Monday, July 11, 2016

Our Happiness

SO

in t minus 8 days i will have been home for 3 months. Officially 2 transfers in mission speak. CRAZY.

Life has been good in these 3 months. It is funny because sometimes we think that our progression in the gospel wont be as great when we get home, or our happiness wont be the same......or maybe I just thought that.....awkward......

Well I would like to share something that really helped me. Before I left the field we would talk with members who had served missions and see what life was like for them after the mission. It was an interesting thing to do. My favorite conversation was with a recently returned sister missionary....of course right?

She told me that life after the mission is hard. You feel like

you aren't spiritual enough

you aren't as happy

you aren't as close to the Lord

you aren't always with the spirit


These things are all hard for us r.m.s haha. Really though....

So she said what we have to do is find joy and purpose in all of the things that you do.

Going to work?

Know why.

Going to the gym?

How will that help you or others? (for me it's because I am less of a monster to people haha)

So as I was thinking about this I also found a couple scriptures that I really like.

" And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." (1 John 2:3)

The best way to find happiness in this life is through knowing our Lord. The only way to do that is by keeping his commandments.

This gospel is simple.

KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.

We can choose this day to have happiness.

Our happiness will depend on our willingness to keep the commandments.

I testify of the joy I feel from keeping the commandments. I know it is the best way to follow the Lord. I am so grateful for the joy I feel from it, and they way we can all feel.

C

P.S. If you want to learn a bit more there is an amazing talk by President Monson that I HIGHLY recommend. Click belowwwww

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/finding-joy-in-the-journey?lang=eng

Monday, June 27, 2016

My weaknesses, HIS strengths

Well hey there,
 It's me again.

So I have been learning a lot over here in California. It is actually amazing how we don't recognize how much we are learning, but if we take time to stop we can really see it.

So let me tell you guys a secret.....

God loves us so much.

I will now let you guys know why I say that.

Here in my life I have had these moments where I really have to remember that no one is perfect, especially me. I have so many weaknesses and so many moments that God gives me to remember that. I stumbles across a scripture this last week that helped me through some hard moments this week.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1)

I HAVE WEAKNESSES. Okay I admitted it.

I have been working a lot in retail and it is HARD. Like not hard physically, but mentally it can be. To be a disciple of Christ who doesn't focus on worldly things, or someone who is constantly nice to everyone can be a HARD thing, but I love this scripture for the support it gives me.

SO God loves us. He wants us to win our daily battles. He wants us to be strengthened but him.

We need patience to bear our weaknesses.

NOT EASY

BUT

POSSIBLE.

Pray for it. Ask god to help you with your patience. Set goals and strategies. Life will not be easier, but you will feel better.

I hope you all can see the love that God has for you even though we are all imperfect humans. Look for his love, Feel of his strength.

C

P.S. If you haven't seen Elder Holland's new video on mental illnesses I invite you to watch it. The spirit you feel is amazing. God truly does love us!

https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/like-a-broken-vessel?cid=HP_MO_20-6-2016_dPFD_fMNWS_xLIDyL1-A_

Monday, June 13, 2016

EXAMPLES

Can you believe it?

I cant.

Next week it will be 2 months since I got home from my beloved country of Chile. I am still messing up the English language (ahem.....my spelling is atrocious...thank goodness for auto-correct). I am working. I am also trying to find a balance between everything.

I needed some reflection time this week, so I could not wait for Sunday to come sooner.

In my religion class we read some of Paul's teachings again, and the words literally stood off the page to me. The balance I need. Being an example.

In Philippians 1: 27 we read "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel". 

Well this is what I needed. The balance between my new life and my mission life. I think as returned missionaries we want to still be missionaries, but also live our lives. I couldn't find the balance between Hermana Godown and Chelsie. 

Something I always told the members when we talked about missionary work on my mission was to just be an example. Through their example they would bring many unto Christ. I now need to do the same. 

It can be a struggle to constantly be looking for ways to share the gospel. Though I have noticed that through my diligent example, God has and will put people in my path so that I may share his message. 

I invite you all to find more ways to be an example. Evaluate where you are now to see what you want to become. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

The truth

So here is a not so new question

How as a returned missionary am I supposed to live in the world but not of the world.

Well guys it isn't easy. This last week I have had some fun experiences that made me want to crawl back into my mission bubble.

1. I started back to work

2. I went to my first house party.

Yeah yeah I know it has been a month since I have been home. Yep it's been a month. (yes I said that twice so that I can actually start excepting it.....don't judge). So naturally after a month I should be back to normal right? I should be able to do these two things and conquer them right?

So let me tell you that they weren't that bad, but they changed something in me. While I was studying for my New Testament class (yes I talk about it a lot, but it really hits me when I need it) we were reading in Romans chapter 2. Well in this chapter Paul is talking to the Romans about obedience to the commandments. Many times we think we are the MOST obedient, but it turns out that we are the MOST hypocritical.

WHAT?
Did I really just say that?

Well let me explain.......


I started back to work at a huge fancy department store this last week. Now something in how it has changed me has been more in the way of being hypocritical. I know it is a commandment to love God more than riches. I mean look at the young man that Jesus taught all of his doctrine, this kid was awesome. Then Jesus asks him to give up his riches and follow him. Then the kid freaks out and is like wait I didn't sign up for THISSSSS, and gives up. Well it happens to the best of us actually. We may not be rich........really though I am SOOO far from being rich, but I still would kill for that nice Chanel wallet right? Well then I look at a celebrity on my Facebook feed and judge her for the way she lives and how focused she is on worldly things. Or even my co worker who has like 7 Chanel bags. You may agree that this could also be considered jealousy, hypocrisy, etc.

well it still breaks a commandment, and I am still walking around with everyone knowing that I went and served God for a year and a half.

Well this brings me to my next point.

HUMILITY. 

It is something we ALL lack. Yes you. You lack it too.

Why you may ask?

Wellllllll the only perfect one on this Earth was Christ. Sooooooo ....

Okay please forgive my third grader answer hahaha here is the real one.

As I was listening to a talk given by Elder Steven R. Snow from the April General Conference I learned something about humility,

"We must all strive to become more humble. Humility is essential to gain the blessings of the gospel. Humility enables us to have broken hearts when we sin or make mistakes and makes it possible for us to repent. Humility enables us to be better parents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends."

How might we become more humble?

well there is an awesome scripture which God provided to show us, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them (Ether 12:27)".

So let us all pray to see our weaknesses and have them made strong unto us. I testify that it will happen this way. I know that God wants us to be more like his son, Jesus Christ, and we will provide the mediums to do so.

C

Also If you guys have more questions on humility I invite you to read the talk by elder snow
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/be-thou-humble?lang=eng

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The new "NORM"

So everyone tells you adjusting is hard and life after the mission sucks. Well I am a glass half full kind of person and say half of that is true. Life is hard, but even in the mission it was. Life after the mission does not suck though. We do the same things to keep us sane. We read our scriptures. We pray (a lot I might add....). And we find solace in our church attendance. Those same three things we told our people.

Can I add though that there might be something else that we learned on our missions that will help us even more?

O B E D I E N C E

It is one 9 letter word that changes lives. This life changing word is something that Paul tried to teach the Corinthians a lot. I have been studying in Acts recently where we learn something. Paul can teach us a lot of stuff by the spirit. We must keep ourselves pure. We must have charity. We must love our fellow man. I can make a list for days, but the main thing Paul was trying to teach them was how to be a better disciple.

You may be asking "Okay where is she going with this?"

Let me tell you. If the secret to discipleship is obedience, then how can we be obedient. Let me tell you obedience is hard, but something I learned in my mission and re-learned from Paul is.....drumroll please.....

find your strength in God, not man. (Corinthians 6:12).

He will strengthen us. He will uphold us. He will love us unconditionally.

We are his children. He gets that life is hard, but he is always there for us.

Use that power he gives us.


PS. Here is a short video I found and loveeeeeee this was Paul's message. This is his truth.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Update

Well hello from California,

About 2 weeks ago I got on a plane from my beloved country of Chile to return to my home her in gorgeous Los Angeles, California. Things have been weird for sure, but I decided to take an online religion class to balance me out.

Well this last week in my class we were studying in Acts 9, 13-15. Can I say how much the stories of these converted missionaries helps? So this week we are talking about Saul/Paul (his name is changed to Paul after his calling as a missionary). Well Saul was a trouble maker. You could say that everyone knew it too. Saul dad some bad stuff, and for that the Lord struck him blind (stay righteous so that he doesn't do that to you guys ;). Well he had this humbling experience, and the Lord saw that he needed a miracle to really convert him. So the Lord decides to inspire Ananias by the Holy Ghost, and get him over there to Saul to take away his blindness. So Ananias follows the spirit, heals Saul, and teaches him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well Saul has this miracle, and acts on his faith to be baptized. After his baptism he is called as a missionary where he has many tough investigators (well most of them are anti Christs/atheists). He defends the gospel in every second, and follows the spirit to be inspired to do so.

Well Saul/Paul is a great inspiration to me. He is what my investigators/converts can become if they really are converted. This topic of the conversion is something I studied a lot in the last of my mission. The difference between Saul and Paul is that Paul was the converted Saul. Saul had a testimony, but Paul had the conversion. The real question is what takes to be Paul, truly converted is. Well as we look in Acts is shows us

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him (Acts 13:9)
 For so hath the Lord commanded us (Acts 13:47)
And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 13:52)

Paul was filled with the Holy Ghost, like many of us after our baptisms, but the difference is that he acted on the promptings he received boldly. How easy is it for us to do this? Many times the promptings we receive are hard, like go talk to that person about the gospel. To take the time and go out of our way is hard, but the Lord gives us strength to do it. The blessings are great, like we see with Paul. Through testifying boldly, he was filled with joy.

I know the same blessings are promised to us, but we must act to receive them. May we pray for the courage to act, like Paul. I know I will.


Chelsie


I stand all amazed.

Hey everyone, 

Well this is my last email as Hermana Godown. It is a very bittersweet moment to be honest. I would just like to thank you all for your love and support in this year and a half. It makes the difference in the life of a missionary.  In this year and a half I have learned and grown so much with the people here in Chile. I have come to know my savior and I have come to know of his love. I am going to be very chilche but only the words of a hymn can explain how I feel. 

1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

At the beginning of this year and a half I wasnt very strong in my testimony of the gospel, but Chrsit still offerred me his love. I quickly understood that the only way I would make it through this year and a half is to learn more about my savior, and understand how to get his help in this work. I learned of his atonement and I testify that it is only through his sacrifice that  we can find peace in this life. I know that the beginning of my mission set the path for the next step. 


2. I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

About 6 months into my mission I really apprecaited my knowledge of the atonement. I had a hard sector and I didnt understand how to make the best of a hard situation. I came to learn that the mission was a place to learn about forgiveness. Forgiveness to myself. Forgiveness to my companion. Forgiveness to the people who didnt want to listen. Forgiveness changed me. It changed my attitude, and prepared me to make the best of a bad situation. I testify that it is never to late to ask for forgiveness. It is never too late to change. 

3. I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

It is funny how there is the saying that the sun will always shine after rain. The difficult times p`repare us for the best of times. I have had difficult moments, but I know the Lord prepared me for all of the good things that I have recieved. I will constantly praise the Lord for the love he gives me. My mission has shown me that our God is a god of miracles. He loves us so so much. ¨HE constantly protects, guides, and puts miracles in our lives every moment of everyday to show his love. I stand all amazed at the miracles of our God. My mission is an example. 

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!

I testify of our savior and redeemer Jesus Christ. I testify of his love. I testify that the Church of Jesus Chrsit of Latter day Saints is the only true church on this earth. I testify of the Book of mormon and the miracles it brings if we just read it daily. I testify of the power of covenants. I testify of the love of a heavenly father. I testify of a plan that he has for each and everyone of us. I testify of missionary work. That really the best way to find peace and happiness in this life is through sharing about our savior Jesus Chrsit. 


Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

Hermana Godown