Monday, December 16, 2013

Faith Precedes the Miracle Every Time

Something that I've learned time and time again as I have been out on my mission, is that miracles are always preceded by faith. 

This week as we were teaching an investigator, she offered us a cup of coffee. While my companion was satisfied with telling her, "No thank you", I took it as an opportunity to dive into the Word of Wisdom. She was horrified when we told her that if she wants to be baptized she must quit drinking coffee.  She proceeded to tell us about how, "that's just too hard" and "I don't think I can live like that" (seeing as she drinks at least 10 cups of the stuff per day), but the next thing out of her mouth was, "Well, I guess I'm going to have to quit it then." I was amazed-- this is a lady that hasn't even been to a church service yet, but she was still willing to give it up due to the spirit she feels while we are teaching her. She has had only 1 cup in the past 3 days! We'll work on getting her to church though haha :)

Sometimes miracles don't come in the way you expect them to. There is a girl in our area that lives on an obscure dirt road.  Sister Herring always wanted to go down that road every time we passed it for the entire time she was serving here in Back Creek. Towards the end of her stay, she finally decided to go down the road while I was away on an exchange. When we reunited, she told me about this girl with ear gauges that she had given a Book of Mormon to after she had gone down that road.  She pointed that out to me time and time again as we were driving down one of our regular roads. 
Fast forward to about a month later, and I'm driving down that dirt road again, as plans had fallen though--yet again. I knock on the door of the home that Sister Herring had described to me, and the girl with gauges opens the door and lets us in to teach her about the Restoration of the Gospel and the Priesthood. She agreed to be baptized, and read from the Book of Mormon! Sadly, we had to pass her off to the Young Single Adult Elders, but last I heard from them, she LOVED learning about the Plan of Salvation, committed to coming to church, and also committed to be baptized on Jan. 4th. 

I feel extremely blessed to have been able to play a role in each of these miracles. The Lord loves all of His children, and to be able to teach people about that love is a truly amazing thing :) 

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." -- Hebrews 11:1,6

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Changes and Gratitude

This week--

Lots of emotions. Good ones, bad ones, the lot. I said goodbye to Sister Herring and hello to Sister Crossley, a wonderful gal from West Jordan, Utah. She has been serving in Lynchburg, her first area, for the past 6 months, and has come to the best place in the mission just in time for the holidays :)

Speaking of holidays, our mission president has asked us to write down 10 things we're thankful for each day this week with no repeats. I have an idea of what mine will look like:

1. Pumpkin Pie

2. Things that taste like Pumpkin Pie

3. Things that smell like Pumpkin Pie

4. Things that remind me of Pumpkin Pie
5. Whipped Cream (to go on Pumpkin Pie)

Ha, okay, I'm just kidding! Kind of. No, but really, I think my list right now might go a little more like this:

1. The Atonement

2. Prayer

3. The Scriptures

4. The Prophet

5. The Priesthood

6. The knowledge that I have of the Restoration

7. The opportunity to be on a mission

8. A family that can be together forever

9. Jesus Christ

10. Heavenly Father

And let me tell you, that kind of a list could go on and on. This gospel-- it's the reason why I'm here. I am so thankful to have a knowledge that all of this, and much, much, MUCH more is there for me, and for everybody that searches for it. 

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." --Psalms 100:4

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The One Where Sister Nisse Said Goodbye to Her Mama

So, the day has arrived. It's my last day with my mother.

(Mother = a sister missionary's trainer).

I feel like throwing myself on my bed a-la Sleeping Beauty style (post-finding-out-her-true-identity-as-a-princess), but the work must go on.

This week, I wish I could say that the wonderful and glorious Herring-Nisse duo went out with a bang, but sadly, we had a looooot of meetings to attend, and as such, things were not at their most fabulous. 

However, things are looking good for the weeks to come! We have a precious thing to look forward to-- APPOINTMENTS!!! Believe me when I say that such things are rare and marvelous. People out here aren't as fond of set appointments as the missionaries are, but I'll take what I can get :)

Um, ya, Sleeping Beauty definitely had it easier. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our Purpose

So, having a member of the Quorum of the Seventy address you and your mission summed up in a word:

Haha! Just kidding, we all know it's impossible to sum up.

But in all honesty, it was amazing. Elder Sitati and his wife came from Ghana, Africa to speak to us for our annual mission conference. You wanna know what he talked to us about?

Our Purpose. 

Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

He taught us about how all the questions that a missionary can come up with can be resolved by a re-evaluation of where we stand in regard to our purpose. And, to extend that to you, whoever you are reading this, the same can be said about where you stand in regard to your purpose. What's your purpose, you might ask? Well, let me tell you:

Your purpose is to come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism (and weekly renewal of baptismal covenants), receiving and being worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. 

I promise that by continually working to embed this purpose into our hearts, we will eventually be able to not only come out of the other side of life's storms with deepened faith, but to return to our Father in Heaven knowing that we've done all that was required of us to return to live with Him.

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Missionary Work on Halloween?

Ha, so Halloween is totally awkward as a missionary. Sooo many people opening their doors, excited to give candy to trick-or-treaters, and then boom. They see the little black tag and their faces DROP. I wish I could show you, because it really is one of the funniest things eeeever.
In any case, we had a miracle last night! We knocked on the door of this one man's house, and well, he's never home...but for whatever reason, last night he was! I love it when that happens. He has such a testimony of this gospel, and I loved hearing about how having a knowledge about the truthfulness has gotten him through some very hard times. The only problem is that he's not a member.

Ha! Just kidding! Well, kind of. He was baptized when he was 16 and living in Bolivia, and somehow the records of his baptism were lost. And so now he gets to be baptized again, the lucky duck. 

Other than that, it's been a rather uneventful week, a lot of working with the other sisters in the zone, so I'm sorry that I don't have more to report about the people in our area! The sister who committed to be baptized is named Mary Henderson, so please include her in your prayers.  
Here are some pictures from the beautiful (and extremely terrifying) roads in Virginia.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Soooo, I hate to say this, but here goes:

I told you so.

I told you that we were going to have something amazing happen! Bad things only mean that good things are just around the corner :) 

This week, we had one of our investigators agree to be baptized.



She's on date to be baptized on November 23rd, and we would appreciate any and all of the prayers that you could send our way to help her to make it to that date, and to help us as her missionaries to know just how to be able to help her. 

Ah! I'm so happy :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sometimes There are Good Things, and Sometimes There are Bad Things

"There must needs be an opposition in all things"

A very wise man said that. A wise man that I, for one, trust. So while things may seem dark and dreary, I don't have a doubt in my mind that good things are on their way. 

I won't go into the details of this week, but let's just say that Sister Herring and I have really learned how to rely on one another. And maybe that's just what the Lord wanted from us this week! 

Either way, I'm happy to have had another week here in Virginia, laboring in the name of the Lord. It truly is a blessing. Even when the bad days come, it really is okay. It's okay because I know that I'm doing something very important, something of a lot of worth. So when the people don't listen, and the time seems ill spent--I just remember that I am 100% exactly where the Lord wants me. I am not cheating Him out of any of the time that He has to have me work where I am. And I will be forever grateful to Him for allowing me to do that.

As a missionary, I recognize that it's very easy to say, "I'm serving the Lord each and every day." However, the commandment to do so is not exclusive to those of us with this pretty little name tag. So, I would encourage you to always, always, always be looking for something to do so that you can say that at the end of each of your days, as well. Maybe keep a journal, and list the things that you did to serve our Lord. I promise that as you do so, you will begin to search for more and more ways to keep serving. 

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."