Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shall the Youth of Zion Falter?...NOT IN FONTANA!

Dear Family,
I don't have a lot of time so this email will be short, but I just wanted to share a few things I feel and know to be true. First, I know that Sister Stacey and I were meant to be together. While I loved Sister Schott (picture included), and I would love to be companions with her one day, Sister Stacey had to be my trainer. She is calm, hardworking, fun, loving, patient, compassionate, and full of faith. All the things I want to develop more as a person and as a missionary. The Lord really knows who we need to be with when and thank goodness for worthy priesthood leaders who listen to Him and follow His counsel.

(Sister Schott and Sister Mills)
Second, when a family is supportive of their child and their decisions, especially the decisions that are of eternal significance, Satan has less power to bind anyone down or to tempt them to give up. Angela's baptism was on the 1st and her family, though not members and not really interested, were so supportive and touched by the Spirit. Bishop Knudson of the Oleander Ward where we serve was right when he said it in ward council. When those who attend a baptismal service are open, the Spirit is stronger. It was a lovely service, and though no investigators came, one less-active/recent convert 12-year-old girl came with her non member grandma!! That was incredible! I am so glad the Lord inspired me to call and invite them, and they came :)

(Sister Mills, Sister Stacey, and Angela--in back--with Angela's family)

(A family attending the baptism)

(Angela and her dog)

Third, there is no time on a mission to think of things of the world. Yesterday was district meeting, and we talked of repentance and how that leads to baptism. Repentance is an eternal principle, and is valid only when godly sorrow is used. I like what Elder Harris said about repentance: it's as easy as ABCDEF (A=admit B=be sorry C=confess D=don't do it E=ever again F=forgive yourself). That is what it is all about. Well, after that spiritual uplift (and I baked cookies for the zone, and I've noticed anytime I make something for the zone to enjoy I have a better day, so I better keep doing that), we all went out to lunch at Tio's. There was a TV on that showed the ball games, and we all watched some. BIG MISTAKE! For the rest of the day, keeping wordly thoughts out was so much harder than it has been my whole mission. I am determined and am making a goal to NEVER watch anything on TV again for the next 17 months! I hate not feeling the Spirit and not keeping focused on the things that matter most at this time of my life. Truly, the brethren were inspired about what to include in the white handbook.

(The Redlands Temple)

Finally, as I indicated in my title in the subject line, the LDS youth of Fontana are incredible! I know Elder Cook said LDS women are incredible, and I agree wholeheartedly, but I add, LDS YOUTH ARE INCREDIBLE!! Let me explain. First, most of our referrals for people to visit come from the youth, when we have dinner when one is present. They talk about seminary and how they share the gospel with their friends at school. And, way cool, at dinner on Sunday, the Beehive teacher, Sister Davies, asked Sister Stacey and I if we could go to mutual one night and role play with the Beehives on how to answer questions, or bring up the Church to their friends. This was not the leader's idea, it was the Beehives! INCREDIBLE!! I am so impressed with the youth all around the world. They are so much more focused on the things that matter most than I ever was. What a marvelous opportunity people my age have to bear children who are going to grow up to be the strong leaders of the Church this world needs before the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm so glad to be around such wonderful youth who are converted to the gospel, not just those who have testimonies. Testimonies only go so far, you need to live and love the gospel (be converted) to stay strong against the "fiery darts of the adversary" and be built on the foundation of Christ (Helaman 5:12). Truly, the LDS youth around the world, and in Fontana are an example of the believers.
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
~ 1 Timothy 4:12
I've got a lot to learn from these incredible people. How wonderful it is to be on a mission where I can learn so much and witness so many tender mercies. The Lord is living, the Church is a living church, and the gospel is true!
Sister Allison Mills
p.s. I also thank all the mentors, Darlene Christensen, Celeste Glendhill, my 4th grade team, Cheryl Winfree, Jeanette Anderson, and Murph for their kindness, compassion, and lessons about how this life and how we find ourselves is by serving and deciding everyday to be happy and have some fun while getting all the work done.

(I'll add a few lines here from other letters to us)

Dearest Mom,
... I love being on a mission and feeling the Spirit all the time! Yes, I am so grateful for prayers and how my understanding of the atonement is increasing. I try to think of Christ more throughout the day and it makes the day so much better!
The temple was amazing and I loved being able to learn more about the purpose of life and how the Savior is the center of the gospel and all we do in it...
Loved the pictures, especailly of Jillian accomplishing such an amazing feat of graduating! I am so glad you were able to go to a wonderful fast and testimony meeting and you all look so great! Our fast and testimony meeting was wonderful, and Angela's friend, who was less-active but because of Angela's example reactivated herself bore a powerful testimony. Also, many youth bore their testimonies. The youth are the strength of the Church. I'll write my post for the blog in another email and write more about them (they deserve to be gushed about).

Dear Dad,
Wow! You answered so many questions our investigators have, and I am going to print out your letter and use it for some of our lessons, especially with one man who does not understand why he is apathetic towards learning anything about the gospel (of course this happened while he was progressing). Satan is a creep.
I'm really glad there were so many tender mercies, especially for Jason. That must have been the best trip ever!! I prayed a lot for you all that it would be a safe and fun trip. Prayer works! Angela's baptism was wonderful and the Spirit was really strong there. We are so proud of her, and the Spirit shines from her so much more. She is a powerful source for good and will always be.
I promise that I will always stay worthy of the covenants I have entered into. The Lord has given me all, and I will never betray Him.

(Also, Sister Godwin posted other pictures on the mission blog of a fun Sister's Activity they had involving water during this past week, but you'll have to click here to see them. Allison's in the big group picture to the left.)

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