Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29/14 | Silver Lining

Well, it looks like I will be in Reading for 6 months total #readingfordayz
I've been taking baby steps to find the silvers linings of this unexpected {non} twist in the plot of my mission. 
1: I have been blessed with the opportunity to watch the wonderful hills of Reading turn into a fire-y picture perfect fall. It's coming quick :)
2: I just got a free download of David Archuleta singing one of my favorite songs. It's called Glorious. Go get it { } 
3: We are getting two new elders in our ward (uhhh hopefully, our elders got doubled out so I'm assuming they will be replaced but you never know.) 
4: The Elders that got doubled out gave us their blender. Smoothiessss!!!! yay. 
5: Sister Pickett is also staying here 
That's what I've got so far, so I'll tell you about my week now. 
I went on an exchange with Sister Pickett on Monday and Tuesday. What a happy happy time we had! We went to serve at a food pantry thing at a lutheran church. We've both been to a few of those so we thought we knew the basic drill of how those things go…but this one was rather strange and sketchy. We got all of the food set up for the homeless people to come in and get their rations for the week but before they let them in to get their food, the woman in charge announced that all of the volunteers could go fill up their big boxes with food for themselves. WHAT?? I've never heard of volunteers getting food first. weird. Then later we hear them complaining that they need to go to work later. hmmmm jobs don't equal you needed all of that free food that was intended for homeless people does it now?? very strange, needless to say we left that service project rather puzzled and feeling quite yucky. I don't believe the sisters will be going back to help that food pantry. But guess what! Silver Lining: I met a Russian woman there that wants us to come over! I don't know if she wants us to teach her but she was super nice and obviously is in need of a little more true gospel in her life. 
On Wednesday we went on a little road trip to the Pocanos. Those are mountains that are apparently a big deal. They were beautiful if you classify them as hills. :). We went up there to go to Sister Casey's doctors appointment to get her depression meds…which she decided she didn't need so she didn't get them. Wonderful. Silver Lining: Sister Woodman from our ward brought us up there and took us to lunch at Wegmans!!! WHOOO I love Wegmans! If you just googled that you are probably realizing it is a grocery store. Well, (Mum, Dad, and Jenna) remember Stu Lenards?? What a wonderful grocery store that is! Well picture a costco version of that and you get wegmans, they have a cafe too with the most yummiest foods :). I ate sushi and kale salad and was the happiest missionary. 
Thursday was District Meeting. We played Scripture Jeopardy. Learned lots of things like why missionaries aren't supposed to keep score in games. ha. It was probably the strangest district meeting I've attended but at least the AP's didn't show up this week (They surprise came last week). Weekly planning turned into a counseling session with my compa. I ended up inviting the Sister Training Leaders to join us for extra support. It went well I suppose. Maybe Heavenly Father is trying to give me a hint or two on what career path I should take…
Friday. I don't recall what we did that day. That's what usually happens to my brain on Transfer call days--Mush. My companion snuck away to bed at 7:30…you may be wondering how she did that without me noticing. Well, we took a break from our planning session. I cozy up on my blue comfy chair with my fox blanket and watch a mormon message. Next thing I know she is gone. Ok then. So I planned for the next day and watched all the mormon messages and it was a wonderfully peaceful evening. The Zone Leaders called at 9:45, "Hello, this is Sister Bailey" "Ah Shoot!" was the response I hear. I don't think anyone has ever responded to me that way. Apparently they meant to call the District Leader with the transfer news instead of me, I tried to coax them to just tell me instead but gave up rather quickly considering that the faster they called the DL = the faster I hear the transfer news. So I hung up and waited another 30 min (why on earth it takes that long I will never know) We got the call and we are both staying, I was sad so I brought my fox blanket out on the porch with me and perched up on my sun chair the Thompsons gave me (they are the ones that check our apartments…they noticed I had placed one of the kitchen table chairs on the porch and sensed that I surely needed a sun chair…which I readily accepted with gladness) I looked at the stars and talked with God till he told me it would be ok. 
The rest of the weekend was hard. The women's broadcast couldn't have come at a better time. We watched it in our chapel, on a rather small television set, it was black and white and super glitchy to the point that we would all find ourselves very dizzy if we watched the screen. One girl actually had a seizure at the end of the meeting no doubt from the bad connection. Silver Lining: The sound was almost perfect! and when it would cut out it never skipped enough that we couldn't figure out what was just said! :) I loved everything that was shared in the meeting. They talked lots about temples and our covenants. I told President Anderson in my email to give me a call next time he goes to the temple so I can tag along :). I especially loved President Uchtdorfs message. He asked us this thought provoking question: Do you view obedience as a healthy but hated plate of vegetables? HA he caught me because sometimes I do. Especially the ones that involve me waking up in the morning and working out in the cold! He told us that the commandments are not simply good suggestions, life hacks or inspirational quotes. they are loving instruction, a divine road map, an eternal gps. So we should do our best to follow them I think. Before you know it, the commandments will become YOUR hearts desires! But this was my favorite part: He sees your efforts to help lift up others burdens when you are struggling yourself. You will discover your best self - Your real self! yay That's what we all want so follow the commandments and keep your covenants :)
I did have some other very good insights over the weekend that helped me very much in coming to terms with the fact that I am staying here. Matt 11:28-30--I caught myself earlier in the transfer while pondering on that scripture thinking this, "I have 'come unto him'--chosen the path he offers and invites us to attend, where is my 'rest'?!" I felt heavily burdened down by the weight and responsibility of my current situation. The word 'rest' in Hebrew is 'nuach' which means to guide or lead another into a place or state of rest. So the 'rest' he talks of in this scripture in not talking about a la la land of day dreams where we don't have to do anything but sit on comfy chairs and eat grapes. The 'rest' he speaks of is 1: Peace unto our souls. This peace can sometimes be looked over in times of trial I think. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves so overwhelmed that we do not recognize the peace He is offering us. 2: the rest (if using the Hebrew interpretation) is Him leading us to a permanent state of real rest, pure joy and eternal happiness. Sometimes that is what we are looking for instantly but it is not something he can give us until we have faithfully endured to the end. He tells us to "take his yoke upon us" and "learn of Him." I was given an interesting article about yokes and the Hebrew understanding of "learning" which can be seen as two oxen yoked together for plowing (the sister that taught RS yesterday gave me her notes from her lesson which was coincidentally on this subject). The article explains, "An older, stronger more experienced ox is placed in a yoke next to a younger less experienced ox. The young then learns his responsibilities from the older through that yoke." I suppose that is exactly what the Lord is doing with us right now. Sister Casey and I are yoked together in this companionship. That doesn't mean that we are to be equally pulling the same weight (although sometimes I wish it were so), the stronger one is expected to pull all she can and the less experienced one is to pull all that she can and it works out. Christ is the yoke that holds us together and strengthens us. 
In a talk called "Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit" by Matthew O. Richardson--he instructs that "the Holy Ghost teaches by invited, prompting, encouraging, and inspiring us to act…He will not, however, do for us what only we can do for ourselves." Elder Richardson goes on to say that the Holy Ghost cannot learn for us. This is the part that stuck out to me the most. If the Holy Ghost cannot learn for us, than surely if I am teaching by the spirit I cannot learn for others, specifically my companion. I can only invite, encourage and lead by example. Which is what I intend to do more fully this transfer. I'm going to need all of the strength I can get. 
I guess the conclusion here is that I'm ok. I'm not sure how things will unfold this transfer but surely if I walk by deepened faith--It will all work out in the Lords way, which is the best way. 

Oh I forgot to share this with you last week. There was a High Council guy that came and spoke in our ward. He talked about us being the salt of the earth like it says in Matthew--related it to adding savor to food and such like the normal way we interpret it, then he likened us to the salt that melts ice in the winter. Said we need to be that ice melt by being active in our communities so we can have the opportunities to not only share our beliefs but share goodness. I thought that was a cool comparison. Also only 2% of the united states has the gospel. So let's get to work!

Love you all!!! Be the Ice Melt! and have a happy monday!
Sister B 

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