Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mission Life....It's Now or Nevarr!!!!

Hannah uses mission lingo so much in this letter that I don't even want to attempt an editor's note... Please ask me if you would like further clarification on anything!!  Although I will explain this one thing--to be endowed means to enter the temple and make covenants with Heavenly Father.  When you keep covenants with God, He "endows" you with blessings and power.  That's why we get so excited when people go to the temple to receive their endowments! :)

Begin forwarded message:

From: Hannah Gunson <>
Subject: Mission Life!.... Now or Nevarr!
Date: October 13, 2014 at 12:30:37 PM PDT
To: Janet Gunson <>

Hank Smith gave a talk called "My Soul Hungered and My Stomach Growled" (thanks a ton Elder Wright for sending that to me!!) and there's a part where he's talking about how sometimes we're rebellious and he kinda whispers "It's My Life" (a song by Bon Jovi). Somehow, Sister Nielson and I decided to say it at every opportunity. Someone will do something and we'll pause and say "'s her life!... Now or Nevarr!!" Anyways. Just explaining the title.

Last week, I found out that the Joker from my last area was being endowed on Saturday!! However, I wasn't able to make it. And that's okay-- as it turns out, the Lord needed us in Arlington!

Reason #1: Sister Nielson got a rash on her foot (I've been calling it leprosy... it's not leprosy. But that doesn't stop me from calling her my "little leper.") and we had to get that checked out (cuz DUUDE it looks NASTAY) and that took FOREVER. After that, we went potential hunting and had a couple of cool experiences.

Reason #2: We met this guy as he was getting out of his car and we engaged in some polite missionary contact... Funny thing is in Texas, you can find the elect like RIGHT AWAY because the elect will let YOU talk. Those blinded by the craftiness of men usually spend 45 minutes explaining that there's no spirit world, there're no familial bonds in the after life and all we do there is wake up, praise God, go back to bed...for eternity. (Side note: I would not worship a god so vain that he created us just so that we could come back and spend our eternity worshiping him... no thanks. Also, why would we have families here if we didn't need them thereafter....?) Anyways. While we were talking with this guy, Sister Nielson and I had the strong impression to testify boldly of the restored truths of what really happens after we die.  He might be in the spirit world before he listens...
Reason #3: We met 2 teenagers, also on the sidewalk. We had walked past them and the spirit told both of us to turn around (the Spirit speaks Texan y'all) so we quickly turned around and taught these two. They're both in high school and they were the elect we were looking for. Spanish missionaries had actually been teaching one of the teen's mom before. And they "kept reading out of some book..." We were like ".... you wanna know what that book was?" and both of them said "SURE!" Long story short, we're meeting with them this week. And they were so polite for high- schoolers!! That's always a plus.

More cool things happened this week:

Remember that little stinker last transfer, whom I aptly nicknamed "Stinker?" He called us and asked us for the New Member Lessons. He's had a really rough go of it this year. To protect him and respect his privacy... we're gonna say he's just had some really negative stuff going on. Before, last transfer, he was closed off and negative, even seeking to remove his records from the church. And then, after returning from trying to move away, he came back to Arlington and asked us to teach him. We have a long way to go with this one, but it was so cool to get that phone call!!! Met with him Sunday, he decided he wants to go on a mission. The Atonement truly is infinite!

Last story. And this is a long one, so just keep holding on. We were at dinner with a member at Chipotle Friday night and these people came up to us, asking us "what's the difference between the Mormons and Christians?" Excited at the reverse contact, we leaped into the first lesson... only to discover the true intentions for starting this conversation. It went from pleasant testimonies of Jesus to ripping into Joseph Smith, telling us that we were wrong, denying our experiences in praying about it, telling us that we worshiped Joseph Smith, he saw a fallen angel and not God, that we weren't Christians... all the sort of "bunk" we usually get. Mostly, it was annoying how they wouldn't listen. No matter what we said, no matter how we testified, they denied its authenticity because it didn't agree with their doctrine.

But the funny thing was: At lunch earlier that day, I had been reading from my D&C seminary manual about the prophet's martyrdom. It referred me to Section 135, John Taylor's testimony of the prophet. I felt impressed to read it out loud. As I read it, I felt the strong impression (coupled with the strong desire) to pray for confirmation. I couldn't even get the question out, the Lord was so excited to DUMP, just POUR His confirming spirit to that prayer.

Forward to later that night at dinner,that confirmation was put to the test. Finally, the opposing team went too far and I interrupted them, put my foot down and bore the most powerful testimony I ever have that Joseph Smith was a prophet and servant of the Lord. I don't worship him, but I am thankful for him because through him, I gained a greater understanding of my Savior. That man made the Savior PERSONAL to me and has influenced my life in such great ways-- for that reason, I sing "Praise to the Man."
WEEKLY SOAPBOX: Not only is this experience cool--if obnoxious and rude--but I learned several things from it that testify to me of the truthfulness of not only Joseph Smith, but of this church.
#1: THE ROLE OF THE SPIRIT IN CONVERSION / WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: The second this guy started talking, I couldn't understand him. I think he was testifying of Christ... and I think he was speaking English, but the whole time, I was like ".... wut?" NOTHING HE SAID MADE SENSE. I feel like that's a sign the Spirit just up and left. For the life of me, I can't even remember what he was testifying of! First lesson learned: the Spirit is CLEAR, direct, enlightens and makes sense-- when YOU are open.
Not only was it confusing, their spirit was rude and biting. They denied our spiritual power, insulted our beliefs, and, despite telling them many times how often we pray-- especially about this!-- they told us we were still wrong. They told us "we love you guys and are concerned for you!" Well I've been loved before and it doesn't feel like that. THEN they told US that WE weren't open. Because if we were, then (and I quote) "the spirit of God would've come down on you and y'all would've been on the floor, speaking in tongues!"
*le sigh*
The Spirit is ennobling. It takes farm boys with 4th grade educations and turns them into prophets. It doesn't take 20 year olds and make them look like drunk toddlers. Alcohol does that, the spirit DOES NOT.
#2: MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST: Amongst all the soul-assaulting insults of the evening, the worst insinuation was the denial of my honest, loving and truthful relationship I have with the Godhead. I've heard each one of Them speak to me, I know what They sound like, feel like and the idea that either I'm not praying to the right God or the God I've been praying to has lied to me about the truth gets under my skin. Dude. I've prayed too long, too hard about this and many other subjects to not know the truth. And if I've been praying to the wrong God, or the God I have been praying to hasn't told me by now that all this isn't true and that this isn't the way to get back to Him... then honestly, I'd rather go to hell because at least then the devil would care enough to do everything in his power to drag me down to be with him.
And if this is all wrong, and we all do go to hell, I'd rather be in hell with my family and Joseph Smith anyways. Better company, in my opinion. Anyways. I CLEARLY have feelings about this.

Love, Sister Gunson

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