Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nothing happens on Accident & Giving the Lord All I've Got! (June 17th)

Hello! Thank you all for writing me and for keeping me posted on ALL of the craziness that is going on in your 
With Sis. Cottrell
lives!! I just can't believe how much has changed and progressed since I began my mission. Crazy!!! When I get home I will have one sister married, a brother on a mission, and we will be living in a new home! I didn't think this much stuff could all happen soo quickly! How kind of the Kuck's to take you guys in! I am praying for all of you that everything will work out with the house and for Christopher as well. How funny that you guys were fasting yesterday.. for some reason in the middle of the night on Saturday I just had the thought that I need to kneel down and start a fast... I had no idea why. Well I just assumed that I needed to fast for my area- BUT, I have faith and Sister Pickett and I just continue on doing everything we can to find those prepared people. But anyways, I said a prayer and started a fast. I truly hope and pray that the blessings of my fast went to Christopher as well. How wonderful to see that Heavenly Father is so aware of us and our individual needs. I love seeing how much Heavenly Father helps us stay in tune with one another even if we are several states apart and only get to email once a week. Wow what a tender mercy.

I have been amazed by these kinds of experiences for the past few weeks. Maybe I am just finally starting to
With Sis. Castillo
listen to the spirit or something, but lately I have been receiving more of His divine counsel and loving Fatherly direction than I had before. A cool experience, the other day when I was getting ready I thought I should grab the phone because Maggie might call. I then picked it up and started walking into the other room when all of the sudden Maggie called!! We had been playing phone tag for several days and had been trying to get a hold of her. it was one of those moments where your just like, "whoa that was the spirit.". One thing I am really focusing on right now in my mission is ensuring that I am giving the Lord all I've got- truly giving Him my heart. It's hard! It's more than just being obedient, it's giving up worldly desires and truly changing your nature. That's what I want to learn to do. I want to fully give up the world and really live my mission to the fullest. It's just so crazy how the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know anything. It's like you have been getting ready in the dark. You think your outfit matches, but then once you turn on a light you realize you clash and you have to change. The brighter the light the more you see/understand. It's really humbling and motivates me to always be improving. I have been reading this talk lately that is just sooo good! It's called The Fourth Missionary. I feel bad because I was given the talk at the beginning of my mission, but I am only just now getting around to it. I think the Lord has a huge had in timing things though and I know that right now is when I really needed to read it. It's awesome because it can be applied to all people not just missionaries. It talks about how we are on an uphill climb back to our Father in Heaven. If we aren't progressing and moving forward than we are moving backwards. We all need to be progressing. But what I really like is that it's more than just developing hobbies and talents. take away all the fluff and cut it down to just you. Who are you? Who are you becoming? When you stand before God what person will you be? I was so touched by the choir at our stake conference last Sunday when they sung the song "I'm trying to be like Jesus". That's what we are all trying to do.

With Sisters, Finau, Gordon and Weedman
That really is what it's all about. So as I was beginning the quest for more spiritual enlightenment and trying to figure out how I can give my whole heart to the Lord I stumbled across a verse in the book of Alma which says, " their hearts had been changed: that they had no more desire to do evil". What really stuck out to me in that verse is desire. We have to want it, we have to truly desire to be more like Jesus and to live our lives for Him. I know that we can gain that desire as we increase our faith in Christ. Though we may not have the faith in ourselves that we can truly change, we can rely upon our Savior. Increase your faith in Him, love Him, and this love and hope to be more like Him is what will increase your desire to change- repent. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly is the key to progression! I am so grateful that we have the hope that we can change and that we can become the people that God intended us to be and I know that this is all made possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him!

Anyways, so as I was saying earlier I have such a testimony of the Lord's timing. Nothing happens on accident. Things are put in our path to help us to grow and progress. The real test is how we react to these situations when they come about. I am so grateful to be here serving a mission in Mesa, Arizona. What an exciting time to be a
With our new ipads!
missionary!! We got our ipads this week!! And we found out a lot of really cool things that will be changing and other new methods of teaching... I would tell you more, but I am sworn to secrecy- and I know mommy can't keep a secret ;) Just kidding!!! Love you mommy!!! Actually it is killing me not to say more, but all I can say is GO TO THE BROADCAST NEXT WEEK!!!! YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!!!! I am just so grateful mom that you were in-tune with the spirit. You encouraged me and told me this was the right time for me to go otherwise I wouldn't end up going. I know that was inspired and that honestly it was probably true. I don't know if I would have gone after they lowered the age. But what I do know is that I am in the right place doing the right things at this
point in my life. It is soo exciting to be a part of such progress in the church!!! I am soooo grateful for my call!!!!! 
So some other things about this week- sorry this email is FOREVER long. 

So I know I said we have zero investigators in the YSA ward, but we are still finding people to teach... we just have to give them to the spanish elders. Darn!! Thank you high school spanish class- and of course the spirit!- for helping me to somewhat be able to communicate with these people haha we found 2 great families for them to teach! So even though we can't claim them and personally teach them, we still count them as miracles and deff see the Lord's hand in it all :)

We went on visits this week with the elders quorum presidency & the relief society presidency. It is soo nice having just one ward and actually being able to do things like that! It was Awesome!! We had 3 baptisms this week from mine and sister picketts online area book!! Yayyyy!!! I love getting to see these people progress. Whether they came in at Easter Pagent and decided they wanted to learn more or they just came in and talked to a sister. It's amazing to see the different ways that the Lord reaches out to us all. Also this week we got to do a tour here for about 50 ym/yw. It was sooo fun! Sister Pickett and I were in charge of welcoming the group, playing the Christus for them, and working the movies in the theatre. SOOO FUN! I love working here :) It just makes me sooo happy! We showed them clips from the new STANDING IN HOLY PLACES video that the church came out with. They are sooo good!! Go watch them! 

So familia, as you can see my heart is full and life is just oh so good- a little warm, but hey who can have a bad day when the sun is bright and shining! I love it down here and I am just so grateful for eveyr day that I have been given :) I am especially grateful for all of you!! I love you all so much and I pray for you every day. Papa I hope you had a wonderful Fathers day!! Sorry you didn't get my card sooner :( I was thinking about you though. Know that I love you and appreciate everything you have done for me and the rest of the family!!!
Keep up the good work familia! You all are amazing. Good job Abby you survived the trek! Now you can look back and say you did it! 

Keep me posted on all that goes on this week!
Sister Hamstead