Monday, July 29, 2013

Obedience

Remember obedience?

I love it.

I don't have much time today, but this is what I would suggest:  Read Elder L. Tom Perry's talk from last conference called Obedience to Law is Liberty. And then the very next talk by President Monson called Obedience Brings Blessings.  Both are amazing and enlightening and will change your life if you allow them to. So. Please, do allow them to.

Obedience literally brings us freedom. In every way. EVERY way!  Additionally, it brings us knowledge and truth that we cannot even imagine. Freedom, knowledge, and truth. Would you want anything else?

There is so much more, but I will just leave you with this, until next time...

Recipe for a successful missionary:

1. Obedience.
2. Hard work.
3. Testimony.

In that order.  Because even if you don't have the second two, you WILL get them, if all you have is the first. So be obedient.

The church is true, my friends.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Monday, July 22, 2013

Whenever I was fixin a go on a mission


I love being a missionary!

So, now that I have been here in Lubbock for almost a whole transfer, would you like to know what it is like?

1. The sky here is absolutely amazing.  We get these cloud shows that just do not happen in Utah, I am assuming because of the mountains. But seriously. It's like Toy Story, but 17 times better.
2. People say things like, "Have a blessed day!" on a daily basis. So great.
3. They also say things like, "We're fixin' a eat."  Like going to eat, but fixin a eat.  A girl named Amy told us that her new niece is fixin a be born. And her grandpa is fixin a die. Haaaaa.
4. They use the word "whenever" when it's supposed to be just "when." Like, "Whenever I was 7 we went to Disneyland."  What?
5. So Sister O and I say to each other, "Whenever I was fixin a go on a mission..." We are too funny.
6. Everybody AND THEIR DOG has a dog! Or 7!
7.  There are a million chicken places. And like 2 hamburger places. It's quite funny. And they always serve some sort of bread (usually a roll) with their chicken. 
8. There are 2 million Sonics, DQs, and donut places.
9. There are as many churches as there are in Utah, only they are waaaay bigger, and a LOT more variety. Lot's of Baptists, Catholics, Church of Christ, Trinity, and THE abominable of all abominable churches....Experience Life! And of course on campus we meet a crazy number of Hindus and Muslims. And Chinese people who do not believe anything. That was hard for me.

It's so fun! I love it here. It's weird that this is the biggest city in the mission because it's tiny. But there are like 4 walmarts. So I guess it's big.

On to the spiritual.

Obedience.

It is the first law of Heaven.

Sister O and I are studying/working on/applying the Christlike attribute of obedience this week and I am so so excited.

We watched a little bit of the video "Special Witnesses of Christ" on Saturday, and Robert D. Hales said something like this:

Everything Christ said and everything He did was out of obedience to the Father.  He had no personal agenda.  He said I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me.

Isn't that amazing?  Literally everything He did was out of obedience!  He never did anything for Himself or for His own recognition.

John 5:30
 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is ajust; because I seek not mine own bwill, but the cwill of the Father which hath sent me.
(Thank you LDS.org)

So. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm excited.

I love every one of you!

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ready

One month of my time here in Lubbock is gone. Forever. And I will never get it back.

Before the mission, I had these expectations of my missionary self that I was not aware I even had.  I expected perfection.

And then I got to the MTC and I was like, "Whoa. This is hard. I don't know anything."

And then I got to Lubbock and I was like, "Yikes. I have zero faith. I don't know what I am doing here. What am I doing."  I doubted. A lot.

And then I prayed.

And I repented.

And I repeated. repeated. repeated. repeated. every. single. day. over and over and over and over.

And I studied. And I worked.

I literally had to start from rock bottom.

But guess what.  I can now tell you, for flippin sure, that I KNOW God knows and loves me personally and He has a plan fo rme and for every person on this earth.  I know He has called a Prophet and established His church through the Priesthood on the earth today.  I know the Book of Mormon is His word, and He has given it to us that we may learn of Him and His plan, and grow closer to Him as we discover and apply the power of the Atonement.  I know that the Holy Ghost is real, and is a gift from God to give us strength, comfort, guidance, and protection.  As I read from the Book of Mormon, pray, and listen to the promptings and impressions of the spirit, I receive direction and power to do God's will for me and to serve His children.  God is real. This is His church.  He loves us.  And He has provided a way for each of us to return to Him and enjoy all the blessings He has. I know these things to be true.

I also know that I have been called by a Prophet of God to share what I know with the people of Lubbock.  He has sent me here for a reason.  I will do everything I can to be obedient, focused, and diligent in doing the Lord's work.  I know that as I do, the Lord will work miracles. He is ready. He has just been waiting for ME to be ready.  I will give my life to Him from now on.  And He will give me so much more. He expects EVERYTHING. But, He will be there on my right and on my left, before me and behind me; He will give me strength, direction, and power, and He will use to as an instrument to bring forth His purposes.

So yes, my first month was not the most effective. And yes, I have been here A WHOLE MONTH and I am still not the best missionary on the planet, or even in College Park.

But it doesn't even matter. Because I have changed in that month. I have become more converted to the Lord than I have ever been in my life. He couldn't use me before, because I wouldn't let Him!  So he (thankfully!) took me to rock bottom, and then He built me up again, in His way.

A month is gone.  But I am ready. 

He who loses his life for the Lord's sake shall find it.  That's the truth.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Monday, July 8, 2013

Two Things

Hello Friends! Two things:

1.  The sooner you learn to focus your mind and all your thoughts on Jesus Christ and His gospel, the sooner you will be able to testify with power.  One of the Sunday night devotional speakers at the MTC said that and I wrote it down because it is brilliant, and I am here to testify that it is the truth.

I have honestly had a hard time being 100% committed to the work. Weird, right? I was definitely not expecting that little challenge. But one day I realized that I was being distracted by something. I still don't even know what that thing was, but there was just something in my subconscious or something that was holding me back.  So I decided to recite my purpose a million times a day. Instead of thinking about whatevskis as I shower, I recite my purpose, and I internalize it. Sister Olsen and I decided to memorize a scripture every week, and this week is Alma 26:12. So as I sit there in the car, I recite it in my head. Or out loud.

Don't worry, I still have normal thought processes, like a normal human, and Sister O and I have normal, non-churchy conversations daily. But let me tell you, taking control of your mind and choosing to think about what you want to think about?! Smartest thing I have ever done!  Wow!  I am definitely not a pro at it yet, but this week has just been so so so much better. When we get out of the car, I say, "What is the goal?  What am I supposed to be focusing on right now?" and then Sister Olsen pours words of wisdom into my soul and I say, "Excellent. Let's do this." And then we find people. Sometimes rude people. Sometimes indifferent people. Sometimes amazingly prepared people. Amazing.

It's amazing.

2.  Prayer. And agency. Those are my new struggles as of late.  I have a hard time with people having their agency. I don't want to get my hopes up that someone will change their life and join in the blessings of this beautiful gospel, because guess what! They have agency. There is this weird balance between working so hard and loving the people and wanting them to know the truth and be baptized -- and not getting discouraged when they don't, you know?  

It's hard to explain.

As a missionary, I am expected to do everything I can do to help others receive the restored gospel.  I really do have to truly care about them!  But then, when I truly do care and I truly do love and work and pray for them and they don't accept? And they just drop us?  Then it hurts!  But then I can't get discouraged because guess what. Discouragement lowers expectations and weakens faith.  They have agency. And so do I. And I need to use that agency to move on, and still truly love and still truly work and be diligent because someone is going to use their agency to accept the gospel. And that one person will be worth it.

I had a hard time praying for peoples' hearts to be softened because I would think to myself, "Well, God will prepare whom he will, and they can choose to accept if they want to."  But very recently I have come to learn that that is not true. God has told me to pray for the people. He has told me to ask in faith that their minds will be opened and that they will accept the message. "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking them."  Well said Bible Dictionary. We have to ask. With faith.

Does that make sense?! Ah! It does to me and I can certainly say that my prayers are different now. 

What a beautiful thing this mission is, wouldn't you say?  Until next time, my friends.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante

Monday, July 1, 2013

Never ending humbledom

Isn't it amazing that missions have to be so long?  God really wants us to learn something, doesn't He? Because really, anyone can just endure something for a couple weeks or even a couple months. But 1.5 or 2 years?  I can't just endure.  I have to change.  Amazing.

You will be pleased to hear that I have been humbled this week, yet again.  Never ending humbledom up in here and I absolutely love it.  I have been learning so much more about faith and repentance and applying them to my life. Sister O is the bomb at internalizing. She always says that we have to really internalize these principles and then we can teach them, and she is so right.  Fortunately, God is making it real easy because when an investigator is struggling with something, I come to find that I am too. Who knew? So I study on it and apply it, and then I teach it right back to them, with the new knowledge and insights I have gained.  

Preach My Gospel, people. It is pure inspiration. Scripture. Read it.  It's so good.

Can I just give you all one piece of advice?  Study your scriptures every single day.  Every day. I can tell you, it makes all the difference. All of it!  The scriptures are literally the word of God, and as we study them, we desire to come closer to Heavenly Father and we desire to apply the Atonement daily, and we desire to serve others.  Especially the Book of Mormon.  If you study that thing, you will be empowered to do good. AND you will not be deceived by the world.

The people here in Texas, (and especially College Park, where we teach a bunch of extremely educated, young graduate students) people know their Bible. And they know their beliefs. They have a faith in Jesus Christ, and they are out to prove us Mormons wrong. They teach against our church in their church!  So you have to have a strong testimony of the gospel and a real spiritual knowledge of the divinity of the Book of Mormon so that you can stand strong and not be deceived.  But the great thing is, the Book of Mormon really is true!  And as we read from it every single day, there is nothing to fear. We cannot be deceived because we really do have the real truth.  This is legitimate people. Love it.

Lubbock or leave it.

I am so pleased to be a missionary. It's hard, but it is so good.

Love, Sister Brittan E Plante