Monday, August 10, 2015

Mon, Aug 10, 2015 A New View at the Gospel of Happiness

Dear everyone, 

Imagine yourselves climbing the same hike every single day. Every day, you adventure up the side of the same mountain. Tripping over the same logs and the same rocks. The switchbacks never get easier and steepness of the mountain is almost unbearable. Then you reach the top and look out across the valley. The first time you did the hike, this view was spectacular. Possibly, the most stunning view you have ever experienced. But after a while...after many more hikes up this mountain, you don't seem to find the same joy and sense of wonder that you did the first hike. The hike seems to be more of a chore than a pleasure. And worst of all, there is no joy in the view. This week, I have been studying repentance. Sister Johnson pointed out in her last letter that in PMG it says, "Repentance includes forming a fresh view of God, ourselves, and the world." I have realized that this view is something I want everyday. I do not want to do the same hike (thoughts, action, and words) everyday because I now realize that by the end of the day I am still seeing the same view. And if we are seeing the same view, we are not progressing. As we repent, change our natures, and submit or will to God's, we change our course or our hike. At the end of each day, when I'm saying my prayers, I love recognizing the deeper understanding and appreciation I have gained for God, for others, and for myself. I pray that I may continue to see things clearer as I continue to become the person God needs me to become. 

Wow, this week has been absolutely filled with miracles. Haha...I don't know if I would call this a miracle or not, but I am officially Canadian. I was telling Sister Wright a story one day and asked her a question at the end. Guess what word I used at the end of my question...that's right..."eh". Haha, I stopped mid sentence and asked Sister Wright, "Did you hear that???" Oh man, I never had the chance of becoming a true Canadian when I was in Spanish work, but there was no stopping me in English work. Haha, when I said that, Sister Wright almost kicked me out of the car. We were shocked. 

Morning Exercise 

We haven't been able to see Christine very much as of recent, but we stay in contact her. She is doing so well. And every time we talk with her, she tells us of more miracles that she has seen. She has truly come to know that God is there for her. She always calls herself a "sponge" because she loves just absorbing everything she learns. Haha, at church she said, "I'm trying to be like a sponge. Sponge Bob Square Skirt." Haha, she is hilarious. 

So we had a real treat this week. JOHN BYTHEWAY came to speak to the missionaries serving on the island. Good thing I stayed on the island this transfer. Haha President Burt started off the meeting by saying, "Laughing and Learning in the same sentence is a wonderful thing." Haha, and that is the perfect way to sum up this missionary fireside. He talked all about how the parable of the 4 different types of seeds in Matthew 13 is actually the parable of the 4 different kinds of hearts. He told us that the seed referred to in Alma 32 isn't faith. The seed is Jesus Christ, our Savior, and we nourish that seed with our faith. I loved this quote that he shared by Heber C. Kimball,  “I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being. Why? Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit”. Wow, isn't that so true. That was kind of a wake up call for me. I think sometimes that I am working so hard that I forget to find the joy in the gospel. Haha, then I end up asking myself, "If I'm living the gospel, why am I not happy?" I really wanted to find an answer to this question so I dove into studying it. 

I learned that "commandments are instructions from a loving Heavenly Father to help us have HAPPY LIVES." Obedience to the commandments brings happiness, and disobedience brings sorrow. I came to the realization that absolutely everything that Heavenly Father does for us is to bring us happiness. Not just temporary, wordly happiness, but a joy that will sustain us in this life and fill us in the next. Ha, I also learned that just as we should not procrastinate the day of our repentance, we should also not procrastinate the day of our happiness. The gospel is there to offer us happiness now. Sometimes I think that it doesn't matter if I'm happy in this life because when I'm living with God and with my family I'll be happy. That is definitely not part of the Plan of HAPPINESS. "Men are that they might have joy." (2 Ne 2:25) In True to the Faith, I learned that the gospel is the only source of real happiness and that enduring joy comes from spiritual growth, service, and hard work. I can still work hard and be oh so happy!:) I am so grateful for my mission. It has really opened my eyes to the joy of the gospel. The joy that comes from knowing who my Heavenly Father is, who Jesus Christ is, and who I am as a daughter of God. Please understand that this type of joy is available for all of those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and live by its teachings! If you have this joy, great! Now go and share it. 

Fun times at lunch in Sidney

Wow, one of the miracles that I have seen this week was a lesson with Laura. She had some questions about the premortal life. She really just wasn't grasping any of it and we had no idea what we were going to say to help her understand. The lesson actually turned out really well because of the incredible Spirit that was there. I wish you could have seen the light and understanding that entered into her eyes as she grasped the knowledge of her divine identity. It was truly remarkable. Sidenote: Haha, Laura cracks Sister Wright and me up. She is so sarcastic and loves to make fun of us all the time. Laura always calls me "Miss Analogy" because of all the analogies I tell her to help her understand. 

Crazy quick story. Sister Wright and I got offered a beer this week. Wow, who would have thought that the first time I would be offered a beer would be on my mission. Of course we said no, and of course we shared our beliefs with him. Maybe he will realize there are better things to do with his time!;)

 There have been so many hard days this week. It's been hard going from teaching lessons everyday to finding all day long! I have come to realize the importance of not only seeing the miracles, but seeing everything as a miracle. Truly, God is so good. His work is the greatest thing I could be doing with my time. I love each of you and the support that you are giving me. Know that I pray for you! I pray that you will all find the joy of the gospel! 

Love Hermana Hoth

View from Tsartlip
My first Pow-wow . . . for like 2 seconds

Laura and her huge bible

on top of the world!
Ditto, Atkinson, Magenta, recent convert, Hoth, Jensen
This describes us perfectly. I hate to be touched. she is touchy. 
last pday hike

Atkinson, Hoth, Wright, Jensen, Ditto, Magenta

me being legit


language study


lesson at laura's - my view of our lessons with laura

look mom . . . I'm letting my curls out

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