Teach Repentance & Baptize Converts

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¡¡¡Hola Familia y Amigos!!!

It was a chilly, chill-babe week here in the FJM. I wore shirts…& sweaters….& scarves….& coats…& gloves…& tights…& socks under my tights….& boots….to say I’m gr8ful I’m not serving in Russia would be the biggest understatement of my life

Despite the cold weather, we had an amazing week!! We had another trade-off with the sisters. I was with Sister Miller again. We spent a lot of time talking & praying & reading scriptures together. Sometimes you gotta spend some time healing yourself so you can focus 100% on helping others heal, ya know? That night was a giant sleepover with all 4 of us at their place. We had a blast & we just never want to stop hanging out with them but, #missionarywork, yo.

We had an awesome Worldwide Missionary Conference!!! It was the first time in over a decade that all the missionaries in the entire world were assigned to listen to the same conference. It was broadcasted from SLC,UT!! We had an wonderful training from Elder Bednar about helping others receive a witness from the Holy Ghost that what they are learning is true. The broadcast was helpful because it helped me realize what is lacking in the work we are doing here. I’ve been a little frustrated with our lack of church attendance lately & I’ve just been wondering why the heck my faith isn’t good enough to proceed miracles. I’ve been positive! We pray about it everyday! We invite EVERYONE to church. I brought this up in our round table discussion of district meeting after the broadcast & one of the elders had some really good things to say about it that made me realize I was looking at faith a little wrong. We can run from point A to point B all day, everyday, as fast as we want. What God wants to see, however, is if when we don’t see the “reward” when we get to point B are we going to keep pushing to get to point C (the miracle), or give up because we didn’t see the results we wanted? Food 4 thought.

On Saturday, our two biggest member missionaries BOTH wanted to spend time with us, so I got to spend the evening with Sister Willingham while Sister B got to bike around town with our mini missionary Mikayla! They saw some amazing miracles as they sacrificed in the freezing humid weather of nighttime! I LOVE the members here & how much they are willing to give of time, effort, & money for the gospel! I’ve never seen such a concentrated amount of consecrated disciples!!! I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Heavenly Father seriously sends me to the best wards in the mission!

The week ended with us being able to witness Max getting ordained to the office of a priest in the Aaronic Preisthood! We are so proud of him & his family. He will be passing the sacrament in a week or so. There is nothing like watching people dedicate their lives to the Lord. The blessings we receive for doing so are insurmountable.

I love ya & God loves ya.

xoxo

THIS WEEK WE EXPERIENCED A MIRACLE.

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We were Newberry town, doin what we do, talkin to people, knockin on doors. 👊 What up, what up. We were trying to find this person who is a member of the church that we’ve ever met before. On his record, it says that we should talk to the High Priest group about him, so we go to our area book to find the high priest group leader’s (Bro Anderson)  hone number. It wasn’t there. So naturally, I got distracted by looking at all the lesson reports Brother Anderson has ever been a part of. In the records, it said that he had been to lessons with this man named Laurence quite a bit. BAM. the spirit is not like a whisper, IT IS LIKE A LOUD PERSON THATS YELLING AT ME & telling me that we need to go to this man’s house RIGHT NOW.

Long story short, he had been taught FOUR years ago. We weren’t sure if he even lived there anymore. But we get there, he opens the door, invites us in, tells his wife to come downstairs & we have a lovely discussion about how he basically believes in every principle of the restored gospel & even taught a lesson in Sunday school once. So why isn’t he baptized????? We ask bishop about this (shout out to awesome, involved bishops like Bishop Nance) & he said it was Laurence’s wife didn’t like that he would have to pay tithing, so he stopped investigating so their marriage would be happy. SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS IT ABOUT PEOPLE’S WIVES HERE. but they invited us back any time so we are hoping that four years was enough time for the spirit to work on some heart softening.

We also cleaned a house & I screamed at least 16 times due to spiders crawling out of the wall that were almost as big as my hand!+9 some of our awesome district helped us with it. They are the best people & always so willing to lend a hand when we need it! Which seems to be always.

Our newest Ward missionary Sister Hrivnak went out with us this week to visit someone that had ordered a free bible from Mormon.org (◀️⬅️check that link out). We get there & it’s this really old man who turned out to have been best friends & co workers with one of sister H’s best friends in the church who had long since moved away. They made a great connection & we were able to teach him all about what the Book of Mormon is & how we can use it to help us study the bible. If sister H hadn’t have been with us, we never would have been able to share this glad message with that man as well as we did. It was such a miracle!!

The Bowrings came home from what seemed to us like the longest 10 day trip to see their daughter/sister & we were over there immediately THAT NIGHT to hang out with them. We watched a couple episodes of the church’s newish mini series called “12 Steps to Change” (if you haven’t seen it, you really need to, it is well done) & I was cuddled on their couch with a blanket & two warm dogs & a bag of my favorite jolly time blast o butter popcorn. I felt so normal & so happy. Life is the best.

Miracles really happen, people. They might not so often be in the blind being healed or the dead being raised, but in things that require a little more observation & faith. I know this church is true, because of it wasn’t, us 18-26 year olds in this missionary program would have wayyyyyyy less success in our interactions with people.

Luv u.
Sister Aure
S.o.t.W.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26
(talking about the body of Christ (which is us))
 “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”

#CUL8ERG8ER

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The past week has been what Sister Randle would call “CHILL-Babe”!!!  So cold. It was 40* this morning ☃ so I interpretive danced to Mindy  Gledhil for exercise instead of walking around in the frozen tundra  that is Gainesville.

 

This week was my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, mom!!! You thought I  forgot, because I didn’t email you last week, didn’t you? Well….that  may or may not be true. Regardless: Happy Birthday! Sorry about the  root canal. I know you made the best of it anyway.

I’m gonna tell you why I love Sister Breckenridge. One time she told  me that while she was preparing for her mission, she learned that  swearing wasn’t a part of the Word of Wisdom.

One time this week I got out of the car without turning it off or even putting it in park. Sister B dived into the car from her side all the  way to the brake, where she slammed it with her hand. She saved the  day. & our pocket books. & the tree it was headed for.

We had zone meeting this week where the zone leaders & sister training  leaders all gave trainings. Sisters Miller & Bolos BOTH MENTIONED  SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT WE DID ON OUR TRADE OFFS TOGETHER IN THEIR  TRAININGS IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE ZONE. I felt like a movie star.

There was a different day that we painted a house for habitat of  humanity & I made sure everyone had at least one sour gummy worm to  reward them for their hard work.

I found out this week that I will now be coming home on June 14th,  which is a Tuesday. This is the third time they’ve changed our  departure date.

On Sunday I gave a talk with Brother John Anderson about the Book of Mormon & we sang I Stand All Amazed for the sacrament hymn. I love  sharing my testimony about the Book of Mormon, but you’ve heard it a  million times, so I’ll share with you Marion G Romney’s testimony  about the Book of Mormon.

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book  of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their  children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our  homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will  increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow.  The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their  children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive  and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will  increase. Faith, hope, and charity–the pure love of Christ–will  abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and  happiness”

I feel certain of that too. & I also feel certain that I’ve never been  happier than I am in this very second snuggled in Sister Miller’s bed,  writing my loved ones, accompanied by Sisters B & Bolos, listening to  Sister Miller sing about cleaning the toilet.

Babylon, We Bid Thee Farewell

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This is a difficult email for me to write for some reason. I just feel like so much happened & anything I say about it would do it injustice.

So, I’ve been pondering a lot about life lately & what I can continue doing to improve not only as a teacher & missionary, but as a person in general. Really, they go hand in hand. After a lot of prayer & study I found that what i yet lack is charity. I’ve learned a lot about myself on this mission. I’ve learned about the worth of my soul & the doctrine behind God’s commandments. I’ve learned about how I really CAN achieve anything that I put my mind to. However in the past three weeks as I’ve studied Christ, His life, His ministry, & His attributes, I learned more about my weaknesses than I have in the past year. Talk about a reality check. I was telling Sister B the other day that if I had been able to see all the weaknesses I have a year ago, it would have scared me to death & I would pretend they weren’t there. Now, though? They encourage me to try harder & be better. I’m almost hungry for things I can improve on. (This is not permission for you to send me an onslaught of things you find wrong with me. I still gots feels.) I’ve been very humbled the past week.

I got to go have a sleepover with Sister Miller. We literally chased someone down so we could share the gospel with him. He was a pizza delivery guy & we helped him find the apartment he was looking for. Or at least that’s what we told ourselves. Sister Miller is really great. I always end up with the best, most charitable, non judgmental Sister Training Leaders ever (shout out to S Mackay FINISH STRONG💪🏻) I just really needed my time with Sis Miller this week to literally run from door to door sharing our testimonies with French atheists.

We had a bajillion hour long service project on New Year’s Eve where we helped the YMCA. We manned the sledding hill (YES WITH SNOW; YES IT MELTED VERY QUICKLY☀️🔥) & the bouncy house. Maybe we tested out both activities. Maybe we didn’t. They lit off fireworks at 6:30 & the senior couple in Gville brought a bunch of blankets & we all felt like normal young single adults on New Year’s Eve for a second, other than the fact that we were all in church dress & there were two 60 year-olds sitting between the elders & sisters. But other than that, it was exactly the same. It couldn’t have been any better. We ended the night at our ward mission leader’s house where we drank Martenelli’s & talked bout bizniz.

We had Sister Willingham Ward Missionary come out with us for SIX HOURS one day! We visited a bunch of people that are generally way too far away for us to visit on our own. One of which is a less active who was so happy to see us & introduced us to his son that’s not a member. He invited over for dinner in two weeks so we could meet his non-member wife because he feels like their family needs the gospel. Miracles!

We spent a lot of time with the Bowrings this week & I really just love them. I could believe that they are the reason I am supposed to be here in Gainesville. Their faith & determination to do what is right inspires me.
“I’ll be touching it with my spiritual essence!”
“….we call that the priesthood….”
“It’s a new body lotion! Spiritual Essence!”💃🏼

They say harrible & aranges because they’re from jersey. Those yanks.

Whoo. I am tired, y’all. Talk about wasting & wearing out your life for the gospel, amiright?

But it’s all worth it. We were teaching Sherry the restoration again this week & when the first vision was brought up, she said, “ya know, God in the bible says that too…this is my beloved son, in who I am well pleased….💡💡💡💡💥 I GET IT. I KNOW WHY I NEED TO BE BAPTIZED. I NEED TO BE BAPTIZED BECAUSE THATS WHAT JESUS CHRIST DID”

Bless her heart, I love her so much. I’d be 200x more tired than I am now for moments like that, any day.

Peace & love, friends.
Happy New Year. ✌🏻️