Monday, May 27, 2013

Any last words?

Every day.
The WA-TAC is the best.
You are the best.
God is really the best.
"The fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest."
This gospel is true.
Learn it, live it, love it.
Jesus is the Christ.
Trust Him.
God bless and God speed.
Sister Chronister

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Road Less Traveled

I tracted it.
I took a picture to prove it.
And it seems ironic that it's a week before I go home.
The road we take when we sign up for this deal is definitely one not often traveled.
We give up, sacrifice, consecrate all for a short time.
For what?
Faith is the power, love is the motive, obedience is the price, the Spirit is the key, the Restoration is the message, members are the means, Christ is the reason,
I can testify that that is true.
It is the greatest reward we could ever hope for.
Nothing worth having is easy to obtain.
We struggle, but never in vain.
We, as imperfect human beings, will always fall short.
The saving grace, really, is grace.
When we fall we get up and we learn not to fall like that again.
It's not wrong to fall, it doesn't mean we're damned, it means that we have something to learn.
We always have something to learn.
The work is picking up here, which I am really grateful for.
I have been the recipient in past areas of missionaries' hard work, so it doesn't really bug me that it's happening right when I leave.
I want to leave good things here for the next people to work with.
Pay it forward.
We met a lady named Willow and she came to church and really liked it.
Good miracle.

I was out the other day helping a member with some yard work and making a dream come true. 
I got to chop things down in the woods with an axe. 
I had fun.
Actually mostly what I was chopping was ivy that was climbing up this tree.
I was supposed to cut through the vines and then pull them off.
Ivy is a tricky little bugger.
It grows up the tree and as it grows it attaches itself to the bark.
The longer it's there the harder it is to pull away because it entangles itself deeper and deeper.
I asked, wondering why we were cutting down the ivy, if the ivy kills the tree.
Well, no it doesn't.
So then I felt bad cutting away this ivy, but I kept doing it anyways cause that's what she wanted me to do.
But, of course, I thought about a cool gospel/obedience analogy.
We are told to bend our will to the Lord's.
Bending isn't enough.
We have to be the ivy that wraps and entangles and intertwines itself into the will of the Father.
We need to root ourselves in the tree of His will.
The longer we are there the harder it is to pull us away from it.
Except that unlike the ivy, when we attach ourselves to Him, we can draw on His strength, power, support, love, etc.
Obedience is the price, and true and perfect obedience is everything that we have and are.
We also might call that consecration.
I get to go to the temple this week and have my mini day of judgement.
I'm excited and nervous for the opportunity.
Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory. [neal a maxwell]
I hope I can lay it before Him and know that it was enough.
Time goes so fast.
Appreciate every moment of every day.
As a friend recently told me in a letter,
"soak up the wa-tac sun caues that's the only place it shines."
The light of the gospel shines brighter than anything we could ever face, including rainy cloudy Washington.
Ironic, much, that this is where I am?
Definitely not.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
God bless.

Monday, May 13, 2013

mum mum mummy mummy mom mom mom lois lois lois mama mama mama

happy mothers day to all you mothers out there.
interesting quote/paraphrase from sacrament meeting yesterday:
mother is the essence of who we are as women, of our divine nature and potential.
no, im not baby hungry or anything.
i just thought it was cool that the word mother doesnt just refer to having children.
got to talk to the fam yesterday.
and for the first and only time on my mission i got to talk to the one and only
a member here set up a conference call and we all worked out a time so we could all be on.
he sounds old.
i hope he's ok knowing that im going home soon.
i think that would be weird for me if i knew my sibling who left after me was going home a few months before me.
so i mostly just tried to boost his spirits.
hopefully it worked.
not a ton of exciting things have happened here.
unless you count me accidentally hitting a cat with the car.
it came out of nowhere.
i swear i didnt do it on purpose.
i dont know what happened to it, but i prayed that God would either take it quickly or miraculously heal it and i know God answers prayers, so i believe that the cat is where it needs to be.
saturday was the 113th annual sequim irrigation festival parade.
i have been hearing about it since january 29th.
let me tell you, totally worth the wait...........
i got a sunburn from being out there all day.
and it turns out that we actually know a lot of people in sequim.
such is the life of a sequim missionary.
and it is so beautiful out here.
whenever i feel down or emtional or whatever [i never in my wildest dreams as a greenie would have ever thought that this would ever come out of my mouth] i go tracting and its all better.
its like harry potter.
or the Spirit. that too.
welp, hope errbody has a great week.
much love.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Ok, so I tend to be a little.........doubtful? when I read the scriptures sometimes.
I'll elaborate.
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.
I believe.
And according to Elder Holland, to believe is enough.
Much love.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Do what you want . . .

In honor of Pres. & Sis. Weaver

Until you're told otherwise.
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.
Resume story.
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.
Progress is slow with our people.
I've resorted to practically begging for miracles and new people to teach.
Now I have to live for it.
Go live for the things you want.
Ask, knock, receive, open.
It's up to you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby Brady

I love dogs.
I hated them in the city.
I rediscovered my love of them out here in the country.
Especially puppies.
Puppies are the best.
After a week of having Brady with me, I have decided that my two trainees are my little puppies.
Brady is a chihuhua (she's super tiny and a little jumpy-it's pretty funny actually).
Crosby is a golden retriever.
So there you have it.
My pups.
Things are a little slowish right now.
I've been straight up fasting and praying for miracles.
We have no time to beat around the bush here.
I'm busy trying to teach Brady everything I know about being a missionary and about Happy Valley.
I don't have long to teach her and she doesn't have long to learn.
I pray that miracles come so I can show her what it's like to lead someone all the way down the track to baptism.
I can't believe how fast everything is flying.
I have been able to come up with a few words that have come to mean a lot to me:
I'll be putting those words to use soon.
Gotta put together all my experiences and see how it turns into a final report.
I love being a missionary.
I don't want it to end.
We did have a really cool miracle with Ciara last week.
Monday night, the night before Crosby left, she wanted to meet with us one last time.
We taught her the Plan of Salvation and ended up talking about forgiveness.
I literally saw the change in her face when she understood how this could help her.
That was amazing.
I can't forget seeing that.
Two days later when she met Brady I asked her how everything was settling in her mind with the Plan.
She said it made sense, perfect sense.
That's the first time I've ever heard her say anything so definintive about what we've taught her.
It was a huge step, and a huge miracle.
Now we just have to work for a miracle to happen with her sister so she can be baptized when she wants to.
I believe.
Peace errbody.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us and We Love Him!!

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  Thanks to all the support you have given me and my daughter!  Michelle Ballantyne