This week was really busy with meetings. On Monday we were up until about 2:00 A.M. preparing for Mission Leadership Council and cleaning the car-park that was so full of leaves and other things haha I've never slept so easily in my life!
Tuesday was Mission leadership Council, we spent the whole day focusing on the He is the Gift initiative, and Elder Higham and I got to take part in that training which was loads of fun, I actually love presenting/speaking! After we had a few short hours to proselyte, but they were great! we found a 21 year old Latvian named Jacob, who is really educated when it comes to religion and he understood the restoration perfectly, one of the cool miracles about that was that we got to teach him the first discussion in Sonia's home. (Our latest recent convert)
Wednesday was our only day that we had mostly proselyting, until about 6. We were so blessed with the short time we had this week! we've established a decent teaching pool and all of my worries from the previous weeks have faded. Everything will work out!
Thursday President and Sister Rasmussen had all of the senior couple's meet at the mission office for a thanksgiving meal. It was great! there was about 35 in total, and there was probably more than 10 lbs. leftover of turkey and ham, which went straight into our fridge :) :) I'm not complaining about that! After the meeting We went to a Dinner appointment at the bishops house where they as well had us for a wonderful thanksgiving meal. To be honest It was one of my favorite thanksgivings I've had in my whole life. At the bishops home we went around the table and said what we were grateful for. I went first, and so I was trying to hurry and think of the things that were most important to me. It was a moment when it hit me like a ton of bricks how much I've changed on my mission. The only things coming to my head were directly related to the gospel. thinking before my mission I would have without thought said things like Golf, baseball, girls, Halo, Madden, snowboarding, etc. When it came time to say something I could only think of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, temples, Abinadi, etc. and I wasn't thinking those things because I felt like I had to, but I was thinking those things because that is sincerely what I am most grateful for in my life. and of course, I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR MY FAMILY. that was said first haha. It was a great day.
Friday we had the follow up trainers meeting here at the office, it's always great to be surrounded by new missionaries who have so much fire and passion for the work.
Today I bought all of the supplies for the families Christ package, I hope you enjoy it! I love you all so much!
p.s. I'M FINALLY GOING TO WALES THIS WEEK. Our zone conferences will be the next two weeks. Starting this Thursday, we basically won't proselyte til the end of the transfer (The next 13 days- so please pray for the people we are now working with because there is going to need to be some miracles to hold onto them without seeing them very often. take care! I love you all so much!
As I packed Sam's Christmas present I just danced!!! Last one to pack and then he is HOME!!! Sammer--open the box when you get it...a few things are for ahead of time:) I have been dreading leaving again until this morning...I LOVE my ENGLAND peeps! I love the way they love the oils. I LOVE when I am that CLOSE to Sam...thought maybe I should deliver his package personally to the mission home :) I am rushing around to get out of here. But I tried to goose all of you up early this week with everything I could gather going on. SO MUCH LOVE AND HAPPINESS ALWAYS GOING ON!!!! I love OUR PART in it all :) xxooxx
The weather has done its winter thing. I am longing for a hot tub or fireplace. My showers are LONG:)
Did you make your 11 11 wishes?
Had birthday dinner here for Tammy P last night with all my girlies...they send their love. It is an awesome feeling to know how wrapped up in love and tending we are by so many.
The Oprah and Deepak Meditation I sent you the link to is SOOOO worth a listen. I intend to convert all of you to daily meditation.
Just a JOYFUL shout out of deep deep gratitude...8 days now of running and NO FOOT PAIN!!! I am BACK!!! My arm has graduated to the last torture turn and now I get to get it started on the next level of extension...so happy body here. Happy HEART...HAPPY MIND!
I love you all SOOOO Big! Miss me...not sure if I will be able to post till Thanksgiving...
I AM SOOOO GRATEFUL for each of you!
It's Sunday mid morning. I keep thinking on Sam's realizations from his love letter to us yesterday. I get teary as I think on SAM being the one to welcome new missionaries...that SAM would be the one assigned to inspire them to the courage and comfort they need as they start such a humongous life transition. I WOULD CHOOSE SAM to be my greeter and hand holder. And then again, to have SAM be the one to tend to my parting...to take care of the details and the memory holding. This is an example to me of how EACH of us are at and IN the PERFECT places for our lives right now. Even and especially when I would opt to have ALL of you right here in MY arms. I LOVE the lives you are creating.
I got to have short life evaluation with Spencer this week. As he wrestles with life choices, my heart explodes with happiness and relief, that he HAS so many choices....and then in the peace of WHO he IS that whatever he decides will provide experiences to bless him forward on his path. I love that he HAS LOVES that he knows he wants to be a major part of his loving...he knows some things that GIVE HIM LIFE. I love that all of us get to continue gathering those things...and that they can change as we feel called to new things and called to leave other things.
I want to preach what I heard Barbara Brown Taylor (on Oprah SSS this morning) saying ---that we want life to be a train....we want to get on and then go straight to our chosen destination...but really there are no trains...just sail boats...and we drift and get off course...courses that can often be way more beautiful, challenging, and enlightening than if we had gone the sought after direct course.
Continuing my Barbara Taylor preaching: Please make a list this week of the THINGS YOU KNOW GIVE YOU LIFE....and then a second list of --REASONS I DON'T DO THEM. She asks us to ask ourselves: What if I could trust my feelings? When did I lose my freedom to stop doing the things that bring me life? What is saving my life?
Ready for some yummy Sunday dinner and talk over this :)!
LOVING THROUGH LIFE WITH YOU, my chickadees, BRINGS ME LIFE!!!!!!
I love you. SO BIG. SO HARD.
As I said to dad already, this was easily the busiest week of my life! On Saturday the baptism of Sonia was brilliant! She loved her experience, and the confirmation was very special for her as well. One of the most tender moments I'll remember forever is a prayer that she offered on monday, a prayer of gratitude to have been able to learn about the book of mormon, Joseph Smith, and especially about the atonement. She understands the gospel and gets repentance, it's been incredible to be a part of her teaching process.
On Sunday we drove to Hereford to drop off Elder Dryden-he's the man! it was fun to spend a day with him, when we got back to Birmingham we spent the rest of the night finishing transfers. It was such a spiritual and uplifting experience to have been a part of transfers. It was a shock to me how much of an influence Elder Higham and myself had on transfers.
Monday we had call ins with the zone leaders and spent the rest of the day in the office as usual. Staying up til2:30 a.m. working on the travel arrangements for the missionaries getting transferred. Tuesday we woke up and finished the travel arrangements, and then spent the rest of the day with departing missionaries. The train station is about an 30 minute walk away from the mission office, and so we spent a few hours going to and from the train station picking up departing missionaries. As they had their departing interviews with president, we weighed their luggage to make sure they would be able to get on the flight without the 200£ fee if the luggage is over weight, and then, we participated in what is called, "Trunky night," basically we all go to the mission home and eat an incredble meal, go around the table and talk about mission memories, then we have a testimony meeting that last around an hour, and then they stay up all night reminising on the mission, until 3:00 A.M. when we wake up to get to the air port. Participating in this day with the departing missionaries was a crazy experience. It made me realize a lot of things. 1. There is an end to full-time missionary service. 2. The time we have is SO limited 3. I want to make it to that day, knowing that I gave everything I could to the savior for this short time of 2 years.. 4 months to go, I can't believe it's actually coming to a close in the near future.
Wednesday we met the new missionaries, helped them, answered their questions for what the mission is going to be like, and gave them some good food. It's weird looking back to the first days of a mission as well, because I was also, very nervous, very afraid of what was going to happen, and aware of how long 2 years was. It's so crazy, because it's said all the time, but the second that we forget ourselves and let this become god's mission everything just seems to work out, we are happier, the work goes better, miracles happen.
Thursday we had mission leadership council again, it was another great meeting.
Friday we got to proselyte for the first time, for about 2 hours. The work is going incredibly slow at this point in time, but in the short time we've had to find new people, we've seen some miracles. We're now teaching a lady called Zamdi, she's from South AFrica, she obviously loves Jesus, and after we shared the restoration with her she said, "If this is true than it's the most important message in the world." she hit the nail on the head with that one.
That's about it for this week. I can't wait to take a nap after I'm finished emailing! thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks which is crazy, and I'm excited for you all to have a wonderful holiday season! please know that I am in good shape out here, trying to soak in every second to set a foundation for the rest of my life to grow upon. LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Yep...SHE is even more beautiful. Gotta love it when the Bro friends come with gorgeous siblings.
And me? I only have 124 days till WE get to take these pics!!!!!!
I got home super late last night. I really really really love driving HOME from the airport. There is a feeling about getting back to the people you love. Hard not to speed. LOVED that Spencer came over to welcome me. Love that MY pillows truly are as incredible as I think when parted from them. Love that there is beauty everywhere. Loved the full moon.
It was a trip FILLED with blow your heart out emotions. Gracie. Gracie has survived 2 surgeries, but now has pneumonia. She need s more surgeries but they don't dare till that is cleared up.The nurses have re-intubated her. I mentioned that I wouldn't want to recover from all of it even at my age....and wanted mercy for her...a friend responded..."how do we really know what mercy looks like?" Some real stuff to chew on right there. And then the whole "healer" issue...I called the missionaries to come giver her a blessing because I knew she would want it. I couldn't help but think of our Sam being called in. Is there a Jesus amongst us who could be sent to bless and heal her? Especially with my oil work I daily see women who are magic at healing and have hairs raise when some are adamant that only men have the authority to call down God's love and healing. Male or female...GOD heals....and then there are the questions of what parts are God's and what parts are ours. Gracie has spent a life of doing her part.
In Atlanta, Tiffany's brother in law had just passed quickly with a brain tumor a few days before. Alot of love and loss witnessed first hand. And most sweet....the call and heeding of loved ones, gathering around to comfort and get through. We need each other. All of us NEED each other.
All during this I am talking to 2 different agents about what health insurance I am to get. Absolutely in denial that Obama care could require a 51 year old with her tubes cut an cotterized to carry maternity insurance for herself. in more denial at the monthly price for no real coverage. Oh the retirement I could build with that much going in each month. I want everyone to have health care. But creating non negotiable policies beyond the ridiculous is SO not the way to aid. Elections were held while I was gone. Pot was not legalized in Florida...they required 60% of the vote...got 58%...darn hard for me to not think of ways they could use THAT tax to get health care affordable.
I just want to preach nutrition....plant based eating and plant based healing w the oils....I want to live it myself. Choices. Dang it. Just comes down to choices. Filled up with gratitude that we get to assist each other with the examples of our very lives in making our choices.
A reminder...Oprah and Deepak have their Free meditation on again...love for you to join me.
Grandmom Harris is coming for Thanksgiving...so we will go out to dinner and then a few movies...it will be super weird to only have Spencer home. Let's start some FUN planning for Christmas!!!!!
I am taking the Sammer his Christmas when I this next trip so get me your ideas ASAP :)
I have a friend who decided to participate in a National online craze whereby you get rid of everything except 100 items...one item would include your toothbrush. You KNOW this momma would never go there because she dearly loves her comfort...but it has made for some very thoughtful moments as I now assess....would this be one of my 100 items? It has also aided in my clearing out items that others could be using since I'm not at the moment. Hadn't given my pillow enough appreciation. It's an insightful way to spend a few moments...it makes you ultra aware of how many HUNDREDS of THINGS we are blessed with to make our lives so GOOD.
YOU aren't a THING...but you are on the top of all of my lists. This trip time was jammed packed with explore your heart moments. While I was filled to the brim in Florida and Georgia, at home I missed Tanner coming home, and that Gordon Van Wagoner died. We leave a mark. YOU chickadees have left my most treasured marks in my soul....and even the physical you've left me... ones like the stretch marks....I'M GRATEFUL!!!! Happy reminders that I GET TO BE YOUR MOM.
I've read more books...The FLYING DRUM-The MOJO Doctor's Guide to Creating Magic in YOUR Life by Bradford Keeney, Phd.
MOJO is a new favorite word...going to work it into one of the family gathering names :)
A quarter way in to Paramahansa Yogananda's THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
I don't have so many ideas of my very own to gift to you....but I am way thrilled that we get to share ALL the ideas of love and loving with each other.
Shine that light. Be Kindness. Listen more. Talk less. Pray. Hug longer and harder...especially the MOMMA xxxxxxxxoooooooooxxxxxxxx
Saturday morning started out glorious with me getting to connect with Sam via email. Halloween night had been a wonder here in sleepy Alachua. We packed the car and headed to teach in Daytona. As we were in the Ocala National Forest I got a call from Christine.
Let me back up a bit. You know how I stay with Christine's mom while I am in Gainesville? Her name is Grace Hawkins. I just can't remember what Iv told you or not told you about her. So, I 'm going to take a minute right now. Gracie was one of MY Mom's super good friends...never really forgave Grace for teaching my mom about sprouting. Grace is 74 now. My mom would have been 70.
Grace took over the role of mothering me these past 18 months. She has been my sweet cheerleader and my oil advocate. She has loved me and loved on me. She has been a safe resting place for me in my travels. I was with Grace from the first night I was here until Halloween Morning.
Grace had been invited to be apart of an art show down in Deland. She was thrilled, and this was her first time participating in this kind of an event. She paid the local car shop $1300 to get everything in the car checked over and running perfectly to make the 2 hour drive. When I left her, she was mostly packed and was ironing away on prints that needed to be flattened from the press rollers. Most of her pieces were of her drawings of King Fisher Island in New York.
We hugged as I left and she told me I was an inspiration to her, that she wanted me to assist her in taking care of Christine, ...that she loved talking religion and light with me. As I drove out she held up the hand sign for love that I so often and held up first for her....she beat me to it.
So...I go teach some classes, have Halloween and am heading to Daytona the next day when Christine calls me. Gracie has been in a head on accident with a semi. She has 12 known broken bones, several lacerations,punctured ribs,...both arms...left leg crushed, right leg nasty lacerations...alot, ALOT of hurt and broken. At 74 and guestimated at 96 pounds...not sure she will come through this.
As I spent the night in ICU with Christine and Grace....I loved on EACH of you. There are volumes more to be written...just wanted you to know whats up here in Florida, and how much I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First off... Marsh gets home on
TUESDAYYYY!!! you'll have to go to his homecoming and take some pictures
with him. He did it, Marsh has set the example for us to follow, what a
This week was way solid. We spent all day on monday
preparing the reports for the 8 stake presidencies that the mission
covers for convert baptisms. The mission covers the Merthyr Tidvill, and
Cardiff Wales stakes, and then the Cheltenham, Birmingham, Lichfield,
Nottingham, Leicester, and Coventry stakes in England.
was rad. I got to go on exchange with Elder Costigan, another one of my
past companions. It was like we never seperated. Our unity while
finding and teaching came back just like that! A member in another
ward, referred her friend who lives in the Wylde Green ward, so Elder
Costigan and I taught him a first lesson, and the spirit was incredibly
strong. He accepted the message and was unusually excited to read the
book of mormon- no complaints there. We taught Sonia in the evening
about the priesthood, and she is SO EXCITED for her baptism tonight. We
will send pics next week!
I read a talk called the challening and testifying missionary. It
changed the way that I think about a lot of things. Go and read it! you
can relate it to whatever you want in your life that is important to
you. The main theme of the talk is this-- the best time to accomplish
our desires is NOW. It talks about how the second that we know someone
is feeling the holy ghost, we are supposed to challenge them right
there, let them recognize the spirit, and invite them to do something
bold, talks about how we don't prepare someone for a challenge, because
then it isn't really a challenge. I don't know, it's difficult to
explain, but it was something that I am looking to apply for the rest of
my mission/ life.
As a result of this talk,
the second that Elder Costigan and I thought that someone was
interested, we would invite them to do something pretty crazy-- for
example, Elder Costigan invited a former investigator who investigated 1
year ago to be baptised on the 29th of November.
She accepted.. now this was on the street! Her name is Julia. Her
mother is a Jehovah's witness, but she made her stop investigating in
the past, but now that she is 18, her mom is letting her do whatever she
wants, and so now she is pretty adoment about joining the church.
Another pretty massive miracle. I know god leads us to people who are
ready to accept his message.
Another one of
our new investigators this week is Kati! she is from Hungary, and she is
so sweet and nice. The way that she views life is incredible, probably
one of the most optimistic people I've ever met. She's been in the U.K.
for a week, has no job, a very interesting living situation, but she is
so sure and hopeful that everything will work out- I'm sure it will!
night President Rasmussen called us into his office, and we spent a
few hours talking about the new transfer, and changes that we thought
would be appropriate. I absolutely love doing things like that! One of
my favorite things that I have learned from President is his ability to
receive revelation. He just does what it says to do in the scriptures,
he ponders, studies, and prays, and ponders, it sounds so simple! I
think that is something everyone wants to be better at is understanding
exactly how the spirit communicates with us.
after emailing we are going to drive to Hereford, where we will pick up
Elder Dryden, Sarah Bowles little brother, he will be on an exchange
with us for the next 2 days. should be fun! Life is always good as a
missionary, I have no complaints! As much as I miss you all, I believe
with all of my heart that this is exactly where I need to be. have a
great week! Love you!!!!!!!
My GOD is in the next room, cooking unseen feasts and humming.
T I I S G Turn it into something Good.
I devote the rest of my days to acts of loving kindness. I help those whom God has placed in my path. I will be as loving as I can, as often as I can, for as many people as I can, for as long as I live. Here if you need me. (Kate Braestrup)
Instead of FEAR, I feel INSPIRED. Instead of overwhelmed, I feel the excitement of the possibilities.
I learn ways to replace FEAR with LOVE.
ASK FOR HELP. Follow the guidance sent to you.
DO NOT COMPLAIN...if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. (a mom I bet)
We become what we love...so nothing will affect your life more than whom and what you choose to love. Matthew Kelly
I wish someone else would fill this out...I'd love to see what others see when it comes to me(ok, maybe not). I LOVE my family, I love being home. I love to cook, garden, read, run, do family history, study, eat, quilt, play the piano, plan and have parties with friends, being warm-- the sun on my skin, my hands/body in hot water. I love the change of seasons, tulips in the Spring, annuals in the summer, pumpkins in the fall and soup & fresh bread from the oven in the winter.I LOVE my life. I LOVE babies and children and teenagers and adults. I love people. And if you're reading this, I'd bet that I LOVE YOU!!!!!