Week 22: Canterbury Tales CONTINUE!

Hello everyone!!!!

So the big news first: Transfer calls came on Saturday night. Sister Buxton and I were expecting it since we’ve both been here the same amount of time (about 6 months) and it was just a toss-up of who would be the one being transferred. Well… Sadly, Sister Buxton is being transferred, but I will be staying in Canterbury for my fifth transfer! YAY! It’s definitely bittersweet because I’ve learned so much from her and we’ve done so much together. But I also am 6 months old (WHAT?!?!?) and don’t know anything else so it’ll be interesting to work with another sister. I’m kind of excited, but also a teensy bit nervous. It’s going to be fantastic though. I’m happy that I’m staying in the ward for Christmas! This ward is SUPER wonderful and loving and it’s great.Ā 
Speaking of the ward: We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We had the big dinner for lunch at the Knowlton’s. Man, that family is FABULOUS!!!!! My family isn’t quite that crazy, but I still felt completely at home. It was a really good/fun experience. šŸ™‚ The rest of our appointments were with a few other members and we ate pie at all of them. Apple Pie, Pecan pie, Chocolate Mousse pie, Pumpkin pie, TASTY PIES…. The cool thing about that day was that Sister Buxton and I both decided to only say things that we’re thankful for in our prayers. It was weird not to ask for anything, especially when we prayed at the member’s houses, but it was good because it really made me think more about how grateful I am for those things that I ask for, like the Spirit to guide us. It was definitely a day full of thanks.Ā 

Sister Buxton and I had some AMAZING experiences with studies and with investigators this week. We were studying chapter four of Preach My Gospel this week (again), which is all about how to listen to the Spirit. Holy cow. We learned some sweet SWEET truths from it! First of all: The Bible Dictionary is pretty wicked awesome. I’m definitely reading and studying that when I’m home and have more time to do it. Check out “Light of Christ” “Holy Ghost” and “Spirit” in the Bible Dictionary. Read it. Be sure you’re focused. Let the Spirit guide your thoughts. It is SO cool! And second: If you have the chance, study with someone. Read it aloud. Take the time to stop and think, write your thoughts. Because you can get so much more out of it than just reading through something. That’s something I’ve really come to know on my mission. And it’s a great help for studying and actually retaining the information.
On Friday night we did something fabulous. We went to the live nativity at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial with two of our investigators. We’re only allowed to go if we bring investigators or less-actives, especially since it’s an hour and a half away from here (it’s in Vermont). Oh man. SUCH a great experience! We got there just in time for the nativity story. It was funny because Sister Buxton and I had told them there would be lots of Christmas lights and the live nativity and it was going to be really cool (I’m sorry I don’t have a wide vocabulary and always use cool, awesome, amazing and wonderful). When we drove onto the site, there weren’t very many lights. We parked at the church parking lot and walked up to the memorial (there was SNOW!!!!!), which was super cold. There aren’t really any lights, except those shining on the nativity scene. Sister Buxton and I are both like “Umm. This is it? I sure hope not!” Especially since both of us know how lit up Temple Square is at Christmas-time. Those are the kind of lights we were expecting. So the nativity goes on and takes 5-10 minutes. Then all of a sudden, the lights all come on. WOW. It was BEAUTIFUL! Especially with all the snow! I did take pictures, but I forgot my cord to plug into the computer today, so I’ll be sure to remember it for next week. I was able to see some of the sisters that I met back in March when we did a bowling night with about 20 of the sisters that would be coming to this mission. That was really good. šŸ™‚ Also, there’s a pedigree (family history) chart. A few of the Presidents of America are related to Joseph Smith (Bush and Nixon I think are a couple). So is Winston Churchill. THAT was fascinating. I’m learning to love geneology even though I haven’t been able to do any of it on my mission. Definitely making that a priority when I go home. šŸ™‚

I’m continuing to learn how to listen to the Spirit and act on the promptings I receive and I think I can say that I’m seeing some improvement! It’s getting easier and easier to recognize and it really helps the lessons that we have. I am SO glad we can have the Spirit to guide us.Ā 

Saturday was the best because of a couple of those experiences. In the morning, we were trying to figure out who we should bring to Ray’s lesson because the person we wanted wasn’t able to come. Oh man… I said the first person that came to mind and as soon as the name came out of my mouth, I was like “Wait, what? That’s weird.” I didn’t really question it though, and neither did Sister Buxton. So we called the lady and asked her if she was busy at 3.30. “Well, I don’t have to be. What’s up?” As soon as we got off the phone with her, Sister Buxton and I just looked at each other and were like “Completely inspired.” Such an AWESOME experience! Ray’s lesson turned out to be the best one we’ve ever had with him! Sister Cerafici (the one that came with us) is the most amazing woman. She has never met a stranger – everyone she meets, it’s like she’s known them her whole life. So that was fantastic. Then, Ray pretty much taught us about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, compared himself to Joseph Smith and said that he really wants to know if this church is God’s church! SO GOOD!!!!Ā 

We had another lesson that day with a woman named Mary. It was great because Sister Buxton and I both felt that we followed the Spirit on what we said and shared with her. But it wasn’t great because she’s already made up her mind about the Book of Mormon – she doesn’t need it because she has the Bible. If the Book of Mormon just says everything the Bible says, why do we need it? We tried to explain to her that it clarifies the things in the Bible (the Bible has been translated SO many times and the Book of Mormon has only been translated once, which means that there are a lot of truths that are missing from the Bible because of time – remember though, the Bible is the word of God and DOES contain the fulness of the Gospel). The Book of Mormon is ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ – who doesn’t want more of His word? And also, the Book of Mormon is a record from a people living half-way across the world from the people in Jerusalem. They were written at the same time. God reveals his word to everyone, and His word is the same because He is unchanging. We need both the Bible and the Book of Mormon because they work together. They teach together. Same reason we go in two’s or three’s as missionaries: The law of witnesses – there has to be two or more witnesses for it to be validated.Ā 

I can tell you that it’s such a blessing to have the Book of Mormon AND the Bible together. Both were written by prophets and both testify of Christ. There are things in the Book of Mormon that aren’t in the Bible because the translations aren’t perfect – people have changed it or taken things out both on accident and on purpose. The Book of Mormon clears up things that are a little confusing in the Bible. There are no contradictions between the two. I love both books so much and I know that they are BOTH the word of God. Prophets wrote those words. We’re to study the words of the prophets. I’ll study them both. I encourage each of you to study both of them, too.

There’s a Mormon Message video called “Testimony of the Book of Mormon” by Elder Holland. It’s powerful and I love it. I’d like for you to look that up, watch it, and continue (or start) your study of the Book of Mormon. If you have any hesitations about starting it, take the time to pray and ask Heavenly Father if this book is something He wants you to read. Once you begin reading, pray each time, before and after. Ask Him to show you what you need to know (maybe why the Book of Mormon is important?). Tell Him your worries about it, if you have any, or even just your worries about every day life. After, pray and ask Him to confirm the truth of what you read. I know without a doubt that if you do this, you will receive a witness from the Spirit that the words of the Book of Mormon are truly from God. That they were written by inspired prophets. And I know that if you really try to understand and apply in your own life what you read, you will receive so many wonderful blessings, even more than you already have. Some things in life will get easier. The answers to the decisions you have to make will become clear. All you have to do is have faith, read, and pray. If you do this, I know you’ll find whatever it is you’re looking for. Heavenly Father loves His children. He gave us the tools we need to know what we’re supposed to do. We have to use them.Ā 

I hope each of you has a wonderful week full of laughter and joy. Enjoy the time you have with family and friends. Love the Lord. šŸ™‚

Love,

Sister Mayle

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