August 15, 2018


Bloomington, Minnesota


Sister Larsen

Stress and Tender Mercies

Wowza it's been another week here in the wonderful MMM! It's been quite a hard week, but full of lots of tender mercies.

Well, like I said, it's been a hard week. We had transfers and that was actually pretty fun and my new companion is the wonderful... Sister Ostler! She is so awesome and has been so good to me already this week. I was nervous to take over the area when I'm still in training and I honestly still have no idea what I am doing as a missionary, so to take over the area from Sister Larsen, who has been here for 6 months and knows everything about the area, was pretty nerve-racking. So the past few days have been pretty hard on me, but Sister Ostler has been just the companion I needed to get me through this because she's helping me remember that I don't need to know everything and to take a chill pill sometimes. It would seem I am a bit of a perfectionist which I did not realize before I came out... So I'm trying to learn how to not have every minute of our day planned and let the Lord's will be my guide. But like I said, this week has been full of tender mercies...

Tender mercies:
Speaking of tender mercies!!
-Sister Ostler has been such a blessing this week, she has already seen a lot of stressful situations while on her mission so she totally knows how I feel and has been so good at letting me rant out my stress to her, haha! She reminds me to take a brain break when I'm getting worked up and she helps me feel a lot better.
-One big tender mercy is that we live so close to the mission home. I was able to go talk to Sister Barney and President Barney about how stressed I've been with taking over the area, and they were able to help me out and President just let me know that I need to be easier on myself and that he's happy with the work I'm doing, and that I am doing better than I think I am.
-We have an awesome YSA Relief Society president, Catherine, who is just the best! We do YSA visits on Sunday nights after church, but since I just took over the area I do not know who we need to visit but she's just so awesome at knowing who we should stop by and is willing to drive us all over Minnesota to find these YSA's we are trying to track down. She has been such a blessing.
-We were able to go to the temple on Saturday with a sister in the ward who was receiving her endowments. I was so grateful that I could be there to support her and also be able to take a break from all the stress that had built up over the three days I'd taken over the area. It was a huge tender mercy.
-There have been a lot of small tender mercies along the way this week as well as big ones, but all of them have reminded me that God is aware of me and that He will never set me up for failure, and He will do what He can to help me as long as I am trying to do His will.
-Church on Sunday (both blocks) had talks and lessons on exactly what I needed to hear. Lots of comfort and direction came to me, and I trust that more will come as I continue to do my best to work hard and be obedient.

"Here, eat a lettuce" - boy at a dinner we had trying to get his brother to eat something.

Found a street sign that perfectly describes my dog at home!! See attached picture.

"The promised land!!" -aka a gas station that was close to home because the gas light had been on for like two days now...

Scripture/thought of the week:
I've had to hold on really hard to my faith this week, I'm not going to lie. It's funny though, because I had to put in to practice what I shared in my group email last week about remembering who you are, holding on to what you know, and pressing forward. Have I had to give myself pep talks in the bathroom sometimes? Yes. Have I wondered if I could actually get through this? Yes. Did I ever let go of what I know? No. Because my testimony of the Savior is stronger than any doubt that Satan will put in my mind. I had to hold on tighter to it than I ever have before, but if there is one thing I've learned from being stressed more than I ever have in my life in the past four days, it's that by holding on to our faith in the Savior we truly can be delivered through our trials. Not from our trials (though sometimes we are), but through them. The tender mercies I've seen this week have been a testament to that. Am I still kinda stressed out of my mind? Yes! But do I know that I can get through it? Yes! So the scripture I'd like to share this week is one of my favorites: Helaman 5:12, which says "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
I have held on to my faith that this trial is another thing that will only make me stronger, a better missionary, and will teach me more about myself (like that I'm a perfectionist, which I never thought I was before... Haha oops). This trial was one that I couldn't handle, but that is why God gave me a Savior. Sometimes we are given trials that are bigger than ourselves, but if we rely on the Savior and hold onto that faith that we have, there is peace and strength at the end of each trial.

I love you all and I appreciate all of your support as I am out here working for the Lord. I hope you are all doing well and that you have wonderful weeks full of relying on the Savior and serving your fellow men, for that is where we find ourselves.

Sister Maloney

Sabai's (my dog) street sign
One of the elders who finished his mission had a cactus so naturally I had to take a picture with it.
Temple pictures!
We saw a red sun... It was cooler in real life but here's a bad picture of it anyway haha.


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