Monday, June 23, 2014

Swing, Sacrifice and Service

First off we had the weirdest FHE I've ever been a part of as a missionary. Elder Valdez who finished his mission last week is a phenomenal dancer. He's on all sorts of teams at BYU and has done everything dance. So the day before he went home was Monday and we decided to combine a couple FHE groups and have him teach us some things. He taught some swing and cha-cha. It was really weird to be a missionary at this FHE. But Sister King and I were great together. I remembered what I'd learned from some of my basic classes at BYU and it was tons of fun.

This week was also transfers and I said goodbye to Sister King (love her dearly) who had been in this area for half her mission, and said hello to Sister Nielsen! Sister Nielsen was trained by my MTC companion which is kinda cool and she's great. I'm excited for everything we can do here in the Sam Houston 1st YSA ward. It's been interesting taking over the area after just shy of 2 months. The last time i took over an area in so short a time it was really stressful. This time, although I felt there was more to keep track of and more I still didn't know, I wasn't nearly as stressed. This whole week I have tried to be very mindful in inviting the Lord into every aspect of the work. The planning, teaching, studying, finding, working with the ward, my companion. As I have tried to rely more fully on His strength, everything has been easier. I still feel like there's a lot to remember, but it's not as overwhelming. I'm also trying to involve my companion as well, sometimes it's easier to just do it myself because I know the area already, but I know that we can be much more powerful as we work together to accomplish the Lord's will in this area.

Already we have been blessed so much. We had our 3 solid investigators come to church yesterday as well as some less actives. Charlie, Tara, and Taylor are all phenomenal people with incredible stories. You've heard most of Taylor's and I think I've told you about Charlie. Tara's mom got baptized in Feb and she's back from school for the summer. She is so open and willing to learn. It's so great. I'm just excited for the continued progress of these people and more whom the Lord has prepared.

Frank, one of our recent converts, blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday. It was so sweet to see him up there hear him speak the words that enabled each of us to partake of a little cup of water, now made sacred. Frank continues to blossom. He is one of the best members in the ward in reaching out to investigators and helping them through the transition and everything there is to learn. Our lesson in gospel principles was on Baptism. Frank was sitting by one of our investigators and said with a smile, "oh, it's on baptism! you better pay attention" :)

In other news, I'm incredibly sore. Got to do really intense yoga today on top of what we did this weekend. We played frisbee for an activity that we invited a lot of non-members to. One of the perks of being in a YSA ward is that you find people to teach mostly by having fun. It's the best. So we played frisbee, and then helped an investigator who was a friend of someone in our ward move. She was so amazed by how everyone came and pulled together to help her move everything. I love the opportunity to serve people, it's honestly one of my favorite parts of the mission is that you get to dedicate all of your time in the service of others.

Our mission president, President Pingree, goes home in a couple weeks and I'm so sad about it, but excited for what we can learn from President Mortensen. But before Pres. Pingree goes home, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to have specialized training with him and the Temple President in the temple tomorrow. I am beyond excited for all we can learn there. In preparation for this he gave us several questions to ponder which I'm sure you will find instructive as you take the time to study and ponder on them.

Read D&C 138:1-4, 12-13

1. What does it mean to “offer sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God?”
2. What implications does this have for me and the type of sacrifice I need to make in my life?
3. How do temple covenants help me to offer such a sacrifice?

I have gained many new insights into the Atonement of Christ as I've thought about these questions and the kind of sacrifice I can give and how that will bring me closer to the Savior.

"Sacrifice is demonstration of pure love. The degree of oulove for the Lord, for the gospel, and for our fellowman can be measured by what we are willing to sacrifice for them. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ manifested the supreme example of this love...Through His personal sacrificeHe provided way for us to have our sins forgiven and, through Him, to find our way  back into the presence of our Heavenly Father." (M. Russell Ballard April 1992)

I love you all. Thank you for your sacrifice and love. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the questions :)


Sister Andreason

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