October 14, 2014
We’re having heaps of fun here down unda.
Ok, all jokes aside. For those of you who don’t know, my new companion is Sister Harper. She is from…can you guess? Australia! The last two or so weeks have been full of tears, miracles, and a lot of laughter.
Since Halloween is not that big in Australia, Sister Harper has been super thrilled to see all the crazy decorations going up. We drive past a house with one jack-o-lantern and she gets excited. She’s teaching me a lot about enjoying the little things. 🙂
This last week I received a letter from my mom. On the outside of the envelope, she had written:Doctrine & Covenants 25:12-13 Lift up your voice and sing!
12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
13 Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.
This was such an appropriate message! Lately I have been doing a lot of singing. Sister Harper has a lovely voice and we sing together often. We sing in the majority of our lessons, in the car, in the breakroom at the Visitors’ Center, in our apartment while we get ready for the day, while we’re doing laundry! We sing hymns of peace, praise, joy, worship, love, and life. I feel so lifted by all the singing we are doing. In the not too distant past, our mission president’s wife wrote a message in our weekly newsletter about music. Sister Center quoted Ephesians 5:17-20:
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
She then said, “I particularly like verse 19: A song in the heart – a spiritual song; a hymn of praise and thanksgiving -can do much to lift the spirits and brighten the day. The hymns of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ are inspired. Singing or humming them or even just thinking of the words will invite the Spirit into your life. Sacred music is so important to the Lord that he commissioned Emma Smith, at the hands of the Prophet Joseph, “to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:10-11).
One of the greatest blessings that the song of the heart brings is peace. Perhaps it is not measurable, perhaps this blessing will not buy kingdoms or new cars. But peace is the greatest gift and the greatest possession we could ever receive or have. And no one can rob you of your peace when it is anchored in Christ.
There are too many fantastic stories from the past 2 weeks than I can fit into this week’s email. More to come later. But just know that laughter is the best medicine, you have to be able to laugh at yourself, forgive freely and often (especially yourself and those closest to you), and never give up. Raise your expectations and your efforts and the results will follow.
Much love and rice and beans,