Our Gift

Hello everyone!!!  This has been such an amazing week!
 
We had our fireside!  It was called “Stronger Than We Know” and it was amazing!  We had over 50 people show up!!!  (which is amazing when we only get like 30 at church on a good day).  Sister Hughes did an amazing job with her presentation.  It was about her family’s struggle and overcoming the sadness of cancer.  Her father passed away from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and so it was a slideshow about how she and her family overcame trials and lessons they learned.  It was wonderful!  And there was music interspersed in it.  Dexter Neilson and I sang “You Know Better Than I”, Cori and Hyrum Neilson sang “Come Thou Fount”, Sister Hughes sang “Hold On the Light Will Come”, and Russ Lubrick our AWESOME Pentecostal friend sang “How Great Thou Art”.  It was SUCH an amazing and uplifting and spiritual experience! 
One of our zone leaders and our district leader are on an exchange and they are working one of the sketchier parts of OUR area this week, and so they were both in attendance.  Elder Miehe, our zone leader, was crying, and Elder Smith, our district leader, was shedding a few tears.  It was just… SO good.  Wonderful experience!
 
I read something this morning that I really loved, and I wanted to share it with you all…..
 
“What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
I really liked that!!  We are each unique and have specific talents and qualities that only we possess.  And who we are is a gift.  It’s what we choose to do that is our gift to God.  Sister Hughes and I were talking this week, about how the ONLY way we can give God something, is by how hard we work.  We are nothing compared to Him, and without Him, we are nothing.  And He doesn’t need us to give Him anything as our gift, except our heart, and how dedicated we are.  So it really is what we choose to do with what He has blessed us with that allows us to show our gratitude to Him.  As we obey His commandments, and repent daily, and share the gospel with others, we are showing our love for our Heavenly Father.
 
I watched a Mormon message this week called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father, and it was so good… and at the end, it says
“Of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Deity, He has asked us to address Him as Father.”
 
I love that so much!  He truly is our loving Heavenly Father!!  I’m beginning, ever so slowly, to understand what that means for me in my life!  I know that He loves each of us and is there for us all the time!  I’m so grateful for this knowledge, and for the gifts He has given me.  And as I serve with my might, I pray I’m giving Him back even 1/100 of what He gives me.
 
I love you all!!!  Have a wonderful week!
 

Love, Sister Arbon

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Our Deepest Fear

Hello Everyone!  I hope you all have had an awesome week!
 
I’ve really been thinking about how we judge ourselves this week.  I have an absolutely incredible trainee, and to be perfectly honest, I sometimes think she’s more fit to train than I am. 
 
Sometimes in our lives, we doubt ourselves, and our own ability and power.  I have really felt that way this week.  That’s not to say I don’t love my trainee.  I do.  SOOO much.  I think she’s amazing!  The crazy thing is, just when I was feeling like a pretty good missionary, Heavenly Father called me to train.  At first, I was like… “Oooh yeah.  I’m that good.”  And that’s where I made my first mistake.  Haha!  Heavenly Father had to knock me down a couple notches, reeeeeaaaallllyyy quick.  Which He did.  By sending me an amazing companion who doesn’t even need a trainer!  Haha!
 
That thought brought me to remember this quote from Nelson Mandela…
 
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
 
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
 
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
 
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.
 
It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
 
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

[Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech, 1977.]

 
That quote really hit home with me this week!  Because I realized that it doesn’t matter that Sister Hughes is an astoundingly good missionary!  That should make me love her MORE!  (Which I do.  She rocks.)  I realized that because she’s good, doesn’t mean that I’m not. 
 
We EACH have the power to be amazing!  And more importantly, we each gain that power because of our Heavenly Father!  He is the one who has given us our unique talents and abilities, and it is for Him that we should be using them!  
 
That’s my spiel on that this week.
 
We found two awesome new investigators this week!  One is a 17 year old named Pauline.  She has a little 6 week old baby, and just really needs to feel the love of God in her life!  It’s funny, because we were actually dropping by the house to talk to her foster mom, Kate.  But Kate wasn’t there, so we talked to Pauline instead!  It was a really neat experience to be able to talk to her about her life and her experiences.  Really sweet girl!
 
The other new investigator we found was a referral from one of our formers named Sharon.  Her name is Jen and she’s just been going through a REALLY rough situation, so who better to help than the missionaries!  I’ve really laughed this week about Elder Nelson’s talk…. because Sharon asked us about the church’s addiction recovery program for Jen, and in my head I hear…. “Ask the missionaries!  They can help you!”
 
We’re so excited!  We’re putting on an awesome fireside next week!  AND we’ve got our penetecostal friends coming and PARTICIPATING!  One of them is going to be singing How Great Thou Art, and one will be saying a closing prayer!  How awesome is that!  It’s a fireside that Sister Hughes put together when her father passed away, and it’s just like, how to get through trials.  And we’re advertising for it all over town and it’s going to ROCK!  Me and Dexter Neilson are going to sing “You Know Better Than I”, Hyrum and Cori Neilson are singing “Come Thou Fount”, Russ (pentecostal) is singing “How Great Thou Art”, and Sister Hughes is singing “Hold On, the Light Will Come.”  It’s going to be fabulous!  And it’s amazing that we’ve got the Full Gospel people helping with it!  Heavenly Father works in amazing ways! 
 
Well everyone, I love you and hope you all have a blessed week!
 
Love Sister Arbon

Do I Make Bows?

Heya… How’s it goin’ eh?
 
This was a really great week!  We found 2 wonderful new investigators here in Port McNeill!!!  I love it up here.  Greatest place ever.  I really am hoping I don’t get transferred tonight….  I’ll let you all know next week!
 
One of our new investigators is named Karen.  She’s CRAZY!  But awesome.  She is an alcoholic, and she’s definitely a 60’s child.  The story of how we found her is really miraculous though!  We were really struggling to find new people to teach, and so we decided to try something, kind of funny, but it worked.  We prayed that the person we were supposed to teach would be wearing a red shirt so that we would recognize them.  I felt really strongly to go to a street called Kingcome, and one house in particular was really callin to me.  So we walked up to the house and this MASSIVE huskie/wolf cross (there’s tons of them up here) came running out and let us pet him.  Karen came out and was SHOCKED that Timber was letting us pet him and so she was like, come on in!!!  Lo and behold, her shirt was a bright red turtle neck. 
 
The other one is named Ron.  He’s not religious at all so it will be interesting teaching him.  But fun too!
 
As I was studying this morning, I came across a really neat scripture passage in 1 Nephi.  Yes, I’m back in 1 Nephi again.  Third time through the Book of Mormon since I left!  Quite an accomplishment, I think. 
Aaaanywaaaay, it was in 1 Nephi 16 where Nephi breaks his bow.  Everyone, including Lehi at this point, was murmuring and was really mad at him for breaking his really nice steel bow because now they had no food.  However, Nephi did not get down.  In verse 23 it says,
 
“And it came to pass that I , Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones.  And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?”
 
This was written next to the passage (I think Wendy was originally the one who showed me this insight)  “Do I complain?  Or do I make bows?”
 
So when we are going through hard things, how do we react?  Do we complain about everything that has gone wrong and will go wrong?  Or do we get up and get cracking on making our situation better?  I hope it’s the second.  It’s not always, even for me, but as long as 9 times out of 10 we choose to do something about it, we are doing alright. =]
 
Last p-day we decided to make guacamole.  It was awesome!  Then we put it in the icebox…. and forgot about it.  So… today we decided to clean out our icebox.  And we found SEVERAL science experiments growing within.  Hahaha.  The White Bible says “Do not keep pets of any kind.”  Oops….. we had things growing on everything in the icebox.  It was a really enlightening morning!
 
Well everyone, I hope you are all fantastic!  I will let you know what happens next!  Stay tuned!
 
Love you all!!!!!!!
 
Love Sister Arbon

Be Perfectly Committed

Hello everyone!!
 
This week we had a really awesome zone conference with President Tilleman.  He is such an inspired man. 
 
He said something that really struck me.  He said “You don’t have to be perfect.  You just have to be perfectly committed.”
 
Ever since then, I have been pondering a lot about what it means to be perfectly committed.  I’ll share with you all, the things I’ve come up with.
 
I started by asking myself a few different questions.
Who am I committed to?
I am committed to my Savior, my family, my companion, my mission president, and my friends (investigators).
 
Why am I committed to them?
I want to honor my family and my Savior, and bring others to Christ.
 
What am I committed to?
I am committed to the work of Salvation.  I am committed to not letting my family or Savior down.  I am committed to making each companionship I’m in a unified, successful, loving, obedient one.  I am committed to finding the souls that are seeking.  I’m committed to strengthening those around me.
 
HOW can I be more perfectly committed?
In order to be more committed, I think I need to focus most fully on the Savior and bringing souls unto Him, and giving Him the honor.  I need to make Him my number one in all I do.  It is HE who blesses me with His divine help and guidance out here, and I need to focus my attention more fully towards Him and all He has done for me.
 
So the conclusion I came to was this.  I don’t have to perfect, BECAUSE I am committed to Someone who IS perfect, and He will consecrate my efforts.

My week was pretty good.  I had a really terrible migraine for 3 days and so I actually was sitting on a member’s couch for 2 of those days.  As per Sister Tilleman’s orders.  I have not been sleeping good so it’s been a really rough thing on my already recurring headaches.  She’s making me go to a doctor again this week to talk about my migraines and see if there is something I could be prescribed that would help, because no over the counter stuff is working anymore.  But I’m good!  I’m happy and mostly healthy! =]

Transfers are next week. I am in Port McNeill for the last two weeks of this transfer, so I am happy about that! I love it here! Don’t send any mail later this week, I may or may not get it.  I hope to still be here in Port McNeill. I love it. Logic dictates that I will stay, but logic also dictated that I would be with Vallejo for my first 12 weeks, so who knows.  There are 15 sisters in the mission right now. Two are going home next week, and four new are coming. Then next transfer, 11 new sisters!

Well, I hope you all have had a great week, and look for the miracles in every single day!!!

 
I love you all!
 
Love Sister ArbonImage

“O, ye fair ones!”

Hello Amigos!!!

This was a really rough week for me, both physically and spiritually.

I was having really awful dizzy spells for most of the week.  I didn’t know what the problem was, and so I tried to just work through it, but I couldn’t even walk after awhile.  I was SO dizzy!  So I talked to Sister Tilleman and she had me go see a doctor, and I had what he called “vestibular neuronitis.”  He gave me a prescription which I’ve been taking, and I’m almost better.  It was really hard though, because I felt VERY useless, and I didn’t like that.  At all.  I wanted to go out and work, but Sister Tilleman lovingly reminded me that just one fall…. could result in a spinal cord injury.  (That’s the story of President Tilleman, for those who don’t know…)  Needless to say, as soon as she brought that up, I couldn’t argue.  I’m so grateful to the WONDERFUL Port McNeill branch members, the Neilsons and the Terrys, who watched over me while Sister Brown and Sister Vallejo were out working. 

Spiritually speaking, this was a hard couple days.  We had to put Betty Lou in the reflecting pool.  It was a VERY difficult thing for me to do.  I love her SO much, and she’s progressed so far, but she just won’t read the Book of Mormon with enough diligence to help her continue progressing.  She hasn’t come to church in about a month, and there was just nothing we could do more for her right now, so we called and her let her know that we can’t meet as often anymore.  I just cried.  It’s so hard.  Sooo hard.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon today, in Mormon actually, when EVERYONE died.  Mormon just cries out “O, ye fair ones!”  and then laments their wickedness and their death.  That really spoke to me this morning and I just cried.  That’s how I feel about Betty Lou.  Just so hard.  So so hard.

Susan has postponed their dates for right now.  She’s just very overwhelmed with work and things right now.  She still WANTS to be baptized, she just isn’t ready for it yet.  We’re trying to help her though.  She really is wonderful.  It’s a matter of time, honestly.  We love her so much!!!  Her kids are adorable as well.

I LOVE my companions.  With all my heart.  They are both so wonderful.  I love the good time that we have together.  It really is awesome.  Missionary work is amazing, period, but when you have 2 amazing companions to do it with, it just makes it even better.  I’m loving every second of being with Sister Brown and Sister Vallejo.

So I was listening to general conference on cd (best investment I’ve ever made) and I looved L. Tom Perry’s talk.  I just want to let EVERYONE who gets this email know, that my Mother is THE greatest ever.  I’m so incredibly grateful for her and the wonderful example she is, and always has been, to me.  She’s amazing. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!!  And stay warm!!!!  I’ve heard it’s cold there.  I’m freezing with ya’ll in spirit. =]

OH!!!!!!  AND!!!!!  Congrats to my most AMAZING MTC elders on all their success.  I always love it when I see your names in President’s emails talking about your baptisms.  I’m so proud of you all.  You’re all just the greatest ever!!!!!!  I can’t wait until we can serve in the same zone or district one of these days.  That’ll be fun.  Elder Day and Elder Brown, you rock too!  And Sister Stones, Pyle and Mansfield, you are GORGEOUS and I LOVE you!!! 

Love,

Sister Arbon

Notes from an email to mom….just in addition.

Just a few lines from my email from Mandy this week, so you can get an idea how she is, where she is etc.

Oh, yeah I got my hair  trimmed again.   It’s weird, because there is only a little bit of blonde left.  Right at the tips.  So it’s funny looking at the moment, hahaha.  I look like a leopard.  But in a month or so, I can trim them off and I’ll be au naturale!  I’ve never had my hair 100% natural since I was a kid… it’s weird. I really like it though.  the cut, the color, I was gonna grow it out before I get home, but I may leave it.I like it.

I brought my camera, but I don’t have time to attach pics. (it takes FOREVER… )  😦  But I’ll be sending the memory card today.  We take a LOT of pics.  Sister Terry is our next door neightbor, President Terry’s wife. We live in a town home. 3 bedroom, 2 bath.  We sleep in the same room, and keep our belongings in the other rooms. It is nice!  I’ll do a tour before I send the card today. =]

I will be here in Port McNeill at least until the 30th.  If I get transferred on the 30th I will leave then.  (pray that I don’t…  I don’t want to)

the tights are AWESOME.  I love them.

It sounds like you had an awesome new years!  I’m glad. =]  We were…. asleep by 11. hahaha.  Boring old us.  But we bought some martinellis and had a toast before we went to sleep. haha

Susan’s baptism date is the 26th.  Barb, who was recently baptized is amazing.  Our tri is HILARIOUS!!!  We have so much fun together.  SO much fun.  We are singing at zone meeting tomorrow.  I need thee every hour.  Gonna be awesome.  Maybe we’ll sing it for the camera before I send the card!

I rap hymns a lot… how firm a foundation is rapped a LOT! =]