Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What An Inspiring Week!

I love being a missionary!!!!!! It is the greatest thing on the planet for me right now!

This week we had a couple different meetings and they were so insightful. The first meeting was on Wednesday and it was just the Sister Training Leaders. We talked about the Christlike Attributes and how we can apply them in our exchanges. We also talked about the needs of our sisters. Something that was so mind blowing was about weekly planning. So here it is. In April President Hall asked that we follow every single sentence in Preach My Gospel for our weekly planning. Now, in the introduction to W.P. it says that the planning session should only take 2-3 hours.....well if we followed all the sentences exactly it was taking 8 hours! President Hall just couldn't understand why it was taking this long. When we finally talked about it on Wednesday it clicked for all of us. He had originally told us to use the phrase, "Lets do that now." We were taking it so literally that we were accomplishing a whole weeks worth of to do lists in one day. For example: it says to pray over the ward list to visit active members and less active members. We would get down on our knees and pray over the ward list then contact all the people right then to set up appointments. Instead of scheduling times to do that through out the week. hahhaha So the phrase has been changed to, "Lets plan that now." No wonder it has been taking us so long......=)

A couple days later we went to a special mission leadership meeting. In this meeting we were given a new booklet put out by the church. Its title is "Adjusting to Missionary Life." In this handy dandy booklet it teaches us how to identify stress and the factors which make us feel "stressed." Um...HELLO?! Where has this book been my entire mission?!!!! It is so cool! There is this assessment where we can check mark the things that we are dealing with. It then references pages to go to where ideas are offered on how to handle the stress. We as leaders have been asked to try all the solutions given. Since receiving the book on Friday I have already referenced it twice for other Sisters besides studying it so that I am prepared to help them further. It is so amazing and I am so excited that it finally got printed. We were told it took 4 years to put it together. I wonder how long it took to put Preach My Gospel together....?

As for the work this week: Our investigator referral from Utah (who has now been named Sugar) is amazing. Her nickname for the purpose of these emails comes from the fact that she works in a candy store that is 30,000 square feet!!!!!!!!!!! She is in charge of the merchandise and such. She is 29 years old and has been married and divorced. She has recently just been through some hard times due to choices and consequences of choices. On Thursday she asked for the instructions on how to get the app for the Gospel Library for her phone. On Friday morning she informed us that she got much reading accomplished. Well when I asked her how much she read she replied, "14 chapters." I was shocked....I didn't know how to react. Who does that?! It was absolutely amazing. So now that Im speechless she also tells us that she doesn't find it hard to believe that the plates were found in New York. Yeah at this point Im silently over joyed!!!!!! I cannot believe what a miracle she is to us as missionaries. What tops all of this off is that at our actual appointment on Saturday night she told us she finished 1 Nephi....In 2 days our dear investigator Sugar read the 1st book of Nephi and was then able to tell us a good portion of what happened and what it meant. As I was thinking about this on Sunday it hit me very hard that we need to have the motivation like this dear girl to read. Just read. Why do we find it so difficult to read the Book of Mormon? Is it because it is hard to understand? Is it because we know its important like a text book therefore it has a bad voodoo to it? Is it because we are lazy? Or is it because we dont understand the full impact it will have on us if we read it? I think all the above are some of the most common reasons why we dont read the book like we need to. I know I didn't understand a part of what impact it would have on my life if I read it, and more importantly studied it before the mission. I still don't understand all of the reasons. But this I do know, that the Book of Mormon is essential to our Salvation. How are we to be saved if we don't know the Savior? How will we know the Savior unless we study out the words of the Prophets? How will we know the words of the prophets unless we read them? Our Heavenly Father knew it was so important that the prophets kept a record of the prophesys of Christ, and the dealings of the Nephites. Now we know more fully about the Plan of Salvation, why Adam and Eve were more than just the first two people on the earth, and how important it is that we follow the example of our Savior. I love the Book of Mormon. I have found very recently in my mission the changing power of the Book of Mormon. It WILL change our lives, our families lives, and our friends lives. If we dont understand the importance of the Book of Mormon then we wont understand why Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet. It is as simple as that. The Book of Mormon is evidence of God's Love for his children. It is not something to be placed in a museum to preserve. Its words need to be preserved on our hearts and in our lives. We need to hold to it so tightly with both hands that we cannot let go of the truth because once we do let go Satan wins. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it is in our lives TODAY so that we "may know to what source [we] may look for a remission our [our] sins."

Sorry...Long tangent.

I loved the Relief Society Broadcast. I was impressed as to the fact that all of the talks were about keeping and making Covenants. I cannot wait to reread the talks next month! But when President Monson stood up I had a very hard time not feeling the spirit and crying. I realized then and there that he really is a prophet of God. I had never bothered to pray to confirm that before because I believed it. But Saturday the Lord saw fit to testify to me through the spirit that we have a living prophet on the earth today! It made me think about several other things too. When the conference was over Sister Kemp and I talked about the broadcast. Come to find out that we both had the same experience during President Monsons talk and alot of the same thoughts too throughout the broadcast!!!!!! I makes me wonder what is in store for the two us that we needed to have this experience but I trust the Lord and know that my strengthen testimony will stand strong and immovable through the storms of the world.

Like I said before I love being a missionary =) Its gonna be a good week and whats better is that we get to finish the week with a BANG! Hooray for General Conference!!!!!!!!hahahaha

Hurrah for Israel!


Sister Cottrell