Sunday, August 31, 2014

True Gratitude is an expression of our hope and testimony- Pres. Uchtdorf

Dear Family and Friends,
   Kia ora from New Zealand! Today is the first day of spring officially, but from the weather I would say winter is trying to hold on just a little bit longer. All is well though :) My companion and I biked all day everyday for the past 2 1/2 days! We have legs of steel... well maybe not but it sure feels like we should :) I love exercising, it really makes you feel good to know that you are taking care of the body Heavenly Father so preciously gave you, and that was bought for a price by our Savior so we could have the assurance that we would never need to taste of death twice. What a wonderful thing!
    This week we did service, gardening. We will be doing some more this week for this really nice lady from Italy. She has a very extensive shell collection, which I have learned a couple of things about shells now that I didn't know before! We also had district meeting in Ashburton, saw one of our investigators, saw some members and helped them in many ways some might thing small but I know they were significant. We cleaned our flat this morning, cleaned the car, and after emailing will shop for groceries and be ready for the week! Wow it always comes so quickly. ?
    I have had a lot of thoughts on my mind recently due to some circumstances that have occurred here in Timaru. That is about Gratitude. Truly when we have gratitude we grow in our love for the things that we have, and we are more happy in our circumstances regardless what they might be. We received this quote from our Sister Traning Leader last night which I found quite profound "If we woke up this morning for all the things we gave thanks for last night, what would we have?" How grateful are we to the Lord each night? Do we allow our gratitude to fill our prayers and in the process change us and the way we view life and the happenings and goings that occur?
    Something else that has really stuck out to me is how diligent am I in my scripture study and my prayer? Do I pray with real intent? Do I study by faith? Or have I gotten into a routine with these significantly important things that they have lost their meaning? Do I feel I am lacking in my prayers and study? Do I feel I could do something more? Truly it is the little things, our scripture study, our prayer, and our attending of church that are the bases of our lasting and continual conversion. If we lack in these things I firmly believe that our conversion slackens, our testimony will decrease and we will find ourselves more easily beset by the things of this world.
     I heard this quoute I really liked it I am paraphrasing: Any service we do in the church wether it is a calling, a missionary call, etc is all for those we are called to serve. It is not for us-- but we are blessed because as we serve others we are selves are changed.
     I know that if we will be willing to give up all unto the Lord to "give up all our sins to know God" (Alma 22:18) we will find more happiness and joy that we will ever have otherwise. I know this to be true. I would invite you all to be steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works. May the Lord seal you His, and may you all have a wonderful week and the Spirit of the Lord be with you.
Sister Sudweeks

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Have you Received my image in your countenance? Alma 5

Dear Whanua,
   Kia Ora from Timaru!!!! I was sad to leave Rangiora, but I know this is where Heavenly Father wants me to be. There is some work He has prepared me to do here. I pray that I will do all He would have me do here. I met my new companion Sister Olamaleva on Wednesday. She is super nice and from Samoa. We have a lot of laughs as we do the Lord's work. As someone said to me People from Samoa are super happy-- I am finding this to be true. :) My new branch is very nice. They are all very musical as well. I have already been given the assignment to conduct and choose the hymns each Sunday until someone else is called. My arms are going to get great practice conducting! :)
    Somethings I have been thinking about this week: I read Our Heritage and wow it is such a good book. I hope you all have the opportunity to read this! It really puts it into perspective when we think about and realize the all the sacrifices that occurred so we could have the Restored Gospel upon the Earth. I was particularly impressed with this statement written by a gentlemen not named in the book. He said "the Price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to Pay." How true that is. Are we willing to give up everything the Lord has asked us to be able to be acquainted with him, or do we love our lucre more? Everything we experience in life is there to help prepare us for our future. The Lord knows the things we will be going to do, and He knows what we need to experience to get there. I have a testimony of this and I know this to be true. Truly Obedience is a great principle of Heaven and Earth and we will be able to draw nearer to God by being obedient than in any other way. As President John Taylor said "The Kingdom of God or nothing." Reading about our forefathers and their legacy of Faith. How they were willing to give up everything for the Lord really made me ponder about my own determination to serve him. Will I give up everything to do the Lord's will? How many times must I be asked? When faced with opposition and hardship am I going to complain or am I going to joyfully put my shoulder to the wheel knowing that the eternal blessings of Heaven will come? I hope and pray that we will all remember what our forefathers have done and to act each day in remembrance of their sacrifice.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Sudweeks

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Choicest pearl of greatest price is worth everything to be obtained

Dear Whanua,
   Well I am a mixture of emotions today. I truly know that the Lord has to make us grow and stretch because we learn the best that way. Even though it is hard. I have gotten too comfortable with Rangiora, so it is time for some change!  I am being transferred to Timaru! My new companion is Sister Olamoleva she is Samoan. She is a wonderful sister I am looking forward to all the things I am going to be learning from her. I know she is going to teach me a lot :D
    Somethings that have happened this week: We have gone door knocking a couple of times this week and we have so many people express interest in hearing our message! I have ever had so many people tell us to come back! We had like 6 or so people on the same street, miracles happen :) On Sunday we had a really good talk in Sacrament meeting. I learned heaps and thuoght I would share some of that with you. She talked about how faith is such a great importance in our lives. Sometimes we have to step off a cliff like Indian Jones in search for the "holy Grails" even though we many not see the bridge that is hidden under our feet. Truly When we cleave unto Hevaenly Father and show our willingness to step forward and act even though we may not have an answer, The Lord will light our way. The thought was presented of the story of Mary and Martha, and how Mary was angry with Martha for not helping her, but the Lord says that blessed is Martha for she has chosen the better part. Are we choosing the better part in our lives? Our we making time for the Lord in our lives each day as Martha did when then Savior was in her home?
   I love the August ensign! I hope you all have the opportunity to read it! :) Something I loved is the counsel to do everything we do each day as if we are going to be in that situation for years to come. Truly that is important! When we do that we set ourselves up for obtaining blessings and enriching relationships we would have otherwise missed out on if we think to ourselves we will only be there for a day or a week.
   A quote was told to me that a testimony is borne in the act of bearing it. I know this to be true, may we always bear our testimonies that we will 1 gain a testimony and then 2 keep our testimony burning brightly.
  I love you all! Have a wonderful week! :)
Sister Sudweeks

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A stroll in Christchurch, buses, and bikes

Dear Familia,
 Hola! Kia ora! :) if you are wondering why I am emailing a little later than usual, I will explain why. Today being Monday and the last p-day before our transfers, we decided to head to Christchurch to hang out with the other sisters in our districts, and the elders came with us. So we brought out bikes with us caught a bus to Christchurch, and life was good :) We arrived at the hospital, but we found out we were at the wrong hospital! Haha so we caught another bus, got off at the wrong stop walked to the right street and made it to the email shop. Quite the detour and sight seeing for emailing today, but its been fun :)
   Somethings that have happened this week: We saw our friend Angela this week and we were so excited to see her! We had talked to her about the Priesthood(The Power and Authority to act in God's name) and were excited to see how she was feeling about that when  we saw her this week. We had planned to introduce her to the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and so I had a Conference session saved on my USB so we were planning on showing the part where he spoke. When we arrived and plugged in the USB, I realized that the talk I had planned to show her was on a different Conference session, and not on my usb. But you can always count on the Prophet and the Lord! I was a little nervous because I didn't know what was going to be talked about or if the Prophet would even be speaking, but Heavenly FAther had it all planned out! He did speak and it was just what our friend needed to hear. I truly know as we put our trust in the Lord and those He has called (the Prophets) we need never fear or worry about things going the way we want them to. Things will always work out. Proverbs 3:5-6
    A thought I really loved about the worth of a soul: 
"Some years ago, at a priesthood leadership session of the Monument Park West Stake conference, [Doctrine and Covenants 18:10] became the theme for the visitor from the Welfare Committee, my former stake president, Paul C. Child. In his accustomed style, Brother Child left the stand and began to walk down the aisle among the assembled priesthood brethren. He quoted the verse, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." Then he asked the question, "Who can tell me the worth of a human soul?" Every man in attendance began to think of an answer in the event Brother Child were to call on him. I had grown up under his leadership, and I knew he would never call on a high councilor or member of a bishopric; rather he would select one Sure enough, he called from a list he carried the name of an elders quorum president. Thunderstruck, the brother stammered as he asked, "Would you repeat the question, please?" The question was repeated, followed by an even longer pause. Suddenly the response came forth, "The worth of a human soul is its capacity to become as God." Brother Child closed his scripture, walked back to the pulpit, and, while passing me, whispered, "A profound reply; a profound reply." With this perspective firmly in our minds, we are prepared to serve in the great mission of bringing souls unto Him.

 Every person we encounter every day has a 'spark of deity' in them. 
 C. S. Lewis expressed the divine potential existing in each of us with this comment, "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses. . . . There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal." 
How profound a statement! Truly no one we see everyday is merely mortal. They have the potential to be as Heavenly Father is. 
   Weather this week: Sunny days! And tempatures up to 30 Degrees... feels like summer!!!! :D
   So, something we watch as we are training and enter the mission field is these videos. I thought you might like this fun way to see what I do everyday :)
I love you all have a great week! 
Sister Sudweeks
photos: My family tree!!!! Haha a huge tree we found door knocking the photo doesn't give it justive.
and the second photo walking to the internet shop with Sister Farr and the ELders in ChristChurch today :)