Monday, December 14, 2015

Sweet is the Work

Last District Picture :-) Transfers Coming ...
We had cookies at the church, went to dinner in Russellville (Spanish members that were so cute) and we - us and the Russellville Hermanas - drove to Little Rock!

Dinner in Russellville
I made a really cute cookie ... and this one, too.
Headed to Girl's day and Christmas Conference

Girls' dayyyyy!!!!! We went to Little Rock with ALL the sisters in the mission!! 8/10 of the Hermanas stayed in LR and we met up with the other two that are on the Memphis side at the meeting. The Wakolo's weren't able to be there because they are amazing disciples who were last-minute called to do some training videos in SLC! But the assistants and President something from Little Rock did a great great job of instructing us! We did our service project which was too fun. It's called the tunnel project or something. I was on weighing duty-making sure all the bagged meals weighed the right amount. It was sort of an assembly line where one table has a bag and a funnel and a bunch of food that they pour into the funnel into the bag and they run it to us to make sure it weighs the right amount, they seal the bag and put it in boxes for local shelters. It was great! (Also we got approved to listen to music of the world so that was exciting.)

Sweet is the Work - Service Project!

We then had a small dance party where they taught us a funny dance, we made treats, had lunch, went caroling, and ate the treats we made! It was actually more exhausting than a regular day! But it was so fun to meet all the Hermanas and get to know more sisters. The caroling was hilarious because literally all of us wanted to sing alto. So, of course, me who can't sing high got stuck on soprano with Sister Tester and Elder Diez. Hahaha Elder Diez is hilarious. Anyway, we went to this one lady's house and she said "Well do you know Mary, Did You Know? I don't know if I have ever played it on the piano but I can try!" So she whipped out this absolutely stunning accompaniment and we rocked Mary, Did You Know? Hahahaha so so funny. She was old. I love days with missionaries.
Here is part of it because it takes too long to send the whole thing. It's the Hermanas singing! Me, Moore, and Tester were on soprano, but mostly you can hear tester! We were just singing hymns because we didn't know what to study so we recorded this one.

Massage Train: Hermanas Bennett, Hudson, Madsen, Ponce, me, Lewis, Moore
After the meeting we went to LR and did blitz with the 8 of us Hermanas that were staying there. I went with Sister Lewis and we taught some really awesome lessons-EN ESPANOL. It was so fun! :)

Sister Arnold!! (Choir friend from High School)
Aaahhh good day!!! The Wakolo's were gone again for this day but the APs and President Busbea instructed us on the atonement and "the way." It was so enlightening, really. We had an amazing lunch and even more amazing desserts, a talent show, gift exchange, and we watched the Cokeville Miracle. During the talent show, the Wakolo's showed up!! It was so cute to look back there and see them happily holding hands and watching the talent show. The talent show was fun, hopefully the videos will send! We drove back, got our car and had a great Book of Mormon class that evening.

Ricky, a recent convert
Having a week and a half of walk week, we sort of drove 95 miles (we have an allotted 36 per day) around to see all the far away people!!!! It was so needed though! We also had a great dinner at the Torgerson's again. Seriously they rock. Sister Moore shared a cool insight about the refiners fire. Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness-- She said that one of her MTC teachers said they wanted to find out more about the refiners fire and how silver is purified. They went to the place where they purify the silver or whatever and asked the workers how they do it. They individually grab a piece of silver and manually -not by machine- hold it over an open flame until it is ready. They asked how they know if it's ready, and the workers said they know when they can see their own reflection. HOW COOL. When we are going through the "refiner's fire" and all of these difficult things we go through, when we internalize Christ and really strive to reflect His light and be more like Him, that is when He takes us out and uses us for beautiful and marvelous things! Turning our wills to the Lord helps us become more like Him.

Christmas Devotional with the Torgersons
Oh man, Friday was so fun too. We are trying to be more involved with the Sisters in the Branch and get to know more of them, so we went visiting teaching with Sister Hibler and Sister Rogers! I can't remember if I have written about them yet. Sally Hibler was a missionary here as a senior sister about 15 years ago. She met Linda Rogers and helped in her conversion process. They are the best of friends now and are the most righteous and cutest ladies. I love them a lot! They are involved with the work, especially by feeding us the most delicious goodies and dinners. Anyway, we went with them to see the Taylor's and had some nice visits. (I hope the video of brother Taylor will send. Oh my heavens, he is so funny.) We went to visit Sister Sharp in Ola, too, and then we tried to visit a new sister, Sister S, but we went to the wrong "mountain!" We had a great day with them getting to know them and the other sisters some more. They fed us lunch too! It was really cool because the VT message for this month is about compassion and kindness. I love the verses that are suggested in the message about Christ visiting the people, and they ask Him to stay a little bit longer, so He does, and He heals them from their sicknesses. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of compassion. When He was tired and hungry, He stayed and taught and healed the people-always! How great. And Sisters Hibler and Rogers are amazing examples of compassion too! They are always looking for opportunities to serve and brighten people's day. Often their service goes unnoticed, and often they don't understand how much their kind attitudes help those around them.

We had a pretty normal day of missionary work. We made contact with an investigator, found a new investigator, read some of the Book of Mormon with a recent convert and her adorable little son and her kind husband, and the best was we visited with some of the ladies at the rest home! We were looking in to volunteering for their Christmas party this week, and as we left, Sister Moore and I felt like we needed to chat with our "greeters" by the door-they are there every time. They told us about 4 times that they have houses close by and we chatted about their lives and church. It was so pleasant! We also were able to meet some of the workers there and talk to them too! It was so nice to have a conversation with people who were open and loving.

We also had a sweet lesson with E! We showed up at his house and he pulled in right as we were about to leave! We were able to have a great sit-down lesson with him and help him understand the baptismal process a little more. We taught him about the law of tithing and it was sooooo cool to hear him just totally agree with it! He has been so prepared and he really has such a contrite spirit and is very teachable. His testimony is already so strong. Especially of God's love and of prophets. I am so grateful for the people that are prepared and that we can all be in each other's paths at the right time. He is so prepared!
Lake Nimrod

SUNDAY FUNDAY. Church was great! We had a good sacrament meeting about fasting, loving God and your neighbor, and following the prophet to help us prepare for the second coming. Also a gospel principles lesson by Elder Allred on the Second Coming and we talked about strengthening the stakes in Relief Society! This branch is so fun. I love the people! There were also some new callings made which was exciting. One of my favorite people, brother Mullinax, is now part of the Branch Presidency! He has the kindest heart but also is so funny. He is the one that makes Book of Mormon class hilarious. Good ol' brother Mullinax. Also we got a new young men's president called too, that will be cool. The Lord puts people here and in certain callings for very good reasons! His timing is a good thing to have faith in.
Flu Shot!

This week, I have learned a lot about the Lord's timing. It is not my will, rather, His! Always! When I pray, I am turning my heart to God and putting it in a place that is ready to see and recognize the blessings and the miracles of prayer and faith. No matter what I do, if I know I am keeping the commandments, things will work out in the Lord's time. Often times we mistake tender mercies for sad situations. Looking at the big picture really helped me this week to see things as blessings from the Lord instead of bumps in the way. Christ is the light as well! He is steady and the only thing we can place our faith in that won't make us falter. Also, I am ever so grateful for a living prophet. Holy cow. There are so many things that I have experienced in the 4 months that I have been out that have strengthened my testimony of Thomas S. Monson and the other prophets and apostles. They are truly called of God and we need them!

Your prayers are felt, thank you! I love you! I love the gospel! I love the Lord!

Hermana Macfarlane

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