Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sister Grover 8-18-14

Hello Everyone,
When I first met Amy I knew she was my friend and that I was meant to teach her. In that first lesson, which is always slightly awkward, I felt prompted at one point to ask her, “What is your relationship with Jesus Christ?” She looked at me and paused and then said that she didn’t have one. Amy left this week to go back to school in Virginia so I will not see her for a long while. Right before she left we met for one last lesson. I had been thinking about that question I asked her and I reminded her of it. She said she had been thinking of that exact moment herself that day. She thanked me for asking her that question and then for giving her a way to have a relationship with Christ.  I am grateful for that conversation and moment.
Robert was standing in the church building before church and we had a new investigator come to church for the first time. Robert went over to him and told him that he got baptized a few days ago and then told him it was the best thing he had ever done. He said he was wonderful, magical even. He then said he felt clean. The power of the priesthood is real and it can make us new. It is amazing for me to realize just how powerful a change that can be. He gets the priesthood tonight! When I asked him earlier how it felt to have the Holy Ghost in all seriousness he said it felt magical. He was so worried he wouldn’t feel any different but now he knows just how wrong he was. Magical! I love that description.
Imagine that you are standing in a small rowboat 50 feet from the shore line. You have a rope that is tied to a point on the land and you are pulling on the rope. Without understanding physics and things you could assume that you are pulling the shore closer to the boat and not the boat to the shore. How many times do we think this way with prayer? We are standing in a boat and instead of trying to pull ourselves closer to the shore (God’s will) we try and pull the shore closer to us? Prayer is aligning our will to the will of our Father. We must be careful to not flip physics and tell God what needs to be done and pull Him to us. We can only pull our boat closer to God.

So many times we wonder if we are clean enough. If we are worthy enough. If we are doing all we should be doing. We wonder what it means to be a follower of Christ at all times and in all places. We wonder how we can know if we are. I know that there is a way to know how we stand before God. To know when our efforts are pure and when we are doing the right things. God will always testify to us through the Holy Spirit and that spirit can only be felt by clean vessels. When you feel the spirit that is God telling you that you are clean and pure. That is Him reaffirming to you that His great and precious gift is still with you. When it comes in a fleeting moment and leaves that is Him reminding you of that gift and imploring you to search for it. When you feel the spirit your soul is connecting with God and you are standing in the right place in that moment. Search for those places and those moments. Stand our ground in all situations so that His comfort and reassurance will be available to you. He understands the confusion and the questions and He can help with all of them. Some days peace is all we need. That peace is real and it can be felt by all of us. I know this gospel is true through the Holy Spirit. Only in that way can I bear the truth of the message I bear.
I am going to include a part of a letter my trainer Sister Grover worte. She is going home this week and I will miss her. One of the greatest joys of my mission has been knowing her.
She worte:
This week, I was shown a video by one of my leaders. It was titled "The Unsung Hero". Google it, if you can. It shows a young, average Thai man on a rainy day. He sees a hungry dog and gives him a piece of his lunch. He sees some beggars on the street, one being a little girl who is trying to fund the dream of obtaining a basic education. He gives her basically all that's in his wallet. He helps a woman who is stuck on a curb with her food cart. He performs these, along with many small acts of service throughout the day. People give him strange glances, not seeing any immediate benefit that could come from what many would think, a waste of energy and resource. Towards the end of the feature, the video asks, "What does this man get from all of these acts of kindness?

Nothing, he gets absolutely nothing... But good emotions. Happiness. Joy. Contentment.

The video then shows the man praying, watering his plants, laughing, making friends with strangers. He is the "unsung hero." His heroism is not anything that would be greatly noticed, nor would anyone appreciate its value except for himself and the few people that accepted his kindness.

We are the unsung heros. We labor for 1.5-2 years of our lives, we speak to thousands of people about Christ's love. I've cleaned bathtubs for strangers, hugged homeless women, given ex-convicts the tools they need to repent. Each missionary is given a different experience - mine has been a magnificent and profound one. We gain no prize, no overly-special recognition. Many of us have lost girlfriends and boyfriends, a sense of style, and dignity at times. I don't write these things to brag, but I cannot help but want to exclaim to all of the missionaries, that our work is meaningful! Although you may come to your apartment at the end of the day, tired, maybe hopeless, don't forget that you are a hero. The people around you may ignore you, may reject your offers to serve. The special ones will accept, but when observed from a reality that expects results and totals, what are you receiving from all of this hard work, all of these long days?

Nothing, you get nothing... But good emotions. Happiness. Joy. Contentment. A greater reliance and appreciation for the Savior. An increased measure of the Spirit.

Hard as a mission may often seem, think of the people you've been able to love, think of the strong relationship you've gained with Our Father throughout your service. I feel jubilant and smiley as I reflect on the things I've learned on my mission. Although I didn't come into the mission field to gain anything, I have learned how to become a hero, a spiritual warrior of faith. When I leave this mission, I will become a sweet, faint memory for the people and the missionaries in Carlsbad.
What a good reminder for me and each of us this week.
Sister Huber

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robert and Amy 8-11-14

This week has been the biggest whirlwind of my entire life. Amy and Robert had back to back baptisms on Friday night and Saturday morning. Both got confirmed on Sunday. We had a mini missionary stay with us all week, so we functioned as a trio. I have never felt so happy nor felt so confused. Opposition in all things became very clear and real to me this week. For every good force and moment there has to be an opposite and equal negative force and moment. What an interesting thing that is to ponder and try and understand.
First off, our mini missionary named Bailey. She is a powerful girl with a whole lot of personality and drive. I had so much fun with her this week as we got to watch her learn and grow. She was so cute as she knocked on her first door and taught in the different lessons. It really helped me remember how lucky I am to be a missionary as she told us how happy she felt and how great the week was. She had lots of spunk and would do whatever we asked her to do. I really grew to love her as time went on and was grateful to be her mini mom for a week. I hope that Kate and Meg get the chance to serve mini missions while they are in high school. It will change their lives. I hope that one day I am transferred to her ward and get to see her again!
Next up is Amy and her story. We walked into our lesson on Monday night right after picking up our mini missionary. We told her that we were teaching towards baptism but that Amy was feeling pressure and trying to figure it all out. As I walked in the door I looked at Amy’s face and paused…. I could tell something was up. As I stood there she turned to me and asked, “can I get baptized on Friday? Without saying a word I just walked over and gave her a big hug. We then sat down and talked everything out. She said Friday was the only day her whole family was free and her friends could come. She said it had to be now or it wouldn’t happen until Christmas. She has one of the most powerful testimonies of anyone I have ever met. She just gets it. We called the bishop and got things rolling to make the baptism happen. She still needed to talk with her parents and tell them she was joining the church…..we started a fast and prayed together for her courage and then we had to let her go try and talk with them. At first, her parents were very upset and were trying to convince her to push her date to Christmas and not do it so fast. She was caught up in a whirlwind of doubt and feeling alone. As I fasted and prayed for her my heart was full of the Saviors love and understanding of her situation. I can’t really imagine or understand how hard that must have been. We kept planning the baptism regardless of the situation and just prayed and prayed. She cancelled our next lesson to talk with her mom again and we just kept waiting. Late that night we got a call from her telling us that it was on and her family would attend. I felt so much joy as she told us that. Her baptism was one of the best moments of my entire life. I have been there from the start with Amy and I have always loved her so much. The first time I saw her I just felt like I already knew her. That feeling has only increased as I have taught her and learned from her. She has the best ability to light up a room with her spirit and her eyes. She loves all people and never looks down on anyone. She is talented and giving. The night of her baptism came and the room was packed. So many people showed up to support her. Sister Vincent and I gave the talk as she was changing and the spirit was so strong in the room. I felt in that moment like I was fulfilling one of the blessing I have had pronounced upon my head to stand before many and testify of Jesus Christ and the restoration through the prophet Joseph Smith.  When I told the first vision felt the spirit directing me to Amy’s family and to a few specific people in the room. I looked into their eyes and told them through my words and emotions all that I believe. A funny twist on the story involves Yoda and his words of wisdom. Amy was trying to make her decision when she was talking with her close friend. At the end of the conversation she told her friend she was just like Yoda because she always said the right thing. She hung up and walked onto the train to go home. As she got on the train the guy in front of her said, “It’s just like Yoda says, you either do or you do not. There is no try.” It really stuck out to her as she had been thinking so much about her baptism. Later that week she went to her internship and her boss was lecturing about presentations and getting the job done. He wrote the word try on the board in all caps and then crossed it out. He said, “it’s just like Yoda says, you either do or you do not. There is no try”. He walked over to Amy and asked her to pull up the clip on her phone. She was floored because she knew it was a message just for her. She said that God made it pretty obvious and slapped her in the face with the quote. After she told us the story, Sister Vincent said, “I think you are Yoda’s first convert”! Probably not funny to you but in the moment it was hilarious. Between Heavenly Father, the Book of Mormon, us and Yoda Amy decided to get baptized. Her confirmation was beautiful and she is doing so well.
Robert. Oh man. He also got baptized. I felt so prompted to get him his baptismal interview and after that everything just took off. He set his date and actually was super serious about it. Sister Grover got to come down at the end of her mission and see it. I don’t really even know what to say about the baptism. HE had to get baptized twice because the person baptizing him forgot a part of the prayer. Robert was cracking jokes about how he had way too many sins for just one dunking. He was so happy. So so so happy. Sister Grover and I gave a talk on faith and it felt so good to be with her and to be looking at him in white. I still am floored that he has the Holy Ghost and priesthood. His life will never be the same. Robert said that so many times he would pray for something and the very next lesson would be on the exact topic. It is amazing that when we try and have the spirit guide us it can truly help us know what to do. I got to be an instrument in God’s hands. I am so lucky.
Alma 29: 9-10
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.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
 We had a lesson with a recent convert named Choi. He said he had a bee that he found dead on the beach. He asked Bailey to pray for the bee. I think Bailey about lost it. She was laughing and trying so hard to take it seriously. At the end of the lesson he said the prayer and talked for 2 minutes about the bee fulfilling its job on earth and how it now has eternal joy. Mission life is so great. I was laughing so hard in the car after that. I love how sincere and completive he is about everything.
We had an awesome zone conference this week and I was touched by President Kendrick’s talk on conversation. She talked of how we can’t convince but we can help people come to remove the bricks that blocks the spirit. It is so true. We saw Lucas and it was amazing. He kept saying things like, “I think you are softening my heart” or “I feel very different when I met with you verse going to my bible study”. He told us that he really really enjoys our visits and learns a lot. He said we were amazing teachers. I told him it was all the spirit but that we appreciated that. His comment on church was, “They are all beautiful people, like model or actress status”. Then he said, “right on”. It was super funny. We are glad we can offer a good looking ward to our investigators. But don’t worry he is not going for that reason.  
I have an analogy to write but I don’t have time. Next week. I love you all! Thanks for the prayers.

Sis Huber

My week of: I will never be a missionary again on this day 8-4-14

Yes I have officially had to face the fact that I will never get to be a missionary on August 1st again.....sad fact to think about. It is motivating though.

 This week was insane!!! God is not only letting me grow, but He is letting me really really grow. I thought that I had been asked to do everything possible already this transfer. I honestly couldn’t think of anything more they could assign me to do…then I got a call from the AP’s. They asked me to train at Mission Leadership Council. This meeting is with president and all the leadership in the mission. Umm, stressful. I have never even been to one before. I accept and gave it on Friday. I learned so much and I think it went well so I am grateful to have grown even more. I talked about accountability and how we are first and foremost accountable to God. It made me really aware of how I am measuring up to what God has given me. Then the next night we got another call from the AP’s telling me they picked us to have a mini missionary. She is 17 years old and wants to try out a mission. She will be with us for a week and will literally live the mission life.  So pretty much I am double training. This trio will be a fun one because we are going to tear things up out here on the coast. Plus, I think it is because God loves me so much…. He is giving me Mission Twins (when you train they are called your babies) J My obsession with twins has gotten much worse out here. I guess dream do come true just not always how we imagine.

Amy is doing super great and will get baptized as soon as we figure it out with her parents. We fasted with her on Sunday. Obed is doing absolutely amazing…..he is a miracle. We taught him Word of Wisdom and he gave up coffee and drinking that very day. He is so happy and can’t wait for his baptism. I love teaching these people.

Lucas, the one from China, came to church!!!! This is a HUGE step for him. When we went and taught him he said. “I am afraid that at this point I am actually  going to get baptized on that day”. I was so happy I started laughing  He is progressing so well right now. Katie is also doing really well and hopefully will make her day for baptism. Lots of exciting things on the horizon!!!!

ROBERT IS GETTING BAPTIZED FOR REAL ON SATURDAY. 6 ½ months later I am going to see him actually get baptized. I think that it is actually very very fitting that he is my first official baptism. I felt so prompted this week to ask him to have his interview for baptism. This is when he still didn’t have a date and was still just figuring it all out. I asked him and he accepted. I still didn’t mention actually being baptized. After his interview he told me that Saturday would do. I about cried on the spot. Sister Grover gets to come down and see it right before she goes home. He asked if Sister Grover and I would be the ones to speak and I just felt so glad that I never gave up on him. Most people did. I have never learned how to love, be concerned for, pray for, seek the spirit for, and have such patience for a person like I have learned with Robert. I know that he was one of my people. Pray for him!!! We celebrated with figs and frozen yogurt.

I have to go. I want to write so many things to all of you. I love this church and I love being a missionary!!!!! Don’t give up on anything!!!!

Love Sis Huber

34 Lessons 7-28-14

 I don’t even know how to write!!!! I have no time and so many thoughts.  I feel as if I have digressed to about a third grade level of writing. Bear with me please as I try and get my head and this paper in line.
WOW. I have never done so much in one week before. We taught 34 lessons…..That is insane for this area. We literally tripled most areas in our zone. And it is not because of me, don’t misunderstand me I am not saying that. I think it is because the ward is great and we work hard. That is what it takes.
We picked up 4 new investigators and set 4 baptismal dates! Pretty good oddsJ
I went on back to back exchanges. So 48 hours of solid training, but I guess all my hours are training technically because I am literally training as well. It was exciting stuff because I completely ran my area and tried to train/do all the things my mission president asked me to do. I think I was being pushed on by some divine force. On the first exchange we contacted into 3 people on the pacific coast highway. We set up a time to meet with them the next day, or exchange two. So with a new companion the next day I taught Cameron, the other two didn’t show. We set a date with him and heard his story. Turns out he had given up drugs two days earlier and was trying to change his life. Timing my friends, timing. The next day we meet with another of the three, Katie. She is adorable! Her story in so unbelievable I can’t even write it all down. 67 days ago she quite the drug Heroin cold turkey-that is a nearly impossible thing to do.  She described the pain to us and said it was as if someone was ripping her bones out of her body. She said she would pray 3 times a day to see if there was a God because she didn’t know. On the 5th day of this pain she got on her knees and suddenly the pain was completely gone. Gone. She then promised God she would find and follow a spiritual path. Fast forward to us on the 101(coast highway), when we asked her to learn about the peace God can give and she said yes. When I told her the first vision we both started crying. She said she could feel the emotions in my voice and the way I said it. She said the words had entered my heart. That touched me because it is always good to hear from someone else that you believe. I asked her if she believed it could happen and she said yes because she had been encircled in a light that one day. She said that when she heard how he described his experience it was just like how she remembers hers.  She said the radiant and glowing light was something she felt. She asked the most insightful and beautiful questions. Literally all her questions where the 5 lessons we teach. We could have taught her everything if we had time! She came to church on Sunday and just loved it. Gah it is so good. When we asked her about being baptized she said she would pick a date to pray about. We said September 6th and she countered by saying that was too far away…. Haha I have never heard that before. So August 30th it is!
We taught this investigator and he is trying to figure out if he believes in God. He is way too philosophical for his own good. He counters everything! When we keep talking about the Book of Mormon he said something that was so powerful to me. He said, “every time you open that book and read from it, your eyes light up.” What a powerful reminder to us all. The Book of Mormon must be opened and read in order for it to light up our lives. Read it.
Robert. Oh my dear Robert. I know God is teaching me things with him. I have never cared for someone so much. We had a talk this week and said that we can meet once a week and discuss his questions but that was it. He said ok and then we left. Normally we invite him to everything that is happening but we stopped. We get this text form him Saturday night and it says we need to come over to the gas station and see him. We drive over and go inside. Turns out he took himself down to the stake center in Del Mar for a baptism. He then tells us that something changed. He has not been getting answers to his prayers. We keep having him ask if the Book of Mormon is true because that is what everyone tells us to have him ask but apparently that is not the right question for him. He said that he couldn’t sleep so he started praying and he asked God hid question. He said he asked God why he was scared of a bunch of Mormons and why he felt so alone. He said in that moment he didn’t feel alone anymore. How beautiful is that? He threw his hands in the air and said “if you had told me a few months ago I was scared of a bunch of Mormons I would have laughed at you! But I am!” He said he was much closer to baptism now. We then talked about God’s plan and answers that He has been giving him. Right before I was leaving Encinitas, Robert prayed and told God that if I didn’t leave he would get baptized. Robert told me that he knew without a doubt that God sent me to him. I was a gift from God to him. He said when I got transferred to the YSA ward he knew God heard him. God didn’t let me leave Robert. That is something to think about. I have been turning it over in my head for a while. He said no other person/missionary understands him but me. Maybe Robert needs me as much as I have needed him. I have learned endless amounts of things from my friend Robert (including patience). Oh what a conversation that was- just chilling in the mobile across the counter from Robert looking at the cigarettes behind his head and the wine on the shelf next to me.
Thoughts and inspiration and revelation that I received this week:
We don’t earn grace, we accept grace. Grace is already there in full force we just have to be willing to allow it to access our hearts and change our lives. We choose if grace has power over us.
I was teaching someone who talked about how he was struggling with an addiction and didn’t know how to give it up. He said that being in a low place helped him feel Christ and find Him. He talked of how Christ was in very low places and how we are supposed to follow Christ. He thought that maybe going to low dark places was one of the ways he could follow Christ and understand Him.  I had this overwhelming thought and idea as he talked and I opened my mouth and said “Christ didn’t go to low places so that we could follow Him; He went to low places so that He could follow us.”  That hit me as I said it and it hit him. We both just sat there and let it sink in. It is so true; I hope you can feel the truth of it as well. Christ descended below us all so that He could help us rise above anything- any addiction, sadness, trial or sickness. He went there for us. For you. I know it is true.
I LOVE YOU ALL!  Sis Huber