Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Crazy How Words Relieve Burdens - June 20, 2016

I had cambios intermedios and I am now in Quito! I am with a sister from Utah who dies in 3 weeks!
I know that broken minds are healed the same way as broken bones, and that through the Atonement of Christ we can all find peace. It doesn't matter where you come from or what you have done as long as you desire to look for God you will find Him. None of us can understand what Christ went through, but He can understand what we are going through.
The mission is nothing like I expected haha seriously. Sometimes you have days where the whole world seems to be against you and you just have a moment where you think, what am I doing? But then I get the chance to testify of Christ and nothing else really matters. Sometimes missionary work feels like filling the ocean using only an eye dropper. But hey every drop counts! I love the idea that no one ever becomes poor by giving and we don’t love for perfection but we love for potential.
It's crazy how words relieve burdens! I mean think about it general conference talks, listening to someone’s testimony, the scriptures, speaking in prayer, priesthood blessings etc. I mean just writing this email right now I am able to provide understanding for my feelings. The construction of words has the power to reconstruct hearts.
I wouldn't change my decision to go on a mission for anything in the world!! Man, I can't imagine where I would be without the mission. Probably addicted to a new Netflix show while eating a jar of Nutella. I don't know what God's plan is for me. I don't why I am in Quito again? I don't even know who we are going to visit after I send this email, but I do know that patience is always required when trying to walk the path of salvation. And when we don’t understand we need to fill it with belief. I believe in God. I trust in God. And most of all I love God. So hey it will all work out and in the mean time I am going to eat some chocolate and think of something funny to make me laugh. Because I really love laughing :)
Sorry my emails have turned more into my journal but I know that you are never alone and if you are going through something that you don't understand be grateful because that means some really awesome surprises from God. He loves you. You are never alone.
Con amor, hermana Israelsen

Cleave To Charity…It All Starts With Your Thoughts - June 13, 2016

I don't have a lot of time this week to write but I do have some funny stories.
This week my comp came down with this butterfly pin, earlier in the day I asked if she wanted to give anything to this little 2 year old girl in our branch because it was her birthday. I had put together a little gift and asked if she wanted to add anything to it. A while later she comes down stairs with this pin. I had totally forgotten about the gift thing and thought she was just being nice and giving it to me. I gave her the biggest hug and kept saying thank you thank you! I put it in my hair and everything thinking wow it's so cool to see my comp show love I even said a thank you prayer!! Later that day we are at the house of this little girl and as I gave the little girl the gift my comp asks me if I am going to give her the clip. I realized that the clip IN MY HAIR was for the little girl not for me. Hahaha this happened a week ago and I am still laughing about it because I was wearing this butterfly clip in my hair all day thinking my comp gave it to me...
My comp hates hugs, ask me what I do every morning. I give her a hug :)
I got really sick yesterday I have no idea why? It was so random and fast! I had a fever and was throwing up. But I just felt peace about it all. I felt so strongly this is all a part of Gods plan. We don't have any investigators. Our numbers are haha well let's not go there. Seriously I feel like I am just living moment for moment. But today I just felt peace. This week I had the reoccurring thoughts "Cleave to charity which is the greatest of all. And it all starts with your thoughts." Our thoughts are like the root of a tree, the bark of the tree is our feelings, and the fruits of the tree are our actions.  I believe in miracles. I believe if we treat others merely they are they will remain as they are. But if we treat them like what they can become they will become that. "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you." I think of the advice my dad gave me, "never get offended and learn more about their background."
I thought about how one of the attributes of Christ is knowledge. The more I understand the doctrine of Christ the more I am able to humble myself and trust Him because if I truly understand His plan I can just let it go and say "thy will be done." I can honestly say in this moment I have never trusted God like I do now. I don't have to be a leader to be a good dedicated missionary. I don't have to have baptisms every week to prove I am working hard. I speak Spanish maybe not perfectly but for someone who grew up super white in good old Alpine, Utah I am doing a pretty good job!! With these small adjustments to my thought patterns I am able to find peace and most importantly hope! I hope in good things to come because God is my strength and He will not leave me. When I chose "you are never alone," as my theme I didn't realize what I would have to go through to truly understand that phrase.
My simple testimony is I know God lives. He loves me. A divine being loves me and He loves you. The more you listen to your creator rather than your critics you will find peace I promise you that. Be grateful in all circumstances and laugh a lot because laughing is good for the soul.
You are never alone. I truly understand this phrase now.
Con amor, Hermana Israelsen