Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Service Project and Transfer!

So sorry about your sunburn. Soooo not fun. But I'm happy that your knee is on the upswing! How many weeks until your return to the PGA amateur tour? :)

So I share your "pain from nature." I got stung by a bee on the forehead/hairline yesterday. So ouch-y! Another crawled in my ear and I was freaking out but thankfully it didn't sting me. We were doing a service project that involved cleaning out/tearing down some sheds, and one of the Elders accidently uncovered a huge beehive and we ran away but the bees following. Only two of us got stung of the 8 missionaries, and the old man/owner of the sheds crawled right in there and was spraying the hive and he got stung twice. We were like, Bro. Beard please just call an exterminator! He is old and poor and convinced he can do everything himself, so we told him to call us when the bees are gone. Crazy stuff! We took a few hours in the morning on Wed, Sat, and Mon and we are almost done, bees just slowed us down a bit. 
Service Project Pictures:

So guess what! I'm getting transferred! I'm 20% sad and 80% excited. I've learned a lot here and I'm excited for change. I feel like I need it to progress, and I just have a lot of hope for the last few months of my mission. Like you said before, these last few transfers should be the best because I kind of have a handle on what I'm doing, and I'm better at listening to the Spirit than I was before. The assistants told me I'm going pretty far away, and I'm kind of hoping to get back to the boonies/redneck country. I like the city, but I miss trailer parks :)

So I'm copying and pasting my transfer reflections that I sent to President. He is the bomb by the way. I don't really know him but I already love him. He responded to my email from last week because I had some concerns and his answers were so amazing. He was gentle, loving, but encouraging/pushed me to be better all at the same time. So great.

Love you with all my heart! Give Sinos a big hug for me when she gets home and when your sunburn feels better. I am praying for John. You inspire me.
-Sister Chausow

So I'm getting transferred, and I'm excited because I like change. I love Metairie, and I learned so much from the people here. I've been reflecting and evaluating and I wanted to share some of the things that have sunk deeper into my heart while I've been here-

-I have really come to start to understand Heavenly Father's love for me. I still don't understand it fully, but I'm comprehending slowly and it's a wondrous thing to realize that the Creator of the Universe is my loving Father and His love for me never changes. I don't have to be perfect to merit His love. The Savior and the Father already love me, they worked out the Atonement for me, and they just want to help me succeed. What a beautiful knowledge to have - I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father would teach me about His love. 

-I've come to understand better what it means to "thrust in your sickle." I love D&C 4. Sometimes I don't read it often because I get discouraged - I feel like I'm not even close to being all that is described in that section. But then I remember that perfection is a process, and a piece of that section that I've come to understand and live more is "thrusting in your sickle." I've learned how to really work hard, plan hard, play hard, and teach with the Spirit. I've felt the drive to just keep going and going because there are so many people out there that need love. I've gotten better at talking to everyone, because I feel God's love for them and i want to show God my willingness to do everything within my power to spread the Gospel. I've had days that have been sad because people have used their agency to not progress, but I didn't feel sad about myself because I knew that I had done everything God wanted me to do and that He has a plan for those people and it will all work out in the end. 

-I've learned more about agency and self control, and I'm trying hard to be better at using my agency all the time, not just when I'm "on duty" or when my actions are obvious. It's really hard to control one's thoughts, but I have faith that it can be done. I've made some mistakes, but I'm learning how to focus on the work, focus on others, and focus on the Lord. It's a process, and I'm not done yet, but I'm working on it and that feels good.

-I've learned and seen what happens when members follow the Spirit to do missionary work. Someone that got baptized while I've been here and who has since become one of my best friends and mentors is Sister Ruth Wu. She joined the church and helped change my life because her friend listened to the promptings of the Spirit, reached out at the right time and in the right way, and 4 weeks later she got baptized. It was an incredible miracle. This work cannot be hastened without members and it can't be hastened without the Spirit. I'm more motivated than ever to work with members instead of around them or occasionally with them. I've been humbled and I've seen the success that comes when members get involved. I'm so grateful that the Lord would allow me to serve at a time when unity is key. This effort to work more together has taugth me humility and love. 

-Finally, I've come to know that service softens hearts. The inactive, kind of anti-Mormon daughter of a less active woman would barely speak to me when I got here 4 months ago. She wouldn't even look us in the eyes. Over time, though, as we've served her mother, she has softened and opened up to the missionaries, and when we visited her at her home last week she didn't get mad - she was actually happy to see us! We plan on inviting her to a musical fireside that our ward is having at the end of the month. Her husband, who is not a member, is really kind to us, and I know He feels the Spirit when we are around. He's curious about us, and I think the more his wife softens the more he will feel free to ask questions. It's an exciting thing. 

So there you have it. There's a lot more - experiences I could share or scriptures I could quote, but I just wanted to write down a general summary of what the Lord has given me while I've been here, and what I want to take to my next area so that I can continue to love, serve, teach better and better every day. 

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