Hello Dearest Mother!!
Sister Applegate left yesterday for the mission home because she flies home today. Its a little weird not being with her. It is also weird to know that I am done with my training and that now I have to remember everything I was trained on so that I can be as obedient and effective as possible. I know I won't remember everything, but this area is so awesome and I don't want to mess anything up because of the things I forgot to do that I had already learned I was supposed to do. Whatever happens though, it is all in Heavenly Father's hands. We will be able to accomplish His work if we are doing the best we can. He will magnify our efforts as we make a point to become unified with Him.
That's actually something I learned at a training I did last Thursday for our Zone. It was on unity and how we can become more unified as a companionship and a mission in the work that we do. I started it with having three of the Elders in my district doing a role play where they went into a lesson prepared to teach the Word of Wisdom, but the investigator would actually have a concern about the Atonement. If they were listening to the Spirit, they would catch on to that, and would begin to teach Atonement and not the Word of Wisdom. One Elder caught it and while the other continued to try to teach the Word of Wisdom. It left the investigator confused and unsure about what was going on. An important point in this is that they could have both been "unified" in teaching the Word of Wisdom, but it wouldn't have been very helpful to the investigator because that was not their concern. Even then, one elder might bring up something different about the Word of Wisdom than the other one wanted, and the whole lesson would be bad. However, if they are both listening to the Spirit, and trying to do that which their Father wants them to do, then they will be able to have greater knowledge of what this person needs, and have the words brought to mind as to what they should say to help this individual Child of God.
The quote you sent me about still having a lot to work on really reminded me of this, because it is through our unity with God's will that we are able to best help His children. Something that struck m was in the Bible Dictionary under "prayer" (yes I know I sent something from this word before in the Bible Dictionary, but this is a different part of it). This is the part I wanted to share with you- "We pray in Christ's name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ--when His words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ's name at all; they in no way represent is mind, but spring out of the selfishness of man's heart." Now this doesn't mean he doesn't want us praying for things that we need. For example, we can still pray to find out where our lost keys, purse/wallet, homework, etc are, but rather that if we are asking God to give us a bigger fancier newer home when we already have a nice home that suits our needs, he isn't going to give it. On the other hand, if we are asking because our circumstances have changed and we no longer can fit into the home we have, or we need to move, its ok to ask for a nice home to suit the needs tat we have, and that we can be comfortable and happy in.
As we align our will to the Father's, then our testimonies and effectiveness will increase. We will begin to see more of the picture than the small little piece in the corner, and the effect we have on other's will also increase because we know more of what God wants for them because it will be what we want for them.
In more sad news, we did have a member of the ward pass away last Monday from cancer. She was diagnosed about a year ago, but she reused treatment, because her mother had the same cancer, and the treatment was extremely painful on all who were involved and she still passed away. She decided she wasn't going to put her family through that, so she just lived the rest of her life as best as she could. Basically everyone in our stake is related to her, so her funeral was huge, but it was also really sweet because many people were so happy for her. They knew how much pain she had been in before she passed, and she had a peaceful passing and is now free from that pain. The Plan of Happiness truly does bring people happiness. It was a celebration of her life rather than a funeral, and while there were some who were really sad due to the lack of understanding of the Plan, and that made me sad, but it was really fun to hear the stories of her life, and the crazy things she did. (Oh she had just turned 59 at the beginning of this month.) It reminded me a little of the funeral that I went to with you a few years ago for your Uncle. That was a funeral full of laughter too:)
Side note: Eric (Who was baptized a few weeks ago, and is 12) gets to receive the Aaronic Priesthood next Sunday! Which means in two weeks he can pass the sacrament as a deacon:) THIS IS SO COOL!!!
I really do love it here, despite the bugs, heat, and humidity..
Oh! Other thing I learned this morning in my study. As I may or may not have told you, I have made it may goal to go through the entire Book of Mormon, verse by verse, and explain what each verse means to me today. I thought about doing this because of the principle where every single verse has been written for our time, and it has been abridged with the Spirit as to what is truly important for us today. I counted the verses to see how many there were, ad there are 6604 verses in the Book of Mormon (Not including any headings or the Title Page). This is a project that will take me years to complete, but I want to study the scriptures more in depth and this is how I have decided to do so. Anyway, I was reading in 1 Nephi 2 and was thinking about verse 12 Which reads "And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." and I thought about how so often I look at Laman and Lemuel as these horrible people because they are so wishy-washy in their obedience to their father and the Lord, despite the miracles they have seen in their lives. Then I thought about how unfair that was of me to think that because they are more like us than we would like to admit sometimes. They complain because they don't understand. They didn't understand why God was having them do the things they were doing, and they didn't understand His purpose. All they saw was someone trying to take away everything they knew. They didn't see someone trying to give them all that He has. Then I thought about how if I were offered 1 million dollars to go out in 100% humidity 110 degree weather for an hour, knocking on doors where no one answered, I would probably go cheerfully to every door, whether or not they answered because I would be so excited to have that reward at the end. Comparing that to the work I do now, its ridiculous of me to complain. Because the reward Heavenly Father gives me for the things that I do are worth infinitely more than any amount of cash I could have. And then to add on top of it, is that I get to give everyone else that opportunity to receive the same blessings as I have, without diminishing what I get at all.. Isn't that an interesting thought? I definitely makes me want to complain less..
Well that's it for this week:)
I love you!!
You favorite daughter:)
Sister Monica Walker
P.S. Both Sisters in a companionship would be Sister Trainers. Its like a Zone leader, but for the Sisters. So I am technically over all the sisters in my Zone. I have to make sure everything is going well with them and that they are getting along with their companions and making sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing (ie waking up on time, actually studying, exercising). We also go on exchanges with each of them once a transfer to make sure all is well in their area. (Exchanges are where one missionary goes somewhere else, and another comes here for 24 hrs.) Zone leaders are still over the whole Zone, sisters included, but since they can't exchange with the sisters, thats what we do.