I want to tell you all just a couple of the things I learned this week as I studied exclusively from the Book of Mormon and Chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel (You all had better be studying both of those!). The first thing that I realized was that just about everything I understand about my relationship with my Savior I have learned, from my infancy, through the Book of Mormon. I absolutely love the New Testament, and it teaches me who the Savior is, what He did, but the Book of Mormon tells me what I am supposed to do with that wonderful knowledge- how it all applies to me. The other thing that I realized is that you simply cannot have a firm- or really any sort of lasting testimony of the restored gospel without reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. It truly is the keystone of our religion, and "it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel."- BofM Intro page. This is why so many people, member and non-member struggle so hard with their testimonies! It doesn't matter what you are struggling with, be it the principle of grace, or the commandments, or how the spirit works, or why the Priesthood or the temple are so important- it ALL comes back to the Book of Mormon. If you read it, pray about it, and receive an answer that it is true- everything else will fall into place, your questions and struggles will be resolved. I promise! Do me a favor- I'm serious about this, Read the introduction, and then moroni 10 from the Book of Mormon, then take the time to heed moroni's promise. Pray to know if the Book of Mormon, the gospel, the church, Jesus being the Savior, the Priesthood being on the earth today, are true. He will answer you, and you will have a stronger testimony all around.
Okay, now I'll tell you how people are doing. :)
Herb and Carolyn are... well, they're are Herb and Carolyn. I love them, and they are doing good- not great, but good. We continue to have really powerful lessons with them, and they say they will do things, and then they fail to act. It is sad. There is always something in the way. This week they left on Sunday morning to visit their daughter in Michigan, so they obviously weren't able to come to church. On the up side, however, Carolyn did come with us to the General Women's Meeting, and she seemed to really enjoy it. We are really really hoping and praying that they come to church this week.
That broadcast was incredible for me, exactly what I needed to hear. I especially loved President Uchtdorf's talk. The spirit washed over me as he testified of Heavenly Father's perfect love for us- and for me.
We had exchanges, and I got to work with my beloved Sister Nye. She is awesome, and we had a lot of fun. I have sure missed her since we parted ways after the MTC. It was a blast to have her as my companion for a day. So much Joy. Later this week (Sunday) Sister Browne and Sister Nye had a family get baptized, and we got to go because I've taught them twice on exchanges and Sister Jensen and I taught them last week. Sister Barker had come down from Des Moines with her companion, Sister Whipple! Remember her? We served together in Dubuque. :) Let me tell you, we were so happy to see each other. I didn't get a picture with her, but it was seriously great to see her, and talk with her.
Lastly, I just want to share how grateful I am for my family. Yesterday, to close the primary program, they sang the new song "The Family is of God," and I was just overcome. NO, mine is not perfect, but I am eternally grateful to have had such a great upbringing in my incredible family. These words really hit me- and not just because the children were yell- singing them at me. :) "God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God." I am just grateful. So grateful. I am who I am because of my family, and someday I will have a little family of my own to love and teach the gospel.
I love my mission so so so so much. I am learning more than I ever thought I could or would each day! I cannot believe that I will be home in 3 and a half months. I am both excited and terrified. I never want this to end.
I love you all so much.
Same as last year, the missionary department in salt lake requires that we get a flu shot. We forced ourselves to just get it over with on Tuesday, and rewarded ourselves afterward with blizzards. :) We got a text from Sister Jensen the next day telling us that we won the prize for most obedient missionaries, we were the first to get them and report it! High five.
I am slowly growing an addiction to blizzards and orange julius.
That happens when it's literally one of 2 fast food establishments in your area.
Sister Nye came to our area on exchanges with me, and our companions worked in their area- it was awesome! Sister Nye got to meet and teach the infamous Shallenbergers. :)
Elder and sister Warner went home yesterday morning! :( We made sure to stop in
and say goodbye on Saturday night. I love them so much, I will miss them!
The couple that replaced them is wonderful too though!
My companion. She's a goob, and I love her.