Monday, September 22, 2014

Creating a Life

"The Dream Team" as the Elders like to call us.  Photo bombing by Sister Shumway.

It's been a hard week. The beautiful kind of hard. It reminds me a lot of high school cross country races. They were hard, but I loved them more than almost anything. The sense of accomplishment, the sense of self-worth, and the exhilaration of taking your body and your soul and making them work together to create a race.  Creating a race,  or a creating a life, really is a work of art. The things we do and say are creations, really. We are creating our lives, just as we create a race as we run it, they are creations! We are creative beings inherently. There is something in us that needs to create, and people find so many ways of creating. We are children of God, so of course there is a deep inner desire to create within each of us. He created the world. We create our little lives here upon it. We're not always very good at creating, but we sure do try. The trick is learning to let the Master Creator take the lead, to let him guide our creation.

This week in my creation of my mission, the little 18-month story I'm currently writing, I had a little case of writer's block. I didn't know where to go, what to say, what the next chapter of my story needed to be. So I took it to God and asked for some help. As always, the help came. And, as per usual, it came when I wasn't quite looking for it, in a way I didn't expect, and in timing I didn't quite understand. Sometimes I forget that God speaks to ME. He speaks to me in my own language. I tend to hear how he speaks to others and expect him to speak like that to me.

That's something I've definitely learned this transfer. The second you say "I can't" and you give up even in the slightest, that's when Satan can get you. And he will. Because he is EXCELLENT at what he does. NEVER GIVE UP. Never give up. Satan gave up. He didn't believe that he, or we, could deal with agency. He didn't think we were strong enough to succeed. But Christ, He believed in us. He didn't KNOW that we would be able to access the atonement and overcome and become all that we can be. He didn't know that. But he believed in us to the point that he was willing to give his life, he was willing to give MORE than his life--for us.  He performed the atonement to give us the OPPORTUNITY for salvation. His performance of the atonement guarantees nothing. He only believed that you would use it and guarantee for yourself a place at the right hand of God. He believes in you that deeply. And along with that belief there is love. Love like we cannot imagine, and faith in us that we cannot comprehend. Know that. Believe that. Act on that. I can promise you that if you go forth with that belief, you will move mountains. You ARE moving mountains. I bet you didn't know that. I bet you don't realize the mountains you have already moved. We are infinite beings with infinite potential. Believe in that. And NEVER GIVE UP.

Sisters of the Clarksburg West Virginia Stake
Elder Ostler is back!  I love my mission family from Lexington.

Putting up Hay
This is how much we LOVE putting up hay!

Mission accomplished

We randomly ran into this YSA group from Washington, D.C. while eating at Black Bear.
It was so fun to eat with them and hear all their missionary stories.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mo-town Photos


"The Dream Team" and the M---------- girls

I do, in fact, miss the chickens

The triple pangea bed #creepy #spaceistight

#CountryRoads #TakeMeHome



Catching Salamanders at our ward activity at Chestnut Ridge Park

I love these kids!

We have been holed up in our apartment a lot lately because of sickness, but we did get a new investigator who we found randomly on the street and he is SO prepared. He is a R&B artist, and he is currently praying about a baptismal date!

Morgantown Zone

Sisterhood of the Morgantown Zone

We had a really cool zone conference at Cooper’s Rock this week, and  Elder Maxwell, who I graduated with, is my Zone leader!



If you think having one companion that you have to work with and be in sight and sound of 24-7 sounds hard. . . try having two!!!!  Just kidding! My new companions, Sister Simmons and Sister Snyder are the best!

It's a bit of an adjustment being in a tripanionship, though. The first big issue was finding a place for us all to sleep in our little apartment. The Zone Leaders had to find us a spare mattress, and our bedroom is so small that the only way we can fit all the beds in is by squishing them together. You can't get to the closet unless you stand on the beds---but hey, at least we have a place to sleep, right? And for the moment, Sister Snyder's closet is the living room. . . #MissionLife

We've already had some really amazing experiences together. We had the opportunity to offer one of our investigators a priesthood blessing. The Zone Leaders were able to come over and give a beautiful blessing to a woman we are teaching who was going through a lot of pain. Before the blessing even started her husband said, "Can you feel that?? Can you feel the spirit in this room?? It's almost electric!" We COULD feel it. It was a beautiful blessing and the spirit was so strong.

Doing service/having fun last transfer
Sometimes we sort garlic
Sometimes we burn stuff

Cooper's Rock


Almost Heaven

Morgantown Missionaries
Cooper's Rock

My sister is married!!!!!!!  Oh, and I am staying in Mo-town, and getting not one, 
but TWO new companions!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Luck

Mt Morris Township, Pennsylvania
We have been tracting a lot. . . but we have gotten more member referrals this transfer than this area probably ever has!  Referrals don’t always lead you straight to the people the Lord has for you to find, sometimes you have to look around a little!

Good luck with everything with the wedding this week! I have been and will be praying for y'all so hard! I'm so happy though, and so happy that everything went well with the temple! The more I realize how important what is happening is, the more I feel okay about not being there. I'll be there with you guys in heart. Right next to y'all every second. I think that's a blessing of being a missionary, I really can be in two places at once. Love has the ability to do that, I've found. Love can do anything. And I love you guys. So much. And miss you so much. I really do wish I could be there for all this, but I have work to finish in these hills :) I'm
exactly where I'm supposed to be, and so are each of you. I love you so much. 

Sorting Garlic.  I LOVE doing service here!
Cheat Lake
We HAD to stop at this cute bakery for honey milk and a treat

Sister Long