I have made it to the Promised land of Northern Kentucky!! I have heard legends but I never believed that NK is the promised land until I experienced it for myself this last week!! I have fallen in LOVE! Good ol' Kentucky Lovin!
#1 Love: Sister Corbridge.
My El' Companiono.... ;) She is an angel sent from heaven. We have connected very quickly this last week. She killed her last companion off (sent home). It was SUPER hard for her because they were together for 6 months here-- there were many tears from the members and Sis. C. Her former comp was here for 11 months..... so I have BIG shoes to fill!! Sis. C has chronic headaches and other maladies and she hasn't taken one sick day in her 14 months being out. Yeah. She is teaching me a lot. She had a lot of rough things happen this week.... and it bonded us supes quickly.
#2 Love: The ward.
This ward has answered my unsaid prayers. For some ol reason ive been craving LOVE!! I just haven't felt it... and I didn't realize how much love I need! haha!! and boy does this ward love. We get a random call-- and member showed up at our apartment with new boots (and other goodies) for each of us. The Bishop is one of the most inspired bishops ive served with. and the whole ward LOVES missionary work! :) I feel like family. The Kings have put me under their wing.
#3 Love: Edith
Edith is 98 years old. She was baptized last year. and she is a saint and a half. We visit her often-- she is receiving her endowments on Friday!! :) so excited for her!!
#4 Love: Leadership Council
Holy free holies. It is hard to describe adequately how much LC answered my prayers. We discussed A talk called "A consecrated missionary" The topic was the difference between sacrifice and consecration. It blew me away. It changed the course of my mission. I need to become a consecrated missionary. Where are my motives? Why do I keep fighting everyday? Where does my passion come from?
Sacrifice- to offer up. Doing what God asks- an act we participate in.
Consecrate- to make holy. from common to sacred- dedicate. an inner change. a change of nature.
I learned that I have sacrificed to go on a mission. The morning before the MTC thinking "What on earth am I doing? The spirit bringing to my remembrance the covenants I made in the temple. to God. Leaving my family-- a sacrifice. Am I consecrated? Have I allowed my sacrifice to sanctify and change me? I have learned I am the Sacrifice. What I want most in the world is what Heavenly Father asks is to give up. An action telling God I love you more than any other thing on this earth. even my family. Our sacrifice is consecrated when we do so willingly. with joy. When our desire is to give up our precious gift. A consecrated missionary does not look back. Fully invested. Power/Grace come the minute you choose to do what you do not want to do. Talking to everyone, exercising, leaving the apartment without make up on...
An obedient missionary does not mean you are a consecrated missionary. When you are obedient because that is what you WANT to do.... its a higher law.... still wrapping my brain around it. :) Angels were in attendance--- it was a temple like experience.
#5 Love: My family.
I am so grateful for you. Your support. Your love. That you keep your covenants. Yep. I do. I was in a home on Saturday. It wasn't fun to be there. The mother has an untreated mental illness. The daughters (10 &4) were hungry for love and attention. I have never seen a mother so vocally abusive. Yelling, criticizing. The 4 year old came over to me and asked for help opening a wrapper. We started talking about Heavenly Father. She didn't understand. "My daddy beated my mom." She knew no love from a father. It was a very powerful experience testifying and teaching as simply as I could how yes, she did have an earthly father. But she had one up in the sky. Who loved her. Who gave her a beautiful earth. Who makes her warm inside when she prays. I whispered. I am amazed at the power of a woman voice. How cutting it can be but how it can HEAL on the other hand. The 10 year old came too... we read the story of the angels coming from heaven blessing the children in 3 nephi. The spirit testifies of Heavenly Fathers love amidst yelling and crying from the other side of the room. It was precious.
I had a similar experience just before going over to that home. I am amazed how Heavenly Father sends specific people to minister to his children. A child shared her pain of how hatred fills her home. Yelling, fighting, yucky stuff. The spirit reminded me of a time when I was a child. and I had yelling around me. How awful and dark it felt. I was able to testify of the powerful of singing a primary song. and praying to Father for help and comfort. We both cried. It was yummy.
I have no doubt that God sent me to Northern Kentucky Ward. There are miracles happening today (even when everyday is SUPER hard) I can testify that Heavenly Father is aware of his children.
I love you.