Monday, February 29, 2016

The Beauty of Prayer

Dear family and friends,

I realized that most missionaries just talk about the good things that happen on missions. I wanted to let you know that mission life is not easy. It is a challenge. A BIG challenge. But it is also an incredible blessing! 

This past week was fantastic! We saw so many blessings from reaching out in love to all those we came in contact with. This weekend I worked on talking with everyone. On exchanges/splits, I was with Sister Barron and she taught me the great importance of being bold. Sister Barron is amazing! She helped me to stretch more and step outside of my comfort zone. 

Here's a (very) little taste of real mission life, that I wrote to my mission president.

"Yesterday evening, I was suddenly filled with sadness and frustration. I didn't understand why. I just broke down. As I did so, I said a prayer in my heart, reaching out to my Father and asking Him why I was feeling this way. I talked to Him like I would to my parents. I told Him that I was so thankful for how amazing the past week had been. I poured out my heart to Him. And in return, He answered. He helped me to understand why I was feeling so sad. He helped me to recognize what I needed to do to improve. He also helped me to feel of His love for me."

I testify that God does listen to prayers. He hears and answers according to His will. He knows what we are going through and He will help us through it. He is ever-reaching out to us, reminding us of His love for us. We are truly beloved children of our Father!

And now, here's my ray of sunshine from this week!
We had THREE investigators at church this Sunday!! We were so thrilled! Miss B, Christian, and Peggy all came to church. They all loved it and they want to come again. I loved seeing their eyes light up as they listened. I could tell that they felt the Spirit.

​My invitation to you this week is to study the 5 Preach My Gospel lessons as a family. They are found in Preach My Gospel, chapter 3. I testify that as you do so, your testimonies will be renewed, your families will be strengthened, and you will feel God's love for you. ​ 

I love you all. 
Keep smiling, and have a blessed day,

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mission life is fun and spiritual!

This is not the greatest picture, but I wanted to share it because Sister Helsing is so amazing! She is the one in the middle (in case you were wondering... ;)).

Sister Helsing is a 92-year-old widow, who is full of spunk and character despite her age! Sunday evenings at her home never lack adventure! She always has us sing for her, and afterwards she gives us ice cream. She always has to give us ice cream. ;) One of our last visits with her, she was telling us about how she loves to dance and she used to do it a ton when she was younger. But she still does it now! She even gave a brief demonstration, which I wish I had filmed because it was memorable. :) 

We sing her favorite song every time we visit, "Oh I Had Such A Pretty Dream Mama". Look it up--it's a beautiful piece and paints a pleasant image in your head. :)

Sister Helsing is extremely talented. She paints, makes glass dolls (hair, clothing, and everything), and sews. The picture above Sister Stewart is something that she painted of her daughter. She is amazing! I love her!

I have been trying out a lot of new foods lately! Christine W, one of our amazing investigators, took us out to pizza last week. Before we went to eat, we taught her the Plan of Salvation. That went so well! She accepts most of what we teach, and she has been so open to the lessons. The Plan of Salvation has become one of my favorites to teach, because it means so much to me and I love seeing it bless the lives of those we teach.

The pizza was unique... (and tasty). It was called "Maui Waui". Kind of like a Hawaiian pizza, but with lots more toppings: Ham, pineapple, green peppers, cheese, sunflower seeds, and a spicy sauce over it. Yumness! :)

We also had dinner with the Kratz's, and that was fun, too! Sister Kratz is from Germany, so we had a German meal-- Tons of different kinds of sausages, dipped in applesauce (might sound yukkie but it's actually pretty good), plus some veggies and red cabbage. 

I love the Kratz's! They are so fun! They are probably one of the funniest elderly couples I've met. They flirt with each other and tease each other, and the stories they tell about each other are hilarious! It's been so fun to get to know the ward members. :)

Atlanta, GA temple! :)

What a week! I am so thankful for long weeks and hard days, because they help me to appreciate the good days. :) And yes, we had some really amazing days this week, as well as hard times. Mission life is never perfect, because it is full of imperfect people. But we can constantly improve. That is what the Atonement is there for. To help people become better than they were the day before. 

We were blessed with the amazing opportunity to attend the Atlanta, GA temple with M, a recent convert! It was an incredible experience. She is so fantastic, and I have loved getting to know her. 

Rays of Sunshine!

22 February 2016

Dear family and friends,

Here's a little reminder for you. Things will work out. Sometimes there are long days. Sometimes you feel like giving up. Sometimes you feel lost. But there is hope. There is always hope. Keep smiling. Lift up your head, and rejoice! Walk tall, for you are beloved children of God!

There are always rays of sunshine to be found in this world of storm clouds. You just have to look up! :)

This week, we were so excited to teach all the different people that we had planned on. Then, our plans were changed (a LOT), as they usually do. Most of our appointments fell through. We had a lot of people call and cancel last minute. Or when we showed up, they weren't there. So we adjusted our plans, and kept moving forward. 

I love that advice from the movie, Meet the Robinsons, that says "Keep moving forward." It is so important to remember that there are always amazing things in store if we just keep moving forward through the storm. Though we may be trudging through mud and getting drenched, we can still smile. We can still "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope" (2 Nephi 31:20).  

​Rays of Sunshine!

We were blessed with the opportunity to attend the temple with
​ M, a recent convert, for her first time.
 It was an amazing experience! 
​She is excited to go back again, this time with her own family names. :)

-Robin, one of our investigators, attended church! We hadn't been able to contact her for a long time, but ​finally we were blessed with the opportunity to teach her and invite her to church. She accepted the invitation, and then she came! :) She brought her daughter along, too, and they both loved it. They are excited to come again!

​​My invitation to you this week is to look up. Look up from your electronic devices and spend time looking around at the rays of sunshine in your life. Share them with others. Be the ray of sunshine for others to see!

I testify that as you do so, you will begin to recognize the good in the world. You will be able to have more hope and joy. Peace will fill your heart as you seek to do good and be the ray of sunshine!

You are all amazing. Keep smiling!
Have a blessed day,

Sister Eggett :)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Her First Valentine's Day on her mission!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Love, Pineapple!

We had Valentine's Day dinner with a less active family. She is divorced and has a daughter, who is a spunky, fun-loving girl! They are both so fun and amazing. I love spending time with them. It has been fantastic to see them come back to church. They are doing much better and things are finally perking up for them! :)

This was our pretty dinner table for Valentine's Day. :) We had a pasta dish sort of like spaghetti, but with shrimp in it and it was spicier. After dinner we had a fancy dessert of chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. It was so rich and tasty!! :) (Also gluten free :))
​It was fun to spend Valentine's Day celebrations with them. They are fantastic! :)​

Our Savior's Love

​16 February 2016

Dear family and friends,​

Over this past week I have been reminded many times of my purpose as a missionary. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. My testimony of Christ was not nearly as strong as I wanted it to be when I came here. I still had my doubts and worries. But as I've served and taught others of Christ, my testimony of Christ's love for me individually has grown immensely. I still have a long way to go, but I now know of a surety that my Savior lives. He loves me, He loves you, and He loves everyone! 

I have seen the joy that comes from centering the five lessons 
​that we teach ​
on Christ. The people that we teach are more receptive to what we share, they are more open to commitments, and they listen more intently. Yesterday we were teaching Christine W. the Plan of Salvation. When we started talking about Christ and His Atonement, a peaceful feeling entered the room. I felt that pure peace and joy that comes from our Savior's love for us. I knew that what we were sharing was true, and I knew that it really could help Christine personally. Our Savior's Atonement is for everyone. It is for each person, individually. We can reach out and touch others' hearts through centering our teaching on Christ.

I testify that Christ does live, and He does love us all individually. He is ever-forgiving and ever reaching out to us to help us when we have gone astray. He is ever pleading our cause before the Father, because He loves us!

​My invitation for you this week is to ponder on your relationship with Christ. Does it need improvement? Do you feel like He is there for you? Do you trust in Him? I testify that as you do this you will begin to feel of Christ's love for you. You will be able to better understand His Atonement, and what an incredible gift it truly is for you.

I know that Christ lives. I know that He loves you. You are all amazing. Keep smiling, and remember that life is a beautiful gift from God!​

Have a blessed day,

Monday, February 8, 2016

We Will Not Despair

Dear family and friends,

I love the words from the hymn As Zion's Youth in Latter Days,
"Thru test and trial we'll have our fears,
But we will not despair.​"

​There will be days of trial. Hard days that challenge us. Hard weeks, even. Sometimes longer. But through it all, we can stay strong and faithful. Rely on Christ. He will guide you through the misery, the pain, the heartache. He will help you through whatever you are struggling with. Do not despair. Be strong. Be brave. Keep smiling. Things will work out!

​I have seen the joys of serving others, especially lately. We have been working on reaching out to others in service. Serving is one of the most effective ways to share the gospel!​ 

​I told you of Christine, the woman we found on a cold day. The past two weeks, we have visited her and helped her clean/organize her house. We have been blessed with the time to teach her the Restoration as we've worked. She listens intently and loves learning more about the gospel. She is accepting of most of what we share, and she has been touched by our service. Though she has a lot of social anxiety, she has committed to come to church when she builds up the courage. I know that it will be soon, because she is so amazing!

I testify that there is great joy that comes from serving others. God loves it when you reach out and put others before yourself. "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17). You are all doing amazing things as you reach out to others!

My invitation to you this week is to open your eyes to the good around you. Look for the good. Be the good. And then go out and serve! You will see great things from your efforts to see the good in the world, and also to BE the good in the world!

You are all amazing. Keep smiling!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sunny Days and Serving the Lord

1 February 2016

Dear family and friends,

Perfect, sunny days are fantastic when serving! For the first half of the week, it was gloomy and cold. Despite that, we were still out serving! :) Heavenly Father saw our need for a cheer-er-up-er, and so He blessed us with a sunny weekend. 

But I know that we have to taste the bitter in order to enjoy the sweet. God gave us weaknesses so that we could learn from them and make them into strengths. He will always help us through the hard times and He will bless us with rays of sunshine as we faithfully endure.

Rays of sunshine this past week:

1. On Tuesday, we met with a sweet widow named Peggy. I think I may have mentioned her before. We found out that she had downloaded the Book of Mormon to her Ipad and she had been reading it over the past week! We had an amazing lesson with her and invited her to Church. Then, this Sunday, guess who we saw? Peggy came to church! We were so thrilled, and she enjoyed it very much. She said that she will pray to know if this is the right church for her. :)

2. We now have three people on date for baptism! Betty J., Pam K., and John D. :) What a great blessing this is to be hastening the work! :) These are all amazing people.

3. On Saturday, we felt like we should visit a less-active couple, the Williams. We had been trying to contact them for a while, but they hadn't answered. But this time, they were home! They welcomed us in with warm smiles, and we were able to visit with them for a bit. As we did, they opened up to us and explained why they hadn't been coming to church. We helped them to resolve their concerns a bit, and we extended the invitation to come back. We also asked them if we could practice teaching the 5 missionary lessons, and they agreed immediately and said we could practice right then! We taught them the Restoration. I felt the Spirit fill the room as we shared with them God's love for them. I could tell that they felt the Spirit touch their hearts as they listened. We left their home feeling lifted up with joy and love for them. We look forward to seeing their progression as they come back to church and renew their covenants.

So, a wonderful week, full of miracles as always! God blesses us with miracles each day. We just have to open our eyes to them.

My invitation to you this week is to start reading the Book of Mormon again. Start from the beginning, and read it with someone in mind. Read it for that person. I testify that you will see miracles from it. New things will show up that you never noticed before. You will be filled with the Spirit and you will feel a stronger connection to the person you are reading for, and to Christ.

You are all so amazing, and I love you very much!
Keep smiling, and have a blessed day.