August 24, 2015

Email No. 32

Family!

Guess what? I'm staying right where I am at! With Sister Jensen! We were both so happy about it! It's actually super funny because we were talking about how it is just too good to be true that we are staying together on Saturday night (transfer call night) and then we get a call right as we were talking about it. Oh! Background: the way our mission does transfers is that if there is no change in your companionship then you will get a text from the assistants saying that you are staying. And if you are being transferred, then you get a call from either the assistants or President Stoker. Well anyways, we hadn't received a text or a call and it was getting pretty late. And then we get a call. I answered it:

Me:"Hello, this is Sister Sewell!"
*Silence*
Assistant: "Wait....... Sister Sewell? What the? Aren't you Ellsworth 2? (We are Ellsworth 2). I thought I was calling Ellsworth 1? Didn't you get a text earlier? (Pause. Previous to this, we had called the elders and asked if they got a text. They said they had.) Hold on..... I'm so confused...... Oh! I get it! Yours and the elders phone numbers got mixed up in our phone. Sorry, sisters! You are not getting transferred!"
Us: "What?? Are you serious"
Assistant: "I am completely serious. Have another great transfer, sister! Sorry for giving you a heart attack!"

It was a good one. So, yup! We are staying together in Ellsworth!

This week we got to serve at a member, Morgan's house! She is the most adorable/creative person I have ever met! She does these really cool prints. So what she does is she carves out prints out of wood slabs and gradually chips away and keeps adding layers! It makes the coolest art ever!!

It was a little bitter sweet at district meeting. We knew that some would be getting transferred so everyone was all melancholy. But! Our district leader had Sister Jensen and I do a training on extending baptismal invites by the Spirit. It was an awesome experience. I always feel like I learn so so much from it. 

So Bernie grew up in a very Catholic home. And as the saying goes, old habits die hard. Well. Teaching him how to pray has been a struggle. Sometimes when he wants us to pray, he hands us a book of prayers and says we can pick one. We have tried to tell him how to pray and this week we had an amazing break through. One of our lessons we decided to talk all about prayer, specifically closing in the name of Jesus Christ. We taught him that closing in the name of Jesus Christ is important because it shows faith to our Heavenly Father. So after the lesson we asked him to say the prayer. He did it!! It was to most amazing prayer! He said that he knew the Book of  Mormon was true and that we were sent by God. It was amazing.

So on Thursday, we went over to a member's house, Kimberly, in Winter Harbor. Kimberly plays the piano for the branch and is incredibly talented. Sister Jensen had told Kimberly that I had played all growing up and that I loved playing the piano. So when we arrived at Kimberly's with Elle, Kimberly had me sit down next to her, on her gorgeous piano to play four hands. Let's just say that 7 1/2 months of not playing has really rusted me up. Well, after a few lousy attempts I finally got in the groove and was able to play a few songs with her. She had an amazing library of classical music. From Brahms to Beethoven to Chopin to Debussy.  It was amazing. Well after playing a few of Chopin's √Čtudes and Preludes, Kimberly came over to me and started talking to me about how long I have been playing, favorite composers, etc. In this conversation I told her that I was a little bit embarrassed that I couldn't play that well and that I was a little frustrated that I don't get to play the piano a lot because it was a huge stress reliever for me. She listened and then said, quite simply, "Sweetheart. I understand. I'm a musician as well. (pause, I wouldn't exactly call myself a musician, but whatever.) I know how much it means to you to express your emotions through music and playing the piano. But you have a more important work to do." Wham! I felt like a ton of bricks had hit me! Of course! I am a missionary! While, playing the piano is something I thoroughly enjoy, it isn't why I am out on a mission. Heavenly Father knows it helps me decompress so if I exercise faith in Him, He will provide a different way for me to express my emotions! And He has! I had this idea to buy a little notebook and to write how I am feeling inside it, meaningful quotes. Basically, it is just a notebook that if you read it, you would pretty much see my brain on there. Anyways, Kimberly had noticed that she had a few doubles of books so she gave me some Chopin (two books worth!) music to have. I was so so grateful for her. 

My family and friends. I love this gospel. Sometimes it is hard. But we can do it. I wanted to share something's that I learned about service. One of my favorite Mormon Messages is called "Lift". (Watch it! It is amazing!) There are a couple of quotes that I absolutely love from it.

https://www.lds.org/youth/video/lift?lang=eng&cid=email-shared

#1- "It is interesting the dichotomy between healing the body and healing the soul. When we heal the body, it is always am inward effort; we are always paying attention to ourselves. When we heal the soul, turning inward doesn't work. The triage of the soul is found in turning outward to other people."

I love that! If we are seeking to be healed, we have to turn outward. I have pondered a lot about this. And the conclusion that I came to was that, serving others, not thinking of ourselves, puts us in the position, puts our hearts in the position where the Savior can enter in and heal what has been broken. We access the Atonement more fully as we serve others. We cannot become fully healed if we we constantly thinking of ourselves. As it says in the scriptures, we must come before the Savior with a "broken heart and contrite spirit". And service puts our hearts and our spirits in that state. So to those who are searching for healing, those who feel broken, my invitation to you would be to serve. A simple smile will do. A note to someone who has been kind. Sharing a positive experience with someone. There are divers ways to accomplish this. 

The second quote that I would like to share fits very nicely with the first:

#2- The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others--indeed, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!"

If you don't know who you are, if you are searching for something in life don't go searching for yourself within yourself. You won't get very far because you don't know yourself in the first place! Search for yourself in other people. It is there that you will find all the positive attributes of human kind, the goodness of life, the joy. It reminds me of a t-shirt that I saw today: "Get lost and be found." Find yourself in the service of others because "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." 

Keep the faith!

Love,
Sistah Sewell 

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