Monday, September 24, 2012

Tacoma on the Skyline

Well, the news that everyone's been waiting for is finally here. I am leaving Steilacoom. After 4 amazing transfers and sooooo manyyyyy miracles, I will finally be wrapping up my work here and heading out to a new area. Luckily, I can actually see my new area from Steilacoom. So it's a super long journey......
I am getting doubled in to the Tacoma Skyline ward with Sister Robinson. (I think this means they are both Sisters are going to be new to the area)  She goes home in 2 transfers and she is legit. I've been in the same zone as her for the last 4 transfers and we've been joking for a while that we were going to get doubled in together. Lo and behold, it happened without either of us actually relaying that little bit of hopefulness to President Weaver. Big things happening. The day of transfer calls we saw P Weavs and he wouldn't give us our calls early, but he did tell us that usually every transfer he throws some curveballs that make him giggle (yes, he said giggle) inside and he loves seeing it happen. The next day, after hearing where I was going, he pulled me aside and said my call was one of those that he was really excited and giggling about. There's a lot of confidence being put in Sister Robinson and I. When I first heard the call I was super excited and really, REALLY surprised, then I was jumping around the apartment for joy, but the next day it hit me what challenges this means. We won't know anyone or anything about the area. We'll have to hit the ground at a dead sprint and try not to trip too many times. But now I'm determined. It's going to be great. I just want to get there and start working without any pre-conceived notions of the area or any in/outside information other than the bare facts. Let's do this.
But this means that I have to leave Steilacoom. The Sunday before I left home last year the primary was practicing for their program. I remember being really sad that I would miss is it because, other than General Conference, I think the primary program might be my favorite Sunday of the year. So it was fitting that my last Sunday in Steilacoom, a place that has become like home to me, was the primary program. So tender. So many yelling children picking their noses and wiggling around on the stand. It sucks saying goodbye to people. But, it's great to hear that they want you to come back. I have been SO BLESSED to be here. I don't think I'll realize all of it until actually leave.
Last week we had our park day. Two days before my foot randomly started hurting way bad, and I wouldn't really walk around on it more than around the apartment or to and from the car. That's a problem when you don't have a car and you're schedule is packed for the day. By the grace of God I was able to ride a bike without it hurting my foot. So we rode bikes for a day! And then we liked it so much we decieded to do it for the next 2 days. It was actually really fun, and by the end my butt didn't hurt too bad. And my foot is better. Almost. Whatevs.
Nikki and Meaghan are getting baptized this weekend!! Thank goodness I'm just going to go to Tacoma because it means that I'll be able to come back for it. They were way bummed when they found out I was leaving, and so was I. I didn't really tell them in advance though because I didn't want it to affect their decision to get baptized, which it didn't. Either way, I had to leave soon, so it was better that they were prepared and had enough time to think about everything and learn everything for their baptism. Yeahhhhh buddy.
This week I'm going to need a lot of prayers. Don't forget about me, ok? I'll get my address to you........soon. Haha. Have a great week! Look for the tiny miracles every day. Like those lil flecks of gold, they add up and eventually become a nugget.
Sister Chronister

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I saw Canadaaaaa

Not a bad week for only having basically 4 work days available to us. Last Tuesday we had the chance to go up to Zion's Camp in Belfair (which, in case you are wondering, is forever away from nowhere, but not as far as Port Angeles....which we also went to). We did a bunch of ropes course, team building stuff. I was pretty hesitant because it involved 30 sisters in the middle of the Washington forest together for a couple hours, but it ended up being a really great experience. I came home with plenty of bruises and sore muscles, but with a greater understanding of my purpose and the things that I need to do in order to help others. I think that's one of the biggest lessons we can learn, is that before you can help other people you need to be able to help yourself.
I got to go back and see all of my people in Silverdale!! It was so great. I felt like I really needed that this week. I'm facing leaving Steilacoom in a week or so and it's sad and hard to leave, but going back and having all of these people that I love remember me and miss me and want to talk to me helped me feel a lot better about leaving here. The missionaries always have to leave but the ones you love remember you. I've been to a few of the firesides now, but the one in Silverdale was the best for me becuase I LOVED the people that I was singing too. Not that they could hear me individually, but it made me sing better and with more feeling because I wanted them to know that I love them and I love my Savior. It was so great. Sunday night was interesting. Port Angeles is way the heck out in the middle of nowhere, but it is so beautiful!! I loved seeing it. And, I got to see Canada! Gooood times haha.
Our wonder-investigators Nikki nad Meaghan are so awesome. Nikki went up to Deseret Book the other day and knew that Sister Grenfell and I both really wanted copies of the D+C church history dvd's and they were on sale and she bought us each a copy of it. She's only been an investigator for like 2 weeks!! So legit. They're getting ready for baptism, probably next weekend. Nikki's husband gave the ok, and he's cool with Meaghan getting baptized too. That was such a huge miracle, one that we had been praying very, very hard for.
There's a quote in PMG that talks about how the study of doctrine improves behavior better than the study of behavior improves behavior. Try it. I know it works. It has helped me so much the last few weeks to study pure doctrine and the life of my Savior. I feel like I know Him so much better and I have such a stronger desire to be like Him. That doesn't necessarily mean that I am, but I want to be, so little by little it will happen as long as I keep putting forth the effort.
We're working really hard at finding new people to teach. Things have been slow and we're hoping and praying that things pick up. I really want to leave the area with a solid teaching pool so there isn't a gap in the work when I leave and the new sister gets the shaft and has to do tons of work for something that I should have taken care of. Gotta leave it better than when I came.
Hope you are all having a great week. Love you!!
Sister Chronister

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We're going Church Turr Crazy!

If I had a nickel for every time I heard the words "church tour" this week, I really think that I would have $1,000,000. [Insert Austin Powers reference here.] We are focusing on church tours as a mission. We worked our butts off trying to find church tours. We went through all of our potentials, formers, ups, downs, whoever and tried to get them to come check out the church. And today, I'm tired haha. It was productive though, it helped us filter a lot of the people we are trying to teach. There's a lot of people in Steilacoom! Haha.
Last week was slow, this one is going to be crazy. Tomorrow we are going to Zion's Camp for some mission training and fun, Saturday I'll be up in Silverdale (the blessed, blessed land of Silverdale) and Sunday we are going to Port Angeles. both for the musical fireside thingy's the mission is doing. Lots of driving, I hope we can get some work done in there, especially since PA is about 2.5 hours away.....
I am crazy and I have been reading Jesus the Christ like it's nobody's business over the last few weeks. It's amazing!! I love that book. This morning I read about the parable where the seed grows secretly. It has a better title, I just can't remember it. One of the cool parts is that it is only mentioned in one of the gospels, not all 4 or even 3 of them. Anyways, it talks about a sower planting a seed and he goes and does some other stuff and comes back and the seed has fully grown into a stalk with an ear and with corn in the ear. So basically it's full-grown if you didn't catch that part. The sower simply needed to plant the seed. He could help its growth by weeding, watering, making sure the ground was ready for the seed, but as far as the actual growth of the seed, only the Lord knows exactly what needs to happen for it. Same with the gospel. We all plant seeds ( I know, I know, I'm sick of hearing that phrase too) but only God knows what it takes for that seed to actually grow. We can do our best to take care of the environment around it, but sometimes we have to go other places and take care of other things. It isn't always our main focus all the time. But, when we come back and the seed is fully grown, we get to rejoice in the harvest. Whatever the result is, it's all in God's control. I thought that was pretty great.
I hope you all have a lovely week. Washington is on a no-rain streak. I think today marks 48 or 49 days of no precipitation. Sounds familiar.......AZ? I love it, the grass and the trees do not. Love you, write me a letter!!
Sister Sara Chronister

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We shall see Him as He is

So last Tuesday I was cleaning out the car and forgot mid-way through moving from the back seat to the trunk that there is a GIANT metal pole right by our parking spot, and as I turned I was abruptly stopped by the clang of my head and foot hitting the pole. Ahhh well, worse things have happened and I escaped with naught but a bruise. Luckily no one was watching, but my companion did hear it from the bathroom in our apartment, so it was pretty loud.
THEN on Saturday we got to go over to Anderson Island to help with their annual parade/fair. There were 10 missionaries that came and we ran all of the games at the fair. Don't get your hopes up on it though, this parade was about half the size of the Show Low 4th of July parade. If you haven't heard of Show Low, don't worry about it, but this one was even smaller. I had the privilege of running the [rubber] duck pond. A kid gives me a ticket, picks up a duck, looks at the number on the bottom, and tries to get another duck with the same number on the bottom. What happens if they don't get it? Try again until they do!  Everyone is a winner. So great. However, right at the end we were playing a little game of hot potato and someone goes, "Ah watch out for the bee" and before I can even blink I feel its dumb little stinger jab into the palm of my hand. The little bugger escaped before I could spread his little bee guts all over the ground. Bee stings suck.
The work has slowed down a little here, but we are keeping the faith that there is someone out there for us to teach. We just have to go and find them. Our family from the Congo came to the ward bbq on Friday and loved it, but didn't make it to church on Sunday. Good thing missionaries are stubborn, persistent, and somewhat stalker-ish. We'll get them there.
I suppose I should explain the title of this one. Moroni 7:48: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."
This scripture was pressing on my mind all week, and I would almost dare say that it is my favortie verse in the Book of Mormon. My favorite part is where it says "that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." I had to spend a fair amount of time during personal study to really figure out what this means. After reading about charity and how we become more Christlike, I finally got it. When we see Christ as He truly is, our Brother, Redeemer, Shepard, Savior, and Friend, then we understand Him and we love Him. When we understand that and have a personal relationship with him then we desire to become more like Him. To be patient, full of love, long-suffering, gentle, meek, humble, faithful, hopeful, wise, and charitable. The Savior Himself said it best: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." What He really means is, if you truly love me, you will only have desires to keep my commandments. That is what we are all striving for. Love the Savior, love God, love your neighbors. These are the first and great commandments. Everything else just falls into place.
I hope you all have a great week. Remember, you friendly neighborhood missionaries love mail haha. Love you!!
Sister Chronister