Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy JUNE!!

I fell down real good! But I cleaned it out and I'm still alive! 

We have no idea when this spider got into our house, nor how he arrived so close to our study space without us noticing. I just love how Hermana Miller's reaction was a very Ron Weasly-ish "I don't like spiders!" 

I don't know if the rest of you realized this, but the past two months have gone by sooooooooo fast! March 2014 was the longest month of my life, and it's already June?! This is crazy! Hermana Miller and I had a great, albeit quick week, and we are chock full of life experiences to learn by. Sounds fun, right?

Lesson 1: Patience is important. Sometimes, the best made plans of mice and men fall through, and then even the best made plans of sister missionaries fall through, and  one must be patient. When we aren't patient, we turn away from love and positivity to negativity, sarcasm, and frustration. We did not have a dark moment of negativity, sarcasm, nor frustration this week. Just saying. We don't say "Patience is a virtue" and "All good things to she who waits" for nothing.

Lesson 2: Obedience is really important. I've got a story to illustrate this one. Both Hermana Miller and I weren't exactly sure how to phrase this, so I am copying in what I wrote in my journal: "We ended up going to Ostouman around 11:30 because [member of the church] has been wanting to feed us lunch for a long time, and last Saturday she told us to come today. Well, she came late, and then we sat around for a long time while she cooked, durning which interim we saw the preview for the new Nightmare on Elm Street movie about ten times. So I asked for that to be turned off (I hate scary movies) and we asked if there was antyhing we could to do to h[elp] this process along. Those requests didn't work out, and by the time we got lunch we already felt bad for how long we had been at this house. But then the kicker: we each took a few sips of our juice, and we asked Livis what flavor it was, and she said 'Tea!' What?! 'But it's not bad! It's just tea flavored, not original tea.' So we looked at the packet and, lo and behold, it was iced tea mix. Whoops. So we stopped drinking that and I started feeling really horrible." Did we intentionally break the Word of Wisdom? No. But if we had been obedient earlier, to a little rule in the white handbook that says appointments should not last more than 45 minutes, we probably could have avoided the tea drinking. And I wouldn't have had nightmares about Freddy Kruger. So little obedience helps big obedience. Trust me on that one.

Lesson 3: The Atonement is real, and it works just like Christ promises it will. Being missionaries, we promptly applied the five steps of repentance: we realized and acknowleged that we had sinned, we felt a heap of godly sorrow, we asked in prayer for our Father's forgiveness (on a trail in the mountains, about three minutes after leaving lunch with this member), we pondered if we needed to make any sort of restitution (we emailed our mission president today), and we committed to never stay in a lesson that long, not bother people more about turning off their TV, or drink tea again. And you know what? We felt forgiven. We regained the Spirit. Not immediately, but it happened. And that's a miracle, because no matter the sin or transgression (because we repented for commandments broken in ignorance, too) repentance works. That's a miracle.

Lesson 4: "And if ye receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach." (D&C 42:14) That is a scarily true statement. As missionaries, we are absolutely useless without the Spirit. We just can't do what we have to do. So even through exact obedience is hard, we do it because we have to. I felt the finger of condemnation upon me as I bore the weight of my missionary name tag this week knowing that the Spirit had left a house an hour before I had, and I had to take a while to regain His confidence and His presence. The first part of that verse says "And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith" and that's true, too. But hey, if you want to do God's will, follow the Spirit. And if you want to follow the Spirit, ask for Him to stay with you, and then stay with Him.

Lesson 5: People are children of God, and they are magnificent. Sometimes they make bad choices, and that makes their brilliance difficult to discern. But if you ask God to let you see them the way He does, your eyes get a lot sharper. Try that out. It's pretty amazing.

So yeah, lots of lessons learned. Aside from that, I learned that people's breath smells really bad when they've been drinking, I have a natural instinct to karate chop as I fall down (Hermana Miller is sad for me that I could not see that, as I was the one falling), marriages can make it, children can be an example for their parents, a companion is a best friend and a family member also, and that not even straight bleach will deter a line of determined ants.

Most of all I learned all over again that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ truly is our Savior, and that this is His true gospel. I love Him and my chance to serve Him, and I am so happy to be here.

Have a wonderful week!

Love, Hermana Pickett

PS No, I don't like how iced tea tastes.

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