Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone has had an amazing first week of November! Who’s gotten snow? Who’s excited for Thanksgiving? What are you doing for the holidays?Aaahhh! I’m so excited for the next couple months! We got a little snow on the 2nd of November! But it melted by the following morning, and hasn’t snowed since. But there are other parts of Michigan with lots of snow! Haha. I love how unpredictable Michigan’s weather is. We never know what kind of weather we’ll have! But it’s actually really funny, because if its sunny and clear outside, you can expect it to rain by the end of the day and there’s a good chance it actually does. I went on our weather app once, and it told me (for that current day and time) "partially cloudy with 0% chance of precipitation." …it was currently pouring outside. 😐😆 Anyway, enough about the weather!
We didn’t have a ton happen this week, but I did get to celebrate some birthdays! I got to talk to my Dad for his birthday on Monday. Whe we were talking on the phone, my companion and I found a "Game of Thrones" chair on the side of the road that said "free to a good castle." We turned around and (with some difficulty) got the chair into our vehicle. We planned on moving it to our study room, but it ended up leaking water and smelled like rubber chemicals, so we took some pictures and left it next to the dumpster for someone else to pick up. Maybe we should have offered it to the Elders…my Dad told me he was horrified, but also slightly proud. >:3 I’m his little Geek. I feel kinda bad for leaving it next to the dumpster, but it also had lots of spiders in it as well as water leaking out so…
I also got to talk to my Mom this week! She had just finished up at my brother’s game and my grandparents happened to be there as well, so I got to say hi to them real quick and talk to my Mom about her week and her day. It was so nice to chat with her an extra day this last week, and I’m so grateful for the communication we’re allowed to have as missionaries. It would difficult without the support and strength I get from my family.
It was also my Uncle Derrick’s birthday!!! I didn’t get to call him, but just wanted to include a shoutout for him! I so badly wanted to send him our favorite YouTube Birthday song "Epic Happy Birthday Song" which I can only describe as…actually, I don’t know if I can describe it. 😅 But Uncle Derrick’s is my favorite. "It’s your birthday today…DERRICK!!!"
We’re also doing cool (and interesting) things as a district this transfer! Our new District Leader (DL) came up with a game for our district goals this transfer (over the next 6 weeks). I can only describe this as playing Candyland but with Mario Cart theme. Our DL and his companion made a map of Michigan with a playing board around it with references to the robot that yells at us when we’re driving around the board. He had us each pick a character to play as and my companion and I had no idea what the names were so we picked who we later found out was Dry Bowser. He looked pink. 😆 Anyway, there are prizes at the end, and I’m super excited for it. 😏
Changing the subject, I’m not entirely sure who all has accepted my challenge to read the Book of Mormon before this next General Conference on April 1st, but let me know if you have started! Don’t worry if you’re behind. I’ve fallen behind a couple times since I started. But it’s been so cool to study grace and charity in the Book of Mormon! As I mentioned in either this last week’s post or the post before, the two big things I’ve learned about grace are faith and humility. I’ve loved it so much, and it’s helping me to grow more. It’s not easy, but I’m taking step by step because trying to take it all at once has left me broken and hopeless. If there’s one big theme I got from General Conferenc (Oct 2021) it was that in our progression, it comes by small increments, not all at once. Little by little. 1% at a time. If you have a minute, let me know how your studies are going! I’d love to hear what you all are taking from it.
This week we fasted to be posessed by Charity as a mission. Before we started pur fast, one of our Mission President’s councilors gave a devotional about charity. We talked about the two great commandments and how that related to loving not only God and others, but also ourselves. Isn’t it easier sometimes for us to love God and love others than it is for us to love ourselves? I know I struggle with this a lot. I don’t know every little thing about other’s lives. I know what my thoughts and actions are, and I want to do better. So often times, I drag myself through the mud. Even when we know some of the things other people have done, it can be easier to love them and comfort them, than it is to love and comfort ourselves. But what I realized was that God commanded us to love Him and to love others as ourselves. It doesn’t mean we need to be prideful and naive about our faults and shortcomings. I dont believe that love is blindness. I believe that love is forgiveness. Love is long suffering. Love is endurance. Love is patience. Love is building up. I like to think about how the Savior loved. He was never blind to the faults of others. But he forgave. He wasn’t prideful, but humble. He suffered horrifying pain and affliction from the actions and words of others. And he endured. He was patient. He plead for them that persecuted, hated, and hurt him.
As I think about how the Savior loved, which is Charity, it helps me to understand what being possessed by Charity means as far as loving God and others. But what I had failed to see was that the same love the Savior showed for others, He shows for me. That’s something I had to allow myself to believe. It doesn’t change God’s love for me, but it helped me to recognize it. I need to be forgiving of myself. I need to humble myself so I can change by the grace of God. I need to be patient with myself and trust in God. The commandment to love applies to ourselves just as much as any other.
I can’t imagine how it pains Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to see us beat up ourselves for our shortcomings, when they see our potential and love us perfectly. It’s about taking a step forward and learning about the past and looking to the future, but focusing on today. It’s saying,"I messed up. I want to be better in the future. What can I do with the Savior’s healing and forgiving Atonement to work towards that today?"
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."
I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I still have a lot of pride. I won’t list all of the many faults I have, but I’d invite you all to make a similar goal to the goal I am setting for myself:
Show the same love, comfort, patience, and forgiveness that I strive to show to others and Christ shows to all, to myself.
You all are loved, by myself and so many others, but mist importantly, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Have an amazing week, and be patient with yourself. 😉
-Sister (Katie) Malan
P.S. Shout out to Michaela who got my Kung Fu Panda quote last week. I’m proud of you bro. 🖖
Pictures!(I Convince My Compañera of The Deliciousness of Eggnog, Michigander Car, Mmm…Cinnamon-Chocolate Pizza, Daddy’s Little Geek, Don’t Feed The Squirrels!…Wait…Is That a Ring Pop?, Muskegon!, Faaaaallll, Homemade Break-The-Fast Pizza, German Pancakes🥞)