Sunday, March 8, 2009

Amazing Day!

Today was the most amazing day. I really wasn't looking forward to getting up for church because of day light savings, but I really didn't have a hard time getting up. At the first of the year when I heard that we had 8:30 church, I grumbled and complained thinking that it would be absolutely horrible. But I love it. I never have a problem being motivated to get ready for church. We had to be there early this morning for choir practice because we sang today and the spirit I felt when we were practicing the song was amazing. It really set the stage for the rest of church. Bishop Rossiter announced that Brother Pond has been called to the High Counsel so today was his last day in our ward. When I heard that I was really sad. Brother Pond was the FIRST person I told that I was considering going on a mission. He gave me some wonderful counsel that day, and then a blessing that came as an answer to prayer two days later. I have known since that day that I am supposed to go on a mission. He spoke about gathering the lost sheep, which really got my attention with my upcoming mission. Sister Rossiter also spoke about her grandfather's conversion story. Then we sang. We sang a medley of "Dearest Children, God is Near You" and "Children of Our Heavenly Father." It is a beautifu peace and I was really able to feel the Spirit. Brother Burton also spoke about missionary work. Our closing hymn was "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd." That hymn, especially the second half of the third verse and fourth verse, really touch my heart. Since I have decided to go on a mission I have been paying close attention to the lyrics of hymns and there are many that really touch my heart. I feel that as we pay attention to the lyrics and open our hearts to the Spirit, we can see the deeper meaning of the hymns. As I sang this hymn today, the Spirit touched my heart. I was afraid to go teach my lesson after that amazing meeting. I didn't feel that it was an exceptional lesson and it was shorter than my lessons usually are, by about a page and a half. I was glad that we got out of Sacrament Meeting late, but I still was afraid that my lesson wouldn't be able to keep the Spirit that I felt in Sacrament. However, as I started teaching, I really felt the Spirit with me. And I know people in my class felt it as well, because they contributed amazing things. I had to cut several things out of my lesson, but it was so much better than I could have done. It wasn't my week to teach because Temple Prep was being taught today, but Sam had to go to Utah for guard duty this weekend and asked me to teach. I was very grateful for the opportunity I had to teach this lesson. I really needed it--not what I prepared, but what was shared by the people who came to my class. It really helped to lift me up. Then we went on to Relief Society. The lesson was again on missionary work. The girl who taught is a returned missionary so she shared some experiences from her mission and asked Leeann to share some from hers. The Spirit was so strong, and I knew that I am supposed to go on a mission. I don't know why I've even questioned myself. All of the hymns we sang had to do with missionary work as well. I was in tears. Jill and Emily kept looking at me, and I tried to avoid looking at them, because I knew if I did, I'd really start crying becuase the looks they had were like, "That's going to be you soon." I knew that, but I am still feeling a little overwhelmed by everything.

When I got home from church, I sat down and wrote in my journal, mostly about church today and Devotional Tuesday, then Russell came over and we made oreos. That was fun, making the cookies and talking. He is hilarious. Spencer was over for a while too, and we were all just talking and having a good time. Brett called me this evening as well. It is so good to have that friendship back. I don't know what I would do without her as a friend. She's my best friend and it broke my heart when we pulled apart. Over the past few months as we've been rebuilding our friendship I have been greatly lifted up. Nicole and I are on good terms again as well. I've gotten together with her a couple times this week and have had so much fun. My deciding to go on a mission has brought me greater blessings that I could have ever imagined. I have two of my friends back who I thought I had lost forever. That is more that I could have ever asked for. My testimony has also grown so much and I am seeing things in a different light than I ever did before. I am not feeling stressed about school, at least not near as much as I usually would be with the class load I'm carrying. I think this all has to do with the Spirit which I can feel so much more strongly in my life. Overall, I have had a much more positive outlook on life which has been such a great blessing. Sure, I've had a little taste of drama, but I am so happy with everything right now. I am really looking forward to seeing where I'll be called. Daniel will likely get his call this week, and Whitney will likely be getting hers soon. I am so excited about everything and can't help but smile when I think about serving a mission!

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