FIRST OFF, CONGRATS TO MY CUTE BROTHER, GUATEMALA IS ABOUT TO GET THE BEST MISSIONARY! He has been called to serve in the Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission leaving January 3rd.
I am literally already loving Sikeston SO MUCH. I literally thought it was going to take me so long to learn to love this area but my heart is seriously in love with the people here. One of the BIGGEST things I have learned on my mission is how easy it can be to love people when you see them the way Heavenly Father does. Sister Dixon and I have been working crazy hard this week! We were able to find 4 new people to start teaching and we have 3 people on date to be baptized. (one being this Saturday !!) I have focused a lot this week on devoting myself more to this work. I've been focusing on having all of my thoughts and desires be on the people here in Sikeston and I have totally seen blessings come from it. I have the biggest love for serving in the boonies, it's honestly the best.
We had our ward trunk or treat this week which was SO GOOD. We had A TON of non-members and less actives come to the activity - I couldn't actually tell who was a member and who wasn't because I still don't know hardly anyone here lol, but they said that there was a good 50/50 ratio of members/non members! So THAT'S INSANELY GOOD. Sister Dixon, the best member ever, and I were the chili voters which was so fun. We were literally over there just taking shots of chili and voting - living the life.
The best thing about being in the South is that it's still soooo warm down here. We are still in the 70's which is literally 20 degrees warmer than what it was in Columbia - so it's felt gooood.
SPIRITUAL THOUGHT- I have been focusing a lot on what it means to be long-suffering. Throughout the scriptures, Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ have the attribute of long-suffering, meaning, patiently bearing continual wrongs or trouble. Heavenly Father is always long-suffering with us. We literally mess up all the time and He has to watch us do it - but He watches patiently. I think that Heavenly Father expects us to do the same with others. When someone wrongs us or does something we don't necessarily like, He expects us to patiently bear their wrongs.
"You and I can give what we have to Christ, and He will multiply our efforts. What you have to offer is more than enough- even with your human frailties and weaknesses- if you rely on the grace of God."
I learned a lot this week on how to rely completely upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Before my mission I was literally so confused why missionaries would come home from their mission and talk about repentance and the Atonement. I knew that we were supposed to rely on the Atonement each day and that we were supposed to repent each day but I didn't realize that relying on the Atonement and repenting has so much more purpose than just being forgiven of our sins. I knew that the Atonement gives us strength but I didn't understand how. I have seen the strength that comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have seen the differences in my days when I rely more fully on Him and submit my will more fully to His. I have felt the peace and happiness that has come into my life as I rely on Him and as I repent daily. I have seen the changes I have made and I continue to see the changes I want to make to become more like my Savior.
xoxo, Sister Beal
pic 1: chili shots lol
pic 2: cinco de mayo in October maybe?pic 3: tracting
pic 4: service @ the YMCA washing ALL of the windows
pic 5: the only statue Sikeston has to offer