Recap: Shortly after Christmas there was a poem I wanted to email but I forgot it. I have it with me today and I think it is especially helpful now that the season has passed.
I invite you to read this poem and reflect on how you can let the spirit of Christmas work in your life this year (2013).
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry.
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart."
-Dr. Howard Thurman
I absolutely love this poem. It reminds me that the work of what we celebrate each Christmas season is really the spirit would should have with us all year long. Decembers are especially meaningful if we do the work of Christmas during the whole year. <3
IT'S FREEZING!!! The wind/air eats away at my skin! haha but seriously!
Thursday Jan. 17th:
It was a busy day! We did our weekly planning and finished in a timely manner! That's always exciting. We went the church for our lesson with Brendan (teaching Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and the Law of Chastity) From there we went to visit Yassmin who I knew from the Bronx. Directly after that we ran to have dinner with Tempestt Turman. She is a member in our ward who I am best friends with! We took pictures with our backpacks. She took us to a place called Roti Roll and it was actually really good! It's like Indian food in a wrap and I got one with mild spices and I loved it! I want to go there again. We ended the night by going to visit a former investigator from before the holidays.
This past week or two I have been especially surprised by how quickly Wednesday comes!
Friday Jan. 18th:
We had a Mission Leadership Training that took up the majority of the day. It was really great. A lot of information and spiritual thoughts from the Sister's Conference were repeated but I didn't mind because it gave me a second chance to soak it in. The message of which was focused on our purpose as a missionary, what standard we are to live up to as an official representative of the church and how we made a promise to the prophet to leave all other things behind as we seek to do the Lord's work. There's nothing quite like the reminder that you made a promise to the prophet that really kicks my focus into gear! haha, well and the fact that I made a promise to the Lord. It's wonderful though because I'm seeing how quickly the end of my mission is approaching as I draw nearer to my year mark. Plus with all the incoming missionaries the missionaries who have been out for a while are loosing a week from each transfer to adjust to the surge. Due to this I could be finishing my mission July 31st. It's just too close to the end for me to tolerate loosing focus. We had dinner that night with Ash Coleman at this cool French sandwich place. I had a Mr. Otto sandwich which included roast beef, pickled pears and tickled cheddar. The pears were sweet and added a nice balance to the sandwich.
Sunday Jan. 20th:
We had three investigators at church and one at church in Virginia. After church we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and the ward missionaries. It was exciting to bring us all together and everyone reported back on news they had. It was empowering and exciting to realize when you get great minds together, set goals and delegate tasks great things can happen. Our ward has a lot of support with missionary work. We're planning a dinner with our Bishop's family so they can get to know our investigators better. Ever since one of our recent converts has struggled in the ward I realized our investigators need to have a good relationship with the Bishop.
Tuesday Jan. 22nd:
We had two member present lessons! One of the members (Michael Brandley) joined us for both lessons. He served in the New York South Mission. We taught Brendan about tithing and fast offerings. He's become so humble and accepting of the things we teach. I have learned so much from Brendan. He has really seen the spiritual strength come into his life since we've been meeting with him and he knows the Lord will continue to guide him even when he doesn't fully understand every detail right now. Then we taught Dana with Michael and Dakota and it was great. We discussed Dana's concerns. We had an idea of the points that are holding him back from feeling confident about baptism. It was great to here it from him though. He has a baptismal date for February 15th that he is preparing for. He said he's been praying about baptism and he feels better about it now than he has before but he's still not sure. He is one his way =) I love seeing people resolve their concerns and progress in the blessings of this gospel.
We made our way to visit a less active member and her mom. It was freezing cold!!!!! This was when it started getting really bad!!! It's suppose to snow a few days from now and then it'll warm up supposedly. After that we had correlation with our ward mission leader.
Then Sister Lavaki made a delicious meal with some groceries I had bought. It was team work lol.
Wednesday Jan. 23rd:
Today! I love getting laundry done lol. Sister Lavaki made us pancakes for breakfast. After I finish emailing we're going to play games with the elders from our district.
I should know today or tomorrow if I will be training.
Thursday Jan. 24th There is supposedly going to be a training meeting for all those who will be training.
Wednesday Jan. 31st TRANSFERS and we have no idea what is going to happen! This transfer is going to be a big deal! There will be six new English sisters coming in. Right now there are eight of us haha so I'm 80% confident I will be training. I'm really excited about the idea. I think I'd be a fun trainer lol
February 9th Brendan is getting baptized! He asked me to be one of the speakers.
Well my loved ones...
I love you. I hope you can feel the Lord blessing you and guiding you each day.
My time is being spent. All I can do is appreciate each day and count my blessings.
I add my testimony to that of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf from this last General Conference's talk Of Regrets and Resolution,
"It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made mistakes—if we have made choices that we now regret—there is the precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret11 and remove the burden of our sins.12His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart,13 and a determination to do better and especially to become better...
The path toward fulfilling our divine destiny as sons and daughters of God is an eternal one. My dear brothers and sisters, dear friends, we must begin to walk that eternal path today; we cannot take for granted one single day. I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I love the blessings available to use through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Peace and Blessings
Peace and Blessin's