"I'm emailing later than usual because we hit up Seattle for P-day today! It was cool. We went to Pike's Place Market and the Gum Wall. It's been a while since I walked around in such a crowded area. I just felt really kind of lost and like I didn't belong there. At the same time, I felt like a normal person. It's hard to explain but over-all, I just don't think I'm the type of person who feels at home or comfortable in big cities. Fresh air and trees speak more to my soul than any tall buildings. Plus, one-way streets and paying for parking is never a fun experience. Don't worry, I didn't turn the wrong way down any one-way streets or hit any pedestrians...I'm becoming capable of driving in just about any type of traffic without incident, which is a miracle.
Sister Piddubna loves Starbucks. Their hot chocolate with mint is her favorite thing. I guess in Ukraine it doesn't exist or something because I think we went there like 3 times this week to get her hot chocolate. Today she wanted some, but guess what? Those darn heathens gave her coffee instead of hot chocolate. She drank a little bit and then we were like "That smells weird" and so she was like yeah it tastes weird, so then I tasted it and it was definitely not hot chocolate haha oops I drank some coffee....so we went and got another one for free.... it was gross.
Something that I have been doing on my mission is keeping a "revelation journal." Basically, when I pray before bed, I take a notebook and pen and write down anything that I feel like I should do or goals that I should set. I was pondering that this week as we were teaching investigators about recognizing the spirit. When we show God that we are listening and then actually write down the things we feel and then follow through and do them, it makes sense that he would trust us with more promptings, yes? yes. So, we learn from listening, we act, and then we become a person who is "in-tune" with the spirit. It's a process. So many times we get frustrated because we aren't getting the guidance that we need in that moment. Remember that it's a process. A relationship with Heavenly Father is just like any other living relationship...it grows based on what we put into it. He is the perfect half, always putting everything into it...so it's up to us to try harder always. So what is a relationship? I thought of 7 things:
1) communication with [the other person/being]
2) feelings about
3) knowledge about
4) Acceptance of
5) Appreciation of
6) Actions toward
7) Understanding of
A relationship can be healthy or unhealthy based on how we do these 7 things. And, there are probably a million more, but these stuck out to me. There are a couple things that I think life is made of...relationships with other people/beings and decisions that we make. That's kinda what defines our life. So that must make relationships and decisions pretty darn important. Good thing the gospel helps with both of those things!!
I have a goal to finish the Book of Mormon this transfer, so I have been reading it pretty fast. Might seem like I wouldn't get as much out of it, but I found something that I never thought about before! Isn't it interesting how that works? I was studying the story of Alma. In chapter 4, he talks about how he had to give up the judgement seat and go out, preaching by himself.
18 Now Alma did not grant unto him the office of being high priest over the church, but he retained the office ofhigh priest unto himself; but he delivered the judgment-seat unto Nephihah.
19 And this he did that he himself might go forth amonghis people, or among the people of Nephi, that he mightpreach the word of God unto them, to stir them up inremembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down,by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all thecontentions which were among his people, seeing no waythat he might reclaim them save it were in bearing downin pure testimony against them.
20 And thus in the commencement of the ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, Alma delivered up the judgmentseat to Nephihah, and confined himself wholly to the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to the testimony of the word, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy.
That was probably pretty hard for him to trust the judgement seat to another person, but he did it! He gave it up because he knew no matter what good He did in that position, the Lord needed him somewhere else. The Lord needed him to bear pure testimony, and he wholly committed himself to his calling. How often do we get caught up in the "prestige" of a calling? Or we get comfortable in our current situation to the point where we don't want to change. But, God might have something better. That's why it's so important to listen to Him.
Sorry for not sharing many experiences, but I just had some good pondering time this week that I thought I would share! I love you all! Have a wonderful week,