Monday, May 7, 2012

When in doubt . . . go to Lakewood House of Donuts

(this is really split into paragraphs but it's not doing it when I publish--good luck!) Ok so Lakewood has this donut place that's amazing. We went there on our way to our mission conference on Tuesday and they are pretty much the greatest things ever. Then on Thursday we were at our zone meeting and they had us do this crazy 10 minute finding scavenger hunt where we were supposed to try and take crazy pictures with people or get people on insta-tours of the church, but we weren't feeling it, so we took two other elders and went and got donuts again. I think we were the real winners. I won't lie, this week was kind of a tough one. We had mission conference on Tuesday and it was good, but really long. I learned a lot about what I need to do better. One thing that the mission president talked about was how missionaries and mission presidents are assigned to their missions and how revelation for area assignments is just as important and critical to our individual assignments. He said the areas we are in are our worlds, that it is up to us to make it the way we want it and the way it needs to be. We are in our areas for very specific purposes and we need to go out every day and work and pray to find out why we are there. That was way cool. Plus, I got to see Sis. Balmforth!! It was great. I kind of had forgotten what she looked like haha, but I was so glad I got to see her, especially since she's dying soon.....that's depressing. But, it's all good. A mission is 18 months for a reason, and, lucky me, I got to serve with her, and I get another year here in the WA-TAC :) I've been working hard on reading the Book of Mormon to reach my goal of reading it start to finish in one transfer. I am on page 350 right now, just cruisin through. I decided that I needed to do something to help me stay focused on what I was reading and not just skim through it and not pay attention, so from the beginning I have been highlighting in red every time the Savior is mentioned, by any of His many names. It's cool to flip through and see all the red marks throughout the book. It really emphasizes what is on the front cover: the Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ. A lot of times I just stop and think, that if we would all just put the Savior first in our lives and put the gospel, those 5 basic principles, into practice, that our lives and the lives of everyone around us would be so much happier and so much more complete. This life is meant to test us and stretch us, but the gospel is there to strengthen us and give us a way to make it through all of our challenges. It's so simple!! Yesterday at church there was a running theme of temples and how we need to set our sights on them. I read a quote from President Packer's most recent conference address and, just summarizing, he said that the ultimate goal of the church is top see a husband and wife, happy at home with their children, bound together by the sealing power found only in the temple, and guarded by the principles of the gospel. I thought that was so cool. Missionaries get caught up in baptisms a lot and we sometimes forget that the ultimate goal is the temple. We want others to be able to partake in saving ordinances and baptism is simply the first one. That was another thing we learned at the mission conference that the general authority brought up. We need to look at these individuals as future priesthood holders, teachers, and members, not just as baptisms. A few cool miracles we saw this week: the other day we couldn't think of anything for this one part of the day, so we just decided to plan for finding. When the time came, it was a nice day, the sun was out, so we decided to go down to old Steilacoom and street contact. We were walking up the street and there was no one. Ok, like 1 guy, but other than that, no one. But, I had felt this impression that we needed to be there. Earlier in the transfer we felt a strong pull to that area, but not so frequently anymore. I wondered if it was just an old habit, or it was a nice day so I sub conciously (sp?) wanted to go down by the water where it was pretty, but we were there so we jsut kept walking. We saw a man sitting on a bench so we decided to go talk to him. He was a Korean man who told us that he was out on a walk because his family was fighting and he was having a hard time with life, was depressed, had considered suicide at one point, and just didn't know what to do. We told him about the Book of Mormon. He said he had lived in Provo, UT, loved Mormons, and if he was going to join any church, it would probably be the Mormons. The only catch is, he lives in LA and went back home the day after we saw him. We gave him the english BoM and then realized we had a Korean one in our car. We sprinted (literally) to get it, raced over (behind a police car, so not literally), and chased him down in the park and gave it to him. We told him he was supposed to be happy in life and that the book would help him find that. He cried when we told him that. It was so awesome. We also went to see Pohai, the deaf girl we are trying to teach. Actually,w e just went to see the family and she came out and was joking around with us. I pulled out a dictionary of ASL gospel terms that we had left for them and flipped trhough it a little, then handed it to her. She started going through all the signs, taught us a few, and we laughed and joked around and it was so cool. That was the first time I had ever seen her really interact with signing and especially signing about the gospel. Baby steps. I think that's about all I have for now. We are super excited for this weekend. 2, possibly 3, baptisms and I get to call home on Sunday!! It should be exciting, I'll let you know how it goes next week. Love you all so much!! I hope you have a great week and that if youget some spare time, you think of lil Chronic here in Washington and send me a little letter or something. BYE!! Love, Sister Chronister

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