Monday, October 20, 2014

10.20.2014 We go after the one . . .

Hello again! 
It has been another busy, unusual week! 

Monday: We had a nice preparation day. Besides the power being out until 11 at night. Brother SH (whose house we live in) hooked up the generator so we could take a nice cold shower! Brr. But we did have a good lesson with TAand JI (the people we met on my first night here). We taught about the Restoration. I still feel like I'm not a very good teacher, but I guess that will come with experience.

Tuesday: We went to Dallas. Again. Haha. Since Sister Christopherson is going home at the end of this transfer and the temple will be closed when she leaves, President Taylor invited all the departing missionaries to go do a session at the temple. So I went on a baby exchange again with Sister Gavin. That was fun. Again. Haha. We got home late at night and golly gee I was so tired. Will I ever be not tired? Probably not. 

Wednesday: Great meeting with Sister Duvall in the morning. We were short on time, but she made fudge for us and made up a cute little analogy to go with it. Prayer is like fudge. Semi sweet chocolate chips are the main part, addressing our Heavenly Father. Butterscotch chips are the things we are grateful for. Vanilla is the blessings we ask for or the requests that we make. Just a small amount because we have great gratitude to God for all He has given us. Sweetened Condensed Milk is closing in the name of Jesus Christ. That holds it all together because Christ is our advocate. The nuts are optional. They are like faith because you can decide how much faith you want to have and how much you want your prayers to be answered. Sister Duvall is a sweet lady. We also had interviews with President Taylor and a little zone training to go a long with it. Sister Christopherson and I were both able to receive answers to some questions we had been praying over. We were brain storming ideas for a zone theme for like an hour (okay not really it just felt like forever) Finally I said something about how Christ left the ninety and nine to go after the one. We decided that our zone theme would be We Go After The One. I really like that. That is exactly how I feel missionary work should be.

During my interview, President asked me two questions and invited me to ask them to you also. Maybe you could discuss this at family home evening.

1) The Savior has shown me His love through His Atoning sacrifice by...
2) I will show Him my love and gratitude for the love He has shown me by....

For me, the answer to #1 is based on the song I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Jesus Christ truly lives to help me with everything. He lives for me; He lives for you. His Atonement and perfect understanding get me through the day, everyday. When I can't express how I feel, or when I'm scared, or when I don't know how to do something, I know that Christ understands perfectly and that He is there to strengthen me and buoy me up.

Not only should our Savior be our line of defense when everything else falls through, He should be our first line, our strongest line, waiting patiently to help me with everything.

#2 the way I can show my love is by passing on His love to others. Christ says to "come, follow me" and "if ye love me, keep my commandments." I do my best to follow Him. Obviously, I'm a human and thus I am imperfect, but I'm trying. Even when I'm tired and grumpy (amazing right? missionaries aren't supposed to be grumpy. well it happens when you run around all day and don't get to sleep very much. anyway back to the sentence...) and I don't want to do anything except take a nap. Then I just pray for strength and for help. And it comes. It's amazing that even when I don't even really want the strength but I know that I need it, it still comes. :)

I don't think that paragraph made sense, but just bear with me.

I also extend the invitation to you to counsel with the Lord and ask Him to help you see what you can improve in your life. I'm doing it right now, and I'm still waiting for a definite answer, but I know that as we pray with faith and real intent we can receive the answers to our prayers.

Thursday-Saturday was a little something called the YAMBOREE. Yes, the yamboree. It's as glamorous as it sounds. There are like a billion people and carnival rides and fairgrounds and all that jazz and basically the entire town shuts down. So needless to say, we were up in town most of the weekend just trying to talk to people. Turns out when people are eating corndogs or are in line for the hurl-a-whirl, they don't really want to talk about Church. But that's okay. We got to spend time with some less-actives and ward members so that was really nice. Also, I went to a Gilmer High School football game. Football is not a joke in Texas. This was a 4 A school with a stadium comparable to .... I don't know. It was just huge that's all I know. I have experienced football at its finest now.

Saturday we had a cool little miracle. We were basically hanging out with Sister Whittemore all weekend. On Saturday afternoon all of us really had to go to the bathroom and using port-a-potties just didn't sound very nice, so we hopped in Sis. W's car and drove over to the church to use their facilities over there. Right when we pulled up, some good people were loading up their car from a food order they had. The brother is disabled and can't really bend or lift things. So it was amazing and wonderful that we were right there able to help them load up!

Sunday: another miracle. After church and lunch, we were going to deliver a card to someone in the ward thanking her for some service she had done for us. We drove to her house, but only her son and husband were there. We asked where she was, but they said they didn't know. We were sad we didn't get to see her, but we understood. Right as we were leaving, the husband said, "By the way, if you get time, go check out the Kelsey cemetery. I mowed the lawn yesterday and it looks really good." So we start driving and just decide to go check out the cemetery because we had like 20 minutes before our dinner appointment. We drive around the cemetery, admire the nice grass, and are about to pull out, when LO AND BEHOLD, it is the sweet sister in her car just sitting right at the gate out of the cemetery! So we hop out of the car and were able to talk to her. We had a really good conversation with her. I know for sure that the Lord directed us to the cemetery to be able to talk with her and comfort her. Blessings for sure!

I just found this quote and really liked it: “When we decide to embark in the service of God, great things begin to happen in our life and the lives of people around us. We learn of Him. We come unto Him.” - Sister Neill F. Marriott

I love you all so much. I invite you to come unto christ and to embark in his service.
Much love,
Sister Gretchen Julie Gilbert

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