Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy

Happy Monday to you all!  I'm grateful to have the best family in the world to send an e-mail home to today.

So this week was transfers yet again... (they just keep happening... it's freaking me out!)  So I was pretty much sick to my stomach with nerves because President told us this transfer would have the most changes our mission has ever seen!  My body was so nervous it was weird.... but nothing happened!  I'm staying another 6 weeks with Sister Youngberg in Fairview.  Pretty much all of our sisters changed though.  It's crazy, we have been praying for them each like crazy because there were a lot of struggles in a lot of areas.   Heavenly father just picked up the strugglers and put them into a companionship where they can pick themselves up.  I can't even begin to tell you how incredible it is to recognize the Lord's expertise in this plan.  
So a lot of interesting things happened this week.  I wanted to share an experience with you that was very unique and really caused me to ponder life.  I hope you understand what I mean.   This week Sister Youngberg and I sat at the hospital bed of a lady in our ward's mother.   She had chosen to stop life support and so we sat keeping her company as she lived the last days of her life.  Her mother was not a member of the church and was very stubborn.  Her sweet daughter was beside herself with not being able to share her testimony of the Plan of Salvation to her mother.  She asked us to come be with her during this trying time.  We decided that the most powerful thing we could do would be to share music with her.  We sang songs familiar to us and it was enjoyable to share music, but then she asked us to sing songs that her mother would be familiar with.  She had an old protestant hymnbook and asked us to sing some of her mother's favorite hymns.  We sang horribly because we had never sang them before.  But we decided we'd practice and come back and try again.  The song she begged us to sing was the "Wonderful Words of Life"  It was quite an experience to feel the spirit as we shared our love of Music with this sweet woman.  She was barely competent,  but we really felt that singing the hymns that she loved would help soften her heart and prepare her to meet our Father in Heaven.  I have never felt such a profound need to pray for the softening of a heart that was so close to the end.   She passed away yesterday morning, and I pray that she may be my eternal friend.  I pray she accepts the gospel in the next life and I pray that she sings the wonderful words of life to all who can hear her voice. 
So that was a somewhat somber experience but one that I won't ever be able to forget.  How incredible this life is, a time to prepare a time to feel our Father's love.  I pray we each can learn to cherish each day we have, and savor every moment we have here in this earth life.  Never forget how delicate and precious nor how resilient and stubborn life can be.  I am grateful for the wonderful people I am meeting here.  Peoples hearts are changing and I know the Lord is preparing in his time each and every child.  I'm learning patience in this work which can be difficult, but I know it is for a good reason.  I know I am where I am supposed to be.  I love you all so much.  Have a good week, take care of yourselves and be nice to Sarah on Saturday (it's her birthday!) 
Oh to tie in my title.  What an incredible hymn.  Every hymn has a different power but this one has been speaking to me.  We are the lower lights, we have such an important role in this work, we must help the struggling seaman... we must rescue we must save.  I hope you all maybe take a moment to study the words of this hymn... the worth of a soul is great in the sight of god.  That is most definitely something I have learned this week.  I love you all!

Love you all sooooo much!

Love Always,
Sister McMaster

Monday, February 10, 2014

Whenevery I Hear the Song of a Bird

Or look at the blue blue sky...

I wish I could paint a picture for you this week.  My thoughts are kind of more in picture form then word form.   Does that even make sense?  I have a prayer journal I started using at the beginning of January, it's a sketch book. I've always been a doodler but it's kind of a cool way to focus my thoughts while I pray at night sometimes I just draw pictures of flowers to help my brain get on track.  Maybe that means I'm crazy....

If I could draw a picture right now of how my week went I might start with a heart... then I would draw curly-q's only because it's Valentine's day this week.  Then I might draw a bird sitting at the top of a very large tree, I would try to portray how cold that little bird was sitting up on that single branch, that's hard when you're using a pen, maybe at this point I'd switch over to water colors.  Or maybe I'd just doodle music notes and write out the lyrics to called to serve.... maybe I'd just be doing all of this to inspire myself....
So it has been a good week. Interesting but none the less a good one.  We live in such a beautiful world.  So many amazing people, so many incredible stories.   We have so many reminders that we are not alone in this universe. Whether it's a breeze on your face or the crazy sound of weird Nebraskan birds it's all such a testament that God is real.  He loves us and he wants us to remember that.   How much I love Grandma Clara's song "My Heavenly Father Love's Me"   Primary songs have always hit a soft spot in my heart, but this one is just my favorite I guess. She seems to touch on all the ways that I personally understand Heavenly Father's love.  Maybe that's because that's how I learned it, from the song itself, but  I know that she was inspired in her words.  I think we are friends forever. 
So back to my weird picture... There really was a bird sitting on the top of the Zachary's tree this week. For some reason I noticed it, (it really did make a very loud weird noise... kind of like the sound of a horn mixed with the bird on "for the birds")  But it got me thinking, what would it be like to be sitting on top of that huge tree all alone?  I for one personally quite enjoy climbing trees and maybe I'd be happy, but it would also be soooo cold, and lonely.  The bird I feel was out of place, it should have been migrated far far away.  It is most definitely not spring here yet and probably won't be for some time.   So what do you think?  Was this a lost bird?  Did it forget where it was supposed to be in February?  Maybe so maybe not.... but I think it had a purpose in being there.  All things have a purpose, and God provides way for miracles to happen when we do what he says.  Sometimes we find the person that is lonely and out of place, sometimes we need to remind them where their place is.  But sometimes still the out of place bird reminds us where we belong, where our place is.  Maybe that bird was there so I would be reminded of  what I'm doing here in Nebraska, freezing and fighting the sideways falling snow (it falls sideways no joke) My purpose is to find the lonely and down trodden... to remind them that they are loved by a most loving heavenly father. 
So I must apologize for this weird e-mail.  (though I should never apologize for "what I bring to the table" according to a wise woman I live with)  But a miracle just happened.  A lost little bird just came to talk to us!  We talked to this kind man at the Library last week, inviting him to come to church and see what it is that makes the Church of Jesus Christ so amazing.  He was kind and accepted our meager mormon.org card.  But just now he walked over and said "I want to come try your church, I think I'll try to come next week"  Crazy right?  I thought so.  Well I hope you all have a lovely week and take good care of yourselves.  I hope you have sunshine in your souls no matter the temperature :)  I  am so grateful to be a missionary. 

Choose the Right forever!

Love Always,

Sister McMaster
P.S.  another miracle this week I GOT A LETTER FROM KATE MCCARTY.  that's all :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Miracles on 35th Street

Are you so impressed with this title?  I came up with it while I was going to sleep two nights ago, I started just laughing out loud in my bed and Sister Youngberg thought I was crazy.  (someone should tell her she's right!) 
However, in all honesty there really have been so many miracles this week and this title is inspired in some ways ;) 
First of all I wanted to tell you about our miracle investigator.  I can't remember if I have told you about her yet or not, her name is Jerre.   So way back a million years ago when I was companions with Sister Call we decided to start a bible study at a senior living place.  It was a super random idea but it seemed inspired so we went through with it.  Then Sister Call left and Sister Youngberg and I were left to take on this weird beast of bible study.   It turns out no one really wanted to come... but we did have the lady that works at the center sit in to hear us talk about parables each week.  Finally we gave her a book of mormon and invited her to have a lesson at a member's house.   So guess what happened this week?  That lesson!  We had dinner and then we talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  It was amazing!  She was so taken by Joseph's story, she kept repeating "I feel like I relate so much to him, I feel like I have been searching,I feel like I have been lost and don't know where to turn"   Man she's amazing.  She is so sweet and she thinks I'm demanding because I tell her to pray and read everyday, but I also thinks she knows that it truly will change her life.  I'm so excited to see her again and see if she's keeping these commitments and doing her part in coming to Christ. 
Angie is doing pretty well, we're not sure what's holding her back at this point because she has no problem coming to church every week.... We are going to be praying hard to be able to meet her needs tonight :)
Another crazy miracle, I went to my old Lincoln area on an exchange this week.  It was weird because they changed the ward boundaries since I've left... everything is different!  But we went and saw a less active that I had seen lots when I was there.  It turns out she still hadn't gone to church and was still just dragging her feet in excuses.... It was time to take action.  So we talked about commandments, and we talked about how crucial it is to keep the commandments that heavenly father has asked us to keep.  Coming to church is not just a good idea, it's a commandment!  We talked about how when we put the Lord first miracles happen. She didn't think her health would be good enough to sit at church and she was worried because she can't eat gluten so she was freaking out about the sacrament.  I asked her to pray that Heavenly Father would bless her with a miracle, and she did!  It was incredible,  She truly prayed with faith and she started crying and we were basically all crying and the spirit was really strong!  After her prayer we talked about after exercising faith we must take action.  So we were sure to give her names of people to call for a ride and then we made sure there would be rice cakes for her to take the sacrament.   So then we left and I prayed that she would make it to church.  Guess what folks, she did!  ( I wasn't there obviously but the sisters told us she made it!)  What an incredible thing it is to know that Heavenly Father will pour out blessings upon his children when we exercise our faith and as we take action to make things happen!  Don't be afraid to see miracles in your life everyday!  Heavenly Father's Love is right there! 
So it has been a really good week here in Nebraska.  I am so grateful to have you all as my eternal family.  I pray you are all healthy and strong and seeking your own miracles.  If you get a chance tell me how it goes!  Tell me about the miracles you see everyday! 
I love you all to the moon and space :)  Be good and Choose the RIGHT!
Love always and forever,
Sister McMaster
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