Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sprint to the Finish

1-26 -15 
   It is a great day to be a missionary! In fact every day is a great day to be a missionary! 
   This week has been all kinds of hard and amazingly dandy. 
Getting your Sprint Papers
    Monday was kind of crazy. We went bowling as a district at BYU for p-day but only ended up staying there for like 45 min which was pretty sad, and we had to be split up at different lanes because it was so busy there for MLK day. I then went to the BYU creamery for the first time....which is just a little ice cream shop that everyone raves about...  We then played soccer and I scored like 3 goals! It was great! That evening we had a lesson with one of our recent converts named Jake NoHorse. He is part Native American and super quiet, but when he does talk, he is hilarious! We had an amazing lesson on the atonement with him, and we watched For God So Loved the World, which is one of the new bible videos that I highly recommend you watch. We then went to an FHE where I probably had the worst bashing of "On my mission" by sister RMs that I've experienced so far. Haha! When you serve in Utah, everyone thinks they had it harder than you on their mission and they like to go on and on about how much harder they worked and the crazy things they encountered. Especially when they find out we have ipads and an iphone. It's not like I picked Utah for myself or I'm lesser because I'm serving here. But I wouldn't choose anywhere else to serve. :) It doesn't make me a worse missionary or mean that I have a weak testimony because I'm serving here, so I'm good where I am :)
     Tuesday we got canceled on a lot, but had a very busy evening. We met with Candace again, who is getting baptized this upcoming Saturday afternoon. We had a bit of a struggle meeting with the bishop and stake president and then her older sister to make sure that she was being baptized in the right ward and that she wanted to stay in YSA. But overall it all worked out and she is doing well.
     Wednesday was a little crazy. We had to get up early so that we could get to our district meeting on time because we had interviews with President McCune. They went super well. President McCune is so inspired and in tune with the spirit. We all talk about how he is going to be a general authority one day, but he always says he just wants to be called to work in the nursery after he is released haha :) He is an amazing man, and I don't think I've met a single person who hasn't talked to him and really liked him. I'm so grateful to be serving under his direction. He is exactly the mission president I needed, and I'm glad that I've been able to have him my whole mission.
Sprint to the finish - does she look happy to have 3 months left?
     After interviews, we went home for lunch and in the mail box I received a big white envelope. I instantly wanted to throw it away! I knew exactly what it was even before I opened. Three months before a missionary goes home, they receive what are called "Sprint Papers"...but most of the missionaries in our mission call them "Trunky papers" ...but I like to refer to them as sprint papers. It's a letter from the mission president thanking you for your service so far, and then there is a "Pledge to Sprint" Certificate that you sign and hang up on your wall so you can look at it. If you sign it, it means you pledge to sprint to the end of your mission. To work hard and dedicate your all to the fullest to these last months. It's actually pretty neat. It explains how the Olympic games in Ancient Greece included a 26 mile marathon across the most mountainous part of the Balkan Peninsula, and how the runners would set speedy paces...but the real winner was the one who reached inside himself during the last mile and sprinted to the end. The certificate says "Therefore, having run on my mission at my specific pace, I now pledge to sprint to the end. I promise to reach deep within myself and find an amazing inner strength to perform such as I have never performed before; to never neglect any opportunity to share the precious gem of the gospel, to cry repentance with urgency, to serve God and my fellow men with all I have, lest the adversary overtake me. I want to obtain the laurels of eternal life for myself and others. I have carefully considered the strong implications of this promise--for I do not make promises lightly-- and I am willing to stand by my word. I witness it to all this day." and then it says at the bottom "This is the most important race I have yet run. "And then gives the scriptures 1 Corinthians 9:24. It really motivated me to make these last few months count. It really is such an amazing experience, and I want so many to attain for themselves the blessings of Heaven through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But it takes obedience, dedication, and hard work on my part. I've learned that the simplest things can make up the biggest changes. 
     Later that night we met with B, who is a returning member we have been teaching. She works at a psych hospital with a lot of crazies and she has a lot of really funny stories to tell us all the time. Watching her change and strengthen her testimony has been an amazing experience. She fed us dinner this week and made us breakfast for dinner. 
Bruised knuckles.....
....from knocking doors....or makeup artist?
     Thursday we got canceled on a lot too. One of the guys we teach is named J and slept through his alarm and was an hour late to the lesson. He said that there were so many things getting in his way of coming to the lesson. He slept through his alarm, he started getting sick, and then he got a random bloody nose, and then traffic was horrible getting to the lesson...but he said he knew that Satan was just trying to make it so he wouldn't get to the lesson...So he felt like he must really need it if Satan was working so hard. We had some great discussions on Faith Hope and Charity and we were able to help him with some questions he had. It went really well. We also saw J that day. She is just out of high school. She is hilarious  and has gone to beauty school and all other sorts of things, and so she was showing us all of her different makeup and stuff and showed us how she knows how to do fake wounds and what not. So I asked if she could show me, so she put makeup on my hand to make it look like I had bruised knuckles. It was actually pretty cool and I wasn't able to wash it off for a few lessons, so some people kept asking me what had happened to my hand and were able to have a good laugh. 
       Sunday was crazy busy and last night we had a huge fireside with the whole YSA stake. The stake presidency was putting it on with their wives and it was all about eternal marriage and fear in forming eternal families. They all spoke and sat on a panel while they had Q&A from the audience about marriage, dating, and all sorts of other things. It was actually really interesting and hilarious. One of the wives got up and talked about how she always thought her love life would be like Pride and Prejudice where Mr. Darcy is walking through the field towards her and it would be a magical moment. She then talked about how she saw her husband her sophomore year of high school and she said it was her field moment. He said he had no idea that had even happened...and that he hated Pride and Prejudice and thought all love stories should be like the one from Rocky, between Rocky and Adrian, which had all the guys laughing. It was really funny and really spiritual...if not a little awkward for the two sister missionaries sitting a few rows back ;) haha. I did run into a girl from EFY while I was there though! Her name is Savanah and it was good to see her! :) 
      Transfers is next week, so start praying that Sis Gulbranson and I will stay together! We really are! We want to so bad! It will be my first companion I'd have for three transfers! Let’s see if I can break my cycle of 2,1,2,1,2,1,2 transfers with a companion. 
     Overall it was super fun week and a lot of growing happened for me. I'm so thankful for the hand of the Lord in my life and also in the lives of those I teach. This is truly His work, and He knows what He is doing. I'm grateful he trusts me enough to let me teach his children and help bring them unto Christ. I love being a missionary. I love you all and hope you all have a great week! Keep in touch!!! Miss you!
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer
p.s.  Happy Birthday to Sharee!! And I shall keep the pregnant sisters in my prayers! Keep me in the loop when those little boys get here!

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