Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Sunday, October 25, 2015


So yesterday was a month and at the same time that this feels like it  I have lived here my whole life.  This past week I was really sick: fever, congestion, head pressure, fainting, and coughs but it's all ok.  I just got my voice back today thank heavens.  I sounded like a dying frog. I dreaded when the spirit prompted me to speak in lessons with investigators because I sounded horrible; like a teenage boy.  pero, está bien.  I was stranded to my residence with another Hermana on Sunday and we spent most the time buying food from the vending machines and talking..with naps in between.  One of the hermanas is a witch doctor, and has all the doterra oils.  She helps me know where to put them all.  All of the Hermanas are volunteering to give up their meds for me to use because they all didn't want to get sick.  So I tried about any drug I could get my hands on, legal ones of course.  I went to the doctors office here and that was nice because I was able to leave the MTC campus.  I had to get some prescription drugs from the BYU Health Center, so me and my hermanas were on the loose.  I felt like I was so rebellious.  It was so weird... We didn't know what to do with ourselves.  People looked at us and stuff.  You just don´t get that same look when you are here surrounded by many other missionaries.  I was on 4 different meds to cure the symptoms and they work great, so no complaints.

This week we got our flight itinerary. I leave Nov.2!  There are 20 in my travel group leaving from SLC airport at 9:50 am and arriving in Oakland at 10:44 on Delta.  It's awesome to think that me and 19 other missionaries will be traveling together with Jesus on our name tags.  Elder Felis and Hermana Parkinson are flying with me so I will know people.  But guess what time they are having us meet at the travel center?? 4:35 AM.  Wow!  So maybe there will be some early calls.
Me and my hermanas taught our teacher (hermano Clark) who is acting like an investigator the other day the Chastity lesson.  It was our first time but heyyyy it went good.  Hermana Seamons looked up all the awkward words and in the lesson forgot one of them.  She said the word like 10 times and then gave up.  Then after a little bit she remembered it, because me and hermana Parkinson didn't, and she yelled it out.  Kind of awkward but way more funny.  Trying to help him recognize the importance of marriage... it's a work in progress but we always have a good time.
We went to the Provo temple this morning as a district.  It was so great.  We did a 7 am session, then all had breakfast at the temple afterwards.  Best food.  It was so sweet, this precious older Polynesian couple in front of us saw that we were missionaries and bought us all breakfast.  Once we set down our trays, we went over, shook their hands, and thanked them. We were shocked but it was neat to receive service.  

Me and the Hermanas had our first skype appointment with a member from Costa Rica.  She is 17 years old, a member, and her name was Nady. Her computer was having problems so we called her but it was great to be able to teach someone who only speaks Spanish as well as lives in a completely different part of the world.  It was a hard lesson because over the phone it's hard to read what they are thinking or feeling.  But I am looking forward to our skype appointment next week.

My zone got a new district this week- 6 hermanas and 6 elders! They are great and I know they'll enjoy their time here.

We had our last lesson with Ivette and we were not really looking forward to it because she hadn't been keeping her commitments and we felt like she wasn't really trying.  Before the lesson we were like, 'hallejuah, this is our last lesson,' so I was like, 'I want to say the companion prayer' before we go in.  I asked that God help us have Christlike love for her, despite our problems 'con usted' I meant to say 'con ella' I just told God we have problems with him....  So in the middle of the prayer i'm saying, 'lo siento' aka 'i'm sorry'  'you know what i meant' and I said please help the spirit be there. There was no way that this lesson was going to go good, but it did.  It was our best time with her.  We all felt the spirit there so I know God is a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father.  At the end of that lesson, she gave us all a hug and as she came in to hug me, I said sorry I'm sick and went for a elbow bump, when she said, "O es no importante" like it doesn't matter and hugged me anyways.  We need to be that person for other people.  When someone is spiritually sick, be the one to say it's not important and love them anyway.  It heals that spiritual sickness.  I feel grateful that she still wanted to hug me.  It meant a lot and I know it means a lot to those who are sick and are without feeling loved by God.

I had a cool experience with the new district. We were having the New Orientation to the MTC with them as Sister Training Leaders and with the Zone Leaders.  Near the end of the run down, I all of the sudden felt like I needed to talk about blessings.  It was not part of the discussion nor had I ever felt like how blessings work here needed to be shared.  But this time I did.  I looked at my companions and ZLs and said, 'can I talk about blessings?' They look back at me like I was crazy and said, 'it doesn't say we need to...' Then I just start talking.  About how it's available. How it needs to go through the branch president for an Hermana to receive one.  About how if they feel like they need it, it can be done.  I didn't know why.  At the end of the night,, a sweet hermana came up to me and said with tears in her eyes, 'I want a blessing but didn't know how to ask or if I could. My grandpa died this morning.'  I could instantly embraced this small Hermana in my arms and said, "okay we'll make it happen."  I am so grateful the spirit was there to tell me 'hey, you need to talk about this' I don't know what I'd do without it.

I related the gospel to sports this week and I never thought that would happen because you all know I'm not super athletic.  But we were talking about how God enables the devil to tempt us.  God saw our practice time in Heaven, he wants us to be able to play when he needs us.  He's not going to sign us up for something we can't do.  He says 'bring it on, they've got this' to the devil.  'bring on your best team satan because I've but together my best team.' Like a loving father wants his son to have hard competition, God does to.  They sign us up for it because they know we can take it and have room to grow.  God watches the game, calling the plays and putting in players in knowing that they are matched for it if not, greater prepped for the game against Satan's follwers.  God plays ball too.  Competitively. So we should too.

I had a really cool experience with the BoM.  So I had gotten stuck on 2 Nephi 11:1-2 and had been stumped for a couple days because it addresses the fact that polygamy was accepted by the women because they didn't want the shame that came from having their own last name.  Well after much supplication during gym time (when i was sick) as I was pondering, it hit me.  It is that these people wanted to be so obedient to God's law.  God asked that they have children.  I believe that polygamy was started because our ancestors wanted exact obedience to all things God asked, whatsoever they be.  Who said it was easy? Most things asked of us are hard.  We should be shameful about not keeping God's commandments even when they are hard to keep.  They feared the consequences of disobedience. In verse 2 it says 'the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious' that day.  We are here today and strive for exact obedience too.

In a devotional by Jeffrey Holland, he said why is salvation so hard? The reason it is hard is because Salvation is not a cheap experience.  Why do we expect it to be easy when it never was easy for him.  The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane, it comes with a cross, and steps up to Mount Calgary.  We are going to need to experience some of the same things Jesus Christ went through.   Gethsemane wasn't easy, bleeding from every pore wasn't easy, or the cry to the father wasn't easy.  If we do life how we are supposed to do it, it will not be easy.  

"then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  for whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
-Matt 16:24-25

My new favorite is the first line of Malachi 3:3

"and he shall sit as a refiner"  Why does Christ sit as a refiner? Refiners sit by their work because it's risky to leave it alone.  If their work is in the first oven for just a couple seconds too long, all the refiners hard work would be lost.  How does he know when to take it out? When he can see his reflection looking back at him in his creation.  It's comforting knowing that Jesus is sitting right next to us while we are in the fire, just waiting for the day when He can see His reflection in us.  He will wait, keeping His eye on us, watching us become like Him. I love that.

until next week friends and family
love you all,
Hermana Waters

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