Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Baptism is On!

Dear Family,

This week has been a busy one, and luckily with the walking it hasn't been as hot. We are still low on miles, so our car usage is limited, but the weather is warmer so we are going to do more proselyting via calls than personal visits most likely. The best thing will be on Saturday when Angela is baptized!!! She asked me to give the talk on Baptism, which I am really honored to do. She is doing so well and I just love her spirit. Chris's dad came to Church this past Sunday!!! Yay!!! We will have to move Chris's baptismal date to the 22nd, but I think he is going to come to Church and is still pumped for his baptism. Sadly, Freddy and Carlos have not been at home when we went for our appointments, but we will keep trying and calling them.

President and the AP's have challenged us as a mission to double our baptismal invitations by September 6th. We had 2 when the challenge was given, so we will need 2-3 more. With the Lord, and a lot of work and faith on our part, we can do this! I love that we are working together as a mission to extend the baptismal commitment the 1st or 2nd lesson. Really baptism is what it is about, because it allows us to have full access to the atonement and to progress on our mortal journey to gain exaltation. There are many who say they follow Christ, and while they do, they just need to understand the why of the gospel and how it is in the restored Church that they can truly follow Christ. I want the world to know that I know this gospel and this Church is the only true church on the earth and that all the ordinances have been restored through a modern-day prophet. The Lord is aware of us and wants all of us to have full access to his atonement.
I really like what Dad said about transitions and how when we have those turning points we need to help those in their turning points. I feel that sister exchanges was one of those for me. We were on exchanges Monday to Wednesday afternoon, and I was with Sister Schott in the high desert, in Hesparia. We talked a lot about finding my purpose and who I am, and making that my focus for the next couple of weeks. I am so goal oriented and want to accomplish so much, but you and everyone else is right, I have to focus on who I am and then I can help my fellowmen. My "habit" is a lot like Angela's, and to overcome the "habit" I have to be determined and follow exactly what the Spirit and those inspired friends tell me to do: worry less and write down something good about me each night. I am starting that, actually, I am doing a "Divine Nature/Confidence Allison Mills style" Personal Progress. We will see how it goes. I just got to be diligent. I am tired of not liking myself and feeling my goals go nowhere, so I will be like Angela and stick this out!

Here is the letter I wrote to President...shows some more of what has happened this week, and why I couldn't write until today. Sister exchanges happened on Monday, and we didn't expect that. Our P-Day was scheduled for Wednesday, today, so that is why I am emailing now.

Dear President Godwin,

This past week has been wonderful! I am learning a lot about me and I am very determined to face my weakness of self-doubt. I want to like myself, and Sister Stacey and Sister Schott both advised me to use this time at the beginning of my mission to learn who I am, and what my purpose is. During sister exchanges I learned a lot more about the priesthood, and how it is everywhere and in everything! How cool is that! Also, Sister Schott taught me that my purpose is not just the missionary purpose, in what we memorize, it is also becoming converted and then converting others. True conversion takes time, and is a constant effort as we serve those around us and keep learning.

I've been reading a little more about Christlike attributes, but I really need to focus on improving how I feel about myself right now, and then I can start to focus more on those attributes any successful missionary needs to have. In my studies I am learning more the simplicity of the doctrines we teach and how vital they are for our salvation. Right now I am studying "Plan of Salvation" and I finally got an answer to a question about my purpose as a person: it is to relearn the lessons we were taught by our Heavenly parents and then labor to teach those who have not yet had an opportunity to relearn those lessons (D & C 138:56). The Lord will answer our prayers and give us impressions and revelations as we seek through study and faith. My faith has been strengthened these past few days, especially during sister exchanges. Miracles are everywhere.

One miracle happened in Hesparia, when Sister Schott and I were visiting potentials. No one was at home, so we knocked on the next door, and the lady told us she knew about Mormons and how her sister and her were ones. Her sister lives in Fontana, and I asked what her sister's name was, and she said, Karen Kagle. Well, Sister Stacey and I are teaching a less-active, Karen Kagle. Apparently Karen and her sister, Jackie, this woman we met, were visiting on the weekend and Jackie expressed a desire to meet with missionaries to receive some service. Karen told her she would pray for her, and lo and behold, Sister Schott and I were at Jackie's door a few days later! The Lord is truly over this work. I am so excited to keep learning, preaching, and extending baptismal committments. Doubling it will be a challenge, but I know that as we go out and open our mouths, those who will receive us will be found.

Sister Allison Mills

Mom--sorry no pictures this week, but next week I promise to have the pictures of Jason's cartoons, which I love, and the pictures of Sister Schott (sister exchange companion) and I. 
Get to go to the Redlands Temple next Wednesday! So I'll email on next Wednesday as well :)

(Well, even though Allison couldn't send a picture, the mission president's wife, Sister Godwin, posted a new one on the mission blog, so I'll insert it here. I think it was taken at the zone conference this past week after the new missionary orientation. Allison's standing next to her MTC companion, Sister Brinkerhoff. Sister Godwin is on the far right. Also, I'll post part of Allison's letter to her father, as well as her letter to Jason)

Dear Daddy,

I am so glad that the Hawaii trip went well and all is well in Zion (home sweet home). Please be safe on your trip to New York and have a wonderful time. The baptism is still on and Angela is inviting a lot of people and the ward is really showing their support. Sister Stacey and I prayed really hard she would have a friend, and she found one in Dana Huertas, an awesome lady in the ward who lives really close to her (same apartment complex). Are you all excited about New York? Don't stress about it Dad, I know you, and I know me. Ha ha.

What a wonderful conference...I really like what you said about transitions and how when we have those turning points we need to help those in their turning points. I feel that sister exchanges was one of those for me... 

Thank you for your testimony of the Savior. I never thought of those ordinances in that way. I may share that with Angela and those at her baptism while I give my talk on Baptism on Saturday. I am nervous, but really honored that Angela wanted me to talk on her special day. What a sweet spirit we were priviledged to meet. Thank you for being the stalwart strength that you are and for honoring your priesthood. I will marry a man just like you :)

Dear Jason,
I am doing wonderfully. I am so glad you are doing so well and having a blast with your friends. As you get older you will realize how important family and friends really are, and the material things don't matter as much. I see you are realizing that more and more. I'm so proud of the man you are becoming.
Sooo glad they fixed that mistake on the back cover! And how cool about the posters, bookmarks, and cards. Could you tell Mom to send me a bookmark?? And, please let me know how the New York trip goes!! I am so excited for you to see Lion King again, it will be fantastic. I look forward to those pictures. Please keep sending me your drawings, I love them, and I love sharing them with Sister Stacey and the other sisters when I see them.
I am very blessed to be doing the Lord's work, and your testimony strengthens mine. Jason, I am so blessed to call you brother. The Lord is really watching out for our family. We are the luckiest kids on earth!
Have a wonderful and safe weekend!! I love you!

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