Monday, June 24, 2013

Lubbock or leave it

Guess where my first area is..... Lubbock!! Ah! I am so happy about that.

But Lubbock is huge (geographically, even though it always seems like we are basically in the middle of nowhere), so guess what my first area of Lubbock is... College Park II.

Aka we are in the YSA ward with all the Texas Tech students and we go finding on campus all the time. SO fun, right?  I am pleased.

Mi companera is Hermana Olsen. But we call her Sister Olsen because we speak English. And one of her recent converts calls her Sister Ocean. Minor speech impediment. Nbd.

I love Sister O so so much. Seriously. Here is some advice for you future missionaries:  Pray now for your trainer. I prayed and fasted for Sister O before I hit the mish and my oh my, she is so great.  She is so dedicated to the work, it's insane. She follows the rules and she is always trying to improve. She is always thinking about the investigators and what they need. And she is just so patient and encouraging with me!

And she is hilarious.  She impersonates everyone with accuracy that you would not believe. Love it. Lubbock or leave it. That's what we say every time we say Love it.

Also, she has only been out three months. Aka 12 weeks. Aka she just finished her 12 week training the day before I arrived. So we're kind of "in it together" she always says because she is pretty much learning along side me. That's what she says, but I'm like, "Please. You are amazing. I don't know anything."

I have learned an unbelievable amount this week, my friends. Unbelievable. And I continue to be humbled. I am STILL struggling - kind of - with faith, I think? I don't know. There are just so many things I have to do to improve my knowledge, my skills, and pretty much everything. But every single day I just  push on a little bit more. 

I really have to take it one day at a time. I wake up and pray that TODAY I will do my very best. I will really try to focus and learn and just try to listen to the Spirit and do His will. That is what I will do today. And at the end of the day, I tell Him what I did. And the next morning I say, "Okay, today I will do my best. Today."

One beautiful day at a time.

Would you like to know what I learned in personal study this morning?  Okay, here's some background:  Sister O and I are focusing a lot right now on members and getting them involved because really, our ward just hasn't "caught the wave" of missionary work, yet. Yet.  And we are trying to visit a lot of less actives and recent converts to get to know them, share a thought, rekindle that faith, and invite them to come to church.  But we can't do it alone! We NEED the members to be there to invite with us and fellowship because we are going to leave, but the members aren't, you know?  Anyway, Sister O and I were talking last night as we laid there in bed and I was saying, "I know it is so important to go get those less actives, and I honestly feel way more comfortable and myself talking to them than I do to investigators, but at the same time, sometimes it is hard for me because they are choosing not to come! They are members and they have the gospel, but they are choosing not to read the scriptures and come to church and it seems almost weird that we have to go motivate them."

Now. Before you freak out, let me say, I do and did know that it is very important to reach out to them, but I was just expressing that it is sometimes weird to me and I need to learn how to change that and how Christ would go about doing that.

So then this morning I was reading Mosiah 4 and I read verses 16 - 21 and wow!  Go read it. It totally applies to the gospel and to less actives! Because listen to verse 17: Perhaps thou shalt say:  The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just --

And then verse 19: For behold, are we not all beggars?  Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold........And for the gospel!

God has given me my testimony. He has given me a mother who taught me to come to church and to follow Jesus Christ. He gave me a sister who reads her scriptures every day and encourages me to do the same.  He has given me everything! So it IS my job to go to the less actives and motivate them to come to Jesus Christ. It is time for me to impart of my substance, so to speak, and not just to those who have never heard, but to those who are falling away.

No one can do it alone. I have not done it alone, and I never could do it alone. We have to do it together!

And like I said, I knew this in my brain, but these verses really just explained it to my heart and I am just sooo so excited.

The church is true, my friends.  So true.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Things just kept going up!

My oh my, things have changed since last Saturday.

Let's start with the whatevskis stuff and then end on a spiritual note.

My district is so awesome. The MTC is a weird little culture thing. It's like EFY, but way harder and way better. We have many a good laugh and many a good spiritual enlightening conversation. I love them.  We like to take quotes from PMG (Preach My Gospel) out of context and write them on the white board in our class room for inspiration. Por ejemplo:

"Rarely, if ever, should you talk to people or teach them..."
" devastated!... This is eternal life..."
" deal with the problems..."
"Seek not to declare my word..."
Haaa we are so funny.  P.S. Ten points if you can find those quotes in PMG.
Hermana Lagrosa and I have decided that the moment we become companions will be the moment they change the Lubbock Texas mission to have the Sisters speaking Spanish.  (I'm sure you are all super shocked about this, but I have been converting this district to Spanglish speaking. It's awesome).
Here's a quick shout out to my Grandma Webb, mi hermanita Meckenz, mi amiga Natalie, and my mother. Thank you for sending me some birthday love. I truly loved it. My companion took pics of me opening my things to my delight so I will show you my exact face when I opened them. Don't worry.

On to the spiritual...
As you may have noticed from the last post, last week was a tad (more like a LOT) rough.  But from Saturday night on, things just kept going up!
On Sunday morning, I was sitting there in Relief Society, and we were singing A Child's Prayer, and I was just so filled with the Spirit. I pictured myself at home, and guess what. It was not right. It was like, ew. And I was shocked! But it was just another confirmation that this really is where I am supposed to be. Also, I have such a stronger testimony in the power of this call. The Lord really has called me to be His representative, and with that, he endows me with power to do his work.  It's real! I have actually really felt it.

Remember how I was having such a struggle with faith?  Well, don't worry, I still am. I'm always being humbled and reminded that I MUST always always always rely on Him. But here's the good news. With his help, I have been able to strengthen my faith so so much this week. We watched a talk on Sunday night that Elder Bednar gave to the MTC a few years ago about the Spirit and faith and things and it was so inspiring! I can do it!  I also read the talk Elder Holland gave  last conference. If you have not read that recently, DO IT NOW. Wow. 

I know this is the Lord's work. That is one thing Elder Bednar said. He was like, "Do you really think the Lord is going to depend on YOU and other random humans to do the work?" (He didn't use those words)... No!! Of  course not! He's been working with imperfect humans his whole life (as Holland said) so stop fretting. Just rely on Him. This is his work, and you are called to do it. He will help you.

That's what I have been learning.
Oh there is so so so much more, I will never be able to express it all.

I love you all so much.
And I love the Book or Mormon. So go read that as well.
AND I love being called Sister Plante.  Best thing ever. I think I'll keep it.
Well. Adieu until next week or so. Guess what. 2 days til Texas! What!

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First thing's first

This is hard.  It's like everything I ever knew is gone.  And by "knew" I mean intellectually.  I definitely have my testimony so FEAR NOT.  In fact, my testimony is the ONLY thing that's holding me through this! Ah! Honestly, I have read the Book of Mormon a million times, but when it comes time to teach someone and whip out a verse of scripture to apply, my mind is literally black.  Not only can I not come up with a reference to look up, I can't even come up with a, "You know that scripture that talks about...." Nope!  I'm just like, "Hm. Good question. I have no idea. But you know what?  I know that God loves you, so it's fine."
Not fine, people! What is this?!  Let me tell you what this is.  This is God humbling me.  This is me in the process of getting a broken heart and a contrite Spirit.  He is shaping me into the person He needs me to be so I can be the best missionary I can.
Here's another problem.  I feel like Satan hates me.  And maybs that's adding to my struggles. I had a little personal revelation today as I prayed during classroom instruction that I am lacking in faith.  Lacking in faith!  Here on day 2.5 of the mission! Who knew?! Moroni 10:23.  Sooo I will be workin on that, starting the moment I came to that conclusion and hopefully things will improve. In fact, they will improve, so don't worry.
On Thursday, I read 2 Nephi 32:9 and guess what I realized.  I didn't even begin my mission with a legit prayer!  Hellllo! So Thursday night I prayed to the Lord about what I am doing here as a missionary and dedicated my mission to Him.  I will give everything to Him.  I will turn my life to Him and be who He wants me to be.  Every morning since then (which has been Friday and Saturday mornings) I have renewed that commitment through prayer.  Today, I will give everything to Him.  I will work my hardest and do absolutely everything I can to be who I need to be.  I'm pretty sure this mission will turn out okay if I can just remember that...
The church is true!  I am so happy!
Sister Brittan E Plante

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Here Comes Goodbye

Hm. It appears that the time flew without telling me and in 3 small hours, I will be set apart as a missionary. So, you know, gotta get in all the internet use I can! Just kidding. I'm here for 2 specific purposes.

1: This is my MTC mailing address in case you feel inclined to send me a love letter in the next 12 days:

Sister Brittan E Plante
2009 N 900 E Unit 166
Provo, UT 84602

At least, that's what it says in the email I got, so hopefully it's sound.

1.5: If you feel like sending me a love letter in 13 days, send it here, to the mission home:

Sister Brittan E Plante
Texas Lubbock Mission
6310 114th St
Lubbock, TX 79424-6024

The mission home would always be a safe place to send things, I would bet, because no matter where I am, that is still my mission home.

1.75: After I get there and get assigned to an area, I will know my area address and will update this blog accordingly.

1.99: Speaking of this blog, good news!  I have found an honest, trustworthy, loyal human person to keep it up for me!  Her name is Jenna. Jenna and I go way back, and speaking from personal experience, I just know you will enjoy her blog updating skills. She writes like nobody's business.

Not that she will even be writing on here.  I will send her an email each week and she will post it on here for those of you who think to yourselves on occasion, "I wonder how the missionary efforts are faring out there in Lubbock...."

Jenna, thank you for your support and willingness to do this service for me for the next 548 days of your life. You are too kind.  Feel free to do what you will with this blog, and add any commentary you feel would spice things up.  I will host you a true Texas BBQ mid-December 2014 as a giant thank you. Haaaa just kidding. We wouldn't want to freeze. BUT, it will be something equally as stellar, so don't worry.

And finally, número 2:  I just want all of you lovely people to know that I love you! I really do.  I have been so thoroughly pleased, grateful, and honestly overwhelmed to see the support and love and care you have all shown me.  Over the last couple weeks, I have received so many truly thoughtful and heartfelt cards, letters, words, and gifts. Not just nice on the surface, but deep down really honest words of love and support.  They have each individually made me so happy and grateful.

I am excited to finally have the chance to serve a mission and bring others to Christ.  I would not be the same without the knowledge and testimony I have of a loving Heavenly Father.  Lately, I have been recognizing more and more the role the gospel has had in my life, and I feel so happy that I get to take what I have been given, and share it with everyone!  Living the principles of the gospel, following the example of Jesus Christ, and applying the atonement in my life have brought me more happiness than anything else I have ever done.  What an opportunity I have to find someone else out there who wants more happiness and more meaning. I have the gospel, and I can share it with them!  I know it will be ridiculously hard, but don't worry! It's fine.  Because it's the Lord's work. So we can do it. We can really do it.

Adieu, my friends, until we meet again.

Sister Brittan E Plante