Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Are We Here?

This quote describes my motivation when things are tough as a missionary. There are so many days when I'm tired or worn down and don't think I can go any longer, and then I think of this and I find myself with just a little more energy and little more will- power. I love it! Doesn't mean it's easy to do, but it's worth it.
"When my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry, REMEMBER HIM!" -President Henry B. Eyring
This past week Sister Stoker and I were blessed with many miracles! It's been awesome! We started teaching a part memeber fam- well 2. The first one is a 13 yr old girl who's mother has been less active for many years but is trying to come back. She is just the sweetest and truly wants to know how she can come closer to her Heavenly Father. Her parents were just recently divorced and is trying to get through this trial in her life. (Boy, do I know how that feels). I honestly feel like I was meant to meet her and teach her because I can relate to what she's going through, but also I can teach her how the gospel helped me to get through my trials at that age and how it helped me to gain trust in my Father in Heaven.
Next, we started officially teaching our cute little friend from the middle east. Ahh, we love her so much! She started reading the Book of Mormon on her own last week, and wants to learn how to pray. We talked a lot about our similarities to her beliefs and how through the Book of Mormon she will come to know and understand the divinity of Christ. It's amazing what the spirit can do. Her husband, who is middle-eastern as well, is a member of the church, but has been struggling to stay active because of the hardships he gets from his family. So we are trying to work with him as well and help him to remember why he joined in the first place so that they, together, can be a strength for good. The other night we were at their house teaching them and he was telling us how hard things are with his family, and then the spirit just overwhelmed me. I started asking him some questions and then testified of the power of the Book of Mormon and how I KNOW, without a doubt, that if he reads faithfully with his wife he will be able to stand as a witness to his family for the truth that he knows. It was awesome. Afterwards, Sister Stoker said, "I can't belive how blunt you were with him. You asked some pretty bold questions." And then I said, "I don't know where it was coming from, but it definitely wasn't me speaking!" Ah, being a missionary is the best. I love having the spirit speak through me. He knows way better than I do what God's children need. 
So, this week I've been thinking a lot about my purpose as a missionary. Like, why I chose to come here, and why I'm still here. I have come to realize that why I chose to come here is totally different from why I'm staying here. I chose to come here because I knew it was the right thing to do, and I knew I would gain experiences that would last an eternity. I must admit, my reasons were a little more self- motivated. As I've been praying this past week to remember and really know why I'm still here, I read this scripture that sums out exactly why I'm here and why I will keep going. It has become my most favorite scripture and I wish this was the one that was on my mission plaque. It says:
"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." 2 Nephi 25:23
That is why I am here. That is why I am a missionary. My purpose is to serve HIM and only Him. I am here to persuade others to believe in Christ and I am here so my children will know that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His Restored Gospel on the Earth. I invite all of you to know why you are here, wherever or whatever that may be, and then act upon that. I love you all so much!
Love, Hermana Conrow :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today! :)

So my time is almost up here at the computer center so here is a quote that has put some things in perspective for me over this past week-

"Heavenly Father seeks those who do not allow the trivial to hinder them from the eternal." -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I know that is so true! This work I am doing, is an eternal work. I went to a Dr. appointment last week, and the doctor asked, "Is there anything that you've been stressing about lately?" And I said, "Yes, being a missionary can sometimes be stressful work." And then he said, "Well, what do you have to be so stressed about?!" Haha, how do you explain to someone who has never served a mission the stress (as good as it is) that comes from being a missionary? I wanted to shout- "Only stressing over helping others gain and understand the importance of having eternal life, that's all!" Thank goodness I have a Heavenly Father who knows exactly how I am feeling and can help relieve me from the stress the comes in caring for the flock. But not only that, thank goodness that I feel the stress and great importance it is to spread His message of the Restoration. I hope we all have that kind of stress and realize the call our Heavenly Father has given us to gather His children.
There is a talk that I would like all of you to read who are reading this blog right now, and who are thinking about serving a mission, or who have served a mission. 

What a blessing it is to be a participant, and not just a spectator, in this everlasting work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope all of you turn in prayer to your Father in Heaven, and study his scriptures diligently. I know that if we want answers, we must go to Him and His words that He has given us. There is another quote I read this morning that I really liked concerning this:

"It is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to repeat to each of us individually what He has already revealed to us collectively. The scriptures contain the words of Christ. They are the voice of the Lord. Studying the scriptures trains us to hear the Lord’s voice." - David M. McConkie

How true that is. The Book of Mormon is my best friend. It is my guide and strength to the trials of this life. 1 Nephi 2:16- Read it. The Lord is there, use Him.

I love all of you, and I love what I am doing. It is a privilege and an honor to serve my Master, Jesus Christ.

Love, Hermana Conrow :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wove, twue wove!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Here is a quote that sums up how I feel about V-Day-

"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

I am so grateful for this quote because I tend to make a lot of mistakes. Ha ha, I am definitely not perfect, even though I thought that as a missionary I would all of the sudden become this perfect person and do everything right, I don't! Ha ha- I don't know what made me think that!

This week has been full of love for me. The other day, we met Denise- the sweetest lady ever who has had more trials, death, and hardships in her life than I could believe. She was a referral from her brother who has been an active member of the church for over 40 years, and Denise has never joined. We talked to her for a very long time and taught about how the gospel can truly bless and change her life and fill the emptiness she has in her heart. Even though the lesson we taught wasn't anything out of the norm, my heart was filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father. I had been praying all week that Sister Stoker and I could just get into 1 home and teach 1 lesson. That's all I wanted, because I was starting to forget what it felt like to teach and to fully feel the spirit testify as I spoke. Well, my brothers and sisters, Heavenly Father heard my plea and granted me that sweet lesson with her. Ah, I was just so happy. 

Opening up an area, being double transferred in, working with Elders, and learning Spanish is hard, in fact, really hard. I've never felt so frustrated on my mission. But at the same time- I've never seen the Lord's hand so abundantly in my work. It's amazing what He will do for us, when we are willing to do for Him. I know I am being refined and that I am where I am supposed to be for a reason. Sister Edwards (who we live with) came home from church yesterday in tears and couldn't stop thanking us. I was so confused, I had no idea what we had done to deserve such tears and admiration. Ha ha. Finally she said, "Do you sisters realize how much you do? Do you realize that you are meant to be here?!" Sister Stoker and I just kind of looked at each other and shrugged and said, "What did we do?" Ha ha, S. Edwards said, "Today, at church, one of my very good friends who has been less active for years and years came to church today!" I said, "Well that's so awesome, but what do we have to do with that, we've only been here for a month." She said, "You sisters went and visited their house the other day, talked to her husband (who, by the way, didn't seem to excited about us being there) and her daughter, who was listening in the other room, called her mom and told her sisters were here!" She went on to say how because we showed up, her friend thought about church and came. I honestly couldn't believe it when she told us that. Miracles do happen, according to our faith- often when we least expect, or ask for them. 

Well everyone, the church is still true. Jesus is still the Christ, and this is still His work. I love it. Every minute of it. Good or bad. I hope you all have a lovey dovey mushy gooshy valentines day. Ha ha love you all!

Love, Hermana Conrow :)  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Es el fin del mundo! (joking)

Hola mi familia!

Sister Stoker & Sister Conrow
(So, the title says, It's the end of the world! sister Stoker and I thought it would be funny if we walked up and down the streets saying that- I'm sure people would want to listen to us then, right?? Ha ha joking) I hope all of you are doing well! I miss you lots, but loving the mission, even with the hard times :)

I have been trying to think of an awesome story that has happened last week, but the only thing I could think of were all the many thoughts I had as we walked for hours and hours in the sunshine and the rain. This week I have really grown to appreciate all the pioneers went through, and I've also seen what an amazing companion I have. Through her silent example of endurance and positive attitude, I've realized I have a lot of work to do. Ha ha. As we walked and walked and walked, I couldn't help but think of my Savior, and how much He means to me. I thought about all the people in my life that have blessed me with their examples, and I thought about how grateful I am to have the atonement in my life, and how if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't even be on my mission. My love for the gospel has grown immensely, and with my 9 month mark fast approaching, I can't help but think about how fast my time is going here, and how I really want to be able to enjoy every precious moment that my Heavenly Father has given me to be here. Even though I have been drained in every aspect, I know I am becoming who the Lord needs me to become to prepare me for future experiences in my life. How grateful I am for my challenges I have been given. 

This week we had interviews with our mission president. Gosh, I just love him to death, he is just the biggest sweetheart. He is so humble, patient, and full of love. When he prayed before we started our interview, I cried. That's how in tune with the spirit he is. Anywho- during interviews we talked about the temple open house and he told me that because Sister Stoker and I are so close to the temple and we don't have an obligation to the Visitors Center, we'll be able to go often to help out at the open house. Man, I was so stoked to hear that. I honestly cannot wait. I keep praying that I'll get to shake the prophets hand. That is like my school girl dream. I feel so so so so blessed to be here at this time. I know that it isn't coincidence. I cannot wait to step inside those sacred walls and to feel more fully the presence of my Savior. President also told me to be patient with our area. I guess it takes longer than 3 weeks for an area to get going when you come into it with absolutely nothing to go off of. I'm so grateful for the ward though, they are helping us sooooo much, and the Edwards are just peaches and cream. For real. They are the sweetest, funniest things.

Saturday night, I was having a bit of a rough night, so Sister Edwards says she's going to the store and comes back. When she comes down the stairs she says, "So I know I always bake you something when you have a bad day, so this time I decided to buy you these little flowers to brighten up your day." Ha it was the cutest thing ever. It's to the point now where I just call her mom- ha she is so great. And she loves us! Even better! Ha ha.

Well, I better get going, but I love all of you so much. My Spanish is still coming along, slowly but surely. I'm getting pretty good at understanding what I read, but still working on speaking it. I love being here in Platte City, it really is so awesome! I feel like I'm home. I'm hoping I stay here until summer. That would be sweet! I hope all of you are doing well- stay strong!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Conrow :)

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