Sunday, February 9, 2014

Getting to Know Merrimack

(Catching up on Karee's blog -slow process)

October 21, 2013

My area now covers Merrimack, Litchfield, Hudson, Mt. Vernon, and Amherst. It is a lot bigger in area than the last two areas that I had. It is a lot more rural too. Most of the roads are tree lined. Which are simply beautiful to see in the fall.
There are so many cute families here. Just yesterday we were at the Theobold's house. They have five very well-mannered children. Their two year old son absolutely cannot wait to be a missionary and wears a "future missionary" badge every day. He had to sit next to the missionaries at dinner and during the lesson. He also likes to take pass-along cards and stick them in his shirt pocket. They never stay there long because he is always handing them out. He is super cute.

Friday after district meeting we met up with our sister training leaders to go on exchanges. I went with Sister White in this area. A lot of people thought it was funny to have a brown haired Sister White and a blonde Sister Brown. Friday night a little boy, Xander, was baptized. His step-dad is actually our ward mission leader. This little boy was a hoot. He was really cute, and a little on the crazy side. The first time his toes floated to the top of the water. So they tried it again. And again. And again. It just goes to show that there is order to everything. He ended up with six attempts, with his feet or knee floating up. The seventh time he ended up just squatting down. Christ was baptized by immersion, therefore, following His example we too must be completely submerged under the water. 

I got to run a cash register for the first time! Saturday Sister White and I went to a Habitat for Humanity resale, looking for some service opportunities and they were more than welcome to letting us get to work. I made the biggest sale of the day, a Pennsylvania table for $150! It was a lot of fun. After getting back together with our companions and reviewing the things that we learned on the split, we met up with the Nashua sisters so that Sister Murrey and I could go teach a few people in Spanish. It was a lot of fun. She doesn't speak much Spanish, but she sure does want to learn. 

Translating didn't go as well as I would have liked this Sunday. I tried to be prepared by getting the talks printed out, but I didn't actually get them from anyone until Sunday morning. So I didn't have any time to really translate them. Also the talks never go as planned. The ward mission leader was sick so Elder Lee filled in and the bishop hardly had any time so he gave a very brief version. It is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of pressure that these people are expecting to feel  and to be taught by the Spirit through what I am translating and I am not sure it makes any sense half the time. 

Also on Sunday we got a new young women's presidency and a new relief society presidency. Apparently, the ward boundaries were adjusted the week before I got here and so some of the leaders were not in the ward any more.  As Sister Petree was released and Sister Jarnigin was called to be the Young women's president I started to think about my mom. My mom is the mother of seven (weird only four of them are home now). She was called to serve as the young women's president right before I left on my mission. A young women's president is in charge of receiving revelation as she leads and guides the girls (aged 12-18). She is there to be a leader and a friend both with things spiritually and with their everyday needs. I started to think a lot about my mom and the sacrifices that she is making to serve in that position. She is such a good example to me.
Karee raking leaves at Sis Jarnigin's house. Missionaries are always looking for ways to serve

Something I was contemplating this morning was the blessings that we relieve from our faith. It is amazing what faith can do. But Heavenly Father always has a way of blessing His children, especially when they are obedient to what He asks. Being obedient is a way of showing faith. So in personal study today (after reading a chapter or two in Helamen) I decided to study faith and the blessings that it produces. The first thing that I found is that it produces salvation. When we have faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, that faith has power to save us from a spiritual death. We are all saved from physical death because of Christ's sacrifice, but we need to have faith in Him and accept Him as our Savior if we want to be saved from spiritual death or being separated from the presence of God. Faith also brings knowledge. When we have faith and we act on that faith to seek after the word and will of God we are going to be blessed to find. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you." We will receive a desire to do God's will and we will then act on that faith to obey. It is interesting that some might think that being obedient to commandments is restricting, when really obedience brings more blessings and more freedom.

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