Monday, 16 February 2015

Week 71 in the Field: Week 16 in Zurich: I want to BECOME the message. ELDER KEARON

(2 Nephi 5:27)
3 of my watches died this week. Guess what I'm doing today? ;)

I just want you all to know from the very beginning of this email that THIS WEEK WAS AMAZING. I want to copy and paste the whole week and copy it into your minds so you can know EXACTLY what happened and the feelings that I had. It was amazing. 
We had Mission Tour with Elder Kearon, MLC in Munich, lessons, long bus rides, and... it was just really good. 
We had an AMAZING lesson with a guy we met a few weeks ago. He's found his way back to God after 30 years of going without Him and the way he spoke about being back on the right path was so beautiful. He spoke with such innocence and heart. It was really amazing to watch at the beginning of the meeting he was bearing his testimony of the Atonement, but still a bit shut off to the idea of meeting with us more, to at the end after we had born strong, personal testimony and seeing him agree to see us again. He said that he already knew the answer and that was that he needed to listen to what we had to say. It was so beautiful. I love when people feel the Spirit and act on it :) 
We had a randomly saw a young less active that night and we talked, and talked, and talked, about everything. The Gospel, life, school, plans. It was so nice :) I loved seeing that we were in the right place at the right time:)
Then Wednesday came along!! MISSION TOUR WITH ELDER KEARON! Can I just say what a wonderful and pure man he is? The way he spoke was full of such love you couldn't help but just believe what he was saying. He IS the Gospel. He knows all the answers because he lives the answers every day. He is wonderful! I felt such love and validation. Something that I didn't realize I had been needing. I'll just wire a few notes that I put down in my journal: 
* PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHURCH LANGUAGE: "non-member", "investigator", "finding"
  • Attack your day
  • Every day is a choice. Choose to be happy
  • Who are the best "finders": those who are themselves and personable.
  • How do you know you teach with the Spirit: when you feel that bit of eternity. You can feel when you are all on the right path. I truly believe we feel a part of what the heavens are like and what we will be feeling all the time. It's beautiful.
  • "Believing is seeing"
  • What is your goal for the end, Chlo? COURAGE. Be courageous enough to go against your natural man. Give him up. 
  • "When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to change" #Atonement
  • BECOME the message. LIVE IT. 
  • Don't go back. Go on. Go forward. 
  • Marry someone better than you; someone to stretch you; who reads and prays; who goes to the temple; who is kind; who loves their Savior. Don't settle.
  • become a "Sister Dalton". 
  • Preaching the Gospel is  LIFESTYLE. Become it. Become Chloe Suzanne Gilmour and you'll be living the truest form of who you can be. 
  • It all comes down to YOU. You choose to change. You choose to be happy. 
  • Go forth today with positivity
  • "Serve those you lead. Go out and be lovely. Serve to lead. Your best is good enough. Thank you. Feel lightened. Feel loved"- Elder Kearon. 
I WISH YOU ALL KNEW THE GREATNESS THAT WAS SPOKEN OVER THESES THREE DAYS. It was amazing. So amazing. I want to BECOME the message. I don't want to lose what I have here. I want to keep it with me. I want to become the best member missionary and best member of the ward as I can. I'm so excited to share with you what I've learned here and what I've become :) 
Then we went to MLC. That means a 6 hour bus ride there and back. Killer. But it's nice to have friends to jabber to the whole way. It's quite a nice ride, actually. I had the chance to talk with Sister Page. That was really good. I love talking with other Americans and getting into their heads. Turns out we all think the same way ;) I love her and I love the relationships I have here.
We got in about 6, grabbed dinner, then went to the Church to watch a devotional from Holland. Yeah, it was good :) Isn't everything that he says good? I made some great notes about that, too. I'll show you one day ;) He basically said that we can't go back to the old ways. We are the future of the church and we have to take what we've learned here on our missions and apply it to our lives. He said we can't go home and grow beards (elders) and us sisters have to go home and start strong, faithful homes and raise the new blood of the church to go on missions. We are the ones to start the next great generation :) 
Then we went to the hostile! It was really good, actually. Really clean, big, safe, showers, beds, closet. Totally would stay there while travelling through Europe. I'll send pics. We got to room with Sister Wilkes and Sister Fenton, both from Utah, serving in Salzburg right now. THE CUTEST GIRLS EVER. It was really nice to be able to get to know the Sisters outside of the "black hole" of Switzerland. 
With great friend, Elder Huby from France,
 they served in Zollikofen, Swizerland at the same time
The next day we went back to the church to hear from Elder Kearon some more. It was really interesting. At one point, President asked us what we think our mission culture is; is the most obedient, best at teaching, are we good at talking to people, being friends, etc. There were crickets chirping it was so silent. How sad? Once someone finally said something, the things we all said weren't good and happy. We said things like, "we spend so much time refiguring things out. We are always changing", or what I said was that we are a mission of comparing; we are always comparing ourselves to something! Either Switzerland against Germany and Austria, or the mission against the other missions, district against district, numbers, blah, blah, blah. It's true, though! We don't really have a culture. 
Then Elder Kearon jumped in and was just like... stop it. You are amazing! You are good. You are loved. Stop being so hard on yourselves. Look at all the amazing things you ARE doing. Yeah! You can be better, can't we all? But just know that you are doing amazing right now. Again, I felt validated. Within seconds, our mood had changed. We were then spitting out uplifting ideas of how to improve the mission and building off each other and getting pumped up. It was really good. We are going to have an amazing MLC next month. 
We ate together, Elder Kearon ran out (a busy man), then we went to catch our bus. What a weird and strange ride that was.
We got off the bus, to find out that the friend that we were to start teaching again after being gone for 3 months just... yeah. We ended up giving her to the Elders. I have to say, after all that happened with her and the silly things that went down, I was a bit hurt. I didn't want to have to give her to the Elders, but whatever it takes to help her make the steps to progress towards baptism, I'm willing to do it. I won't tell the whole story here, but it wasn't such a happy one. I hope that things go well for her. 
We got home, ate, and studied. What a strange night. Have you ever cried, but had no idea WHY? And felt absolutely nothing? And the only reason you knew you were sad is cause you were crying? Well.. that was me. I cried, and cried, and cried. I am so tired. My spirit is so exhausted. I really needed to sleep. I didn't move one time that night. Like I said, really strange. 
The weekend. We just bought ourselves flowers today as a late Vday gift. Fun stuff. We went finding, and we did some Personal Touches, we made LOTS  of goals, contacted some people, had great conversations with people on the streets, went to church, studied, didn't wear boots for the first time in MONTHS, went to an Eritrean church with an investigator and his friend, planned, had a roast, met lots of Americans, celebrated birthdays, and...... my tights got drawn on by a little boy? It was a good week. Strange, really good, really spiritual, one I'll never forget, and one I'd relive in a heart beat.
This week we get transfer calls. I really hope that I stay here with Sister Smith until the end. That would be really nice. Usually I can feel when it's time to say goodbye to a companion, but I don't have that feeling this time. So I hope that's a sign that we are staying together :) 
Read 2 Corinthians chapter 4 this week. It is beautiful. Found it while studying something. I don't remember. But I think, it's my favorite chapter in the New Testament. 
I love you. The church is true. Always will be. Always has been. Stand up for what's right, even when it's really hard. Something that Elder Kearon talked about and quoted from Sister Elaine S. Dalton: "We are really good at doing what Moroni does best: standing alone". As sad as that may sound, that is what we have to do. In a world that is increasingly getting worse, we have to stand as beacons in the darkness and guide those searching for the light. Do it. It's worth it :)
Have an amazing week. I will, too :) 
Sister Gilmour
P.S. We polished our shoes, I cut my hair, and we gathered together as Sisters (and Elders). 

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