Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sister Melanie Bakes, Cleans and Gives a Reading Assignment

Hello Family!

Love you!

It’s been kind of a crazy day today. We have temple day this Friday, so we have a shortened p-day and have been spending most of it trying to get our laundry done. Take 4 sets of sisters trying to all do laundry in one set of washer and dryer in our apartment building and then add in another tenant who is trying to his as well and things get a little complicated.

This last week, things have been kind of slow. We have been doing a lot of cleaning lately for a lot of different people, its kind of a funny situation. On Tuesday, we helped Carrie- a kind of investigator- with cleaning her home which has in the past few years been slowly filling up with stuff as people have died or for whatever reason, their belongings have gone into her home. Tonight, we are going to be doing a few hours of deep cleaning that are required for our apartments each transfer and then helping Tana - a less active- clean her apartment for a couple of hours. I think that I have finally gained an appreciation for cleaning. I am sure mom remembers the time when I was moving out of my apartment at the end of a semester and she came to help me. She went into the bathroom and came out saying, "You should be ashamed of yourself!" after seeing the bathtub. It was pretty scummy.

But, anyway, I don’t' even know what else we have been doing. The Trail Center has been very slow lately. I have been spending a lot of time studying and trying to find productive things to do, but sometimes we get to the end of the night and I am not really sure if I accomplished anything at all. I can see why some missionaries have a hard time going home. It is hard to feel like you are doing much at all when you are used to changing peoples lives all the time. Nothing else feels that fulfilling anymore.

Sister Brown and I have been working a lot on gingerbread this week. We finally got it finished last night while our companions were helping decorate the TC for Christmas. By the end, we had 8 gingerbread stained glass panels that we had made (only 3 of them are actually going to be used- the rest were mistakes), a whole grocery bag full of extra Dum dums and Jolly Ranchers, some frustration, and a feeling of relief that it was over. It definitely fun at first, but it was also kind of stressful and way too time consuming. But, it’s good. I think they pretty good.

On Wednesday, we had zone conference. The whole thing was focused on the talk from Elder Bednar this last conference about testimony and conversion. Read it. It’s great. I love the subtitle of the talk. It puts the two very simply and says something like "The essence of testimony is knowing that the gospel is true. Being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion." Its funny, one thing that sets us apart from some churches is that we teach that faith without works is dead- essentially that testimony without conversion is not enough, but how many times to do we sit through a Sacrament meeting, even feeling spiritually uplifted, but then leave being the same person that we were before. True, we may have been baptized and read our scriptures every day, but without constant pruning, it all doesn't amount to much at all. Sister Davis shared an analogy with me that I really liked. She compared the changes that we make to ourselves to a spiral. At first, the changes are big and noticeable. They take great effort and produce great results. As we come nearer and nearer to the center of the spiral, the changes become smaller and less noticeable. I think that it can be easy for some people, especially people that have been in the church for a long time, to think that they are doing ok because they are not struggling with the big things, like the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Chastity. I think that what is more important than the changes that we are making is that we are making changes at all, whether big or small. We cannot remain still, we must continue forward.

That's all for this week!

Love you so much!

Love, Sister Melly


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