Monday, March 31, 2014

I appreciate happy people!- March 31st, 2014

Heavenly Father sure does give to men weaknesses.  This I know, and this I've always known.  But this week reminded me again. It was...a very interesting week is all I need to say.  But nonetheless, it was great per usual.  I also know that it will keep getting better (: Because with the fact that Heavenly Father gives us weaknesses, is the promise that He will make them stronger.  I believe that our biggest setbacks, our most unbecoming habits, or those flaws that fill us with impatience, are just waiting to become our greatest assets.  We have to be tried to become who God intended us to be, so I feel that it would only be appropriate to give us the challenge of working through these little things so that they can become the utmost greatest part of our being.  Well, Heavenly Father is showing me that He knows me better than I do right now.  So hopefully these rough edges will smooth out soon and I will become a sparkling diamond.  I just have to withstand the heat and pressure right now.  BUT! With that, He has completely provided us with every thing we could possibly need in order to succeed.  Not to mention, His very hand in our every day. 
Understanding all of that, I learned that I am not perfect (Well, of course I always knew that, but gosh, I sure try to be!). And I always feel the need to be the best at everything, and I am not.  And that is okay.  And I just want to mention that to any of you who feel the need to be inhuman as well.  We will get there one day!  For now, it's our chance to learn how (: So embrace those setbacks that remind us how human we are.  After all, we are. 
Ohhh my goodness!! I hope every one who could go attended the young women's conference on Saturday!! What an incredible blessing it was to have gotten to go to that (: It was beyond what I needed.  It was so special to have all the women ages 8 and up there.  I was so deeply touched by the power of unity we had as daughters of God, around the world.  My eyes filled with tears as I pictured my cute Mom and seesters watching the same thing I was.  And at the peak of the Spirit, in the middle of a choir song, the sweetest, little voice came from behind me and sang along with the words.  I was so grateful to have those 8 year old girls there.  Their spirits can touch any heart.  I was filled to the very top.  It was a very edifying experience.  So much talk about being kind to ourselves and other daughters of God.  Satan is so sneaky and turns every beautiful thing into darkness. I really appreciated that message because I feel it is very important and necessary in this day and age. 
As for the rest of the week...well, my companion lost our phone, so that was a trip.  We were phoneless for a good 3 days.  That really was quite the setback! haha worldly problems. We even had to get a new phone! Another fun fact: where ever I go, poetry follows (: This makes me so happy! People always join in with my poetry love haha I write my companions poems and our district and they are beginning to do the same! It is so great! 
Last happy moment (: Today in wal mart, there was the kindest lady! The Spirit kept telling me to just go give her a card or something.  So I went up to her and told her how much I appreciate her kindness and stuff and she looked at me and said, "you are so beautiful!" And she gave me the biggest hug.  I told her I wanted to share a little bit of happiness with her because she did with me and I was able to give her a passalong card (: It was such a small thing, but such a joyful moment!! It lifted my spirits and I became new again; ready to keep going on.  Heavenly Father truly knows our hearts. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It only gets hotter from here.... March 25, 2014

So that about sums up the week.

Really though, this week was great (: Honestly, it was probably one of the worst weeks out here (number wise...not that we're here for the numbers).  But yeah, it's super rough.  The reason why it was so great though, was because it was such an eye opener to me!  I have been learning SO much about myself, about this Gospel, and most importantly, my Savior Jesus Christ. 
We had a zone conference this week which was incredible!  The theme was repentance.  Wow.  The Spirit touched my heart and became a part of my entire being.  What a blessing it is that we are able to repent every day!  I am grateful I can repent daily!  What I realized was that every little thing ties into or around repentance through Christ's Atonement.  Everything we do, every day, our very motive should be to change and increase.  A call to repentance is merely a call to change.  Change our minds, our heart, and our will.  And the best part is that we have all the Divine help that we could ask for! Because that is Heavenly Father's sole purpose, to lead us back to Him! Everything He does is solely for us.  How could we fail when we have such incredible support!? We only will fall when we let go of the hand that is leading us.  Sure, changing may be difficult, but the ending result leads to happiness beyond measure.  Who wouldn't want that?? In my mind it is that simple.
One thing I loved about this last week, too, we made tamales! Wahoo! My favorite food evaaa and I got to make them with the branch! And the youth whom I love so dearly (: It is quite the process.  But it was very fun (:  We also played basketball with the Elders and a less active.  You all know how good I am at sports (; that was really fun, though! It is really just those simple, good times that can really reach out to someone and bring them back! We don't have to literally cry out "Repent!" Just our actions can lead people to desire to change and be better.  So let's all become someone that others would like to be (:  Let's become. 
I love you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reach out! - March 17, 2014

Things really do go so perfectly well when you leave it up to the Savior.  Sometimes we're so impatient that we don't allow ourselves to have that perspective...but just do it.  Let Heavenly Father be your complete guide.  He created you! Wouldn't He know what is best for you? Anyways, this week was pretty much every emotion in between and at the exact same time, so rewarding and, well, fun! (: Our new area is an additional 3,000 miles.  We even get 700 more miles to drive a month! haha A lot of ground to cover for just 2 sisters...but that's mostly because a there are a lot of English-based places throughout.  Hey, I don't mind though! I love a good drive.  Watching dust storms roll up, wind pushing against the car on the freeway, the endless rows of cactus after cactus.  But all of that is beautiful to me.  What a world.  Heavenly Father could have just put us here to be tried and tested and it could have all worked out.  But He put us here, and He lets us see (: and smell and taste and sing and dance and sit in trees and stand on mountains! "I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me."...I love primary songs (:
Hermana Lagunes and I see miracles every single day! She and I have been able to get into doors that never opened for us before.  We're receiving revelation for our area and new extended area as well.  Our branch is really struggling.  No need for details, but our focus is members right now (:  Let's call it the weed of pride.  And we all have weeds, we do.  But when we throw weeds into other peoples' gardens then we stifle their potential.  We are all destined to be absolutely beautiful gardens! It's enough to have to take the time and effort to weed our own gardens (and we all know how exhausting that can be to sit on the ground, in the sun and pull out one by one every little plant that is keeping our garden from progressing); so WHY in the world would we ever go and plant weeds in someone else's garden?  Yet we do that all the time as humans.  We pick out people's flaws, we belittle their efforts, and we compare our growth to theirs.  But why can't we all just be beautiful gardens! That is exactly what God has intended us to be! (Sorry I just took that metaphor and ran with it haha) but quite literally, the only reason this earth was created was so that we could come, learn, and grow.  The Gospel was actually built in favor of us! It is supposed to be the easiest way, and it is! And it will be if you so choose to let it be.  We all have SO much worth, so much potential! So let's weed out our own gardens and not try to plant weeds in others'.  Turn the fallow into an opening blossom (: Oh, and hey, be yourself (: And be the difference. Be the light and be the hope.  Because it really, truly does start with us. Ourselves.  These setbacks of sin or change, yes, they are so difficult, but hey! They are so exciting! (: Another opportunity to take and BECOME something! Let's become (:
I love you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tender Mercies - March 10th, 2014

This week has been very trying and rewarding at the same time.  At the
beginning of this new transfer...I thought I would be counting down every
day to be completely honest.  And that is just so negative!  Hermana
Lagunes is my new companion.  The very first day she says to me "so what is
your take on obedience?" And I said, "I will be exactly obedient.  I don't
know about you, but that is what I expect out of myself." And her reply
was, "See, that's where we're probably going to clash."...I was not amused.
This first week took a lot of me.  But I know that that is what I needed so
that I can learn to better rely, and solely rely, on my Savior. I prayed so
hard every morning...right after that...and right after that...haha I just
kept praying for patience and a humble heart.  I really felt an instant
comfort, too.  I know the Lord answers my prayers!  I see it every single
day.  I opened up to Matthew 14:29-31 randomly during studies the other
day, and I read about Peter walking on the water.
"And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked
on the water, to go to Jesus.
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink,
he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
"And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught Him, and said
unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
I thought to myself, 'Sister Hurst...what are you thinking!  He is right
there with you! And He knows what He is doing.  You wouldn't be here, where
you are, facing what you're facing, if it wasn't the exact place and exact
thing you needed to be doing.' Satan is the one who tries to discourage us
in our trying times.  I wrote this poem in response to that scripture in
Matthew. (Kind of a dialogue)

"Come." Jesus calls, "And we will walk on water."
"Be of faith," He says. "You are my beloved daughter."

--"But the winds are blowing in,
   And I am sore afraid,
   I'm sinking, Lord. Save me.
   I cannot find my way."--

"Immediately I will come to you, my daughter as you sway.
And my hand is out-stretched toward you,
So do not lose your faith!"

The Savior is right there as we sink and doubt.  It says He immediately
catches and lifts us as we do.  I have felt that immediate hand stretch out
and reach me to let me know that He has been there all along.

My companion and I, we're different people and so I can't judge, only
encourage (: I decided to just keep doing what I do and be an example. It
has already started working, but I know it will take some time.  Anyways,
to say the least, my heart has softened and I love her (: We've been having
a great time together thus far! We talked about all of our differences and
she told me how she is really trying to be a better person.  I told her
that I am to and so we are working on it together! It's really fun and I am
excited because I had the feeling when this week started that we are going
to see miracles.  I see them everyday...but I mean reeeeallly awesome
miracles.  And we already have! (: To start off, we got into 2 different
houses that Sister Smyth and I were never able to even catch someone at the
door.  We met a guy named Luis.  He is 19 and he has seen to the moon and
back and probably to the moon again!  South Tucson is full of trouble.  I
haven't met a youth outside of the church YET that hasn't been involved in
or see a little trouble.  This I can't even begin to describe.
He tells us he wants to change sooo much! And we are just praying that he
will listen to the Spirit as we teach him.  We've taught him twice now and
he didn't come to church yesterday...but our hopes are high.
Speaking of rough, little Tucson, our cute Maria got robbed last week! She
is so scared to be home now.  The man was still in her home when she got
there and so it really shook her up even more.  There's a lot of gang
violence and drug dealings/ drug-related crimes around here.  Maria's
husband passed away about 2 years ago and so she is all alone! With her son
who has special needs.  Ay...Tucson. Ya killin' meh.  But It was really
neat because before we knew this happened, I had the feeling that she
needed some comfort.  So we wrote her a note with a scripture and we
"heart-attacked" her door and left it.  She called us after she found it
and told us all about it.  Soooo pretty crazy.  Interesting week.  But not
too bad!  Lovin' it, lovin' it!  Oh! And I just cannot begin to describe
how much I love the young women! And how glad I am that I get to work with
the cute youth of the world (: They are so special!  I just love them soooo
much!!! (:
Other than that, one fun thing this week: the Elderes syran wrapped our
car! Psh. That was good times. haha  Well, have a great week! And remember
that Heavenly Father is just a prayer away.  Shine on (:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wow! Transfers - March 4th, 2014

Hello.  Transfers hit me like a rock!  I'm a little shaken, but discouragement weakens faith!  So I will press on (: And I am excited, because change is exciting.  Right?  Yes.  Here I am.  A little alone in this right the area that is.  Momma Smyth left me here.  I have Hermana Lagunes now.  She seems to be a lot like my first companion ...hmm...a lot.  My favorite part about changes, though, is that the Lord knows exactly what He is doing! So truly, there is no reason to worry or fear.  Satan will try to stifle our potential by putting those silly, doubting thoughts into our minds!  Another thing I thought about this last week.  Laziness. Too much apathy lives in this world of sin. Laziness is satan's tool.  How could we ever become what God has in store for us if we don't ever do anything at all?  Therefore, we hold ourselves back by not just getting up and doing!  So my encouragement this week: BE. (:
As for my last week with Hermana Smyth, it was incredible.  We are seeing SO many miracles.  The variable that changed was one: the means by which the Lord wanted things to go and two: our attitudes.  Picture this.  Laman and Lemuel both were on the exact same journey that Nephi and Sam were on.  They left Jerusalem just like they were told, they went back for the plates, too.  And they even got on the ship and sailed to the promised land.  They really did every thing that they were supposed to do, just like Nephi and Sam!  So what's the difference?  Attitude. My family, my friends, isn't attitude everything? We know this! We absolutely know this.  And we see it holding true time after time.  Well now it's time to believe it!  And do something about it.  (There's this talk given from a mission president called "The Fourth Missionary." It is incredible and has truly helped me begin my self "refining" process.  I am going to quote a little excerpt from it but adding the word of the Gospel instead of a mission). "Don't think you can't do this.  Often we are deceived to think that the Gospel is harder than what it is.  Life is hard, not the Gospel.  You can do this!  If you don't, it will only be because you choose not to; not because you can't, not because it is too hard.  The way of the Gospel is actually the easiest way.  This way is free of frustration.  It opens the heart to the Lord and His power then flows freely without compulsion or constraint."  So give it your all!!! The only thing the Lord doesn't already have is your heart...because He won't make up your mind for you.  So give Him your heart, too.  Don't fight against Him.  He knows what's best for you.  He created you! And all He asks is ourselves.  How hard is that?  It truly IS that simple!  It's our human nature that makes it hard. 
Anyways.  This last week was incredible.  Miracle number one. Hector!  He's back (: He missed the feeling of the Spirit as we taught and he came back!  We actually passed him off to the elders the other day because we felt that Heavenly Father knew that was the way for him to progress.  Some "man to man" kind of things that I wouldn't understand.  Either way, it's incredible and I know he is ready! (: Miracle number two.  Chastity.  Oh my heavens, I love teaching about chastity! (: It is so special and an incredible Spirit can be felt while talking about this.  I love the youth! I'll say it again. I love the youth! And I have been so blessed to work with so many.  That is who we got to teach these wonderful lessons to.  One special girl, Alexa, as we were talking about temple marriage asked us about tattoos.  And we asked her why she brought it up and she said, "Well, I was going to get one, but not anymore." AHhh! (: (: The spirit did it! It got through to our sweet Alexa! She has been inactive for a long time and we still haven't seen her back in church, but her goal is the temple! And she knows this because the Spirit testified to her heart that just like is says in Jacob, the Lord truly does delight in the chastity of women. (: We had 2 other chastity and virtue lessons this week that were beyond incredible.  LIke I say, the Spirit really teaches those lessons especially because it is SO important! (:
I just want to add one last thought.  And that is this: The Spirit is there as we life others up.  So don't bring each other down!  I have felt an immense love and Spirit as I have simply let people know what is so special about them.  There is a real spirit in that.  Try it out (: I do not lie!  And how damaging are harmful words!  Let's be nice (: Let's be examples of the believers.  We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are all enlisted till the conflict is o'er.  And it is not! SO keep on in this battle of good and bad.  The righteous need not fear and if ye do keep the commandments, ye shall prosper in the land.  We are all missionaries!!! (: My heart is changing.  We CAN love as the Savior loved.  We can feel as the Savior felt.  And we can know, with assurance, that He surely felt everything we felt.  I got the privilege of going to the Gilbert Temple dedication this last Sunday.  There is power in the Spirit of the Temple. Go ye to the temple of the Lord! Don't let a single thing stop you!!!! (:
Familias son eternas.  Love.