Friday, April 18, 2014

I just hit 14! Can you believe it?! 10 more... Not cool man not cool

April 7th Update

Haha - he is so funny!!!  It does my heart good to know that he is loving where he is at in his life.  I have seen him grow so much over the last 14 months - sometimes it is hard for me to believe how much he has changed.  For those of you who know Jake well, you will understand what I mean when you read this next thing he shared.

I'm grateful for the conference talks. I have this journal that is for meetings-It has general conference, district meetings, mission leadership councils, zone conferences, zone trainings, etc. I have it color coded as well. I have one of those mini pens that has all those colors on it! If it's green It's something that I wrote that will apply specifically to me in the future, for example something about parenting, a thought provoking questions, etc. If it is blue it applies to me right then and now with whatever calling I'm in (Now looking back on these will be a source of inspiration as well.) And if it's black it's just general statements that apply always or just little notes. If it's red then it's a scripture or a source of reference, for example, pmg, the bible, the bom, books people have written etc. I have loved looking back on this journal! It's incredible and I'm so thankful that I was inspired to color code it as I sat in Mission leadership council 6 weeks ago. 
Did he seriously say he is color coding things?!!?!  I LOVE IT!!!!!  As I said, it does my heart good.  I actually have taken his suggestion and I am using it as well.  He is brilliant! haha - but don't tell him that!

He has now been a Zone leader for 5 months. I think it has been a heavy load to carry but he is doing well.  For me, I think being a leader is hard. In my own experience there is always someone who is not happy with your decisions.

So conference - I love Conference!!! I made some goals for myself. It was terrific!  But I want to share one talk with you that was really poignant with me.  It was by President Uchtdorf and titled: Grateful in Any Circumstance.

It was really quite wise and touched my heart.  Here are the words to the beginning of his talk:

Over the years, I have had the sacred opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul. In these moments, I have listened to my beloved brothers and sisters and grieved with them over their burdens. I have pondered what to say to them, and I have struggled to know how to comfort and support them in their trials.
 Often their grief is caused by what seems to them as an ending. Some are facing the end of a cherished relationship, such as the death of a loved one or estrangement from a family member. Others feel they are facing the end of hope—the hope of being married or bearing children or overcoming an illness. Others may be facing the end of their faith, as confusing and conflicting voices in the world tempt them to question, even abandon, what they once knew to be true.
 Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift.
 It can happen to anyone. No one is immune.

I have always felt that Jacob is blessed to love others and I pray that he is able to help those he meets and comes in contact with to know that they can find Joy in the Journey. 

It is really hard to choose just one or two conference talks to share because they were all so important to me in different ways.  If I could leave one more with you today it would be this one by Elder W. Craig Zwick called, "What Are You Thinking?"

He, too, gave me much to think about. One of the most important was this:
The willingness to see through each other’s eyes will transform “corrupt communication” into “minister[ing] grace.” The Apostle Paul understood this, and on some level each of us can experience it too. It may not change or solve the problem, but the more important possibility may be whether ministering grace could change us.

Sometimes it is too easy to be upset at others without even looking at things through their eyes.  All of us could do to be a little more patient and understanding with one another.  I had asked Elder Packham if he had a favorite talk and he said that he couldn't choose just one.  I completely understand.  So here are the goals I set for myself after watching conference:

-continue daily scripture study          
- be more grateful-strive to make it a disposition
-work on my marriage - always          
-study & use preach my gospel- incl. in letters to missionary
-let my faith show more                    
- follow impressions from the Holy Ghost
-spend 1 hour a week on family history

Love you all - Sandi

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Leadership is Lonely and other musings......


Your email about the people that have helped pay for my mission brought tears to my eyes. Literally. I wish I could pay them back but I know that the only way I can truly do that is to continue serving like I am. 

This last week was phenomenal. We were able to get the bikes out and bike a little bit. We had a baptism on Saturday and that went great! Rachael is so awesome! She bore her testimony at her baptism and that was special. I will send you pictures here in a second.

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. Felt the spirit so strongly. There is this guy named Wes and he was in a skiing accident a couple years ago and he broke his neck. They thought he wouldn't make it but he's here today and he's still recovering VERY well. He's so great, he has so much faith and optimism. He blessed the sacrament. Once again, it brought tears to my eyes seeing someone exert all of the energy and will power that they had to bless the sacrament and hand the trays. I was reminded of my Savior more so than ever before during sacrament. The sacrifice that he has gone through to give us the atonement and the sacrament each week. I'm thankful for Wes and his testimony that carries him when days seem dark. We have another lady on baptismal date. We will have one for sure in April, hopefully one in May, and one in June. We had 2 total baptisms in March in the University ward. We had almost all of our zones baptisms. Mike is working towards getting the priesthood! (: He's so great. We teach him at the institute directors house, brother heap. Brother Heap is a phenomenal teacher! He's so great! He will make a great mission president, and I'm glad the Lord has called him to Texas (: Even better. 

We are seeing Miracle after Miracle.

I wrote a letter to President Danielson today! I sent a post card to Aubrey and hopefully I'll be able to get some other letters out. I think I want to write one to Patriarch Coleman. 

Things are going great! I refuse to speak down on my zone or any missionaries but there are a few issues. I wish that there was a way to teach the importance of not evil speaking against your leaders without having to endure the things that are being said. Evil speaking is a sin worth confessing too. It's major. A part of me says "You know what?! Who cares, let em talk." But I know that it can't continue. For if it goes on in the mission it's likely to happen after the mission. Sometimes I feel a little bit like Nephi and the prophets of old contained in the book of mormon. We're doing great though! Relying on the Lord for his help, his guidance, grace, mercy, and comfort. Leadership is lonely. But it's not the cloak of comfort, it's the robe of responsibility. Sorry I'm just blabbering. Things are going well.

This is what I will share with Elder Packham next time I write him:



Position or leadership will come to those who the Lord feels can do the work or to those who need a particular calling. Each calling you receive prepares you for additional service and for a future calling. Every calling prepares you for the next one—you just don’t know what it will be.

As missionaries, each one of you is a leader. Even though you must work under the direction of the bishops and ward mission leader, even though you are cautioned not to get too pushy with members, even though you are reminded that you are here to assist the members in their missionary work—nevertheless, you must gently persuade, remind, guide, and move the work along. Surprisingly, the members expect this of you. The bishops expect this of you, and the ward mission leaders expect this of you. If you sit back and do nothing, they soon lose confidence in you. If things are not going well in a ward, you cannot sit back and blame the bishop or ward mission leader. As missionaries (leaders), you must find a way. If the work is going well, you must give credit to others. You must follow the Lord’s counsel:

“Only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile” (D&C 121:41–42).

1.Persuasion. It’s not so much what you say that counts; it’s the total impression you convey. Enthusiasm, persistence, awareness, empathy, and patience are all virtues of persuasion. Aggressiveness, impatience, and pressure do not persuade.

2.Long-suffering. Work with the members and leaders. Recognize that they do not yet have the commitment to missionary work that you have—that their time and interests are divided among their family, employment, Church callings, and other responsibilities. One of your challenges is to teach them how to include missionary work in their list of top priorities.

3.Gentleness. “There is nothing so strong as gentleness, and there is nothing so gentle as real strength,” said St. Francis de Sales (in Favorite Quotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson, 210). Gentleness is consideration, tenderness of feeling, and love. Take time to be gentle.

4.Meekness. Meekness is the quality of being teachable and open-minded. “Teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; . . . Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart“ (Alma 37: 33–34).

5.Love unfeigned. Everyone can sense when a person is not being genuine. As a leader, you must learn to love your fellow Saints and to work closely with them. Unfeigned love is love with genuine concern. You must really care.

6.Kindness and pure knowledge. Learn how to build people up, to make them better, to make them happier, to bring them closer to God. An act of kindness is an act of love. When you do something for others, you are generally the one who gains the most. The more you know about God (pure knowledge), the more you become like Him.

Oh Mother How I Love You ~~ and a wardrobe malfunction

March 24th

Oh mother how I love you (This was how Jake began his March 24th email) I am not complaining - I love him too!!.

The wardrobe malfunction goes as follows:
I had to buy a new suit. My grey suit, the pants got a huge hole in the butt, i'm talkin' like 3 inches long. So I hand sewed it back up. THEN the day before zone conference in Helena it popped open again and the fabric was like shredded. It's gnarly, I have no idea how it happened. Maybe I'm just getting fat. So we literally had to go an an emergency shopping outing to find me a super cheap suit. I bought the cheapest one they had and it was for $100. The black suits from home are huge on me because they fit me when I weighed like 200lbs. My grey one still fits great I just don't have pants for it anymore :( The other black suits I have are faded from black to brown and one is too big. Missions are so darn expensive. 

 My zone is doing great! The work is hastening. We only have 7 companionships so we have one of the smallest zones but we have about 15 people on date which is really good. We are having a baptism this weekend, her name is Rachael. She is already helping us do missionary work for our other investigators. Last night she had her baptismal interview and she said that it was interesting being on the other side of the fence helping these other people. This last week we picked up quite a few more people to teach. We picked up about 3 or 4 new investigators and a new less active. People are prepared. Serving in the college ward is the best! I went for the UofM college ward to MSU college ward. It's great! 
Vocal Point is coming to Bozeman the first week of May! We're excited for that, it's going to be a great missionary opportunity. 
I still have a bit of a cough. :/ I've been taking 1500 mg of vitamin C a day, sometimes more. Drinking lots of water, working out, eating healthy. I ran out of medicine but I'll be fine i think.