Week 11: Women’s Broadcast and Plan of Salvation – Part 2!

Well hi everyone! I hope all of your week’s have been going well and great things have happened! Any missionary experiences to share? I hope so!

 This week was pretty awesome. We found a new investigator, John (70), who used to be taught a couple of different times by elders and sisters. We were kind of put out by his teaching record because there was a lot on there that said he’s not willing to change, he doesn’t even want to pray, doesn’t want to quite smoking, etc, etc. But when we got there, we had a kind of pleasant surprise. I say kind of because it was also quite sad. So, he and his roommate are HEAVY smokers. The room was hazy and we came out of it with EVERYTHING smelling like smoke. It was really bad. But lately, our zone has been working to ask more questions as we teach, and so far, that lesson was probably the one I’ve done the best with. We asked him who he was, how he defined himself. He said “Alcoholic”. That was so sad. I hate seeing how much addictions tear people up, but I love to see the hope that comes into their eyes when we tell them we can help them. He cried as he told us that he wants so badly to stop drinking and he wants to change. We shared the story of Alma the Younger with him and tried to help him see we have something that will help him. He told us that he’s envious of those that believe in God and he wants to be like them, but he’s a big skeptic. As we talked with him more, we told him that we want to help him, to which he was very confused. We explained to him it’s because of God’s love for him. Wow. The Spirit was so strong and there was so much hope that came into his eyes when we said we knew someone who loved him, someone who always would, no matter what choices he made. He wants to know it so much. He’s just got to find faith and humility. We assigned him Alma 32 (about faith and humility) to read. I’m praying so hard that he finds it in him to have more than just the desire to change. I’ve got high hopes for him, and I can see such great potential in him! That man is amazing and I’m SO glad we can have experiences like that. 🙂 

 Another lesson we had, yesterday, with Brenda was fantastic! We had dinner with her and Bertha (the member that introduced us) – homemade corn chowder, garlic bread, cottage cheese, and for dessert: homemade butterscotch pudding. SO TASTY. I’m gonna have to get the recipes for them. Oh man. My mouth’s watering just thinking of it. Mmm! Anyway, we started off talking about prophets, and kind of ended up going backwards through the Restoration lesson (don’t try that by the way. It works WAY better if you teach it from the beginning). But she found the whole thing really interesting and wants to read the Book of Mormon to find out more! I am SUPER excited to keep teaching her! She’s got amazing questions and really thinks about what we say. I can’t explain it more than that. The Spirit was there and it was just awesome!

 Alrighty. So Saturday night was the General Women’s Meeting for the whole church. WOWEE was it amazing! The two things I got out of it: Making and keeping our covenants is extremely important and we need to make sure we do everything we can to make sure it stays at the top of our list, and that we need to stop judging each other, stop looking at the differences and see the similarities because we are ALL children of God and He loves each of us equally. We need to follow that example. A couple of things I wrote down from that meeting:                  

 Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson: General Young Women President

Sister Holland was quoted and she said basically that “we can’t continue being Christians if we keep judging each other and ourselves. There is SO much to learn from one another that goes unlearned when we are only thinking of ourselves.” (that’s definitely not an exact quote) 

“There is no age limit when showing Christ-like love and service” – there needs to be a connection between Young Women and Relief Society. We’re all sisters!

“It’s good to love each other more, but it’s best to love each other better”

Sister Linda K. Burton: General Relief Society President

In the story of the rich young man in the Bible, Jesus tells the young man that if he wants to be perfect, he needs to keep the commandments and serve others. The definition of the word perfect in this story is not the definition we’ve come to know it as – it doesn’t mean that we can’t have any faults and everything we do is exactly the way it needs to be. Perfect means complete.

“All the easy things that the church has needed to do have been done. You were sent to earth at this time because of your potential and because of what you’ve been prepared to do.”

“You have something to give. Give it with only the thought of sharing God’s love. Not for your own gain.”

President Henry B. Eyring: First Counselor in the First Presidency

“You were tutored by God. He helped you understand what you would go through and what His plan is for you. It is your choice to make and keep His covenants.”

“He sees not only what you are, but what you can become.”

“He expects you to treat every person you meet as a child of God.”

“Eve helped her family to see the path Home. Each of us as women has the same potential Eve had. You have her example to follow. Eve was sure that if she kept her covenants, the Savior would help and support them.”

“Trust in the Lord – Proverbs 3:5-6

 WOWZERS! SUCH an amazing meeting! I encourage each of you women to go to lds.org and watch it! Also, General Conference is this coming weekend. There are four general sessions (10-12, 2-4 (MST) both Saturday and Sunday) and a general Priesthood (men) session at 6PM. PLEASE watch at least one session! Conference weekend is the best weekend of the year and I love every minute of it! Take a question with you and you’ll have it answered through the prophet, one of his counselors, or an apostle of the Lord. This conference that happens once every six months is Jesus Christ’s conference. HE is the one speaking to us through his servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7, Old Testament). It really is such an amazing time of the year! 🙂

Plan of Salvation Part 2:

 Last week we talked about the Creation and the Fall (Adam and Eve). I hope you all were able to study Genesis 1-3! They’re good ones. If not, you can still study it! 

This week, I wanted to focus more on why we’re here on Earth. There are two parts to it, so we’ll see if I can get to both today. I might have to save the second part for next week.

So. Why are you here? What is your purpose in life? What is God’s plan for you to do here on Earth? Well, I can’t tell you individually what you’re supposed to do – that’s between you and God. But I can tell you generally why all of us is here! 

Alma 34:32 (page 295 of the Book of Mormon) says “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” While teaching this concept once, we used the analogy of a job interview. There’s a job that you absolutely would LOVE to have. It’s your dream job, has all the benefits you want/need. It would be extremely beneficial and helpful to your family and it’s something you’ve ALWAYS wanted to do. But only a select few will get the job. What do you do to prepare for that job interview? You’ve only got one shot to be interviewed. But the interview isn’t for a few weeks, so you have time to prepare for it. You would plan what to wear, how to look – generally, how to present yourself well. You would also make sure your resume was up to par and impressive so the interviewer would know what great things you’ve done to help your community, what experience you have, what your interests are, etc. What else would you do to prepare? 

Now apply that to your own life. The interview is the final judgment with God. How are YOU preparing to be interviewed for eternal life? What things are you doing to make sure your resume is up to par and impressive? What good works are you doing? What desires do you have? What are you doing to become better each day so that when you stand in front of God, you know you’ve done everything you can to be the best you can be?

 The next verses in the chapter, Alma 34:33-34 say “And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate (Job 27:8) the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night (John 9:4) of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess (Romans 6:16, Matthew 6:24) your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.”

What happens if you procrastinate preparing for an interview, or don’t even prepare at all? You might show up late, disheveled looking, having no idea what to do or say. You might not even know everything the job entails. So, what happens if you procrastinate preparing for your interview with Heavenly Father?

 That’s what I’d like you to think about this week. The questions I’ve asked – ponder them, really take the time to think about what you’re doing to prepare. What are some things you need to change? Search the scriptures for ideas and help. Turn to the Lord. Ask Him what He would have you do. We don’t know when the day will come to be judged, but it’s getting closer and there’s less and less time to change and prepare. We need to do it now. We need to be better now. And we can do it!

I’m just about out of time, so next week I’ll do the second part of this: How to prepare.

Thank you, each of you, for all you do. I’m grateful for your love and support and I’m so blessed to know you! Have a wonderful week and remember to turn to the Lord for anything and He will answer you! (James 1:5)

 Love always,

Sister Mayle

 

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Week 10: Plan of Salvation – Part 1.5 (And Miracles!)

3.24.14

Hello one and all!

This week was so awesome! We found THREE new investigators! So Chris is an investigator now, who wants to be baptized! He knows practically everything already – has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith, the Word of Wisdom, etc etc. He’s SO ready! It’s crazy. Unfortunately he didn’t come to church yesterday, but we plan to call him today to set up another time to meet him. Yay! It’s gonna be great!

New Investigator #2: Nadine. She referred herself on mormon.org. The message we got from that was that she only wanted a Book of Mormon mailed to her and nobody to come to her house because she wanted to learn on her own. The morning we were going to call her (because the missionaries are how things get to the people, not through the mail) to get more information, she calls us and tells us that she went to the Bangor chapel where some missionaries gave her our number. What? First time a referral has ever contacted us first! That was really cool. We set up a time to meet her on Friday and that meeting was wicked sweet! She wants to learn from us and get to know what we’re all about. She goes onmormon.org every night to watch the videos and she said they’re really intriguing. She has a niece-in-law who’s a member down in Florida who talks to her about it, which is what got her thinking in the first place. She is super excited to learn and gain a better knowledge of Christ. We can’t wait to see her again! 🙂

Investigator #3: Arlene. She has an Emu who lays gigantic jade green eggs that apparently taste super delicious. I want to meet this emu. Arlene is a really sweet lady who loves the Lord and has a lot of faith. She’s extremely EXTREMELY devout Catholic, though, so it’s quite interesting trying to figure out how to teach her. We never want to tear down anyone’s beliefs, but rather build them up so their faith in Christ is stronger. Both Sister Bickel and I have almost no clue of how to go about that in this situation because she is so passionate about what she believes that she doesn’t really listen to us, even though she asks us questions of what we believe. So far, we’ve just tried to teach a little bit of the Restoration, but mostly just listened and asked her questions. We’ve been praying, studying, asking others for help. We have a few ideas to try to dig deeper and really understand her. We’ll see how they go. 🙂

On Friday night to Saturday, we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders in Brewer. I stayed in Ellsworth with Sister Cowley (who I need to get a picture with because we’re pretty much twins (actually triplets because she’s a twin, though fraternal) and we’re both from Colorado – she’s from Longmont). That exchange was super awesome! I felt like I was doing a good job with missionary work! Sometimes, it’s pretty hard to feel that way. But this weekend, I felt like I followed the Spirit well, I knew the area, I knew the people and what to say, I took the lead in most situations, and it went just wonderfully. 🙂 I learned a lot from Sister Cowley and hopefully, I can do better and apply what I’ve learned. So far, so good! 🙂

One more thing before I share some spiritual thoughts: General Conference. OH MY GOSH! I’m SO excited for General Conference! Those of you who don’t know: General Conference happens once every six months and it is Jesus Christ’s conference! The prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the Apostles speak to the world about matters that the Lord needs us to know in order to make it through the world, stay strong in our faith and our families, and stay on the strait and narrow path. And boy oh boy is it a wonderful weekend of spiritual upliftment! It is in two weeks, April 5 and 6, and I encourage each and every one of you to tune in to BYU-TV, lds.org, or the nearest Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building (which you can look up online, lds.org). There are five 2 hour sessions – 10AM, 2PM, 6PM (Priesthood/Men’s session) on Saturday, then two more at 10 and 2 again on Sunday. Even if you can only watch one session, that is A-OK! After that weekend, I am strengthened SO much and have the desire to go about the Lord’s work even more than I did before. And every single time, conference just keeps getting better! Besides that weekend of wonderfulness, we have a General Women’s Conference this Saturday, March 29th at 6PM (these times are mountain standard time), broadcast at all the same places, and it is directed to the women, like the men’s session on Saturday the 5th. We have all been encouraged by the 1st Presidency to be united, and join together at our church buildings to take part and watch this wonderful conference, both weekends. It is such a blessing to have a prophet and apostles to lead us and guide us in these latter-days and that we can listen world-wide to the words the Lord would have us hear! I know that as you watch any session, you’ll be able to feel the Lord’s presence more in your life and know what He needs you to do. If you have a pressing question on your mind or a decision you don’t know how to make, bring it with you to conference and you’ll find the answer. God is all-knowing, and all-powerful. He knows what each of us needs and He an answer each of our questions in this conference if we come with an open heart and an open mind. It is truly wonderful! 🙂

Here is a talk given at the last conference in October 2013 by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He spoke about General Conference and the blessings that come from it. Please read it and know that this comes from the Lord. It is amazing, and says it all!

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/11/saturday-morning-session/general-conference-strengthening-faith-and-testimony?lang=eng

Last week, I spoke about the Plan of Salvation, where we came from. I hope all of you were able to think about it, pray about it, study it, etc. If not, you can still do it this week. And I really hope that you will. That’s the only way to know the truth of all things. Besides, what does it hurt to simply ask if something is true or not? Don’t you want to know what’s truth and what’s not? If it isn’t truth, then move on from it – it won’t hurt you. If it is truth, then embrace it and love it – it will only help you!

Today, I wanted to address the Plan of Salvation – a little more on the Pre-Earth Life and a little bit on why we’re here. I missed some things that are important for anyone to know. 

Heavenly Father created the earth specifically for us to inhabit it (1 Nephi 17:23, Genesis 1:26-28, Isaiah 45:18). It didn’t just HAPPEN to be the right amount of distance from the Sun and that’s why He chose to use it for us to live. He created it JUST for us to live on. How wonderful is that? He wanted a place that was comfortable and sustainable, a place where we could learn and grow and become like Him. Something that is very important to Heavenly Father is agency. When we were in heaven, in the Pre-Mortal Life, we had the ability to choose Christ’s plan (this one that I’m teaching you about) or Satan’s plan. Satan’s plan was that we would come to earth to gain a body, but we would all be forced to choose right. We would all make it back to God’s presence after this life, but Satan would receive all the glory for it. Christ’s plan was that we could come to earth, be able to make our own choices, learn and grow, and only those who followed His plan would be able to enter back into Heavenly Father’s presence. If we chose Satan’s plan, what would we learn? How could we learn if we were forced to choose right, every time? It’s kind of like taking a test. We have to go to class, learn, practice, make mistakes and learn from them, and when we get to the test, we answer the questions based on what we learned. That’s Christ’s plan. Satan’s plan would be like taking a test with all the answers right in front of you. What’s the point? We can’t learn and grow and become like God that way. Those who chose to follow Christ and Heavenly Father were able to come to Earth and receive a body (that means everyone who has ever lived on Earth, is living on Earth or ever will live on Earth). Those who followed Satan were cast out with him, and will never receive a body. Here on Earth, we all have agency – we can choose what we do with our lives. We can choose to follow God, or not. We can choose to live righteously or not. That is stated in 2 Nephi 2:27 – “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh, and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the Great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” Satan is miserable. He doesn’t have a body and he is no longer in the presence of God, nor will he ever be. He hates us because we still have a chance AND we have bodies, just like Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bones (we were created in God’s image – Genesis 1:26-27!), so he is doing his very best to make sure that we are miserable like him and don’t make it back to God’s presence.

Now, the Earth was created, all that is in/on the Earth was created, and finally, man was created. Adam and Eve, our first parents, came to Earth and received bodies. They lived in the Garden of Eden, in the presence of God. They were given a couple of commandments. To multiply and replenish the earth, and not to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One problem: You can’t do both without breaking one or the other. When Eve ate of the fruit, and gave it to Adam, they were then able to do many things that they otherwise couldn’t – they knew the difference between good and evil, joy and sadness. They could have children. (2 Nephi 2:22-25 – look it up on lds.org if you don’t have a Book of Mormon! :)) If they hadn’t eaten of the fruit, those things wouldn’t have happened, and there needs to be opposition in all things in order for us to learn and progress. If you were always happy never experienced sorrow, pain, and loss, would you actually be happy? Would you be able to learn/What would you learn?

 

I’m out of time, but this week, besides what I’ve already asked you each to do, I’d like you to study Genesis 1-3. Ponder it. Pray about it. Study it again. Really look for what the Lord would have you know. If you have questions, ask someone – a friend who’s a member, the missionaries,mormon.org, etc. There are resources you can go to to find the answers you’re searching for. Blessings and miracles will follow you as you sincerely search for the truth and put your trust in the Lord. Remember: You are in charge of your own salvation. Search for the truth, and when you find it, hold firmly to it. The Lord will support you if you support Him. Look for His acceptance, not for the world’s, even if it might be scary, uncharted territory. Even if you feel you might end up alone and that your family and friends might turn away from you. Look for the TRUTH. Pray for strength. It WILL come. It always does when you turn to the Lord. Your example may change the lives of one or many who see the light of Christ shining from your countenance.

I love each of you, and I’m so thankful for your examples in my life. I pray for you, my family and friends, individually and by name daily. You’re all wonderful and amazing sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father! Stay strong, keep to the faith! 

 

Love Always,

Sister Mayle

 

Plan of Salvation – Part 1

3.17.14

Hello hello from Ellsworth!

Time is flying by! It’s crazy – this week is week four of six in the transfer. Halfway through my second transfer in Ellsworth? WHAT?! Yeah. I’m a missionary. Time just goes way too fast.

Anyway, first off: We have a progressing potential investigator. So, that means that we have someone who is progressing towards baptism, but they’re not even someone we’re teaching, just someone we’ve been wanting to teach for weeks! His name is Chris and every time we set up a time, something comes up: Weather, sickness, schedule issues, etc. So he calls us on Saturday and says “Hey, what time is church tomorrow?” “9.30” “Okay, cool. I’ll see you there! Look for the big guy with dreads.” I hung up the phone, and was like “WHAT?!?!?! We don’t even have investigators come, let alone someone we’re not even teaching yet!!!” Minor freakout moment. Another minor freakout moment came during church the next day. Actually, about three of them. First: He’s read the Book of Mormon. All of it. He’s also read quite a bit of the Doctrine and Covenants AND the Pearl of Great Price. Second: He answered almost all of the questions in Gospel Principles class. Correctly. And has a pretty good, solid understanding of it. Third: He said he really enjoyed it and he’ll be back next week. So we had four freakout moments this weekend, all because of one WICKED awesome guy! Aw yeah! One reason I love missionary work! 😀

On Saturday, we visited Kaila and cleaned her house again. I did the dishes for two hours and my fingers are STILL pruny. But the smile and the light coming from her after we finished was completely worth pruny fingers, a tired body and mind and a bit of a sore back. I love that woman and it makes me happy to see her so happy. 🙂

Also, last week, we had zone interviews. We had zone meeting, talking about pride using the “Beware of Pride” talk by President Benson. Then we had a great lunch where we played a game with the scriptures we’re supposed to be memorizing. It was hard, but I’m a little more confident in myself with the scriptures, so that’s good! Then, Sister Bickel and I performed “I Heard Him Come”. The spirit was there and it was really awesome. I love that song, and I love music and the Spirit. It’s a pretty great combination. 🙂 In the afternoon, we met with Sister Stoker (the mission president’s wife) and then with President Stoker… Man, I love both of them. They are so kind, considerate, loving, and extremely willing to serve and do all they can for every missionary in the mission. There are about 200 of us in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission, and I can tell that they both love each of us individually. They remember issues we’ve had, things we’ve discussed and our families. They remember our worries and our desires. It’s truly amazing to have a mission president and his wife who really care and radiate the love of God. 🙂

This week, I thought I’d talk about the Plan of Salvation. And next week. And the next. Because there are basically three parts to it and all of them deserve their own week. 

The Plan of Salvation, or the Plan of Happiness, is God’s plan for us in returning to be with Him again. It answers the questions “Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” and “Where are we going?” It shares with us the answers of how we can come closer to our Father in Heaven, how we can make it through life and how we can be together with our families forever. It’s not a free ride and it’s not easy. But it is simple.

Where did we come from?

Well, we came from our Heavenly Family, in what we call the Pre-Mortal Life, or the Pre-existence. We lived in heaven as spirits with all of our brothers and sisters and our Heavenly Parents. We knew each other and Heavenly Father knew us each, individually. He knew than, as He knows now, what we are capable of and what we can accomplish in our life on earth. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Here the Lord is talking to Jeremiah, the prophet. He’s speaking of the Pre-mortal life. Psalm 82:6 says “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Short and to the point.

While in the Pre-existence, we learned all that we would do and what we needed to do on earth in order to return to God’s presence and become like Him – with a perfected body, an exalted Being. Alma 13:3 says “And this is the manner after which they were ordained – being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.” Before coming to this earth, each of us was called and prepared for the life we would live. We had agency, or the ability to choose for ourselves, just as we have now. We were able to choose whether or not to come to earth and follow Heavenly Father’s plan – choose good or evil. In order to choose to come here, we had to exercise great faith. We knew it would be hard, that it was a learning experience and that we would make many mistakes. But we also knew that our Father in Heaven had a way for us so we’d be able to fix those mistakes and get back on the right path to Him. In Doctrine and Covenants 138:56, we learn “Even before they [the prophets and apostles] were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.” This scripture testifies of the Pre-Existence, and tells us that we did in fact learn before we came to earth and we were prepared to come here and live our lives according to God’s plan.

Now, I realize that this may be a lot to take in, especially if you’ve never heard of it, or even never considered it before. But I have studied the word of God in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. I have studied it and prayed about it and discussed it with others. Through those thorough studies and prayers, I have come to know, without a doubt, that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He sent us to earth with an idea, at least, of what we would encounter while here. He sent us to earth with a way Home to Him. He sent us here with the helping hands of the Savior, our family, friends and leaders. We’re not alone. We never have been. We lived with our Heavenly Parents before, and we can do so again. I encourage each of you, whether you’ve done so before or not, whether you know this like the back of your hand or you’ve never heard it before, to pray. Study the scriptures. Look for God’s love. Look for His hand in your life. Search your soul. Does it even sound, or FEEL vaguely familiar, even if you know you’ve never heard it before? What do you feel is right? Study and pray with an open heart AND an open mind. Be willing to change where you stand now so you can accept the truth, and THEN choose to accept or reject this as truth. I know you’ll be blessed as you do so, individually, with your family and with every aspect of your lives. You will be happier. Your joy will be full. Your relationship with Heavenly Father will be strengthened so much more than it already is. As you come to know the truth or more of it, you will come to know and be more familiar with what it is you need to do and how you can live with our Heavenly Family again.

I know it. I love it. I do my best to live it. 🙂

 

Love,
Sister Mayle

Week 8: Miracles!

3.10.14

Hey everyone!

First off: Congratulations to my friend, Andrew, who got his mission call to Brazil! I’m super excited for you, but you better write me soon, buddy!!! 
This week was crazy. Sister Bickel and I had some issues to work out and once we did, we just had a bunch of miracles happen! Interesting how when there’s no contention, the Spirit comes and blessings are poured out. It’s great! 🙂
So let me tell you about Brenda. She is AWESOME! She’s been a potential investigator for a while now and the sisters before just visited her every once in a while. But last time we visited her, she started asking all these questions and we went all over the place with Gospel topics. It was crazy! Then, we saw her at lunch at the senior center a couple weeks ago and we were talking about temples with Bertha, who we visit every week and go eat lunch with her once a month when the center has their lunches. Brenda was there and started asking questions about the temple. There were so many and we didn’t know where to start because we didn’t want to just jump in all of a sudden, so we told her we’d tell her about them next time we went over. Well, Bertha took the initiative, a WONDERFUL idea, to give her the temples magazine that we have. Brenda read it all this week and LOVED it! It answered her questions and it was great! We went to see her yesterday and this time, she didn’t ask so many questions about the Gospel as she did about our lives and what we would do after we went home. She asked us if we would be shopping for husbands. Hahaha! That was a great way to ask that question. It’s great. I love that woman! But we shared 1 Nephi 6:4-5 with her, which is the one I love to use when we ask people if they’d like to take the lessons because it’s our purpose in a very small nutshell. So when we asked her if she’d like to take the lessons, she said yes! Oh boy. We’re SO excited for her! 🙂 Also, she taught us how to crochet. Both of us are happy about that. It’s kind of addicting, but luckily not to the point where we forget about our missionary work. 😉 
Another cool story: Valerie, who was baptized in January, is AWESOME. There’s another recent convert who’s struggling financially, emotionally, spiritually. It’s heartbreaking to see, and we do all we can to help her. But Valerie is her visiting teacher and wanted to do something for her. So on Friday, she went and bought groceries for her. We helped her bring them to the door, we left them on the porch and called her anonymously later. I don’t know what their reaction was because we haven’t seen her yet, but Valerie and her kids absolutely loved it and felt so happy afterward that they were able to serve someone. Service is truly an amazing thing! 🙂
We also got a referral, a SOLID referral, from our Branch President! The best part? He’s done his part in sharing some of his beliefs and even asked her if he could send the missionaries over. Boy oh boy, the miracles are piling on and I am LOVING it! You have to understand that we haven’t gotten a referral for WEEKS. I’m pretty sure the whole time I’ve been here, this is the second one, if that. Most people say that they’ve already asked their friends or that all their friends are members or that they don’t know anyone who’d like to hear the Gospel. So to everyone, even those who aren’t members, even if you don’t like Mormons. If you like Jesus: Please PLEASE pray about who to share the Gospel/the message of Jesus Christ with. Everyone can use a message about Him. He is the way, the light and the truth. He is how we find eternal happiness, and who doesn’t want happiness that lasts forever, even beyond this life? I know I want it and I know that I would want all my friends and family to have it. If the missionaries come knocking on your door and you’d really rather not listen to them, even though their message is wonderful because it’s all about Jesus Christ, send them to someone else who really is in need of a smile or a hug from Him. What’s even better: listen to their message. Get the information from the source and THEN decide whether or not you like the message. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t listen to other people who aren’t LDS, especially if it’s negative. Find it out for yourself. Pray about it. THEN decide. 
Okay. Off my soapbox. Sorry about that. It’s just frustrating as a missionary when people try their best to tell you what you believe and they really have no idea what they’re talking about. They tell you rumors and theories and myths that they’ve heard over the years from different sources and tell you “This is what you believe” and that your beliefs are from the devil and there’s nothing good about it. It leaves us confused because we’ve never heard it before and it most definitely is NOT what we believe. We believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We believe that He died for each of us. We believe that God is a loving God and always will be. We believe that He is unchanging and therefore, the same things have been taught since before the world was. We believe that He is our Heavenly Father, the Father of our Spirits and that we are all brothers and sisters. We chose to come to earth so that we could receive a body and we would have the chance to return to live with Him again, this time forever with our families. We do believe in families. We have what we call the thirteen articles of faith, which I’ll just insert right here:
“We believe in God the Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
I want to share one more thing. It’s a talk that I love, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency. He spoke in the April 2012 General Conference about how we can’t judge others. My favorite part is when he quotes a bumper sticker that he once saw. It said “Don’t judge me because I sin differently from you.” He also teaches that “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!” The whole talk is so good. You can read/watch it here:
I really encourage each of you to read it, study it. The scriptures he references are all fantastic. If you study it online (those of you who don’t have your own set of scriptures), there are footnotes within the scriptures that will take you to other scriptures that teach the same thing in different books within the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. I encourage you to study those footnotes, too, because often, I find that I can gain a greater understanding when I read multiple scriptures that have the same teachings, but slightly different wording. It’s really amazing the things you can learn from the word of God. 🙂
Alrighty. Well, I think that’s about it for this week. I hope all of you have wonderful weeks coming up and that you take the time to study that talk! It’s a good one! 🙂
Love you all!
Sister Mayle

Week 7: Maine

Well. There’s really not too much to say about this week. It wasn’t really very exciting. Although, we did have some REALLY sweet experiences with one or two people.

On Wednesday, we taught Shizele again. Oh. My. Gosh. Talk about a spiritual powerhouse! It was probably the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. She had so many amazing questions – they were so amazing, that I’m 100% sure they were directed by the Spirit. No doubt about it! As we taught her, the Spirit directed us as well in how we should answer those questions and what ways would best help her understand it all. WOWEE! I love the Spirit and the direction it can give us, not only in our lives, but also in what we should say when we we’re doing our best to bring others to Christ. I love it!

On Friday, we ate lunch at the senior center with one of our favorite ladies to visit, Bertha. There was another woman there, Brenda, who is a potential. We see her on occasion and we actually had stopped by her place the Tuesday before! She had SO many questions about everything, and when we saw her on Friday, she said she had more! Bertha is even excited to talk to her about it all. YAY! I love to be a missionary and see others find joy in it too! 🙂

So this morning, I’ve been thinking a lot about each of our divine potential – we are sons and daughters of a King, and that is…. Mind blowing! Romans 8:16-17 is one of my favorites to share on this subject. It says: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” The reason I love that so much, is because it flat-out says that we are the children of God, and that the Spirit bears witness of that to us. Well, I can tell you that it most certainly has told me, many many times, that that statement is absolutely true. It also tells us that we are heirs. This suggests that we’re going to inherit everything God has – Luke 12:44 says: “Of a truth I say unto, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.” So yes. We will inherit all that the Father has. And joint-heirs: We will inherit just as much as Christ will inherit/has inherited. He is not above us. He is not better than us. We are equals – we are ALL children of God. One of us is not better than the rest. Now this next scripture, to me, is even more plain than the first one: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of your are children of the most High.” Psalm 82:6. One way someone explained this to me was “Well, horses have horses. Dogs have dogs. Cats have cats. Doesn’t it make sense that Gods would have Gods?” If that is true, which I know it is, then we have such GREAT divine potential. Right now, we are in a life that pushes us to learn, to grow, to become better and better each and every day. We will never achieve perfection in this life. But that doesn’t mean we can’t STRIVE for it. One day, because we ARE children of God, we will be made perfect, the way He was made perfect. 

There’s an EFY song that’s called “Daughter of a King”. I love it because… Well, let me just share it with you. And though it talks about daughters, it’s also applicable to sons:

Do you wonder if He knows who you are?

Do you wonder if He knows the secret pleadings of your heart?

He has numbered every sand of the sea

And He longs for you to know that He believes in you.

Can you feel a quiet power from above? 

Can you feel His strength surround you when your own is not enough?

He has blessed you with His spirit from on high.

And He longs for you to know it lives inside of you.

Oh, be true.

Daughter of a king, The Fathers royalty

Heir to His divinity.

He’s calling your name to come and take your place before His throne.

He has always known what He created you to be:

A daughter of a king.

You hold the promises of all eternity.

Rise to claim the noble birthright you were sent her to receive.

He has loved you since you lived with Him before,

Let Him lead you to the gifts He has in store for you.

Oh, be true.

Daughter of a king, the Father’s royalty,

Heir to His divinity.

He’s calling your name to come and take your place before His throne.

He has always known what He created you to be:

A daughter of a king.

Oh, be true daughter of a king.

The message to that is just so… I don’t know. Inspiring. Awesome, in the fullest sense of the word. Wonderful. Beautiful. Amazing. I love it. And as you read it, really stop and think. Ponder the questions it’s asking. Answer honestly to yourself. Think of what it’s telling you. Because the Spirit WILL tell you that it’s true. You ARE a child of God – heir to His divinity. He loves you, and He knows what your potential is. Do what you can to live up to that potential and become like your Father. It IS possible.

I love you all! Hope you’ve enjoyed this week and are ready for the new one to come! It’s going to be great! :

Love,

Sister Mayle