Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Tuesday. Thunder Storms

Dear Family,

How are you all doing this lovely Tuesday Morning?  Did you enjoy your Memorial Day?  It was soooo hot here, humid and hot and sticky... here comes Summer...  Yippie!

So I don't have a whole lot to write but I did want to share some thoughts from this week.  We had Zone Conference this week and the focus was on the Family.  I have to tell you this has been super weird... because as a missionary you're kind of like a family-less fish for the time being... but It's really cool to see that the Lord wants us to work on strengthening families including our own present and future.   All of this planing and strengthening has really drawn my thoughts to our mission on earth.  Have you ever taken time to ponder your mission on earth?  

I don't remember if I told you but I have been since January studying the New Testament, hoping to understand better Christ's life.  It is amazing to me to begin to see that he was a perfect example of a missionary. I know his example applies to each one of us individually, but he fulfilled his mission on earth perfectly.  I so appreciate the times when he patiently teaches his disciples the simple nature of the gospel.  He had such sincere joy and love.  I also love reading the different accounts of Christ's atonement, he was prepared to fulfill his mission to redeem the sins of his people.  He asked the Father if there was any other way, but was willing to proceed knowing that it was the will of the Lord.  I wish I could express how grateful I am that he did proceed, because I know I have so many weak moments where I need his strength to keep going.  Understanding the atonement is way over my head, but I do feel like my understanding is increasing.  It grew like an inch this week! 

So there was an incredible thunderstorm on Sunday night and I loved it!  Once we were able to enjoy it (after fighting herocially the horrible june bugs and cups of bleach..)  we just sat and listened.  The sound of the world reminds me that I am not alone.  

We had some really cool lessons with people this week, Have I told you about Karen?  She is a sweet woman from Texas that is friends with a family in our ward.  She is super sweet and is scheduled to be baptized June 28th! We are praying extra hard for her because she recently started dating a man that is a strong Catholic and doesn't really like us.  It's a bit of  a struggle, but when we bear testimony to her of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon I know the spirit is there testifying with us.  I am so grateful that we aren't doing this alone aren't you?

I hope you all have an enjoyable  week.  I love you all a lot and look forward to hearing about little baby Jace being born!  Let me know any way possible! I'll be praying for you all!


Sister McMaster

Monday, May 19, 2014

Just a Jar of Pickles

Hello Family Dear!

How are you all doing today?   Sounds like you have had some horrible illness?  I'm sorry to hear that!  I'm proud to report I'm doing very well health wise... so your prayers must be working.

So this week was transfers!  bahaha you'll never believe it... I'm staying in Fairview for yet another transfer. This poor ward just can't get rid of me... The Zachary's said they might adopt me so if you see weird legal documents that's probably why.  Just kidding.  haha so it really has actually been a bizzare week... mind if I share a snipit of it?  

disclaimer:  the title of today's e-mail has nothing to do with anything... simply what came to mind as I stared in space at the library.

So I do my best to not think about transfers but I was rather worried this go around... because I have been in this area a little while, but I prayed that I could stay one more, because I feel like there is something more I need to do in this area. Heavenly Father said it was his will.. so here I am.  Then a series of miracles took place.  Sister Stiles and I went without a phone this week (because we put the battery in and plugged it in before it was completely dry so it died... dead as can be, lost all contacts... super lame... no phone for 6 days)  This was only a minor problem but the spirit took us to the random places we needed to be and I now have absolutely no doubt that the Lord is in this work.  We would borrow a phone for an hour from members and would be so inspired to call the people that said they had just barely texted our dead number, crazy right?  It was cooler then it sounds now... :)  

So then the bigger miracle happened; because our phone died we had to go pick up our replacement at the Mission office, so we went the day of transfers so we could help out the new missionaries and stuff.  While we were there one of the sisters got really sick and was vastly opposed to going on the transfer van... so we offered to drive her to Lincoln.  We had talked about going to Lincoln to check on some sisters but we had kind of just not felt like going (because we were pretty much exhausted)  So there we were, in Lincoln not exactly sure why but we pressed forward.  We got the sick sister and her new trainee all situated and then went to visit some other sisters.  Only to find out that these sisters really needed us and we were able to help them and assist in an emergency transfer.  (so moral of the story , when heavenly father needs you to be places he will sometimes make people throw up in order for it to happen)  

I have learned so much about God's love this week.  I have a scripture for you to study:  Romans 8:34-39 I think is the reference... It talks about how nothing can separate us from the Love of God.  Not height or depth or anything.   How amazing it is that Heavenly Father loves us perfectly, no matter what we do or who we become.  He is always there for us.  I hope you are all studying your scriptures every day, because even though nothing separates us from God's love, we can stop feeling it if we do not adequately prepare our spirits.  I know you've all heard this 8 million times but I can't even express how grateful I am that I started reading the book of morman every day when I was younger,  My spirit is growing strong today because of what I read when I was 13, that's the way the lord's plan works.  You may  not understand why it's currently important but keep doing what you know you need to do, The reason you know is because the holy ghost is telling you.  Keep the Faith lovely family.  I love you all so much.  

We are on an investigator hunt this week, I have great expectations because we have some totally bizarre finding ideas. We shall see how they work!  We are also ready for Angie to get baptized... so is She... If you wouldn't mind praying for her?  Her biggest worry is fear of what her husband will think.  She's the sweetest thing and wants soooo badly to be baptized.  Pray that we have the words to say, but that she does as well.  

Love you all!  Take good care of yourselves this week! and ya know if life gets you down eat a pickle, because they're really good. (inspiring right?)

Love Always,

Sister McMaster

eating the japanese candy finally that Marla and Rich sent... what a freaking weird treat!  YUMMY!

our totally awesome district... I'll miss these fellows!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Helaman 5:12

Happy Birthday Mom!  You have the coolest birthday scripture in the book....  "and now my friends remember remember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer who is Christ the son of God that we must build our foundations, that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds yea his hail and his mighty storms and shafts in the whirlwinds it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo because of the rock upon which ye are built which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall!"  okay that was from memory... so you can check if I got it right :) I know i messed up something in their (actually I just checked and it is wrong...)sorry go look up Helamen 5:12, so it can be your scripture for the day.

So hello!  It was so good to see you all yesterday!  What fun it is to have the best family in the world.  I'm not sure how I lucked out but I won't complain!  Funny story, after I left you we quickly drove home and it was pouring rain... like it made cats and dogs look pathetic, and when we were running into the house Sister Stiles dropped the phone... into a huge puddle under the car, so I felt like being heroic and I crawled under the car and saved it... but it still doesn't work, so hopefully people aren't in dire need of Sister Stiles or McMaster... but yes we got home soaking wet and laughing our heads off.  

So this Scripture seems to be very fitting in a lot of ways today.  Not only were there crazy whirlwinds and storms in my neck of the woods the last couple of days, but like I sort of mentioned the last week was kind of a mighty storm kind of week.  I can't even tell you how amazingly true this scripture is, when we are built upon the Rock of Christ we cannot fall!  I stumbled a few times and was almost ready to fall, but then someone was always there at the last second, so many people served me this week. I feel so humbled to be loved by such sweet spirits.  I know that this scripture is true, I know that it is because of the foundation I am building on Christ that I am able to press forward with strength and my head held high.  How are you strengthening your foundation on Christ?  

Sometimes the Lord lets the storms happen so that we can build up stronger, so we can see where our weakness is in our building.  This is definitely what happened this week.  On Thursday we were on an Exchange and while we were out in the area people kept calling us with problems, from simple life drama to more dramatic illness, anyway I was trying to be strong but I felt overwhelmed.  Sister Stiles and I decided we needed a priesthood blessing, so we went and talked to Bishop Townsend (pretty much the greatest bishop ever.. )  He gave us some of the sweetest blessings of comfort and peace.  It didn't take away the problems but it helped me to see that I'm not holding this load alone.  I am simply glimpsing at the load Christ is holding and learning how to be a little stronger.  

I sure love this work.  I love getting to know people and to learn why Heavenly Father loves them and each of us so much.  How special we all are in his eyes.  I know I tell a lot of crazy stories about people but I have grown to love them and I know that Heavenly Father is opening my eyes to this love.   We are beginning to focus on the Family in our teachings.  We are trying to help all become defenders of the family.  As we build our foundation on Christ we cannot forget that by strengthening our family we are all coming closer to Christ.  I love it when I get testimonies from each of you.  If you have time I would love to hear your "conversion" stories.  Maybe we can all strengthen each other as we each build our personal foundations strong.  I hope you know how much I need your testimonies, I know mine wouldn't have ever been able to grow if it were not for the support of yours.  

For our upcoming mission conference we have been asked to look up 4 conversion stories from our ancestors (I was thumbing through my 8 generations and it seems that we have lots and lots of ancestors that were converted in this life, how cool is that?  Now it is your job (mostly because I have very limited computer time)  to help me get my 4 stories. I found a few names of peolpe I'd like to find stories for if you could look them up pretty please :)   :

John Brigham McMaster
Elizabeth Meikle Forrest
Mary Almina Hammond
Sarah Montague Spriggs
Charles William Symons
David Heaps
Mary Beck
Jens Peder Jensen
Marie Nielsen
Ezra Thompson
Gurtrude Anie Cram
William Blood
Lucy Carroll
William james Frazier McAllister
Brigham Lawrence Young

Pretty much our 6th generation, the people that were born out of the united states.  I only need 4 but all these names seemed interesting :)  Good enough Homework?  

Love you all! Have a happy week! Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you to the moon and Space, and I really love all of you soooooo much!  Be good! Choose the Right!

Love always,

Sister McMaster

Sister Frisbie and I hula hooping at walmart!

Sister Stiles and I found our store!
The Browns and Hartigans :)

Amazing Birthday Cake!

my favorite crazies


cool birthday glasses :)

22 and still acting like I'm 5

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dear World, I am 22 and still swimming!

Don't freak out, I'm not really swimming because that's against the rules... but I may or may not have belted out Dory's rendition of the song "just keep swimming"  as I drove to Lincoln and back with Sister Stiles like 500 Million times this week.(mild exaggeration)
HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!  I'm basically crying right now because I feel so loved.  How did I get so lucky to get borned into this family?  Have I mentioned that I love you all?  I hope so.  I am so grateful for the sweet things that came in the mail and the sweet words of encouragement you have each sent.  I pray for all of you and I hope you are smiling every day! :)
This week my mind was blown away because it was probably the hardest/best/craziest/weirdest/most miraculous week of my life... and to top it off Stuart is getting married... (my heart stopped beating... I thought I might die in the library... thankfully Jordan gave me a heads up...)  I'm really so excited that so many incredible things are happening back home, glad to hear your lives didn't stop when I left (though you'd think they would right?)
So here's what happened.... We got to go to PIONEER!  My baby area is just destined to haunt me throughout my whole mission, but I love it :) to make it more exciting Sister Youngberg was there and I got to run with her and tell her how much I love her.  We saw miracles I wish I could describe to you the magnitude of the change I am feeling in my soul... Like that probably sounds weird and crazy... but my understanding of the Atonement is increasing and I have so much love for our Savior that I could probably pop... (kind of like Natalie!)  I was studying Matthew 27 and 28 and I was simply brought to tears at the beauty of the Savior's last days,  I wrote in my journal that the beauty and reality of the atonement seem to be something that we can only truly capture in our hearts, only the Holy Ghost is able to testify this sacred principal to our souls. 
So in addition to the miracle that I feel is happening in myself I have seen miracles happen to so many people around me, to sum up some of my thoughts I've seen Missionaries ready to go home have a change of heart, I've seen the spirit change the countenance of a dear friend, I've seen people show up to church that we invited months ago(actually the guy we see at the library, he came yesterday?! sweet right?)  I've seen the Lord cause things to work out when I didn't think it was possible.... here's my favorite miracle of the week.   There is a Sister that has been really really sick and we went on an exchange with her so that her companion could go to some appointments.  I sat in the quiet apartment feeling really alone as the other Sister slept..  I felt the need to pray, so I knelt on my knees and prayed to know what to do, I was praying for a miracle seeking for my faith to be enough to do something for this sister.  I asked Heavenly Father to allow me to do something so that she could feel his love.  I thought of making her a treat, or drawing her a picture or something.... nothing felt right so I just sat there and sang hymns to myself...(man I sound like such a freaking weirdo... don't worry I'm just as weird as always)  About 5 min later I walked into her room to wake her up for a second and she  grumbled and asked if I knew how to braid hair... (little did she know I'm a hair braiding freak!)  She said she had been dreaming about how she needed to do her hair and was very stressed about it... to me this was Heavenly Father allowing me to serve her in the exact way she needed.  How grateful I am that our Heavenly Father cares about our tiniest desires. 
There are so many other miracles I could share but you'd be bored to tears, I have felt Heavenly Father's love this week.  I pray you have felt it as well.  What a miracle it is to be alive and to have each other.  I am so grateful for each one of you.  Keep swimming because sometimes you look back at your journey and you won't even believe your growth.   I love you all forever!  Have a lovely week!

Love Always,

Sister McMaster

look at me I'm freaking 22!
Sister Stiles post-ited my study spot!
Once again another great leadership council...I love being a missionary :)