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