Monday, April 13, 2015


Hello my dearest loved ones!!

Well first of all we have heard news about moving! We were told last
week that we are officially moving!! And then President called today
and told us that we are moving to Macungie, Pa on April 30! Which
should be fun! Anyway!

I hope everyone had a great week! My week was pretty hard, but in all
honesty I wouldn't want it any other way. Because the way I see it if
it isn't hard then you're not growing. Plus, what do you expect as a
missionary?! :) all the best things in life never come easy. I am
grateful for the hardships. Because it's in those times, that I found
we grow the most. And that's exactly how this week went! It was hard
but I learned SO much. And honestly this week was very uneventful, and
so considering what to write about I figured I'd just kinda make this
email one big giant spiritual thought! :)

The one thing I have tried to study and learn most about this week(and
since the very beginning of my mission) is agency, and all it
encompasses. Not only is our agency a gift from Heavenly Father and
allows us our freedom to choose between right and wrong and good and
evil, but but it's our ability to choose in the biggest and the
smallest decisions in life. This week I watched a few people who I've
become very close to out here, go through some pretty tough things.
(sorry to be so vague but i can only leave it at that) But watching
how drastically different some peoples attitudes were compared to
others. I watched how two sisters, Beth and Annie who were in the same
situation, handled it so differently. Beth was trying, in whatever way
she could to handle things in a positive way by trying to have faith
through this temporary trial that had come up and Annie was acting as
if she were ready to just give up entirely, because everything was
just getting too hard. I kept wondering what made the difference in
this situation and then it hit me. They were both simply exercising
their agency. One chose to try and be encouraging, have faith, be
positive, and keep going. While the other simply complained, acted
out, and just flat out had a bad attitude. (sounds harsh i know haha
but its true.) Now this doesn't mean that one sister was better than
the other, it just simply means that they both chose how they were
going to react to the situation. Over and over again i heard Beth
remind her sister that her attitude was her choice. I later asked Beth
how she was able to stay so calm while her sister was acting the
complete opposite. She told me that she had realized how much of her
attitude was her choice. And that even though she felt like getting
angry with her sister, she simply chose not to. She knew that if they
both acted in a negative way then there wouldnt be an opporunity to
progress and grow, but rather it wouldn't do either of them any good.
I found that to be very true. All turned out to be well and Beth and
Annie were fine.

But immediately after this I thought about the key role of the gift of
our agency. And during my personal study the other day I remembered
these famous verses from Doctrine & Covenants 121 when the Lord is
speaking to Joseph Smith and he says,

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions
shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God
shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."

And then immediately after reading those verses I was reminded of a
quote by President Uchtdorf when he said, 'it's not the adversity
itself, but rather our reaction in the face of adversity that will
determine how our life's story will develop."

And I thought about how true that is! The Lord even told Joseph that
Himself. And as I have been studying the scriptures more and more (I
SERIOUSLY LOVE THE SCRIPTURES!!) I saw just how often we see this very
principle of agency being used in the midst of trials throughout the
scriptures. For example...Laman, Lemuel, Nephi and Sam. More than a
few times they were all in the same situations. But Laman and Lemuel
just complained and always had bad attitudes. Whereas Nephi and Sam
looked forward with Faith, and they knew that no matter how hard their
trials, the Lord would deliver them. And how many other times do you
see this pattern throughout the scriptures?? Countless times I can
tell you. I could seriously go on and on. But time is running short
haha... But my dear sweet Eminem sent me this quote by President
Monson when he said "Decisions, Determine, Destiny!" And obviously
that is so true.
Our decisions determine who we become, and our attitude towards those
situations and decisions show how willing we are to try and become
more like our Savior.

I also read over the conference talks again and one in particular was
one of my favorites. It was called "Choose To Believe" by Elder L.
Whitney Clayton. And if you remember he told the story of a young girl
who was in a plane crash with her family. Everyone in her family was
killed in the accident and though she had suffered much already she
set out looking for help. He goes on to explain how as she was
wondering through the darkness she climbed up to a peak and saw a
light out in the distance. She hoped that if she could just get to
that light she could find help. And so she kept pushing her way toward
that light.

He said "she saw a light in the distance and fought her way to
it--notwithstanding the wild countryside, the depth of the tragedy she
faced, and the injuries she had sustained. It is hard to imagine how
[she] managed to do what she did that night. But what we do know is
that she recognized in the light of that distant house a chance for
rescue. There was hope. She took courage in the fact that no matter
how bad things were, her rescue would be found in that light."

Throughout the talk though he applies it to us personally and though
he seems to be speaking more specifically about our personal
testimonies I thought it still applied in this respect also because I
love how he talks about agency and how it is our CHOICE. He goes on to

"After the crash, [she] had a choice. She could have chosen to stay by
the airplane in the dark, alone and afraid. But there was a long night
ahead, and it was just going to get colder. She chose another way.
[She] climbed up a hill, and there she saw a light on the horizon."

"Gradually, as she made her way through the night toward the light, it
grew brighter. Still, there must have been times when she could not
see it. Perhaps it went out of view when she was in a ravine or behind
trees or bushes, but she pressed on. Whenever she could see the light,
[she] had evidence that she was on the right path. She did not yet
know precisely what that light was, but she kept walking toward it
based on what she knew, trusting and hoping that she would see it
again if she kept moving in the right direction."

"Our lives can be like that too. There may be times when we have been
hurt, when we are tired, and when our lives seem dark and cold. There
may be times when we cannot see any light on the horizon, and we may
feel like giving up. If we are willing to believe, if we desire to
believe, if we choose to believe, then the Savior’s teachings and
example will show us the pathway forward."

I have found that statement to be so true. There are always going to
be hard times, because without them how would we have any
opportunities to grow? He goes on to say,

"Once she had seen [the light] she did her best to move toward it,
remembering what she had seen. We likewise must give place for the
hope that we will find spiritual light by embracing belief rather than
choosing to doubt. Our actions are the evidence of our belief and
become the substance of our faith. We are choosing to believe when we
pray and when we read the scriptures. We are choosing to believe when
we fast, when we keep the Sabbath day holy, and when we worship in the
temple. We are choosing to believe when we are baptized and when we
partake of the sacrament. We are choosing to believe when we repent
and seek divine forgiveness and healing love...Sometimes progress in
spiritual things can seem slow or intermittent. Sometimes we may feel
that we have lost ground, that we have made mistakes, or that our best
efforts to find the Savior are not working. If you feel this way,
please do not give up--ever. Go right on believing in Him and in His
gospel and His Church. Align your actions with that belief. In those
moments when the light of your faith has dimmed, let your hope for the
Savior’s love and grace, found in His gospel and His Church, overcome
your doubt. I promise that He stands ready to receive you. Over time
you will come to see that you have made the best choice you could
possibly have made. Your courageous decision to believe in Him will
bless you immeasurably and forever."

Sorry I kinda just used half of his talk in my entire email but he
seriously makes the point I'm trying to make better than I ever could!
But if I can say anything to just sum this all up then it's this...
Whatever it is that you're going through just remember that it's your
choice. It's your choice how you react in the face of adversity.

Okay I love you all so very much you have no idea!! Please please keep
looking for ways to come unto Christ this week :)
Until next week,
~Sister Amy Callaway~

 And sorry these are the only pics we took this week :)

Friday, April 10, 2015


Hello everyone!!

OH MY GOSH BABY GRACELYN IS THE CUTEST!! Congrats Ashley and Jordan! She is beautiful!! I wish I could be there to meet her, but I'll see her in another 16 months or so! Send me more pictures though!! And congrats to Steph on graduating!  I'm so excited for you! And Karey Anne you're coming home next week?!? That's crazy! But I'm so excited for you at the same time! Well we watched General Conference with a few families from the Ward. But Sunday we watched it at our WML's house. It was so fun, especially with all of their little ones running around haha and I'm serious it was so fun! And I was so excited to watch my first conference as a missionary! It was awesome! I love Conference :) 

Well this week we didn't have many lessons. Most of them cancelled on us again but we did have Zone Conference last week on Wednesday. This was my first Zone Conference, and I LOVED it! And I honestly don't think Zone Conference could've fallen on a more perfect week than the week of General Conference. The messages I heard from all of ZC, District Meeting, and then all the sessions of General Conference were incredible. I know that the Lord was definitely preparing me for Conference because the messages I heard from all of these meetings this week addressed every concern, worry, and fear that I have had the last few weeks. It was truly incredible.  I can testify that the Lord knows each and every one of us, and he will answer our prayers in the way that we need them and in the time that we need them. 

First of all at ZC the theme was "What Does It Mean To Be A Full Purpose Missionary?" And we had the privilege of watching a video of a talk given by President Uchtdorf from last year when he was addressing the Mission Presidents in Salt Lake City. It's not a talk that's publicly broadcasted that's why it was such a privilege to hear it. 

Anyway, it was an AMAZING talk. And I learned more about what it truly means to be a full purpose missionary in that one talk than I have from all the personal study I have been doing lately. He spoke of the stories of Peter walking on water toward the Savior, and about when Peter denied that he knew the Savior. Now, I think we all know the message of both of these stories. But President Uchtdorf explained them in a way that was so much more profound and applicable for me. When he was done explaining the stories he asked "Now what does this have to do with your sacred calling? has EVERYTHING to do with it!" Just like when Peter was walking on the water, as long as he was focused on the Savior he didn't sink. But once he looked at the storm approaching with its monstrous winds and waves, Peter became afraid. Fear overtook him and he began to sink, but he cried out "Lord save me." And immediately the Savior stretched out His hand and pulled Peter up. 

And when the Savior Prophesied of Peter denying Him, I'm sure that this faithful disciple thought he was confident enough in himself that he would never deny the one person he had come to love most in this world. But nevertheless, the Savior's prophecy came to pass and surely Peter denied that he knew the Savior. I didn't think much about it until then but I started to wonder; what had caused this faithful, confident, and devoted disciple to deny the Savior? And immediately President Uchtdorf gave the answer. Fear. The very thing that had caused him to sink when he took his focus off of the Savior. President Uchtdorf asked, "How could fear make him deny the man he knew was the Savior?" And as the scriptures put it "And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly."(Matthew 26:27) 

He wept bitterly. Now I can't imagine just how Peter must have felt. He did the one thing he was confident he would never do. I can't imagine exactly how he felt but I am confident that he probably felt something like incredible grief and regret. He probably felt that he had let down his friends, his family, himself, everyone. But most of all he let down the Savior Himself. And maybe he even felt like he couldn't be forgiven for what he had done. But then President Uchtdorf asked another question that I think can apply to all of us. "Like Peter...Will you allow your fears to get the better of you?" We all have sinned. We've all made mistakes. And we have all done things that we regret or wish we hadn't done. And maybe we've felt like we let down the people we love, and let down the Savior. And maybe we have even felt like we could never be forgiven. But like Peter we can repent. And continue on with a life devoted to the Savior. 

I have grown to truly love Peter. Because in so many ways I can apply his experiences to myself. Like we all can. There have been many times where I have felt like I'm not doing enough. Like I'm not working hard enough, I've messed up a lesson, or I'm just not a good enough teacher to be doing this. Or in other words I'm afraid. I fear all of these things about myself. I want SO badly to be what the Lord wants me to be so that I can bring my brothers and sisters to the truth of the Gospel but sometimes I'm afraid no matter how hard I try, my efforts might not be good enough. I don't want to let down my Savior. But as President Uchtdorf said something that helped me SO much. He said "like Peter, you too can overcome your fears and become a powerful instrument in the hands of the Lord." I want so badly to be the Full Purpose Missionary that the Lord wants me to be that I can't keep myself from worrying sometimes. But I got a letter from a very wise man this week who told me to "stop worrying about trying to be a perfect missionary and let the Atonement of Jesus Christ make up for your short comings." And I needed that :) and I have already seen that in my life. I've seen how the Atonement has blessed and changed my life and I only wish to see that in lives of those I love. But it is my testimony that if we give our fears and worries over to the Savior then He will make of us what we are meant to become. I testify that the Savior truly lives. I can honestly say that I have no doubt that He lives and that He loves us more than we can comprehend. And I love Him for what he has done for us. And just after watching Conference I can't tell you how much closer it has brought me to my Savior. I wish I could send you all 22 pages of notes I have written from Conference but I'll spare you haha. But I'm sure you'll hear me refer back to conference through out the year. 

Sorry this email is kind of short but I love you all so very much!! And if you haven't watch the new Because He Lives Video then please do so :) look for the miracles this week!
My love,

~Sister Amy Callaway~