Monday, May 23, 2016

Why I Went to Ogden! (slash what I learned)

The one and only Hermana Ava Ludlam ♥
1. Hands down the main reason was to be Hermana DeMaio's companion, no doubt about it. Heavenly Father has been planning this one for a while, He works in such mysterious ways! I now see He took a missionary called to Sao Paulo Brazil, and put her in Layton Utah only for a month and a half because He needed someone with specific past experiences to be here at this time for His precious daughter. I think she is the strongest person I have ever met. Even though circumstance made it necessary that I be here for her, she taught me more about how to be than anything I could've done for her. I have never tried so hard to proactively love someone, and in return I have never seen someone so closely to how God sees them. She is the flower growing through the cracks in the concrete. ♡

2. To learn how to always have my own personal sunshine inside me!! In John 16:33, Christ says "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!" What more is there to be said? Even when it's cloudy and everyone is gloomy, I can be shining and happy. How can I not, knowing what I know? :)

3. To become fearless in my tongue! When I got to Layton, I would open my mouth to say something, and nothing would come out. It was humiliating and frustrating, but I just could not speak Spanish! People would say, "How are you?" and I would stand there, unable to remember how to say "well" in Spanish, only Portuguese! The first night I was here, we went to an activity at the church and I was a nervous wreck on the inside. Finally, I asked Heavenly Father for help. He had just been waiting for me to do that, because as soon as I gave Him my will, He put me to work! I felt I should talk to a certain woman, and it took so much courage to just get up and walk over to her, but I did it, and my tongue was loosed. Because I did that, I gained the confidence (not in myself, but in the Lord) I needed to just keep following promptings. After that, Hermana would just say, "Alright, you knock this door," and I couldn't speak the language--but I would just do it. And it always worked out! :) SO! If I can preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to people in a language I cannot speak, just wait till they let me loose in Brazil. I will sing it from the rooftops!!

4. I received an answer to my question of how to apply the atonement in order to truly change (the full question was in the letter called First Transfer: Done). HOWEVER! I am going to pull an Irmao Read and say, "You have to figure it out for yourself!" I'll give some hints though. Read Elder Bednar's talk "The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality", where he says "I suspect that many Church members are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming and cleansing power of the Atonement than they are with the strengthening and enabling power. It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us—that is fundamental and foundational to the doctrine of Christ. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us, but also to empower us." That should get you as excited as I was to start the search! I started writing a book called "The Significance of the Atonement: Sister Ludlam's Understanding When She is 19." I'll write another one next year. Another hint: find out what change is in God's eyes. :) I would love to hear what you find!!

5. Here is how the MTC works: You eat, you sleep, and you sit in a chair while the most spiritually brilliant individuals feed you truth on a level so profound you feel like you understand life and you could do absolutely anything! Your only job is to soak it all in, and you just feel so cozy in your little spiritually saturated cocoon! But here's the thing--after I left the MTC, I realized that life is muddy and the philosophies of men are convoluted. Satan has been running amok for quite some time now! I thought "Well this simply will not do." After realizing I was deprived of spiritual nourishment and that I actually had to feed myself to keep that level of light, I began to flood my life with light. The great thing about being a missionary is that it's not so much about getting the light and nourishment for yourself as it is about sharing it those people you are privileged to teach.

6. President and Sister Jaggi ♡ Maybe it's because our mission is in Utah so they get to hang out with and be trained by the Apostles, but these people must be part angel. President has received life changing revelation for me, and Sister Jaggi is the greatest example of a dove I have ever met. Ever since I got here, I have followed President's challenge to write down 5 things I'm grateful for every night, and it's changed my life. I invite you all to do the same for 30 days, just watch what happens!

7. I learned how to be basically I had $200 dollars of emergency funds for when I travel to Brazil...and I managed to spend $100 dollars of it at the MTC :) Sorry Mom. I came rather unprepared, so it was all spent on necessary items, but I still was short a nice chunk of money! ANYWAYS I saved most of my money each week and now have what I need to travel. :) Let's just say I ate a lot of rice krispies. Now I can fall asleep easier knowing I'm not going to be held in an airport jail in Sao Paulo, waiting for President to bail me out.

8. Turns out we actually can't just sit in the car and say "alright, we are ready! Just point the way!" to be led to the people He wants us to teach! The revelation happens when we are planning, and it is the most spiritual part of the day. Now we write down certain names and places, and then pray for confirmation, asking "Is this Thy will?" I think Heavenly did lead us to miracles when we just sat there waiting for Him because He wanted to tell us "you two are on the right track," but now we know there is a much more effective way to make the most of precious time!

9. Remember my journey to know Christ? Oh, it has just been incredible, family. I wish I could explain the love I now feel for my Savior. Whenever I felt alone, I would envision Him walking up to the doors and knocking right alongside Hermana and me. Any fear was just gone, and it changed everything. I felt such a presence and strength in realizing just how close He really is. Especially because what we are doing is exactly what He would be doing if He were on the earth right now. Additionally, I grow closer to Him everytime I'm struggling and talking to Heavenly Father, because I have learned to say "I would that I might not drink the bitter cup, but not my will, but Thine be done." My bitter cups on the mission pale in comparison to what His were, but I do get a taste of what He suffered for us. I just feel this incredible unexplainable love for Him when I submit my will to the Father's, like He did so perfectly.

And I finally took the plaque picture for you, Mama. Sorry <3

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