Sunday, August 9, 2015

February 23, 2015

Hey everyone! This week was great. It was also exhausting, joyful, crazy, busy, exhausting, thrilling, exhausting, and did I mention exhausting?
Haha, but really it was such a great week!!

We went on two exchanges, had another MLC meeting down the hill, did a mini exchange, and service.. Plus regular missionary work! This is probably the busiest I've ever been in my entire life. But I love it so much, I'm learning so many things, and my testimony of Jesus Christ is growing so much! Although it's making time fly way too fast. Can you believe my year mark is this thursday!?!?! I feel like I just started my mission! Now I only have 6 months left.. That's pretty depressing, like I love y'all and everything.. But I love being a missionary SO stinkin much!!

Now with the actual part of the week!

So Tuesday we had our zone meeting, and we gave a pretty great training on not just expecting miracles to happen, but being full of faith in which we can participate in miracles! It was sick. We had marshmallows and everything! ;)
    Later that day we were able to do some service and pull weeds, service is really just the best! :)

Wednesday was when I went on my first exchange and an STL, for both of the exchanges this week I stayed in our area. So just to remind y'all what an exchange is, what happens is at night time, around 8:30 we switch companions, and we switch for 24 hours, so Sister Cromwell went to a different area for 24 hours, and while we're on exchanges we get to give advice to sisters, and help them use the tools that they already have to either strengthen the area, companionship, or their testimony. Then we evaluate the exchange, and talk about what we've learned and then switch back to our own companionship's.
  A lot of the time people think that when we're on exchanges we're teaching other sisters, but I feel like in reality they'er teaching me! These sisters that we have the privileged of serving have so much faith,  and have so much charity. They're teaching me how to be a better missionary, and a better person. Plus I'm able to see how the Lord is using me as a tool to serve these sisters, I'm normally not a very good person to go to for advice, listening sure, but advice it's like words don't like to come out. But It's been a great learning experience because Heavenly Father has been helping words to come out of my mouth and somehow they make sense! I say things I didn't even know that I knew, it's like when I first started my mission and I was just getting used to recognizing the spirit. It's awesome. I love this calling so much!

Thursday is when we had our MLC meeting down the hill, and we didn't have a dinner that night so we got to go to Chick Fil A. Needless to say I was a happy camper! I only know of 3 in the mission, and all of them are down the hill, so it made me very happy to have my favorite food! :)

Friday was super cool! We got to go and do service with homeless people!! What we did was we packaged food into boxes, and then deliver the boxes to the homeless.
It was such a great experience!! These people were so thankful, and we were doing it with another church of different beliefs, so it was great being able to be united with these people! :)

With that the funny moment of the week happened when we were there! So you know how we're only supposed to hug people of the same gender as us as missionaries? Well, I don't know of a day that I was hugged by SO many men. Like legit, I think every guy I helped gave me a huge hug. It was nice, don't get me wrong, I love hugs, but I'm SO not used to hugging guys anymore. Legit, I don't know what I'm going to do in 6 months and I can hug men again.
But with that, once we were done and we were walking to the car,  I whispered to Sister Cromwell "Sister.. I've been hugged by SO many men.." And she just started cracking up because she wasn't hugged at all by ANY men. It was the funniest thing ever.. Probably one of those you had to be there moments, but it was great! :) #6monthsuntilicanhugeveryoneonplanetearth

Well y'all, with this being my year mark email, I would like to share my testimony with y'all of some of the things I've learned on my mission.
First, I know that God lives, I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and I know that they love us with infinite love, and no matter how many times we mess up, or fall short, I know that they still love us.
I know that Christ suffered the atonement for us, and because of that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again, something that I learned this week that often times in the scriptures the word "suffer" means to allow, so if you plug that word in with Christ's atonement, it means that he made it so we're allowed to return to our Heavenly Father.
And I know that Christ's grace is sufficient for each of us. I have a quote that I love which says "When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ's atonement are continuous and his strength is perfect in our weakness."
So in other words, because of Christ, our weaknesses can be made strengths, which I have seen so be so true! Especially the past few weeks, how we all have our feelings of inadequacy, or feelings that there are so many other people that can do something way better than you,  and so forth. But with that, Faith is the perfect antidote to fear, or to those feelings, and I know that Christ can make me stronger, and that his grace and mercy is sufficient for each of us.
I know that God love us, and how we can all be made tools in his hands, and how we ALL have purpose in this life, how nobody is a mistake child, or that we're spare children, but how we each have a distinct reason for being here, and that we are ALL children of God.
It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, where you're going. You are a child of God. And he loves you.
I know that when we pray, God hears our prayers, and that he answers them.
I know that we can find happiness every single day, this past year I've had a lot of trials, but I've also found so much joy along the way, when I think of joy I think of everlasting happiness, or pure happiness, and I have found more joy than you can imagine from being out here serving The Lord.
Y'all, I know that this work is true, I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that we can learn, and we can grow, and that when we turn to Christ, we will be strengthened.
And I leave you these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love y'all, keep doing great things! I would invite you to just find something throughout the day that's a blessing, and think about how that is a blessing from God.
There are tender mercies all around us.

I love y'all! Have a great week!!!
   Sister Bond :)

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