(we wanted you to know Isabelle's homecoming will be Sunday October 20th at 11:00am- it is the building at 2500 East Lincoln Lane behind Olympus high school.)
This week was perhaps without a doubt the most amazing, spiritual beautiful week of my entire mission.
After what's been about a 3 week drought I was SOOO excited when i got a few letters this week in the mail...
One in particular just happened to be what might be perhaps the BEST LETTER I've received my entire mission.
Before looking at the outside of the envelope I ripped it open
( emphasis on "excited to get a letter" ) and began scrolling down the letter..
Sister Tolman soon noticed I had tears streaming down my face and thought something really bad happened ( not like my brothers crashing the car or breaking my longboard wasn't enough for one week ).
I was at a loss for words. I couldn't read it to her or even get myself to stop crying to read the rest myself.
The letter started off...
" so I'm on a mission...in Canada. oh ya.. i should probably explain.. i turned my life around.."
I flipped the envelope over and read.... ELDER THANGARAJ
OH MY GOSH!!!!! I'VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!
my best friend who fell off the face of the earth... is ACTIVE and SERVING THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!
I carried this letter with me the rest of the week in my scripture case reading it every second that I had down time.
Late Thursday night we finally had an appointment we've been waiting and planning for for a long time. We met with a woman who was referred to us by her best friend/neighbor who is in our ward.
The member wanted the appointment to be super casual..not too pushy.. rather a getting to know you kindof a lesson.
We all sat down together the 4 of us in this members home and small talked for a while...ate some apple pie. ( I know weird odor?? American BLISS found in Germany..)
I was completely stumped at what I should say or how to start this conversation..that's never happened before.
( note: this particular member has been working on her friend for years and has been waiting on the " right pair" of missionaries to come along to teach her.... NO pressure right??)
I opened my scriptures and the letter fell on my lap. A liiiitle hesitant I went ahead and asked if I could share something I'd received that week.
I read the letter to everyone and as I finished tears were in this investigators eyes..
It brought the spirit quicker as anything I've seen before. Nicks story truly touched her heart concerning the atonement and how this gospel TRULY changes lives. Something she then expressed she hopes for both her husband and herself.
The lesson only went UPHILL from there.
The member was seemingly set back in hopes to really let us do the teaching, Sister Tolman being the trooper she is, was keeping right up along side me until the investigator sped up her German and began asking VERY difficult questions.
She has a few concerns regarding certain.. less fun topics to talk about.. questions about church organization and a few other VERY good questions she's gathered over the years..
Definitely not Questions that should be left unanswered.
Concerns like.. not wanting to join unless her husband does..about the God head.. church organization etc. etc.
I may not of grown up being a scholar in the church.. my full activity is something relatively new as of the last few years. I may of been present at activities ( when promised food ) but I definitely did not listen in.
Therefore.. my knowledge of key facts are limited. I feel sometimes if not most of the time my words and what I know are not enough for what this message deserves..
So there I was... being thrown some curve balls and thinking in the back of my head
" there is sooo not a page in Preach my Gospel about how to answer this...."
" perhaps If I would've actually participated in pee-wee t-ball, instead of making grass nests in the outfield I could of braced myself better with these curve balls she's throwing"
But what happened next..was amazing. I blocked out EVERYTHING, every doubt, worry or thought...
I began silently praying in my heart that I'd know what to say. And then I just sat and listened. Not worrying about my answer when the time came....
And then when the time came.. I simply opened my mouth
When it was my turn I was answering questions concerning things I didn't even know about as well as things I'm not sure I've ever really thought about..
But my mouth was filled.
The spirit was SOOOO strong. After every answer you could literally SEE the spirit working in this investigator. You could FEEL her heart changing.
The member would then bear testimony ( then I knew I was right on the dot seeing as how she is a gospel whiz lifetime member)
Our investigator would then reply with " wow... I never thought of it that way... Your completely right......and.. that's an answer I feel I've searched for for forever". She continually kept telling us about this " feeling she had in the moment" and how she .. " believes everything being said to be True"
At the end of our lesson I asked If we could all kneel down together in prayer. The member asked if her friend would offer the prayer.
In her prayer she thanked God that every question, doubt and concern of hers was swept away.. She thanked him for her friend as well as for us..and expressed how she felt we were all placed in her life for a reason.
She then thanked God for answering questions through me..that she never directly asked..
Questions she had previously inquired answers of from him prior to our lesson.. and later answered in the lesson by something I said.
It was truly the most humbling powerful lesson I've witnessed my entire mission. A lesson where we completely surrendered and let the Spirit do the teaching, a lesson where we trusted the Lord 110% to guide us and to fill our mouths.
The spirit is always an amazing joint teach. We are always mindful to let him do the teaching but this last time it was all him. We got his back tho!
What a blessing it is to be the Lords hands and feet and to do HIS work. To say what he wants said as if he were there ministering to the very people to whom he's sent us.
To be a modern day witness and bear testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's one and only true Church once again restored upon the earth.
That God is an UNCHANGING God of Miracles.
THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE!!!!!
ON TOP OF THAT AMAZINGNESS
WE HAVE 5 PROGRESSING INVESTIGATORS NOW!!!!!! 5!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND WE COMMITTED ALL TO BAPTISM AND ALL CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 weeks more before I come home.... we got some water to heat up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've been praying my heart out that we would see miracles before i had to pack up and go..
and this Sunday the Lord brought 3 people into our building.... just wandered in..One man told me he would have the Book of Mormon finished by Wednesday.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN!!!
The weather in Germany changes it's mind more often than a 14 year old girl deciding what to wear on school picture day.
Wear what I wore... A WWJD tshirt from thrift town and a pooka shell necklace. #killinem
Last week it was blaaazzzing hot. We had to study out on our porch because our apartment was on fire.
Only to be smoked back inside. Because our neighbors joint was on fire. but really.
Then this week...it's in the low 30's. And yours truly, had the BRILLIANT idea of throwing away most of my winter clothes in my last city.
It's so cold here I had to turn our oven on and open the oven door to let extra heat in our apartment seeing as how our " heater" DOESN'T HEAT.
Then I remembered in a suitcase I'd left back in Leipzig to be picked up later on had a coat inside that I'd never got around to wearing because it was too nice and I didn't want to ruin it hahaha.
As I was contemplating just how I was going to get this coat from Leipzig to Kassel.. my phone rang.
It was another sister zone leader in our mission telling me that there is a sister in our mission who is without a winter coat and no funds to buy a nice one.
My heart kinda sunk. I knew what I had to do. I coordinated with the Sisters in Leipzig to have them go through my luggage and retrieve my coat and told them to give it to this sister. I don't know her name or even where she is serving.
I have 4 weeks left...it can't get too cold...right?? I'm sure I'll be able to stay warm and hold out without a coat until I am home.
I got the spirit to keep me warm
and plus.... with my hand warming method in the stove anything is possible hahaha
This week I got on my knees and offered Heavenly Father a prayer of just GRATITUDE.
have you ever done that? Not a single bitte (please) just said THANK YOU!!!???
I knelt down at 10:20pm to pray and finished a little before 1 am. ( I'm sorry Präsident Kosak if your reading this. I SWEAR I'm obedient.. I got carried away and was technically innnnnn bed by 10:30 )
When finished with my prayer I felt so light.. so happy and FINALLY at peace with accepting the fact that I'll be coming home in 4 weeks.
I gained so much new direction and even made some completely unplanned decisions like...my desire to get a different job than the one that's been awaiting me, a different major as well as new goals and hopes for this next chapter of my life..
So many things surprised me..and I'm still confused of these new decisions but i trust my Savior.
I hate new chapters...I don't like change...or reading for that matter.
But I am READY and excited and trusting my father in heaven more than I EVER have before.
Sorry for the all preachy email. Man. This week truly was SPIRITUALLY exhausting.
I love it. I want more.
I try to make my emails uplifting and optimistic. But there are lots of things i do leave out, lots left unsaid... But i will always be honest, and do so in saying.
There are HARD days.
This work is not easy. There are trials and weeks where you feel tested on every level.
Where your humbling, fasting, evaluating and praying more than you feel you ever have before... And the next week...is even harder.
But one thing I can honestly say is...there are NO BAD DAYS.
There are 10 things I recently shared in a response to one of my readers that found my blog that I've loved and lived by everyday out here and I thought i would post.
1. Your call is inspired, your father in heaven trusts you and accepted your desire to service and called you to the work because he TRUSTS YOU
2. Satan will work his hardest on you before you leave and those first few months. He knows the difference you will make. But you know who also knows? Your Father in Heaven. And you know who doesn't have a body? Satan.
3. Serve, Love and Pray for and with your companion
4. You can go home.. perfect your language, go please every missionary or member who you weren't able to get through to.. you can have the best number record left behind you .... but you cannot get back being happy.
5. Treat yourself. Everyday. Whether it be a scoop of ice cream.. a nice shower or jammin out to Them Hymns before bed ( or jumping on the bed..we've done that too). Everyday. DO IT
6. Remember God never asked you to be perfect. Just for you to try your best
7. Be. Obedient. 100%. Because you want to. Not because you have to.
8. Remember God is an UNCHANGING God of miracles. BELIEVE IN MIRACLES.. BE THE MIRACLE
9. work as if everything depended on you..because it does. But when the day is over be finished with it. NO REGRETS
10. If your not having fun..your doing something wrong.
Ladies and Gents I LOVE your letters, emails and love! thank you for sharing with me your conversion stories, humor and mission calls.
(And one reader...thank you for the lock of your dogs hair this week. hahaha i died.. never have I ever thought I'd receive a lock of hair #thoughtful )
If I haven't responded please let me know! I believe I've been able to get back to all of you..
gotta give a special shoutout to a lovely reader of mine the soon to be Sister Mohler this girl has got talent. If you haven't already be sure to download her album " called to the work" on iTunes that is helping fund her mission.. It's been on REPEAT up here in Germany. Beautiful voice. Beautiful girl. And comes from what I believe still to be a family of perfect vampires. I cant wait to meet you all in person someday.
If any of my friends have emailed my old email address: firstname.lastname@example.org....I haven't checked that in a year and a half.
my email is email@example.com
ill be sure to check those emails in gmail out when im home.
hahaha but A for effort.
bless your hearts.
Line of the week:
( walking in a 20 degree rainstorm... ballet flats...no coat...no umbrella...lost...hungry.. << worst of all)
Me: im gonna breakdown...I need to get my mind off this terrible situation right now... blah. Sister Tolman you should tell me a story.. Better yet sing me a song..first song that comes to your head
Sister Tolman: .......... all I got is Lollipop by Lil Wayne
Me.... we should probably hold off on that one..
.but just remember.. today is the day we fell in love.
we looked in the WHB all over for a rule against it.. but didnt.. so we ordered pizza..
MCdonalds... or MCfit ( huge gym chain here) .... which do you think we went to