Haha! So before I get into my sticky situation that occurred yesterday, let me tell you guys a little about my week! This week went a lot faster than last week did. I was really surprised when Saturday rolled around because it didn’t feel like it had been long. I’m being stretched, but a week ago I received a lot of good advice from my parents, my family and a few sisters in my district. I’m doing really well and I’m trying to incorporate more of my talents into Missionary work.
We did a lot of “Facebook Knocking” which is essentially messaging random people (AKA: Not my forte lol). But we did something called sprint week this week where we basically have a lot of goals to just invite! There were a lot of blessings that we saw for sure. One of the big ones we saw on Saturday.
So Saturday. 😆 So my companion and I were able to set an appointment to get the first round of our Covid-19 vaccine which our mission has been praying extensively for. I know there are a lot of worries about whether the vaccine is safe because of how new it is, but the prophet got it and my companion and I personally prayed about it and felt good about getting it. ANYway, so we were on our way to get our shots and we got to the first stoplight from our house. I was on my phone looking at our email for our appointments and my companion was driving. We were making a left turn and we had a green light. There was no one else in the intersection and it had been green for a while, but despite that, I felt the need to look up and look to our right. I saw a car coming from the right and it didn’t look like they were slowing down. I told my companion “wait” just as we were going to pull through the light. The car zoomed by and ran a red light! My companion said that she couldn’t see the oncoming car due to a tiny blind spot in the front of our car. If we had pulled forward when we were going to, we would have gotten T-boned and gotten in a crash. It was definitely a miracle for us.
[Side note: We were SO loopy the rest of the day so we were not allowed on social media and took it easy. It was actually pretty hilarious)
My companion later said that she had a thought earlier that morning that the only thing that would keep us from getting our covid shots would be getting in a crash. It helped her to be more aware and open to my suggestion to stop the car immediately and without question. I know Heavenly Father keeps His missionaries safe as long as we are close to Him and the Spirit.
I want to share something that I learned yesterday. One of the Sister missionaries in our mission had the opportunity to let her mom speak during our mission devotional, and her mom shared her wonderful experience of coming closer to the Savior and learning to Hear Him through her trial of going through cancer after her daughter left for her mission.
[I will very much be paraphrasing here]
She talked about the sacrament prayer, but asked us to replace the words, first with a word that was a little less than always, then a word that was a little less than that, etc. She put it on our screen. She said we promised to “Always remember Him” and He promises that his “Spirit will always be with us.” She then tweaked it with the words that we came up with. “If we often remember Him, then we will often have His Spirit to be with us,” then,”If we sometimes remember Him, then we will sometimes have His Spirit to be with us,” and finally,”If we rarely/never remember Him, then we will rarely/never have His Spirit to be with us.”
She continued to remind us that He has promised that if we ALWAYS remember Him, we will ALWAYS have His Spirit to be with us. I urge you all to ponder that in your hearts. She continued in her devotional to talk about the fruit that we bear. She recalled an experience when (I believe at the hospital) they had a family psychiatrist speak to a group of them. He brought a prop. An orange. He asked a boy in the group,”what would happen if I squeezed this really hard? What would come out?”
The boy replied,”Juice of course.”
The man asked,”What kind of juice?”
“Orange juice of course.”
“Not apple juice? How do you know it will be orange juice?”
“Because it’s an orange.”
The man said,”Yes, because it is an orange and that is what is inside.”
This woman that was talking to us proceeded to explain why this lesson she shared was so important. She asked,”what comes out of us when life’s trials squeeze us hard? Is it anger, frustration, or bitterness? Or is it kindness, humbleness, courage, and long-suffering?”
She continued to talk about what we choose to focus on in life and the things we allow ourselves to take into ourselves. What kind of media are we taking in? Are we allowing ourselves to hear God’s name in vain? Other vulgar phrases? Inappropriate thoughts or scenes in a movie? She said that even if it is a really good movie/show BESIDES that part, IT IS NOT WORTH IT. I thought back to the sacrament prayer activity she had us participate in and I would like to share what I came up with: If we take in media (TV, Movies, Music, Social Media Posts, etc.) That is good MOST OF THE TIME, then we will have the guidance, peace, and redeeming power of the Spirit MOST OF THE TIME. It really put into perspective some of the media I’ve allowed over the course of the last few years to enter me and my life. I used to be so strict about what I could watch. One phrase where they took the Lord’s name in vain and I was OUT. But over the years, I have allowed myself to say things like,”It’s only once,” or,”I can ignore it,” etc. But since I’ve been on my mission and set apart as a missionary for a month now, I have personally seen the difference in my life and the media I am letting in. I don’t know if I would have been close enough to the spirit to hear him if I had been still at home making those decisions. Taking free time and filling my time with TV and social media. I have had amazing experiences in the last week and a half IN the field. Here’s what I’ve noticed I’m doing differently:
Before) Read my scriptures at night, and maybe a few verses to a chapter, because I was really tired. Probably spent up to 15 minutes reading every night. Journaled occasionally about unimportant day to day life experiences. Said a prayer 1-2 times a day.
Now) I start my day with a companion prayer. I pray into studying personally for and hour, recording thoughts in my journal as well as impressions and goals I want to set. I often include scripture references from what I read and things I’ve heard over the week that relate to what I am reading. I pray out. I pray into companion study and we review important Missionary and technology training to keep myself and my companion safe, as well as share what we learned in personal study for a total of half an hour. We pray out. We continue throughout our day and (admittedly) we pray for SOME of our meals throughout the day. We pray EVERY TIME we step outside our house and ask that we can be safe and guided by the Spirit.
Now. I am not perfect or close to perfect, especially in my prayer, study, and many other things throughout the day. I have SO MUCH I need to work on. However, I know that if you start making steps to spend more of your time filling yourself with scripture, good works, and other virtuous media and thoughts, and continue to remember your Savior, Jesus Christ, that His Spirit WILL be with you as much as you put an effort to #HearHim in your life. I am finding reason after reason for the standards I am required to live as a missionary, that prove the effectiveness of living it. I felt inspired to share that with you guys. Sorry it’s so long. 😅
Finally, how I got stuck in a pond. 😆 This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but we have a pond very close to our house since we have a river right next to us. This pond is filled with frogs, turtles, and other swampy creatures. Well…..I’ve been trying to catch a frog for the last week and a half and we found a BIG BOY yesterday. In an attempt to catch said frog, I had grabbed him and he jumped right out of my hands. I wasn’t going to let him get away without a picture, so without thinking, I stepped where I needed to so I could grab him again….this resulted in my right foot/leg with my brand new waking shoes going a good 12 inches into the pond mud/water. (Sorry Mom 😐 ) we got some pictures and proceeded to spend the next 5 minutes getting me out of the pond WITH my shoe. I walked home without shoes on (sorry Dad). Spent a good half hour cleaning my shoes and my foot 🙃.
So that was my week! Sorry again for it being so long. I wanted to briefly mention my MTC experience. My Malan Grandparents made me a room at their house an hour away so I could still see my family on the weekends for P-Day. I didn’t realize how good it was for me to get out of the house because it really prepared me for not seeing my family in person for the next 17 months. I had others that offered to let me stay during my online MTC, and I am very grateful for them and their willingness to share their home with my crazy self. 😆 My grandparents made an effort to make it feel like like MTC, and I’ll include the pictures. I’m so grateful for all of my family and I’m so grateful for their help and kindness.
I miss you all! And I look forward to hearing from EVERYONE! 😆