Last photo at the mission home before all flying home
We had stake conference this past weekend and Elder Meredith shared a story from when he was a young man. He was learning how to drive with his brand new learners permit and a few minutes into it, his dad made him pull over; the driving was making him car sick because Elder Meredith was swerving all over the road. His dad asked him where he was looking, Elder Meredith replied with “the road!’ and his dad gave him some valuable advice. He explained that when we aim for just over the hood of the car, we end up swerving from one side of the lane to the other, trying to stay within the lines. But when we raise our vision and look into the horizon, we go a straight path to our destination, and staying in the lines becomes easy. When we keep our sights on the eternal goal, of being with our family forever, of living with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again, and of being eternally and perfectly happy, the rest becomes easy. There are less swerves and we wont feel as ‘sick’. When we follow the commandments, remain true and sure in the path we are taking, and keep our sights on our eternal goal, we will have a smoother, easier, and happier journey. I know it because I’ve seen it happen!
I know that Heavenly Father loves you. If there is anything I have learned on my mission, its that I know He knows each of his children perfectly and knows precisely what they need. He is able to perfectly orchestrate your life in a way that will help you grow and fulfill your eternal potential. Because He knows you and knows what you need, you just need to allow him to take over, because life is always better and happier when you have someone by your side who knows the big picture, who can see the end from the beginning, and who wants you to succeed and wants you to be happy because he loves you! No matter what, the Lord is on thy side.
I love being a missionary. I love seeing the change it brings to people’s lives (including mine!) and the happiness it brings. I have been happier than I ever have been being a missionary. It’s hard, and a lot of growing happens (and man are growing pains painful), but I am happier. Happier because I know he is on my side and wants me to succeed, and because he loves me. Just like he loves you.
This week was so full of miracles! We found an amazing investigator who was a former–she’s the cousin of the ward’s ideal convert. He was baptized a few years ago, went on a mission, went to BYU and got married in the temple. Our investigator, Cayla, wrote him his entire mission, is good friends with two of the ward members, loves the gospel, and when we texted to see if she had been praying about the baptism and if the book of mormon is true and she said ‘of course!’. She’s amazing.
Hello from Savannah!
As you all know, Sister Sevy went home last week and I have a new companion–companion number 4 within 4 transfers in 1 area! Introducing…Sister Frandsen! We’re getting along well; we have similar personalities and senses of humor, so we get along great. She’s helping me stay working and happy :)
I love them–J was in a lot of pain but they came to church anyway and left after the sacrament to go to the ER. They said they came so that they could feel the spirit because they knew they’d need it. I love them so much! I’m going to miss them when they move to Michigan on Friday.
Our mission president has asked us to bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ whenever we see anyone–member, nonmember, less active. We went to visit a less active family who we have been working with quite a bit, and shared a scripture on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and his love and just bore testimony that he lives and that he is our Savior. Immediately afterwards we sat quiet for a minute, and the mom turned to us and told us that they’d be at church on Sunday. She decided, on her own after feeling the Spirit testify that Jesus Christ is her Savior, that she and her family needed to come to church.
I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he knows me perfectly and personally. He knows every physical or emotional pain, every fear, everything wrong someone did to me, everything wrong I did. He knows how those feel, and because he does he knows how to help me. And its the exact same for you. I love him, he is my big brother.
I love you all!
p.s. [we asked her about her current favorite hymn and scripture]: My favorite hymn…our mission theme song is The Time is Far Spent (I think it’s hymn number 266) and that’s kind of my favorite right now (of course, I like it fast, about twice as fast as it’s written). I love each of the verses, but right now my favorite is the third. “The angels are waiting to crown you with blessings, go forward be faithful the promise is sure!”
My favorite scripture is Helaman 10:4-5. I found it the other day and loved how it talked about not fearing man and focusing on the will of God and encouraged me to continue “with unwearyingness declar[ing] the word.” Those are all my favorite things/the things I’ve learned most on my mission all wrapped up in one. It’s my current favorite mission scripture. I love it.
Now, before y’all think I’ve gone rogue emailing on Tuesday, Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day, so all the libraries were closed. Our mission president asked that we email Tuesday after the transfer meeting instead.
Unfortunately, this past Sunday Sister Sevy finished her 18 months on her mission, headed for the mission home in Macon and on Monday she flew back home to California! I ended up staying with Sister Jeppson and Sister Barry (I needed babysitters) and was able to spend a couple days with them until I got my new companion–Sister Frandsen!
So many miracles happened this week!! Some of them will have to wait to tell until it pans out :) But one investigator, in our last lesson, told us that she loves it when we come over because when we’re there, she feels so good about herself and has more confidence- she said she knows its from Heavenly Father and that she can’t wait to be baptized so she can get the Gift of the Holy Ghost and have that feeling all the time :) I love her!!
PS please send on any and all jokes you have! I would love to hear your favorites :)
This has been a fantastic week! So many miracles and blessings have come and I was able so see so many amazing people and role models!
We went Christmas caroling with a family in the ward, and we had a magnificent time. Many of the people we caroled to were so appreciative of the added joy this season. One of them was an older woman whose husband passed away last December and was having a difficult Christmas season this year with out him, one was a woman who was by herself this Christmas season, and one was a father who asked us to keep singing and ran upstairs to grab his two kids from out of the bathtub to listen to us sing about our Savior’s birth.
We were able to do so much service this week–helping an older woman living by herself decorate her Christmas tree, help a member pack up to move, serve food at the Salvation Army Christmas Day to the homeless, Christmas caroling, and little acts of service along the way. Life is good when you’re in the service of your fellowbeings.
As a Christmas miracle, M (who a few weeks ago decided she didn’t want to be baptized and didn’t want anything to do with the church) has prayed and received an answer that she should be baptized! She is back on track to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!
I love you all, and I wish you a happy and safe new year!
At the beginning of this week we had two baptisms solid and set for two different women, both with the same name, M! However, they went way different than I thought they would be. It was a good lesson on humility and trust in God’s will. [The first M] doesn’t want to be baptized anymore, so we called off the baptism.
The second M was baptized on Saturday! However, she ended up needing to be baptized in the Pooler Ward, even though her fellowshippers are here in the Savannah Ward. So, we call the Pooler Sisters Tuesday night and tell them that they have a baptism on Saturday with M! We called M and told her, which we thought would be difficult to do because when she moved into the Pooler Ward we originally tried to have the Pooler sisters teach M, but she told us she was going to our ward with ShaMyrra or not at all. So we were nervous to tell her, but when we did she said “Oh good! That way I’ll be able to have a ride more easily to Young Women and church every week. I’ll miss you, but it’s okay, because the church is the same everywhere and Jesus in in every congregation of your church, right?” Absolutely. Miracles.
M going to the Pooler Ward was probably one of the best things that could have happened. She has a ride to church every Sunday and to Young Women every Wednesday, she was completely welcomed and enveloped into the ward, and her mom has been completely welcomed and involved in the ward.
What is a better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than with a baptism and a fresh start?
The Church has put out an amazing video about the true meaning of Christmas–the Jesus Christ is the first and the true gift to the world from our loving Heavenly Father. If you haven’t seen it yet, do it right now: christmas.mormon.org
The missionaries from the Savannah Stake performed at the Stake Low Country Boil and Talent Show.
(Sister Waddoups is in the green skirt)