Well it's official--I am getting a baby greenie!
I don't even know what to think right now, but I am slightly freaking out but I am also so excited! Oh man.....well, any thoughts I had for this week went straight out of my mind after getting the training call last night--so sorry, but I don't have much to say for today!
Our week up ahead will be a little crazy--my "MOM", Syster Bateman, is coming down here to Skåne for her last work-overs of her mission! So crazy! The day my greenie is "born" her mission grandmother "dies!" Ties just goes by SO fast here, I do not like it--not at all! But, that's how it goes!
Well, Sys. Bateman is coming Wednesday, and then I am taking an SJ train to Stockholm by myself Friday! So strange traveling by yourself as a missionary--and this will be like 5 hours alone! Weird.
But then I get to go to the training meeting with President and Syster Beckstrand, so that is super exciting! And then the next Wednesday I should get my baby! So PLEASE keep this group in your prayers that their visas will come!!!
Oh, I just can't wait...although I still need to come up with a name for her! Little did I know that mission names would actually stick--ever since my first day in Sweden, I have been known my other missionaries as Gretchen...thanks Bateman! Haha, the name truly has grown on me, though!
That's mainly what I have got happening for the week, though--but one thing that has helped me so much this week has been a talk from April 2014 General Conference, called "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease", by Elder David A. Bednar.
I absolutely LOVE this talk! I have been thinking about trying to find peace while dealing with burdens lately, and I just found that this talk was perfect. He says:
"Each of us carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness."
I loved how he just took apart what a load really is--that it is all the good and all the hard. That a load is not solely made up of the seemingly hard things, but the good things also. He goes on to say:
"Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgresions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for the faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully?"
"This strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives helps us see that we do not need to carry our load all alone. It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires--through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost--to enliven us--not only to guide but also to strengthen and heal us."
"The Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities, but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us.
"There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no inifirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be, and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power."
I was in tears after reading this, and I just felt that I needed to write out all of the points that he mentioned--from physical pains, anguish, and weaknesses all the way to emotional pains--then next to each one, I filled in something I have been going through that fit with each point.
Then I looked back at them all and recognized that everything that was on that list is Me. All of those things--those weaknesses, those frustrations, and disappointments--all of those things are the things that have brought me to this point, and how well I have been able to rely on the Lord has determined how well I have overcome them.
It was really interesting seeing everything laid out, because right as I did, I was able to see how the Lord has helped me with each and every one of them, and how each of them has helped me grow in some way. Then, after that, I wrote next to each one again how each thing had blessed my life, or how I can see that the Lord has put that trial in my life for a certain reason.
After writing in the last one, I looked back on the whole list and I truly could see just how much the Lord does for me. He is so aware of who I am, and it is so comforting to see that in everything I am going through, He understands PERFECTLY.
And now, in my job as a missionary, I am asked to invite people to come unto Christ--so that is what I am going to do!
I invite you all to try this now. Write out each of the underlined words--then think of something in your life that the word describes--write it down--then write out how the Lord has or is helping you through that thing. How with the Atonement of the Savior, all of these things can be for our good and for our learning.
Pray and seek for inspiration on how you can better apply the Atonement into your everyday life, and you will. After reading this, I have been able to see how my own personal load is actually part of my life to help me. That with the Lord, every hardship can be seen as a blessing.
I love you all with all of my heart!