Hello hello everyone! Sometimes I enjoy writing these emails just a little too much. XD I know there’s a good handful that read them, but it often feels like I’m talking to myself…which I am unfortunately well versed in haha. XD
So I’ll start with my title this week. It’s been a while since I’ve come up with a funny title! So what happened is…(😆😉AHAHAHAHA)
My companion and I realized at some point after church yesterday, that I did not have my phone and it couldn’t be found in our apartment. We searched the car and the church building several times, to no avail. We were starting to get very worried at this point because my phone had the Sim card in it, so we couldn’t do many of our tasks as missionaries without it, it being winter and dark outside. We had an appointment with a member family and couldn’t communicate with them. We were able to find a way to track it through some of the other missionaries, and found out it was in the general area of the church building. We had our appointment at that time, so we went there first and drove straight to the church building. As we drove into the parking lot I thought," maybe we should check the parking lot one more time." We had already checked the building three times at that point and every time we left, we’d circled around where we had parked to look. But as we stepped out of the car, Sister Mullen had the same impression to check the parking lot. So we did. Within 30 seconds we found my phone slightly buried in the snow about halfway from the Church building from where we had parked. It must’ve fallen out of my pocket when we had been walking to the car. It was covered in snow and ice, and the case was frozen on. We ripped the case off as soon as we could (to prevent the ice and snow melting) and took the phone out. It was a little wet, but upon dying everything off and turning it on, it functions just fine! Nobody ran over it either (I would have laughed so hard-not gonna lie). My phone seems to have a thing for parking lots…XD
Anyway…to the rest of my week. It was a good, but slow week. We met with a couple friends Monday and Tuesday, but after that, both were unavailable. We met with a lot of members this week to get to know them, and help then with the work. They are amazing and so prepared with friends they already have that are ready to recieve the gospel. We coukd not be doing this work without the members. ABSOLUTELY not.
Without the members, the missionaries would come and go, and the people we teach would have no one to develop relationships with in the area for an extended amount of time. Without the members, we would struggle with sharing the gospel in normal and natural ways. The best was for missionaries to share the gospel in normal and natural ways in my opinion, is meeting with members when they have friends over. Doing service with members and their friends. It’s likely the reason we’ve seen such a shift in the way missionaries interact with members here in the North Eastern U.S. We need members!
I have little time today, so I’ll end with a quick thought from a journal entry I wrote during one of my personal studies this week.
"As I’ve studied grace, I’ve learned that it’s not something that is earned so much as given. The ‘requirement’ for receiving grace is that we believe in Christ. What does that entail? Still figuring that out. And then God’s love. I’m just learning from reading ‘God’s Love: The Most Joyous to The Soul" by Susan H. Porter, that God’s love is what drives us to the tree of life (in Lehi’s vision). Ita not something we receive right when we ‘get there’ but it drives us there. She mentioned a scripture in 1 Nephi 11:22 (Where Nephi is learning the meaning of Lehi’s vision):
"’It is the love of God, whichnsheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of men; Wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.’
"James 1:5 states:
"’If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’
"It seems to me at this moment that we really ARE doing better than we think we are. Jeffery R Holland said in October 2015 General Conference,’…Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.’
"I always wondered how that could be possible. ‘How is it possible that I could be doing better than I KNOW I am doing?’ I used to think. ‘I make so many mistakes, some of which I am fully aware I am making. I know I could be doing more than I am now. How could I possibly be doing better?’ I’ve decided this is the adversary speaking to us in the first person. Yes, I need to improve and use Christ’s Atonement DAILY, hourly, even. But maybe because of my desire to be better, that leads to repentance, and MAYBE because if God’s love, mercy, grace, and power that He GIVES FREELY as we ask and act, I am doing better than Satan tells me I am."
You are doing better than you think you are. God loves you so much and there’s nothing that could drive you away from that. Remember that this week. My invitation to you this week would be to see others the way God sees you. A member put this into perspective this week during sacrament meeting. The second great commandment states: love thy neighbor as thyself. Let’s think about; God loves you as much as you’ve loved others.
Now this is not a statement about God’s love. He is going to love you perfectly no matter what. But doesn’t that put into perspective in such a beautiful way, how we want to be better at loving and serving the people around us?
"…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)
When we struggle to love others, we can pray for the pure love of Christ- Charity. (Moroni 7:48) God wants to help us show love to others and ourselves. That is part of the two great commandments. God has commanded you to love yourself. Doesn’t that show His love for you? It’s not easy to love ourselves, but as we love God and love others, and strive to be filled with charity, we will be able to love ourselves- see ourselves the way God sees us- a little more day by day.
I love you all! Thank you for taking time to read my thoughts this week. Let me know if I can pray for anyone for you. I’d be more than happy to. Stay safe! Be happy! Stay hydrated!
Sister (Katie) Malan
Pictures! (District Council With The ZL’s •S. Mullen • E. Zacher • E. Houskeeper • E. Taylor • E. Ballard🦆• Me •, District Pic, 9 MONTHS, "A SnAKe"-Rainbow Boa, Sushi For 9 Months in Michigan!, I Got To Hold a Beardie! -Smaug, I Licked an Iceicle)