Monday, February 24, 2014

Man's Knowledge or God's Knowledge?

Holla Familia!

This week has been interesting. I have met my first Less Active that has topped all of the other weird Less Actives that I have met in my entire mission. He was off the scale on craziness. Soooo I will give you my little story that is pretty much a run down of the whole things... Which may not make sense to you.... but I will do my best: So first off, we met him originally during the snow storm that we had here where we got two feet of snow.   We were walking around trying to talk to people and they just looked at us like we were crazy and told us to go home and stay warm. It's kinda hard to talk to people when they don't want to get cold and because it is cold they aren't really interested in your message. Anywho, we met him during this storm and he said that right now wasn't a good time to talk, but he said "I would love to meet up and get coffee with you guys sometime, Oh wait you guys don't drink coffee, well we will meet at Lucie Monroe’s and talk there this week sometime" Lucie Monroe’s is a little coffee shop here in C-Burg. Sooo we meet him there and he is all dressed up in this business suit and when we sit down the first things he says is "What can I do for you Ladies?"  Like it was a business transaction or something. So I was pretty straight up with him and asked him why he wasn't coming to church, and that people were wondering why he wasn't coming out to church anymore. He said that he didn't really like the Christiansburg Ward. He liked Blacksburg because they had more of a discussion and talked about things, but Christiansburg was all about our church is true and no one else is and only talked about that the entire time... which I haven't heard yet... but then he said that he went for his son’s sake to get him more spiritually understanding and stuff, but that he had that covered too now. By going and doing taekwondo, doing homework with him, asking him how his day was, and other things. I then said that those were all great Personal Relationship building things, but not really Spiritually building. He then changed the subject to something different I am not really sure but somehow we got on the Topic of God. He then stated that he had a different view of what God was, and that it kinda creeped him out when people referred to God as Him. He didn't believe God was a man, or that man was created in God's image. Okey... He then went off on how hard it was to understand God and that he was confusing to man and that there really was no way man could understand all of the things God does. Ok, we don't understand all of the things that God does, but that doesn't make him confusing. In fact in the scriptures it states that Confusion is of the Devil. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. That He teaches to the understanding of man and that is through Plain and Simple things. God wants all of his children to return to him, not just a few because they couldn't "understand" what he wanted them to do.
His response to our conversation was the most startling part. He told us that he was on the Verge of being offended. That it was stupid and offensive to think of God that way. Simple was for two and three year olds. Then he quoted Shakespeare and told me to remember that... I obviously don't remember it because, well one Shakespeare is not God. and yeah Shakespeare has a lot of great quotes, but take it out of context and put it in your own understanding and thoughts it doesn’t make sense... well actually it still doesn't make sense when it is in context... so yeah.
He also kept laughing at me because of my "expressionate face" he could read everything on my face. Errm... obviously he couldn't read facial expressions so well, because he didn't guess mine very well. He must have mistaken my confused face for a face of enjoyment. He also kept mentioning how much wisdom and age he has on us, so I was thinking like he was 50 or something. but he is 35. that's only like 15 years older than me, and well... There is Man’s knowledge and Gods knowledge and I guess you can decide which one you want.
So that conversation was awesome... a little frustrating to deal with Scientologist people.
Another thing I have been thinking about this week is the Gospel. This Church. Again if my thoughts don't make sense then I apologize. When people turn away from the Church. What do they turn too? They have a lack in their testimony. They aren't as good as others. They don't understand something that others seem to understand. Rules don't make sense. Members offended me. ETC. I thought to myself, and what I believed and thought when in my own mind I turned away from the church. I still attended church like everyone else, but inside I was not growing I wasn't doing anything, I guess I was a bit agnostic. I didn't know or believe God was there anymore. Of course on my behalf I never took the time to get to know him through the scriptures and through prayer - which we must do in order to come to know him. I guess I just thought that one day I would come to a 'knowing' that I would just identify that God was there without making any effort. It wasn't until I started to do those things that things started to go into place. I then realized the importance of the Prophet, and General conference and listening to them. I took the Prophet for granted. When you turn away from the Church, if you don't believe in the church, You don't believe in the Prophet, you don't believe he is there anymore or exists. If you have a testimony of this latter day Prophet You have a testimony of this church. If you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon You have a testimony of this church. If you believe in ANYTHING in this church in this Gospel. You have a testimony. Start with what you have. and grow. Don't expect to "know" everything. Don't expect a "Knowing" to occur without effort. Scripture Study, Prayer, diligence etc. You have to do it! When people turn away, in my mind, they go into the same state that I was once at. Agnostic. Is God really there? does he really even Exist? I'm here to tell you that he does exist, and that he has restored his Gospel to the Earth. Wickedness never was happiness, and this Gospel has brought me more happiness than anything else. It has brought me Faith, Hope, and Love for the things around me. It has brought me to appreciate the things around me. It bothers me when people say they do not believe, or know that the Gospel is true anymore. It is your own personal fault. What have you done to prove it right? what have you done to figure it out? Have you been reading? praying? keeping the commandments? how can God tell us that it is true if we aren't searching for it?
Man will tell you that we all came from an amoeba that crawled out of the ocean. God tells us that we are created in his image, and have the potential to become Gods and Goddesses ourselves. Now I personally don't want to be an amoeba with no future. God is the way to go for me.
Well I love you all and I hope you are all doing well. If you have any questions, or anything that I can do for you let me know. I really do mean it! That's what missionaries are for. Elder Nelson didn't just say "ask the missionaries" just to say it, He meant it.
So Go. Fight. and Win. The battle of a Testimony is real, it's what we used against Satan and we won then. We can win today.

I Love You All!!!!!!!!!

Sister Karen Call

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Faith in God

Holla Familia!
So these past few weeks have been pretty interesting. It snowed 2 feet the day before Valentine’s Day. Causing transfers to be moved back a week, and because it snowed on our P-day we were told to stay inside all day and not go anywhere due to safety issues. Sooo there was no email last week because we haven't been to the library or anywhere or had the time.
So Transfers, I am still here in Christiansburg! Sister Thomson was transferred away to Bedford with Sister Holden. I am now serving with Sister Wines.
So I don't have much time this week . I'm just going to talk about a subject that has been on my mind for the past few days: Faith. I have seen so much doubt this week. From members, friends, and others. I have heard that they don't know where they are going; what they are doing; they don't agree with what the church leaders are doing; they don't like this; they don't like that.... Do you know what I think? Which is a blunt and kind of rude way to say it... but Do you believe in God? Do you believe in your Heavenly Father? Do you believe in the Savior? Do you have Faith that all things are possible through them? Christ is the Head of this church. If you have a problem with how things are being "run" yes, there are the mistakes of man, BUT God is in charge. He will not let anything that will ruin his gospel. This Gospel is Perfect. Man is not. But if you fight against the servants of God, then who are you really fighting against?.... GOD.
I have been really focusing and studying on faith. How do you build it? How do you know what it is? How can I know if I have faith in Christ? With Faith we gain a Personal Testimony, we receive Guidance, Revelation, and Spiritual knowledge. We will have Miracles, Visions, Dreams,  Healings, and all the Gifts of God that He gives. So when these things are not coming to us, is it because of our desires? John 12:39-42.
Read Mosiah 4:6-7 and 1 Ne 8:12. As you come to know and love this Gospel. You will desire it for all. If you do not have that desire to share it with all. Change now. Learn of Christ now. Do not wait till you have "extra time" That is ridiculous!   Put God first and all things will work out for your good.
Well I love you all and I hope this week goes well! Study your Scriptures, Ponder, Pray, Do your Church Callings with all of the desire of your heart, and Go to Church. God will bless you. He is bound to his promise as long as you keep your side.
Love you All!
Sister Karen Call

Monday, February 3, 2014

Patience, Love and Get to Work

Holla Familia!!
I have learned a lot about Patience, Love, and Going to Work this week. I think God wants me to learn Patience. A lot of Patience. Not as much as Job, but pretty close. I have been sick, things have fallen through like crazy, I have been chastised, I have had a lot of things happen, and we will leave it at that. I have learned a lot from it though. I do not wallow in the criticism. If somebody tells me something to change, that feels right, then it needs to be done. Yeah I feel like an idiot for not knowing about it, and not doing it, but if I just decided to get offended or upset then where the heck would I go? You are supposed to learn from your mistakes. Not hide from them, deny them, or pretend that people didn't say anything about them. "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." or, stop putting your head in the oven. Learn from them.
I also learned a little about love this week as well. I went on exchanges with Sister Reed. While Sister Richards and Sister Thomson stayed in Christiansburg. I don't know very much about Sister Reed, and well we didn't really talk much, but I could feel the love that she has for people and for the Gospel. She is an awesome little missionary. She works with situations and with people. She loves the Gospel enough to be able to compromise with things that aren't working out the way we would wish that they would. She probably thinks I'm crazy and such, but I learned a lot from how she thought, what she said, and what she did. I have very high respect for her. Anywho, it is always interesting to see how other missionaries work and how they say things. If  I could I would go on exchanges every week, because I feel like I learn so much on them, and hopefully I can give something back in return. I have earned the reputation of being rather blunt with people. Which I guess is good... but I also need to learn how to be loving while I am being blunt. It's a work in progress.
A guy we are talking to, his name is Bill, he told us a story about this guy he knows. The guys name is Jake: "Jake, Blake and Claud (I can't remember the names of the two other guys so I made them up, but Jake is real) were all driving from one forest ranger station to the next. As they were driving Blake shouted for Claud to stop the truck, he saw some mushrooms on the side of the road (edible kind, can't remember it's name either), Blake hopped out and started picking the Mushrooms, and eating a few at the same time. Jake got out of the truck and watched Blake eat the mushrooms. Blake looked at Jake and told him to try the mushrooms that they were really good. Jake told him no thanks mushrooms are gross. But Blake was persistent and finally against Jake’s better judgement he took a bite out of one. As he started eating it Blake then said "Well I hope these are the right mushrooms, there is another type that looks just like them, but they are poisonous. You can know that you ate the wrong one because after a few minutes you will get a stomach cramp and then you only have about 20 min to get to the hospital." So Blake and Jake started heading back to the truck, and Jake hops in. Blake grabs onto the door, and then grabs his stomach and starts to groan "Oh... Oh... Jake my Stomach! It hurts!" Jake looks at Blake, Sticks his foot on Blake's chest, pushes him out of the door, and closes it. Then he turned to Claud and said "get driving we got 20 minutes." Blake wasn't dying, he was actually joking with Jake, Bill explained that Jake was serious about everything that he did, and he never got embarrassed about things. At this point in the story Sister Thomson turned to me and said "That's kinda like you!" I just started laughing. So this story probably wasn't as funny as it was when Bill was telling us about it, but I thought it was interesting. Jake Got things done. He didn't mess around. When we start to mess around - with things such as sin - we get in trouble. Sin is like eating poisonous mushrooms. They look just like the ones that taste delicious, and they may taste delicious for a moment. But When you start feeling the cramps from sin. The pain and the burden. Well you have two choices - kick Satan out the door, and get moving toward repentance. Or die. there is no other choice. there is no middle or neutral ground with God and the Devil. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24
We have all eaten poisonous mushrooms, and Jesus Christ is our source of healing. Repentance. the Lord says "repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you" 3 Ne 9:13
We must go and we must do. Get to Work. The time is now to start changing and getting things done. Change Now, as the general authorities said in the last Ensign message. CHANGE NOW. Best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. Then next best time is NOW.

I love you all and I hope you are all having a great week!
Sister Karen Call