Monday, June 13, 2016

Yoked in So Many Ways!

June 13, 2016
Hey family and friends!

So this week, I got yoked both physically and spiritually. I'll tell
you the highlights and what I learned this week and you'll understand
what I mean! We had an awesome week!

Tuesday at district meeting is where I got physically yoked haha we
were talking about finding in district meeting and so our district
leaders had the bright idea of playing egg roulette with us. You know,
where you have a carton of eggs and some of them are hard boiled and
some of them aren't? Wellllll, we each had to take a turn and pick an
egg and our companions got to smash it on our heads! Funniest thing
ever. I got a normal egg smashed on me head...but so did Sister
Stromberg so it worked out haha. I guess we didn't "find" the right
egg. We got it on video so I will send it home so you guys can see!
Haha don't worry, we wore home made shower caps and giant tshirts over
our proselyting clothes so they wouldn't get dirty.

We had awesome lessons this week! Lora is doing SO good! She finished
the Book of Mormon last week(she read the whole thing in like 3
weeks!) and she had her first appointment with the bishop yesterday!
Woo! And she's also been attending the 12 step addiction recovery
program each week! She was an AA and NA counselor a while back, so she
loves those types of meetings. But she is progressing so well! I am so
grateful for her! We also were able to have a skype lesson with Zayna
this week! Zayna is a YSA recent convert who is super busy all the
time so we haven't been able to meet with her for a while. But we were
finally able to skype with her this week! She is doing well, she had a
lot of questions for us about things she had been reading in the Book
of Mormon, but we were so happy to help answer then for her! We also
had an AMAZING lesson with Shirley this week! So Shirley is the cute
little philipino lady we are teaching! She works at the hospital here
as a sanitation/food worker and she's doing a internship right now so
she is crazy busy. Anyways, we had a awesome lesson with her and she
finally committed to a BAPTISMAL DATE! Woo! But get this, she is
planning on moving to IDAHO(my pride and joy) in November of this
year! And guess where's she's planning on moving to? Most likely Boise
and she plans on working at the VA hospital there! Do you still work
there dad? If so, that would be the coolest thing to have my dad and
an investigator I taught on my mission work in the same place! But the
story gets better! She wants to wait until her internship here is
almost over to get baptized and she also wants to get baptized on her
moms birthday, so she chose October 31st to be baptized! Now you're
probably thinking, "Cool Sister Thompson, she wants to be baptized on
Halloween. Why is that cool?". I'll tell you why. Halloween has
officially become my new favorite day(besides Flag Day tomorrow. I
love flag day haha ps-shout out to mom and dad! Happy anniversary
tomorrow!) Anyways, last year on Halloween, Camilo was
baptized(probably one of the biggest highlights of my mission). And
this year on Halloween, not only will Shirley be getting baptized, but
that's the day my parents come to pick me up from my mission! So if
everything works out right, mom and dad could be coming to Shirley's
baptism that day! Coolest thing ever! I officially love Halloween
Here's all of us that play basketball on pdays!

Another cool thing that happened this week has to do with priesthood
blessings! So last weekend, Jean(the Pacheco's life long
friend/roommate) was emitted to the ER. She had to get surgery this
week on Wednesday so she asked for another blessing before the
surgery. Suzie Pacheco was there in the hospital with her as she
received the blessing and then Suzie asked if she could have a
blessing as well. Suzie told us that it was the most spiritual
experience she's ever had. When we visited them later that evening,
Suzie bore a strong testimony to us about how she knows that this is
the true church and how she is going to do everything she can to
become fully active again and make it to the temple. Oh man, the
spirit was so strong! Such an amazing experience!

Sunset and windmills!

We also had interviews with President Wright this week! I love him and
Sister Wright so much! I could talk to President for hours! The
Spanish elders baptism on Saturday night was so good! The song we
performed turned out super well! Everyone was in tears by the end of
it! I love how music can bring the spirit so strongly into a room! We
also had a zone blitz in our area this week. It's where all the
missionaries in our zone work in a certain area for about two hours.
It was really nice being able to have our area blitzed. It needed it!
We also went out finding with our Relief Society President yesterday
afternoon, and we also went to Vacaville last night for a meeting with
the stake president there! Super crazy busy week, but it was soooo
Matching tshirts from Sister Strombergs mom! Haha

A quote and picture that I love.

Marshmallow Mateys at 10:00pm? Why not? Haha

So now how I was yoked spiritually. So as you know, I've been super
busy lately and I was just stressed out of my mind. I felt like I had
many burdens on my back. I confided in a friend in an email about the
struggles I was facing and this was the piece of advice he offered to
me, "The savior stands at the door, and knocks. He knocks hoping you
will let Him take the burden for you. Even if you are trying to carry
others burdens. Just pray. Confide in the knowledge you have of the
savior. Open, when He knocks, and let Him in. Take His yoke upon
yourself. It's easier that way."

As I was pondering what he had said to me, I began to think of the
word yoke. We had been talking a lot about being equally yoked with
our companions in the past couple of weeks. But as I was searching
what it meant to "take His yoke upon us", I realized that I didn't
understand that statement. I understood what it meant to be yoked with
a companion and Christ, but how in the world was I suppose to get the
yoke on me in the first place? I studied Matthew 11:28-30 where the
Savior says, "28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Then I studied Alma 37:43-47 where Alma is talking to his son Helaman
and offers him this council, "45 And now I say, is there not a type in
this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers,
by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of
Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow
into a far better land of promise."

I love how it's says that the words of Christ will carry us beyond the
vale of sorrow. So what are the words of Christ? The scriptures and
words of the living prophets. So I used the nifty difty search bar in
the Gospel Library App and searched the word yoke. I read a couple
general conference talks about what it means to take His yoke upon us.
This statement by Elder Bednar is what really hit home for me, "Making
and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus
Christ. In essence, the Savior is beckoning us to rely upon and pull
together with Him, even though our best efforts are not equal to and
cannot be compared with His. As we trust in and pull our load with Him
during the journey of mortality, truly His yoke is easy and His burden
is light....As we are yoked with Him through sacred covenants and
receive the enabling power of His Atonement in our lives, we
increasingly will seek to understand and live according to His will.
We also will pray for the strength to learn from, change, or accept
our circumstances rather than praying relentlessly for God to change
our circumstances according to our will."

So I'm telling you all of this because I learned a valuable lesson.
Yes, I have burdens and yes, they are heavy. But I have made and I am
keeping sacred covenants. I am yoked with the Savior through those
covenants. I understand His Atonement and that also yokes me to Him. I
had to ask myself, "Ok, am I falling behind and is Christ having to
pull me through my trials? Or am I ahead of Christ, thinking I can do
this on my own? Or am I side by side with Christ, pulling with Him and
being equally yoked with Him?" I realized that the past couple of
weeks, I have been ahead of Christ, trying to handle everything on my
own. But as I took a step back and humbly realized that I have Christ
with me and He is willing to help, the load I was carrying became
bearable. I am grateful for trials and burdens because I now know how
to take Christ's yoke upon me. And now my burdens are light, not gone,
but light.

Love always, Sister Thompson 🌻

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