and make mistakes and then realize that we can't fix our own problems or bear our own burdens, but He ALREADY has. Everything has a perfect solution in Christ. It's not going to be easy...we have to suffer along the way a little bit. That's not because God doesn't love us. It's because he DOES love us. Because through Christ we are healed. We have peace. If it was easy then what would we learn? How would we show our commitment to Heavenly Father? He sends us to a neighborhood where He knows that there isn't going to be anyone interested. He doesn't do that for the people that we are going to talk to, He does it for us as missionaries. He leads us there because it gives us the experiences that will help us later in some way. He knows everything. He doesn't send anyone on any type of wild goose chase. I know that everything happens for a reason and according to God's will. And He does nothing save it be for the benefit of His children.

Be proud of me because we did service and trimmed some bushes with some clippers/loppers and they looked pretty darn good when we got done. All those years of clearing out horse-riding trails did me some good, I guess! I'm learning all sorts of life skills that I never thought would come out of my mission.

It was windy, and Sister Hamon was on splits with another sister and so Sister C and I went out and contacted some people. The reason I mention the wind is because my dress was a very light fabric (like, not heavy type of light) and very blowly in the wind type of thing. We were standing on a doorstep and she basically had to talk to this guy alone, trying not to laugh as I held my dress down. I'm just glad that I had a slip and tights on...

All is well in Seattle! We are visiting the space needle and the EMP museum today with our sister training leaders! So excited and we will take a lot of pictures.

Love all of you! Keep killin' it.

-Cectpa Jenne"

No pictures this week, I guess! I'll pester her about that next week. :P

Grateful Hearts See Miracles (Week 36)

"This week we found some great new investigators! A couple from Ukraine welcomed us into their home and we were able to have a fantastic lesson. It wasn't even so much a lesson as just a testimony sharing experience. The spirit was so strong, and we were able to build a real relationship of trust with them. Something that I have truly noticed is the difference in how successful a day feels to me as a missionary and how much I have felt the spirit in that day. It's definitely a direct correlation.

Last night, we had the opportunity to go to an interfaith choir performance. There were all different churches there, Christians and otherwise. All of the songs were amazing and spiritual, but as soon as our choir got up to sing "Come, Come Ye Saints," I almost couldn't focus because the spirit was so strong. Throughout the song, I noticed that people were visibly touched. Moreso than previously in the performance. It was a giant testimony builder for me of just how true this church really is. The spirit is such a great thing.

"Stick to your task, until it sticks to you;
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
Honor, power, place, and praise
Will always come to the one who stays.
Stick to your task, until it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile,
Will come life's victories, after a while.
-Author Unknown

We had ZONE CONFERENCE this week! That's where I heard this little poem up there^ What profound and simple statements! We do have to work hard, and we do need to finish the things that we started, and we do want to look back on something with no regrets. However, as we are bending and sweating and whatnot, we should also be smiling. We can smile because we know that there IS a point to everything. We DO have a purpose in our lives. There IS something to work toward. I don't know if I've already shared this scripture in an email, but here it is: Alma 32:42-43:

42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

 43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

Love you all so much! I hope that I am able to help uplift and inspire your week. Sorry for a bit of a scattered/short email this week. All is well here in Seattle. 
Sister Jenne"

Worrying= Mentally Practicing Failure (Week 35)

Oh my goodness y'all! I'm so awful! I have THREE posts to put up for you today. I will try not to get so behind again! Promise!!
"Moral of the title... don't worry! be happy! Practice success! You'll be happier, I promise :D

Sooooo, the center of the UW (university of washington) campus is called "Red Square." AKA one of my new favorite places. Our Sister Training Leaders are over one of the YSA wards on UW campus.Therefore, we got to do exchanges this past week on a college campus! i felt like I was back in school, but at the same time, so far removed from the students there. It's funny how different priorities become over time and in different circumstances. I learned a lot about street contacting and what it's like to talk to 50 people in one day. Something that just doesn't happen in the Russian work. We were walking around after dark on the edge of campus, and there weren't any people around. A pay phone started ringing and I felt an urge to answer it. (I just feel invincible as a missionary or something because I never would have done this before my mission). Anyways, a guy asking for Mike answered the phone, and I let him know that there's no one around, but that we are missionaries and we love to talk to people about Jesus Christ. Turns out, he knew a lot about the LDS church and had a ton of questions. Some of them were really difficult questions that have caused deep divisions within society and politics right now. I am so glad to be able to say that I had concrete answers for each question and I know exactly where I stand and exactly where the spirit tells me i should be for each of these issues, no matter how complicated or difficult. It was such a cool experience, and I just hope that I was able to touch his heart and teach about repentance and how we can all change for the better. No matter what. I know that's true!

Something from my personal study that I loved this week was Alma 50:39. Just in general, the war chapters in Alma are such a great parallel between us and Satan. How Satan works with us is the same way that Amalikiah worked against the Nephites. However, the Nephites were prepared with their building of walls and armor and such and were able to be very successful in defending themselves. In verse 39, it says "...he (Nephihah) was appointed with an oath and sacred ordinance to judge righteously, to keep the peace and the freedom of the people, and to grant unto them the sacred privileges to worship the Lord their God, yea to support and maintain the cause of God all his days..." we know that the cause of God is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39) It reminds me of a quote from David O'McKay:
 "True Christianity is love in action. There is no better way to manifest love for God than to show an unselfish love for your fellow man. This is the spirit of missionary work."
 We are here to support and maintain the cause of God. Which is a cause of Love. What a great work! Being a missionary is pretty cool sometimes.
Obedience: the price
Faith: the power
Spirit: the key
Christ: the reason
Love: the motive
Joy: the reward

Alma 45:6-7: "6 and Alma said unto him, will ye keep my commandments? 7 and he said: yea, I will keep them with all my heart."
That taught me that there are 4 possible responses to this question. No, I will not. Yes, I will keep the commandments..sometimes..., yes, I will keep the commandments always. OR YES, I will keep the commandments ALWAYS WITH ALL OF MY HEART. I invite all of you to consider with answer you are giving in your life. 

The scriptures are cool, especially the Book of Mormon! Love and miss you all! have a wonderful week. Miracles are out there if you look for them :)

-Cectpa Jenne"

Sister Jenne sent SO MANY PICTURES for this week and they make me so happy so here y'all go!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I Wish I Was Chinese-Speaking (Week 34)

"We met an amazing family from China this week! You know when you meet someone, and just can't stop smiling because of their kindness and just how darn adorable they are? yeah, that happened. It might be my life goal to be like this family...well...besides the celestial kingdom anyways. We knocked on a door that we felt drawn to last Monday. A Chinese woman opened the door and all that we had to give her was the Book of Mormon in English. But, she wanted it in Chinese so we picked one up. When we went by on Saturday night to drop it off, we remembered that it was Chinese New Year, but decided to do it anyways. They were SO grateful. They wanted more copies of it so that they could all read it. I've never met people that were so warm and welcoming. It's an amazing culture that I would love to learn more about. They wanted to come to church and so we gave them the time and address. It was sad on Sunday when they didn't show up. As weird as this might sound, we decided to drive to their house and see why they didn't come. Turns out, they got the time wrong and were just about to leave to come to the church. So we just went to a different ward with them. It was a miracle that we were able to find a member who could translate for them. Afterwards, we sat in while the member taught a lesson and answered some questions. Let's just say, the Chinese speaking missionaries just got a super-golden referral from the Bothell Russian sisters! It's cool because Heavenly Father can use us to help other missionaries out. Like we are his secret agents, going in and out of all of the areas of the mission. It's a new kind of adrenaline rush when you can watch someone change and accept something so important.

In other news, I almost managed to break sister christensen's arm (we will leave details out...) AND we got a new set of rule revisions in the worldwide missionary broadcast!! It was so nerve wracking, because we knew that changes were going to happen and that they would be inspired but maybe reallly hard to adjust to. It's awesome though, because with the new changed schedule, we have a lot more time on P-day and we have a lot more adjustability with our studies in the morning, and more time to sleep! I am glad that they are trusting missionaries more now to exercise our agency and figure out what works the best for each companionship and situation. It will definitely be a good thing. There is also a difference in which things we report to the mission office every week. The numbers and goals that we set.

Last Monday, we have Russian FHE. A member was there, and he doesn't speak Russian, but wanted to say something.. So he bore his testimony and I translated for him. I haven't had a time on my mission where the words flowed so easily and came from my mouth so clearly. I think I better understand the whole speil about how God will put words in our mouth in the very hour that we need them. The second that I stopped worrying about how what I was saying might not have been exactly right, the word just flowed out and everyone understood so well what I was saying. Afterwards, I just kind of sat there dumbfounded for a minute at the power of God and how he could use me like that as an instrument. Just put those words and the perfect grammar right into my mouth. Russian is hard. There's absolutely no way I could be speaking this well after 8 months without God's help. I testify that He will always help! It's gonna take some work on your part, and it might not come as fast as you want, but it will come. I know that's true. Ask, and ye shall receive. It's so simple.

Love you all!
Have a miracle-filled week.
-Cectpa Jenne"