Ok, so I tend to be a little.........doubtful? when I read the scriptures sometimes.
When I read stories that I've heard a million times before and that I've heard other people talk about a million times before I have this tendency to zone out and think, "Ok, I've learned everything there is to learn about that."
This morning I was reading in Alma ch. 17.
This is the story of Ammon.
I can't even tell you how many times I have heard someone talk about this story as it relates to missionaries.
So as usual I was ready to just skim through it and pat myself on the back for all the pretty colors I outlined the story with.
Oh wait, I didn't have that many.
I just assumed I knew all about it and that was good enough.
How stupid of me.
As I was reading I noticed something new about it:
Ammon is a type and a shadow of the Savior.
When he came to the kingdom he could have had anything the king offerred, but he wanted to be a servant.
He went and took care of the sheep.
When the sheep were scattered and lost he went and found them.
He knew that he could show by his example the power of God and the goodness of the gospel.
When the enemies returned to scatter the sheep again, he left the rest of the servants with the flock and went and took them on, by himself.
He relied totally on his Father in heaven.
He led to flocks to the waters to drink and live.
After taking the flock back to the king, he went and did all the other things the king asked him to do.
He remember and obeyed all the commands he was given.
I was humbled this morning.
There is always something we can learn from the scriptures.
This whole going home soon thing is getting pretty real.
We went to the temple as a mission this week.
That's always a treat.
Except that it was kind of a sad experience for me.
Especially realizing how soon it would be before I was back there, just a few days before heading home.
Then I got my trunky papers, aka flight information and instructions for my final report.
It's gonna be a good one.
Work hard, always.
Do the things you are asked to do.
Obedience is a lot easier once you decide to stop kicking against it and just do it.
It doesn't make life easier, but it makes it easier to make choices.
If that makes any sense.
Good miracles this week, lots of little ones.
Ciara finally got to come to church.
She talked to her sister and her sister let her come because church is always a good thing, at least a good step in the right direction.
We're praying/begging for miracles.
It all depends on our faith.
And according to Elder Holland, to believe is enough.
I was sitting in sacrament meeting, up on the stand.
Rewind: Saturday night, we went to visit our bishop.
Like the good missionary I'm supposed to be I aks what we can do to help.
He asks when the last time was that I spoke in sacament meeting.
I'm sitting on the stand trying to think of what I'm going to talk about.
First off, I was weirdly emotional singing the opening hymn, "Hark, All Ye Nations."
I think it's my favorite missionary song.
I had 18 hours of notice and I am a champion procrastinator as it is.
Even in my personal study I could only get a somewhat vague idea of what I was going to talk about.
All I could think of was one sentence from PMG.
"By revelation, Adam learned of mankind’s proper relationship with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost; of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ; and of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel."
That's it. That's what the gospel is about. Receiving revelation about our relationship with God, the Atonement, and the gospel.
These things are restored to the world as a whole.
Then they are restored to us as individuals.
Christ works one on one.
The war for the sould of men is fought one soul at a time.
That's how much we matter.
We are sent out, by the thousands and ten of thousands, to go two by two and find the one.
GOD IS REAL.
Progress is slow with our people.
I've resorted to practically begging for miracles and new people to teach.
A few weeks ago I was able to meet up with Sara's companion, Sister Crosby's Mom (got that??) It was great to have that connection with our daughters. They are wonderful and doing great things!! We love their example and their willingness to give up part of their young adult life to serve. And, we loved sharing that we both have 2 kids serving at the same time. Her son just left this week. It's a difficult time as a parent to lose so much contact with your child. However, you feel the Lords love as they learn to serve even though you miss them terribly!
As Sara's return approaches it is such a flood of emotion!! I remember a year ago, Cindy Balmforth (Sara's first companions Mom) was emailing me with encouragement as her daughter Katee was about to return home. She also had a son serving at the same time. The connections that we have as Mother's binds us to each other, our kids and the gospel. The Lord blesses us in so many little ways! At the time I remember thinking, Sara will never make it home. Well, it's here and it's going to be a great reunion!
Sister Sara Chronister is coming home May 29th. She will deliver her Homecoming address on June 9th at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 6150 E. Fairmount Drive, Tucson, AZ.
If you're planning to come and/or need more information, please be in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all the support you have given me and my daughter! Michelle Ballantyne