Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 31: I Guess it Does Get Cold in Georgia

Hello family!! I hope all is well in the freezing tundra that Utah has become!  It has gotten surprisingly cold here, too.  I keep forgetting that this place gets cold.  Sister Gubler and I went tracting on exchanges and I was all, "I'll be fine without a jacket!"  (famous last words)  I was trying to write down a guy’s number that we found and it took me like two minutes because my fingers were so cold!  Lesson learned: wear a jacket even if the sun is shining!  We had exchanges with the Griffin sisters this week.  It was a little crazy with all six of us in the apartment and figuring out everything with the cars and the bikes, but it all ended up working out!  Somehow it always does.  We had a goal to do a lot of finding, and between the two companionships we found four new investigators! 

The day they left we went over to spend time with Judy, and while we were with her she got the news that her husband had passed away at the hospital. I am grateful we were able to be there with her to comfort her, and I know that he is in a better place and not experiencing all the pain he had here on earth.  The Plan of Salvation really is such a wonderful thing.  His funeral was very nice.  It was the first time I had been to a funeral not held at the church, and it was really interesting.  The Relief Society put on a dinner at the church afterward and Judy is the only member in her family, so it was neat to show her family around the church.  Judy seems to be doing okay under the circumstances, but we are sad because she is moving in with her daughter and out of our ward boundaries.  Her husband had a lot of health issues probably related to poor lifestyle choices, but he told us that while he was serving in the Air Force he would recite the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my Shepherd), whenever he was in a scary situation. When I think of him I will always remember that about him.

This week we were challenged to write out our testimony of the Atonement, and since I have left home my understanding of the Atonement has grown so much.  The Atonement is SO much more than for repenting of sins.  Christ felt every single pain, disappointment, and frustration we will ever feel.  I have felt its enabling power everyday, and Heavenly Father has helped me recognize it.  When I look back on different trials, I now see that I never could have done it on my own- Christ has been with me every step of the way!  The good news of the Gospel is that He will continue to be with me, and all of us, every step of the way.  When I feel anxious or worried about what is going to happen next I have to remember that.  When Elder Holland was here he said, "Christ promised that they were going to make it to the other side, so they ARE GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE!”  With Christ in our boat we will always make it to the other side, always, always, always!  Of course there will be rough water that will most likely get into the boat. It may feel like the boat is going to sink, but we have His promise that it will get to the other side- and that is a promise that we can cling to no matter what.  Another thing I have learned is that growth happens when we do hard things. I don't think I will ever fully be able to express how much I have learned on my mission or how much I am treasuring these experiences.  The good new is I still have a whole year left!  Have a great week! 

 One of the cute girls in our ward : a future Sister Missionary!

 With Judy at the church for a luncheon following her husband's funeral

 The sisters closest to the Mission Home get to help take down Christmas decorations!

 Exchanges with Sister Gubler

 Last picture with Mary before she heads off to school

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