Monday, October 28, 2013

running and is my mission already half over?

Dear Family,
I had a bunch of times this week where I would have JUST been studying something that morning and out of the blue someone would ask a question I literally just studied about. That was really crazy. Especially one day where I just randomly wondered the exact definition of the word Zion. Found out. Then that night, Sister Mary (my recent convert) had JUST finished the Book of Mormon!!! Then she asked me, "Sister, I have to know. What does the word Zion mean?"
Thank you to all who wished me a Happy Hump Day-- what's kinda funny is that, well, I didn't know it was my Hump Day. That's so crazy!

This week I remembered that I needed a diet. So Sis Packard and I sat down and made some goals together of how we'd make a daily routine in the morning a whole lot more clearly with our exercise habits. She's always been way in shape since she got here. I've slowly worked myself up to her level. So now that I can keep up with her, we've set running distances (which we now run faster and faster and need a longer distance route...) and pushing ourselves with other workout stuff.
Compared to the first time we went running, I think we tacked off like at least 10 minutes! That's saying something. And I get way less tired throughout the day now that we do them so consistently. The first stretch is a wakeup call like "Uhhhegghh" but then it's no sweat!
Let me be a witness: in order to be spiritually and mentally happy-- Your body MUST be in good PHYSICAL shape too! It changes everything. I highly suggest watching the new Mormon Message by Elder Nelson about the miracle of our bodies. We have these eyes that can see literally all the beauty around us in a 3D form, ears that can hear.... everything! It reminds me of the children's song  "My Heavenly Father Loves Me".
Speaking of which, I got to go into primary this week at church to help the kids with their primary sacrament meeting. They've never done it before! So I went in and helped teach some songs because, well, sometimes people can be a little tone-deaf here. It's so cute. So there's like, ONE little boy who knows the song "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" and he tries so hard to sing along. The rest are really quite and not confident. But this little boy keeps leading the gang! It was so cute. Primary here needs a little help in our branch, despite having 5 teachers for like 6 kids-- it's just something they've never done! It made me smile though. All these new experiences for all the members. And sacrament meeting will be so cute when they sing "Follow the Prophet"!
Our mute investigator has a baptismal date!
As for profound thoughts, I had another one this week about the Atonement.
If anyone reading this has ever felt like me, as in "What does the Atonement even mean?" then I understand where you're coming from. We understand, but then again, yeah, we really don't at the same time. No matter how long you've been a member. But my most favorite thing about it is that God knew that we'd be imperfect, thus we'd sin. If we sinned, there has to be punishment, because right and wrong exists. So God was willing to give his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come down, pay for all the wrong-doings, slip-ups and imperfections of man because He was the only one who could. When you haven't done sin, you don't need to pay back justice!
But what if we had a debtor? Someone who we could pay back instead? And with that, He would teach you how to keep out of debt? It's like when your mom pays for your piano lessons and wants you to practice. If you didn't practice the piano to get better, your mom paid for no reason. You didn't change, you didn't learn.
Justice must be paid, but you know what? Christ is a gentle and loving debtor. A Redeemer. Go to Him with your troubles, he will ease the burden because He already paid for it. We aren't just paying him back either. But as a mom would proudly see her child learn the piano, He so simply just wants to see us learn for ourselves. Learning the piano doesn't pay back the mom's money, and so it is with the Savior.
But He loves us so much that he wants to see us in the recital of our lives.
Love you all. Let it be known, I know Christ is the Master Teacher.
Sister Monica Painter


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