Thursday, August 27, 2015

Holiness to the Lord, House of the Lord

Tonight was the 6th time that I've been to the temple. So far I've been to the Ogden, Bountiful, St. George, and Salt Lake temples. The spirit that resides within the temple is so unique. My Patriarchal Blessing tells me to go to the temple regularly and often, and that "the Son of Man does manifest himself to His sons and daughters." I'm starting to see a little bit of what this sentence means, I've never felt anything more powerful than what I've felt in the temple.

My friend Kathy received her endowment tonight and I was able to go through with her. It's the first own endowment session that I've been in since I went through and it was such an exciting experience to be able to witness my friend make those sacred covenants. She leaves on her mission a week after me, so hopefully we'll see each other in the MTC!

I love going to the temple because I learn something new every time I go (which shouldn't be a surprise since I've only gone 6 times). But tonight I wasn't really looking, I was a little distracted by my thoughts and the fact that my friend was there for the first time. There is SO much that can be learned in each session, but I don't know what I should be looking for. When I got to the Celestial room I had the thought that I needed to start going to the temple with questions. That way I could be anxiously engaged in prayer and in the scriptures to find answers to my questions, with the Lord's help, in the Holy Temple. 

Unfortunately I don't have a temple in my mission. Hopefully we'll be able to go to a temple close by on occasion. I'm not sure how that works? But I know that I'll gain a testimony of how important the temple is since I won't have it 20 minutes away anymore. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father is sending me to this mission that seems to get better and better every day. I've heard such great things about my mission president and his wife and I'm so excited to get out there and spread the word of the Living Christ. Only 62 more days!...well, since it's 11:30 it's basically down to 61 days! :) Also, tomorrow is exactly 2 months until I leave!! But seriously though, who's counting?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dear Sister Hammond

Dear Sister Hammond:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Washington Federal Way Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

I am so excited about this call, as soon as I opened it I could feel the spirit testify to me that this is where the Lord needs me to serve. One awesome fact about the day that I report, October 28th is my cousin Livvy's birthday. I feel so honored to be able to celebrate the memory of her by leaving on my 18 month mission on her birthday.

Before I enter the MTC, there is some training that I'm asked to do. I've watched the District; a short series about missionaries out in the field and their experiences. But lately I've been studying in Preach My Gospel. The first lesson is about Heavenly Father's love for us and the ministry of prophets up until the Restoration, including Christ's time on the earth and the Great Apostasy. There is so much to cover just in that first lesson, sometimes it's a little overwhelming. I mentioned this to a friend who is currently serving in Cleveland, Ohio. He told me not to worry, be myself and put my trust in God. He just gave me the best advice and let me know that I'll feel as if I know nothing, but if I keep studying and put my trust in Him, then I'll know what to say in the moment.

I can't wait to give my life to the Lord. I'm going on a mission because when it feels like my life's in the middle of a hurricane, my faith is built on the rock of my Redeemer. I want people to know that they're not alone, death is not the end, and they can do all things through Christ. I love this gospel and I know how true it is.

My missionary scripture is Alma 29:9 - "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

God lives, this church is true, and I report in 63 days.