Monday, September 30, 2013

"He lives, and while He lives I'll sing..."

I love my mission. It's hard. There are some days I just want to pull the covers over my head and tell God "No! I won't do it! I'm tired! I have problems too!"
And yet...I get out of bed, shower, get dressed, put my tag on, and turn it over to Him as I walk out the door.
Now I'm not saying that that's not a process, and that sometimes it doesn't take me half the day to let things go, but eventually I do let it go.
God is just too loving and merciful to let me have my way. I often hear a little voice in my head that says things like this: "No, no, no, put that down. I have something much better for you over here." Or "There you are, my girl. I've been waiting for you to come to me. Let's try it this way..."
He's kind of the best. And He loves me very, very much.
Last night we had a fireside in the city, and my wonderful, lovely, and talented companion sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." It was beautiful. Then as we were sitting in bed getting ready for lights out I remembered about 12 years back when I sat on my kitchen counter listening to a recording of one Sister Kylee Shields, singing that very same hymn. She was one of MY missionaries, who found my family and brought us into the fold of God. I sat and kind of chuckled to myself last night, thinking about how that moment had come full circle. I'm so grateful for those missionaries who came out and served my family.
This transfer, my companion and I are each coming up with a list of 1,000 things to be grateful for. I've discovered that gratitude and acknowledgement that everything I have comes from God keeps me humble and teachable. It keeps me from being self involved. So here goes nothing. :) If you have something you'd like to add send it in! I'll put it on my wall of gratitude.
I love you, all. Stay excellent! Stay steady!
With love, from Can-Win

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Plan of Salvation Can-Win style

A Missionary's ABCs

Every missionary has there own set of ABC's whether they know it or not. These are mine, letters A-M. :)
A is for Attitude. Your attitude is what makes or breaks your day. If you get up grumpy, mad, whiney, you can bet your bottom dollar that's all you're gonna find for the rest of your day. It's not always easy to have a great attitude because life is hard, and things get in the way. But it definitely helps to stop, take a step back, and say "What am I grateful for?" It's a guaranteed gmae changer.
B is for Bedtime, and bedtime is the best time. I can't remember ever going to bed so exhausted and waking up feeling like I've been hit with a bus. It's true! Mornings hurt so much, but bedtime is like Christmas, my birthday, and thanksgiving all wrapped up in one neat little box. just peachy keen.
C is for Call. You get called a lot on your mission. Investigators call you to reschedule, to cancel, or to talk. Your leaders call you to relay information, to check and see how you're doing, to get indicators, to ask for a favor. Sometimes people call you names, and not nice ones at that. But the most important call I got was the one I recieved in the mail telling me that the Lord was calling me to work.
D is for Dog. You know how it's a running joke that you haven't gotten the full missionary experience unless you've been chased by a dog? Well, I can mark that one off my missionary bucket list...
E is for Elders. I love my Elders. I work with the greatest Elders ever, let me tell you. I can't count the number of times I've cried in front of them and they've talked me through my frustration, or they've brought me random things (like chocolate milk) to brighten my day. And they just keep on trucking, being wonderful men of God, like it's no big deal. I've also fixed a lot of Elders clothes. I'm up to one suit coat, one white shirt, one tie, and five pairs of pants.
F is for Faith. Oh faith..I feel like faith is something I take for granted. "Oh yeah, I have faith, I believe. Mhm." Except it's not just believing in God and Christ, or that Joseph Smith was a prophet, or that the Book of Mormon is true. Faith is a word of action. It you have faith it leads you to act on it. It becomes bigger things like trust in the Lord, hope in the promises you've been given, taking a step into the darkness without that surety that a light will flick on somewhere. It's going and doing.
G is for God. I love God. He's kind of the best. That's it. That's all.
H is for Hope. This past week I learned a little bit about hope. It's not uncertain, or iffy. True to the Faith defines Hope as a word of surety and steadfastness in Gospel context. It's not wishy washy, or fleeting. It's firm and durable. I like that. it gives you someting to think about, no?
I is for Igloo. I'm determined to make an igloo up here. They day it can't be done. But it will!!!
J is for Jesus. There's something funny about the way people naturally shy away from me as soon as they see the words 'Jesus Christ' on my badge. I'm not sure what it is. Is it a memo everyone in the city got that I just didn't know about? Or does it make them uncomfortable? If so, why? Why is it when I say His name people immediately shut down? Even those that say they have faith, religion, and God. This is something I'm determined to get to the bottom of.
Also a great quote was given to me by the Bishop. I can't remember how it goes exactly but the gist of it is: The Gospel is there to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. Go Bishop.
K is for Knocking. "Knockin on, rocking on a billion doors...cause this Work is gonna fix what don't work anymore." Knocking doors is hard. People slam, people are rude, it's really not fun! But you do what ya gotta.
L is for Laugh. There are days I swear I've never laughed so hard. My current companion and I break out into random bouts of laughter that doesn't ever seem to stop. I love that. I love laughing over the hard things, the bad things, the fun things, the sad things, things that hurt us or get us down, we just...we laugh. "And when you laugh be sure to laugh out loud cause it will carry..all your cares away." It was the Lord's tender mercy to us, finding joy in the everyday things.
M is for Missionary. A missionary is a weird kind of creature. It loves getting dirty, wearing out shoes and clothes, and eating food. Its heart hurts when people say things like "no" "cult" "atheist" and "I changed my mind." It likes mail, pictures, phone calls, and surprise packages that show up in the office. It doesn't matter whether it's the male or female variety, a missionary can rattle of the purpose they ingrain in their hearts before they even step foot in the new place they call home. A missionary learns to like words like "diligence" "faith" "repentance" and "work". :) Missionaries like wearing a little black piece of plastic with the name of their family and their Lord on their chests, and this girl couldn't be prouder of hers. :))
With love from Can-Win

A Heart was made to Share

It's been a rough one, but I feel the need to show some serious love since I recieved a lot this week. So todays post is allll love notes to the various people in my life who have made this week one to show gratitude for. :)
To the Ladd Family: You have been positively spectacular. I love and appreciate the fact that not only do you allow my companion and I to come into your home weekly, eat your food, and teach you, but you show genuine love and concern for my well being. You know and understand that mission life isn't all rainbows and roses, and you allow me to express that while simultaneously telling me to dust myself off and keep on trucking. You are THE BEST!!! Monday nights have become a personal favorite thanks to you.
To my wonderful Relief Society Presidents: Sister Monchamp and Sister Varey, you are the best!! I love the fact that you treat me as if I were your own. You ask if I'm eating well, if I'm wearing my sweater when it's cold, how my week has been, and you're always so happy to see me! I LOVE it. It's pretty much the best feeling in the world a girl could have out here. :)
To my District: Oh you wonderful missionaries, you. It never ceases to amaze me the love, support, encouragement, bad jokes, and baked goods you supply me with. I love you all. Each one of you make our district wonderful, and I am more than delighted to be serving with you.
To my companions: All of you. That's right, all 4 of you!!! You are simply sensational. I cannot tell you how many times bad hair days, sad days, angry days, agitated days, homesick days have been made infintely better because you were there. You are examples to me. You are the best women I could ever hope to serve with. Sis R you taught me what a good missionary was life. Sis H you taugh me that it was ok to have bad days, you just gotta pick yourself up and keep going. Sis B you taught me that a little bit of crazy isn't neccessarily a bad thing. Sis F you taught me what it really means to be diligent and to trust the Lord. I love, love, love you all!!!!!!
To those faithful few that write me about as consistently as one can get: You make my life. You have no idea just how special/magical/sacred mail is. Even emails. It's almost ridiculous how excited I get when I have mail. So to those who tell tales of home, who encourage, who bless, who inspire me through the wonderful workings of the web, or the exciting excursions of the envelope from you to me...I love you. You have no idea what those few silly words mean to me.
To my fantastic family back home: I love you. I miss you. Terribly. Some days I want to come home to you, but I know I have things to do here. Keep writing me, (Erin and Sean!!!!) and I'll keep writing you. Hugs and kisses all around. You make me happy.
To my little brother: You're such a champion. I have such a great love and respect for you, little brother. I read your emails and look for ways to be more like you. Such a valiant spirit. :) I love you so much. Keep smilin', keep truckin....keep praying. God be with you til we meet, Elder Hutchinson. :) And what a glorious reunion it shall be.
Alright. I'm off to play in the great wilds of Canada. :) I love you all, friends.
Be good. Be safe. Be faithful.
With love, from Can-Win