Monday, May 19, 2008

“Let us all lift our feet a little higher so we don’t take a nose dive.”

Quote was the inspirational message at our morning meeting. One of the senior elders was giving the thought that day and told us a very entertaining story about watching a robin that was running through the grass, then tripped and fell beak-first into the ground. He was laughing so hard about how he’s never seen a bird trip onto its face. He didn’t tie it into his talk on repentance until the very end, leaving us all entertained but confused for some time. Anyway, there you have it…

This isn’t actually about the old-school pioneers…The other day as we were leaving a meeting the sister driving our van accidentally drove it somewhat into a ditch. (We always try desperately not to have to put the car in reverse because it means we have to back it. This can sometimes result in compromising driving situations. :) Anyway….) So our van is loaded down with 6 of us and we’re just sitting there teetering on the edge—not able to go backwards or forwards—when out of the dust run 3 sisters from the other van dressed in their best pioneer garb, to the rescue! They ran up to the van and before we’d even had time to panic too much (but after we’d had time to laugh hysterically) they’d pushed the van back up onto the road. Wow. It was an adventure no matter what, but put anything in a pioneer dress and it’s somehow much, much funnier. Good times!

Not really, but I did get to contribute to some homemade bread that we made in the bustle oven in the Family Living Center. I tried to only involve myself in the steps that couldn’t get messed up too bad. :) But I got to knead it! Then snitch it all day in between tours….But yeah, I felt real fancy.

We had an awesome chance to talk to a couple who came. We’d seen them before when we showed them how to make bread but hadn’t gotten to know them real well or talk to them too much. Turns out they were pseudo-family members of one of the missionary couples here. They ended up coming to one of our district meetings with their fam and we talked to them a while afterwards. They’re both members of the Church but haven’t gone since they were very young so they know little about the doctrine. The Lord worked it out where we had time to talk to them a little about their experiences here and leave them with some things to think about as they left. It was so neat to watch their faces as they’ve been in Nauvoo and the slight transformation that’s taken place. The woman was saying how much she’d like to move here because of the peaceful feeling. It’s hard sometimes to help people realize that the peace here isn’t just because it’s a small town or because it’s by the river. The peace comes from he Holy Ghost. It’s something they can have with them always, regardless of where they live. It’s something they can take home with them as they let the Lord into their lives and follow His teachings. I’m grateful for that Spirit and to have it as a constant companion (on and off my mission) provided I stay clean and worthy of its presence. I know that it’s the light that leads us to make the decisions that keep us close to Christ. I hope you all take the time to notice when you do and do not feel the peace and comfort of the Holy Ghost and make the alterations needed to allow you to have the Spirit with you more fully. I know that through it we will be able to become more like our Savior and a greater instrument to Him for good.

I’ve learned a powerful lesson about families. We have many, many people who come into the Visitors’ Center who are such faithful members of the Church. They serve in any capacity they are asked to and they have such a deep love for the gospel. At the same time, they have family members they care about very deeply who have strayed from what they’ve known to be true. This is, of course, one of the deepest sorrows you can feel. These sweet people are very concerned with doing all they can (praying, attending the temple, trying to testify to their family members) so that the ones they love will be able to grab hold of the blessings that are waiting for them. What I’ve come to learn is that sometimes, these same people are hesitant to share the gospel with others around them. They explain that instead, they are focusing on helping their family members come back to church. However, we have been commissioned to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added unto us. Missionary work is a commandment from the Lord and I know and promise that as we look outward and see those right around us who are in need of the gospel and as we are willing to share it, the Lord will take care of those we care so much about—our family members. I’ve seen this happen many times in the lives of those I’ve served with and met out here and I’m grateful for the ways the Lord takes care of us and provides those mighty miracles.

Love you all and talk to you later!
-Sis C

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