Happy New Year! 12/31/1012
Wow so I feel like there are a bajillion and one things to write about today, so I'll just get started :)
First off, KJ, HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY!!!! You should seriously stop growing up now. Or, at least wait a bit for me, please? But I guess if you got to do it I’ll support you. Hey so I heard about the church’s new program for Sunday School/YW/YM and I think it’s an awesome way to prepare you all for teaching on your missions which I suppose is a pretty good way to grow up.
Second off, Heather Bosen soon to be Breeze, if you read this blog thing, CONGRATULATIONS! I just got your announcement this week :)
Third off, it was so awesome talking to you all (family) on Christmas! Actually, to be perfectly honest, it was completely normal. Weird. But awesome :) It was so fun to see you all at once. That was the first time since Mary’s graduation I think. I’m super really grateful we are an eternal family so that we can enjoy being together for forever.
Also Fam, did you ever get the package I sent? It’s full of really awesome things I really really was hoping you’d all get to enjoy it together. Otherwise, you’ll have to work out how to share it...
So this last week I was flipping through my journal from the MTC to see what life a year-ago was for me and I found notes from that one day I told you all about where I spontaneously burst into tears in line and was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning. Well it was super cool to read the notes I took in sacrament meeting that day because just like they brought peace and comfort to my soul that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning, I was able to again find peace and comfort. As I reviewed my notes I felt God’s love and know He is involved with the details of my life and that He not only loves me, but likes me and has great plans for me. Which actually brings me to some other notes I found from my MTC study journal.
So I just said how I know Heavenly Father has some great plans for me. When I was in the MTC we taught a man named Stynus who was an architect. To help him better understand the Plan of Salvation and it’s significance we related it to the blue-prints for a building and shared with him 1 Corinthians 3:9 which says,
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
What kind of building, you might ask, is answered a few verses later,
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
Which leads to another quote I found in my study journal:
“Imagine yourself a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace....” –C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Sweet right?! But it’s completely up to us to let God in to make the changes that build us up according to the great master plans/blue-prints He has for us. As I reflected on these things I thought to myself, how do I rise higher and become more? Well, I found a quote from Elder Eyring and what he has to say about that:
“All of us can remember times in our lives when we felt a pull to be better than we were, to rise higher. The feeling may have come at about the same time we had the thought ‘There must be something better in life than this.’ Sadly, there are also times when we felt like giving up. And then the thought was something like this, ‘Maybe this feeling of being miserable is what life is really like. Maybe I need to learn to live with it. It looks as if that’s how everyone else feels.’...
“But everyone who I have come to know well, even the most discouraged and the most miserable, will tell you that some time in their lives, maybe just once that they can remember, they felt that upward pull, that thought that there was something better and higher.
“Heavenly Father does more than allow you to feel that upward pull. He has provided a way ot rise higher—almost beyond our limits of imagination—not by our own powers alone, which would not be nearly enough, but through the power of the Atonement of his Son, Jesus Christ.
“Our Heavenly Father not only provided a Savior and a gospel of Jesus Christ, which teaches us the purpose of life and gives us commandments, but he also provided covenants we could make with him. And with those covenants he provided ordinances where he could signify what He promised or covenanted to do and we could signify what we promised or covenenated to do.”
I know that this gospel and the ordinances and corresponding covenants available in it help us to really become all the Father has planned. That’s why I came on a mission, to share with people that they too can find peace and happiness in knowing they are children of God with a purpose in being here and find self-worth, confidence, and love that lasts forever.
Luckily, I have been able to share that with several people this past year, one of which is a very special girl here in Dordrecht who has been preparing for the first covenant and ordinance of the gospel, baptism, for about a year now. Her family members have all found the peace and happiness they’d been searching for within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now Barbara is beginning to find that for herself too. This last week as we met together, Zuster Raun and I got to be present when she realized for herself that she has a testimony and is prepared to be baptized. Now we are working with her to choose a date for her baptism. I know as she accepts and applies the first ordinances and covenant of the gospel (Articles of Faith 3 and 4), she will, with the Holy Ghost as her constant companion, be able to feel even more peace, happiness, direction, self-worth, confidence, love, and purpose in her life than ever before.
This is something available to all of us and lately this past week as I’ve thought over and studied these things while reading though my journals and reflecting on this last year, several people keep coming to my mind that for whatever reason I would like to share this testimony with: Jack Adams, Zach Sullivan, Sam Jordan, Mary Lewis, Aimee Rider, Abigail Ancherico, Ryan Lynch, Emily Honeycutt, and a girl I worked with at New Deli named Lissa. Since I’m not home to do this, if you all could if you see them that’d be great. I don’t know if any of them actually read this blog or know of it’s existence, but I hope they know I care about them and think of them often, as strange and random as that may seem, and I wish them the best. If there’s anyway I can get contact with them or write them I’d enjoy that. Addresses?
Yesterday in sacrament meeting this girl gave a great talk about the Atonement and New Years where she shared an analogy that like looking in a rearview mirror we can look behind us and learn but still more forward safely without focusing on what’s behind us. Instead we should focus on what is available to us ahead. I thought that was pretty cool and it seemed to fit well with my review of my journals and this week. So that’s my advice to you all, look on this last year to learn from it, but keep focused on this year ahead and all that’s available :)
Well anyway, these are some of my musings this past week. I love you and am so grateful for the ordinances and covenants that help us live up to our potential as an eternal family. It’s a blessing I wish for everyone. It was so cool to talk with you all via Skype on Christmas Day, I’m grateful for the time I have now to learn how to consecrate myself to the Lord so I can be worthy of you all in the eternities.
Hopefully het lukt:)
Love you all,
Zuster Becky Hinchcliff