Monday, September 16, 2013

From trainee to trainer in a twinkling. YOWZA!!!

(Please read in your best announcer voice)

Aaaaaaaaand the results are in! After much deliberation about transfers it has been decided that (drumroll in the background. A perky blonde assistant in a sparkly black dress hands you an envelope.) Hermana Thomas will an annoyingly long time to build the suspension)...............aaaaaaaaaaand we'll tell you right after this commercial break.

Just kidding, I'm going to be staying in Palm Desert!!!! AND I'm going to be a trainer (gulp!) as in: I finish being a trainEE today and will be a trainER on Wednesday.......yowza. I am really looking forward to it though. It will also be my first non-trio companionship since the MTC so....the changes, they are a'comin!

I thought I would take you on a virtual tour of my highlights this week, excluding lessons (which are always highlights): in order of appearance:

1. So we were walking to our car from an appointment, and on our way this gentleman stopped us and said
"Hey I work at a mango plantation and I have a lot of extras, do you girls want some?" and he proceeded to give us 8 of the most gigantic mangos I have ever seen! As mangos are my fruit of choice, I spent this week eating on cloud nine.  

2. Number of ingrown nails I had before the mission: 0. Number of ingrown nails I have had ON the mission: 4. And I have decided (for the sake of time, money, and lack of trusting anyone else with my appendages) that I would take them all out myself. Thus when Hermana Taboada got a very bad one this week, she let me play doctor and take it out all by myself. Picture follows. Don’t be fooled by the sweatpants, heart tweezers and Easter-themed bowl. I'm strictly a professional.

3. I received the most adorably-cute and wonderfully-beloved hand towel from a one Mrs. Joan Boren in the mail. The squealing’s of delight were heard by all within 2 miles of me.
4. A man attended relief society at church because he wanted to make an announcement. I assumed that it was about a ward activity or something, but it turned out to be a public declaration of love for his wife on their 25th wedding anniversary. For (reverent) cutes! 
5.I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Redlands temple with a few of the surrounding zones. I cannot describe to you what a source of guidance, peace and joy the temple can be. The personages below are those of my zone! old zone as of this week.

Lesson # 1 Part one:

Thank you for letting me come into your home and start teaching you the lessons. You were so gracious to offer me a glass of water and let me sit in your most comfortable chair. Today we're going to begin by talking about who God is, because this is an essential principle, and often a source of confusion for people.

When you think of God, what comes to your mind? Someone Near? Far? The vast creator of the very universe, or a disembodied feeling? 

God has many important attributes. Yes, he is an all-powerful and omnipotent Being with flesh and bones, but he is also your loving Heavenly Father. He is the literal father of your spirit. He knows you personally and intimately, better even than you know yourself. He cares for you with a perfect love that can never be destroyed or even diminished by the slightest degree. He is aware of every aspect of your life and wants more than anything for you to have eternal joy and live with Him in heaven again.

Think of a loving father who sends his children off to college. His greatest hope is that they succeed, learn, grow, and find joy. The same is true with our Heavenly Father. He sent us to earth (we will talk about that in a later post) so that we could succeed, learn, grow, and find joy. Like a father who gives his children rules to guide and help them (homework before playing, curfew, doing chores), he gives us commandments (we will go over those later as well) to do the same thing. Sometimes we may not understand why we must or mustn't do certain things (as a child doesn't always understand the rules of the parents) but they are ALWAYS for our benefit, with our eternal joy in mind.

Thus, God is a ruler, perfect, omniscient, and all-seeing, but as Mormons we like to refer to him as "Heavenly Father" because he is just that: Our perfect, encouraging, comforting, Father in Heaven and He loves you!  He truly loves you.  

Homework or "commitment" to do before our next lesson: look for the hand of God in your life. Every day, write down (in a journal, or a piece of paper) one way God has blessed you that day. I WILL be following up.

-Hermana Thomas

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