Monday, September 17, 2012

We Can Open Our Mouths

(Allison had sent me a game she made for my birthday to share with my Primary class. It's called the Game of Sacrifice and it basically calls on the players to make choices as to which things in their lives they'd be willing to sacrifice for other, more important things. I'd told her the kids had a tough time trying to figure out which was most important when it came down to testimony, the temple, and the priesthood.)

Dear Family, 
I was so grateful to get all the letters, postcards, and emails today. I had a lot to read! This is going to be short, but I hope that is okay.
Mom, so glad your class is so grateful for you and that you are seeing, as I have, that letters from kids are the best. Also, I'm glad the game went well and the kids were so torn about testimony, temple, and the priesthood: they have great testimonies themselves and wonderful parents who are teaching them how to be converted. Those were the hardest for me to decide between too. Danny was a little nicer when we saw him, and Sister Kagle is reading again. I hope she will want to go to the temple someday. I want to gain a stronger understanding of the temple so that I can be a powerful witness. It is going to be up to her to come back to Church and do the things needed to attend the temple, though. Prayers work though for sure. How lucky all of these people are to have all these prayers on their behalf. Danny is 29 years old and very intellectual. We are teaching him The Restoration this week, and as we teach with clarity I hope he feels the Spirit and that our Church is not just another church, but the true Church. As I grow in understanding, I know we can help him.
Dan and Anna seem very open. We had a first lesson with them, found out what they expect, and how they see how content we are and want to find out why. They said they would read from the Book of Mormon, but there is no sure answer that they have. It's been a challenging week for them with looking for jobs and filling out applications, and in our follow-ups they seemed to know they should read, but I don't think they understand the why yet. When we see them again that is something we need to make sure they get--why it is vital to read the Book of Mormon. Also, they said they would come to Church, and sadly, Sunday came, and no Dan and Anna. We called and there was no answer. Later this week we are going to visit them and find out what is going on.
Chris Carrillo is getting more excited for his baptism, and tonight we have our last lesson with him before his baptismal interview and baptism (cross your fingers) this Saturday! We are teaching tithing, fasting, and the word of wisdom. The Christensens, another family in the ward, and the Carrillo's home teacher, have some great insights to share, so it should be a powerful lesson. I just hope I am prepared enough. There is still so much more to learn and understand, but I believe what you said, Mom; as I stay prayerful and obedient that understanding will increase of all the gospel principles and ordinances, and the moral strength needed to ward Satan off will be increased.
Isaiah is difficult to understand, and I find it hard to concentrate at times, but the footnotes are incredible! For chapter 11 of Isaiah, there are a lot of answers and added revelation to increase understanding given in D&C 113--you should check it out, it is way cool.
Sorry for no president letter this week, I am going to do that right now, but I wanted to see how all of you are doing, and you all sound great. What wonderful things you are all learning and experiencing. So glad you got to do some service for Prosser. Sister Stacey and I did some service for a lady in our ward, but there were some rat feces involved, and we didn't stay too long after we found those. 
Keep doing all you can to share your testimonies, and the best way to do that is to live the gospel, which you are all doing. I'll pray that you can all meet someone to share the true message of the gosepl with, and I know that as we all have courage we can open our mouths. The Ensign this month gives some great examples and ideas, as does the New Era--check it out. 
Wow, I'm so glad Laurel is okay and that she is keeping with tradition :) She is going to be an amazing trainer and her companion is very lucky to have her. Tell Brother and Sister Burrup I think of her often, and pray for her success.  
I love you all, and know that I know the gospel is true and worth fighting for!
Sister Allison Mills

(And here are some snippets from her letters to her dad and brother. She also mentioned in her letter to me that she'd been sick with a cold most of last week.):

Dear Dad,

Wow, I didn't even think about that really. I was thinking about the setting apart and how I was blessed to find hidden talents, and I am having a hard time realizing those. I think that I am wanting all these blessings right now and feeling like time is running out to be perfect, but I can't be perfect ever in this life. I should breathe more and enjoy the journey.

We really have been so blessed, and I have been so blessed these last 2 months with all the people we are meeting, that we are teaching, and how I am learning and growing in the gospel. It's getting harder now, and there are less people to teach, but I'll keep my chin up as best I can. I'll reflect today on the good moments I've had in the past 2 months. Thanks for telling me that. MTC experience is truly wonderful and unique.

Angela is doing well, she is reading again. Last week was really hard for her, and she missed us coming over, so we are going to see her more to support her with the Word of Wisdom and finding her new life in the gospel. It is a lifestyle. Ruby may not yield fruit, but we are going to see her again. This week is going to be a lot more finding I feel, but at the end of the week Chris will be baptized hopefully!!! That will be wonderful :) His family is such a support and it's been a long haul for other missionaries, so I am just so grateful we get the opportunity to see the fruit of all the work put in from all these missionaries. What a blessing.

Dear Jason,
That's okay, the Pathway assignments are going to be a little challenging; you'll find, as I am, that when things are a little harder they are more worth it. Teaching the Gospel is getting a little harder since we don't have as many people interested, but I know it is worth it and is the ONLY WAY to have eternal life.
Are you loving your Book of Mormon class? What are you reading right now? I am in Moroni, and am really excited to start reading again from the beginning with my new highlighting ideas (green for mention of the Savior, yellow for scripture mastery, purple for commandments, blue for God's love and orange for the Doctrine of Christ--which is everywhere!) My scriptures are going to be colorful :)
Good job for saving Mom's book! That is so funny that they missed that critical part. You are the master of paying attention to detail :) Please let me know what the book launch is like and send pictures. It will be wonderful!
I did get your wonderful postcards and loved them! I can't wait to see all those places you visited, especially the 9/11 memorial and the parks in person. Something about nature and remembering those brave souls just makes me feel God's power all around. I bet the Lion King was the best, and those seats are AMAZING! What a cool experience :) Once in a lifetime, and worth the wait since you were 4.
You are inspirational even when you don't say anything. I love you lots and am very proud of you.

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