Monday, August 4, 2014

Awesome things

Dear Family and Friends, 

So many awesome things and some not so awesome things happened this week! Haha. The best part of our week was the baptism that we had on Saturday! Our investigator Ashlee got baptized and her husband Ryon was able to baptize her. It was the most beautiful baptism I have ever been to and the Spirit was so incredibly strong. The people who gave talks did a great job and everyone was so emotional. Ryon's family is all members and they were all there to support her. Ashlee has been investigating the church for quite a few years now, and for some reason, now was the right time for her. She has waited a long time to get to this point, and you could see the happiness and joy radiating from her and her family and everyone that was there. It just reminded me of the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel, and the beautiful message that families are forever. I can't really even explain the feelings that overwhelmed me as I witnessed this beautiful family come together in the Gospel and as she bore her testimony. I feel so honored to be a part of this work and to have experiences like that. To help others and to see the joy that the Gospel brings to their lives is absolutely amazing. We just love their family and are so happy for this step that they made. Something that Ashlee said in her testimony was that "they were missing a really important part in their marriage; Jesus Christ." And it is so true. He is the most important part and it is only through Him that we are able to be sealed as families forever and with Him as the center of our homes, we will be strengthened and we will be able to overcome any trial that comes our way. He is our Savior and Redeemer and I love Him with all my heart and that is why I am out here serving Him. Through Jesus Christ, our broken hearts are healed, our weaknesses overcome, and our burdens lifted, and I have truly felt that, and have gained such a testimony of His Atonement and sacrifice for each and every one of us.  It reminds me of one of my favorite songs "Come to Christ," and it says, "Come unto Christ, come unto Him, and through His grace be made Holy again. He's calling your name. He's waiting for you, with arms open wide. Come unto Christ" So beautiful :)

In other great news, we got to go to GIRL'S CAMP for a day this week! It was so exciting. I really miss young women's and I was so grateful that we had the opportunity to go up there and be with the girls. We were able to get permission as long as we made it back by 9:30:) Camp was 3 hours away in the beautiful Idaho mountains. It was also really exciting because I have never left Twin Falls since I have been here so to be able to go and see different parts of the mission was so cool! We crossed over the Twin Falls bridge, and I was like, "I have never left, this is so exciting" and I was freaking out and everyone was laughing at me haha. #missionprobs. So we went up on Wednesday and it was so much fun. The other Sisters in our Stake also got to go too and we are super close with them which made it even better. We got to do some crafts with our girls, and then we played volleyball with them during free time. Then the other Sisters and us went on a little hike up the mountain to go see the lake. And holy cow, we are so out of shape, we sounded like dying animals the whole way up the mountain. haha. So embarrassing, but so much fun. And it really just hit me that this Earth that Heavenly Father created is just so beautiful and I really don't appreciate it enough. Also, it was freezing cold and rainy up in the mountains, which was a nice change. I told the other Sisters, "I kind of feel like we are in Twilight right now, say it! Say it! You're a vampire!" Haha #sistermissionariesareweird.  Then we had dinner with both our wards, and then we did a little devotional for our wards which was so cool. I just remember being a teenager and always looking up to the Sister missionaries and wanting to be like them, and to think that I am in that spot now, that I can be that great example for these young women is so humbling and I am so grateful for that opportunity. And I just love the young women in our wards and it was so fun to spend time with them, and have some fun, and to share our testimonies and experiences with them. So amazing! It is an experience I will never forget. :)

The rest of our week was a little tough, a lot of our appointments cancelled, or didn't show up to our appointments and it was a little bit discouraging. Nobody has been home this week and we haven't been able to help our investigators progress. At church we have been trying all these new things to get our members involved and it is hard when we don't see the fruits of our efforts and when everyone seems "too busy" to help or support us in our efforts. To be honest it is really frustrating sometimes! We work so hard, and sometimes don't see the blessings right away. At church, I was feeling really down and discouraged by the whole week and by the lack of effort from the wards. And so I prayed that I would be able to be more humble and to let go of the contention and frustration I was feeling. In Relief Society we sang "I am a Child of God." And during the song for the first time ever, I wasn't just singing it, it actually meant something. I truly felt God's love and His arms around me. That simple primary song that I have been singing for 18 years touched me so deeply and spoke peace to my soul and really helped me through my moment of discouragement. We have heard it our whole lives, but we are truly sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father who just loves us so much! It is such a simple message, but it means everything to me now, and I am grateful for the tender mercies I am giving when times get hard. We are going to continue working diligently and even harder because we know the blessings will come. But I have realized that we need the trials to make us stronger and there is always a reason. Heavenly Father is always trying to teach us something. Sister Pohahau and I are still loving life and aren't sick of each other yet! Haha. I am really so grateful for her and her example to me. We have so much love for each other and we really have a great time together. How grateful I am for amazing companions that make my mission so fun, enjoyable, and endurable. :)

Thank you all for your love and support. I truly feel it everyday. I love this Gospel and I love all of you. Keep praying and keep on pushing! I love you!

Love, Sister Bigelow

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