Monday, February 24, 2014
Hello my wonderful family. Well it's been a whirlwind of a week. Last Monday night we went over to this adorable kid's house - He's 9 and he's getting baptized on Tuesday! So exciting. He asked me to speak at his baptism on the Holy Ghost so I'm thrilled for that. The Holy Ghost is one of my favorite things to talk about - how incredible is it that God loves us so much He allows a member of the Godhead to always be with us to guide, comfort, and inspire us? Later Monday night Sister Jacobson and I felt impressed to stop by another investigator's house. She wasn't there but a few of her friends were. It was neat because we all discussed the Gospel and my companion and I bore testimony that we know this church is the only living and true gospel on the face of the Earth. I expressed God's love for them and testified of Christ's atoning sacrifice that He made for them. No greater love hath any man than that he would lay down his life for his friends. Tuesday we had a district meeting. It was so inspiring. We read in Matthew 14:14-36. Christ said, "Be of good cheer. It is I; Be not afraid." It tells of the story of when Peter began to walk on the water to Christ, but once he took his focus off of the Savior he feared he would fall and he began to sink. He cried out to Christ and immediately Christ outstretched His arm and saved Him. Christ is always extending His arms to us. He wants to help us. He wants us to walk on the windy waves of trial and affliction and keep our eyes focused on Him because if Christ is our focus, we will not sink in the depths of our despair. Later that day Sister Jacobson and I went out contacting people. So many doors were shut in our faces. We even walked up to a house where we heard the people inside say, "Don't go to the door. It's the missionaries. Pretend you're not here." And Sister Jacobson hollered, "We can hear you ya know!" Hahah people these days. All we want to do is share a beautiful message of Christ. But all you can do is all you can do. You can't force people to see that the Gospel is exactly what they need... all you can do is invite and love and rely on the Spirit to speak to their hearts that what you're saying is true. Tell them what you know. Speak with your heart. Testify and the truth will enter. Wednesday was freezing! We walked around and contacted as many people as we could. It was a physically rough day, but so rewarding. I feel like sometimes we have to climb the tallest mountains to see the most beautiful sunsets. That night we went over to this wonderful family's home. We taught a less active mother and her 14 year old daughter. I really connect with her daughter. We just get along really well. It was my first time leading out the lesson and I was nervous, but the Holy Ghost calmed my worries and allowed me to speak with my heart. We taught them about The Restoration and that the Priesthood, the authority to act in God's name, is back on the Earth. At the end I teared up as I bore my testimony that this Gospel can bring such light and truth and love to their lives. There was such a beautiful and peaceful spirit that filled the room. I extended a baptismal invitation and she said yes! Later that night my companion and I had stake correlation and talked about our areas and how they're doing with the other elders in our area. The stake high counsel man over missionary work pulled me aside and said, "Last week after you sisters left my house from giving a lesson to my friend and she said she would be baptized, there was such a peace in my home. But it wasn't just that peace. It was a holy feeling, a sacred feeling, that something really extraordinary had just taken place. Thank you. I can't believe you had only been out four days. When I found out I was so surprised. The spirit really worked in you and I witnessed that. I'll never forget that night. I knew I needed the combination of you, Sister Mork and you, Sister Jacobson." That just warmed my heart! If we allow our hearts to be full for the love of those we serve, miracles do happen. Thursday was so long and exhausting. I'm amazed I make it through the days with how tired I am, but God truly does strengthen us to allow us to do more. We were super tired, but cheerful. Attitude is everything! We met so many people that just needed a comforting message and a heart warming scripture to be shared with them. God will place people in our paths that need us. We are His hands. We must lead and guide His children with unfailing love and understanding. New goals: Be bold. Love unconditionally. Turn outward. Forget myself. Remember Him always. My hands were so cold from walking around all day in the chilling wind and opening my Book of Mormon to inspired scriptures I wanted to share with everyone I met on the street, but my heart was warm and full. Life's a climb, but the view is great. Friday we had so many appointments fall through and so many people cancel and at first we were a bit discouraged. But then we said a prayer and asked that Heavenly Father would guide us to those people we were meant to help and serve today. It's amazing how Heavenly Father's plan for us can be so different than the one we have for ourselves. He knows all of His children and if we are obedient and patient and faithful He will lead us to them and them to us. Sister Jacobson and I cover some of the sketchiest neighborhoods in Pocatello. We actually carry pepper spray. That night we were walking along the sketchiest street with our pepper spray out and prayed for comfort and peace and protection and I felt it. I could feel God's angels watching over us. He is so eager to bless us, but we must first ask in faith. We then stopped by this wonderful elderly lady's home and she made us hot chocolate and said, "If I could tell myself something many years ago I would say don't be afraid to ask the questions. If you want to know something you gotta ask." Wise words. Just thought I'd share:) It was then around 8:30 pm and my companion said, "Well we still got some time. I'm sure there's one more person we can teach tonight." And we went out and found a wonderful couple to talk with about the church. Follow the Spirit's promptings - He will guide you where you need to go. Saturday started off wonderful, but things kept occurring that made me feel more and more down and hopeless. Whenever we have negative and upsetting feelings those are not from Christ. Satan is the author of confusion. Christ is the author of peace. I felt so discouraged and sad and my anxiety was increasing and I turned to the Lord for peace and enlightenment. When life gets too hard to stand, kneel. I prayed with every fiber in my being to be able to continue to move forward with a steadfastness in Christ and hope abiding within me. The adversary wants us to feel low and inadequate, but we do not need to let him make us feel that way. We are children of an Almighty God who loves us unconditionally and will send His angels round about us to bear us up. I asked my zone leaders for a priesthood blessing and all that negative energy and those dark thoughts vanished and God's love replaced it all. That afternoon Sister Jacobson and I attended a baptism and spoke about The Restoration. Joseph Smith really did restore this gospel through God's power. What He has done for mankind is unbelievably powerful and commendable. Sunday Sister Jacobson and I sang in sacrament. For those of you that know me, you know I have stage fright soooo that took some courage and faith. We sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." What a beautiful song. What comfort that sweet sentence gives. Christ is real. He died for each and every one of us. He is our brother and loves us with an unconditional and everlasting love. Last night I woke up super sick and so today I'm trying to recover. Say a little prayer for me, please, so that I can go out and do the Lord's work diligently this night and this week. I bear witness as a representative of the blessed Jesus Christ that we are His brothers and sisters and he cares for us more than we could ever comprehend. I testify that through this Gospel families can be together forever and that death is not the end. The Book of Mormon is true. This Gospel is true. Read and pray and the Holy Ghost will testify to you that this is Christ's church back on the Earth. God loves you. You are His child and he watches over you always. I love you. Remember your worth. Love, Sister Mork
at 12:03 PM
Monday, February 17, 2014
Hello beautiful family of mine! Okay so this week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Last Monday night... so I had been feeling really anxious and worried and scared because it was my last night in the MTC and Brother Macahilahila is so inspired. He started to give us a lesson and then said, "Sisters, follow me." We left the classroom and went to a different building where there are pictures of Christ all over the walls of the hallway. "Go and find your favorite painting and then come back." We each walked around, silently and separately. There was a painting of Him I had never seen before. He was walking to the cross, with thorns on his head and blood on His back from being whipped, a crowd following around Him, and He was looking over at someone that was cold and huddled around a fire. It just struck me. Here is this man, The Son of God - the only perfect person to ever walk on the Earth, and He is being directed to the area where He would be tragically killed and yet He isn't even looking down at His pained feet or weeping for Himself. Instead, He is turned outward, looking at another child of God, with longing and a desire so firm to just help this other struggler. In one of His darkest moments He is looking to comfort another. It just really caused my heart to ache for His selflessness and beauty. I am in awe. We then spoke to one another in the class about what we thought and believed and what struck us. I could barely hold it together. The tears just kept flowing. I love my Savior. Those words don't even describe the feelings of appreciation and inexpressible love I have for Him. I can't find the words. Earlier in the day we had all been doing role plays for investigators and missionaries and something a friend of mine said struck me. She said, "I see something in you. When you speak to people you just connect with them. I can see all you could be... but you're holding yourself back. There's so much you can become. Don't deprive yourself of that. Let go and let Him in. No fear." So that's been one of my goals this week. Then Monday night my district and I raided the vending machines, bought all the food we could, went back to our room and ate while we packed, just laughing and talking. God knows who we need in our life. He will put them there. Love them. You can find heavenly angels everywhere in the most interesting and unexpected friendships. Tuesday was like "WHAT?" So surprised. Last day at the MTC. We woke up early, finished packing, and went to breakfast. It was our last zone breakfast and of course I got sappy. I have grown to love these elders and sisters as if they're my own. Ah. I got to see Elder Tanner Hillier again! He's the bomb - he looked so happy and uplifted! (The MTC does that to ya;) I love seeing friends from home. Then my district and two elders from my zone, Elder Burtoch and Elder Skidmore, got on the bus to Pocatello Idaho. It was so nice being with them for a bit longer. Once we arrived to the mission house I was almost passing out. It became so real. "I'm here. It's happening." I kept thinking! Ah our mission presidents are Brother and Sister Brinkerhoff and they are fantastic! You can feel the love they have for you just pouring out of their eyes. I love them. Then I got your package mom!!! THANK YOU. Getting packages and letters from home mean the world to me. That night I found out where I'd be serving - Pocatello Central III. We're over the Valleyview and Freemont Heights wards. Short story - so December. I googled "Pocatello Idaho sister missionaries" and I found a blog from a super cute sister named Sister Jacobson. I then sent her a Dearelder.com letter asking about the mission and what to expect. Then two days before I headed into the MTC, January 27th, I got a letter in the mail from her! She talked about how wonderful the mission was and just sent the most loving and comforting letter. Guess who my companion is. Sister Jacobson! So rad! Heavenly Father is so inspired and so incredible. She's my first companion here out on the mission! So wonderful! Tuesday night though.... that was rough. My MTC companion, Sister Worrall, and I spent the night at a members house and it became very real. I felt pretty anxious. New changes can be frightening... but anything worth doing is going to bring you out of your comfort zone. If it didn't, how else would we grow? I kept praying for comfort. I invite you to do the same - pray with your entire being, let Christ in. Let Him calm the storm inside of you. Don't lose hope. You're already walking on water right now in this moment - don't lose faith now. Don't sink. He is beside you. Focus on Him. Wednesday I met my new companion Sister Jacobson. I walked out of the car, anxiously looking around at all of the new missionaries, and all of a sudden I see this whirl of brown curly hair and a grinning face screaming, "Sister Mork!" She is so sweet. She's made me feel welcome and loved from the start. We hugged and just started talking right away. She's definitely a tender mercy to me. Saying goodbye to my MTC district was bittersweet, but we're all serving in Pocatello so I'm sure I'll see them again:) Right after that we headed to our new apartment. Please keep sending letters! I love them so much. They mean the world to me - especially encouraging words and inspirational scriptures and quotes. They move me along when it gets hard. So then once we got to our apartment we began studying and then went out! We walk a lot. We don't have a car so we walk around and talk with people about the gospel. Wednesday we were walking in the rain and just talking to everyone we saw about the Book of Mormon. To be honest, at first I was so nervous and anxious. It was pouring rain. I was so cold. People would shut doors in our faces when we tried to explain we were missionaries for Christ's restored church and it broke my heart. I first thought they were rejecting me, but then I realized they were rejecting Christ and that broke my heart even more. However, there are few times I have felt as inspired and lifted as I did that cold, wet day. I felt Him walking alongside me the entire time. I know He was. Thursday we had zone training. It was awesome. My new zone is rad. Me and my companion, Sister Jacobson, are the only sister missionaries in our entire area. There's like 5 sets of Elders in our zone and then her and I. I was so inspired in that meeting. Read Matt 4:20, 22 - Leave everything behind and serve. You will perform miracles. God will perform miracles through you if you believe in Him. 3 N 18:12,13 is wonderful too. If we make Christ our foundation, nothing can make us fall. We give up what we used to love for who we love more. While we were in the meeting I just had this sense of AH. I raised my hand and just expressed how important this work is. I spoke so boldly about the worth of souls and how we must show them Christ. We must show them the way. They need this. Our brothers and sisters need this. After I shared my thought one of the elders shared a beautiful story and tears came to all of our eyes. Our faith can inspire the faith in others and cause them to speak up and share beautiful memories. If your fire to share the gospel isn't burning in your heart, rekindle it. Pray to be an answer to someone's prayer. Pray to be a vessel. Friday was emotional. So that day we had training and I saw everyone from my MTC zone! LOVE THEM. Then that night.... I got such anxiety and homesickness. I'm going to be honest. That was such a hard night. I have had some of the brightest moments on my mission but some of the darkest..already. I can feel the adversary trying to make me doubt myself and feel unsure about why I'm here or if I'm capable. I miss home. I miss you all. And that night it just hit me. My heart ached to be home in your arms and just comforted. I knelt on the floor in my new apartment and just cried and expressed everything I was feeling in my heart and soul. Such peace couldn't have come any other way. The hardest times come before the greatest miracles - I kept telling myself. After I got up me and my companion got back to studying and then I just started tearing up again. I told her all my feelings and we had such a warming heart to heart. Ah, I love this sister of mine. We hugged and she offered such inspiration and wisdom. I know I'm supposed to be here. I know I can be a vessel in the Lord's hands. I know God can work miracles through me and I know I can bring souls unto Him. And because of that knowledge I know that Satan will try to cause me to doubt myself and doubt my purpose, but I can testify as a representative of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that if we put our trust in Him, then we can withstand any turmoil that Satan will send our way. After the crying fiasco, Sister Jacobson asked me if I wanted to ask for a priesthood blessing or just keep talking or whatever and I said, "Let's go out and find someone to teach." It was 8 pm by then and we went out and I'm so glad we did! We stopped at an apartment and talked with this adorable young mother who wasn't a member but said she planned on getting baptized. I shared a scripture and expressed that the Lord can help us climb any mountain we leads us to. SATURDAY ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR CAME TO OUR MISSION. I saw him! I was in the same room as him. He gave a devotional and it was so beautiful. They say things like this never happen and it's probably the last time it will for a while. He said everything I needed to hear. Ah to be in the same room as an apostle of the Lord. I can't describe the light I saw and felt as he spoke. Read D&C 84:87-88. God is always with us. "There is strengthening grace from the Atonement that helps us do more than we could alone when we strive to do what's right." I needed that so badly. I can love because He loved me first. Turn to God and feel his support. I was praying to feel comfort before the devotional and I kept feeling these words in my heart, "I am with you. Be troubled no more. Fear not." As we sang with Elder Bednar I felt nana Karen with me. I always do lately. I wear her ring everyday, mom. She is my guardian angel. Later that day we were walking and there was a woman outside her house smoking a cigarette. Sister Jacobson and I walked up to her and started talking to her. After Sister Jacobson paused for a moment I asked if I could share one of my favorite scriptures - D&C 121:7-9. After reading, I bore testimony to her that God is aware of her and that He loves her. I expressed that Jesus is the Christ, her older brother, and that he died for her. Tears came to her eyes and she cried as I told this woman I barely know but already loved of Christ's atoning sacrifice for her. The Spirit was so strong. Then that night I had one of the most incredible moments of my life. We were in Stake High Counselor of Missionary Work's home. He had asked us to come and teach his coworker. She is such a beautiful soul - an older woman with such kind eyes and loving smiles. We taught her about the Restoration and how this is the true church and after the lesson I felt impressed to invite her to be baptized. I bore my soul to her and told her that God is aware of her and knows her circumstances and then continued to ask, "So will you follow the example of your Savior, Jesus Christ, and be baptized in His name?" And she said yes! By the end of that we were all crying. I love this gospel. And Sunday I went to both wards and gave a talk in one of them.. for twenty minutes! Sheesh. I was unsure of what I was going to say, but the spirit guided me in everything I was meant to testify to the ward. The stake high counselor of missionary work spoke up in the ward council and said, "I will never forget what you said, Sister Mork. There was such a spirit when you spoke and bore testimony and I will never forget that moment. It's engraved." I love this gospel. I know the church is true. I know that God is aware of each and every one of us. He loves us with an unconditional love. Christ is our strength. He is home. He is peace. Read the Book of Mormon. It's written for you. Pray. God loves you and wants to hear from you and give you blessings on high. Write me. I miss you all. I love you and pray for you every night. I know angels are watching over you. All my love and more, Sister Mork
at 7:49 PM
Hello my beautiful family and friends! I LOVE YOU! I am doing SO great. So last Monday night we had a lesson and it totally hit home for me. One of our teachers, Brother Makahilahila, had us each write down all of our expectations of ourselves as missionaries. I invite you to do this activity as well. Take a pen and a piece of paper. Put a line in the middle of the paper. On one side write down all the expectations you have of yourself in life. Now on the other side of the paper write down all of the expectations God has of you. Are they different? Are they the same? I noticed with mine I had SUCH high expectations of myself…which are good…but not to the point where it feels impossible. Our expectations of ourselves should be in line with what Heavenly Father expects of us. He is perfect love and mercy and justice. Align your will with His. Align your expectations of yourself with His. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. God trusts you. You trust God, don’t you? And if you don’t trust in yourself then you’re not trusting in God. You’re not trusting in His trust in you. Trust in yourself! I hope that made sense J haha. You’re stronger and more beautiful and capable than you know. God knows you. He knows what you need. Last week, my beautiful companion, Sister Worrall, and I had our first TRC investigator. His name is Theo. We were nervous beforehand and were feeling a little inadequate to be teaching him and then I remembered that Henry Ford quote you say all the time, Dad. “If you think you can, if you think you can’t- you’re right.” We said a prayer that God would be with us to help us teach with love and power and felt such peace. We believed that we could. Theo is such a beautiful soul! He's a 20 year old man- super sweet, hilarious, outgoing and strong. He’s planning on marrying his girlfriend, Lauren. She’s a member of the church and he asked to meet with us to learn more about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is about. Right when we walked in there I felt Gods love for him. I was so eager to share everything I know about the gospel with him. I just kept thinking: I want you to know God loves you. I want you to know you are a son of God. Christ died for you and because of Him you can live with your family again after this life. My heart kept rejoicing and I almost burst with all of the love I felt for a man I barely knew. We had prepared a lesson to teach him about the Plan of Salvation- where were from, why we’re here, and where we go after this life- and once we met with him everything changed. The Spirit guided us and we just spoke with him and learned about him and taught what the spirit prompted us to talk about. It was magical!
Then Tuesday night my companion and I went to a devotional. We sang in the MTC choir. It was such a beautiful experience. We sang “Be Still My Soul.” One of my favorite hymns. Read the lyrics if you can. It speaks about how we turn to Christ when we need peace. After the wonderful devotional we met with our district leaders and Brother Brown said something that really spoke to me. He said, “Think of a friend or a family member that isn’t a member of the church. Think of someone that doesn’t have all the knowledge that you have. Now you’re on a mission and going out to find people. When you’re teaching – you’re teaching someone’s family member or friend that needs to know about Christ. If you will start worrying about someone else’s, God will have someone else worry about yours.” Wednesday the fifth we read 2 Nephi Chapter 4. Read it! It’s so powerful. God answers prayers. He hears you and He knows you. You are His. He will and can give you divine revelation if you ask with sincerity and faith. Stand strong. You are a child of God. Let His arms encircle you with love. He will. He wants to bring you peace and love and He will send His holy angels to watch over you. Cling to light. Cling to goodness and happiness and trust in God. Cry unto Him. He will carry you. Christ will carry you.
Wednesday night we taught Brother Bryner, our other teacher, in a role play where he acted as an investigator and Sister Worrall and I were missionaries. He was a young man named Blake. We’ve had a few lessons with him and they’ve all gone really well but Wednesdays lesson was incredible! We shared inspired scriptures with him. We shared the story of Alma the Younger and how he was so wicked but through Christ he was able to change and repent and experience such happiness and peace. We knelt down and prayed with Blake and he said he wanted to be baptized. It was such an astonishing moment!! Makes me so happy that he’s willing to take this step and commit to Christ. Although he is our teacher, it felt so real. Then Sister Worrall and I took the new district around the campus and told them what to expect from the MTC. Since were zone training leaders that’s one of our responsibilities. Me, Sister Worrall and our zone leaders Elder Bertoch and Elder Skidmore all bore our testimonies and there was such a feeling of unity and joy that filled our hearts. When you bear your testimony and tell others what you know in your heart to be true, that is such a special moment. Do it. Share what you know in your heart. Don’t hold it all back.
Then Thursday the sixth we had in-field orientation all day. We had different lessons and teachers that shared such inspiring insights. It was so great! Man am I tired, but man am I happy!! Have you ever felt inspired to say something to someone, did it, and then felt so peaceful and good afterwards? Congratulations. You’ve been an angel. I realized something. I’m not here on a mission to become a better person. I’m here to FIND a person and make them better. And you know what’s cool about that? In doing so, I will become better. I just keep having this reoccurring thought: Find your brothers and sisters and bring them home.
Think about this: How do people feel being in your presence?
Exodus 14:14 is powerful. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Give your heart to God. Greater happiness awaits you than ever before. Friday was a hard day- just emotionally draining. In the morning I saw Sister Warren and she acted as someone she knew that wasn’t a member of the church and I felt the spirit stronger than I have in any role play we’ve done as I talked with her. I completely let the Spirit enter my heart and guide me. I asked inspired questions and just had an incredible experience. I felt questions and thoughts enter my mind and heart which allowed me to better relate to and help her. Read 2 Nephi 31:21. Christ is the only way and as we have faith God will appear to us. Maybe not literally, but in our hearts and minds and daily lives. That’s why missionary work is so important. Lead them to Christ. They need Him. We all need Him. Later that day there was someone that had done wrong to me and my companion and at first we were really upset and we felt betrayed. But then something happened. Although we were sad and hurt by the actions of this person, we still loved them and prayed to feel peace in our hearts and we prayed for them. Something changes inside of you when you let go of the anger and hurt caused by the actions of others and just allow your love for them to overshadow anything else. We prayed and as we prayed for them the words “Ether 12” flashed across my mind and as soon as we got off our knees we turned to the scriptures and read Ether 12 together. It was all about faith. It’s one of the most powerful chapters I’ve ever read. So beautiful. I’m so thankful that we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares about every detail of our lives, a loving Heavenly Father that can give us divine revelation. If someone has done wrong to you or you have ill feelings toward others, let it go. Give those feelings to God. Don’t allow that burden to stay on your shoulders any longer. He wants to help you.
Saturday was wonderful. We taught Theo and he prayed with us!! He was nervous to pray in front of us and he finally did it. We were so proud of him. I teared up during the prayer because I was so happy for him. He said he couldn’t tell if God was really there because he couldn’t see Him. I said “Theo, close your eyes.” And then I tapped his arm. “Open your eyes,” I said, and then when he opened his eyes I said “Okay did you see me?” He said “No.” I said, “Did you feel me?” He said, “Yes.” I replied, “Did you see God when you prayed?” He said, “No.” I said, “Did you feel Him?” He said, “Yes.” He just kept smiling and whispered, “I get it.” Just because you don’t see something with your physical eyes doesn’t mean it’s not there. Can you see love? No, but you feel it. Can you see the wind? No, but you feel it. Can you see God physically? No, but you can feel Him. He is there! Saturday night my district and I found a box of fresh donuts. These girls in our hallway didn’t want them and so they gave them to us! Then us 6 girls went up to Sister Jorgensen’s bunk bed and ate all the donuts and laughed and talked together. I love these girls. They’re my sisters. So thankful God has allowed me to be set up in the district and zone I’m in. My district is us 6 girls and my zone is the 6 elders were with. They’re all so spiritual and so fun! Were all learning and growing so much.
Then SUNDAY. I love Sundays! The Sabbath is seriously the best day of the week. How great is it that we get a whole day devoted to God and worshiping Him?! I feel such love and peace and hope on Sundays. We all walked to the temple Sunday morning and it was raining but it was so worth it. Sister Worrall and I were clinging to each other and laughing underneath the umbrella. We kept accidentally stepping in puddles and we were soaking wet but we were so happy!! Serving God= HAPPY SPIRIT. After that, we all changed into warmer church clothes and changed shoes and headed off to Sacrament. My zone sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” in front of everyone in Sacrament. It was so wonderful. Music can bring in such a sweet spirit. The closing hymn was, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again.” I teared up a little bit as I looked around the room. I’ve been around these people 24/7 for the past 2 weeks and I love them. What beautiful souls God has allowed me to learn from and love. Some of the lyrics in the song sang, “When life’s perils thick confound you, put His arms unfailing round you.” Perfect.
Today was Monday and its Preparation Day! We went to the temple. Best part of my week! Such a beautiful place. Such a beautiful spirit. I felt such love and warmth in my heart as I was there. Go to the temple if you can. It’s the House of the Lord and it’s the best place in the world. Christ walks those halls.
Some things I’ve been thinking:
It’ll be a great place if you make it a great place.
When everything says you can’t, believe in that part of you that says you can.
It’s not who you aren’t. It’s who you are. And being yourself is being great.
When you understand them, you’ll love them.
Out of everything, give them your time.
It’s often life’s smallest moments that bring you the greatest joys. Don’t let the magic pass you by.
The people in your heart can’t hear what’s in your heart. If you love them, tell them.
He lives. The tomb is empty.
All my love and more,
Sister Lauren Ashley Mork
P.S. Mom, my district and I fasted for you this week for your surgery. I pray for you and all the family every night. I love you all. I know God is watching over you.
D&C 6:36 is still my motto J “Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not.”
at 5:23 PM
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
So, first of all. Deciding who was going to take me to the Provo MTC was an interesting event. We didn't know who to ask. It was a few days before I was leaving for the MTC and my mom got the impression that we should ask my adopted grandparents, Barbi and Jerry, who live in Utah. I haven't seen or talked with them for many years. The next day Barbi messaged me on Facebook (which she never goes on) and offered to take me! Before my mom and I had even asked. So inspired! Anyways, Wednesday Barbi and Jerry picked me up from the airport in Salt Lake. For those of you that don't know who Barbi and Jerry are (I'm assuming you'll post this on the blog;) haha) Barbi is the sister missionary that got my Papa Fred to have the desire to become more active in church. SO COOL. And now I'm a sister missionary! Life is awesome. I am so grateful we had them take me to the MTC, Mom. That was divine inspiration. I was so nervous about beginning my journey as a missionary and had so many questions and uncertainties and speaking with two people that knew my wonderful but deceased grandparents on my mom's side was such an awesome experience for me. They shared moments and memories they had with my nana Karen and my papa Fred. I couldn't help but have my heart swell with happiness. I felt my nana and papa with me all throughout my moments with Barbi and Jerry. So grateful for the Lord. He really does send people in our lives to calm our worries. These people can be seen on our day to day moments of weakness. He sure was watching out for me. Jerry and Barbi also took me to see the buildings in Salt Lake. We went through and saw beautiful pictures of Christ and paintigs of the Book of Mormon. We saw pictures of the prophets as well. It was so wonderful!!! I love this gospel so much! I love Jesus Christ. Looking at paintings of Him, showing his mercy and love and compassion just makes my heart overflow with love and gratitude. I know my Redeemer lives. Then, Jerry took us to this building where his sister works with down-syndrome adults. There was such a spirit there with them. I couldn't help but smile when I met them all. They are so beautiful! They are God's children; so pure, so good. I'm so happy I had that time to visit with such meek and loving people. Then Barbi and Jerry took me to eat at this yummy little resuaunt and drove me to the MTC. On the curb I hugged them goodbye and of course cried a little... but it wasn't because I was sad. It was because I could feel my Heavenly Father around me so clearly. Walking up with my suicases, looking at the buildings, and meeting this super cute greeter named Sister Bagley just made me feel peace. I looked around and felt impressed in my soul: This is where you are supposed to be.
After that I got my missionary badge and MTC card which allows me access everywhere! That was super easy and fun. I then headed to the classroom and met my district. I LOVE my district. We have Sister Warre, Sister Smith, Sister King, and Sister Jorgenson.. and my beautiful, wonerful companion is Sister is from Oaklahoma! I love these sisters so much. They are such beautiful, kind, loving, affectionate, spiritual, strong women and I am so blessed to be able to know them. We all got along instantly. Everything here is so fast paced. You're always doing something on your schedule and it's incredible. I love it. I'm busy and always learning and working but it's so great! Yeah, I am pretty physically tired but I am so spiritually and emotionally uplifted and drained... in a good way! I can't get enough of the Spirit or of this love I feel. It's so wonderful. I know I'm supposed to be here at this time to learn and teach and serve. Speaking of serving - it's a wonderful thing! Feeling sad? Serve. Feeling mad? Serve. Feeling confused? Serve. Branch outward. There are so many instances in the scriptures where Christ reached outward when we would have leaned inward. When He's going through difficult trials He looks to serve others! How wonderful is that? He is the most incredibe example. He turns inward in love, compassion, and service when we would turn inward with selfishness, self-absorbness, and self-centerdness. You want to have the character of Christ? TURN OUTWARD. It's so great! I've been trying so hard to serve everyone I meet and it makes me so happy! Service is fun you guys! It's funny... whenever we go in the cafeteria I always get Sister Worrall her utensils and everything for eating and then she'll get me a glass of water and the list goes on and on. We're constantly serving each other and we just grow to love one another more and more. Serving others = love for them growing. Don't like someone? Serve them... you'll start to:)
To be honest, the first night was a little hard. I missed you all and I was in a new place and I just felt.... sad and afraid. But that's when I crawled out of that small bed, knelt on that carpeted floor, bowed my head to pray in humility with my arms folded, and just let Heavenly Father know everything I was feeling. I expressed my doubts and fears and insecurities and anxiety.. and guess what? He was there for me. He answered my prayers with a feeling of love and comfort and peace. It's a moment I'll never forget. In that humble moment when I just let God know all of the feelings in my heart, He succored me and aided me in my time of need... and He can do that because of Christ. Because Christ died for us. The atonement blesses us with strength beyond our own. We think we can't do this and we're right. We can't do it - not without Christ. We need Him. When we are weak then we are made strong. Through His strength we can do all things. Isn't that beautiful? I am so humbled. I can't do this by myself. I need Christ like I need air. Without Him, I can't survive. He gives me life, He gives me purpose, He gives me hope. And that's why I'm on a mission.
We had a testimony meeting in Sacrament yesterday in church and one of the Elders stood up and bore His testimony and said referred to an apostles comments, saying something like, "If only you could see the vision I see. If I had your young, energized bodies I would run house to house telling everyone of Christ. And when my legs would tire and couldn't run anymore, I would walk. And when I couldn't walk any longer, I would crawl. And when my body would fall apart and I couldn't crawl, I would drag myself with my arms. And when my arms couldn't move anymore I would yell. I would do whatever I could to let everyone know the real gospel of Jesus Christ is back on the Earth. If only you could see the vision I see." Missionary work is so important! Don't leave people in the dark about Christ. He died for us, He loves us, and He was resurrected. He lives! What comfort this sweet sentence gives.
Also, me and my companion were called to be Zone Sister Training Leaders on Thursday. Sister Worrall and I are stoked! (and feeling a little inadequate to have that leadership position...) But it gives us more opportunities to work hard and serve those around us. Responsibility gives us opportunities to grow and develop and learn. That's great! We love hard work. I'm always either in class learning, at the cafeteria eating, or walking to class it feels like hahaa:) The gym is awesome here, too. Sister Worrall and I both like to run and do weights so that's really cool we can do that together. I don't know what else to share... it's just wonderful here. I'm really enjoying it. I can't believe I'll only be here for another week and next Wedneday we'll be traveling back to Pocatello. YAY. I can not wait! My whole district is girls and we'll all be serving in Pocatello, Idaho. I love all of my teachers. I have learned so much already and I've only been here for 6 days. What? The days are really great but my favorite part of the day is from 10:15-10:30 at night. That's our time with the Lord. That's our time to pray and write in our journals and just reflect. I love it. All day long I'm working really hard and doing my best to let the Spirit teach me and at night I can just kneel on the floor and speak to my Father in Heaven. It's so incredible! Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all pretty much the same. I had a lot of classes, lunch time, gym, and meetings. Yesterday (Sunday) was the best day of the week. We went on a Sunday walk to the temple and it was wonderful! I've never been to the Provo temple and it's beautiful. I'll send pictures sometime today!:) Sacrament was great, too. Hearing all these missionaries bear their tetimonies of Christ and the Book of Mormon just strengthens my testimony so much. If you have a testimony of God or the scriptures, or whatever it may be - share it. Don't keep your mouth shut because you're nervous. Open your mouth and God will bless you with the words you should speak to bless others lives. I'm learning that - to trust in God and speak up when I feel prompted.
Today's my PDay and I'm loving it so far! We went to the temple this morning and went inside and ah I just love the temple. It's such a beautiful place. There is such a loving, kind, peaceful spirit in there that isn't anywhere else. I could be in the temple forever and just be happy always. It's so pure and white and clean and heavenly. Mom, while I was inside I felt nana Karen. I feel her everytime I go to the temple ever since I went through. I wear her ring everyday to remind me to be as Christlike as I can. It's a constant example of what an example of kindness and charity she was. I want to be like that.
Ah family, I miss you. I love you so much. I just want to hug you, but know I pray for you every night and throughout the day. You are so loved.. by me, by God, by Christ, by each other. Read Enos in the Book of Mormon. It is SO powerful. Verse 27 is so perfect. "And I soon go to the place of my rest which is with my redeemer for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality and shall stand before him then shall I see his face with pleasure and he will say unto me, Come unto me ye blessed there is a place prepared for you in the manions of my father." Ah! Christ loves us so much. There is a heaven after this life and Christ has a place prepared for us. All he asks is that we love one another, turn to Him, keep the commandments, serve one another, be as Christ would be, and just be a good person! All these things bring us happiness and love and so why wouldn't we want to follow him anyways?
Okay sorry if my thoughts were all scrambled and didn't make sense haha lack of sleep can do that to a person.
Read your scriptures - they are the word of God and will bless you.
Pray - God loves you and wants to hear from you.
Serve - we are all God's children. We are all going through struggles and trials and pain hidden behind closed doors. You never know what someone is going through... so just love people!
I love you all soooooo much! I send all of my love and pray that you know how divine and beautiful you are.
Talk to you soon.
at 4:18 PM