– I saw Elder Haslam AND Elder Allman AND Elder McFarland!!!! AHHHH! It was soo good to see them. What studs (can I say that as a missionary? #oops)… they are going to work miracles and I am so happy I got to see them while in the MTC! I’ll try and get a picture and send it next week.
– There are beautiful flowers surrounding the MTC campus and one of those flowers are Poppies. I of course thought of my sweet Gagnons and how much I love them! Aunt Marge, please give them all a big hug for me 🙂
This past week was a roller coaster ride, as it always is while on a mission but yesterday everything "clicked". It was one of the best days of my life and definitely a day I’ll look back on throughout the rest of my mission when things get hard. Before I share that experience, guess who we heard from on Tuesday!!! CHAD LEWIS. Yup. I was freaking out and felt a little out of place because no one in my district (except Sister Marble) or the missionaries around me knew who he was. Anyways, he shared some great things that I wish y’all could have been there to hear.
Parker, Hamilton, Tate, and Eli- this is for y’all especially.
– please know that people are praying for the youth. Did you understand that? People all over the world are praying for the strength of YOUR generation to fight against Satan. Always be worthy. Always be worthy to exercise the priesthood. At any given moment, especially on a mission, you may be called upon to give a blessing. You have the authority but in order to have the POWER, you need to be clean.
– we must ALWAYS have integrity (this is actually from his wife, Michelle Lewis). make "honor calls" even if you stand alone or if the entire SFH is booing at you. You know better and you know that your integrity is worth more than a game point.
[Michelle Lewis played volleyball for BYU]
– "Don’t come down from the mountain" : Brother Lewis shared an experience with us about hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro (sp?) with injured vets. At the summit he waved a flag and shouted "Hoorah for Israel" 🙂 He related this experience to our missions and how when we finish our mission, we should never come down. The person holding higher ground wins the fight. As Satan becomes more influential in these last days, we are going to need everything we’ve got to keep ourselves on the mountain. Y’all know what is right. Don’t come down from the mountain for one minute.
– practice living the gospel and good principles. as Brother Lewis said, "when I needed it most, my body responded." If we prepare ourselves spiritually, when we need it most- our spirits will respond. We will recall the things we have been taught and we will be better equipped to fight off Satan.
– look past appearances. As Brother Lewis said, "find their heart and capture it." We are ALL children of God. I wish I would have realized that sooner…
Like I said, yesterday just "clicked." It was the best day I have had so far while on my mission and a miracle that I will never forget. It’s about Orsino, our investigator. Yesterday was our second lesson with Orsinso. Our first lesson was the worst lesson… we didn’t feel prepared, he was distracted and checking his phone because he had to leave early. We found out yesterday that we had 10 minutes to prepare a lesson. To say Sister Cowan and I felt inadequate was an understatement. We didn’t know his needs, what to teach him, and honestly, we didn’t feel charity towards him. We were struggling. We knelt down and prayed and then began preparing our lesson. A minute or two into it and we both felt like something was missing so we stopped, knelt down and prayed for charity. We prayed to please have a love for Orsino and that we would understand his needs and that the Spirit of the Lord would work through us. We got up, walked to the door and began teaching Orsino. Here’s where the miracle takes place:
We taught the ENTIRE first lesson in twenty minutes IN PORTUGUESE WITH OUT ANY NOTES. Sister Cowan and I were able to discern Orsino’s needs and cater our lesson to him. If that wasn’t a miracle enough, here’s what really did me in… Sister Cowan said, "Orsino, I know that God loves you." (in portuguese of course) and as she said those words, charity filled my heart. I felt Christlike love for Orsino immediately. We finished our lesson, went to another room, knelt down and as soon as I said, "Dear Heavenly Father", Sister Cowan and I began sobbing.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary. It is the best descision I have ever made. Yesterday everything "clicked." This work is hard and before yesterday I had doubts of if I could do this… but there isn’t anything else I’d rather be doing. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and I love my Heavenly Father. This is Their work and I am just humbled that They find me worthy to help bring others closer to them.
My time is up but know that I love y’all so much.
All my love,