Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

You Can Call Me Mrs. Clause!

This week was another great week!  We visited with a lot of people that I really do love who are struggling with trials of life, and it was so cool to sit there with them and to feel the amount of love that our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, has for them.  As I sat there this past week with these people and listened to them as they cried, I realized how hard life can get, how hard some trials are that we might all have to face, and how alone we will feel at times.  I caught a glimpse of the love that our Heavenly Father has for them, and every one of us.  I also realized no matter how far away we feel we are, how alone we might be, and how hard life is, the scripture in 3 Nephi 17 is for all of us.  It says, 

"And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him." 

I love this scripture because whether we are physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually afflicted, our Savior, Jesus Christ, is inviting everyone of us to come unto Him, and promises that as we come unto Him we will be healed.  It is through Jesus and His atonement that we can be healed.  I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power it has to heal all of us, the power it has to change our weakness into strengths, and the power it has to change our heartache into joy.  The Atonement is truly one of the greatest gifts and blessings we have been given the opportunity to use.  I know that through the Atonement and coming unto our Savior we can be healed.  I have seen it in my own life and have seen it in a lot of other people just this past week.  

We also had another really cool experience this week!  One of my favorite families I have met here finally called us, and we were able to meet with them.  We had been trying to get in touch with them and just couldn't reach them, but this past week we received a call out of nowhere.  The father said, "Hey, when can you guys come over?"  So, we set up an appointment and were able to meet with them.  I seriously love them more and more each and every time I meet with them!  They are so awesome.  They are just one of those families I instantly clicked with!  Anyways, we had an awesome visit and lesson.  At the end of the lesson, the 13-year-old girl came up and handed me her binder and said, "Look!"  Right on the front of her binder she wrote out the words to Moroni 10:3-5.  She said, "I look at the scripture and read it each time I need a little pick me up or peace in my life, and it always make me happy."  I have never been so happy!!!  This girl, who just found out about the Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago, has already come to know of the true peace and joy and comfort that comes from studying and reading the Book of Mormon.  It was such a sweet experience.  I surely do love that family!

Also, kind of a funny story for the week:  We have this less active that we were visiting with, and we accidentally let their dog out.  So, we hopped in our car to go find him, and his name just happens to be Whisky.  So, just picture me driving with my head out of the window while I'm screaming ,"Whiskey," at the top of my lungs.  The looks I got were priceless.  Haha

Also, we tracted Santa...still not interested, but one day...planting seeds.

It was such a good week, and I wish I could tell you more, but next week...!  I love you all and am so thankful for you!

Love, Sister Lake 

 The new Mrs. Claus!
 My dream of seeing a polar bear kind came true today!
 "Sleigh Parking Only"
 The one and only Santa Claus house!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 10, 2017

My New companion--Sister Jimenez

This week was good!  I dropped Sister Cox off at the airport Tuesday morning at 6:15, and I'm not going to lie - it was really hard!!  If it wasn't for her and her awkward door approaches and funny stories then I probably wouldn't have made it through the winter.  

I was able to hang out in Fairbanks until Wednesday when I picked up my new companion Sister Jimenez.  She is so sweet!  She is from Nicaragua and has been in Alaska as long as me.  The language barrier is tough at times, but wow, is she an incredible missionary!  That girl has no fear!  She will talk to anyone and everyone, even if that means pulling the car over and hopping out to talk to someone on the side of the road.  I asked her how she does it?  One of my biggest struggles is talking to anyone I see; I always get so nervous.  And she said in her thick accent, "Sister, this is not my country.  I don't know the way these people think or act, and so they don't scare me.  But, because you do understand the way they think, they are scary to you!"  TRUTH!!!  But, also, so not okay (haha) as I thought about that, I realized that it doesn't matter what they think.  Everyone needs the chance to hear the restored Gospel!  Ever since then, she has been helping me to be more brave.  As a result, we have talked to more people this week than I ever have in a week, and WOW, has it made me so happy!  There is so much joy that comes from opening your mouth and sharing what you know to be true!  Sister Jimenez has already taught me so much, and I am so thankful for that!

We had a couple of cool little miracles and tender mercies this week that I want to share. First, the very first day Sister Jimenez was here we got a call from a private number, and so I answered it.  This lady started speaking so fast in Spanish, and I literally had no clue what she was saying.  I was sitting there like I don't know what to do, and then I realized Sister Jimenez speaks Spanish (hah).  I gave the phone to her and she started talking to this lady and was totally able to help her out.  We went over to her house, and I just sat there as they talked to each other in Spanish for an hour - it was kind of funny.  I didn't know what to do! Anyway, long story short, we were able to help her with what she needed.  If Sister Jimenez wasn't here, there would have been no way to know what she needed.  I feel like it was kind of the Lord's way of showing me that I needed Sister Jimenez as my companion, and it brought a lot of peace to me knowing that the Lord knows best.

We also saw a lot of success with some less actives and part-member families that we have been trying to get in touch with for a long time.  We finally contacted them and even received some return appointments.  Stay tuned for how those go...I am so excited!

Tracting/OYM - So many miracles!  The weather has been so nice lately - 30-40 degrees - which feels like paradise.  So, we have been tracting in those awkward 15-20 minutes that we have open or just walking around the town of North Pole and talking to everyone we see. We have seen so many miracles!  It has been so fun and so cool.  We have had such great discussions with people and even taught some lessons right then and there.  

Our mission's culture has some "Standards of Excellence" where Elder Ballard told our mission that if we talked with 10 people a day then we would have 1 new elect investigator a week.  And, as a mission, we would have 36 mission baptisms a month.  Our mission has never reached 36 a month, and so Sister Jimenez and I have made it a goal to talk to 10 people a day outside of a member visit and tracting (which doesn't seem that hard, but you would be surprised!).  Ever since we set that goal, the Lord has placed many people in our paths and it has been so cool to see.  The Lord is aware of us, the goals we have set, and if we sincerely seek to accomplish those goals and do His will, He will help us.

Missions are so crazy!  Just when you feel like you're getting the hang of it, Heavenly Father throws something else your way that is even harder than the trial before; however, I know that it is because He loves us and wants us to be the best person we can be.  It is through the trials that we learn the most and rely on Him.  I know that this Church is true.  I have been thinking a lot about 1 Nephi 3:7 this week, and I know that Heavenly Father does not give us anything that we cannot handle or accomplish.  It doesn't mean it is going to be easy, but I know that we won't be alone.  I am thankful for the trials that Heavenly Father has given me and the strength that I have received as I have gone through them.  I am thankful for the knowledge I have of a living, loving Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ who knows me and love me.  I have felt their love so much just this last week, and their love has brought me so much peace.  And, speaking of peace, everyone should watch the new Easter Initiative #princeofpeace and share it! Here's the address:

It is INCREDIBLE AND SO TRUE.  We are able to find so much peace through our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  

Love you all!  Hope you have a great Easter!

Sister Lake 

Ice sculpture of a bear
Another ice sculpture
Last P-day with Sister Cox before her transfer

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Adios, Sister Cox!

So, sad news--Sister Cox is finally escaping the North Pole and heading to the amazing and beautiful Soldotna (only slightly jealous).  Anyway, I am going to miss her so much.  She has been one of my saving graces this winter, and I am just so grateful that I was able to serve with her for two whole transfers.  My new companion is Sister Jimenez!  All I know about her is that she is from Nicaragua, and President said I will be doing language study with her.  I can barely speak English well enough, much less help her with her English, so prayers will be greatly appreciated, haha!!!  I am excited, though!  Three are many people in this ward that speak Spanish, so that will be really good.  We said a lot of goodbyes for Sister Cox, and I realized how much I love this ward!!

We also went on the most beautiful hike last P-day to a place called Angel Rocks.  Alaska is truly so beautiful, and I love the North Pole District!  

 Hike to Angel Rocks with Sister Cox on P-day

 Deep snow!

 We also did service at the Ice Park, which is an annual festival where people come from all over the world and carve ice sculptures, and they are truly incredible!!!  It is a huge deal, and people also come from all over the world just to see the sculptures.  We had some really cool opportunities to open our mouths and share with people a little bit about what we believe.  Really cool!!  

 One of the Ice Park sculptures

The Church is so true!  It is like what Elder Christofferson said yesterday, "We have everything that people need/want in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  On that note:  Conference was seriously AMAZING!!!  So many good talks and many truly inspired words.  I loved President Monson's talk so much; It was short but yet extremely powerful.  The fact that the one thing that he talked about was the Book of Mormon shows how powerful that book really is.  I have four chapters left in the Book of Mormon to read.  As I have really studied and read and looked to the book for guidance, I have come to know for myself that this book is true.  There is power in that book.  It is for US, and I am so thankful for that.

I know that this Church is true, that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today and that the words spoken yesterday by the Prophet and Apostles were truly inspired.  

I love you guys and hope you had a good Spring Break!  

Sister Lake

P.S. If you ever have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, they are so ,so, so worth it!  These pictures really truly don't give them justice!