Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 18

We had a crazy fun week full of car troubles, walking in the rain, and finding new investigators. WE'RE SO BLESSED!

It started off with a zone training on helping people to be agents and not just objects. And my talk was pretty good, if I don't say so myself ^-^ I had it written and all ready to go, but I hadn't practiced it yet, so on the way to our meeting I practice on the other sisters... It was supposed to be a 5 minute talk, but I took up 5 minutes with just the introduction!! I had to do some serious editing. I was thinking about what was most important in my talk that Heavenly Father needed me to share. Well, the other day we had a Book of Mormon lesson with one of our investigators on 1 Ne. 1. Nephi is telling us about his father and the dream that he had in which he saw the destruction of Jerusalem. For my talk I broke this vision down. First, Lehi hears from other prophets about this destruction. He then goes to the Lord in PRAYER to better understand. While he is carried away in PRAYER he is given a book and "as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord" (vs. 12). After PRAYING and READING he sees the abominations of the people and glories in the justice and mercy of the Lord for showing him this. But that's not all. In vs. 18 it says that "he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy and to declare unto them..."

I used this particular section in the Book of Mormon to emphasize the pattern in which we can receive personal revelation. When we have questions about anything we can always turn to Heavenly Father for clarification or understanding. In fact, He asks us to come to Him for knowledge. James 1:5 says that if we lack wisdom then ask God and He'll give it to us. This is what Lehi did, as well as many other prophets, including Joseph Smith. The pattern to receiving personal revelation is 1. pray-take your questions to God 2. read your scriptures-study and ponder because He works through our thoughts and feelings 3. ACT-don't just hold on to that knowledge, but share it with others. Act on the answers that you've been given.

Sorry that was such a long letter, I was just excited to understand this a little bit more and to use it as a tool in missionary work.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 17

Well, basically mission life is still going on! I got asked by the zone leaders to give a talk tomorrow about revelation through the Book of Mormon. So hopefully that will go good!! Actually, it will. Because I'm a missionary and I have faith!
Yesterday as Sister Linker and I were getting ready for bed and we were just talking. She asked me how I knew when I was happy. That question kinda stumped me, not because I didn't know the difference between happiness and sadness, but because I was trying to really think on how I recognized the things that bring me happiness. At first I gave the general answers, "because I get to teach people about the gospel" "because things are going good" etc... Then I decided to turn to the scriptures to better explain my answer. I flipped open to Mosiah 2:41. As you probably know, this scripture talks about the blessed and HAPPY state of those that keep God's commandments, it also promises the blessing of never-ending happiness as we continue faithful. The spirit testified of this truth and as we continued talking I realized that the times when I'm most happy is when I'm throwing myself into the work. Even if we don't see success I'm happy because I know that I did everything that was expected of me. It's those days when I tend to procrastinate that the work seems extra hard.
God promises that as we keep His commandments we can receive that eternal happiness and joy. Even though it still terrifies me to go contacting I know that Heavenly Father is pleased with my efforts because I'm doing what He has called me to do. And because of the Atonement I can try again every day to be better at opening my mouth and He promises to help me (Ether 12:27).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 16

Being a missionary is one of the greatest things, I can never ever say enough about how much of a blessing it is.

We had a zone conference on Tuesday and we talked about how to teach people and not lessons, focusing on how to ask inspired questions. It was actually something that I was trying to improve so it was awesome to have a training on that. Our mission president does an incredible job of this when he teaches us because he asks questions that get us seriously thinking. Sister Linker and I have been discussing teaching styles and how we can help other people exercise faith for themselves. 

As Sister Linker and I have been working on this we've been asking each other questions to get to know each other. We try to find ways to word questions in a way that is simple and easy to understand. We were doing this on Wednesday as we were tracting and we saw a woman sitting outside smoking. So we go up to her and Sister Linker asks a really good question to her about prayer. We have a really great conversation and we teach the restoration, give her a Book of Mormon, and set up a time to come back. It was really cool to see that when we are focused on the Lord's work then He will give us opportunities and will bless our efforts.

Her name is Sandra and she's doing really good. We have a lesson with her tomorrow at the church, we're super excited about it :)

I've learned a lot about how the spirit works and how we can come closer to our Father in Heaven. He really is mindful of all of His children, never lose hope because His plan is perfect and He's got a perfect plan for each of us if we will ​exercise faith in Him.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 15

Sister Linker is a boss. Literally. She's so hard working and she knows SO much about Isaiah and the Abrahamic Covenant. We've focused a lot of our conversations on these two topics ;) 

There is so much potential in our area, but it's been hard to see the success that we've been having because we don't have a lot of set appointments and things keep falling through. Yesterday we were walking to church and we were talking about how we could improve our teaching. There was a missionary training broadcast a few weeks ago and they focused on teaching repentance and baptizing converts. We were talking about how we could change the focus of our teaching to get people to repent. As we talked about these ideas it hit me how important the work that I'm doing is. We are literally calling people to repent; to change their lives so they can have lasting happiness. It's funny, people are so focused on the temporary happiness that worldly things can bring them. But what happens when those things aren't there any more. Where do you turn? Heavenly Father promises us the greatest joy of all, eternal life. This gift is literally free to us because of Jesus Christ. All that He asks is that we have faith, REPENT, are baptized so we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. What an incredible promise.

Remember that we can find lasting happiness as we turn to God and leave behind the things of the world. I love you all!!

Sister Hammond ♥

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Week 14

So, for the past week we've been wondering what's going to happen with our wards. We guessed that me and Sister Heiner would stay together and cover Pioneer Valley and Sister Zavala would get a new comp and cover Silver Creek.... Sunday night the Zone leader called. He had us try and guess what would happen, but we were 100% wrong. Sister Zavala is getting out of zone transferred. I'm staying in PV and getting a new comp (Sister Linker) and Sister Heiner is training a new missionary in SC. The funny thing is though...Sister Dodson and Sister Linker were companions when Sister D left me. Sister Linker is now coming to me and Sister Zavala is going to Sister Dodson!!! We're basically just switching companions ;) 
Being in a trio was really tough, we had to figure out how to work with two wards and how to teach in unity. But it's incredible to see how Heavenly Father has a plan for everything. For example, Sister Heiner and Sister Zavala touched Sister Gillespie in ways that neither Sister D or I could. She probably wouldn't be where she is now if it wasn't for those two. God is so good and I hope you all know how much He loves every one of us. It doesn't matter what we do in this life because we can never stray so far that the Atonement doesn't reach us. HE literally provided a way for us to overcome EVERYTHING. A scripture that has helped us out a lot is Alma 26:27. Never turn back, let up, or slow down. He knows us perfectly and knows perfectly what we need. Trust Him.
I'm going to miss these two!