Monday, December 1, 2014

What matters most

Wow! I CANNOT believe it is already December!! And I cannot believe I am 20 yrs old! And I cannot believe how much food we've eaten this week! Thanksgiving was great - pretty similar to Thanksgiving at home.

Here's what we did: We went to a sisters apartment for breakfast at 7 am with all the other sisters in the VC. One sister tried making an omelette in the waffle maker... that was the extent of the attempts to make it a fancy meal. Mostly cereal. Then we played a game of kickball for a few hours with a lot of missionaries. I just love playing sports with all the elders and sisters because everyone is absolutely awful (except for my Tongan companion). We took a break from sports in the morning and got dressed and ready to attend our district meeting - a meeting comprised of three companionships in our district. Our district name is "Onidah." We actually were allowed to forgo the whole district meeting that day but our district leader decided we would have it anyway. Sister Liu and I had to do the training so I was having a twinkling of a feeling of hope that he would cancel it...

But little did I know this meeting would have a great impact on me.  It was a little distracting knowing that everyone else was still playing sports and eating and having fun. Some of the missionaries wanted to end the meeting early. We went through with our normal protocol, just as always, but this time I felt something different. As we were having a scripture study together I began to think again about what day it was. I began to think about all the things we COULD be doing. And I realized why I felt so different, in a good way, during this meeting.

We were in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing the right things. We do the important things no matter what. No matter the holiday, the activities, the distractions, the events, the circumstance. We do it. Sure, we were a little antsy to get out of there at first, but as time went by all of us realized our purpose in being there. We were all edified, inspired, and uplifted. At the end of the meeting us three companionships could agree that meeting was one of our favorite meetings.

The mission is really helping me to recognize how I need to pattern the rest of my life. I know that I am no where near understanding a lot of things right now, but what I do know is that I never regret making decisions that bring me closer to God.

I've began to realize how important the "Armor of God" really is. I love these verses in Ephesians 6:

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

That Thanksgiving district meeting helped all of us to spiritually prepare ourselves. The Lord needs soldiers every day. When soldiers get up in the morning I'm sure they're not playing cards while the enemy is attacking. They're preparing themselves with armor and with courage. So that when the enemy attacks, they are "able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." God doesn't skip a day off in giving us blessings, nor should we skip a day off in remembering Him though prayer and scripture. I have come to realize that we need those blessings more than we even realize.

After district meeting we had a huge thanksgiving feast with all the sisters and senior couples that serve in the VC. We had a talent show right after and Sister Hansen and I got to play a bassoon and viola duet :) Then we went to one of our ward mission leaders homes for ANOTHER dinner (yum). That night, our district went to one of our members homes in their home theater and watched "How to Train a Dragon" (one of the few on our approved list). It was SO GOOD! I loved it!

Friday was the lighting ceremony for the temple lights and holy cow were we packed full in the VC or what. It was crazy!! About 2000 people came through. I love having tons of people in there, but I also love when it's just a few because then we are able to teach more. We have all the Christmas trees up and decorations :) It's so pretty!

Thank you again for all the birthday wishes, cards, and gifts. I had a wonderful day :) Sister Liu and I caroled at a lot of doorsteps and found more new investigators than we have in the past month. It was a great day :) I love singing with her!

Hope you have a great week :)

Much love, Sister Martin

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