Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 58: The Hippies!

The beautiful, wonderful, and talented Sister Elle Jackson.

Oak Harbor is so BEAUTIFUL!!! I am so lucky to be able to serve here and to be on an island! I never would have thought that being called to the Washington Everett Mission would mean that I have a possibility of serving on an island. I have now been able to serve around all of the baby boomers and flower children. I wonder what kind of things I am going to be able to learn while I am here? Needless to say I have learned something new every single day so far. 

This last week has been so much fun and busy. We are teaching so many people whether they are investigators or less actives. I absolutely LOVE being a teacher and sharing my testimony all of the time. 

Somewhere on Whidbey Island in the rain.

One thing that is cool is the ward has set up a couple different family home evening groups. So they have split up the different families in the ward and put them into one of the four or five groups. It makes it easier with the average age of our ward being 65, because no one really has children at home. Monday we went to one of the groups and we got to share the lesson. We read from Enos and talked about the different steps that Enos took in becoming converted to Christ and His gospel. 

Monday night Bishop asked Sister Perry and I to speak in sacrament meeting. So on Tuesday Sister Perry and I spent all of our Mormon.org time finding things for our talks. We were told to pick one of the 13 Articles of Faith and to talk about it. Sister Perry decided that she was going to talk about the fourth Article of Faith and talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I chose to talk about the third Article of Faith which state, "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all man-kind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." I have been also studying a lot about the Atonement and so it was going to be a great opportunity to share the things I have learned and to be able to share experience about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ has blessed me and others. 

Meeting up for exchanges.

Wednesday was Zone Meeting and it was nice to be able to meet my new Zone. I don't know anyone! I find the longer I am on my mission the fewer missionaries I know. About half of our Zone are new missionaries that are in training. So I am having to continue to go and introduce myself all of the time, its fine and that's a part of being a missionary right? President WIlding came and I got to meet and talk with him after which was good. It is so nice to know that your Mission President supports and cares about you when it comes to your thoughts and wishes.

Sister Perry, Sister Johnson, and Elle

Later that day we were meeting the Penn Cove Elders, Elders Sorenson and Hatch. One of our less actives dad is in their ward and she and her husband wanted to meet us at her dads house. Little did we know that it was supposed to be a pass off lessons. We showed up and thought we were just introducing our self's and seeing what we could do to help them. Somewhere in the middle of the lesson I realized that it was a pass off lesson. Her husband Justin is not a member of the church and hasn't really had anything to do with religion his entire life. The discussion we were having was about faith but I didn't feel like this was the problem. It was kind of a problem but if you don't understand some of the other basics you aren't going to understand why we need to have faith. I stopped and taught him about the God head and then asked him how his relationship with God was. Come to find out he doesn't even know if there is a God. There lies a very important problem. If you don't even know if there is a God why on earth would faith be necessary? We talked about how God loves us because we are His Children and asked him to pray and asked God if he is there. I am really excited to go back to their house and hear about the answer that he got. 

Elle, Sister Perry, and Sister Belliston

We get to volunteer at a thrift shop called the WAIF. I want to buy everything in there and so it is kind of hard for me some days, but it is a lot of fun. There are a lot of stray cats and so this thrift store with all of the money that they make take the strays in, help the get healthy, look like a happy cat, and then they find a home for them. They are so cute. We also volunteer at a Senior Center!! I love old people they are so funny and tell some of the best stories.

Saturday we went on exchanges and Sister Perry and I stayed here with Sister Johnson.

Sunday came the talk in Sacrament Meeting. I used a lot of quotes from The infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister, another talk that I can't think of the name, and True to the faith. In the talk that I can't remember the name of President Gordon B. Hinckley told "something of a parable" about "a one room school house in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough no teacher had been able to handle them, 'Then one day an inexperienced young teacher applied. He was told that every teacher had received an awful beating, but the teacher accepted the risk. The first day of school the teacher asked the boys to establish their own rules and the penalty for breaking the rules. The class came up with ten rules, which were written on the black board. Then the teacher asked, 'What shall we do with one who breaks the rules?' "Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on, came the response, "A day or so later the lunch of a big student, named Tom, was stolen. 'The Thief was located - A little hungry fellow, about ten years old. "As little Jim came up to take his licking, he pleaded to keep his coat on. 'Take your coat off,' the teacher said. 'You helped make the rules!' "The boy took off the coat. He had not shirt and revealed a bony little crippled body. as the teacher hesitated with the rod, Big Tome jumped to his feet and volunteered to take the take the boys licking. Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed? The teacher asked. After five strokes across Tom's back, the rod broke the class was sobbing. 'Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. " Tom, I'm sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever." President Hinckley then quoted Isaiah: "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows....He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Sister Belliston and Elle on exchanges.

I am so grateful for the Atonement and for the joy and peace that it brings into my life. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that because of him we can live eternally with our families for ever! I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week! 

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