Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sister Gunslinger and The Boy That Lived


I'm sure y'all remember me talking about The Boy That Lived. He's next summer's activity, I've been invited back to be his nanny. HE DONE BEEN DUNKED THIS WEEK WHOOHOO!!! And all of his non-member/ Less-Active family was there!!! YAY FOR PROGRESS AND SUCCESS! Ah, triumph. During his confirmation, I knew, i just KNEW he was one of the elect. Only age 10, his confirmation promised an eternal family and a full-time mission. Missions are forEVER. They are not 18months-2 years!! That's where they start, but the impact goes on for SO LONG. I can't believe I didn't realize this sooner...

So yes, it's been a much better week than the past couple I've bene having... Sunday night,while I was saying my prayers, I had such a warm, comforting feeling. It came on slowly and then all of a sudden I was just wrapped in this toasty blanket. I knew that God was proud of me and that I had passed whatever test He had wanted me to. I had endured well and God gave me a good pat on the back.

And then God handed us everything. This week was on fire!! Every day was jam-packed with appointments and the times when those appointments backed out, I just walked with faith to the back-up plans and I knew that God would bless us and put us where we needed to be. Sure enough, He did. We met at least 2 solid people this week. One of them came to church AND the baptism we had yesterday!! His name is Gotye and.. he's another french speaker. From the Congo. Haha.... no seriously guys, help me learn french. DAD. HELP ME. So we met him Friday, and then he came to the baptism saturday and then church on sunday. During the baptism, he told me that once, in the Congo, he saw "les Saints de Dernier Jours" spray-painted on a fence. He said "it's.... odd, no?"  I was about ready to bounce out of my chair!!! "DUDE, are you serious???" I didn't say that... but... I thought it. Foreshadowing. Eh, Gotye?

We also met Rough Rider-- she stopped us! And we met with her everyday until she got a little virus. We gave her a book of Mormon and told her to read it. The next day when we went over, she had read all the way into 1 Nephi 12. And you could feel and see the spirit around her. She said "I feel like my life is starting over! I feel excited! Fresh! I was praying that God would send me someone to show me the right way. And he sent you." She had gone to many churches before but always felt like something was missing from each one of them... She's had a very rough life, it actually scared me a little (read: a lot.) She had been held captive and abused over in Azle (which is in the mission) and she finally turned her life over to Christ. I love meeting the "I should be dead right now" people because there's a reason they're not dead yet. I think I know the reason...

This week was good. Really good. I'll forever be grateful for the muscle and callous that developed because of those trials and the privilege it was to be hated for my Savior's sake. I love Euless. Some of my bestest friends are here. Y'all won't mind if I spend next summer here.... right???

Love, Sister Gunslinger

There's An Upside To This Story

Petition from a mother:  Hi y'all.  As you can tell from this letter, Hannah could use some encouragement. Would you write her a little note of love?  Especially you who have recently returned from your own missions (or are currently still on one!)  and understand just what she's feeling....  I think it would mean the world to her to hear from her friends and siblings in Christ.
Thank you, Janet

4909 Canyon Trail North #2505
Euless, Texas 76040
Or even send her a short email:

If you let me know you wrote her I'll send you cookies. :)  Maybe not to Europe; they'd go stale before you get them.  Maybe I could make you granola and send that....?

Okay, from Hannah:
I just want to let y'all know that after I write this email, Sister Kuli and I are going to get food and then sleep for the entire rest of the pday. And I'm going to enjoy it.

THE BOY THAT LIVED IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!!! And that kid is going to change worlds. Our District Leader was in primary last sunday and when he asked 'so who's going on a mission??" The Boy That Lived raised his hand excitedly and said "I AM!" The DL said "I felt the spirit flood me. He's going on a mission." His soul is one of the most pure I've ever met.

We met with Joker and Harley Quinn this week.... THEY SET THEIR SEALING DATE AND THE JOKER IS WORKING TO GET THE PRIESTHOOD NEXT MONTH!!! DAHHHHHH which reminds me, Mom, can I come back to Texas the week of December 15th? And just... stay that whole week and meet you in Florida....?

Our mission continues to gain momentum. Texas Fort Worth is not an army that is easily stopped. President came out with some new finding techniques using 21 Tips, Family History and a new way to present the pamphlet that works 95% of the time. We're definitely a force to be reckoned with. (side note: that's why my pirate ship's name is "The Reckoning.".... you know, whenever I get a pirate ship... okay, that was an inside joke for Sister Chantry whenever she sees this.)

In summation: there's a lot of disturbing and annoying of Satan's telestial kingdom and he's been getting a little irked. Which is probably why yesterday was so......... well.

Lately, I've been feeling like the devil sent some of his biggest beasties to go bully me. I feel like I haven't slept for days, I can't get some peace, it feels like devilish heckling. Yesterday we had two different people within 2 hours of each other tear down the Plan of Salvation, attack us personally, and defame everything I hold near and dear. One of them was Murphy. Who called us to preach a bitter sermon mingled with profanity about how God doesn't care, how we're all so wrong-- all of our teachings, our scriptures, you, me, it's all wrong. The only thing I could really hear, though, was the hurt. I didn't hear anger, I heard some kid who fell down and skinned his knee, and needed someone to hold him. But because of pride, he pushed away the loving arms that have always been open and took it out on us. At the end of his rant, he said "just wanted to let y'all know." and hung up... if that doesn't tell you how much of a kid he is...

Normally, this wouldn't have been so bad, but it just came at a bad time. It caught the tail end of a pretty rough 7 weeks.

BUT THERE'S AN UPSIDE. I was praying that night and the peace finally came. I understood the why's of it all. It's not because I'm disobedient, it's not because God doesn't love me. It' because I need to be refined. I didn't do anything wrong, God just loves me enough to burn the dross away. My faith is unshaken, despite the vehement attacks. If anything, I have grown closer to my Savior because I caught a little glimpse of what His life was truly like. How blessed am I to suffer in His name!!!!

Elder Holland gave a great discourse to missionaries in Frankfurt in 2002. He said "you think you're the only missionaries who've ever been depressed?? EVERY MISSIONARY HAS BEEN DEPRESSED! What kind of missionary would you be if you weren't depressed?? It comes with the territory, it's like MTC training!" He goes on to tell us that if we're the kind of missionaries we should be, the disciples of Christ we say we are, then how can we ask for another path or another cup to drink from? If we don't walk in Christ's footsteps, who are we following? And Christ walked a very long, very hard road.

Opposition is real, and so is God's love. Just keep your covenants, read your scriptures and PRAY YOUR LITTLE HEART OUT.


Love, Sister Gunson

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Is The Iron Rod Out Of Glow?"

My Mission President has spent, basically, all of his mission trying to tell me to not run faster than I can. And this week I learned what happens when we don't sustain our leaders by our obedience.

This week was hard too. I was running faster than I had strength (sometimes literally). I was pushing for goals that, while admirable, aren't exactly attainable right now. And then we lost our 3 most promising 'gators. Murphy was one of them. All of them were sudden and, on Murphy's part, pretty rude. It cut me deep. Simply because I know the pain they're going through and they turned their backs on the balm of Gilead. It was the straw that broke our backs, that day, and I ended up sobbing in front of True Grit instead of teaching her about the temple. But it turned out to be a good experience anyways. I don't want to focus on the negative because this story has a really good turnout. So let's just say that we were at our breakin' points and then this happened:

#1: True Grit is the big sister I never had.  5 minutes before we met with her, Murphy had just cut us off completely and inexplicably, so the weakness juice was leaking already. I broke down crying about the intense week we'd been having and she nursed us spiritually back to health. She rubbed my back while I cried and said "it's gonna be okay. Just pray for them. Because they don't know what they're doing." She told us to never let ourselves be degraded, to never feel beneath anybody because we're the strongest ones out there. I cried harder, cuz then she said "you girls are the example to my daughter of what kind of woman she should be. I want my boys to marry girls like y'all." She bore testimony of why she joined the church-- that we were loving and unjudgemental and that's what we needed to be. And it's because we love people so much, it's why we don't flinch in the face of such vehement and occasionally violent opposition. She said "go show the world what it's all about! Is the Iron Rod out of glow?? No! Then smack those fools upside the head with the Iron Rod!!" Then she told me that I should be a Southern Baptist for Halloween. I apologized for crying on her and she said "well, remember when the shoe was on the other foot? When I thought I couldn't go on? And I thought that there was no hope? You not only convinced me that God loved me and that I was precious to Him, you showed me. You gave me hope."

I got to bear some of the most powerful testimony to her.  She was saying that she wasn't pure "like us." I said "NO. You're more than pure. Not only because of Christ's Atonement but because God gave you the most precious spiritual gift. You love just like the Savior loves. You exhibit the most Christlike of all the Christlike qualities. God gave that to you in the Pre-Existence and you have used it since then."

Love really does conquer everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.

Sunday rolled around and it brought such blessings and miracles. We had 2 ward council members tell us that we're doing a great job and that they love our vibrancy and enthusiasm. The Joker set his own goal with the Bishop to get the Melchezidek Priesthood. I just felt that the members were actually happy to see us walk into the room. And just this morning, we had our Assistant WML call us and say "NONE OF YOU ARE LEAVING, ARE YOU??" I told him no and he said "okay, GOOD."

So, the assignment for the week is to read Mosiah 24. And then pick an experience that was brutally hard and find all the moments where God helped you out. And how your testimony grew stronger because of it. Then find a friend and share it with them before next Monday and report it back. if you can't find a friend, blog it, tweet it, post it on facebook-- make sure someone knows that YOU know God is not only alive but looking out for each and every one of us. BONUS ROUND: go out with the missionaries for an hour.

I love y'all so very very much. Please be good. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers.

Or else I will smack you upside the head with the Iron Rod.

Love, Sister Gunson