This week, I learned a lot about sacrifice. Elder Nathanial Oberst, who returned home from a mission last week, reported yesterday in church. He gave an incredible talk on sacrificing and consecrating. He said that God is only asking for us to sacrifice because He wants to give us something even better. He said there are three types of missionaries: Those who don't want to be here, those who are dedicated and those who are consecrated. So I asked myself, what is it that I haven't placed on my altar of sacrifice? What am I holding back? And I came to the conclusion that I'm holding back my anxiety and my homesickness. Yes, it really wouldn't be a sacrifice to not have it. But wouldn't it? Anxiety is something that I have, unbeknownst to us, struggled with my whole life and laying that aside would be weird. Who would I be without it? And homesickness often shows me that I have a wonderful family at home who loves me and wants me to succeed. And I want to succeed too. But it's hard to let go of all the good memories and good times that I had with you. So I know now...I need to figure out how to sacrifice my anxiety and homesickness. that is a way that I will become more consecrated. Of course, I think there are other little things that may keep me from being completely consecrated, but I know with all my heart that as I do my best to "sacrifice" these two things, I will be a more consecrated missionary.
On Tuesday I went to the dentist. Which sucked. But you know what? THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG. I went to the dentist for absolutely nothing. I think I grind my teeth at night and that's why they hurt. (Mom, I blame you for that.) After our preparation day we ate dinner with the Barth family whom I love. They are so awesome. Sister Barth is so hilarious. I love her so much. And they are such a beautiful couple. their family is so cute. Then we had MCM which was good too. I love all of our ward missionaries and our ward mission leader. they are awesome. We saw Sister Carter, who is also super sweet. I love her a lot. She gave us some ice cream and cookies. We talked about the Atonement and it was really good. I love talking about the Atonement of my Savior. We got pretty deep which I also love. It was great.
Wednesday we went on exchanges. I was here in Hanford with Hermana Clark. I was so nervous to lead the area because I didn't think I could do it. But I feel that it was a really good exchange and I proved to myself that I could lead the area! We saw E at Sister Sopp's home. She is so great. I love her. then we saw sister Ramirez and talked about hope. It was a really good lesson. She's so sweet. Then we saw Sister Hill at Panera for dinner. I love Panera but I don't think we have them in Idaho. Then we dropped by B G who has really been struggling. I'm really glad we got to see her. We haven't seen her in a while. She was struggling with some stuff so I'm glad we stopped by. Then we saw the Salls. They are awesome. I love them. They are the cutest old couple ever. It was sweet. And then the elders called us and asked us to come over to see M. We talked about her baptism and how she was super nervous but it all worked out! She went through with it. Scriptures: Mosiah 27:14, 25
Thursday we exchanged back right before we had our service at the nursing home. It was really good. I love going there. Then we saw E at the family history center. It was fun! She was so excited to do her family history but we couldn't find her family so we decided to let her get some information she didn't have and she's going to put it in and then hopefully we will be able to get a little farther on it with her. We saw Ivy who had a birthday. It was also my year mark! I was so shocked that it had come so fast! Can you believe I've been a missionary for a whole year? Longer now! I can't believe it. It's so crazy to me that I have been out that long. We went to Applebee's for dinner with the M's--the Baptist couple. They are so sweet. We talked about the Family Proclamation with them. they loved it. Then we saw J! I love her so much. She was so excited for her baptism. It has been wonderful to teach her and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity. Then we were able to see the H who we haven't seen for a really long time. We had a really good lesson with them where we kept their attention. Scriptures: Mosiah 28:3, Romans 5:1
Friday we went to the soup kitchen! I love them all so much. We talked to P a little bit. He reminds me a little of Hunter which is probably why I love him so much. There was something wrong with him on Friday though and i couldn't figure out what it was. it was really bugging me. But we were one of the last people to leave the soup kitchen and I always love when that happens because they we have a chance to talk to some of my favorite people! We weekly planned which was okay and then we had J's baptismal interview. She was so ready. She is so smart. She knows so many things and it has been incredible to recognize that. We went to see the Milnes family (who also fed us dinner Saturday and let us come over to do laundry today) and it was great. I love them. they are preparing to go to the temple to be sealed and it reminds me of when we were sealed! Then we saw T who is awesome. We want to ask his dad for permission for him to be baptized again but we don't know how to do it. Then we saw T and we had a very inspired message for her and her son that night about the stripling warriors and listening to your moms. It was really cool. Then we saw J and her mom sat in on the lesson! THAT NEVER HAPPENS! It was a huge miracle. It was really cool. I have a quote instead of a scripture today: "...nevertheless, this is the most sacred day of the year for special remembrance of brother hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins." and we can celebrate "victory over every fall we have ever made, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced." (Jeffrey R. Holland, conference Oct 2015)
on Saturday, we went to the Remington again and had a good time! Then we went to M's baptism! It wasn't ours, but it was still really great. I'm really glad we got to go. She was so happy! We did the halftime show (taught the Restoration) and it was really good! We then went to see F and asked about B and K. She said they may be splitting up which made me really sad. We're praying for them though! Then we saw B again to make sure she was coming to church. She said she would and then didn't come :( Then we had dinner with the Milnes family. I love them so much. they are so cute. Brother Milnes nonmember mother was there and she was so sweet too. Then we saw B C and she loves missionaries. she's so sweet. She doesn't ever let us in but she is really great Then we saw J who is Je's sister. She lives across from us. Then we saw A who is awesome too. i love her so much. No scriptures again but I did learn that prayer is selfless! When you are praying for God to take something away and only asking because it's hard for you, He won't grant it...but when you ask so you can help others, He is more likely to help.
Sunday was J's baptism! It was the best day ever! K, her mom, told us that it was because of Sister Arruda and me that she is going back to church. It made me so happy! She made us cry after the baptism when she said that. I love that woman. I'm so sad they are moving away from us. She is going to give us their mailing address so we can write and I'm going to give her mine too! Plus, I will go visit them in Reno one day. I am going to make it happen. She told us that she knew we were special from the moment she met us on Easter Day. I feel like I knew her before I came here and that makes it so much more special. She said we were needed in this exact place in hanford at this time and she thanked us for serving a mission. For choosing. the minute we chose, god knew we would be here for her and J. It made my day and I'm so grateful for her. We also saw the Mayos on Sunday who are so sweet. I love them so much. then we saw J. I love her too. Her mom sat in again. It was way awesome! Scriptures: Alma 5:12-14, 16. And refer to the beginning (sacrifices).
I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for you. Sister Milnes said hello! She let us do our laundry today and she loves us. I'm so grateful for her. I LOVE YOU! Have a great week!
Sister Abigail Reese