Monday, April 3, 2017

Megan's LAST email

I know with all my heart this gospel is true. I am so grateful for the things I have learned on my mission. I would not take one minute back.  I will definitely be leaving a huge chunk of my heart in Alabama. 

See y'all in a few days! My Homecoming will be this coming Sunday, April 9th, at 1:00 pm! There will be refreshments at my Dad's house afterward.

The church address is: 
13006 Boulter Street, Draper, UT

My Dad's address is:
1519 Nashi Lane, Draper, Utah

Mosiah 18:30

"And now it came to pass that all this was done in Alabama, yea, by the waters of Alabama, in the forest that was near the waters of Alabama; yea, the place of Alabama, the waters of Alabama, the forest of Alabama, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

I am so grateful for this place and the people here. Alabama is where I have come to the knowledge of my Redeemer. 

I couldn't decide what to share with y'all about all the things I've learned on my mission. I decided to narrow it down to the top...100... (:

1. Faith over fear. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

2. Specific prayers bring specific answers.

3. Agency is one of God's greatest gifts, and one of the biggest frustrations in missionary work.

4. The Lord's timing is often much different than our own.

5. Speaking in tongues means something COMPLETELY different in the South...

6. Mission calls are 100% inspired of God. There is no doubt in my mind that Alabama is where the Lord wanted me to be.

7. The Spirit teaches more than any missionary ever could.

8. Families are at the center of Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness. I'm so grateful for mine.

9. The South is loud and proud about their faith in Jesus Christ!

10. People in the church are not perfect, but the gospel is!

11. Trial and error. Get back up each time you fall- that's what diligence means.

12. If you replace your S's and your T's, you will have better luck in the ghetto. Ex: "Jus go scraight down the screet!" and "Lemme grab my striptures right quick.."

13. If you move to the South you WILL gain weight. It's just a fact of life.

14. Leadership in the church isn't a position of authority so much as it is an opportunity to serve. 

15. Alabama's state bird should be a cockroach (yes, they fly).

16. The scriptures are our spiritual lifeline. If you don't read them, your testimony will falter.

17. "You can do anything for two weeks!" A President Hanks motto that got me through my mission.

18. 1 Corinthians 13:8 "Charity never faileth..." If you love the people, you'll love the work.

19. Grace isn't a "get out of jail free" card, but it is the enabling power of Christ's Atonement. It allows us to change.

20. Missions bring the most unlikely of friends. I look at people so much differently than I used to.

21. Obedience is the first law of heaven. Although most mission rules don't affect our salvation, they teach us to humble ourselves and be obedient.

22. One of Satan's greatest strategies is to get us to doubt ourselves. The Lord doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

23. A testimony can't be proved, not even through the scriptures. It comes from the Spirit. This is why we shouldn't obsess in church history or the faults of past prophets. If you want to know the truth, ask God! Not Google.

24. There is something to learn from every single person that comes into your life, especially companions.

25. Church Leaders are called of God. They are given inspiration to bless you specifically. I am so grateful for both of my Mission Presidents. 

26. Member missionary work! Truth is, a missionary's job is pointless without member involvement. 

27. Humidity is the WORST. Hot or cold, I'm not a fan.

28. Hills are considered "mountains" in the South. LOL.

29. Southern hospitality is real! People are so nice here.

30. The Holy Ghost gives us promptings all the time! We just have to learn to listen.

31. The gospel isn't a checklist, but a continuous cycle that brings us closer to God.

32. Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. He was a very imperfect person- just as the rest of us are. Through him the Lord restored His authority to the earth.

33. Sweet tea is almost as hard to quit as cigarettes for some people!

34. The seasons change daily in Alabama.

35. Hope is what keeps our faith alive. Hope is made possible through Christ. 

"And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." (Moroni 7:41)

36. Store contacting is a good way to spend all your money, and share the gospel at the same time! Sorry Dad....

37. The most common phrase in the Book of Mormon is: "And it came to pass..."
This is a good reminder to us that all hard this will eventually come to pass.

38. As much as I hate to admit it, Tracting works... SOMETIMES. I wouldn't take back a single knock because of the few we found success at.

39. Part member families are "low hanging fruit".

40. I'm grateful our church is a "Lay Ministry". It is so easy for other churches to become corrupted when they are paying someone to preach to them. 

41. Fun fact- A shopping cart is called a "buggy" here. (:

42. When someone says they're "fixin' to", they aren't planning on fixing anything... It just means they are fixin' to go do somethin'! 

43. Testimonies are meant to be shared! 
" That which one shares, he keeps.
That which one selfishly keeps, he loses."

44. A good way to start a conversation here is by saying: "ROLL TIDE!"

45. Football and religion are close to equal in the South.

46. Everything happens for a reason. Trials are just blessings in disguise. 

47. Life is unpredictable! Change is inevitable. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

48. President Hinckley said all converts [and members for that matter] need 3 things:
     1- A friend.
     2- An assignment.
     3- To be nourished by the good word of God.
I have found this to be true!

49. There is a difference between reading and studying the scriptures.

50. The stereotype is true- Southerners love their homemade fried chicken and Macaroni and Cheese. 

51. Baptism does not equal "saved". It is the first step to us becoming more like our Heavenly Father.

52. "There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul."

53. "...wickedness never was happiness..." (Alma 41:10) Satan tries to trick us into thinking that our sins bring us joy. True joy can only be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

54. You are the happiest when you have your "arrows out"!

55. "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;" (D&C 4:3)
I may be a Sister, but I was called to be a missionary. 

56. Miracles are only seen through a positive attitude! There are tender mercies in every day.

57. There is a lot that goes into running a Ward. I have so much respect for Ward Auxiliaries/ Leaders. 

58. The purpose of prayer is not to align Heavenly Father's will with our own, but to align out will with the Father's. I've learned that "Thy will be done." is easier said than put into action.

59. "Service Softens Stony Souls" -President Hanks

60. We are blessed when we sacrifice willingly. That's why agency is so important. No blessings would come in being forced to choose the right.

61. Good-> Better-> Best. Sometimes we are asked to give up something good because God knows what's best.

62. "Keep the change". Just as we could gather coins to be of great worth, the changes made on missions are of great value to our lives. 

63. I learned how to make authentic Mexican Horchata! It's a long story...

64. You can forgive someone even if they have no desire to be forgiven. It's just really hard.

65. Dr. Pepper is not the healthiest to have every day... )':

66. The "Primary Answers" are so important. Read. Pray. Go to church.

67. The best way to lead is by example. 

68. "Patience is a virgin!" -Sister Hintze

69. I love the temple! I have missed being able to see one every day. I plan to go at least once a month, if not more. Hold me to that y'all.

70. It is really hard not to hold babies. I can't wait to hold my nieces and nephew.

71. Sometimes you'll get a prompting from the Spirit, and never know the reason why! But it's always better to follow through with it.

72. The South will flourish in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ someday! I just know it.

73. "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." -Gordon B. Hinckley

74. No effort is wasted! Only God will see the full effects of our labors.

75. Anti-Mormon literature is like spiritual pornography. It's deceiving and addicting. It seems as though people can leave the church, but they just can't leave it alone.

76.Strangers in the South are more willing to help you than friends out West.

77. Southerners are more afraid of a little snow than they are of a tornado warning.

78. If you though testimony meetings could get a little crazy in Utah, try one in Alabama.

79. Tornado Warning Procedure:  Put your bike helmet on. Get in the bath tub. Pull your twin mattress over your head. Bring snacks, you'll be in there a while.

80. In bad weather, the first things to go in stores are: 1- Milk. 2-Bread. Not sure why...

81. "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance." -President Sainsbury
 Planning is a skill you'll use your whole life!

82. Satan cannot replicate peace.

83. "A good minute" means quite a long time. Not even close to a minute.

84. "90% of Southerners don't have 90% of their teeth" -Sister Patten

85. "Two men looked out prison bars: One saw mud, the other stars."
Perspective is everything.

86. Answers to prayers can be difficult to understand at times. You could be so sure your answer meant one thing and find out later it meant something completely different!

87. "When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, which President Thomas S. Monson just taught us, and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives." -President Russell M. Nelson

89. Tenacity is really spelled "GRRRR". -President Hanks

90. It is possible to have fun, and work hard!

91. The Sacrament is the most important part of church. It is our personal communion with Heavenly Father and our opportunity to renew our covenants.

92. It is so easy to "miss the mark". The gospel is simple. There is no reason to complicate it. 

93. "Any time there is a Conference of any kind, it is a time to receive personal revelation." -President Sainsbury

94. I learned that I was meant to meet Lindsey Harris.. along with many other people, but my purpose for being in Alabama became clear when I met her. She has become one of my closest friends. It is a friendship I plan to keep my whole life.

95. The Plan of Salvation is precious and sacred doctrine. It brings comfort, peace, and assurance that anyone can choose to return to Heavenly Father.

96. The two great commandments are to: 1- Love God. 2- Love your fellow man. This is at the center of the gospel.

97. I NEVER want to go inactive!! I will do everything in my power to keep my testimony strong and stay active in the gospel throughout my life. 

98. There will never be a point where we stop learning or growing.

99. The Book of Mormon is absolutely the word of God. It was preserved for our day and has power to bring us closer to God than any other book on earth. 

100. Christ didn't just suffer for our sins. He also felt every sorrow, pain, sickness, and negative feeling we would ever feel. Because He suffered for us, we need not suffer alone. I have felt His comfort and peace. I know He lives. He is never out of our reach. 

Alma 7:11-12

" And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."