Friday, July 25, 2014

Love you more than….

chesscake bars! Mmmm :)

Arrived July 20 2014

What to write, what to write... haha I never know what to write about. We had another rollercoaster week. Seriously mission life is like that, every day is full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. I guess when we spend so much time serving others, and trying to fine tune ourselves, that a little thing can seem immensely intense. When others cancel appointments, when you talk to someone amazing who really seems interested your message, when you didn't reach your goals, when you miraculously run into an old investigator. The hours are so varying from amazing and terrible that if you ask me to sum it up now, it seems to mush into an "average week" even though this week was full of good stuff!
Some of the stand-out moments/highlights:

~Me and Sister Allred designed a new pass-along card and it looks so great! It was seriously an inspired design because the first day we worked on it and got no where. Then we were praying about it and the next day it just fit, like a puzzle and was so quick! It's like our baby. We give away hundreds of cards a day as a mission so we really want to make something that will represent the Lord and His Church well. I'll send you a picture when it's all done :)

~Funny quote: "I think Indonesia is like Jamanji"

~I have this random rash. Not itchy or sore or anything but I am just red speckled. So here's me and Sister Allred playing Dr. and trying to diagnose myself. I think I have cancer... haha teasing! But you know how self-diagnosis goes 

~Ibu Lely is going to come to church on the 27th! Hooray!

~We bought an access card to the small gym in our apartment and have started waking up at 6 to work out! Woot woot! It feels so good to actually run or lift or even have room to use a jump rope! We are the only ones that even use it and so we blast church music and tell ourselves that we are getting way fit... bahaha if running on a treadmill while listening to Mormon Tabernacle Choir is what you call "fit"

~We proselyted a TON this week but ended up giving out 5 Kitab Mormons!

~One of the people we gave a Book of Mormon to a few weeks ago has already read until Alma 35! We hadn't even met her again yet! 

~Sister Suryani is no longer a missionary... she is already back in Hong Kong! Her farewell dinner was so nice and small and I think it finally hit us all that she was going to be gone! 

~Theres this phrase in Indonesian "PHP" Pemberian Harapan Palsu (giver of false hope). Let's just say Sister Allred and I found too many people that we called PHP this last week. We have outlawed the use of the word this week in an act to be more faith-filled

~We made pancakes and had real syrup! The perks of SIster Allred having a bday coming up and us trying to eat her bday package and still stay healthy ;)

~Funny quote from a talk in Sacrament yesterday: "Joseph Smith didn't have a beard, neither did John the Beloved and neither do most of our latter-day prophets. The ones that had beards were like Moses, Brigham Young etc. That is a sign." hahaha uhhhh a sign of what?

~And drumroll please....... We didn't find our family of 4... YET! That has become this rollercoaster in itself. I debate all day long between "it's a worthy goal right? Of course Heavenly Father wants us to achieve that!" and saying "Not even going to happen. We haven't seen any progress this week and we must be doing something wrong." I feel like I am going crazing maybe because this sounds like I'm asking and answering my own questions. But here are 2 spiritual thoughts that have been keeping me going this week. The first is from Elder Lucherini, the Humanitarian couple in the office and the 2nd is the talk from Elder Gong in this month's ensign.

Pray Until Something Happens Story
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with bright light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This, the man did, day after day.
For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains.
P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens! 

"Becoming Perfect in Christ"
A misunderstanding of what it means to be perfect can result in perfectionism—an attitude or behavior that takes an admirable desire to be good and turns it into an unrealistic expectation to be perfect now. Perfectionism sometimes arises from the feeling that only those who are perfect deserve to be loved or that we do not deserve to be happy unless we are perfect.
Perfectionism can cause sleeplessness, anxiety, procrastination, discouragement, self-justification, and depression. These feelings can crowd out the peace, joy, and assurance our Savior wants us to have.
 Missionaries who want to be perfect now may become anxious or discouraged if learning their mission language, seeing people baptized, or receiving mission leadership assignments do not happen fast enough. For capable young people accustomed to accomplishment, a mission may be life’s first great challenge. But missionaries can be exactly obedient without being perfect. They can measure their success primarily by their commitment to help individuals and families “become faithful members of the Church who enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost.”

For those who may feel chronically burdened or anxious, sincerely ask yourself, “Do I define perfection and success by the doctrines of the Savior’s atoning love or by the world’s standards? Do I measure success or failure by the Holy Ghost confirming my righteous desires or by some worldly standard?”
For those who feel physically or emotionally exhausted, start getting regular sleep and rest, and make time to eat and relax. Recognize that being busy is not the same as being worthy, and being worthy does not require perfection.
For those prone to see their own weaknesses or shortcomings, celebrate with gratitude the things you do well, however large or small.
For those who fear failure and who procrastinate, sometimes by overpreparing, be assured and encouraged that there is no need to withdraw from challenging activities that may bring great growth!
Impatience impedes faith. Faith and patience will help missionaries understand a new language or culture, students to master new subjects, and young single adults to begin building relationships rather than waiting for everything to be perfect. Faith and patience will also help those waiting for temple sealing clearances or restoration of priesthood blessings.
As we act and are not acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:14), we can navigate between complementary virtues and achieve much of life’s growth. These can appear in “an opposition,” being “a compound in one” (2 Nephi 2:11).
For example, we can cease to be idle (see D&C 88:124) without running faster than we have strength (see Mosiah 4:27).
We can be “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27) while also periodically pausing to “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10; see also D&C 101:16).
We can find our lives by losing our lives for the Savior’s sake (see Matthew 10:39; 16:25).

We can be “not weary in well-doing” (D&C 64:33; see also Galatians 6:9) while taking appropriate time to refresh spiritually and physically.
I have no clue what is going to happen, if I am doing something wrong as a missionary and that's why we don't have success, or if me and Sister Allred ARE just seed-planters. But I do know that this experience is making me dig in deeper and feel closer to my Savior. That's probably the lesson here. What an amazing time in my life. To have no where to turn but to the Lord and nothing to do but serve His children. I hope that you boys are getting ready for your Best 2 Years someday! Not the best 2 years OF your life but the best two years FOR your life (or 18 months for me haha).

Love you so much! I love hearing about your life and trying to picture the stories you tell. Summer is still going! And then it will be fall! And then I'll be home! And then I'll start school and then Andrew will be gone on his mission and then josh and then Sam and then Jbug and then mom and dad on their mission and then all us kids will all be married with kids too and then we will all be old and happy and still active in the church. Planned out our lives, so don't even worry! :)
You're the greatest! Make me proud! CTR! If you get peanut butter, get smooth! 

 Sister Sheff!

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