Monday, September 28, 2015

Put a Little Love in your Heart...[Sept 28, 2015]

You know you're a missionary when a member comes up to give you a  compliment on your skirt and then tells you if you had plans to burn it before you leave, give it to her instead. It was my black and white vertical striped skirt. I think I'll keep it.
To preface the next compliment I was was raining and we biked to her house, of course wearing helmets. I left my hair to dry and it was -Hermione in the first two movies- level of frizz. She said I had beautiful long hippie hair. #flowerpower

Gloriah got baptized! Such a sweet experience. She shared her testimony afterwards and it was so awesome! She just has a pure testimony of the commandments and the importance of your relationship with God, rather than just going through the motions.

At dinner last Monday I felt something licking my leg and I looked down expecting a dog, but it was their enormous cat.

The broadcast on Saturday was awesome! Sarah brought a friend and it was cool talking with her. I really enjoyed the last video in it and my favorite line was when she said she didn't feel like she had to get to know me before she loved me. This is one occasion where fake it til you make it DOESN'T apply. Because we all run into those people who put on a front when you first meet them and then they ignore you every other time. I think there just needs to be more unconditional Christ-like love in this world. Of course, like everything it starts with you and I think especially with showing love for others it spreads like wildfire and pretty soon, maybe not ALL over the world but at least in you're little microcosm, people will reflect what they see in you.

The Spanish elders bailed us out
when it started pouring rain. They
made us get a pic though.

 Sister Chappell, me, Gloriah
and Jack Peko, President Downing 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Look down, look down, don't look him in the eye; look down, look down, you're here until you die...[Sept. 21, 2015]

This week was so long! It didn't feel like it as we were going through it, but last night Sister Chappell mentioned it was just Thursday when we sat down with Elder Jones....what! That felt like a week ago! And a week ago was when we got our hair way!
We reached our climax with Joneskilletbiscuit. Wednesday, we had our second combined lesson with Gloriah. They requested the elders come as well and we think it's because Jack (her husband) really likes them. Well, it went well, we talked about the covenants of baptism and answered her questions about her baptism. Afterwards Elder Jones, to put it simply, was just acting irrationally about the whole thing. Thankfully our ride came and we left for dinner. Inside the car I was close to tears, but then I remembered when things get bad, turn outward. Which was easy to do, because it was with Sister Fields, this older single sister in our Ward. I love her so much! She is like one of those fairy-god mother like people I run into and she told us just how she was able to really understand about the atonement over the last year. I'll talk more about it later.
Later, I talked with the Bohmans and they told us to call the zone leaders, so we did. After I told them the whole story they were like, have you told Elder Jones how he's making you feel....yeah! Well...kinda...its kind of obvious how we feel, right? They then told us to have an inventory with him and they committed us to do it the next day.
We made a comprehensive list of everything we think he's doing well and then everything he does that makes us feel like the scum of the earth. We planned to meet them at a park next to our apartment and on the walk there I felt like a guillotine was at the end of it. I think he was dreading it as well, because they were like 30 minutes late. We just talked to a bearded homeless lady while we waited.
When we finally sat down, he just listened as we went through it all. We started with the good stuff....he does this lip-purse thing when he is holding back a smile...and so there was a lot of that, but then we got into the bad stuff and he looked like we gut-punched him.
In the end, he told us how he has had problems with sisters in the past. Nothing serious, but just with flirting. So to avoid that, he just isn't that nice. He learned to be better with it all when he was in Colby (he was my DL back in Goodland); but he explained after being an AP, he just went back to his old sister-hater ways. Yay....
But I think he's realized that's not gonna fly anymore. He has been better since. We've been having to be on our toes with anything that could possibly be interpreted as flirting. He said we have to figure out what to improve on on our own, because he gets obsessed with things we're doing wrong, which has also helped a lot. I feel like he trusts us more. It's been good, but it's only been like 4 days, so hopefully it stays okay. :)'s good stuff.
We have this one investigator who lives a little bit away, so we can't just stop by, and she started not replying to our texts. We were worried she was upset about something, but she came on Sunday and said her daughter was playing with it in the shower. So yay for broken phones! Haha!!
We also are teaching this single mom and her kids and her 11 year old daughter mentioned how they pray every night together now. So cute!
Now for Sister Fields. She was explaining how this last year has been her year of true conversion. She had been through the temple and watched her kids go through and everything long ago, but she still was able to just have an eye-opening year. I thought that was so cool and I mentioned to her how I sometimes worry that after my mission. How much it has changed me into a better person and was such a refiners fire, that I will be stuck and not able to progress as much spiritually. She took me under her wing after that and gave me a letter yesterday that had a scripture in it. 3 Nephi 31:18-20. She also told me to read When Thou Art Converted.

On the same topic, I was reading just this morning a talk by Elder Maxwell called Endure it Well. He mentions "enforced change usually does not last, while productive enduring can ingrain permanent change." As well as "Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow, in the tumbling, we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised."
I have a feeling the refiners fire won't end for me when my mission ends.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I Got Soul, but I'm not a Soldier...[Sept. 14, 2015]

Yesterday was one of those Felix Felicis days. I might've mentioned this before, but it's like when Harry takes it to get information from Slughorn. After he takes it he decides to go see Hagrid and Hermione is like, "what are you doing, you're supposed to go see Slughorn," and he's like, "I just have a really good feeling about Hagrid, I'm going to go see Hagrid,"
 and of course that's how everything works out for him in the end. Well, yesterday we were talking to the elders and they were getting on our case about our investigator Gloriah, she didn't make it to church and they were like do you want to see her get baptized....uh, yeah....then they mentioned do you want us to go see her. Which struck a chord for me like they didn't trust us and I started walking away so I wouldn't get too defensive, but they kept picking at it. I finally got away and we were walking to Gospel Principles and I was chanting CHARITY NOW! Like the quote from Seinfeld...Serenity now! When we get into Gospel Principles guess what the lesson was on....So Sister Seymour, What's the definition of charity? God has a dad-like sense of humor.
So Gloriah was priority uno. She is super solid and I've been teaching her this whole time I've been here. She just has a hard time keeping appointments. We went to her house to drop in and as I was sitting in the car about to get out, I felt like, you just need to go to Amy and Sarah's. I didn't know if we needed to necessarily take Sarah on a team-up with us, but we needed to see them. (Sarah is the girl that got baptized a couple weeks ago) So we drive to post and see Sarah. She was at work, but we talked with her sister Amy a bit and we mention we wanted to take Sarah, because she is pretty good at helping us open people up, which we wanted to do for Gloriah. Well, Amy said she was at work, but her husband Garrett said that her work is super chill and they don't really have set hours, so she can leave early, so we followed him to her job and she came out and said to Garrett, DID YOU CALL THEM?
We find out that she planning on getting another nose ring right after work and we told her we just felt like we needed to see her and she was like Jesus, you can't do this, I need to get that nose ring.
Totally acknowledging it wasn't just a coincidence and it wasn't us. She agrees to come with us, but when we try to see Gloriah, she wasn't available until a couple hours later. Then we visit a couple other people and Sarah is getting antsy because the place she was going to get her nose pierced was closing soon. I totally laid it out for her. I was like you can go right now if you want. We aren't going to stop you, we aren't going to be mad at you, but you know this is not what your Heavenly Father wants you to do. She kept addressing Christ saying, Jesus, no I earned money to get it done, I've been looking forward to it. All this stuff. I honestly didn't even care, because she already has a nose ring which she was planning on taking out and the one she is getting she can hide easily, but this is for some reason a turning point decision God is having her make. Well, she decided to go for it, but by the time she made that decision she was out of time and they closed. She was pretty upset...I really hope not at us. But I think she recognized that it was a decision between her and God. Let's hope.
We saw Gloriah without her and Gloriah had visited Salt Lake the week before and she visited the temple and felt right about getting baptized on October 3rd. So happy for her!!
We found out this morning that we are both staying another transfer as well as our district leader. He'll be getting a new trainee and Elder Christiansen will be getting switched out.
We have been inspired by our ward mission leader who is fluent in pig latin to pick it up. It's pretty slow, but has been entertaining us. I'm ettpray lowsay, utbay I'm ettinggay etterbay. We have been trying to figure out what to do with words that start with vowels and I asked the ward elders at dinner, yeah like octopus. Would it be octopusay? E.Christiansen died laughing.
Considering my last post was almost entirely on the woes of struggling with my district leader, I probably should address it. It got a lot worse and now its getting better. We found out this week from his companion that he thinks I'm prideful, which I think he is just confusing my lack of charity for pride. Of course having a lack of charity is prideful, so in the end I guess he's justified. Either way, he still called every night, which was good, I just made them stiff, awkward and short. I'm starting to realize I need to just fake it 'til I make it. Do the actions and then the respect will follow. Respect on both sides.
We got this exciting family of investigators this week. It's a single mom with four kids, 2 are older than 8 and they all sat listening intently as we talked about Christ and the Restoration. The elders  tried them before, because they are listed as a part member family, but they got divorced, so the mom doesn't really know anything about the church. The elders told us to go try them, but when we first
visited she said yeah you can come by maybe sometime on Saturday, totally seeming not interested, but when we came on Saturday she let us right in.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...[Sept. 7, 2015]

An ode to coconut oil. The most versatile jar of gunk I have. It easily takes off my waterproof mascara with a delightful eye massage every night. I use it on the ends of my hair because it's like the
natural oil of your head, but my ends are so far from my scalp, so it is keeping them healthy and letting my hair grow long. It takes off rings easy if they happen to get stuck on your finger. You can use it while cooking, but the jar I have has olive oil as well and was meant for hair, so it has whatever other crap in it as well, so I don't use it for that. But the best part is I have had the same small jar for
at least 6 months and it's not even halfway done. It can be used for so many more things, so much potential, but this is as far as I have ventured with it.
Now for this week, I'm going to take the advice of Thumper's mother and without anything nice to say, I'm going to just not say anything at all...or at least try to. It's hard for me to edit stuff out....I'm
kind of an open book. But just, these are my thoughts, so take them with a grain of salt and I hope I don't offend anybody.
We went to the temple on Tuesday! It was fantastic, well the actual temple part of it. It was amazing. I would start to think of questions I have and revelation would just flow and everything I needed was
instantly answered. I would not even be here if it wasn't for revelation I received in the temple, revelation I by far wasnt even looking for, over 19 months ago.
We went to the Kansas City temple. I went to it before when I was in Topeka. Going to the temple is a super rare thing, especially since we don't have one in our mission, so it was really awesome and I had been looking forward to it for weeks. But when we got back that night I just turned to my companion and we decided, stupidly, because of actions of another person, it ruined it for us.
That night I had decided that I was done. I had given him a good month full of chances and all he did was burn bridge after bridge I attempted to build. I just lost whatever trust I did have for him.
Then on Friday, at zone training, I had an epiphany and realized that we were having a trend with a few of the people we are working with asking for advice with drama at work. They just keep getting in tiffs with girls that just don't like them. The girls feel either threatened by them, or for some reason or other they just feel like being bullies to the people we are working with. One girl asked me, what would you do if you were in my situation. I said I would ignore them. IGNORE HIM. A lot easer said than done, since ---- [I am editing this part out for her to protect her from herself.]---- I can't just avoid him.  It's really just a matter of forgiving him and moving on. It's hard because I just want him to not be a pain, but you can't do that. You can't make someone change. Agency is real and you only have it for yourself. The only thing within my control is how I let his actions affect me. It does not matter whether or not I am justified in being angry or offended or hurt. (Wow, I really sound like the most sensitive sissy on planet earth, but missions have a way of poking at the deep wound of a weakness you cover and hide even sometimes without realizing it.) I don't know his back story and I don't know the reason behind his actions, but God called him to be [who he is] at this time. He also commanded me and all of us to love all of His children and we are not exempt from ANY of His commandments. But we aren't expected to trudge through them on our own.
Sunday I had another slap in the face revelation. I was watching the addiction recovery videos they just put out. SO GOOD. Seriously check them out. I realized HELLO SISTER SEYMOUR, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE ATONEMENT? Why the heck do you think it won't apply in your situation. It's the coconut oil of gifts God gives us. You can use it for any trial you are going through. If Christ can change water to wine and can give that guy the ability to get over his coccaine addiction and her meth addiction, he can give you the ability to have charity for [this person]. Give it over to Him!
I realized that because of my lack of charity for one person, that was affecting my charity for others. I've made that decision that I want to change, and today was the first day at it and I completely failed, but guess what, tomorrow is another day and I know that without a doubt Christ is there with me and for me ALWAYS. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I'll try again tomorrow.
I love you all! Thank you for all your support!

pics- splits with the STLs. Sister old comp was with me
and she let me rant and was an awesome friend like always. I learned
so much from this chika and she's going home soon.... :(

BIKE WEEK! ...and they said there's no hills in Kansas....this was
Wednesday, but Sunday night it was 8:30pm and still 95 degrees outside
and the weather app said it felt like 100...

district and comp pic at temple.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Do you like pinecolada's...[Aug. 31, 2015]

Sarah got baptized! She's 16 and has had a rough life, but she is the most charitable person I know. She has such a big heart for everyone. There is a couple people that we are working with who have been given the short end of the stock with life, just like Sarah, but they choose to look inward and blame God and others for their problems as well as the bad decisions they make for themselves.
On a side note, so I, um yeah, gave into temptation really bad this week....the Tuesday before last for lunch at district meeting the big topic was how horrid sugar was and everything. Just another innocently delightful thing that Elder Jones despises. Well, last Tuesday we were putting our lunch in the fridge and we noticed the milk jug of veggie sludge that Elder Jones drinks. It was conveniently located next to a communal pitcher of granulated sugar. The thought came....I voiced it to Sister Chappell who laughed and I grabbed the milk jug. The milk jug was about a quarter full and I poured in a few tablespoons, more than I was planning, but the deed was done....I shook it up and put it all back and all during district meeting I was shaking in my boots. Regret filled me until we all were back in the kitchen eating lunch and the conversation of how sugar would be counted as a poison if it wasn't sweet was brought up. He took out the jug and kept shaking it around as he was preparing his lunch. Then he would go on how people think oil and fat is bad for you, but it's really not, but sugar is ALL bad. He took the cap off the jug and licked it with no reaction....I like wasn't breathing from how nervous I was....WHY DID I DO IT! Then he would go on how sugar is more addictive than coccaine and he let one of the elders try it and goes on how he we are all attracted to fit people, because we are then closer to our resurrected state. Then he finally took a swig from his veggie gunk and he looks confused and turns to the elder he had try it
and says.... yeah normally it's not that spicy. He goes on how Jesus is depicted in pictures as being super fit, because we are more spiritually in tune when we are.
I don't know if the sugar had an effect on the spiciness of it, but I was in the clear. He still doesn't know it, so everyone reading this is sworn to secrecy....spiking drinks missionary style FTW #ThingsNotToDoToDiabetics
We helped out the primary yesterday. All the teachers went to the 5th Sunday lesson and it was us, the elders and Sister Bohman. We did singing time which went okay, despite the fact I don't know half the songs. Then the elders did sharing time which went really good. The kids were a little crazy, because we had a lack of adults...none....but the elders were really good with the kids. I'm
okay not being a primary worker for a reeeeeeally long time, though!

Sarah and U.S. And Elder Jones. When we asked her who she wanted to baptize her she said the most experienced she chose Elder Jones. (She was super worried about falling down.)