Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Literally Running to Catch George.....

There were so many funny stories this week I have to share a few of them.


Chicken nugget toes, Steven Frank Sinatra, and running after George.

1. Chicken nugget toes

The second day of being in Warren we went to dinner with a part member family in the ward. This older couple is the FUNNIEST pair I've ever met. He (not a member of the church) had to have a surgery a while back to remove 2 of his toes... and on the other foot his little pinky toe is pointing straight up. He jokes about it all the time. 

I told them my right toe looks like a chicken nugget because I broke it a while back, too. We LAUGHED SO HARD because we imagined if we took off our shoes and walked around the little children would hide. 

His wife said we would make a great pair, too.

So fun to connect with a non-member like that. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father uses humor to help us connect with others.

2. Steven Frank Sinatra

We went to a apartment building to teach a less-active lady and on our way out we heard this guy singing... we went up to him (he was an elderly man in a wheelchair) and he started to sing Frank Sinatra, "Fly me to the moon" and he was WONDERFUL. He sounded so great I was surprised! He sang us like 5 different songs before he got tired, haha. SO funny. Sometimes, you experience things on a mission you would never being at home. It's wonderful.

3. Literally running to catch George....

THIS is the highlight of my week by far. 

I had a dream a few weeks ago that I shared with Sister Jenkins while we were on our way to a park to contact people. In my dream, Sister Bywater and I were also contacting at a park and met this lady who was running and she said if we ran with her we could teach her the gospel. We ran and TOTALLY taught the Restoration to her. 

Then Sister Jenkins and I got out of the car to contact people. There we met George, an elderly man who was speed walking faster than I have ever met a man to speed walk. He said we could teach him the gospel if we could keep his pace. Well, I started speed walking and almost jogging.... Sister Jenkins had to literally start to run to catch up. She was crying laughing so hard. It was the funniest moment ever and I tried to teach the gospel but couldn't leave her in the boonies... so I had to stop running and George left us in the dust. We were crying tears of laughter it was so funny. 

Just the fact that I had JUST told her that dream, and then it happened. And that he was about 80 years old. Too good! We did try though.

Lastly, I wanted to share one of the greatest messages I learned in my studies this week. 

MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS EMAIL


I read this General Conference talk this week and in it, Elder Clayton mentions the time that Mary told her servants to 'do whatsoever Jesus commanded them to do' - so He could turn water into wine. They did whatever He commanded them to do, and in turn, He performed the miracle of turning water into wine.

Elder Clayton said, "A few years ago, I spoke with a young bishop who was spending hours each week counseling with members of his ward. He made a striking observation. The problems that members of his ward faced, he said, were those faced by Church members everywhere—issues such as how to establish a happy marriage; struggles with balancing work, family, and Church duties; challenges with the Word of Wisdom, with employment, or with pornography; or trouble gaining peace about a Church policy or historical question they didn’t understand.

His counsel to ward members very often included getting back to simple practices of faith, such as studying the Book of Mormon—as we were counseled by President Thomas S. Monson to do—paying tithing, and serving in the Church with devotion. Frequently, however, their response to him was one of skepticism: “I don’t agree with you, Bishop. We all know those are good things to do. We talk about those things all the time in the Church. But I’m not sure you’re understanding me. What does doing any of those things have to do with the issues I’m facing?”

Their responses reminded me of 1 Nephi 17:41 - when serpents had been biting the children of Israel and they were dying... so Christ put a serpant on Moses staff and said if they would just look they would be healed. "Because of the simpleness of the way, many of them wouldn't look, and perished.

Why?! Why can't people see that it's the BASICS that save us! The Lord loves us SO much He wouldn't have it be so complicated to return to live with Him... He would keep it simple! 

Friends and family, "The trial of our faith will always involve staying true to simple, daily practices of faith. Then, and only then, does He promise that we will receive the divine response for which we long. Only once we have proven our willingness to do what He asks without demanding to know the whens, the whys, and the hows do we “reap the rewards of [our] faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering.”

I KNOW that the world is becoming more and more wicked. The basics is what will save us. Reading from the Book of Mormon DAILY, praying DAILY, going to church, keeping the commandments... THIS is what will get us through the trying times we will all face.

Christ has commanded us to do the basics. Just like He turned water into wine when the servants obeyed... if WE obey the little things, He can perform miracles in our lives, too. 

I have seen it on my mission. We invite people to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it's true. We do that because that's the foundation of our faith. THAT is how we will make it through life!

I love you all. Sending my love and hugs and chicken nugget toes...

Love,

Sister Garvin




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dearest Family and Friends,

Dearest friends and family,

You know, I had a list of what I wanted to write this week - we went to a food drive to do service, some funny stories, and other random things... but after some contemplation and emailing various friends and family members I changed what I wanted to talk about.

To be honest, a mission is tough! Yes, there are a LOT of great experiences and funny moments with companions, lots of laughs, and spiritual moments, but just as we all go through life, we go through trials. But I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you.

I have a tab in my Book of Mormon dedicated to the 'Worth of Souls' and scriptures that talk about that. That's what I wanted to share today!

"Is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of His coming?" Alma 39:17

Every soul is great in the sight of God. Because God IS our loving Father in Heaven, He wants to bless His children and bring them back to Him to find peace. 

We all want to find more peace in our lives. We know that this world is getting crazier and harder and more challenging, and more importantly GOD knows that. And He knows that it's only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can find that lasting peace.

That's why He has given us the knowledge of the Gospel - so we can rescue those 'lost souls' who are having a hard time. Just think, we have the knowledge that all will be well in the end... but not everyone does. Many people don't have a faith or hope in Jesus Christ to get them through the challenging times.

When we recognize how blessed we are with our knowledge of the Gospel, we will want to share it with others and in the meantime, while we serve, we will find ourselves too.
"And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations." - Alma 24:14

I know that angels truly are around us. I've seen them on my mission. I've seen God's hand lead and direct us to people who need a smile, to hear the most important message they could ever hear - the Restoration of the Gospel... and other times I can't see the effects of our work, but I have trust in the Lord that He will bless me as I continue diligent.


To conclude, we are the Lords hands. We get to be angels in the lives of others. I am not perfect at 'forgetting myself' and going to work.. but I am trying to be better and recognize I'm not the only going through a hard time :). I can promise though, that as we strive to serve others even in our hard times, we will begin to see the worth of not only the souls of those around us... but our souls as well. We will see that God really is our loving Father in Heaven!

And when we do that... we will want to share that knowledge with others. We will be so sad that they don't know who they are. 

"Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." Alma 31:35

"And again, when they thought upon the Lamanites, who were their brethren, of their sinful and polluted state, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls." -Mosiah 25: 11

"Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." Mosiah 28:3

I love you all very much. I hope you each can begin to see more how precious you are in God's eyes. Just as in the parable of the Lord in the Vineyard in Jacob 5 - the Lord weeps when we don't turn to Him. 

May we all try to serve those around us who are struggling even when we ourselves are struggling (myself included) and have the faith to act and know that one day all will be well as we diligently serve the Lord and bring souls unto Him.

"And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their (your) prayers may be answered according to their (your) faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." 

Love forever,

Sister Garvin 




Monday, December 19, 2016

Laughing, Snoring, and "Lighting the World"

Dearest Family and Friends,

I am SO thankful for the ability to laugh. Here are a few funny stories from the week that I hope will make you smile, and then I'll share some highlights of the week.

1. I hugged a black man...

We went to get our oil changed and taught this awesome 24 year-old big black boy about the Restoration. He was so receptive and we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and our number and he said he would read and pray to know it's true.

Anyways, after talking to him we were called up to get our car and I went to shake his hand but he stood up and was like, "That's not how I was raised." And came and gave me a huge hug and I was like. "AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Then he hugged Sister Henderson and when we got into the car we both were like, "What just happened? We just got hugged!!" It was so funny! 
(we're not supposed to hug males right now)

 
2. I snore...

This was the best. Being out on a mission I fall asleep in like 2 minutes it's crazy. One night, we finished planning and getting ready for bed early, so we went to sleep at 10:20. I fell asleep literally 2 minutes later. When I got in bed I layed on my back and thought, "If I lay on my back I might snore... but I've never snored before... but I should turn over to my side anyways. I will in just a second..." And then fell asleep.

After what seemed like a lot of time passed, I woke up to this huge noise which I realized was myself snoring. IT WAS SO LOUD! I said, "Sister Henderson! Was that me?!" She was like, "Yes! I was about to put ear plugs in!" Then I asked what time it was anyways and guess what? It was 10:24. I was only asleep for 2 minutes HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I've never snored in my life but that was the funniest moment ever. We both laughed and laughed the next day!

I hope some of you smiled, and will now look for the small things in your lives that you can laugh about! Better to laugh than to cry Sister Hinckley always said!

Now onto Light the World. How has everyone been doing with Light the World? Thank you all for sharing your amazing experiences!

I'll share some of mine.

Day 14 - Jesus Taught Us to Clothe the Naked and So Can You.

I had a really grumpy dream that night and when I woke up I was a little grumpy and wanted to give up for a second... but in personal study Heavenly Father helped me learn what I needed to learn to change my attitude.

Mosiah 4: Talking about caring for the poor and naked. The first part of this chapter talks about those who are homeless, struggling, don't have much, and how we need to take care of them.

19- Because, are we not all beggars? Do we not all rely on Jesus Christ for our salvation? YES! We are all beggars in this world who could go no where save it be through the grace of God.

22- Your life belongeth to God. I had been grumpy all morning and I can't afford to do that because my life doesn't even belong to me. It reminded me of the notes I took from Character of Christ in the MTC by Elder Bednar.

He said, " This mission (or life) isn't about you. It's about Him, serving HIM. Get over yourself! Get out of your own way and stop complaining. You don't get salvation because you want it... but because you selflessly serve others." Forget yourself and go to work!

Day 19 - No Less Serviceable

 This isn't to go along with the theme, but wise words my Dad sent me this week from President Hunter.

President Hunter talked about some of the people mentioned in the scriptures who were less known, than the Captain Moronis and the Nephis and the Joseph Smiths of history.  His talk was based upon a passage of scripture in the Book of Mormon that talked about Captain Moroni (Alma 48).  Here is what he said about it:

"It was said of the young and valiant Captain Moroni: “If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17.)
What a compliment to a famous and powerful man! I can’t imagine a finer tribute from one man to another. Two verses later is a statement about Helaman and his brethren, who played a less conspicuous role than Moroni: “Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni.” (Alma 48:19.)
In other words, even though Helaman was not as noticeable or conspicuous as Moroni, he was as serviceable; that is, he was as helpful or useful as Moroni." 

"If you feel that much of what you do does not make you very famous, take heart. Most of the best people who ever lived weren’t very famous, either. Serve and grow, faithfully and quietly.”

and

“Most of us will be quiet, relatively unknown folks who…do our work without fanfare.  To those of you who may find that…unspectacular, I say, you are ‘no less serviceable’ than the most spectacular of your associates.”

So, my dear friends and family, please know that ALL service you give is great in God's eyes. And it's like you're serving Him directly. And why is it great to God? Because YOU are great to God. You are no less serviceable than the most amazing person you know.

No experience you've had with Light the World is going un-noticed. Please, keep sharing the gospel, keep pressing forward with a perfect hope in Christ, keep serving others because you're serving God.

Love,

Sister Garvin
 
 
 
 



 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Light the World - Sister Ashley in Elyria, Ohio

Hello my beautiful brothers and sisters!  I hope your week was amazing and filled with Christmas Joy.

How has the #LighttheWorld been going for you all? Are you writing your experiences down - even if they are seemingly small?   (ADVENT Calendar)

Here are a few things that happened this week to help Light the World!

Day 8 - Jesus Prayed for Others So Can You

It was a rough day that day. And I felt sad for the hard time I was having and was about to kneel down to pray and tell Heavenly Father all about it but then had the thought, "No... you should pray for others" so I decided to pray for other people and not for myself.

It was AMAZING! I prayed for different family and friends at home, investigators, and ward members and honestly I felt so uplifted I 'forgot' my worries. At least they became less important. I realized I'm not the only one struggling and it helps when I'm struggling to think of others instead.
We can help one another on the path of life

 Day 10 - Jesus helped People to Walk and So Can You

This is what missionary work is. We invite people to walk a better path. The path that leads us back to Heavenly Fathers presence. Every scripture you share online, every testimony you bare, every action you perform that emulates Christ's character INVITES OTHERS to walk. I'm inspired by those of you have shared your experiences with me. Even if you don't feel you're doing much by those small acts of service, you ARE following Christ and inviting others to do the same.

Jesus Taught others' and so can we
Day 12 - Jesus Taught Others and So Can You

Today, I'll share 2 things I've learned from personal study.

1) Be Thou Humble.

Ether 12:27 says that Heavenly Father gives us weaknesses that we may be humble. God gave Sister Garvin weaknesses that she may be humble.
2 Corinthians 12:9 - But, God's strength is made perfect in weakness. The power of the Atonement is made perfect through our weaknesses!

Hymn 130- Be thou humble in thy calling and the Lord Thy God shall teach thee, to serve His children with a pure and gentle love. Be thou humble in Thy longing and the Lord Thy God shall take thee, shall take Thee home at last to ever dwell with Him above."

If we humble ourselves, God WILL take our weaknesses and shortcomings and make us strong.

2) And Effectual Door shall be opened

D&C 112: 19 - And whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word.
1 Corin 15:9

Effectual = effective, efficient, fruitful, potent, and productive. Door = way.

So, "And whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name (gospel) a more effective, fruitful, and efficient WAY shall be opened unto you."

God has promised us that as we open our mouths, they shall be filled with what we need to say.

That's what Light the World is about.

I invite you all to keep Lighting the World, or to start Lighting the World today! And write down your miracles and know that God is on your side!

Love you all.

Love,

Sister Garvin

Monday, December 5, 2016

#LIGHT the World - Sister Garvin in Elyria, Ohio

Hey All!

How has #Light the World been going for you?

That's what I'll focus on this week - how Lighting the World has blessed Sister Garvin's life.

December 2nd - Jesus Honored His Parents So Can You.

I read about Andrew Lee Allen (my third great-grandfather) who was a convert to the church. He grew up religious and later moved to New York with his wife. In 1833 his wife Clarinda met some Mormon missionaries. Andrew was out of the house, so she told him about her encounter when he returned. He was super interested in learning more and heard the Elders were going to teach 80 miles away.. he traveled to hear them and was baptized before he returned home!

He moved to KIRTLAND, Ohio where he met Joseph Smith and told him his conversion story. When he did, Joseph responded, "Those Elders should have ordained you an Elder and sent you to preach the gospel." :D!

I had no idea I had family in Ohio in the earlier days. I hope we can all honor our forefathers!

December 3rd - Jesus Helped Others to See and So Can You

I read John 9 - about the blind man from his birth. This man testified Jesus is the Christ and was therefore cast out for that. When Jesus heard that he was cast out, he went to the man and revealed himself as the Son of God. The man said, "Lord, I believe."

Wow! What faith! I hope to believe like that!

Vs 41 - To the Pharisees Jesus said (in my interpretation) "If ye were humble and believe ye would have no sin: but now ye say, We see (or ye remain prideful and unbelieving); therefore your sin remaineth."

My prayer is we can all be humble and believing so we can continue to be clean.

I pray that we can all learn more about the Character of Christ in this journery of Lighting the World!

"Without the sublime Character of Christ, there would have been no sublime Atonement" -Elder Maxwell.

"Perhaps one of the greatest indicators of character is revealed for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; in the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus, character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural man and instinctive response is to be self -absorbed and turn in-ward." Elder Bednar

I love you all! I pray for you and hope we can continue to learn and grow together.

Please keep my updated on your Light the World miracles (even if they are seemingly small - a miracle is a miracle!)

Love,

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving, Christmas, My Brother Returns!

Dearest Friends and Family,

First, my brother just got home from his mission last Tuesday and BOY is he amazing. He is my best friend and I don't know if I've ever met anyone as non-judgemental, Christlike, and humble as him. If you get the chance to meet him, please do so!

This week has been so great! I admire how many people we meet a day that LOVE Jesus Christ! Many people in Ohio have great faith.

A few highlights:

- Funniest STORY EVER: Last week I woke up, got into my exercise clothes and felt so full of energy. I woke up my companion because for some reason the alarm didn't wake her up.. I told her it was time to exercise. She looked at the phone several times and said, "Sister Garvin, do you know what time it is?" I said... "No?" She said, "It's 1:13am. GO BACK TO BED." HAHAHAHAH!!!! I was SO sure it was 6:30 and the alarm went off hahaha!!!

- After all my years (year) in Payson Utah and not meeting a person who plays the bagpipes... An elder in my district does and I'm SO HAPPY HAHAH!!!!

- My favorite hymn is by far "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy" and it's totally the missions theme song. I was so touched when I heard that because Heavenly Father knows me individually.

- Attitude is key. Heard this story in church last week... "A traveler passed a stone quarry and saw three men working. He asked each man what he was doing. Each man's answer revealed a different attitude towards the SAME job. "I am cutting stone," the first man answered. The second replied, "I am earning 3 gold pieces a day." The third man smiled and said, "I am helping to build a house of God."

To conclude, there is a Christmas initiative going on in the month of December to do little service activities for 25 days - leading up to Christmas.

I invite all of you to check out Mormon.org and get involved in the service to become more like Christ. I'm going to do it too! And we can all see how we are doing each week and how we can improve!

Please let me know of any neat and simple stories that happen while you serve!

Mosiah 2:17 "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

Love you all!

Love,

Sister Garvin



First Week in Elyria, Ohio - LDS Sister Missionaries

Dearest Friends and Family,

I'm in Ohio! Wow. Crazy to think just last week I was at the MTC still.

Me and my temporary companion on the flights to Ohio had 2 great experiences talking to the people who sat next to us on the airplanes. The first flight we talked to a lady for 2 hours straight. She wasn't interested in the gospel, but we got to know one another and it was SO awesome to see such great people in the world.

The next flight, I sat next to Kevin, and we answered questions he had about the church and Joseph Smith and he was also super awesome.

Honestly, I was afraid to talk to those people, but I knew I had to... cause if I can talk to random people on the airplane I can talk to random people in Ohio :). 

Sister Garvin, Sister Lundquist - MTC Companions

5 things to say:

1. A tender mercy was seeing Brother and Sister Thompson from a Provo home ward - who was my Brother Andrews best young men'​s leader - they bought us lunch, and gave hugs, and sent my momma some photos of me :)! What are the 'odds' that we were on the exact same flight, going to Cleveland Ohio?! NOT! It's a total tender mercy!

2. My brother gets home from his mission tomorrow. Gosh, it's been tough not being able to see him for 3 1/2 years, but I know he will be blessed in his future, and over and over again Heavenly Father is reminding me everything happens for a reason, and that I'm called at this time to Ohio, with the companions I'll have, to meet the people I will meet for a reason. It still can be hard at times.... which brings me to say that this week has been tough.

3.It was one of the hardest things to say goodbye to my district friends (especially the Elders because we won't be able to stay in contact on the mission) and my beautiful MTC companion (shown in picture above).... but we had the opportunity to go to the Kirtland temple and have time to pray in the school of the prophets in the Newell K. Whitney store - and start off our missions by praying to God what we would like to accomplish, and align our wills to His. That was an amazing experience.

4. When I was struggling last Friday, a older single sister missionary in the mission came up to me and told me not to be discouraged and keep going in faith. I know she felt inspired to tell me those words because I needed to hear them.

5. Communication is KEY in a successful life. It's something I need to improve on for sure. I think some of the hard things I've been dealing with this week is clearly communicating well. So, I'm going to try to do better this week and will let you know how it goes.

I love you all. God truly is preparing the portion of mankind he gives us so we can share the gospel with them. A question to ask ourselves, "Am I blessing that portion of mankind God has given me to the best of my abilibty?"

I also invite us all to count our blessings more, look for the tender mercies God has given us, and if we are shy... break out of that shyness and reach out to others and get to know them. Chances are they are wanting friends and people to talk to as much as we are.

Till next week.

Love,

Sister Garvin
Kirtland, Ohio - Temple