Thanks for the pictures! California looks beautiful and I'm glad that A liked his gift! :) I can't believe he has a beard....when I get home I'm going to shave it hahaha ;) I hope everything is going well and that y'all are staying busy! Also did my letter for Grandpa arrive in time? How was his 90th birthday party? I hope y'all had a great time celebrating everyone's birthdays! By the way HAPPY BE-LATED BIRTHDAY/ BIRTHDAY Mom, A, J, and Dad!!! I love y'all sooo much!!!!!!!!!
I received your packages in the mail this past week, thank y'all soooo mcuh!! They were much needed. I loved reading the letter and eulogy for Grandma, as well as the program, they mean so much to me. Thank you for sending copies. Also thank you Mom for sending your talk! I used parts of it in a lesson on Sunday it was great!! The March Ensign and New Era are much loved, as well! The special edition of the New Era on Missionary Work is super cool! The frequently asked questions part is soo true. I love seeing member-missionary walls torn down and this magazine was perfect for it! :) Also...thank you so so so so much for sending 'Savior of the World' and especially the 'Lamb of God'...man...I love that CD so much. It's amazing (and what a special meaning it has to me knowing who it came from)!! Thank you again for sending everything despite the stress of organizing Grandma's things, giving talks, prep-ing for a party, and traveling. I appreciate all that y'all do for me. Really, thank you.
This past week I was able to go on exchanges with one of our STLs, Sister K. It just so happens that Sister K and I came out together and the day we went on exchanges was the day that we hit our 9 month mark! I absolutely love her to death and it was totally a tender mercy that we were able to be together on that day. I learned so much from her. One such lesson was on hope and it's a lesson I would like to share with y'all.
It was a beautiful day and Sister K and I were out contacting. We had just walked on campus when we ran into a guy, named L. L was super interested in what we had to say and soon just plain talking with him turned into about a 30 minute lesson. When we parted ways I remember telling Sister K, "I hope we'll be able to meet with him again." With a smile she replied, "You will meet with him again." For some reason that moment stuck with me and it wasn't until I was studying in "True to the Faith", later in the week, that it hit me.
In "True to the Faith" it says, "The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend. In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active." When looking at hope from this perspective the meaning changes completely.
In Ether 12:4 it says, "Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." Hope is an abiding trust in our Father in Heaven. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. I know that because I have experienced it.
The reason I wanted to focus on the principle of hope this week is because, really, hope has changed me. It has brought whole new meaning into my life, perspective, and mission. With this hope I have come to trust more in myself and more importantly I have come to trust more in my Father in Heaven and in His Spirit. Because of hope I have more appreciation for my Savior. I know without a shadow of doubt that Heavenly Father knows me. He is aware of me and the daily decisions that I make and despite my shortcomings he has a plan for me. This principle is the same for you. He knows you. He loves you. He has a plan for you.
This past Sunday I had a thought come to mind which went something like this, "You were sent to be fearless. He knows you and your valor, because of that you were sent at this time, with these trials and experiences. He knew that you might not make it back, but trusted that you would. Be fearless, be obedient, win the battle and return with honor."
It's my hope that we will always remember; remember who we are, whose we are and why we are and I leave this hope in the name of our Savior, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love y'all sooooooooooooooo much-ooooooooooooo!!!! Remember that y'all are always in my prayers.
Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice
P.S. Mom, thank you for sharing your note cards with me!! They are so bright and colorful! They will be great for thank you notes! :) As J says, "You're the best!" :D
P.P.S. Check out this cool quote...
"Is there not wisdom in [Heavenly Father] giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith."
- President Spencer W. Kimball
Also to answer mom's question regarding my fall in the rain last week: Yes I got a little scraped, but I'm all healed up now. :)
Attached are some pictures of the recent baptism of our investigator last Saturday:
And of course some good Cold Stone Ice Cream: