Monday, August 26, 2013

Come, Come ye saints...

Hello Family! 
I am so happy to hear from all of you today, it is amazing to hear you share the way the lord is blessing your lives.  I know he is with each of us and I feel so at home keeping him in my heart.  I feel like I don't miss being with you ( of course I do but hear me out)  but rather I am thrilled at what is happening in life back home.  Life here is really fantastic.  It is amazing to be doing the work of the lord.  I am so grateful that I get to be here and serve in the ward that I am in.
So this week was a week of miracles.  Every week is really but when you recognized them and give prayers of gratitude heavenly father blesses you with more!  So always look for miracles and then thank Heavenly Father for them.    It was a really busy week, we had a Trainer/trainee meeting in Grand Island!  So we had to road trip out there in the transfer van which was fun because the Assistants drove us and they are fantastic. (and because they were driving sister call and I had a whole row to ourselves to enjoy the roadtrip)  The training was amazing!  President Weston has so much love for us and he teaches so powerfully!  We talked a lot about how we are doing with our trainers and such.  I am so grateful for Sister Call!  She is so awesome and is teaching me so much.  We are both growing to be better missionaries.  President challenged us to make our companions the best missionaries in the whole mission.  So here goes, Look out folks  Sister Call is on her way to becoming the best missionary in the mission because I won't let her be anything less! 
We also had District training this week in Seward ( Nebraska is just a peachy state)  It was scary though because they asked me to do a training! But just like I've been learning you have to trust the spirit!  He knows what the people need to hear so have no fear and share the words of your heart.    So after two days of training we had one normal day and we completely overbooked ourselves!  It was crazy we were driving back and forth in Lincoln wasting all of our precious miles... ick... but we had an awesome lesson with Gum!  Have I told you about him?  He is from Sudan, (you pronounce his name gooom)  He is awesome.  He told us that he read the book of Mormon and felt really good about it.  We will be teaching him again this week.  He keeps saying that he thinks this is his time to figure out what he needs to do in his life.  (his mom is a less active member)  We are praying for him!  
So after a crazy but exciting Thursday we got to Friday and we got to go to the temple!  Man I love the temple.  Don't ever take it for granted because it is such an amazing building.  It is Heavenly Father's house and his spirit is so strong there.  It is where we can receive personal revelation, but we must be patient with ourselves as we learn to listen to the spirit. (That's how I feel anyway)  I'm so grateful that heavenly father provides us a place to go where we can have such a huge concentration of the spirit.  Take any opportunity you can to go to feel of that perfect joy and peace that he wants us all to feel. 

So the miracle I saw this week was just a little one, and may seem more like a tender mercy, but it was a miracle.  We had a dinner with some really sweet members yesterday.  They are really awesome, they have strong testimonies and are really doing their best to keep the commandments.    But something Sister Call and I have been praying about is how we can excite members about missionary work.  Because we really cannot do this by ourselves, I think I talked about that last time.   So after dinner we walked over to one of Sister Brown's visiting teachers that we have been trying to find for days and she was home! So that was the first miracle, we talked with her and she was really sweet.  But the miracle happened on the way home.  We saw a really sweet couple sitting outside and Sister Call and I started being bold and street contacting with a member present... (we don't usually do that... who knows why not because it's brilliant)  Heavenly Father knew Sister Brown needed a good missionary experience and bam..  this sweet couple was very receptive and kind.  They may not be golden but they definitely make a solid potential investigator.   The miracle of the whole thing was really that sister brown lit up.  She was so excited about missionary work!  So that was an answer to our prayers.  (sorry I probably made that confusing but you get the point right?)
Okay so Last thing!  The Title of today is Come, Come ye saints.... Because I realized that it is a hymn that relates entirely to missionary work (it seems like everything does these days)  but read it for yourself, We need to come together and build up the kingdom of the lord.  Tis better far for us to strive, our useless cares for us to drive.  Don't get to distracted by the things of the world, they are really useless cares.  We need to always remember to focus on what is most important which is learning to rely on the Lord, and learning that he has a purpose for us here on the earth.  Do whatever you can to fulfill your purposes.  I know that he knows each of us and I know that he wants us to be happy.  Keep working hard family.  I love you all with all of my heart and am so excited to hear all the awesome things you are doing.     When you do all of these things, your hearts will swell with joy!   And you will be able to declare the tale "ALL IS WELL!"   
Love you Love you love you!
Sister McMaster

P.S.  Next week is labor day and the library will be closed.. so I may not be able to e-mail you all... but do not despair... because I love you :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

There is Sunshine in My Soul Today!

Good Morning Family!
How are you all doing??  So good to hear that life is going well back at home.  Excited for school to start??  I hope so!  School started in Lincoln like last week so count your blessings :)  It's probably the weirdest thing about being here is not going back to school... hee hee it's probably bad to say that I really like not going... but don't worry I'm being very well taught in the lord's school, it's kinda like being homeschooled by the lord... that doesn't even make sense sorry I'll stop. 
So I am just really happy today!  Don't you love those days when you just want to shout for joy and tell everyone that you have sunshine in your soul??  Sister Call and I were prompt to pop out of bed this morning so we got a really good run in, I love watching the Sunrise... I probably have said that like a zillion times but I can't get enough of the sunshine.   We are finding cool paths around our neighborhood.  Dad you'd be proud of our little routes, but I have a really horrible millage clock in my head so I have no idea how far we run....  Ah well!   
Last week was pretty great, miracles happening everyday so not to worry the Lord is watching over his missionaries.  I am learning to be more patient, we really really need to work with the members and they need to get us our investigators.  That's how this work needs to work.  It's hard because we want to just go out and find people because we want to be teaching!  But the people we find are often really flakey... and our appointments fall through.  But we keep our heads up high, and pray for our ward.  We pray that they will trust us to teach their friends, that they will trust themselves to share the gospel with their neighbors. 

Some highlights:  Sister Call and I have super limited driving miles... (mostly because we have to drive to Columbus(173 miles) once a week which eats all our miles :()   So we decided we'd try bikes for a day!  We borrowed a members bikes and it was so sweet!  We were like the coolest sister missionaries ever!  Then we were being good and locked our bikes while we ran inside to get lunch or something, and silly forgetful sister McMaster forgot the lock combination! (actually I didn't but the combination stopped working!)  So our bikes were locked together... so we prayed that we could unlock them, and we kept praying but it just wouldn't unlock!  So we recognized that Heavenly father needed us to walk.  So we walked, because life is always better when you do what Heavenly Father wants,  And while walking we met a family and we had a really good conversation with them, and they gave us popcicles!  (I have a miserable sweet tooth these days... cinnamon rolls... yumm)  yeah anyway... We were not as bold as we could have been with this family, but the wife seemed like she sincerely would enjoy talking to us so we may go visit her some time this week.  This ward could use a strong family!  It is amazing how important each family is in a ward.  Our ward has so many new families so it's very young.. It would be good to add some to the youth because our primary is enormous!    I hope something good will come from that!  Oh yeah to finish the bike story... we never unlocked the bikes... we had to get someone to cut the lock open... So we will have to go buy a new lock today :S   So much for bikes!  Maybe our bike time will come... but all in the Lord's time.

We've been doing lots of service, we've been painting people's houses and weeding people's gardens and it's a lot of fun!  The house we were painting is for a lady that is deaf.  I wish soooo badly that I knew sign language better!   I can spell things because I know the alphabet but I have a hard time reading her signs... so we are going to a sign class this week which will be fun!
This upcoming week is soooo busy!  But we get to go to the temple!  I am so excited to go, I have not been in sooooooo long!  Family go like everyday because you can!  It will be interesting to be in the temple as a missionary... not that it makes me any different really... That's something I learned, being a missionary doesn't make me any different than I ever was... it just highlights what I committed to be at baptism.  We all covenanted to be witnesses of Jesus Christ, and that is all I do as a missionary.  I witness that Jesus Christ is my savior and testify that the greatest happiness will come to all who choose to follow Christ's example.   
Well I hope all of you can have sunshine in your soul today!  Don't forget that Heavenly Father wants us to be soo happy.  That's why we're here on earth.  So choose to be happy!  It's always your choice.  Good luck with moving out Sarah!  That's so exciting!  Sending lots of hugs to be at Tanner's Farewell  someone give everyone a hug for me okay?  I love you all so dearly and I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.  The plan of our father in heaven is so perfect.  We have to trust in it!  Do something every day to show the lord that you trust his plan.   Love you love you love you!
Sister McMaster

Monday, August 12, 2013

Organ Miracles...

Hello dearest Family!

How are all of you doing!?  I have had a fantastic week here in Lincoln!  I love being a missionary, it is starting to be more normal and I really am enjoying the work we are doing here!  So I have just a few stories I wanted to share, I hope all of you are continuing to be missionaries where ever you are! 

So Yesterday in church  the organist didn't show up, so  I decided to be brave and ask if they wanted me to play since I have played the organ before (sorry world I realize that this story may only mean much to the organ lovers of the world... namely Jessica Page and Grandma McMaster...) They were excited to let me play... and then I remembered that the organ is hard!  Next problem, there was no bass Coupler... meaning I had to play the pedals... or else it would have been bad....   So I muddled through the 1st three hymns with only a few minor train wrecks then I sat on the stand waiting to play the closing hymn.  It was him 111 which I am very unfamiliar with... basically I'd never really heard it and had no idea how I was going to sight read it with the pedals... so what did I do?  I prayed... I prayed that I wouldn't destroy the spirit of Sacrament meeting, I prayed that I wouldn't be afraid to play.... And guess what? When you trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, well the lord directs your path, or in this case my feet.  Of all the songs the closing hymn went the best, I played the pedals and everything!  You might not think this is that cool but it definitely felt like a miracle to me and a testament that this is the lord's work and I need to work so hard on putting all of my trust in him.   So remember to set aside that thought that you can do it with your own strength, because when we rely on the lord everything goes so much better!  

We are slowly getting the ball rolling here in Lincoln, we are getting to know all of the members and are working on gaining their trust.  The lord has blessed Sister Call and I with the ability to navigate this city, which is also nothing less than a miracle.  We are working with some really cool ladies that have husbands that aren't members.  We pray that as we help their testimonies of Jesus Christ grow stronger we might be able to work with their husbands.  People are such complicated beings.  Heavenly father has such a difficult task.  We are so fortunate we have such a loving Father in Heaven that truly does know each of us individually and knows how to guide us back to path of happiness.   He is patient with all of his children, some of these people have been taught by missionaries several times but keep falling back into old habits.  I know that Heavenly father will continue to give his children opportunities to come back into the fold and I pray that some of these people will have that desire and will see the happiness that the gospel brings.   I am learning to listen to the spirit, it's not easy to do because I forget a lot to be listening.  As soon as I remind myself and start listening the lessons always go so much better and the people we are teaching come closer to progressing.  I pray that I can get better at this. 

So lots happened this week, we had Zone Training so we didn't have to drive to Columbus which was a blessing! We really need to conserve our miles... it's crazy!   (did I tell you that Elder Layton from our stake is my Zone Leader?  Small world!) The training was so good!  Sister Call and I got to teach in a role play and it was probably the first time we were able to teach with unity and the spirit.  I think that has been a turning point for our companionship.  We are trusting each other better and I know that the work will only start moving more as we prepare ourselves to be the best teachers for the people the lord has prepared.  

The Ward here is super young, so it has been interesting to teach families because they have lots of tiny kids that we have to entertain.  I'm trying to translate teaching ballet into teaching the gospel, and it is harder than I thought it would be.  It is a fun challenge though to come up with ways to help these families become more united.  Our current lesson that we share a lot is the Title of Liberty, we have the family make goals and write them on their own title of liberty! Kinda cool right?  If you have any other brilliant ideas you should let me know :)  But Yesterday as I was studying it really hit me how powerful the book of Mormon is... I was studying Alma 58 because I was learning about Hope.  Hope is an amazing thing, and something that we can have as we increase our faith and come to better understand the gospel.  We have to remember that the atonement is real, that Jesus Christ loves us so dearly and truly did suffer for each of us so we could live eternally with our families!  Because we know this, and have faith in this we can have a Perfect hope that the lord will help us each day, because he will!  Have Hope family!  Keep being the amazing people I know you are!

I hear Elder McMaster gets home this week!  Weird!  Please give him lots of hugs for me!! 

Good luck with your last weeks of Summer! 

Share your testimony with someone this week!

Love you so so much!

Sister McMaster

Monday, August 5, 2013

I love the rolling hills...

Hello Dearest Family!
I love you all so dearly!  Thank you all for sending me your testimonies, that was really cool! (Thomas I didn't get yours so send it soon :)) I am one lucky Sister missionary to have the most incredible family at home.  I sure do love you guys.   So this week has been a great week of so much learning!  The Lord is blessing me every day, I can't even believe it!  This gospel is so true!  As a missionary we literally represent Jesus Christ when we walk into people's homes.  I'm starting to get a glimpse of the love that our Savior has for each of his children.  It is an incredible experience, I have been praying to feel the love he has for his children.  I am working on building my faith, He needs us to love these people, because they have forgotten that he is there so that is our job as missionaries.  Bring them to remembrance!  Pretty cool right?? 

So miracles happen when we trust the Lord!  We just need to look for them because they are happening every single day!  Sister Call and I are working hard, this isn't easy to open an area.  We are getting so much better at navigating (well I am and she follows my directions... most of the time)  But it is amazing how the Lord uses us in each area that we are in.  We went to visit a less active member and were quickly shut down by her non-member husband.  But as soon as we left we turned around and I knew we needed to knock on the door across the street.  And there was a really really nice young mother who was interested in talking about the church, she had never heard of it before and was quite curious.  I hope that she can become a solid investigator.  We'll go back to teach her a lesson this week so hopefully that will go well! I'm excited!  We've seen several fun different people, people here like their cats!  We've met like 5 different cat ladies... they're so sweet haha  It's just funny that I live with a family called the Katz and we see cats everywhere.. and I'm feeling like I just miss Powder or something!  Give him a hug for me pretty please :)
We did some service in a cornfield!  Well kinda... the Relief Society here lives on a farm about 15 min outside of town so we went and helped her weed her garden! It was really fun, her home reminded me a lot of the Ranch... imagine living there! Wouldn't that be sweet?  They're a really awesome family I love to see such strong member families.  They help us so much with this work!  This work isn't supposed to be done just by the missionaries, it is like the biggest group project of our life!   
Our ward mission leader is awesome as well!  He has such a sweet little family!  He invites us over for breakfast and training on Saturday mornings which is great!  We discussed becoming like Christ at our last training.  It was a really powerful lesson, we each have been baptized because we decided we are committed to following god's plan and take upon us the name of Jesus Christ.  Do you know what that means?  We can have a testimony of the gospel but what we are asked to do is to become like Christ, to know enough that we know how to act like him.  What did Christ do best? He taught those around him, he loved his neighbors, he was always serving someone else.  Becoming more like Christ is more than just a good idea, it's what we have promised heavenly father we would do!  That's why missionary work is so important, it's something we have promised or father in heaven we would do  so we better be sure we do it!  I hope you guys are all feeling the missionary push that the leaders of the church are giving.  I know that the Lord is hastening his work for a reason!  Be bold, really pray for opportunities to serve someone, and share your testimony with them.  I know that it isn't easy, because I am trying to do this every day!  Pray for just one missionary moment a day, then seek it out! 

I hope you all had a fantastic week! The weather here has not even been that humid!  People keep telling me August is the worst here but it has been rainy and kinda cool... Maybe just easing me in to it?  haha  Oh and I miss the mountains, but I am learning to love the rolling hills.  It is quite a different thing watching the sun set and sunrise each day because they look the same! (maybe I've just never really appreciated sunrises...) But Nebraska is a very beautiful place.  We have district meeting in Columbus each week so Sister Call and I get to enjoy a little Nebraska Road trip every Wednesday (Columbus is about an hour away)  But the drive is beautiful!  Cornfields and rolling grassy planes... It is really a beautiful state.  Thank you Nat and Tan for the CD's they make the road trip a million times more enjoyable!  Nashville Tribute is a fantastic soundtrack to accompany our cornfield drives!  You guys are the best :)

This work is so incredible.  Heavenly Father's plan is perfect, I am so grateful that he loves us so much, I know that this lovely little part of Lincoln is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.  I hope you all can look for ways to be the Lord's instruments this week.  He loves you!  I love you too!  I'm praying for you, keep praying for me!  Talk to you all soon!
Love always,
Sister McMaster