Week 27.Fourteen Wards. Oh, my.

Hello, everyone!

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It feels like a long time since last I wrote. Life has just been full and crazy!
Brand-new from Germany-via the MTC, Sister Arnold with her trainer, Sister Hansen

Brand-new from Germany – via the MTC, Sister Arnold with her trainer, Sister Hansen

Sister Arnold  arrived safely last Wednesday. We drove out to pick her up from the Airport that morning and went straight to work after that. On the days that missionaries come from the MTC to St. George, they get up at about 2 or 3am to make it to the shuttle that takes them to the Salt Lake Airport and then they fly and then they… don’t get a nap. We’ll put it that way. So, just as I remember my own first day, her first day was fueled by adrenaline, followed by a crash in the early evening. I allowed her a nap at that point, with permission from our mission president. That was the humane and logical thing to do. I wish I’d had a nap. Haha.

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Sister Arnold, let me tell you, has hit the ground sprinting. Not running. Sprinting. And she’s pulling me right along with her! I am loving it! She is driven, on fire, has a truck load of faith, and is teaching me every day. We get along really well and we laugh a lot. The other day as we were driving to our area, she got on this kind of soap box about wanting to work hard and doing her best and why she’s on a mission and she said the funniest, best thing. She said, “I’m on a mission! I’m not here to count dead palm trees!”
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Well said.
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I laughed out loud and applauded her work ethic and enthusiasm. She has big dreams, visions, faith, and determination and I know that we are going to see many miracles in our time together. I’m blessed and honored to have the privilege to train her. Really, I think she’s training me!
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Actually, I’ve started a quote book of the funny things we say or that happen to us. I also included this:
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We were driving home one day and came to a 2-way stop. There was a hazardous misuse of the stop sign on one side and we witnessed what potentially could have become an accident. I expressed that I never really have liked 2-way stops and that I think 4-ways make more sense. Then Sister Arnold said, “We just need a roundabout! That would solve everyone’s problems!” I said, “Spoken like a European!” That made both of us laugh. Maybe you had to be there, but we think we are hilarious.
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Well, we have great news! We had a baptism last weekend!
Sister Arnold, Joe, Sister Hansen

Sister Arnold, Joe, Sister Hansen

Joe (pseudonym) was finally baptized! He taught me so much about faith. I’m grateful for his incredible decision to follow the example of His Savior and be baptized. The feeling of peace and love that day was so beautiful and we can already see how this is going to change and bless his family forever. There are still big things ahead for this magnificent family!

St. George Temple Sketch

St. George Temple Sketch

So, some other news. Due to some shuffling around that had to happen in the mission, our work assignment has changed a little. We WERE covering 1/2 of the Bloomington UT Stake, working in 7 wards. Now, because of these changes, we are covering… the entire stake. 14 wards. Oh my. It’s a lot. It’s just…really a lot. But it’s an enormous blessing! We have so much potential and so many lives to bless, friends to make, and miracles to see.
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Because of the new changes, we already have several new people to teach and we’re well on our way to seeing lots of success. We also have a lot of adventures ahead of us, trying to get to know a new area. I am optimistically going to plan on not getting lost… more than twice a day. Just kidding. But really, with Sister Arnold’s sensibility and my permission to drive a mission vehicle, we can get anywhere safely. We’ll have it down in no time. We will also grow to love maps with our entire souls. And learn to read them much better than many members of my generation (thank you, Siri). Life lessons learned on your mission!
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2014.3.25.name tags.
So, the other day I had a cool study session on a verse in the Book of Mormon in Helaman 3:35. It reads,
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“Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of the their yielding their hearts unto God.”
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I wanted to study what it really means to “yield our hearts unto God.”
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I looked up some of the scripture references for the word “yield” and then I looked it up in the dictionary. I loved what I learned from that.
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The word yield has a few definitions:

  1. To produce as a crop, result, or profit.
  2. To surrender
  3. To concede
  4. To give way to a physical force
  5. To lose precedence
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Thinking about yielding your heart with those definitions was enlightening. When we yield our heart to God, we surrender our will (our desires, our understanding, our plans) and adopt His, with an understanding and acceptance of His authority, omnipotence, and the fact that He will always have our best interest at heart.
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It also means that when we yield, our will “loses precedence,” or in other words, our will becomes less of a priority than His will. That’s basically humility. And it’s also basically prayer, since the Bible Dictionary defines prayer as “the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child (us!) are brought into correspondence with each other.”
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Prayer should be a huge part of “yielding our hearts.” And what happens when we yield our hearts? Why, Helaman 3:35 teaches us that our hearts are sanctified! Sanctification is defined as this: “The process of becoming free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the atonement of Jesus Christ.” I read that and think that sanctification means peace. When we are free from regret and the pain of mistakes or sins when we are made clean and pure through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and when we are forgiven, we feel peace.
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I would guess that we’ve all, at one time or another in our lives, had to be forgiven for something; whether it was big or small (an argument with a friend, an unintentional–or intentional–unkind word, a major mistake, whatever…), we know peace comes through the forgiveness that is only possible because of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. I think peace also means happiness. So when we pray with sincerity and humility, seeking to understand God’s will for us and strive to let our will “lose precedence,” we are actually working on having more happiness. And we come closer to Christ, which also means happiness. So much happy!
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In a message I just received, a friend of mine said this: “The Savior was the most righteous man on Earth, He was the happiest as well. So many people wonder why members of the Church are so happy, it’s because we’ve taken the Holy Name of Christ upon us.  It’s a privilege, an honor and a great responsibility.”
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We’re happy because we’re trying to be like Jesus and Jesus was happy! Ha! That just makes me happy! And why was Jesus so happy?
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Another Book of Mormon scripture, 3 Nephi 27:13 teaches us that Christ said,
Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you– that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
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Our Savior was happy because His heart was sanctified, pure, and set apart to do the will of our Heavenly Father. Following the example of Jesus Christ and “taking His name upon us,” as my friend said, is also about trying to understand what God’s will is for us and seeking to live accordingly. That’s true happiness!
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I wish I could hug you. You and you and you. I love you all. I’m brimming with happy and with love and I just couldn’t pick a better place to be right now. I miss you.  I love you.  You’re in my prayers. Please know that beyond my love, you have the love of your Heavenly Father. Remember Him, speak to Him, seek to understand His plan and will for you, and I promise that you will find true happiness and who doesn’t love being happy?
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I love, love, love, love, love you. Happy Spring.
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Love and rice and beans,
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Sister Hansen
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One thought on “Week 27.Fourteen Wards. Oh, my.

  1. ¡Gracias, querida sobrina! “Yield” will be written on my heart forever…. just the way you taught it…. with that spirit of a special rep.

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