Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Unfinished Business

Serving in the Christies Beach area will be: Sister Magallanes and Sister Soh 
So, back in Christies Beach! Plot twist of the century. At first I was so shocked but then flashes of memories of Christies ran through my mind and I nodded and I could see that there was still a lot to do here for me personally. And I remembered how much I loved Christies. And I've been really blessed because Sister Soh is really great too! She is from Singapore and she did ballet - she was putting on her shoes or something and I asked her - did you do ballet???? and she did and I was like AHA I KNEW IT because she had really good posture and put on her shoes the way Tiff puts on her shoes which may sound slightly ridiculous but there you go. Anyway, she's much more than someone who used to do ballet. She has a powerful testimony and it is such a privilege to serve with her! Below is a picture. 

With Easter approaching, now, we don't do lent in our church but we do set aside Easter as a special time to worship the Saviour and remember not only his crucifixion but also his resurrection. And the church recently let out this new video about it. 
And I love the music in the piece and I love the personal relevance it helps make Easter and the Saviour has for us. He knocks at the door of our stiff, hardened hearts, just pleading for us to let Him in and heal us. I think just lately I've personally experienced a little more about what it means to be healed and what it means to be humbled and what it means to remember that we are unworthy creatures before God and how we need to call upon Him continually. I want you to know that I know that Jesus Christ rose on the third day, and He really does live today. And He has a living prophet, Thomas S Monson (who we will hear from soon during general conference!!!!!) and a living Church. I remember a quote from President Monson who says that God has always worked through imperfect people. He did so then and He does so now. This upcoming Sunday we'll have a special Easter program - I think this is for all of the Pacific region at least. I urge you to attend with an open heart, with questions in your mind. I know that as you do so, your Easter experience will be revelatory. And I am so excited for it! 

Love you all! Happy Easter! Have a great week!

PS - I missed Bec and Matt's wedding (I KNOW) but I must have known I would always miss it because I never let myself get too enthused about it. That's okay. But congratulations to them nonetheless! It is a wonderful time to be alive. Which sounds kind of ... what's the word.... maybe ridiculous but it is true. We were chosen to live in this time. This era. With these people. Let's go do some good!
March 23, 2015

The temple is a truly beautiful place. But I don't think beauty is what means the most. There's always a bit of a build up as to when you get to go to the temple on the mission. In our mission, we go once every 6 weeks generally if we are in Adelaide. And because we know when we are going, it gives me personally adequate time to prepare for it. And I think it is because I take that time to prepare that attending the temple is always such a revelatory experience for me. I don't always learn what I expect to learn, but in the temple, the veil of forgetfulness that we passed through on our way to mortality is very thin, and I feel very close to Heavenly Father. And I can taste and see a little bit clearer his vision for me and of me.
In temples families can be sealed together for eternity. Marriage is ordained of God and it can last much longer than "till death do us part" or "as long as you both shall live" or "as long as your love shall last" -> though hopefully for that last one your love would last hahaha. So, Sister Magallanes II (as we refer to her in our family sometimes) wrote a poem about our family before she went and I took a sideways photo of it and I thought it would be good to share her testimony of this great work as well as my own). 

My Family

I'm grateful for My Family
I should show it more, I know
So I've written this poem
To let them know before I go

I love Sister Magallanes
Her humour, dance moves and smile
When I see her I'll hug her so tight
Because it's been a while

I dream of hearing my brother's music
And of watching him play
It will be 3 years when I see him
And I look forward to that day

My little sister I am learning
is a lot more witty than I
Oh, she's cheeky, noisy and smart,
Yet around strangers, she's so shy!

I love my mummy bear,
I will miss her warm embrace
I'll miss her voice, kindness, massages,
I will miss her warm embrace

It makes me sad to leave my Dad
Behind with just one daughter
But I'm thankful for the neverending jokes
And the neverending laughter.

I'm thankful for my family
With all of my tender heart
Their names are engraved in here
So I'll have them when we're a part

My Saviour, you see, has given me
More than I deserve
And because He has blessed me so
It is Him I want to serve.

Eliza Joy Magallanes Nov 2014 
This week our testimony of planning has grown! We learned from Elder Bednar that there are kind of three aspects of faith. 1) assurance 2) action 3) evidence, and that as you gain assurance it leads to action which creates evidence which reinforces your assurance and the cycle of faith goes on and thus your faith grows! So this past few weeks we received an assurance from the Assistants about how to make weekly planning better, we implemented the action and we have seen evidence and reaped the rewards of our efforts! And thus a testimony is born and faith grows. It was my companion who pointed that out to me.
She's always told me that she kind of admires how I always have a game plan. Even when I'm sick I have a game plan on to how to get better. I suppose I didn't realise it either but setting goals and making plans are acts of faith in itself. I really admire Sister Reola's quiet devotion if that makes sense - like her testimony isn't shouted from rooftops or displayed powerfully in public speaking - although she may do quite well at either of those endeavours hahaa! - but it is more fully revealed, to me at least as her companion, in the ways she conducts herself in life. That soft glow or light that comes from personal worthiness and belief in a cause. It is evident in how she reacts in times of crisis - much better than I do I feel sometimes.
So today draws the conclusion of her training in the mission field. And I've also been told that I am moving areas, although I will find out where I will go tomorrow. And I know that Sister Reola is ready to take care of Mt Barker and the people I love here so much.
I'm excited for the change, for what will most likely be my last area in the mission field. I've learned a lot from my 6 months here. If I could share an excerpt from my letter to my mission president:
These experiences over the past few weeks or months have taught me a lot about myself and about what it means that heavenly father loves me and listens to my prayers. It has also taught me about why heavenly father allows bad things happen to good people, why there is evil in the world, how is someone who is going through a hard time feeling..... it has taught me compassion and empathy and more patience with myself for my shortcomings, and thus a little more patience with others. it has also taught me humility, as I know that as for myself, I am nothing, but if God wants me to accomplish something, I can be His mighty instrument. Also if the lesson to be learned is just to endure well, then I have learned for myself that I can do that also.
So, I love you all. Not sure what exactly you can take from this week's entry, but I hope there is something that you learn by the Spirit as you read.
Have a great week!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 11 2015

Today is a Wednesday because on Monday all the libraries were closed for Adelaide Cup day! Who knew? And that law that makes all public holidays that fall on a weekend move to Monday was great as a regular person but it happens like every transfer as a missionary and you begin to see why Australian culture is so laid-back…
In any case, we did a few exciting things this week! I made my first pavlova ever (thanks Sister McKellar!) and I went strawberry picking at the Beerenberg farm which was amazing… It took me ages to fill my tray because I kept getting excited by each strawberry I picked… And it is true. Not all of them even quite made it into the tray.

A few things happened this week. We had the opportunity to work with this elderly sister who has a lot of health issues and also suffers from depression and we made her smile and started a puzzle with her! I've always wanted to do a humongous jigsaw puzzle. It took us an hour to do the border. And even though some parts were pretty dodgy hahaha! But watching her was like staring in the mirror and what I've been like the past few weeks. And it scared me. And that, in combination with many other things to be honest, has been the start of a turning point again in my mission! I gotta work on that missionary glow again - and that really only comes from personal faith and righteousness.

This week I wanted to share with you something that Sister J shared with us  - even though we were the ones who were supposed to be giving the message. Maybe there are many people out there who read this and who spend all their time giving that they start to get tired and start to forget these simple truths so key to happiness and strength. Maybe you have even started to forget who you are, I did. I hope that as you read that what stands out to you might not even be my words, maybe the Spirit will be able to teach you something different than what I learned from Sister J. But Sister J said this
(1) She quoted Brigham Young - if you don't feel like praying, get on your knees and stay there until you do. Not wanting to pray is a very dark place.

(2) Second last thing to end your prayers with? If it is wisdom in thee - accept His timing. She prays 'don't let my whinging change your timing. this is just an expression of my heart's desire' and truly, knowing a little about Sister J's life.. she is someone who has waited. And how beautiful was that I thought. And it is funny because even though we feel like we are whinging and tiring Heavenly Father with our endless petitions for help, it is still a commandment to pray, and to ask. I know because for a time all I turned to or opened or flicked to was reprimanding me and telling me to pray more. And this is getting a little sidetracked here but I had this mental image sometime last night in between sleeping and not sleeping of like this protective web around me woven out of the prayers I have said constantly and dutifully. A missionary prays more than a dozen times a day - much more than the morning and evening and food prayers I said at home. And I thought of all the times I have been a careless driver (not purposefully! I'm picking up such bad habits. I realise I drive as much as my neighbour driving instructor does. Dad, I promise to make more of an effort to hold the steering wheel with both hands, but I always keep the speed limit at least) but how we've been protected. And biking. Biking is a dangerous endeavour sometimes - especially in a skirt. And again, protection. And just the little things. And then I thought of all the prayers that the world says for missionaries. My sister told me that my family prays for us when we are gone which surprised me because sometimes I feel so alone. But I think those family prayers add another layer to that protective web. And then there are the prayers by the temple, prayers by friends, prayers by wards everywhere. ANYWAY. I digress. This point was about waiting for the Lord's timing. Sister J also counseled us to be careful for what we wish for, because sometimes the Lord grants it to us. I hope you can understand the meaning behind that. That's why we end our prayers with asking for these things only if it is wisdom in our Heavenly Father. 
(3) discouragement is the last thing Satan throws at you. She said when he throws discouragement to say Ha! Is that all you've got? Then to rejoice and know the end is nigh. She tells this to all departing missionaries. She tells us not to believe the discouragement! Satan knows we have a strong testimony and this is the last thing he throws.

And that's what she said. And it spoke right straight to my soul.
I feel very blessed to be serving as a missionary. And I want to leave you with my testimony. On Feb 28th 2015 I finished reading the Book of Mormon again! And I know that that book is from a loving Heavenly Father who has again reached out in love to His children. And this is our message to all the world. 

Have a great week!
Sister Magallanes

February 15, 2015 

So I should have taken a picture of the grand piano as well but I was really fascinated by the hugeness of the bunny rabbit. What I wanted to share this week is the power of music. D&C 25:12 talks about the song of the righteous being a prayer unto God. And I truly have a testimony that it is. Music teaches you so much - it teaches you patience, diligence, humility.. and it rewards you so richly. 

And there's a photo of roses because we've been offering a lot of service lately and working in a lot of gardens and I've come to realise that .... gardening is fun! I mean I still intensely dislike bugs and manure still isn't very pleasant but there's something about the hard work and being in nature that helps me to feel the Spirit. And Adelaide is a city of roses... and they all bloom until June. 

And also a quote by Richard G Scott that stood out to me!
he said (and this is for you too especially Anneliese) " to memorise a scripture is to forge a new friendship. it is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort and be a source of motivation for needed change. " and these are some scriptures that stand out to me:
2 Nephi 2:2 (Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.) - this stood out to me because actually my dad shared it to me once on my mission during a time i was struggling. and I've found the promise to be true

Mosiah 27:14  And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come... - I love this scripture because it really highlights the power of prayer and as I shared before, sometimes it can be hard to pray especially when you don't feel like your prayers are being answered... but pray anyway! pray with faith.... trust in the lord's timing

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Charity suffereth long, and is kind ; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly , seeketh not her own , is not easily provoked , thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity , but rejoiceth in the truth ; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

of course. if anyone knew me before my mission it wouldn't be hard to see why this scripture means a lot to me. honestly,scripture in general ... it means the world to me. i love the flow of words, i love the motivation it gives me, i love how i am getting to know my scriptures better and being able to relate it to everyday life. i love how scripture comes to mind when i am in need of guidance. the words are so comforting. truly, they are 'friends' but I suppose I always knew words were friends, I just hadn't stopped to consider it like that before.

And to close, I wrote a poem Eliza! I was asking myself, why are people so rude to us? And instead of being upset or hurt or angry I... wrote a poem. Now my poem writing honestly isn't very good but it is an enjoyable enterprise. And I tried to branch out of my normal limerick and haiku hahaha!

The world is so busy with life flashing by
it's easy to get caught up in the cunning one's lie
that you don't have enough time to stop for a minute
to smell the roses or to smile for the sake of it
kindness is lost in this culture of me, me me
people are so self-absorbed they can't even see
that today God splashed the sky's canvass with pink
or that in your friend's smile, there was a chink
although lifting a soul does not increase your pay
your own sorrows flee as you make someone's day
and the wise ones know that helping another
is a great way to echo Christ's love to each other
Because He once said in His mortal ministry
what you do unto others, ye have done unto me. 

So please, be kind. honestly. people's kindness have made my day. an angel in disguise helped us get home at night, we had pulled over with hazard lights and we were lost and we were able to follow him back to Mt barker. 
and people being kind at the door too.. it lifted my soul. and so, i want to be kind to others, because i know that it makes a difference!! 

PS sorry frazzled but hopefully you feel the spirit of it :) 
love you all! have a great week!!!