Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My mission advice to any girl who is thinking about serving

Kenzie, Emily and any other girl who is thinking about serving…

Missions are hard. Really hard! Nearly unbearably hard. The MTC, not hard. The MTC was awesome every second. The mission has awesome moments, don’t get me wrong, but it also has moments where you are in the lowest low you have ever felt. Moments where all you want to do is crawl back into Mom and Dad’s bed and never ever grow up and never leave their side again.

That being said, I know that this is where God wants me. That is my first piece of advice for you. Find out clearly if this is what God wants for your life. That takes a strong measure of spiritual preparation. Study how to receive revelation and follow each principle with EXACT obedience. A good place to start would be Richard G. Scott’s talk, “How to Receive Revelation Through the Scriptures” and prayer in the Bible dictionary. You are going to need to work hard for clear and crisp revelation.
You are going to need to give yourself to much fasting and prayer and study and TIME. It’s a process, not meant to happen all at once. My process took a solid 8 months and it was not easy, and I gave up a wonderful boy to be here.

The second thing you must do is rid your thoughts of absolutely every fantasy you have about what a mission is.
I’ll tell you what a mission is: It’s work. Mental, physical and spiritual work.
You don’t have You time. You don’t have the privilege of saying, “I’m tired, my feet and all my muscles kill I’m just going to lay down.” You don’t have the privilege of using a cell phone when you actually really need it (we have an old one for our team, but can only call/text no Google maps) You don’t have the privilege of sightseeing. You are on a mission to work. To follow the rules even if you don’t understand why. To live and be around another human 100% of the time (and I’ve had good humans to be around) You are here to talk to people who don’t think you are precious. You are here to do things and say things that you wouldn’t necessarily want a stranger to do and say to you.

But, if you come here with a TESTIMONY and the desire to work and especially with a knowledge that the Lord wants you where you are then you will be given the strength to endure the hard times and appreciate the good times.

A testimony is really the key. Build your testimony in the simple doctrinal truths. Know that the Book of Mormon is true. Know that God loves you. Know that families can be together forever. Know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Know that the Savior atoned for the sins of the world. Know that we have and had a prophet. Know that the Priesthood is real. Know that the church is true, every auxiliary. Know that the temple is the house of God and the work that is done there is real. And know that this gospel is not only true for you, but for everyone else as well.

It is crucial that you understand that a mission is not synonymous with a fun and exciting adventure. It is NOT a study abroad. It is NOT a good way to learn another culture or another language. It is NOT a good way to pass the time while your boyfriend is on a mission. It is NOT a good way to run away from problems at home. IT is NOT even a good way to become a better person. A mission is work. It is soul-stretching, physically exhausting and mentally draining work.

BUT, IT IS THE LORD’S WORK. It is teaching me so much. I have never been so converted to this gospel in my life and I have never been closer to our Heavenly Father. I’ve already seen miracles. I genuinely am developing characteristics of charity, faith and diligence that I don’t think would be possible to develop any other way for me personally. I am blessed and see the hand of the Lord daily. I am slowly but surely learning how to feel the spirit to guide me to people who are prepared for this message. I have never known my scriptures better. I have never loved my family and desired to live with them forever more. I’ve never felt more love for strangers. I’ve never come to a better knowledge that every other person on this earth is loved the same by God as his child. I’ve never cried more. I’ve never been so bold. I’ve never stood so starkly for anything. I’ve never lived so simply. I’ve never wanted more people to have the gospel.

If those are the types of things you truly desire in your heart, I can testify that those are the things my mission has done for me already, and I think a mission could be a good path for you.  If you are coming here for another reason, Good Luck.
(Mathew 10:39. ..the only reason you go. You can’t come looking to find yourself.)

Also, you would be wise to prepare better than I did. Take much less thought to your mission wardrobe and spend time preparing to go through the temple, spend time going on splits with the sister missionaries. Spend time knowing your scripture mastery.  If you are trusted (not blessed) enough to learn a language spend time studying that language instead of worrying about eating at your favorite restaurants for the last time. Worry about strengthening your muscles and legs to walk with heavy bags. Just be practical.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What a Week

This week. 

Oh where do I even begin? 

I was trying to think of the words that would best describe this week and all I could come up with is: Character Building. 

Do I have your attention? Hahah 

Tuesday was a day FULL of miracles. We went over to visit an inactive lady in the morning and she wasn't there and so we turned around to get back on the bus and it hit me like fire, "I didn't bring you all the way over to this area for no reason." It was one of those special moments where I knew exactly what I needed to be doing. And it was really special because it was the first time here that I've really felt prompted to go a certain way or talk to a certain person. So we started knocking doors. Not interested, not home, not interested, mad and not interested. Then, these two big Tahitian guys come to the door, we introduce ourselves and they tell us that we can come in! We told them we had to stay outside, but they had a little table and chairs so it worked out just fine. Then we taught them the entire first lesson. It wasn't long, and it wasn't perfect, but the Spirit was so strong and both of the men said that they wanted to change their lives. We gave them the pamphlet (classic), invited them to come to church, AND set up another appointment. That was the first time that had ever happened in Soeur Grewars entire mission. Okay so then next door. It opens and this 18 year old boy is standing there. He says that he is interested, but that he is home alone, so we tell him we can just leave a little message and then come back. He agrees and we start telling him about how families can be together forever. He really likes it and tells us he really wants to know more and wants us to teach his family too. We leave him a pamphlet, invite him to church, AND set up another appointment. Two in a row. Soeur Grewar almost died. 

Sadly, we couldn't find a member to teach the two men with so we had to pass them to the elders, but they are doing SO good. They didn't come to church, but they have been doing their reading and setting up more appointments. I'm so happy!! We went back past Alexandre and his family and they had just decided to take a last minute trip to Paris for the vacance, but they set up an appointment with us for tomorrow! I'm so excited they seem so awesome! 

The rest of Tuesday was really great too! There is a girl in our branch who is leaving on her mission in May and wanted to come out and work with us. She has a car, so she drove us out to a bunch of the people we can't get to on the bus and we set up rendez-vous with a couple of families and this one hilarious lady who tried to convince us that the Sabbath day is on Saturday, but who knows that the Book of Mormon is true. We're working on her. Hahaha.

Okay so Tuesday ended and I was just fired up. Right? Pretty much everything we set up that day actually went through and people let us IN. It was AMAZING.

Then on Wednesday we went to Rennes for Zone Training with President. And I was SOOOO fired up after that. Literally ready to just go out and convert all of France. 

Thursday, starts off with a Rendez-vous at the District President's house, which was awesome and so yummy. They are the greatest people in the world. They lived in Angers and one day he had a dream that he needed to move to Vannes to stregthen the church. So they just up and moved and his life mission now is to turn the District into a Pieu (Stake). Dedication at it's finest. They gave us a couple of names of people to go visit and told us that they have an inactive daughter who lives in Vannes that they want us to go meet. Like music to my ears. After lunch, they drove us over to see the beach and it smelled like heaven and I cried I was so happy. WHO AM I? 

After the beach we ported around their area. Nobody was interested, but this one man was super nice and gave us a bunch of fresh eggs because he had chickens as pets. #winning. 

The rest of the week was really hard because everything kept falling through and noone was interested. This is where "character building" comes into play. After knocking on doors for 6 hours you come to a point where you literally feel like you are pointless. Like you are a horrible missionary. Like you can never say the right thing. Like you don't have enough faith. Like there is no way in the world you are going to be able to do this for 15 more months and stay sane. Like there HAS to be a better way. And then you finally get enough sense to just ask the Lord what your purpose is. And all of the sudden you just feel at peace with yourself and what you are doing. You think about how the disciples were rejected and persecuted and killed (Acts 5:41). & You think about how Christ wasn't accepted by everyone. 

And then you go to church and 3 people tell you that their friends are preparing to be taught. 

And somehow it all just balances and everything is okay. 

Love y'all so much. Pray that we find people to teach who are ready! 

Soeur Kayleigh Johns  

P.S. Reeder family THANK you for the package. I laughed so hard when I saw the Kool Aid and my companion said that she's only seen it in the movies. She is so excited to try it:) Y'all are the greatest! 
The Eggs!!

The beach, the best smell EVER