Blogger Header

Blogger Header

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Portland Temple - My New Favorite Temple (07/21/2014)

Hi Mommy!!
Love you!
Yep, the stationery is great. It is a bit girlish, but I like it anyway, so ;)
Me thinks my style is changing a bit as time goes on.
My hair is just so long and fluffy now that it's so hot, I need to put it up/back all the time.
Yeah, that cake decorating class was so great! It totally gave us an extra inch during that time, but it was fun. I truly can't wait to come back and do another class of something together.

We got to go Saturday! It was amazing!! The Portland temple is absolutely beautiful inside and out.  It has two stories to the celestial room and it's all beautiful. Sister Collins and I felt like princesses (ya know cuz we are) when we ascended the marble or whatever stone stairs, our feet went pitter patter, like a fairy tale :) It was amazing! If I could get married there someday it'd great, but alas my <Mom Note: future, currently unknown> hubbie would prol'ly like some choice in the matter too ;)
Sister Collins and Sister Duenas at Portland, OR Temple
Portland, OR Temple

This was a long time ago but it's still a pretty cool thing we learned.
The Chinese elders thought to teach us some Chinese characters since they are so simple in their meaning...? Haha yep simple to them maybe :) So the word success in their language is made up of two characters; 'accomplish' and 'work'. 

That is what it means to have success. And add to that 'work' a little 'power' and you've got a guaranteed success.

We had a little 'heart attack' project that we did for a member who was in the hospital and is now in rehab for his back.
Love you bunches!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oregon Eugene Mission - Meet the Mission President Meeting (07/14/2014)

Holo Madre!
The Gospel Principles class is for investigators, less actives, and returning members, but really anyone is welcome. It's a wonderful class for anyone to just feel the spirit and get back to the basics of the gospel :)
The Gospel Principles class is GREATLY needed in every church meetinghouse.
It helps to ground the people in the basic/foundation of the gospel. Out here, when an investigator is baptized they must go to that class for a full year (getting each of the lessons/chapters) before they move on to gospel doctrine (and/or temple prep depending on where their testimony lies).

Sister West is leaving the mission field today and going home.

Sister West, Sister Savage and Sister Duenas
Some notes from our 'Meet The President' meeting with President and Sister Russell.
Sister Russell - 
2 Kings 6:16 - "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
- this is President and Sister Russell's fave scripture. The angels care more about what we do than we do!
<Mom's Note: 2 Kings 6: 8 - 17 is the Bible story of the prophet Elisha and his servant being surrounded by a large group of soldiers of the King of Aram with the intent to capture the prophet Elisha, and how God provided an army of angels leading horses and chariots of fire to protect the prophet Elisha and his servant and opens the servant's eyes so that he can see the army of angels surrounding them and protecting them. >

- Answers come through the Book of Mormon. When we pray first and then ask the Lord, through the Book of Mormon our answer will come.- "Know how powerful you really are!"

President Russell -
Doctrine & Covenants 138:51-53
We are part of the "other choice spirits".
Take time to think about who you really are

Advice from a prophet/apostle:
1) preach my gospel
2) Preach My Gospel

Pray often and study
Keep the commandments, statutes and judgments.
Jesus Christ (always first)
But next by most importance
1) Yourself
2) Companion - when you and your companion become one you can much better teach and help your investigators
3) investigators
The Importance of Sacrament
- Always stay like the red hot coals in a fire. Red hot coals are always right in the middle burning and keeping the fire hot and going. When we take them out of the fire and put them on the outskirts they cool off, turn black/grey. The same thing happens to us if we stop attending sacrament meeting. We need to be red hot right in the fire of the Spirit not on the outskirts where Satan can make us complacent.

A really cool quote
Elder Argyle - 
Scriptures give validity to our words. They bring the Spirit to everyone.
Alma 31:5 - "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just - yea, it had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else which had happened unto them - therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."
- The word is more powerful than the sword. The word will lead the people to do justly. Try the virtue of the word of God. The scriptures explain things in much better terms than we do.

Elder Austin -
Teaching with the Spirit and obedience to the Spirit:
1) What role does the Spirit play in missionary work?
John 7:17 - "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
Anyone can gain knowledge and testimony of the truth if they will try the Spirit.
Doctrine & Covenants 42: 12-16 - the Spirit must be present for others to learn and be edified together
2) How can I qualify more for the Spirit?
Mosiah 3:19 - "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
Doctrine & Covenants 130:21 - "And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
- Attitude of Obedience

Things I can work on: Getting all appointments written down, more focused studies, late night appointments set, love the people we work with (Ward Mission Leader, Bishop, struggling members)
3) What can I personally do to increase the spirit in my work?
Be more observant and able to act at the slightest prompting of the Spirit.
Do page 122 activity in Preach My Gospel - Developing Christlike Attributes, and Read "Teaching and Learning by the Spirit"

So super funny! My new companion is SISTER COLLINS! As in my trainer Sister Collins! I am super excited to see her again :). She will love Eugene.
Sister Collins and Sister Duenas serving together again
Love you bunches of baby elephants!
Your favorite sister missionary,

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Are We Not All Mothers? (07/07/2014)

Hola Madre!
Oh my goodness! How did the lesson Jim gave go? I'm sure he did fine. The Greene branch folk aren't exactly the most scary of people or critics :) I'm so proud of him, no matter what he my think of himself he has some great teaching skills. Also being able to have his wonderful simpleness in understanding the gospel is a huge benefit for him but also an even bigger blessing for those being taught. I can't count how many times I've been humbled by someone who can explain the gospel and it's many deep concepts in such simple ways. Also helps us who have grown up in the gospel remember our foundation and "basics". I think a lot of times we get caught up in asking deep questions and in the details of organization and authority etc. that we forget to just have faith in the gospel and remember it's true meaning and why it has been given to us. I love how Pres Uchtdorf was referring back to the "why" of the gospel in the 'Forget Me Not' talk.
Awww! Yeah Pres Lowary rocks! We will be having dinner at his house this Thursday. He is most definitely one of the people I'd love for you and Jim to meet. He is just so awesome. He encourages us and always makes us feel comfortable and loved.

Glad to hear you had a good July 4th. We didn't get invited to any activities since we had to be back in our apartments by 7pm to avoid Eugene chaos. But we had a pancake breakfast with a wonderful older lady member named Bonnie in the 3rd ward :) We did get to pick blueberries though! It was so fun! There was only one bush but it was a pretty big one and we filled up a couple small containers with the beauties :) We go to her house every week and we went to enjoy her blueberry pancakes for 4th of July breakfast. She is a wonderful lady :). Never married and no kids, she has helped each person she comes in contact with and she loves having the sister missionaries over to talk about the gospel.
Sister Duenas and Bonnie
It makes me extremely sad to see and hear women doubt their power, influence, strength and importance of being a mother. So! I read, re-read and marked up Sheri Dew's talk "Are We Not All Mothers?" and it made me feel muchmuch better. All women should read this talk and be proud to be different than a man. We are women endowed with the power of motherhood since before we came down to earth. Not every man gets the chance to hold the priesthood while here on earth whereas all women are mothers, even if they don't bear their own children. Women are to take care of not just their own family but Heavenly Father's family (everyone on Earth) also. The world would be a much better place if we all realized this principle. 
Great thoughts on the Sheri Dew talk. I hadn't made the connection of how motherhood is like the priesthood ie. having no beginning and no end. I really like that. 
<Mom Note: Here is the video to the Sheri L. Dew talk "Are We Not all Mothers?" that Sister Duenas is referring to above.>

Some stationary would be nice though I've started to switch over to regular notebook paper since I tend to write big letters. Just not anything too girly, the ones that you sent before were fine but not anything further girly than that. I absolutely LOVE the new shower gel. It smells great! Perfect to have as my new scent :). I think I'm very much on a peach kick :)  So, if you could get me some nice Thank You cards that would be great. They don't even need to say Thank You on them. Just some nice cards that could be used for any occasion; get well, thank you, happy bday, etc. Thank you Mommy!
Also, these Post-It tabs are awesome. 
If you could get me more of these I will love you beyond eternity :) They are a bit expensive for me to get out here. Darn Eugene, everything seems to be more expensive out here :( Maybe because there isn't any sales tax?

There will be a general authority coming to our mission in August! We don't know who but it doesn't really matter, it's a GENERAL AUTHORITY!

Some cool scriptures that I really like:
1 Corinthians 1:25-28 and 1 Corinthians 2 - yep the entire chapter is awesome, especially verse 5. I love learning about the Spirit. I came across those scriptures as I was reading the first Section in the Doctrine and Covenants. I forgot just how awesome the Doctrine and Covenants is. I'm so happy that God is merciful and grants us continuous revelation.
1 Corinthians Chapter 1, verses:
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are chosen:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

Love you bunches of baby elephants!

Monday, July 7, 2014

OEM Zone Conference and Two Wards (06/30/2014)

Hello Mumzy!
So, on to the week of Zone Conference, and a bunch of other exciting things last week.
The week started out with Sister West and I getting news that we are now in charge of two wards! In addition to the Eugene 3rd Ward, we now take care of the Eugene 1st Ward. It's definitely been an exciting (and tiring) experience. Our first Sunday with both wards was a crazy, hectic day. We got up at 5:45/6'ish in the morning to go to Eugene 1st's ward council, then to Eugene 1st's Sacrament meeting at 9am, then Eugene 3rd's ward council at 10am, then Eugene 3rd's Sacrament meeting at 11:30am, missionary correlation for Eugene 1st at 12pm, and then back to the end of classes in Eugene 3rd Ward :)   Yep, that's our Sundays when ward councils overlap :)   Eugene 1st Ward has a new Bishopric, so we are all learning how to make the ward better together :)
Yep, the Eugene 1st Ward is the ward that the Mission President and the AP's are in, so we now get to see them every Sunday. The Eugene 1st Ward is much smaller than the Eugene 3rd Ward. We've still been trying to get the balance right between both of the wards. We have separate records/books for each ward, so it's pretty easy keeping track.
Zone Conference that next Tuesday was pretty great, No, it was awesome! Seriously the best ever, and rightly so, since it was President and Sister Young's last. They will be leaving June 28th and President Russell will be coming in. He'll do a quick 1 hour meeting with President Young and then he will completely step in as the new Mission President. Today we all wrote letters to President Young (as we do every P-Day). They are going to print them and put them in a journal to keep because they want to remember every one of their "Youngsters"
Oregon Eugene Mission Zone Conference - Eugene Zone - June 17, 2014
At Zone Conference, we learned how to make use of the Family Proclamation at doorsteps. I love the Family Proclamation! It is seriously a wealth of spiritual knowledge and standards. If anyone wanted to know about our church they could read the family Proclamation and it'd be almost all they'd need to know. Then you just add in the 3 lesson pamphlets and the For Strength of Youth and their knowledge would be perfect...well, you'd also have to add in the Book of Mormon of course, but only if they want extra credit since not many people immediately understand the language of the Book of Mormon. We learned some other things too, but mainly the rest of the conference was to say good-bye to President and Sister Young.
Things I find awesome about the family Proclamation: I love how it says "male" and "female", "man" and "woman", "husband" and "wife", and "mothers" and "fathers" all throughout the proclamation. It shows that we don't value one gender over the other and that we are truly equal partners. The Family Proclamation addresses chastity, homemaking, abortion, gender identity, responsibilities of both fathers and mothers, stresses how important the unity and strength of the family is. And best of all, it tells us exactly how to do it (a strong, united family that is). It outlines why we've come down to earth (from heaven), organized in families, what we're supposed to do and how we can most successfully achieve it.
I'll probably get to go to the temple in the next month or two. It's supposed to be every three months, but I've been here 8 months now and have only gone once. Oh how I miss the temple. I'm pretty sure  that missionaries who are more north get to go to the Portland Temple, but with the new mission president I'm not quite sure. We'll just have to wait and see.
Medford, OR Temple
So, Sister Miller, yes she is awesome! Pretty quirky sometimes and an awesome planner :) She has trained other Sister Missionaries nearly her whole mission. Yep, she's that good, the Lord trusts her to train many in His army. STL's (Sister Training Leaders) are basically female DL's (District Leaders).  Though they don't have to deal with the Elders in their area at all whereas the DLs deal with each missionary in their district. STLs actually work with their zone and possibly other people's zones if that other area doesn't have an STL. For example, in my zone right now we have 3 STLs and they take care of this zone and another zone next to ours since that zone doesn't have any STLs.
I'll be sure to answer your other bazillion questions in another letter :)
Love you Mom!