Week 27

Holy cow!
A year ago from Wednesday I put in my mission papers. Now I’m 7 months
into my mission…… What?! Time is going by soooo fast. Slow down.
This week was an interesting week. We got snowed in Monday and half of
Tuesday…Then it was 70 degrees on Friday Saturday. Whiplash much?
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We worked Tuesday night, and I had some doctors appointments which
are never fun! Then we had our first ever Book of Mormon class-it was
a blast!

Here’s the Herndon missionaries.

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Only a few people showed up, but it was neat because all of them were
converts or newly returning members, so their testimonies were strong,
then as we got to talk about the Book of Mormon it was such a neat
experience. We just read the title page, the introduction and the
brief explanation of the Book of Mormon but my testimony was
strengthened even with that… I saw a sign that someone had taken a
picture of (I can’t remember who or where) but it said “Don’t read the
book-that’s how they get ya!” I had to laugh. That just proves the
validity and the importance of the Book of Mormon. If you read it and
if “ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith
in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of
the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”
Pretty neat how that works out.

Wednesday we went on exchanges, and they have this new weird way of
doing exchanges where both of us go to the other sisters area and
don’t plan anything for ours, it’s different. But good! But I woke up
that morning and was so sick, and throughout the day it just got
worse. So, it wasn’t the most pleasant exchange due to illness, but it
was still great! All the sisters were awesome (5 of us in 1
apartment!!)
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We decided to stay in for a little bit (it was rough) but  we finally
got out in the evening and taught some awesome lessons, and met with
wonderful members.

Throughout the week I’ve been studying a question that one of my
favorite people asked for a lesson that she is teaching soon on the
atonement. She’s focusing on how the atonement applies to us
individually… It was a harder question than I thought, because the
atonement is everything. It’s life and death, it’s happiness and pain,
it’s guilt and relief, it’s anything and everything. But that’s a
pretty broad view–the atonement is everything for everyone–so
really, what does the atonement mean for ME?

As I thought about that question, I thought about when I was at the
young women age  and the understanding that I had of the atonement and
it was soooo broad-so impersonal. On my mission as I’ve studied and
dedicated some time to understanding the atonement I wish I would have
understood what a gift it truly is, and can be EVERYDAY of my life.
To understand even a fraction of it, I had to realize that every
single one of us was given the gift of agency which is amazing in and
of itself, but when I understood that Jesus Christ was also given that
same gift, I thought about all the pain and suffering He experienced,
willingly, when He had the power to stop those who persecuted Him, or
to even overcome the pain… But He understood His purpose, and why He
was here, and that’s what the atonement helps me to do. As I
experience hardships, as Christ did, I learn more and more what my
purpose is— how grateful I am that it’s not to come and atone and
die and rise for every soul who has ever lived. (Phew!)
He made it possible for me to have a purpose, to not just come and die
and that to be it. He made it possible for me to rise again-to be
physically and spiritually perfected. He made it possible for me to
not just live life however I want, with tiny moments of happiness: to
continuously make mistakes and not care about anything or anyone. He
allows me to experience celestial, and eternal joy: to progress and
become better and to experience godly sorrow when I hurt others or
myself, but to grow and learn as I follow His example and use his
infinite sacrifice to become better. (He even gives us little glimpses
of His celestial kingdom in this life through temples and other
miracles that happen throughout our lives)

As a missionary I live a pretty strict, dedicated, obedient schedule
that doesn’t leave a lot of room for error or sin… But I use the
atonement every single day. When I have unclean thoughts or things
like in appropriate songs come into my mind, I immediately feel guilt
and I repent-right then and there.
—>But that’s an easy thing to understand (sort of…not really
there’s so much more to it) about the atonement. The hardest thing to
learn and understand about His sacrifice is that it’s not just for our
sins…. It’s for any heartache any test any trial or pain. He knows
me perfectly. He loves me perfectly-imperfections and all. And He
truly understands everything that I go through.
President Snow shared: “My young friends, there is an opportunity for
you to become great–just as great as you wish to be. In starting out
in life you may set your hearts upon things very difficult to attain
to, but possibly within your reach. In your first efforts to gratify
your desires you may fail, and your continued efforts may not prove
what may be termed a success. But inasmuch as your efforts were honest
efforts, and inasmuch as your desires were founded in righteousness,
the experience you obtain while pursuing your hearts’ desires must
necessarily be profitable to you, and even your mistakes, if mistakes
you make, will be turned to your advantage.”
With the atonement I can become who I want to become. I understand
that everything has a purpose & all of the experiences I have are for
my benefit. Christ saw my face in the garden of gethsemane. He saw
every tear I will ever and have ever shed, He saw every time someone
wronged me and every time I wronged someone else & He experienced
those same thoughts and feelings so that He will know how to succor,
or to support me, when I feel like no one knows how I feel. He
promises me that He “will go before my face. He will be on my right
hand and on my left, and His Spirit shall be in my heart, and His
angels round about me, to bear me up.” D&C 84:88
It took me along time to figure that out, and it still takes a lot of
lonely days and nights for me to humble myself and lay my burdens at
His feet.

I have absolute confidence in Jesus Christ. My whole heart and soul is
filled with love for Him. My hopes are built upon who He is and the
things that He taught. He was without sin; He was spotless, and allows
me to obtain soooo much joy: even eternal life. My confidence in Him
is infinite. My love for Him surpasses everything else: school, food,
money, family, friends, love. He came to be my beacon light, my guide
and exemplar, and through the atonement I can become like Him.

I love you sooooo much!  HAGW (have a great week.) 😊

Love,
Sister Palmer

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