Monday, February 15, 2016

I'll stand up for those who can't, I'll close the distance

 In the words of Shameka (one of our amazing investigators):

This essentially means it is cold. Very very cold.
Last night it started snowing, and it turns out we are experiencing snow storm number two here in Virginia. My biggest worry is that finding milk at any store will be impossible (I need to eat


Sister Prach and I had a great week!! Here are some highlights:
-We were hit on by a drunk man who continually told us how beautiful we both were. Kind of flattering, mostly creepy. After explaining we were missionaries the conversation ended with a whispered, "where can I sign up?"

-We had dinner with our neighbors! They are an older couple of another denomination, who love to talk to us openly about religion. We LOVE them.

-We baked cookies for investigators, our neighbors, and....ourselves.

-We had one of the weirdest lessons I have ever experienced. No details needed on that one.

-We have three new investigators, who were all referrals! MISSIONARIES LOVE REFERRALS. One of them told us that she was so excited to read the Book of Mormon over the weekend, and was very willing to hear what we had to say.

-We shared 1 Nephi 3:7 with Shameka and she got so happy that she smiled, closed her eyes slowly, looked at us, and pronounced, "Ladies. I want to feed you dinner."

-This year my Valentine was assigned to me by President Wilson. He has very good taste.

I love the people here. I love the gospel. I love food.

I always have to add my own two cents in these emails, so here's my thoughts for this week:
We had an interesting relief society lesson at church. The topic was suffering. I was excited, suffering is one of my favorite topics to speak on. But things took a very unexpected turn. Remarks like, "I'm
sorry to tell you all, but it really doesn't get better. Life never gets better." And "There are things I've gone through that didn't teach me anything. I didn't become more loving, or patient, or anything of these things. The only thing I can say I maybe gained was I got closer to the savior."
People were crying, People were complaining, and the spirit was not present. I wanted to speak up, but so many people were participating that it was overwhelming.  My thoughts turned to the savior. We were (at some point) asked if we would follow his example and be baptized, and everyone in that room said yes. We were asked to have faith like him, have charity, have courage etc... But when we are asked to suffer, not even like he did but just a sliver of what he did, we complain. We ask, "why me?"
The purpose of Christ's life was the atonement. His purpose was to suffer. So let me ask, what did HE gain from this suffering? He was already perfect, he did not need to learn to be patient or loving. The
only thing he gained was an opportunity to be closer to us, his brothers and sisters. What if, then, Christ stated, "I cannot believe I was asked to perform the atonement. It was a waste of time, the only
thing I gained was I became closer to __________." How offensive would that be?
This life is not for us. Our trials are not for us. Trials enable us to love. Who would forgive another if they had never felt pain? Who would have empathy, or even sympathy? Who would be able to begin to understand the Savior if they had not felt pain? What would the phrase "true friend" even mean? In the scriptures it states that there is no greater love than when a man lays down his life for his friends. What are we willing to lay down? Only the small things? Are we as good at loving as we think we are (myself included)?

That's enough of a rant for this week. Im sure there's more to come. ;)

I love you all so much. The lyrics today come from Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail.
"God help those with open hands, may they never feel burden again.
I'll stand up for hose who can't, I'll close the distance."
Always looks for things to learn, from everything: Blessings, trials, plants, the ocean, your friends, your enemies. Exceed expectations.
Conquer a fear. Don't give up.

-Sister Pug
P.s. We took a lot of pictures this week....sorry in advance 😇
P.p.s. I don't think my group email was sending to everyone on my list, so to be sure I added everyone I've ever emailed to my contacts....if you want to be taken off the list let me know. :)

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