Week 21

Hello hello!

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Wowee! Life is crazy and so amazing! I keep learning so much and being strengthened in my faith and love for this Gospel and for Jesus Christ. It’s wonderful to have so many experiences that help me to see how it helps me and gives me blessings to have it in my life.

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I actually learned a lot about myself this week and how important it really is to rely on the Lord. We went on another exchange this week, so I was up in Laconia with Sister Bowns. We didn’t teach much, but we did have a lesson with a less-active who doesn’t really know why it’s so hard for her to actually make it to church. She has a wonderful testimony and a lot of faith and she wants to get back to church, but it’s always “I’ll finish this project first” or “When I’m retired”. Things just keep coming up. I didn’t have much to say, but we shared a scripture from John in the New Testament. I don’t remember the reference, but it testified of Christ and I shared how much I love the Savior because I know how much He’s done for me specifically. I told her that if she took her burdens and gave them to Him, no matter how big or small, He would take them and carry them for her. It was really amazing to be able to promise her that and it was such a tender moment. πŸ™‚ I loved the Spirit that was there. Later in the week, we visited the New Hampshire Veteran’s Home because there are a few less-actives in there, as well. We met with a man who has Alzheimer’s and talked with him for a little bit. It was so sad to see him in there because he thinks he’s in prison, under false charges of killing someone. He knows that something’s not right, but he can’t figure out what it is. The wonderful thing about him is that he still has a strong testimony of the Gospel and he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He understands that trials come our way to help us be strengthened, but all he wants is to be with his wife (she visits every day or so and he remembers her, but he doesn’t remember her visits) and not wait for eternity to come. All I felt for him while we were there was the love that Heavenly Father has for him. I could just feel how much the Lord cares for him and that He knows what pain he’s in with being away from his wife. He wants so badly to bring him home, but it’s not his time quite yet. When you’re in tune with the Spirit, it’s really amazing what you can come to know and feel. On Sunday, we were with Sister Creed. She just keeps getting more and more amazing. We were asking her about why she does things for someone if they really don’t treat her very kindly at all, someone who hasn’t really ever appreciated her or shown her that she matters. I’ll admit that I felt pretty chastened for asking her that when she answered. She basically said that nobody else cares about him, so she feels like she needs to. Even though he’s not a very good person, we’re commanded to forgive everyone and that God will be the one to judge. So she’s just forgiving him for the things he does to her because she knows it’s the right thing to do. While she was explaining her reasoning, all I could think about was Christ’s example. Sister Creed is such a Christ-like person. All He did was care about people and show His love for them. He forgave people and served them. He sat with the sinners and lepers. He didn’t do what was socially accepted because he did what was acceptable to God. Oh the significant lessons we learn from the examples of those around us. Sister Creed is doing what the Savior would do, and I hope I can be like that someday. πŸ™‚ At the end of her lesson, we were reading Moroni 10 and got the end. I commented on verse 32 and how if we put all our might mind and strength into loving and serving the Lord, the blessings will be so much more than what we do. We talked about how the commandments are what God has given us to receive blessings and to become better. I testified of how much reading the scriptures really blesses our lives if we do it every day. We miss out on so many blessings when we don’t take the time to study. We can feel the Savior’s love through His teachings in the scriptures and we can develop a stronger relationship with Him and with the Spirit to help us recognize the promptings we are entitled to have. While I testified of that, I felt the Spirit really strongly and knew that what I said was true. I’ve seen the blessings of happiness and love in my own life and I want others to feel it too. You can learn so much from the scriptures just by reading, but you can learn even more if you apply them in your life and learn to live the principles taught within them. It was such a great way to end the lesson and I know they felt the Spirit as well. They both committed to reading their scriptures every day, even if it was just a verse or two. And I know that if they do it, they’ll have a brighter, happier week. πŸ™‚

As I thought about that experience last night, I realized how much the Spirit guided that lesson. We weren’t sure what to teach them when we went in, just a few ideas and even those weren’t very good because we didn’t know the best way to approach those topics. As we went through the lesson, we touched on a few of the things Sister Buxton and I had talked about without even trying. The Lord blesses us when we are obedient and if we let the Spirit guide our words and our thoughts, we can work wonders, both in the people we teach and in ourselves. Another thing I found to be pretty eye-opening was how important it truly is to rely on the Savior. My mind likes to wander a lot, even in lessons. It’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand and pay attention to what’s being said if I’m not really engaged in the conversation or if I have a hard time relating to the person speaking. I’ve been trying to figure out why that is for a long time. I think I’ve finally got it. If we let go of ourselves and remember the Savior, forget our own desires and remember the Lord, your mind will become clearer and you can know what it is you need to be saying. You’ll know how the Lord feels and what He needs you to say. Once you do that, all you have to do is pray for the courage to act on the promptings that come. I’m definitely not perfect and don’t have this down quite yet, but I know how much it helps to change your thoughts towards the Savior when you’re struggling to focus, struggling to stay positive, struggling with faith or hope or charity. Turn your thoughts to the Savior and He WILL help you. I challenge all of you to find your favorite scripture that testifies of Jesus Christ, memorize it and remember it when your thoughts are jumbled, you’re feeling down, you’re not feeling so positive about someone or something, etc. It will bless your life greatly and bring you great joy and happiness. I know this because I’ve done it.Β 

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Time is almost up, but I wanted to share something that I loved that was said at Stake Conference yesterday by our Stake President: We came to this earth to gain experience. Remember that if we were perfect, there would be no need for this world.

Have a wonderful wonderful week. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Eat lots of food and enjoy the days off. Spend time with family and friends. Love the Lord. Have the courage to act on the promptings you receive from the Spirit. Life is great. πŸ™‚

I love you all! πŸ˜€

Love,
Sister Mayle

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Week 20

Hello everyone!!!

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WOWZERS!!!! This area is AWESOME! I have a sweet SWEET miracle to tell you all about! So last Sunday, we got a referral from church headquarters. We called him and he sounded very excited to meet with us so we set up a time to see him (AND his wife!) on Thursday. So Thursday comes. We’re super excited about this referral. As we knock on the door, we can see into their kitchen and they’ve got cookies and a veggie tray on the table (we soon find out it’s for us). Jaw drop #1. We go in and start talking, getting to know them. He says he works with a member of the Laconia ward (north of our area) and that he and his wife have been asking him questions, reading from the Book of Mormon and going toΒ mormon.orgΒ (independently investigating) for about a year or so. Jaw drop #2. Also, he pulls out a notebook and a pen and says “we’ve got a list of questions for you. I hope that’s okay.” Jaw drop #3. OF COURSE it’s okay!!!! So we teach them the Restoration and answer all their questions that they have plus the ones that he thinks of while we’re teaching (best questions ever). We set up an appointment to see them on Saturday (two days later). The jaw drops continue. They’ve got treats for us again and he’s got his triple combination (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) and his Bible with places marked and more questions. When he pulls out his triple, he says nonchalantly “Sorry, I haven’t been able to read too much since Thursday. I’ve only ready about 30 pages.” Jaw drop #4. THIRTY PAGES? It takes most people weeks to get that far! We continue talking and clear up a few things we felt we hadn’t explained or at least needed to explain in more detail, including the Priesthood, which led us into baptism. We asked them if they would be baptized if they came to know if what we’re teaching them is true. They said that they would but that they needed to learn more and read more. He said, picking up the triple “We’ll need a couple more weeks. It’ll probably take me about that long to get through this whole thing.” Jaw drop #5. Man, this guy (and his wife) is GOLDEN! We’re meeting with them again on Thursday and we told a young couple in our ward about them. They immediately said they “of course, wanted to have them over for dinner”. This ward is so great. Everyone is welcoming, loving, and wonderful! πŸ™‚ So that was a coolest miracle this week!

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Something else really awesome was Tuesday, we had our Zone Conference. Cool fact: Elder S. Gifford Nielsen was there and had some amazing things to say. If you watched the Saturday session of General Conference back in October, you’ll know him as the “exclamation point” member of the 70. SO great. His wife was there as well. I’ll just talk a bit about what both of them mentioned.

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Sister Nielsen talked about how we have to stay firm in the faith and that it is our choice to be happy. She mentioned Alma 62:41. Do your afflictions soften you or harden you? Whose choice is it? Alma 50:23 (this was a part I really enjoyed). Even while a war is going on, these people were still happy. Because it’s their choice and they were able to see the things they were blessed to have like family, homes, good people around them, etc. We need to be able to look for the blessings in our every day lives. I’ve recently started a journal that is all about the blessings or things I’m grateful for every day. I always write down at least five things, every day. It’s definitely helped me to be a lot more positive and happy, even though I already was. A cool way to get rid of negative thoughts: Alma 36:18-19. Think of the Savior and see how quickly that negativity goes away.Β 

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Elder Nielsen talked a lot about the saving ordinances (baptism, confirmation, the priesthood, the endowment and sealing) and what we are promised to be blessed with if we keep our end of the deal. Those promises are absolutely amazing! I invite all of you to study those on your own to see what you come up with. Use any resource – scriptures, talks, magazines – to find what blessings come with each of the saving ordinances. He also spoke about how we are all broken, but the Gospel is what fixes us. Even the Savior was broken – His being broken is what provides the way for us to be fixed. We have over 15 million members in the church, but each of us has to have our own testimony and our own relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t even let anyone dictate your eternal salvation. This work, missionary work and spreading the Gospel, is for the living and the dead – we have 142 operating temples so we are able to get this work done. We CANNOT let Satan win. Don’t EVER let him win, no matter how bad things get.Β 

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Spiritual powerhouse. Listening to General Authorities is such a wonderful experience. I definitely was inspired. Something that he committed us to do was write down a few things that we want to improve on. Work on them, and when you feel you’ve accomplished your goal, cross it out and write a new one. Every missionary in our mission has a card and any of our leaders has permission to ask to see our cards, to ask if we’re working on those things. So that’s my challenge today. Find a few things you want to improve on. Write them down, study topics that will help you and work on improving. This helps us to become more like Christ and it brings us so much joy and happiness as we strengthen our faith and our relationship with Him.Β 

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Something else I wanted to talk about real quick. This week I was able to see the difference between obedience and exact obedience and therefore, the difference between blessings and miracles. I can tell you that if you strive to be exactly obedient to God’s commandments, to your parents, to your boss, you will see miracles, not just blessings. And I will say: Miracles are so much better than blessings. It’s as simple as this: Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles.Β 

“I don’t stop because I’m tired. I stop because I’m done. And I am not done.” – Kevin Bastarache (another wicked sweet investigator)

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Love,
Sister Mayle

Week 19

Hey everyone!

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The miracles just keep coming – we saw them again all week! WOOHOO! First of all: We had FOUR investigators and TWO less actives at church yesterday. WOWZERS!!!! Usually it’s not more than two total! SO amazing! Also, I played an arrangement of I Stand All Amazed. I was SO nervous, but that seems to be how I do it – freak myself out for absolutely no reason before I perform and then as soon as I hit the first note, I’m not nervous anymore. It’s great. Really though, I was so happy to play in sacrament meeting. It’s definitely a blessing that I still get to play every once in a while. πŸ™‚ I’m also playing tomorrow for Zone Conference. Which is a little bit more nerve racking since Elder S. Gifford Nielsen is going to be there. WOW! It’ll be great though. πŸ™‚Β 

Biggest miracle from this week: Debbie Kristjyn. She is so wonderful! We love her a ton. Last week, we invited her to pray about baptism again because she’d been saying she wanted to wait until she moved next June to be baptized. She said she would pray about moving it closer though. So then, this week, Sister Buxton had an awesome prompting to teach her about the temple. So we did. And then, she told us that she’d been thinking about it and she wants to get baptized on December 22!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!! πŸ˜€ And she absolutely loves the temple. She wants to visit Salt Lake now just to go to the temple there. She really is wonderful. πŸ™‚

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Okay. I’m short on time now, so I’ll have to skip the rest of the awesome miracles today. 😦

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Last week, I was reading 2 Nephi 2 and that is SUCH a great chapter. It talks about how we have our agency. Since today is Veteran’s Day, I thought it’d be a great topic. Take a look at 2 Nephi 2:27. Think about it. Then read 2 Nephi 10:23. Be happy because you do have the freedom to choose. This is God’s country. With the help of inspired men, He established it specifically so that we would be able to have the choice of whether or not we want to follow him. Because of my agency, I choose to follow Him. He knows what he’s doing. And 2 Nephi 4:15-16 sum up my feelings on this pretty well. I love the things that Heavenly Father has given us. I love HIm and I love His Gospel. This week, read and study those verses and think about what you’ve done/are doing with your agency. Look for things to be grateful for that you wouldn’t have without your agency. Remember that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us the choice to follow Him.Β 

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Sorry this one is so short but time got the better of me this week. πŸ˜› I love each of you so much! Have a wonderful wonderful week!

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Love,

Sister Mayle

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Week 18

Hey everyone!

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The miracles just keep coming – we saw them again all week! WOOHOO! First of all: We had FOUR investigators and TWO less actives at church yesterday. WOWZERS!!!! Usually it’s not more than two total! SO amazing! Also, I played an arrangement of I Stand All Amazed. I was SO nervous, but that seems to be how I do it – freak myself out for absolutely no reason before I perform and then as soon as I hit the first note, I’m not nervous anymore. It’s great. Really though, I was so happy to play in sacrament meeting. It’s definitely a blessing that I still get to play every once in a while. πŸ™‚ I’m also playing tomorrow for Zone Conference. Which is a little bit more nerve racking since Elder S. Gifford Nielsen is going to be there. WOW! It’ll be great though. πŸ™‚Β 
Biggest miracle from this week: Debbie Kristjyn. She is so wonderful! We love her a ton. Last week, we invited her to pray about baptism again because she’d been saying she wanted to wait until she moved next June to be baptized. She said she would pray about moving it closer though. So then, this week, Sister Buxton had an awesome prompting to teach her about the temple. So we did. And then, she told us that she’d been thinking about it and she wants to get baptized on December 22!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!! πŸ˜€ And she absolutely loves the temple. She wants to visit Salt Lake now just to go to the temple there. She really is wonderful. πŸ™‚
Okay. I’m short on time now, so I’ll have to skip the rest of the awesome miracles today. 😦
Last week, I was reading 2 Nephi 2 and that is SUCH a great chapter. It talks about how we have our agency. Since today is Veteran’s Day, I thought it’d be a great topic. Take a look at 2 Nephi 2:27. Think about it. Then read 2 Nephi 10:23. Be happy because you do have the freedom to choose. This is God’s country. With the help of inspired men, He established it specifically so that we would be able to have the choice of whether or not we want to follow him. Because of my agency, I choose to follow Him. He knows what he’s doing. And 2 Nephi 4:15-16 sum up my feelings on this pretty well. I love the things that Heavenly Father has given us. I love Him and I love His Gospel. This week, read and study those verses and think about what you’ve done/are doing with your agency. Look for things to be grateful for that you wouldn’t have without your agency. Remember that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us the choice to follow Him.Β 
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Sorry this one is so short but time got the better of me this week. πŸ˜› I love each of you so much! Have a wonderful wonderful week!
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Love,
Sister Mayle

Week 18

Hello everyone! πŸ™‚

Man. Time is going so fast. This transfer is already two weeks in? And I hit my five month mark tomorrow. I don’t know how it’s gone by so fast, but it has!

This week was another week full of miracles! First off: We saw snow on Wednesday and Sunday. Before you freak out too much: It was only a few flakes coming down, not even enough to wet the ground. But it was there! πŸ™‚ Oh, I’m SO excited for it to really come down!

Yesterday, Nancy and Sister Creed came to church! WOOHOO!!!! That was a miracle because when we called Sister Creed to ask her if she would invite Nancy, she didn’t think it would happen, especially since she didn’t think she herself would be able to go. She called us back about ten or fifteen minutes later saying she AND Nancy were going! WOWEE!!!! Sister Buxton and I were SUPER excited!Β 

On Saturday, we did a TON of service. We stacked wood in the morning and then helped a ward member move (I love activities with the ward. SO much fun!) and then we helped someone weatherproof their windows and then we did some grocery shopping for someone else. Packed FULL with service opportunities. That day I discovered two things: I love to serve (not really a new discovery though) because it’s tons of fun to see their happy faces when you finish. Second: I cannot function without my study and prep time in the morning. We had to be stacking wood at 8AM, so we just exercised, then did just a part of our personal study and then left. We didn’t even have time to get ready besides changing clothes. The day was great, though! πŸ™‚

Tuesday was our ward Halloween party. None of the 7th Day Adventists came, but it was still a good turn out and a lot of fun. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: I love ward activities. This ward is so amazing. There’s a lot of love here and yesterday I realized how good it feels to be able to walk down the hall at church and say “Hey Brother so and so! Hi Sister so and so!” and really know and care about the members. It’s the same with investigators. Man, I just love it!

On Halloween, we had to be in early – 5:00 early. Because of the holiday. They want to make sure we’re safe, so we did what’s called: Deep-clean Halloween. Sister Buxton cleaned the bathroom, I cleaned the kitchen. And rearranged some stuff. Cleaning is oddly satisfactory (I probably shouldn’t let my mom read that).Β 

Alright. Remember last week when I told you about starting the Book of Mormon over again with a new copy and using yellow to mark whenever it talks about Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ and using blue to mark anything interesting or important? Well. I found some SWEET stuff. It’s really cool how much more you can learn when you’re not reading your own marked-up copy and have to start fresh. First off: I want to comment on 1 Nephi 13. Wowzers is that COOL! It’s a prophesy about the founding of America – it talks about the battles and about the reason for all the fighting: they want freedom of religion. The Bible is mentioned, which is always sweet. Keep in mind that this is a prophesy. The Bible is non-existent in 600 B.C., which is when this part of the Book of Mormon was written. Now fast-forward to 1 Nephi 13:39-40. It talks about other books that will come forth to convince the Gentiles and the Jews that the records of the prophets and the twelve apostles are true. Then it says that those last records will establish the truth of the first (meaning the Bible) and will make known the plain and precious things that have been taken away from them. Those records also testify of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when I get to read about the scriptures IN the scriptures. I think it’s pretty fascinating, actually. That shows me that these things ARE true (prophesy fulfilled: books come forth to convince the Gentiles and Jews that the records are true) and that they really are from the Lord.

There are two other verses that I really love. The first one is 1 Nephi 19:6-7. This is Nephi speaking about what he’s writing: “Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon plates save it be that I think it be sacred. And now if I do err, even did they err of old. Not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself. For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but would speak in other words – they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.” Nephi never wrote anything that wasn’t worth telling us about. Everything he ever wrote down is sacred. Whatever mistakes he made, he’s only human. I personally think that if it wasn’t sacred or important enough for us to know in this day and age, it wouldn’t be in the Book of Mormon.Β 
The other one I found this morning. It’s the final verse in 1 Nephi – Nephi is bringing his writing to an end and (for the time being) and he wants us to consider that what he’s written is true. 1 Nephi 22:31 says “Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.” Now, 1 Nephi is the very first book in the Book of Mormon. Nephi is the first author. That doesn’t mean he and his father are the only ones ever to talk about these sacred things. Prophets before them testified and taught these things. There are many times in just 1 Nephi that mention Abraham, Moses, John, even Joseph Smith and the Savior Himself. Nephi talks about prophets beginning at Adam and going into the future (his future, our past). This is the Lord’s word. His Gospel. It is something that EVERYONE needs, so it is something that everyone has been taught since the beginning of time. My favorite part of that last verse? “And thus it is.” That’s just how it is. No questions. It’s the plain truth. For me it’s plain, anyway. πŸ™‚

Now, I have a challenge for you all this week, which has nothing to do with what I just talked about. I was reading D&C 6 this week and it’s a really amazing chapter. I loved it a TON and so I’d like for each of you to take the time to study it. Replace the names in there with yours. Think of it as being addressed to you, personally. It can be pretty eye-opening when you apply scripture in that way. Read it. Love it. Apply it. Have a fabulous week! πŸ™‚

Love you all! Write to me soon!

Love,

Sister Mayle