March 11, 2015 week #34 Rain, rain, go away!

3-10-15-4

3-10-15-5Hola hola hola

Well, here we are! In anything but freezing weather and I am so

stoked!! The snow and ice are melting and everything is perking up. I

didn’t realize how very badly I missed the sun and the grass and the

life of it all.

To be honest, I’ve been sick for most of the week.  I’ve been fighting

something off for a long time and have kind of been in a permanent

state of stuffed nose and clogged ears. It’s the worst. I think I am getting better, though.

Anyway, that’s the physical state I’m in right now. Hoping to improve

and be able to go HARD real soon. I’ve been going, but doing so in an

unfocused and foggy state of mind for the past week. This week is going

to be awesome, though. I can feel it. I really feel like our ward is

on the edge of seeing a whole bunch of miracles happen. I don’t even

know why, really. But I feel like that.

I had an awesome split with one of my STLs is week–Sister Hall. It’s

always fun to go into a new neck of the woods for a bit and learn from

a leader. Her area is in Kingsbridge–my old area–and I feel like I

got a special treat in randomly seeing Isis’ mom on the street! I used

to teach her! It was just for a moment, but it was one of those tender

mercies from Heavenly Father that I think He sends our way to jog our

memory and help us remember so many miracles we have seen. She said

that Isis and her boys are doing great, and that Erickson has the

priesthood and is passing the sacrament. I was on cloud nine.

We taught another woman –Sister Ford–and talked about temples. She

is recently reactivated after turning her life COMPLETELY around and

is looking forward to going to the temple this month. We answered all

sorts of questions and shared scriptures–the usual–but what struck

me again and again was the glow she had about her. This loud and sassy

woman with a smile as big as the Milky Way and a burning and blooming

testimony that just radiated. Obviously it was my first time to meet

her, but I could just tell by the way she hinted at past events and

things she’s gone through that she wasn’t always this beaming, happy

woman. It was more evidence to me that the gospel is happiness.

Really, that is all it is. The recipe to lasting and enduring

happiness. Hope. Love. I loved my time with her and feel like I left

with a greater appreciation of the Plan of Salvation. It truly is the

plan of happiness. I love it so much. I love this gospel and I know it

is true.

Long live SIster Ford!

Long live SIster Ford!

At district meeting on Monday we had a wonderful spiritual feast. I

love our zone and district so much. We talked about extending

commitments and helping others keep them. Hear me out, I know that

sounds super lame. Anyway, as we talked about it and I reflected on my

own testimony and conversion (still underway), I thought about how so

much of my testimony–all of it, really–is built on tiny little

personal spiritual experiences I’ve had over years and years. One drop

of oil at a time, really. Anyway, commitments are pretty much my only

way to promise a “drop” of spiritual testimony to anyone. By asking

them to do all these little things that can sometimes seem so annoying

to them, I am promising them small, personal, spiritual and sacred

experiences. I don’t know why, but as we talked about it, I became so

grateful for the personal progress program, for mutual, for every

youth conference, and girls camp, and day at seminary, and family home

evening, and church attendance, and service project, and scripture study

I’ve had in my whole life. Though these weren’t in the form of

“commitments,” I grew drop by drop from all of them. I feel so

overwhelmingly grateful to all my leaders that slept in cabins and

took time away from their kids and woke up early and stayed up late

and planned and prepared and cooked and everything in between in order

to grant me these little, sacred, personal, spiritual experiences. I

can see the difference it made in my life. I can see the drops and

drops of spiritual experiences I have had that have laid the

foundation for more learning and understanding in later years (aka

now).  When I think of the programs and the effort and the “homework”

from it all, and now see the results, the happy memories, the friends

and experiences and testimony I sprouted from it all, I would go back

and do it a thousand times. I love the programs in the church. I know

they are inspired and I know they have blessed my life so much.

Anyway, I am so grateful to all of you. And I want so badly for others

to have this same spiritual foundation I’ve been given.  Sorry for the

rambling…..I just want others to jump into the plan of happiness and

have this same hope and joy that I cherish so dearly.

Church was awesome. We had an awesome time in Primary–learning about

repentance.  Our super fun activity this week was an acting game we

played where there’d be a problem presented and then we’d have to make

a solution and repent. It was super hilarious. Hermana Molina would

draw something like a broken window and baseball and kid on the board,

and we’d act out what happened and then plan how to fix it. I always

love my time with the Primary kids–they are so dear and so celestial.

Their answers are so pure and so true. Why do we need to repent?

“Because we don’t want others to feel sad.” How can you feel better

when you do something wrong? “By saying I’m sorry and hugging my mom.”

Why do we say sorry to Heavenly Father, too? “Because we made one of

his kids sad, and he loves us.”

It is so darling. Their missing teeth and high voices and sincere

desires to do good and listen and their tiny attention spans. I love

them so much.

On top of that, we started our daylight savings church service with

hardly anyone there. And then, little by little, people came filing in!

We were filled! For the first time in a long time!! We had several

investigators and families and less active members come!  I was so

stoked and so blown away by the goodness of God and this miracle. It

was so awesome.

Now something I just want to say:

My time in Olmstead has been hard. I keep wanting to blame it on

the weather and the snow and stuff, but honestly, it’s a lot more than

just that. Missionary work is hard–it is soul-stretching and

overwhelmingly fun and disappointing and miraculous all at the same

time.  No wonder we need to serve with all our heart, might, mind, and

strength – otherwise we’d never make it! Anyway, dirty, smelly and

sometimes super sketchy Olmstead – though I have struggled here, very

much – has become sacred to me. With the trials I have faced and the

experiences I have had here, I have grown the most. I have searched

and dug and clung to the Savior and to this gospel more than in any

other time of my life. My efforts have not gone unnoticed and I know

the Lord has blessed me so richly through it all. I feel so much

closer to Him. Closer to what real life actually is. Though work is

slow and I’ve been sick and we’ve been juked and I’ve been peed on and

yelled at and whatever else, I feel so overwhelmingly peaceful and

happy. So HAPPY!! Against all odds, I’m stoked. And I know it is

because of Him. He is light. He is truth and He is eternal joy. King

Lamoni’s words have sunk into my soul and I truly would give away all

my sins to know Him.

I just know this gospel is true and that Jesus is the Christ. He is

salvation. He is my best friend and I never want to be anywhere except

with Him. I hope everyone feels the same, and if they don’t, please!

Do WHATEVER you can! Swallow your pride or throw it away or put it

down or get the heck out of there, and seek HIM.  This scripture has

guided me perhaps the most as I’ve earnestly searched for Him:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give

you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and

lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke

is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

My favorite part is the “rest unto your souls” part. Who doesn’t want

some of that?!?

I love you! I testify that His hands are stretched out still and that

He does love us. Father loves each of us personally, and Christ is the

way home to Them both.

Have a wonderful week! Be true.

Hermana Boud

3-10-15-1

3-10-15-2

Here we are! Look out Olmstead.

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