Monday, January 5, 2015

Hey Everyone!! 

This week has been so great! Me and Sister Chismar are finally both feeling better from being sick! Being sick really reminds you to be grateful for your health, especially as a missionary! haha. We have had some crazy experiences this week though.. I probably won't share most of them.. but someday(: hehe.

So with the new year in mind I had read Alma 22:18. King Lamoni's father was being taught by Aaron, and his reaction to what was being taught was:

  18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

He was willing to give everything away to know God! How many of us are willing to do that? Are we willing to give away our Xbox, play station, or wii? Are we willing to give away our Sunday football games to keep the sabbath day holy? Are we willing to give away our comfort zones and put Gods will first? You know what you need to give up. It could be those things, or maybe just giving up bad thoughts. Those could just be demeaning thoughts about yourself. Like, "I am not as good as her/him," "I could never do that," or "I am not good enough."  I challenge each of you to do as King Lamoni's father this new years. Give it up! Don't hold onto it! And I can promise that you will know your Father in Heaven more. You will come to understand what His plan for you is. What he knows you can be, and continue to become. Learn who you really are. Prayerfully seek out something you can give up this year to grow closer to your Father in Heaven.(:

Th is week sister Chismar and I have been learning a lot about each-other, and I am just loving our companionship! We will have a little bit of tension between us, in a sister kind of way, and then we will just talk it out. Talking it out is my favorite thing! You just feel sooo much better afterwards, but it is hard to do at first. I just feel like our companionship is actually changing my true self. The other companionships I have had felt like they were changing my surface, but when I got home I would easily revert back to the same person I once was. However this companionship is changing me to the very core!!! I am not even kidding! The very beginning of our companionship was great number-wise and relationship-wise(The honeymoon stage), but then we began to become comfortable with each other to a bad extent. To where our natural man selves came out.. it wasn't good at all! We still got along great, but we were really struggling with the work, and on top of that we were both sick! Well this week we are feeling better and we are more determined to work on ourselves and this ward. I am learning so much about myself, and I am really changing the parts of me that could have caused me to go less-active when I go home in about 9 months. Our companionship is so inspired, and I just want to cry for joy just thinking that I can change my true desires of wanting to be comfortable, to having such a love for the people that I willingly and want to put myself completely out there in the cold and weary world. God is so good. 

For example, the other day we had bishop out with us. We had a set appt. with these people and when we got there they were all sick so we couldn't teach then the BOM lesson. It was pouring rain, but I was determined to teach them something that would strengthen their faith. So I shared Alma 7:11 and the spirit was there, and it was an awesome but short powerful lesson about how Christ has felt what they are feeling with the flu, even though we were getting drenched outside in the rain. Then we went and stopped by this less-actives house that reeks of smoke! If you new anything about me before the mission, Oh man.. I could not do smoke for anything. I would run the other way! Well I wanted to go to her house, because I loved her! The smoke didn't bother me one bit, and I was just focused on her the whole time. Afterwards Bishop and Sister Chismar were talking about how bad it smelt in there and how horrible it was to be in the rain. I am not trying to put them down in anyways shape or form, because it was bad! I know that I would have normally complained and thought of how we could be making this easier. But I hadn't given one bad thought to any of those situations, and it was a moment where I was like.. wow, that didn't bother me.. it definitely would have before my mission though.  I can see that I am changing! God is changing me! I am so happy! I like the person I am turning into!! When you lose yourself in the work you really do find yourself! I am so blessed to be out here! I am so blessed to have   my mission president! I am so blessed to have sister Chismar as my companion! I am so blessed to have the support of family and friends at home!

I just love you all so much, and wish you the best with your new year resolutions! Have a fabulous week! 

Love always,

Sister Steffani Stokes<3

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