Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pride Looks Sideways; Humility Upwards

Well, apparently it's the last month of my mission. I didn't know until I got my flight plans. But... I am just going to pretend like that didn't happen. I already lost it in district meeting this week haha. I'll explain.

But first of all, I just want to give the Sandelins a shout out and say they are the most fantastic family ever. Dinner at their house was so out of control this week. Someone gave me WAY too much salad so as Sara was getting some other food I put a huge scoop of it onto her plate and got payback with the biggest portion of pudding I've ever seen haha. Sara is one of my favorite people in the world.... Last PDay we played soccer and the funniest thing happened. So Sis. Campbell is really good at soccer and Joel (Sara's older brother that ALWAYS makes fun of us like crazy) was on the opposite team and Sis. Campbell kicked the ball SO hard to his shin and he fell down on the ground and was whining about it, then Elder Walker, on the same team, kicked him in the head with the soccer ball from like 4 feet away... hahahah. I shouldn't laugh about these things, but you know. 

N___ is still doing good, she went to Germany for a week though and it felt so weird to not have her here. We visited her last night and she just gives us a kiss on the cheek with her bright lipstick leaving a huge mark, and now I don't feel so empty. :) She's getting confirmed this week!

What else happened? We helped a lady move and it was.... interesting. It always is. Haha. 

Oh! We went on splits too, with my favorite SIS. BANKS. I love her so much, she gives the best hugs and just feels like my mom haha. She was the sweetest when I was having a really hard time in Stockholm. We visited S___ and had such a special lesson... after Sara scared us by jumping out of some curtains haha.... but we talked about Christ and why he is important and baptism. She has a new goal to get baptized next month after she goes to America. She texted us afterwards and told us an experience she had while looking at the picture of Christ, she is so amazing at listening to the spirit and learning things for herself. I love her. Seriously!

We also taught a college class. We met this family from Kosavo who just takes the best care of us, and the daughter is the funniest girl ever. She is taking a religion class and she asked us to come and talk about what we believe, so we did. She was like, "Come! It'll be so fun. We can ask questions and you can tell us what you believe, and I'll bring some cookies or something, I am NOT gonna sit there without my cookies." Haha. In college they seriously all sit around a table and just discuss over a fika. The U.S. is doin' it all wrong if you ask me! 

CONFERENCE IS COMING UP AND EASTER. I'm excited! Sis. Campbell and I started talking about how we can really prepare for conference, there is an article from President Eyring in the ensign that's really good. But we got into a discussion about Jesus Christ and how we can get to know him. She taught me how she has done that and it was exactly what I needed to hear. We decided we were going to pick a Christlike attribute together and study it and try to develop it and try to see it in other people, so that Christ can really come alive to us. We chose humility. HOLY COW. I have already learned so much and I have been really looking forward to studies. I have so much I could say but I'll try to not make this email so long haha. 

"The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.” If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem."
We usually think of pride as looking down at people but it can be looking sideways as well for approval or from answers from MEN instead of GOD. 

"We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives. Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can."

One more thing, in district meeting we talked about what the gospel has done for us or why we have hope. I was sitting there just thinking about how when I was at home, I felt the prompting that I needed to serve a mission, but I was terrified and didn't think I could do it and didn't know if I wanted to. I remember praying and studying and how I was sitting on a train and a man came up to me and asked me if I was a missionary. I explained that I was a member but not a missionary. He told me how he couldn't decide if joining the church was right for him or not. His wife was less active. I asked him more about his family and he told me he had a new baby, 2 weeks old or something. I remember testifying that this church has the keys to bind his family together forever, no matter what happens, and that I was so grateful for that. I remember stepping off the train and feeling so much joy just overwhelm me, and thinking, "If this is what it's like to serve a mission, then I will go! I want to feel this all the time." As I sat in district meeting, I was reflecting on that experience and how that is exactly the situation we, our family, was in. I thought about how lucky I am that I got to grow up as a member of this church and receive all the wonderful blessings and peace that comes from it. And that's why I am out here, because I want that for that man, and for that baby. I want that for the people on the streets and for friends and family. I want them to know they have a Father in Heaven that loves them and listens to prayers. And that the difficulties they go through are for a purpose of learning and growing. That we are here for a reason, it's not just random and we have tools that can help us so much. It's making me really sad that it's starting to come to a close, and I feel that every day is so precious. 

I love you guys and hope you have a great week. Sweden is treatin' me well. :) We are going to see some huge stones today and I'll send pictures next week!


Syster Stetler

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