Monday, June 30, 2014

Be Not Wise In Thine Own Eyes (Proverbs 3:7)--Love that! June 30th, 2014

You know, I always look back on a week and remember that there was a day or
two that I didn't think I would get through...and then all of the sudden
I'm beginning a new week again and I can only remember the positive things
about it. (: I guess that's a blessing.
This last week was pretty great! I don't have much to say about it except
that I learned a lot about myself, the Gospel, and the work!  I am just
completely loving it all!  Sure, it's rough.  But it is just...nothing
compares to it.  People feed us every night.  A ward member gave me some
sweet new Toms (: and we accidentally ended up at a surprise party because
we stopped to visit someone right before it started (: it was so fun!
Oh...and huge, flying cockroaches...those are disgusting.  Stay clear, my
friends.  Stay clear. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that every night
I do a thorough check of my bed and under my bed.  Then I pray that nothing
will crawl on me in my sleep because I just can't stand the thought of
that! haha it's because we just see some creepy things, okay? (:
But really, wow.  I just love this.  I love this calling.  I love this
Gospel.  I love this feeling!!
Yesterday in church, we talked about the meticulous construction of a
temple; how precise and careful they are with every detail.  The Bishop
said that temples are built to last into the Millennium. He then compared
that to our homes.  How we need to build them so carefully, as advised in
D&C 88:11-120, with prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and order.
Only a home (family) built on the foundation of the Gospel will last into
the Millennium.  Wow, I loved that thought!  The family is the most
important social unit.  We need to really treat it as such and do all we
can to build our homes into holy places.  ALSO, the Temple is bien
importante!! It is a refuge from the world where we learn and grow and feel
of God's presence. (: It has everything to do with families and happiness.
I am so grateful for the temple. AND my family! (:  I can't help but think
about and prepare for my future family while being out here.  I learn so
much every day about what contributes to a happy, loving family.  I can
tell you, without a doubt, that the foundation of success and
happiness--like it says in the Family Proclamation-- is the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. (:

I just want to end with a quote from Bishop Dille:
"Life is a current and it's going to take you somewhere.  If you don't want
to go there, paddle! (steer your way out) and teach your kids to, too."
I just loved that!!

Que tengan una linda semana (:
Shine on!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Hot. June 23, 2014

I guess that this week started off a little rocky... The district isn't in high spirits and the heat has been a drag.  It literally just sucks the life out of me!  I suppose this is where it starts and I am just having to learn to get used to it.  But it's okay!  One of the cute ladies that we see was really concerned for me and how I looked haha so she told me all about how to take care of myself.  I am being watched over by many people.  It will be okay (:
We had our last Zone Conference with President Killpack this last Wednesday.  He and Sister Killpack leave the 30th.  What a change!  I get almost exactly half with each president.  
Our conference was incredible.  Well, really, my whole week was!  It was so spiritually filling and uplifting.  I have to be honest.  I had a little breakdown when I ran into Sister Killpack during our little "break" between the conference.  She said, "Sister Hurst,  how are you doing!?" and I just told her that I was fine...she said, "Well that's not like you at all, what's going on?" and then I just let it out.  There has been negativity going around and it was bringing me down. I don't do well with that at all.  Life is supposed to be happy (: And we can choose for it to be happy!  But I had no idea what to do in this situation.  But what she said to me really lifted me.  She said, "Sister Hurst, you are a lot like me.  We don't do well with negative situations.  But sometimes there isn't much we can do to change other people.  Just keep being yourself, keep being positive, and never apologize for who you are!"  I just loved that (: It was the perfect thing to hear because I think I was trying to apologize for being myself...I didn't want to get in the way or be a burden.  Some people, they think it's annoying how happy I am.  But hey! It's just how it's going to be.  Because that's who I am, and I like being me. (: And so I guess I want to pass that thought along...never apologize for being who you are.  Someone needs your light, the light that only you have.  My wise sister said to me before, "If I've always existed, then I've always been me! What a great reason to always be true to yourself."  Yes, change and better yourself in any way you feel the need to; we can always improve (: But also know that who you are is a gift.  God made you that way because He knew that only you could touch the heart of someone else.  Be aware of those things you have inside of you.  The little sparks that create your light...and then SHINE! (:
Another thing that really touched me this week was the fact that I am not in the alone.  The other day I kept happening upon scripture after scripture that said "I am with you"..."you cannot see me, but I am in your midst." I think I was being told something.  There is no way I could do this alone and I am very much aware that I don't.  None of us do.  We are very much watched over and guided along.  As we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only is He still watching us, but He is able to guide us perfectly to those places that will shape us, those experiences that will grow us, and we will become exactly who we are supposed to be.  Why in the world would we not follow Him who knows us best?!  And He is SO full of mercy.  Listen, you do NOT have to be perfect or even feel "worthy" to try to come back to Christ.  We come unto Christ to be perfected...we are not perfect and then go to Christ.  The very reason He came to the earth was to make a way that we could be perfected.  He loves us in our broken state and if that wasn't the case, and we were all perfect, He wouldn't have needed to come down.  You have Never gone too far to come back to Christ.  It is not the distance that we are from Him, but it is the direction.  It is that simple.  Just turn around!  Go the right way and He will run to you and meet you half way; it's what the Atonement does.  You do your very best and the Atonement makes up for the rest.  It makes up for our inadequacies.  
And, as we've all heard before I'm sure, if you're doing better today than you were yesterday, that's enough!  And if your even better tomorrow than you were today, that's enough, too!  Just try (: He loves us! 
As for some fun things that happened this week:  We had dinner with our Bishop again.  His little boy, Thomas, was again present and full of life! haha Right when I get there, "I'm going to call you Jim because I can never remember your name!" haha "Thomas, who would you like to say the prayer?"..."The pretty girl!" pointing at me. haha I do love being loved by a 5 year old.  He walked past me really fast during dinner and whispered, "I love you." and just kept walking.  What a joy (: His older sister, Kayla (16), who I just love, said this to me also, she said, "I have something to tell you....You are the reason I want to serve a mission!"  Oh my goodness (: That just filled my soul with joy!  I felt like I was in the right place at the right time.  That right there was reason enough for me to be here.  (:
Lastly I would like to leave you with a quote from my Mission President, President Killpack, and a little piece of advice!
Quote: "Justification is the grease on the bobsled to Hell."
Advice: Don't brush your teeth after you just ate something doesn't feel too good.
Love! (:
Shine on. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Happy Father's Day! June 16th, 2014

First of all, shout out to the Father! (: He is the best.
And in the spirit of Father's Day, I have been thinking much about my
Heavenly Father.  As we were driving home last night, the sky was fading
and it was quite a sight.  I thought about how beautiful this world is.
Then I thought about the miracle of music; how you can just touch keys  or
strum a string and create sound!  Beautiful sound.  We know that this life
is solely meant to test us and allow us to become like our Heavenly Father
and Jesus Christ.  But what a blessing that He allows us to enjoy our time
here, too!  Eating is necessary to survive, but He lets us taste, too!  And
smell and feel and see.  What a LOVING Father!  (That's my soapbox for the
At church yesterday, I looked around at all the faces.  I noticed that I
knew them all, and not only that, but I loved them all!  I thought to
myself, "You know, if I never came here, they would never have known me.
And they probably wouldn't know the difference or care.  But I will be
forever grateful that I DO know them and that I am here. "  Every person
here has touched my life in some way.  I almost feel like some lucky
winner! How did I get so lucky to get to come here and meet these people
that I otherwise would never have known...? I am just filled with gratitude.
Our investigator/ fun friend Alma (: She said to us the other day, "I know
it's true! I know everything you girls teach me is true.  I feel this way
whenever you girls come." Now, we haven't had any confirmation from her
that she's going to do anything about this knowledge just yet, but we have
so much hope!  One thing I love about learning that others can feel the
Spirit of what we teach and also the truth of what we teach is that it
always testifies to me of the truthfulness as well! I think, you know, if
someone can feel that too, then I'm not crazy! haha and this is someone who
has never heard of this on earth.  It HAS to be true!  How can it not be??
We have just been having so much fun lately!  We got to pop in at girls
camp and deliver some ice cream (yes, I did take advantage of every moment
with those sweet girls! I taught them one of my favorite camp games in the
small time we had there.) We got to drive around Pena Lake (which is where
they camped) and it is beautiful!! We learned some fun makeup/face tricks
from a member one night haha; the lady we live with took us out for some
Finidos after a lesson we had (:  We got to help some people move out from
the ward and get to know them a little more (yes, sadly as they left us),
but it was still wonderful!  Also, another member owns a perfume store and
gave my companion and I some for freeeee (: Aaaand the highlight of my
week...gee I can't decide if it was getting hit on by some older men at the
community center where we volunteer every week or having a cockroach in our
bathroom!? haha just a good, fun, wholesome week (: We even got to see a
member in the hospital this morning!  Just lovely times. I am so lucky and
I don't even know why I deserve it...

Oh and a poem (: I wrote this after reading Mosiah 14 (Isaiah 53)

They did not see the healing in His hands,
They did not see the light inside His eyes.
And quietly He walked along the roadside
Feeling their hearts full of despise.

Yet, His hands would bid the lame man, walk.
And His eyes would love to every shore.
But they would leave Him standing in a cold night,
When He came knocking at their door.

He would feel their greatest sorrows,
And He would bear their deepest grieves.
Yet they would leave Him broken-hearted,
And make His grave amongst the thieves.

But I know that He still loved them.
I know that He forgives.
And He will ease our burdens,
If we look to Him and live.

Keep going (: You were designed to achieve and God's plan for us was
tailored to our very person.  We will succeed as we follow Him.
Shine on (:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Just Got Back From the Dentist...June 9th, 2014

So anyways, I just got back from the dentist. I know, right?! I didn't
expect to be going out here but one of the bishopric members is a dentist
and he came up to my companion and I yesterday and said, "So when are we
cleaning your teeth?" and he had us come over this morning and  he did it
for free. So that was just a joy, as the dentist usually is...always fish!
Why is there always fish alllll over their office? Perhaps Uncle Jeff can
answer that one for me.  Some kind of psychological thing?

We got to do a lot of service this last week! That was fun.  We had 2
families move in in the last couple weeks and one of them we got to help
them!  I feel like that made an instant friendship (I feel like, at least)
and I have really enjoyed getting to know them (:
One of the cute families who just moved in is a younger couple with 2
kids.  We had dinner at their house last night and it was funny because the
mom and I were noticing how similar we are and their little boy came up to
me right after, tapping on my leg, saying, "mommy, mommy." haha that was
interesting!  But it was really cool, though! Because we are very alike.
We even stand the same way haha (ya know, the one leg, flamingo-looking
way).  Good things.

Yesterday, we also got to teach a primary class! How fun (: We have been
substituting for the music chorister the last 2 weeks and so we know pretty
much all of the kids now!  The class we taught was the 7 year olds. haha
what fun!  They are so random sometimes and so distracted.  Oh dear, I very
well may behave like a 7 year old at times...haha I will work on that!

As we've been going along, I've been noticing more little things inside of
me that I am sure trying to weed out.  One of them is a lack of faith!
What!  Again...yes, this life sure is a progression.  This is a lack of
faith in myself/ my abilities and trust in my calling and in the Spirit.
What a setback!  But I feel like this creeps out of us all
every-now-and-then.  We think that in circumstances like giving a talk in
church or teaching a lesson to members or demonstrating teaching in a
training creates a stage where we must impress and show off what we know or
what we can do.  In reality, those are the moments to put our trust in the
Spirit and see what the Spirit can do!  Surely, what we put into it is what
we will get out of it, yes.  But it is not all about us and what everyone
thinks of us.  It is about the way that the Spirit teaches, edifies, and
uplifts.  It's about that one person that learned something because you
were in tune with the Spirit... All of this is not something I've never
known, and I'm sure nothing that you've never known.  But for whatever
reason, it is easier said than done!  We forget and have to relearn it over
again.  I don't know.  Maybe this is just me? But I just thought I would
share my realization.  Perhaps admitting to my pride is the first step?
haha I don't know.  But what I do know is that we can change! We are NOT
set in stone.  And that is beautiful (: That is a miracle. And it is all by
and through our Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ.
I found it almost humorous how accurate the scriptures in 2 Timothy chapter
3 are.  Talking about these last days and how they will be perilous.  The
common thread throughout all comes down to the pride and vanities of the
world.  The appearances and the self-pleasure.  Selfish, selfish, selfish.
And what a message!  Because these are all things that easily and slyly
beset us as well.  Whoa.  What a thought, there. If we give in to these
selfish behaviors, we then become a part of Paul's prophetic account.  We
define the perilous times as we give in to these things!  And there is not
too happy of an ending for these people, so we best behave (:

I just want to end by saying, this is so cool (: I am a missionary!  And I
love it.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this gathering.  And just like
Mosiah 15:18 says..."the time shall come that the Salvation of the Lord
shall be declared to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." That time
is now.  The time to become is now.  And it is soooo exciting!
Shine on (:

Monday, June 2, 2014

If We Rode Bikes...we'd be dead - June 2nd, 2014

I'm just sayin'...I don't know how other missionaries do it with just
bikes.  Our miles restarted on the 25th and we've already driven 850 miles
since! Talk about being in the truck allll day. (Speaking of trucks, we got
a different one!  Back to bluetooth! Yes). But it's not really that bad (:
we just had a lot of places to go this last week and we went up to Tucson
twice.  Oh how joyful that was.  You see, that's because I was going to the
doctor! Yippee. Don't we all love that.  haha I survived, though!  And this
week was really great. It really was.  We have stairs to our roof and so we
went up one night and that was fun!  There's so many stars down here. I
just am completely in love with this world!  Oh my heavens, it's just so
beautiful that I can't even describe to you the joy it brings me! I can't
imagine what the Celestial Kingdom will be like if our Heavenly Father
loves us enough to make our world here so beautiful.
You know, I was sitting there the other day and, like I do
every-now-and-then, had the thought run across my mind, "Hey, I'm a
missionary!" I thought back to the days of my high-pitched, squeaky voice
singing "I hope they call me on a teach and screech and work
as missionaries do." haha whelp, I don't know about how much screeching we
do here...maybe in the last couple of weeks without my voice...but I'm not
sick anymore, so that doesn't prove to be as true (: But really though! I
don't know that I ever pictured myself here, and now I don't know where I'd
be or what I'd be doing had I have not come.  Even with these short months,
I couldn't imagine a life without having these experiences and learning
what I'm learning now. It is phenomenal.  My last companera sent me a
letter and it had lots of little note cards in it with some words from some
of the people in my last area.  Ohhh (: I was so happy! My eyes just
automatically filled with tears when I saw the first one from a precious,
little friend in Sahuaro Branch! I love these people so much.  They are my
family.  I have felt my capacity to love increase and increase as I go
throughout my days.  My favorite part about being a missionary: I'd say the
ability to love immediately!!  It is incredible. And these children here
are just so special.  I love them so much!! haha on Sunday I was talking to
this girl who was visiting the ward (the entire Spanish ward is practically
made up of one extended family).  I said to her after she told me she is
starting high school this week, 'You are so cute! Watch out for those boys
because sometimes they aren't nice." And this little voice pops out from
around her and says, "You better watch out for those boys, too!" She was
her little sister, probably around 5 haha so cute! I just love these times
My companion is going home in 5 weeks, that has been interesting
for us both because neither of us have ever experienced that!  During
weekly planning this last Friday, we decided that we are going to make her
last weeks awesome!  So we decided that we needed to make sure we do at
least one fun thing a day to keep our minds occupied and in good spirits!
We called it: The Trunket list. haha (this is what the mission does to
you). It means, ya know, trunky + bucket, we're too clever ha. So it's her
trunky bucket list! We have some good ideas on there. (: It will be fun.
I have been thinking a lot about who I have been, who I am, and who I want
to/will become.  Sometimes I'm not so impressed with who I have been and
who I am now could always use some work!  So I have been thinking about how
to get to where I want to go to become who I want to be!  My companion and
I were reading a talk from President Monson from this last Priesthood
session.  It talked about taking courage and standing up for what we know
is right.  I reflected back on how I didn't always do that in the past.
It's too bad that sometimes we get caught up in what is popular and trendy
at the time.  We have friends that we want to accept us or we want to feel
like we're included with the "group."  But so what!  So why do we care so
much?  My wise sister told me, "Confidence is a spiritual matter, indeed."
President Monson talked about staying the same person.  Are we always the
same person? Or do we change with the scenes?  I know that the way to
become who we want to be--and better yet, the way God intended us to be--
is by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is truly the only way to be
happy!  And it is indeed the only intelligent thing to do!  I just know
that we are fully supported along these roads, but only if we take the hand
that is so mercifully stretched out towards us all the day long. Our Savior
is there, "to give light to them that sit in the darkness and in the shadow
of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:79) How
beautiful!! Just so much hope. So much hope is in this world. Don't lose
sight of it. And don't fear satan's power. James E. Faust said, "We need
not become paralyzed with fear of Satan's power.  He can have no power over
us unless WE permit it.  He is really a coward and if we stand firm, he
will retreat.  The Apostle James counseled: 'Submit yourselves therefore to
God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you'. He cannot know our
thoughts unless we speak them.  And Nephi states that 'he hath no power
over the hearts' of people who are righteous." so I know! I know that we
can overcome everything through our Savior Jesus Christ; and we, too, can
be favored like Nephi through our faithfulness in keeping the commandments
of the Lord.
Shine on (: