Never Going Home–May 8, 2017

Hi Friends!

First, I don’t know if I should say it a week before or the day after but…
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! To all you mothers and women that influence families for good, whether they are biologically yours or not, you are amazing, loved and precious in God’s eyes.
In our District Meeting last Tuesday we talked about teaching to peoples needs and it was so great as a reminder that we need to teach how we would want to be taught. Christ always went one by one in His mortal ministry. He was there to help and save everyone and out of anyone, He knows that we ALL need His Gospel but he still focused and taught to the individuals. The Gospel is “one size fits all” but we are all introduced to it differently because we are different. This is why the Spirit is essential in teaching because He knows how the Gospel needs to be introduced and will tell us if we listen with love.
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This is Tiffiny, the most amazing YSA member ever! and she was baptized just in January. We love her!
So, I mentioned Brandon last week. He is roommates with a couple we met and started teaching and was present for the lesson we had last Sunday. Well, we had a church tour last Thursday and it was so great. We went into the room with the Baptismal font and he opened up so much about how he really wants to change but wants to make sure he is doing it the right way. He has so many questions and doubts his faith but I know there is such genuine desire in him. He accepted to pray about June 17th to be baptized!
Prince is doing so great! As a reminder, he is the one we met when we were biking past his house and he let us in to share our message and accepted the invitation to be baptized on May 27. He has such a strong faith and wants to learn more and serve God to the best of his ability. He is so amazing and has such good insights. It is so fun to teach him the principles of the restored Gospel and to see him light up with new knowledge. He read in the Book of Mormon and when we asked if he felt he got an answer after praying, he told us he didn’t feel a specific answer but just felt like he needed to go to church and meet the people to see the Gospel in their lives. It made me think how many people have come to church seeking that and have I been a good example of one of those members who has the Gospel alive? Think about it.
To top it off, Brandon and Prince both came to church!  Prince, who accepted the invitation to be baptized, came to church and the family ward was great at fellow shipping him. He loved the classes and the people and is excited to come back. Then, in the YSA Branch, we were worried because there are so few people and we wanted to make sure Brandon was comfortable but he ended up getting along really well with one of the YSA guys and they exchanged numbers to hang out. We stayed for Linger Longer, a meal to break our fasts and it was so strange to be amongst YSAs but really fun. It was a great Sunday.
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This was MLC. What was really cool was that we had a guest speaker. It was the Ward Mission Leader from my first area (tampa 2), Kasey Hess! His wife, Monica and their newborn daughter came as well. (they are on the very left of the picture. He is standing behind her.)
We had Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) last Friday and it was all about working with members to do missionary work. There were a few thoughts that came to mind and stuck out to me throughout the meeting. First, Do you FEEL it? The Majesty of the Message? We were  talking about the Spirit bearing witness to people of what we are teaching. A Spirit so powerful that people change their whole lives. Do we feel that? Do I feel that? As I thought about it, I know I have. Those moments where I knew the Spirit was testifying to them because He was testifying to me have been my favorite moments. Time and time again I have been privileged to feel that confirmation of the truth and it has been so comforting.
This lead to the next thought: Do you understand how lucky you are to be able to bear testimony of Christ? Hermana Jensen (my STL companion) wears her missionary badge to bed every night. I was confused but then she explained that this is the only time she can wear that badge and when she goes home, she can never put it on again so she wants to wear it as long as possible. That hit me. I have only a short time to be a full-time missionary. Do I understand how lucky I am? Then, my mind is comforted knowing that I will never be asked to take off the badge of my testimony  that is written on my heart. I can always bear testimony of Jesus Christ. Can you believe that? We can bear testimony that we KNOW that Christ lives, loves, and knows us and we know Him. I think that is still sinking in.
The last thought was to Bind yourself to be a good missionary for the rest of your life. One of the YSA members asked me if I was going to fall away after my mission and become another statistic and I said, “Not a chance” and yet that happens. So many missionaries go home saying, “I’m going to change forever!” and then something happens and they don’t. But, if we make the choice now and bind ourselves to be a missionary forever, then there is no going home, just another transfer. So, hate to break it to you family and friends but I am NEVER going home.
I love you!
Fight the Good Fight!
Sister Felt

Times & Seasons

May 1, 2017
Hi Friends!

We had so many cool miracles this week! I want to share two 🙂

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Here are some fun pictures of Sister Saunders and I.
First, we were biking and saw a guy raking outside. We told him who we were and he asked what the difference of our church was and before we could finish the first sentence he asked, “do you have time and want to come in?” of course. He lives with his godmother, who was super nice and we taught the restoration. He got super excited about the Book of Mormon and accepted the invitation to be baptized on May 27. We had a lesson with some members of the YSA Branch and it went super great. He is so excited to get involved and has such a strong desire to serve God.
We also had a crazy but amazing lesson yesterday. We brought a YSA Returned Missionary who went to Brazil to come to a lesson with a couple that speaks Portuguese (and some English). Well, IMG_4171here is what happened: Maiane and Sam welcomed us in (the couple we were coming to teach) and Romi (friend) was cooking some Brazilian meet and Indian style fish on a grill outside. They force fed us some amazing meet (nah, i didn’t have to be forced, of course) and were loud and happy as we got to know their other friend, George, and their roommate, Brandon. After the chit chat, they all ended up sitting in on the lesson. They all had different questions but were all interested in coming to church and learning more. So, that night we gave two Portuguese, two English and one Spanish Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet to them. It was so cool. To me, what was especially cool was that Brandon, who would come to the YSA Branch, has been going through some hard things and really wants to change his life around. He was quiet during the lesson but I could tell he was sincere in listening and we are meeting with him separately this week to teach him more. We may have met this Brazilian couple first but I think Heavenly Father needed us to find him especially.
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We went to a Specialized Missionary Training on Friday and went to Downtown Tampa to find some people!
We had a Specialized Training Meeting where the new missionaries and their

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On our way to the Specialized Training Meeting

companions spend most of the day being trained and practicing various missionary skills. It was in a different location than where it is usually held but it was really cool because we went to Downtown Tampa to proselyte and there were so many people about. We met a professional Tennis Player from Georgia who wants to meet with missionaries there as well as a wonderful man, Valentino, who, after we taught him a little bit and prayed with him, said that he felt so much

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More from Specialized Trianing. My legs look super long…but they are so that’s okay.

better and wants to learn more. Something that I really took away from this meeting was about Consecrated obedience. They asked us all why we came out on a mission. I commented that I came out for a lot of different good reasons but I have discovered some better ones of why I have stayed on my mission. We all begin things for different reasons but why we continue and finish things is what is most

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We have so much fun!

important. As I pondered more about why I have stayed, a thought came to mind, “because it has made me the happiest in my life so far.” I was kind of surprised by it at first and then I felt that Spiritual witness and then I just felt so warm and happy inside. It is so true. I have gone through some hard things and been wading through a bit of a refiners fire and it isn’t always fun and easy. Yet, I am so happy I get to be here. It’s a deep happy that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

To top off the week, we had Stake Conference and we were able to go to the adult session as well as the regular one. Here are some of my thoughts and notes (as usual):
~As you keep the Sabbath day Holy, other commandments will be easier to keep.
~Would you be the person you are today without the Gospel?
~There is too much to do to rest from the Work.
~To avoid temptation, do Temple work.
~Never loose the faith to pay tithing.
~You can always be an Angel in the lives of those around you.
~You chose to be a disciple of Christ before you came to earth so be one forever.
~Keep Strong and Have Faith
~Don’t miss any year, month, or moment without a current temple recommend.
~It is easy to find common ground.
~Doing the Simple things makes the difficult ones easier to bear
~Faith can be a small thing to exercise but it brings about seemingly impossible big miracles.
~The Influence of the Temple can change the lives of you and your family members.
~Why do we endure? because we know the importance of eternal promised made in His holy house.
We also had the opportunity to hear from Elder Gillenwater of the Area Seventy at the conference and he was amazing. In the Adult session he spoke about Having the courage to see things through the Lord’s eyes. We are told that faith and fear cannot coexist in the same space but yet we are faced with and feel fear all the time. How do we reject fear and invite faith in? I think Courage is the answer. Courage is doing something despite of fear and when we use that courage to propel us forward, we step into the path of faith. Elder Gillenwater said, “It takes courage to believe what the Lord says about the Atonement and to do the things we know won’t be easy.” But that is the beauty. When we have that courage, we can move forward in faith. As we pray to change our will into correspondence with God, He gives us that courage through His Spirit and we are stronger. D&C 128:22 says,
“Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.”
When you know God’s plan and how much He loves you and is doing to help you follow it, you can have courage in this life.
Sunday morning Elder Gillenwater spoke about Times and Seasons. We all go through trials. Sometimes, all of them seem to happen at once and other times, we sit there in the silence wondering when the storm will start. There are also times where we feel and hope that we have finished with all the trials that were reserved for us in this life. But, no matter what season we are in, we can hold on. How? By doing the small and simple things. We reach out in love, we pray fervently every day, we search the scriptures hungry for answers, we attend church, we fulfill and magnify our callings, we sacrifice and we consecrate and Elder Gillenwater said how there is no sacrifice or consecration we give that doesn’t help us. As we navigate the times and seasons of joy and sorrow in our lives, we need to constantly ask, “What do I have to offer the Lord?” and then, “What am I WILLING to offer the Lord?” The mission of the church, he said, is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I loved that because, although he said it humorously, it is true. We can’t be stagnant. We can’t stop progressing and I’m sorry to say but we can’t progress without going through low seasons. We have to wade through the deep snow of the winters of our life to bask in the bright sun and crisp air of a sweet-smelling spring as we become a new person. As he spoke, i thought about my mission. There have definitely been times and seasons. I have gone through a roller-coaster of spiritual highs and self-doubting lows and yet through all of it, I have been blessed.
There is an amazing talk by Elder Holland from the March 2001 Ensign, called Missionary Work and the Atonement. In there he says,
“Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels, We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font? You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? …If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.”
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I loved this
Salvation isn’t a cheap experience. It cost the suffering and death of the only perfect being to ever live on the earth. And as I ponder on that, I see just how much all the pain and struggles I have gone through on my mission have definitely made it so my mission has not been a cheap experience. It has been of ultimate worth. I am so grateful for the infinite love of my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. They know the things we go through are hard but they never said it would be easy. Only that it would be worth it and it is.
Fight the Good Fight!
Sister Felt

Grateful for Gifts

April 24, 2017

Hi Friends!

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Lots of pictures from our service day. So fun! Sister Saunders, Hunt and Alder!
We were able to see a woman, Sister Minzey, who hasn’t been to church in a while. She struggles with faith and second guesses herself and the whole time we have been with her, I just think, “She is like me”. It has been an interesting experience because I found myself testifying so strongly that she knows the things she has grown up with is true and that she has had those experiences in the past and she has to stop second guessing. As I reflected on that, I realized that it is all true for me. I know these things I am teaching are true and I have had experiences of my own that have taught me that. It was a nice reminder.
Thursday was a crazy day. So, first we had a Zone Service Day. All 29 of us missionaries in the Sarastoa Zone got together at one of the Habitat for Humanity home sites and did a

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I was taking most of the pictures so I finally got one of me actually working. Don’t worry, I wasn’t slacking off!

Garden Party. That is where we dig up the ground a little bit and lay sod so the yard can grow all pretty. We were there from 8am-12 and it was so tiring but SO FUN. Then, right after lunch, we had Zone Training Meeting. Yeah, we didn’t think that completely through. We put it the same day so the missionaries could save miles but that means everyone was in the bathrooms at the church to clean themselves off of dirt and sod.

However, Zone Training Meeting was great and all about Baptism and how important it is to really be prepared to make those covenants so that you can be prepared to make Temple covenants. As we were talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one of the missionaries said something I loved. He said, refering to Mosiah 26:22 IMG_4135which says, “…Come and be baptized unto repentance” that you need to be baptized unto a repentant life. You repent before you are baptized but baptism begins you on the journey of continued repentance. He also said you can’t follow the Gospel 80%. That effort counts as 0% because there was no real intent in the first place. I loved that. You need to be 100% willing to follow. All of you.
That same night, we were going to attend institute to try and get more involved with the YSA branch but the teacher never showed up. They were debating on if they should just go out to eat but then someone suggested the missionaries teach it. Why not? We ended up turning to the chapter and leading a discussion on coming unto Christ and it was so good.
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Our Zone
Yeah, a lot happened on Thursday.
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Hermana Gucake. She is the sweetest person ever!
We had a miracle at the very end of the night on Saturday. We were trying to find a person whose address wasn’t complete so we had to knock the whole street. One of the doors we ended up knocking on was a couple that moved from Brazil. As we talked with them they shared some of their beliefs about the nature of God and they believe what we believe! It was so cool! We shared some of the Restoration and they want to learn more and come to church next week.
Sunday was a mixed day. We attend both Sarasota Ward and the YSA branch so we were at the church building for 11 hours but it was so good! The talks were amazing in both sacrament meetings. Here are some of my notes:
~The sacrament is just a piece of bread and a cup of water until you make and keep that covenant.
~We come to Sacrament to be clean
~ Don’t treat church like a job
~How important do you make the Lord feel with your sabbath day observance?
~Deep spiritual experiences are hard to forget: write them down and lean on them in times of need.
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We also had great Relief Society lessons. In Sarasota ward it was on the talk, Blessings of Worship from Oct 2016 General Conference and how we need to know Who God is and once we do, our attitude changes. Then we decide Where He is on our priority list. When we understand Who He is, we develop that deep love, awe, reverence, honor and adoration for Him and then we are willing to give all of us to Him. Give Him your thoughts, talk, talents, time, and thanks.
In YSA we talked about the scripture 2 Peter 1:5-7 and it was such a good conversation about how all those attributes are connected. I encourage you all to read those verses this week and discover where you are in that process of becoming like Christ, beginning with Faith.
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This was at the meeting right after all that service. We clean up nice, huh!

 

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Found this in our area.

The last thing I want to mention was an experience during Gospel Doctrine (we combined) in YSA. This is what made it a mixed day. We were talking about Spiritual Gifts and the subject got on the topic of the leaders of the church, specifically the Prophets and Apostles and what Gifts of the Spirit they need to obtain to be able to fulfill the responsibilities given to them. One of the guys in the class started sharing his opinion and it quickly started getting on the edge of false doctrine. The

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People here really love the city they live in…

problem is, he started getting defensive when the teacher was trying to correct and I could feel the Spirit leaving. It was the worst feeling in the world. Eventually, we were able to move past and he talked more with the branch President to clear up some misunderstandings but it was a learning experience for me. I so strongly and distinctly could tell the Spirit wasn’t there for a while. I realized that I have taken for granted almost my whole life of having the Gift of the Holy Ghost; feeling that comfort and peace and content when i am striving to be obedient. I don’t ever want to feel that way again. It is such a precious gift to have the Spirit always with you. Why would you do anything to prevent that?

Fight the Good Fight!
Sister Felt

Scars–April 17, 2017

Hi Friends!
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We had matching water bottles and we thought it was cool.
First of all, HAPPY EASTER!!!
It seems like a whole month has been packed into one week. So much has happened! I think it will be easiest to go day by day with you all.
Monday: As you know, I got the call that I would be transferring and training a new missionary. It was stressful to pack up to say the least, but we got everything together eventually.
Tuesday: This was a hard day just because it was that in between limbo time of “i know where I am going but can’t go yet” but we had a miracle. We set a date with Brighton! Her mom is a member and her older sister got baptized at 10 6 years ago but she hadn’t been baptized yet and they hadn’t

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Brighton is in the red and we set a date with her!

been to church in a while. Well, we had talked to her mom on the phone asking about how Brighton felt and she said that Brighton  has been wanting to be baptized for a while! Woohoo! We taught them about the Book of Mormon and then set a date in June for her to be baptized. I am sad I won’t be there to teach her more but I will definitely be going to her baptism. After all, I am only moving 30 minutes away.

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My greenie, Sis. Saunders

Wednesday: Transfer Day!! I had to be in Tampa at 8:30 for the training meeting. There were three sisters and two elders that came out and I got the Ginger companion! YES! Her name is Sister Saunders and she is from Riverton, UT. It was amazing to see how immediately we knew some of the reasons we were made companions. She struggles with some of the teaching skills I did when I came out and she was praying for an obedient trainer and was so grateful she got me because I was exactly what she needed. Little did she know that she is what I was praying for. I got the female, awesome version of Elder Calhoun from The Best Two Years (minus me being Elder Rogers

haha). She is so amazing. She is so diligent and ready to work and doesn’t even need a trainer in my opinion. She has helped me focus on my mission so much more and I am grateful.

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The wonderful Sister Saunders 🙂
Thursday: We had a long day of planning, especially since we are both new to the Sarasota area but I am excited for this next transfer. I feel like there is a lot we need to do here and we just need to figure out what it is.
Friday: I had Missionary Leadership Council in Tampa today with my Sister Training Leader companion, who is still Hermana Jensen. So, I left my trainee just like mine left me! I felt so bad but I had full confidence in her. We talked at MLC all about baptism and how important it is to help people fully be prepared for it. I think we hear things so often that they become common place but that is how we start to forget and then grow pride and eventually go into apostasy. Baptism is so so so so so so so important. I can’t even put into words how important it is. We could do all the best things in the world and get rid of world hunger,

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Dropping my stuff off at my new apartment on the way to getting my new companion! Sister Gessel and Alder both went up to the tampa zone. 😦

donate all we have to the poor and the needy but if we are not willing to make the covenants God asks of us at baptism by someone He has authorized to hold His priesthood, it will do nothing in the eternities. But I think one of the most important reasons He wants us to make those promises is so that we will be able to receive His gift to us, the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I still need to understand just how precious a gift that really is.

Saturday:We went to see a less active member and while there, talked to a woman who was seeding a neighbors yard next door. She wasn’t interested but told us to go see a woman that lived at the 2nd house by the pond. We headed over and there were two sides of the pond where there was a second house.

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Last time with Sister Hunt as my companion. Sad day!

The first one we tried had a woman that wasn’t interested, but on the way to the second one, there were some people unloading a car with plants. We offered to help and talked to them for a bit. The woman just moved in and one of her employees, Austin, was there helping unload things. Turns out he recently moved from Tennessee and has gotten away from church but wants to get involved again. We invited him to church and he was really interested. We also gave him a pamphlet and got his number and address to teach him. You never know who is being put into your path.

Sunday: We went to about 6 hours of church. We went to the Sarasota ward and met so many people with so many new faces that I don’t know if I will remember half of them but it was good. We also went

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We were called the Ginger Snaps haha

to the YSA Branch. They don’t have any missionaries assigned because they are all so spread out but they are so small and struggling to get people to come. We are trying to be there on Sundays to help bring some fire in and I hope we can do something to help. We had Easter dinner with a family from our assigned ward, the Gipsons and they are so great! The mom is an English major so we bonded ( her oldest daughter is named after Elizabeth Bennett! YEAH!) and the other two girls are so funny. The youngest is one of those stubborn types that tries to be hard on the outside but I can tell is soft and as we were leaving I told her it would be my transfer goal to get a big hug from her (she doesn’t give them often) and she said, “well, I like you so…” haha! mission accomplished! Sister Saunders and I both felt like we can help these girls get on fire for missionary work. I am excited!

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MLC!
So,  a lot happened but I wanted to end with a spiritual thought I got from one of the YSA

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The Gipson family. they are so fun!

speakers. She was talking about the love Christ showed us through His Atonement and how we need to accept that sacrifice and share that love with others. But what stood out to me most was when she said. This isn’t a physical or temporal battle with the world. This is a spiritual battle. I heard that and thought back to my mission up to now and my biggest struggles were spiritual and still are. That is the way they are supposed to be. The things of the world pass away, including physical challenges. But the Spirit is eternal. That is what we are fighting for. Our Spirit and Soul. We know our bodies will be resurrected and made whole but what about our Spirits? Will they become whole from scars of sin? President Boyd K. Packer said in his April 2015 talk The Plan of Happiness,

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This was in a mall bathroom. You wash your hands under the middle faucet and then the little metal wings shoot out air when you put your hands under. It was awesome!

“Our physical bodies, when harmed, are able to repair themselves, sometimes with the help of a physician. If the damage is extensive, however, often a scar will remain as a reminder of the injury. With our spiritual bodies it is another matter. Our spirits are damaged when we make mistakes and commit sins. But unlike the case of our mortal bodies, when the repentance process is complete, no scars remain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The promise is: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.””

I think of the Savior, who was the one who made it possible for our scars of sin to disappear and yet He decided to leave a physical scar in His resurrected, glorified body. Those prints in His hands and feet remind us of the injury He went through for us. He kept physical scars so we wouldn’t have to hold onto spiritual ones. How grateful I am for that love.
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This was in a mall bathroom. You wash your hands under the middle faucet and then the little metal wings shoot out air when you put your hands under. It was awesome!

Fight the Great Fight!

Sister Felt

We Forsake but are never Forsaken–April 10, 2017

Hi Friends!

Well, first things first, transfers are this week and I know what is happening…drum roll please…I am leaving! But, wait. There’s more! I will be training as well! AHHH! So, that means we will be whitewashing, sort of. We are taking over the area for the sisters in Sarasota, which is the area just north of Venice, so it is not too far but still will be a big change and adjustment for me. So, I predict that I will finish this sisters training as well as my mission in Sarasota, seeing as I have two transfers left. Sister Hunt will be staying so at least she will be close by but I will miss her a bunch. I am still a Sister Training Leader so I feel bad for my new companion. The day after transfers, I will need to go to a meeting with the Stake Presidency that night and then the day after that, I will be driving up to Tampa with my STL companion for Missionary Leadership Council. But, it’s okay. That happened to me when I came out and I was fine…sort of.
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Our Young Women Mutual Activity
We had a really fun mutual activity this past week. We taught the Young Women about doing missionary work on social media and they loved it. I didn’t realize how much amazing stuff what out there to share. You can go all over Mormon.org and share videos and such as well as LDS.org and share articles, quotes, pictures, videos, music, and so much more. They even have a Youth site on LDS.org that I wish I knew about and went on when I was younger. I have two invitations to everyone. First, find the mormon message called Staying Spiritually Fit and figure out what you need to do to be spiritually prepared when trials come. Second, share something you like about the gospel on social media this week, whether it be any of the options I listed above and whether it be on twitter, facebook, snapchat, instagram or whatever you use these days. It’s a small thing to do but it has a ripple effect and I promise that if you do it, someone will respond positively to it and ask about it.
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This is Dante, the old dog of one of the members in our ward. He was shivering soooo much. We thought it was because he was cold but turns out he was just super nervous to be with me.
Now, onto the miracle for the week: As you all may know, one of my struggles has been recognizing how the Spirit prompts me. Well, last Monday night, we were heading to one area to go finding and Sister Hunt thought that one of our potential investigators was in that area and suggested we see her. She lives in the opposite direction so that caused us to stop and figure out if we needed to go to her area or continue with the plans we made. We prayed about it and neither of us had a particular feeling or urge to go one or the other but I was super unsure. Sister Hunt told me that I needed to trust that I could recognize the Spirit guiding me so she said we would head the other direction and in the next 5-10 minutes, I would have to decide if that was right or to turn around. As we started, a few minutes later, I kept being drawn back so we turned around and went in the original direction we had intended to go. As we biked into the neighborhood, I felt we should go farther in than we have. We got to a street and it felt right so we turned and as we passed shoot off streets, it was so strange but cool because I would look at one street and just have this unsettled feeling but when we got to one, I felt almost a tug. We started knocking and found two people in a row that were open to learning more, one of which let us in and we taught the Restoration. It was amazing. The Spirit is really subtle and soft but He guides us.
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Happy Week before Easter! I will miss Sister Hunt!
I have been learning a little more about repentance this week in my studies and it has been really cool. I found a great Q&A: questions and answers section of the April 1995 New Era that answers the question: I’ve noticed that I’m always repenting for the same things. How do you now when you’re truly sorry and you won’t do it again?
It was interesting because I think of the scripture in D&C 82:7 which says, ” And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.”
I used to have a hard time understanding this because God promises He will remember our sins no more if we repent and so I thought, if I make another mistake, He will remember my sins? I thought He wouldn’t! But, I have realized that true repentance is not about “hey, forget I did that so I don’t have to be embarrassed anymore” it is about turning from that desire to do what the natural man wants and to turn toward the desire to do what God wants. In that Q&A section, it says, “It is time to turn to the Lord and ask for his help in changing your heart and having the strength to stick with your resolve.” If we repeat that same sin over and over, we haven’t fully repented because we know that, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins– behold, he will confess and forsake them.” (D&C 58:43) To forsake means we need to leave it behind, never to turn back. We don’t vacation from our den of sin, expecting to return. We depart from sin, never to go back. We look forward to the destination of peace, joy, and eternal life. Which would you rather have?
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My last district. Now, i will have to get to know a new one.
The article also had an answer to the question from a missionary that was serving at the time. He said, “The essence of repentance is a change of mind. When we repent by changing our behavior while our mind remains unchanged we will always feel the guilt withing us. Sincere repentance should always be accompanied by fervent prayer and fasting, which gives us the desire for a change of mind to do good continually.”
I would also say a change of heart and desire. That is what I want out of my mission and out of my life: to have my heart and desires change. I have changed so many behaviors and I do feel that my mind has changed on many aspects as well as my desire but I want the full change. To always give my heart. I know that our Heavenly Father wants us to do this because He loves us. He wants what is best for us and He knows that giving our hearts and desires to Him will make us the most happy. And who doesn’t want to be happy? I know that I will need to hold onto this knowledge as I face this new experience of transfer training but it takes the pressure off because He can do so much more through me than I could ever try to do on my own.
I love you all and remember…
Fight the Good Fight!
Sister Felt
by the way, this is my new address:
4170 Taggart Cay South #305
Sarasota, FL, 34233
p.s. mom, I know you will like the name of my new street address… 🙂

It Requires the Heart–April 3, 2017

Hi Friends!

First of all, transfers are next week and I can’t believe it came so fast! Sister Hunt thinks we will both stay but then she has all these crazy dreams of me emergency transferring and leaving her again. haha, who knows. I seem to be a stayer.

I would like to quickly share a little miracle before the meat of this email. We watched one of the conference sessions at a members house with her roommate, Angie, whom we are teaching. Well, she just had another roommate move in and come to find out that she met a member at the mechanic shop about two months ago, who invited her to church and got permission to give her phone number to us. We had gotten a hold of her but then had lost contact when she went out of state, unsure of when she would return. So, we are back in contact with her and offered to help her finish her move-in, which she is really grateful for.
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the Hermanas, Gucake and Jensen (left to right) and Sister Hunt and I… ready for Zone Conference
General Conference was a miracle for me. Not only did we have an investigator, Angie, watch some of the sessions with us but a less active family came to the chapel yesterday for one of the sessions. However, what was so amazing was that there were so many talks that felt like they were personalized responses to my pondering and questions. I tried to simplify my questions to two and it helped me see an important focus of building my faith and focusing on the Savior. Here are some of my notes. I won’t try and specify them to the talk:
~This is a spiritual work and the Lord directs it through His Spirit.
~Don’t be a burden to your companion, God or yourself.
~Deny yourself of UnGodliness
~God won’t accept your rationalizations but accepts YOU
~Repentant sinners draw closer to God than self righteous saints
~Think of your future in faith
~have Purpose of Heart and Diligence of Mind
~OPTIMISTIC FAITH
~Focus on the Savior in EVERY thought.
~Become like Christ in your heart
~You know the part: sing it.
~You will be more at peace if you give all
~Don’t ever let the gospel become strange
~in overcoming, you are becoming
~Begin with the end in mind.
~Make sure you have a strong testimony of the savior
~Start now and be steady
~Your diligence now will strengthen your future family
~Act on the 1st prompting
~Refocus on the simple acts
~You are on an eternal Journey. Be patient.
~His love will replace your fear with faith
~Don’t follow the shame culture
~make sure you are loving those you teach
~Let it go and follow Him
~If you want the Spirit near, draw near to him
~Seek God’s will, not your own
~be a light to everyone
~God asks you to have faith so that He CAN give you miracles
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the Sarasota Zone
We had the great opportunity to have a Zone Conference right before General Conference and it helped to to really ponder on what I am needing to change and focus on. We talked about de-cluttering, teaching repentance, finding constantly, consecration, goals, the importance of members, and how to always teach wherever we are. It was so much goodness packed in. What I really took out of it was the need to give 100% not just 99% and how it is much easier in the long run. I have felt that I have been giving 99% but jumping that last 1% can be the hardest but most rewarding leap of faith. It requires your heart. I have that desire and it will take a lot of faith but I have learned from this conference that that is what I need. If I want to give 100% I need to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ. As I do that, and as we all do that, our burdens will be lifted.
The Easter Initiative is called Prince of Peace and we are invited to learn of 8 Principles of Peace taught by the Prince of Peace. I am so excited for this. The video is amazing and the principles are so special and needed. Prince of Peace has always been my favorite title that the Savior holds because He has always calmed my troubled heart. I invited you all to watch the video on Mormon.org and go through all the principles and then share it. I also would like you to think of a distinct moment in your life where the Savior brought you peace. I promise that as you do this, more peace will flood into your heart. I love you!
Fight the Good Fight!
Sister Felt

Counting Blessings–March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017

Hi Friends!

A lot happened this week but I will try not to be too wordy.
So, my bike had a flat tire. Last Monday, we took it to a shop to get fixed and they basically told me there are so many things wrong that I may want to get a new bike before it falls apart on me…oh. Well, I didn’t want to pay $250  to get a new bike for the last few months of my mission so I decided that I might just try to rough it. Well, the next morning, Sister Hunt and I were both in our bathrooms getting ready when we heard a loud POP! We both thought someone had broken in but when we tried to take our bikes with us for the day, I noticed there was a hole in the rubber of the tire I just got fixed! We took it to the shop again and they told us I had dry rot and there was nothing they or I could have done to know. Okay. So, I ended up calling the elders that help move apartments and they said they had some mission bikes and I could use one for the rest of my mission and they could just take my bike for parts. Thay was exciting.
On a nicer note, we had a lesson with the roommate of our primary president and when we told her about the organization of prophets and apostles that Christ established she asked, “So, are there 12 apostles today?” We are very excited to be teaching her.
We were asked to see a family that hasn’t come to church in a long time by Bishop Meyers and then the YW president, Sister Behmer, had asked us to visit that same family because there is a girl who is Young Womens age, Aura. Well, Sister Behmer ended up driving us last Wednesday to see her and the mom welcomed us in. Turns out, she wants to come back to church and was touched that we all came to see her. Also, her other daughter, Brighton, just turned 12 and has not been baptized yet. They came to the Women’s broadcast and are excited to get involved with Young Women’s. We are seeing them on Tuesday!
I was asked to speak in the ward yesterday and it was on the question: Why was Joseph Smith’s vision important in the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (I will send my written talk in another email) What was exciting, or rather nervewracking, is that we had a surprise visit by Elder Robert C. Gay or the Seventy! Sister Hunt and I think they were trying to scoot on by without being noticed but they were and he came to the stand to preside and then be the last speaker. So, I was extra nervous giving a talk in front of him but it went well I think. He is super nice and his wife as well! He spoke on how the pharisees focused so much on tradition that they missed the Savior bringing modern revelation. I was thinking about that and how we sometimes put vain traditions over changing or repenting. “But I have always done this.” or “I can’t change now…” That is the purpose of the Atonement! I have been reading in Mosiah about Abinadi and he had something to say about how the wicked priests turned the Law of Moses into a vain tradition. In chapter 13, verses 27-31 it says,
7 And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses.
28 And moreover, I say unto you, that salvation doth not come by the law alone; and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses.
29 And now I say unto you that it was expedient that there should be a law given to the children of Israel, yea, even a very strict law; for they were a stiffnecked people, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God;
30 Therefore there was a law given them, yea, a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him.
31 But behold, I say unto you, that all these things were types of things to come.
We do not worship the law. We worship God and He gives us the law to help us follow Him. That is why modern revelation is so important because He knows what we need to do in each generation to keep us focused on Christ. The only reason we can change is because of the Atonement of Christ but that is the miracle: we can change! I am so grateful for that knowledge.
I can’t forget to talk about Conference. Sister Hunt and I talked during our companion study for that day about what we should look for in conference for our area and pretty much everything we talked about was mentioned or addressed. It was so cool! One of the coolest experiences I had was that just that morning I had fully finished my talk and in it I talked about an experience I had in the Sacred Grove when I was 12 and how I prayed and didn’t feel anything big but just peace but how amazing that peaceful feeling is to me now because that is one of the biggest ways the Spirit speaks to me. So, when President Eyring spoke about how the Spirit brings peace, it was a beautiful confirmation to all my studies and my testimony. I am so grateful for that.
I am just so grateful for many things and it reminds me of the beautiful song:
Count your blessings; name them one by one.
Count your blessings; See what God hath done.
Count your blessings; Name them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Fight the Good Fight!
Sister Felt
Here’s her talk from the day before:

3/26/17 Talk

Why is Joseph Smith’s experience important in the Restoration of the Gospel?

Revelation- 1 Cor 2:11-14

Other scriptures:

Ephesians 1:10; 2:19-20 “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” ;3:3-5; 4:5, 11-14

Acts 3:19-21 restitution 

Amos 3:7

James 1:5-6; 2:17

Joel 2:28 young men see visions

Jacob 4:9 despise not the revelation of God

Mormon 9:7-9 God is same so he reveals “7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;

8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.

9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?”

D&C: 42:61 given revelation upon revelation

D&C 50:24 receive the light until a perfect 

Why was Joseph Smiths vision important in the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

For those of you who may be visiting here for the first time, I would like to first share what that vision was.

At age 14 in 1820, a farm boy named Joseph Smith was living in upstate New York during a time of intense religious excitement. Joseph attended many churches and listened to countless sermons but he was not content and soon became confused. He sought to know what God wanted him to do and which church to join but he said in his own words, “if any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know?”

His answer came after diligent study in the scriptures where he read James 1:5 which reads, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” He knew then that if he asked God his question, he would receive an answer. So, he found a place in a grove of trees near his home where he could pray in solitude. The experience that followed his humble prayer has been shared billions of times in hundreds of countries since that peaceful spring day. Joseph wrote of his experience, ” I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… when the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other-This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Joseph Smith saw God, our Heavenly Father and His son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Christ answered his question and told him that he was to join none of the churches but that a marvelous work was about to come forth. We know that that work is the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these Latter-days.

Knowing this experience happened, why is it so important? In the October 2009 General Conference, Tad R. Callister of the Quorum of the Seventy gave a talk entitled, “Jospeh Smith-Prophet of the Restoration” wherein he spoke of four fundamental truths Joesph learned when he emerged from that Grove of trees after his first vision. I would just like to list those:

“First, he learned that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two separate, distinct beings.

The second great truth Joseph Smith discovered was that the Father and the Son have glorified bodies of flesh and bones.

The third truth that Joseph Smith learned was that God still speaks to man today–that the heavens are not closed.

The fourth truth that Joseph Smith learned was that the full and complete Church of Jesus Christ was not then upon the earth.”

I would like to focus on that third truth he learned: God still speaks to man today– that the heavens are not closed. As I studied for this talk, that is what kept coming to mind. In one word: Revelation. 

In the Restoration pamphlet that we share with people just beginning to learn about the church, it defines revelation as, “Communication between God and His children, usually through the Holy Ghost. Individuals can receive revelation to guide their own lives, but only God’s chosen prophet can receive revelation for the whole world. Revelation comes in many forms, but most often it comes as thoughts, feelings, and impressions.” So, there are two kinds of revelation: personal and through a prophet.

There is a scripture I would like to share that demonstrates both of these methods of revelation.

Matthew 16:13-19 “13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The rock Christ spoke of is explained by Paul in Ephesians 2:19-20 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”

 Prophets and apostles receive direction through revelation from Christ to lead His church on the earth.

After the apostles were rejected, centuries passed without this foundation. Joseph was called to restore that foundation. As soon as Jospeh walked out of that grove, Revelation given through a prophet for the salvation of mankind began again.

However, not only did the work of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ begin when he walked away from those trees, but Joseph came out knowing that he could receive answers to his questions: that he could receive personal revelation. When we read or hear of the experiences and revelations of ancient and modern prophets, we need to understand that personal revelation is just as important. Just as Christ was pleased when Peter knew of His divinity, not because man told him, but because the Spirit witnessed it, He wants us to know truth the same way. As we study, ponder and pray, we can receive personal revelation to guide our everyday choices, answer our questions and teach us truth. We have a wonderful opportunity this coming weekend to hear the words of modern day prophets and apostles. They have been called and given the authority to receive revelation for the whole world but as we listen, it is up to us to seek our personal revelation through the Spirit; to allow the Spirit to confirm the truths they speak to our hearts and teach us what we need to do now to come closer to Christ in our day to day life.

In the Book of Mosiah, the righteous king, Benjamin taught his people the words of the prophets and asked them if they believed.

Mosiah 5:2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”

When I was 12, my family visited many of the church history sites up north and we had the opportunity to visit and walk through the grove of trees where Joseph went to pray. I had decided before the trip that this was going to be my opportunity to really KNOW whether Joseph had that vision and if he really was called as a prophet. To be honest, I was looking for a big boom. Fireworks or a big display from the Spirit that it was true, but I didn’t get that. As I sat on a bench by myself, I prayed and waited. I searched my feelings but nothing miraculous came, just peace. I have come to know now that the peace I felt was nothing short of miraculous because that was the Spirit speaking to me. The Spirit has never been loud for me. Sometimes it is so soft, I don’t realize it’s the Spirit guiding me but I know He speaks to me in peace. 

Every time I have sincerely read the scriptures or heard the words of the prophets and apostles, I have felt that peace. Because of that feeling, I have come to know that Joseph did see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that he received personal revelation, an answer to his question. I know that he received revelation as a prophet of God, called to restore Christ’s church today: A church that is built upon the foundation of prophets and apostles and guided by revelation. I know that The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lords Kingdom once again on the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is evidence of these truths. And most importantly, I know that if we each come before God in reverent and humble prayer, seeking His will for us, He will reveal it to us by His Spirit and as Moroni promises, “…by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.” I promise that if each one of you prepares to receive personal revelation as you listen to the revelation that has been given to the prophets and apostles this coming weekend, you will have the truth of all their words confirmed to your hearts and you will receive answers to your questions. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.