Tuesday, March 29, 2016
LOVE Comes in Boxes and Trader Joes Bags
This email has taken about 4 hours to write because we are at a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Cleveland Indians at the Hohokam stadium! Our mission nurse and the Mayor of Mesa scored us tickets in the suite so we have a buffet and people waiting on us which is cool! I realized today that I actually enjoy watching baseball. Honestly I mostly like the people watching part of it and the overall feeling of being at a baseball game! AMERICA is great! I get to go because my companion is from Micronesia and will never be able to see another baseball game. I'm trying to explain as much as I can, but I'm sure it seems so strange if you've never heard of baseball before.
This week I needed a lot of love... And that it exactly what I received.
It came in a priesthood blessing from my dear bishop.
It came in an Easter package from my family that was filled with precious notes.
It came in a visit from my best friend and sister Mindy Joy Child's who was my trainer.
It came from letters and goodies from my always thoughtful grandparents.
It came in emails from my devoted family and tender mercies from God.
Last but not least.....
It came In a Trader Joes bag filled with flowers and strawberries marked: "From Elyssa"
I knelt in prayer many times this week to express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father because I felt so blessed. I have been given so much and I am so grateful for all of it. Thank you all for your emails and support! I feel every prayer you say for my companion and I.
Heather was baptized and conformed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this Weekend, Wow! How amazing. I was able to teach her (and Julie as well) from start to baptism which was so special. The feeling at her baptism was unlike any other feeling. None of her family members would come to her baptism, not even her daughter so she was completely alone. After she was baptized she bore her testimony of how she felt like she had a ward family who would support her and how God has never left her alone. It was so very powerful.
I have realized that there moments in my mission unlike anything I will ever experience again in my life. The way I feel the spirit here is remarkable. There is a certain happiness that I will always remember as my "mission happiness" when someone accepts a baptismal
commitment or a recently baptized member bares their testimony. I can barely breathe and I can' they'll from smiling. I feel that God is so present in my life and that He will always be... Even when I am not a missionary... But only by serving a mission have I been able to know
how this feels.
This week the lord has shown me 2 things that I really desire to do that I didn't even know I wanted...
1. This week I was preparing to give a training in District Meeting on the Atonement and for some reason I couldn't find what I was looking for. I came across some videos for the 12 step addiction program of the church. As I watched the videos I felt this exciting warm feeling in my heart and was reminded of a part of my patriarchal blessing. I felt right then that I want so badly to be a part of the church's Addiction recovery program. I want to help others overcome their addictions. I don't know how I will do that but Heavenly Father showed me that that is one of my desires.
2. So we are teaching a woman from Brazil and have many opportunities to hear the Portuguese language. Ever since my brother served his mission in Brazil I have always loved Portuguese and so again I felt the desire in my heart to do something... To learn Portuguese. I have no idea why... I just love it and I want to learn how to speak it. So I will!!! I learned from my trainer sister Child's that God knows our desires and will help us do anything we put our minds to... So Portuguese and addiction recovery here I come!
Something I learned: "God doesn't need a syringe" My Dad sent me some photos of him fly fishing this week. Interestingly enough in church one of the teachers gave a great analogy about fly fishing that I would like to share with you all-- When you learn to fly fish as a group, everyone starts out using different flies to catch the fish in the river. The first few people to catch a fish alert the instructor. He comes over, takes the fish and sticks a long syringe down its throat to extract what's inside. By observing the contents of the stomach the instructor can tell what the fish are eating and which flies will be the most successful to catch the most fish. When we sin we make Satan aware of our desires. Like the fishing instructor and the fish he is an expert and can tell what would get us to be caught by his lures. But there's hope because through the Atonement our desires can change and we can have "no more desire to do evil but to do good continually". You won't catch any fish if they don't like what' son the hook = We won't be caught if we don't want what Satan is offering us. It also makes me happy to know that God doesn't need a syringe... He knows every fish in the sea and every desire of our hearts and every question we have before we ask Him. He is our Father and He will help us change.
Keep smiling this week!