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. 


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...


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