Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Right here, right now

Hello hello everyone!! 

TWO BOYS??? AAAAHHHH!! I love my little nephews already!!! I really hope you tell me their names before they're born...Steph and Trav I can totally see you being that couple that doesn't tell anyone until after the baby is born haha. But really I am so excited to hold my little nephews when I get home :) there's tons of babies in my ward here and it literally is killing me that I can't hold one of them...if there was one mission rule I would change it would be that haha. But I am so excited for my nephews to get here! :)

So this week was really good and there was a lot going on! First I'll update you on Mildred and her family! We had two lessons with them this week, on Tuesday and then again on Friday. The lesson on Tuesday we taught them lesson 3 which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. Our Ward Mission Leader came with us and his name is Brother Heaton. The lesson went well and we tried to set a date for baptism with Mildred and her sister Love. They are the two who are progressing the most toward baptism right now. The whole family actually consists of the parents Jean and Rufus (Rufus is temporarily blind because he has cataracts on his eyes and he is the sweetest old African man) then their children Mildred, Victoria (and her baby Miracle), David, Ya and Love. And then Mildred's two daughters Blessed and Apple. And just to remind you they all came from Liberia. The rest of their family is in Liberia still. 

So anyway back to the lesson, we tried to set a date with Mildred and Love and Mildred told us that she had to pray about it first. Which is good because at least she is learning the importance of prayer! But after the lesson they invited us over for dinner on Friday and oh my goodness was that some spicy African food haha but it was good, and I had to eat salmon...which is not my favorite but the spice of the food kind of like numbed my tastebuds so I could really taste it lol. Then during dinner Mildred told us that ever since they met us things in their lives have only been getting better. She told us that she prayed about it and the Lord told her that she must be baptized into this church! We set a date with her and her sister Love for Feb. 21!!...but on a sad note...we found out that they actually live just outside of our area and we have to pass them off to our District Leader and his companion but it is okay because we know that they will take good care of them! But they are doing well and I just love this family!! African people are so lovable!! They also started singing some gospel soul sos to us haha and it was just so funny! But they are progressing and they will be baptized next month!! Please keep them in your prayers!! 

Then on Wednesday we had another sister with us for a day. Sister Abbott. Her trainer had to help out in the mission office for the day and so she came with us for the day. So for the day Sister Veater and Sister Kartchner were companions and I went with Sister Abbott. She is a golden and has been out for almost a month. So we had fun together and it really showed me what having two sets of missionaries in one are can do! It was weird but fun because we saw many miracles!! It reminded me of training sister Abana! It was fun to have her with us for the day! 

And then we FINALLY got to go to church yesterday after not being able to for two weeks!! I have never been more excited in my life to take the sacrament! I kept joking with my companions that I finally got to get rid of these two weeks worth of sins that I'd been carrying lol. But in all seriousness, I really have thought about it and yesterday while I was taking the sacrament I was listening to the prayer and a few words from the sacrament prayer came to me differently than they have before. 

"that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them."

And then in the blessing of the water...

"that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them."

These parts of the sacrament prayers hit me pretty hard this time. After not being able to take the sacrament for two weeks I approached the sacrament with a more humble heart this time. And I was grateful for the promise that as I remember my Savior, and keep his commandments...and the covenants that I have made with Him...he promises to send his spirit to be with me. And that is a gift that I will give anything to have. This week has been kind of hard in some ways. I've learned a lot on my mission. A lot about myself and a lot of things I need to change. This last week I found myself getting weighed down because of all of the many many mistakes I have made the thing that I have done wrong. Times I messed up and I can't believe I did because I felt like I knew better. It was while this was going on that I reflected on the sacrament. On the Atonement. And as I looked at a picture of the savior that I have these are the words that came to my mind...

"That is why I did it though." 

I finally learned something about the atonement that I always thought I "knew" because people had told me before but now I finally "learned" for myself...and that is that the Atonement really is meant to HELP us change. To HELP us repent. To HELP us become what God expects us to be. I used to always think that I was never going to be worthy enough for the Saviors atonement. I wasn't worthy of his love. I wasn't worth of his help. I always felt like I had to reach a certain amount of worthiness before I could deserve the Saviors help. But that is not true. The savior can help us where we are right now. No matter where that is. And He can help us become worthy to live in our Heavenly a Fathers presence one day. I read a quote from Elder Bednar this week that really helped me... He said...

" Elders and sisters, we obviously are not required presently to be perfect. But we are commanded to be clean and to walk uprightly before the Redeemer of Israel.” “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord” (D&C 38:42)...“Please remember, the Lord requires you to be clean but not perfect. The Holy Ghost operating again in your life is the surest indicator of forgiveness by the Lord because “the Spirit of the Lord 
doth not dwell in unholy temples” (Helaman 4:24). And recognize that the mandate to “forgive all men” (D&C 64:10) includes forgiving yourself."

That quote really helped me. I bear my testimony to anyone and everyone that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and that the Saviors love, grace, mercy, and help is available right here, right now, wherever we may presently be at in our lives to help us become what He wants us to be. I know that this is true. And my prayer is that we all will always be worthy of the priceless gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. 

I love you all!! Until next week!
~Sister "Auntie" Amy Callaway~

...so. Much. Snow...and I seriously screamed when I saw this California license plate...it made me so happy haha

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