15 Candles

SO MUCH happened this week. We had interviews with President Heap on Tuesday and exchanges with the STL’s on Thursday, a wack Friday, and a weird Saturday. 😅

President Heap and I talked a little about the next 2.5 transfers when we had our interview. It’s weird to think how much time I actually have left on my mission. I was talking to my STLs and they were asking me how it felt being on the mission this long. I told them that at the beginning of my mission, I kind of just accepted that I would be on a mission the rest of my life and that it’s been weird thinking about how it will one day end. There were always so many missionaries that would give their departing testimonies and say,"I never thought this day would come." Another Sister and I would say,"oh, we knew it would come, it just got here faster than we thought it would."

It’s funny because I feel like my mom was right…(obviously) 😄. She told me at the beginning of my mission that I was just having F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) for home, and that when I got home, I would just be having F.O.M.O. for Michigan and the missionary efforts here. It’s already happening LOL.

You know what? Over the last 15 weeks of my mission (I go home off-transfer), I want to share one thing I’ve learned as I served a mission for the Lord. Kinda like 16 Candles…except 15…and no wishes, just things I’ve learned. It might be a good way for me to reflect on what’s happened over the last year and 3 months.

Today I’ll share briefly about Charity. This was one of the very first things I started to study when I flew out to Michigan. I realized pretty quickly that there was a lot more to loving others than I thought. There still IS more, and sometimes it can be difficult to seek.

Something neat about charity is that nothing the Savior did on the Earth was done without charity, because he perfectly exemplified this pure love, hence the definition of Charity being "the pure love of Christ." I don’t know if it’s something we necessarily "develop" more than we are possessed by as we seek to do God’s will. When I think about the phrase,"What would Jesus do?" I think about how he did everything with love. I think it can change our perspective of how we do things.

When we serve others (especially when we share struggling to love them), are we asking for the gift of charity as we serve? Do we strive to have righteous and loving discipline in our homes? Maybe having more charity is a lesson being taught, being centered on love for the child, and love for God The Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Truly pondering what the Savior would do in each individual situation has helped me to exercise the Father’s will more often, though I still have so much to do.

A family member mentioned a scripture from yesterday’s Come Follow Me study. It’s from 1 Samuel 10:9, talking about Saul; "…God gave him another heart…" and I LOVE IT because it reminded me of my studies this week. I was studying submissiveness and meekness when I remembered a quote from C.S Lewis shared by Jeffery R. Holland in General Conference, October 2021.

"In his characteristically memorable prose, C. S. Lewis imagines the Lord saying to us something like this: I don’t want … your time … [or] your money … [or] your work [as much as] I [just] want You. [That tree you are pruning.] I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want … the whole [thing] down. [And that tooth.] I don’t want to drill [it], or crown it, or [fill] it. [I want] to have it out. [In fact, I want you to] hand over [to me your] whole natural self. … [And] I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my … will shall become [your will]."

When we pray for the gift of Charity, I don’t see it as a change of our heart, but replacing our heart with the Savior’s heart. It’s much easier to teach or discuss than it might be to practice, but I’ve seen blessings come from it. Working with people can be difficult sometimes, but that’s all the Savior did. The Savior didn’t isolate himself from people that weren’t perfect, or disrespected him, accused him, spit on him, etc. He surrounded himself with anyone who wanted to listen. The sinners. The unclean. His message was not only for some. It was for anyone who wanted to listen. When we pray for charity, that is only a glimpse of what we are asking for.

I encourage any of you reading this to listen. The Spirit will touch you and guide you. I’ve found additional peace and happiness through listening to the promptings of the Spirit. Those prompting come directly from God. I’ve also found true joy in seeking to be possessed by the pure love of Christ. It makes me happier, it makes the people around me happier, and I think it makes God happy, because it fulfills the two great commandments. There is always more to be learned. Always another person to be loved.

Heavenly Father is so involved in the lives of His children, we just have to seek seeing it.

I love you all. You are loved. You are amazing! 💙🤍

Sister (Katie) Malan

(Lol- when you read over your email and realize that half of the things you mentioned at the beginning of you email weren’t touched in at all, but you’re too lazy to write more)

Pictures!

Published by Katie Malan

Sister Malan is currently a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in the Michigan Lansing Mission (United States).

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1 Comment

  1. Hey, Katie! …uh, I mean, Sister Malan!
    It is so delightful to read about your week and what you feel and what you want to share with us and your sweet, sweet testimony!
    I wanted to address your “Lol” ending where you kind of chide yourself for not addressing half of what you mentioned at the beginning. What I’m sure you realize is that you DID address the most meaningful part of what you have felt, both in serving the Lord, following His teachings and example, and in serving His children. It’s fitting that you have recognized that Charity–the Pure Love of Christ–is the best way to live your life, both as you continue to serve the last 15 weeks of your mission (really?!!! Where HAS it gone?) as well as the REST of your life!
    I absolutely Love what I call “the Charity Scriptures!” (Moroni 7:45-48)
    Let me tell you how it came about that I was first drawn to those particular scriptures:
    Years ago, when your Dad’s Aunt Patricia was still alive, we went to visit her (her husband, Uncle Scott–Grandpa’s brother, had passed away about 10-12 yrs. earlier). Grandpa and I drove from Utah to Snowflake, Arizona where she still lived. She and I had always talked about spiritual things and felt like we were kindred spirits when it came to our personal, if not sacred, experiences and it was always delightful and uplifting to share and listen to one another. This particular time, however, I had mentioned a problem with a particular person whom she didn’t know. But she told me what I needed to do was to memorize Moroni 7:45-48. Because I loved and respected and trusted her, I took her advice.
    This process was so enlightening! I printed those verses out and took them everywhere with me, working on memorizing them and found every opportunity to put them to good use–meaning, for myself. I have since somewhat forgotten parts of those verses, but then put myself to task and memorize them once again. It seems to be a pattern I keep returning to. None the less, I keep asking Heavenly Father, as Moroni suggests, “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love…” And He blesses me continually to recognize a person that just needs to be understood, or listened to, or loved, or guides me to serve someone else in just the way they need, and most importantly, whenever I ask, He helps me FEEL charity towards His children. So I strive to ask every day and sometimes I fall short, but He continually guides and blesses me. I know that you, too, sweet Sister Katie, are filled with that love and that you will continue to share that love as you reach out to others to help lift, as our Savior lifts, all who will listen or who are in need.
    I want to end this by using your own very powerful words: “There is always more to be learned. Always another person to be loved. Heavenly Father is so involved in the lives of His children, we just have to seek seeing it.” So profound!
    You are so very amazing! Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, are pleased with your charitable, selfless service. They love you and so do we!
    Always and forever,
    Grandma & Grandpa

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