Tuesday, March 7, 2017

yet another lovely week (week 39)

"This is going to be a great transfer in Russian South with Sister Bell! I can just feel it!

Sunday (yesterday) was a really great day. When we were planning in the morning, Sister Bell said that we should set a goal of 4 investigators. At first, I thought that would probably be a little too high or unreachable. But, with God, we can do all things. Although, I don't know if I've ever found 4 investigators in one day on my mission. But, I felt like it was possible, and so we committed to that goal.

In church, there was a returned sister missionary who bore her testimony of how when we have faith to miracles, we should just think of them as if they have already happened and have confidence before the Lord in our commitment to a goal or to a miracle, according to his will...of course. (that's another thing I have been learning about...God's will).

Anyways, during language study, I was doing my normal thing and reading out loud from the Book of Mormon and such. But, I felt prompted that I should do something else. So, halfway through the page I stopped and began looking up phrases that I could use on the phone while talking to people. Then I wrote some of them down and decided to practice. So, I was calling formers for a while, and either they weren't answering, or they weren't interested in meeting. Just as I felt like quitting, I called one more person, and he set a return appointment.

My faith increased. We were in the last 30 minutes of our night, running from complex to complex, calling all of the people on the call boxes, and a couple answered and we made a return appointment for tonight with them. So that was 3 out of 4. Then, we had about 15 minutes left before we needed to drive home. We ran over to the neighboring complex and started knocking. No one was answering. But, in the last 5 minutes, a girl answered. She's from Ukraine..probably YSA age. She agreed to a return appointment as well and took a Book of Mormon. President! God directed us to 4 new investigators yesterday. It was so incredible! I love this work, and I know that inspired goals are always attainable, according to God's will.

A poem that I read this week that I love:

"The tumult and the shouting dies.
The captains and the kings depart.
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet.
Lest we forget. Lest we forget."

As I was reading this alongside Helaman 5 this week, I was thinking about the importance of remembering.
 "Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins. And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels (all of us!!) to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls. My sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

When we remember who Jesus Christ is...for us personally, and for all other people, we aren't redeemed IN our sins. We are literally redeemed FROM them. They are actually gone. Forgotten. In the moment when we realize this, we feel that feeling of God's love, and his ultimate sacrifice for us. A power comes into our lives, and we feel alive in Christ. We look up and live. But, then life continues on, and that feeling slips from our minds as we get caught up in all of the other aspects of life. We make more mistakes, we aren't perfect. But, each and every time we remember what Christ has done for us, it makes us want to be a better person. And, over time, we realize that wishing to be better won't actually help us to be better. It's through the enabling power of Christ that we actually do begin to gradually become like Him. We cannot fall. We actually CANNOT fall if we are yoked with Christ. It doesn't say "if the devil will send forth his mighty winds," it says "when." but IF we build on the foundation of Christ, we CANNOT fall when the might winds are buffeting us, and knocking down everyone around us.

Sorry for the novel of an email. There is so much more that I could write, if time permitted. But, I will spare you that today. I love and miss each and every one of you! Have a wonderful week.
Cectpa Jenne"

No pictures this week :(
Hopefully there will be some next week!!

wait... halfway? (week 38)

"Privet from beautiful, rainy Seattle! Oh how the days have been cold and rainy this week. However, I believe that the weather is only going to get better from here! Spring is coming. I couldn't be happier.

"Work Will Will Win While Wishy Washy Wishing Won't"

This has proved to be true...over and over again on my mission! Since I am apparently "old" now... since I am hitting halfway in a couple days, I just thought I would share this quote because it describes basically everything that I have learned here. Basically...if you want something, it's not going to fall into your lap. If your will is aligned with God's will (you want the same thing as God), then you still can't just expect it to fall into your lap. Miracles happen every day, but they happen more often when we get out and work and act and DO something to accomplish what we want. We are here on the earth to act, not to be acted upon.

The biggest news of the week is that I am getting transferred! From what was previously just "the Russian area" to what will now be the "Russian South" area. Sister Christensen will second transfer train Sister Hamon in the "Russian North" area. And...drum roll please... I will be companions with an English speaking sister. I don't know who yet! I never thought this would happen! It's exciting and very nerve-wracking...but I have full confidence in my mission president and this call that he has given me. It will be a fantastic transfer. Our zone, which was previously all Elders except for us, will now have 4 Sister areas! That's wonderful news, as well :) Sister power!

So, there is a section in Preach My Gospel, Chapter 4 called Recognizing the Promptings of the Holy Ghost and a section called Relying on the Spirit. there is also a whole chapter about learning a language (Chapter 7). A connection that I made just this morning during personal study was the connection between learning a new language and learning the language of the spirit. It says:

Consider this:
why must I continually improve my language abilities?
How can I improve my ability to speak and teach in my mission language?
How can I obtain the gift of tongues?

now...think about this...

Why must I continually improve my ability to recognize and rely on the spirit?
How can I improve my ability to do so?
How can I obtain the gift of discernment?

They are so intricately connected. These two chapters could be read side by side. Chapter 7 could be read as instead of "how to learn a mission language"..."how to learn the language of the spirit" Anyone who is struggling with this concept should try asking a few of these questions and finding answers through the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, and prayer.

We met a man yesterday who was sitting on a bench. In the rain. Looking pretty lonely and sad. Turns out, he was lonely and sad. He was having a really hectic week. He told us all of the struggles that were going on in his life. He talked about how much he just wants his life to go back to how it was 2 years ago. We listened, we talked, and then we brought up the Book of Mormon. He wasn't a fan of that idea, and you could tell that he started to fell uncomfortable right away. It's times like this when having a back-up plan is so helpful. Having other things to talk about with people so that they will still be given an opportunity to feel the spirit. He said "I just want to feel safe." well....we can help you with that, sir! We gave him the church address and assured him that he is always welcome...that this is a safe place where no one will judge and everyone takes care of each other. He gripped the pamphlet that we wrote the address on so tightly. We then prayed with him as tears came to his eyes. Seriously, it only takes a little bit of love to help someone have a better week. To possibly even change their life forever! We never know. We might never know if he will go to church or if it will come to anything, but that man felt God's love through us. And it was all because we were willing to listen and then give him resources to help him deal with any problems.

That's all for today,folks. It's such a great time to be alive! We are so blessed with the fullness of the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ and access to all of the blessings that Heavenly Father wants us to have. Remember... "Work Will Will Win While Wishy Washy Wishing Won't"

Love you all! 
Sister Jenne"