Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"EVERYthing has a reason for being in your life." (SP)

     I have never felt more pupose for the events in my life than while being on a mission.  EVERYthing I read, experienced learned, felt is pulled out and applied.  People skills, communication with those you're with a LOT (dating/best friends > companions), eating right, doing my hair and makeup fast, exercising, the gospel, working at a restaurant with TONS of people, loving my family no matter what, seeing those in need and helping, doing service to fix your own trials, attending church meetings cause you WANT to, not letting anyone else ruin your day, being accountable (thanks mom :)), etc etc etc.  It's incredible.  EVERYthing has a reason for being in your life.   
     Teaching investigators even though they are our teachers is AMAZING (thank you musicals and plays).  I learn SO much from that.  Yesterday, we taught our "investigator" Stephan more about the Atonement and being cleansed from our sins.  I had prepared so well and the words just came.  It's a rush!  I honestly felt so much love for this investigator and desired Salvation for him.  I desired to do whatEVER it took to help him understand what was waiting for him, what was SO close to being his.  THAT is what I've learned from working at restaurants.  I remember last summer a guy named Jeff who worked construction that would come in about every day during lunch at Zupas that looked sad and NEVER smiled.  It was kind of the staff's unannounced goal to get him to smile if they could, but no one was able to.  I remember feeling so much love for him and wishing he could just know that someone cared for him.  One day I had the thought to secretly buy a brownie and give it to him saying it was "on us" without him know it was me.  If you know me I'm AWFUL at being secretive so he totally knew, but he smiled for it.  I think.  Ha can't quite remember, but I remember  later, I was on hands and knees up to my elbows in stainless steel cleaning cleaning under corner booth and I hear a voice say "is that Nicole?"  It was Jeff!  He was smiling and had paused to say hello to me.  It was one of THE best days working ever!  THAT is what I feel.  It's this soul yearning desire to do something, anything to help them be happier.  If it's not the whole gospel or conversion, it's a ray of hope.
     This work is SO far above me.  It's so far above my own issues and struggles.  I know the Lord knows me personally and desires more than I know help me at all times.  I know that by obedience I can ask for anything in line with the Lord's will and it's granted.  We had an AMAZING speaker: Rober P. Swenson.  INCREDIBLY motivating.  One thing he said that struck me was, wouldn't it be sad if you went to the Lord and asked for something, but the reply was "I'd love to give you that more than you know, but I can't because you haven't been obedient."  My take was not that the Lord does not desire to bless us.  Absolutely.  But we also know in D&C that it is upon the law which it is predicated.  Being obedient is key.
     Our second "investigator" is named Joel and he's more difficult.  It's a process to learn not just a desire for the work, but helping those you teach establish a trust in you.  One lesson we gave was totally skewed off what we planned.  He did NOT seem terribly interested in what we were saying about the Plan der Erlösung (plan of salvation).  I was determined to get to the bottom of WHAT he needed, in a way that he could feel trust and absolutely knew we loved him.  I finally talked about the Book of Mormon (again aside from other lessons).  I bore my testimony that reading it SOME how brings me peace every day.  I'd studied that morning but not in the Book of Mormon.  I was obedient, but hadn't read the "main dish."  Only the opptional side dishes.  I talk with Heavenly Father frequently in my head which is hilarious most of the time, and He taught me that great lesson of reading in the Book of Mormon EVERY every day.  I asked tons of questions, not probing, but sincerely to find out what need he had.  I bore my testimony to Joel that I hadn't read that morning from the Book of Mormon and my day had been a little more foggy than normal.  I bore it with such conviction, clarity, and accountability that the Spirit came.  I told him with fervor that we were NOT there to waste his time.  We were there for him.  If the book wasn't true, we wouldn't come back.  I then asked if he would commit to reading the Book of Mormon with his "family" and pray to know if it was true.  He said he would.  Wha-BAM.
     The Spirit works so clearly its INCREDIBLE.  I totally feel like a power ranger after those lessons.  Every swipe of my arm or whip of my head makes a "whip" sound.  Your spirit is taut with energy and love!  It's amazing to me that that is felt even when we're quasi ("kv-ah-zee" more or less in Deutch) acting!  I've also loved applying the principle, Speak and Revelation comes.  Amazing and useful! ;)
     Jake and Jessie!  HAVE SO MUCH FUN ON TOUR!!  We're BOTH on missions :).  Lyd I'm so proud of you for making that decision to go to girls camp.  HARD before but peaceful and there's always a witness after that you did the right thing. 
     I love you all so much.  I love the work!  It's there EVERYwhere and now I know HOW to give it both here and for when I come home, YES!  I'm so grateful to finally know!

Sister Nicole Packer

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