Monday, August 17, 2015

May 11, 2015 - Kennesaw

   This week...well it's been fun. We've been doing a lot and a lot and a lot of walking but hey on the bright side we've gotten tanner and we're getting our exercise haha besides that nothing else has changed. That is to say besides our car being taken away and absolutely no one being on campus, but at least we're making the best out of the situation. :) Oh! I just remembered an experience from Saturday that I would like to share. Sooo...Friday we got our car taken away... dun dun dunnn.... Well the next day we had a service activity with the Kennesaw Sisters at the Methodist Food Pantry and instead of using their car we decided to walk in order to save up on miles. After about an hour of walking we realized that we were going to arrive about a half an hour early. Instead of waiting at the Food Pantry we decided to walk through the Methodist Church's cemetery. 
     As weird as this may sound it was really peaceful walking through the cemetery. There was this sense of reverence there that made it beautiful. As we were looking at the names and dates of the people in the cemetery (Some of the years on the headstones dated back to the 1700s!) it brought a few thoughts to my mind. Could you imagine if the spirits of those people were there and they knew who we were/represented and what we could do for them? Imagine waiting hundreds of years for this moment; a moment to break free and progress. All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming feeling of the importance of family history work and Temple work. 
     I love the Temple. Temples are beautiful, not just because of the architecture but because of the hope that they represent and provide. That hope is not just for us living on the earth at this time, but for all of those who have passed on and will yet live on this earth. Aren't Heavenly Father's plans just beautiful?! :)
     On Friday we had Zone Conference. During Zone Conference our Mission President shared a clip of President Monson's talk, "Your Eternal Voyage" from the April 2000 General Conference. It gave this story:
     "To some it may seem strange to see ships of many nations loading and unloading cargo along the docks at Portland, Oregon. That city is 100 miles from the ocean. Getting there involves a difficult, often turbulent passage over the bar guarding the Columbia River and a long trip up the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. But ship captains like to tie up at Portland. They know that as their ships travel the seas, a curious saltwater shellfish called a barnacle fastens itself to the hull and stays there for the rest of its life, surrounding itself with a rock like shell. As more and more [of these] barnacles attach themselves, they increase the ship's drag, slow its progress, decrease it efficiency. Periodically, the ship must go into dry dock, wherewith great effort the barnacles are chiseled or scraped off. It's a difficult, expensive process that ties up the ship for days. But not if the captain can get his ship to Portland. Barnacles can't live in freshwater. There, in the sweet, fresh waters of the Willamette or Columbia, the barnacles die and some fall away, while those that remain are easily removed. Thus, the ship returns to its task lightened and renewed. Sins are like those barnacles. Hardly anyone goes through life without picking up some. They increase the drag, slow our progress, decrease our efficiency. Unrepented, building up one on another, they can eventually sink us. In His infinite love and mercy, our Lord has provided a harbor where, through repentance, our barnacles fall away and are forgotten. With our souls lightened and renewed, we can go efficiently about our work and His."
     We were able to tie this story into missionary work and also into the time when we won't be missionaries anymore. We came to realize that not only can the barnacles be sin, but they can be other things like fear, lack of focus, hard hearts, laziness, or even disobedience. We then began to discuss what the freshwater could be in our lives. Among which was daily study and prayer, repentance, recognizing and following the Spirit, developing Christ-like attributes, becoming a member missionary, obedience, and taking the Sacrament each week (and I would like to include attending the Temple). I am so grateful for the "freshwater" that Heavenly Father provides in my life. I'm grateful that no matter where we are in life we can return to the "freshwater" and lighten our loads and that this "freshwater" is available to all. 
     I loved seeing and hearing y'all yesterday!! It was definitely the highlight of my life!! Haha (or at least it will be until Christmas time ;) )  I love y'all sooo much-oooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember y'all are always in my prayers.  

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),

Sister Megan Rice

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