Monday, February 18, 2013

My fantastic first real life week on the mish!

First full week on the mish could not have been better and I can’t wait to share!!

I am sharing the gospel in the “Southern” language.  This week's ridiculously silly phrase went like this, "How are you doing today?" -me "Well, I'm finer than a frog's hair split four ways!" -southern man.  hahah like excuse me, whaaat? Too \funny.  People find it "terribly odd" and "charming" when I use words such as gnarly, stoked, rad and so on.  What different worlds there are! and I love it!

So earlier this week we were teaching this incredibly prepared family and holy moly it was just incredible! I speak and my brain is flabbergasted that such things came out of my mouth! It's so awesome how the Spirit truly directs the lessons; it truly is the Spirit that is the teacher, never ever am I. It was seriously like all the stories of Alma and Amulek when they preach the gospel by the spirit and the people are "astonished." This family was astonished! God does prepare the hearts of His children to hear His gospel at the perfect and exact time. 

We were teaching this family how to pray and as we were teaching the basic structure (open the prayer by addressing our Father in Heaven, express the feelings of your heart and questions you want answered etc, and close in the name of Jesus Christ, amen). So then I decided that this week I really wanted to study prayer. 

I feasted upon Enos 1 and was just amazed by that chapter! Enos wanted to know what the gospel his father often spoke of concerning eternal life was all about and why it made the people so joyful.  Enos then says that the joy of the saints sunk deep in his heart and his soul did hunger to know of the truth.  Obviously, God in his almighty abilities spoke to Enos after he "cried unto Him mightily in prayer," and responded to him that because of Enos's unshaken faith unto the Lord he would be forgiven and blessed.  Enos then mentioned that his guilt was "swept away." How awesome is the atonement!?!  Our guilt can be, as Alma said, snatched away! We just need to come to our Father with a "sincere heart and real intent." I had heard that phase all through out my life but after deeper study I learned the actual definition of "real intent," it means that your gonna act on the answer God gives us.  Interesting! How often do we ask but fear the answer?  If God tells us something, it is a commandment and we will be held accountable if we don’t act!

Multiple times in Enos 1 it mentions "asking in the name of Christ" "receiving in the name of Christ" and so forth.  I wanted to know of that deeper meaning behind that and found that it means something so much more powerful and sacred that I had ever known.  I've closed every prayer in my life "in the name of Jesus Christ" and have heard every talk and such be closed "in the name of Jesus Christ" but never really contemplated it.  I learned that it literally means that we pray in Christ's name when we have the mind of Christ, and our wishes and wants are inline with the wishes and wants that Christ would see us fit for.  Does that make any sense? I read that many prayers remain unanswered because they aren’t in Christ's name in the slightest! That those unanswered prayers don’t represent Christ's mind, but our selfish greedy minds! MIND BLOWN. WORLD ROCKED. 

We need to call upon God, in Jesus Christ's name ever so often to help us out! I'm learning now more than ever that I am frankly a pathetic selfish person and I in no way can take on this work nor this life alone.  So thank the heavens that we don’t have to! God is there. Waiting for us to reach out so He can lift us up to the highest unimaginable! Let us all grasp our divine identities! Our identity as a child of God! I am so humbled to be out here in Powder Springs, Georgia fighting for a cause that will never ever fail.  This is the true church on the planet, fully restored today! How marvelous of a knowledge that is!

Some fun things: NO ONE can pronounce Miyahara and it's hysterical/insane.  I am PAINFULLY full every single night after being fed by the members.  Everyone has multiple multiple house cats and dogs and they usually reek and the vile odor that they emit is like nothing these nostrils have ever smelled! The confederate flag is everywhere and it makes my head tilt in confusion.  I am serving stateside yet I’m teaching recent immigrants from Ghana, Japan, Nigeria, and South Africa! Freaking rad! Thank you all for everything! I feel so undeserving of such abundant love! The mail and packages and such just lift my spirits and make me oh so happy! I hope ya'll have a "heel clickin" week!

All my love,
Sister Miyahara

Our Valentines dates

The Carnell's (the family we live with) surprised us with homemade cream puffs on Valentines day morning.
  Bless them!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

"We flyin' first class, up in the sky"

Ha ha ha okay I'm internally giggling/dying at the Cobb County Public Library right now as I look back at this past week! Typically I like to leave out the mundane details of the week and focus on the lessons the Spirit has taught me but well this week might just need a little bit of both because it is too good not to share! should i do this? Well, lists it is!

Monday 2/4
Last day at the MTC :( What a mix of emotions it was! I was leaping with excitment to hit the field and wallowing in saddness to leave my friends and my teachers and glory of the MTC.  We had our last lessons with Brother Barrett, Sister Lewis and Brother Elton in which I will never ever forget.  Powerful and life changing just aren't enough. I'll never forgert that so sacred and personal  reaffirming witness I recieved all day long that God has a plan for us, that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith did restore the fullness of the everlasting gospel and that I, wacky and selfish Avery Miyahara has been called by God to go bring His children back to Him. It was the perfect modivation to leave the MTC with the upmost confidence in myself but most importantly the true message I am to preach. Well and then we stayed up till 4am packing and laughing and pranking and dancing and eating and so on! Gosh I love those sisters! Seriously though, the best of times.
Tuesday 2/5
Tuesday...ha! oh Tuesday! We slept for an hour or so, woke up and heading to the travel offices to leave the MTC at 5am.  20+ young girls trying to wheel three enormous suitcases down the residence halls, up the stairs and across the campus at 5am just has to be the silliest thing I've ever seen.  It was a hysterical struggle to say the least! We loaded up the cars, arrived at the airport and antisipated our 8:30am departure. After my happy phone calls home and as we prepared to board we hear ann announcement that our plane needed a new part of the engine and would be arrive on plane from Atlanta at 2pm and assembling the new machinery peice would take another few hours.  We were told we would be hopefully leaving arounf was 8am. 
So, what oppurtunities did God perfectly place for us all day long in the airport? MISSIONARY EXPERIENCES! It was cray, literally all 22 missionaries headed to Atlanta with me were all teaching the gospel to everyone. It was as if we were no longer in Salt Lake because everyone in that terminal weren't members.  Everywhere I looked I saw missionaries teaching.  In particular, one baptist couple from the south was being taught and the lady looked into my companions eyes and said "there is a light in all your eyes that I cant say I've felt before. I dont know much about your church but by that light I know I want to learn more." GAH! It was insane! She and her fiance were taught the first lesson and scheduled an appointment with the missionaries in the hometown. It wasnt a coincendence that we were stuck in terminal D all freaking day long! God knew there was work to be done!
After a fab day full of missionary talk and some glorious conversation with loved ones from home, it was time to board! God truly blesses us when we do what he wants us to do.  He wanted us to plant those seeds in the hearts of those we talked to and we did our best to do that! So, how did He reward us? There were 24 people of that flight, 22 were missionaries...and Delta gave us all FIRST CLASS SEATS!! I kidd you not! Dinner was divine! However, I spent most of the flight conversing with the two wonderful flight attendants! One of which is friends with Karen and Kendall! It was the best conversation, so inspired! Oh the miracles were countless!
We arrive SO late at night! Our awesome mission president met us there and what a man he is! I have already learned loads from him and his wife! ah! I just gotta be like one day! Anyways, we (our tight bff group of 5 sisters) drove and drove to a members home that we would be spending the night. Who knew it would be a southern styled MANSION filled with the happiest most admirable family who warmly greeted us in the middle of the night?! ah! And it doesnt end! I took a shower in a bathroom fit for a queen then retired to my Queenly bed! It was our last night us 5 would spend together so obvi it called for some heart to heart bff lovin time. Man, I miss them!      Onwards!
Wednesday 2/6
5:45 alarm sounded and I could smell something cooking downstairs! We go downstairs and on their massive family dining room table lay a full assortment the family's famous crepe bar! Literally everything delectable you could ever imagine was on the table! Bless that family! Fingers crossed I get to serve in their ward one day!
To the church building we went for "tranfer meeting." This was it! The chapel was packed with excited missionaries and us newbies sat in the front. The preseident and his wife addressed us and listened with such admiration! We sand "Lord, I will follow Thee" and it was so emotional and happy because it was exactly what we are were doing...following our Lord. It was announced I would be companions with Sister Swanson serving in the Lost Mountain Ward in the Powder Springs Stake. I didnt know a thing about my companion or that place but everyone was coming up to saying how lucky I was.  My zone leader said "you must be doing something right to have been called to that ward!"
We arrived at our "home" aka the glorious basement under another southen styled mansion! Oh how happy I was! The family warmly welcomed us into their home to settle in and eat dinner with then.  Holy crap guys, I am in the south! Let's just say everyone of my dinners since Wednesday has been a multi multi MULTI course dinner that is too good for words.  So we ate, ran some errands, met some people and wraped up the crazy day!
PACKED days! I wont even try to fully sum up these days! All we did from 630am to 1030pm was study and teach and meet and invite and teach and talk and invite and teach and teach and meet and so forth! In the words of was all a bur.  But it really was! I met some of the most prepared people. I know that this gospel is for everyone and just not at everytime and that God will prepare the hearts of His children to be ready to hear His gospel and I can testify that God truly does.  The people God placed in our lives have been prepared for this. I cant tell you how much our hearts conneceted.  What they had been longing for is what we could offer! The only and true gospel! ah! Happy day! All in all, we taught and were in everyway guided by God above because wow was it success like I never could imagine! Oh and btdubz...something to lawl over...we only had time for quick lunches:dairy queen and mcdonalds were our only options and at night we were fed to the southern standard.  Let's just day the 30 minutes a day exercise regimin just might not suffice. yikes!
Sunday 2/10
I'll never forget my first sabbath day out in the field. We met so many families and invited them to church yet I really had no clue how this all missionary work stuff usually goes. I was most anxious to meet the ward family! Well, lets just say I feel i love with the ward. But the cherry on top were the 12 investigators and 7 nonactive families that were in attendance! I am so blessed to be entrusted with serving in this area. The work is absolutly going OFF THE HEEZY over here! like craaap, it's outrageous! There was the most special Spirit in that chapel on Sunday. God was present in His house of worship and it was evident to all. I sat there in between some of our new investigators, astonded by the miracles that were taking place.
The gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  I have an army of butterflies in my stomach as I type that because my soul knows that it is true. I know that this is God's church.  The miracles upon miracles are not a coincedence, God is hastening the work and it is truly a honor and a heavy responsibility to be apart of it.  I am such a newb! I have no idea what I am doing! In no way can I confidently teach a lesson. But you know what, this isnt my's our Heavenly Fathers so I know He will make it possible for me to do all He needs me to do. Through Him, I can do all things. 
Wowzers that took all my time here! Sorry that was literally a novel!!! I love you! Forever!
Sister Miyahara : )
First Class Baby!

President and Sister Harding

Jumping for joy after church on Sunday!
Hot Cocoa delivery from our every accommodating host family after a long day

President Harding

Inspiring Women

Monday, February 4, 2013

Peace up (MTC), A-town

Well, the time had come! My MTC experience is about completed and it's absolutely riduculous to look back and see my progression in only a short 20 days.  I've never felt so prepared and so enthused to go teach the people of Atlanta this glorious fact its go much more than just a happy message, it's the most important message the earth will ever know! I was asked by my branch president in my farwell interview,  "what will be that life changing thing that God taught you while you've been here?"
With love in my heart and some moisture in my eyes (we all know im a baby with stuff like the gospel!), I responed something along these lines and I felt like I should share it! :)
In the three weeks I was "trained" at the missionary training center, I came to know my Savior Jesus Christ. For lack of better phrasing, I feel like thoughout my life I've studied and learned about Jesus Christ. I've always had a strong testimony in Him, obvi.  But there is a difference between knowing about Jesus Christ and knowing of Jesus Christ.  I can know about Khloe Kardashian but do I ever know her? Not a chance. Do I love her? Duh! Will I proudly proclaim that she is my fav Kardashian? yes! But I dont know her.  
Dad, Mom, family and friends, I know my Savior Jesus Christ.  I've been in constant efforts to adopt His divine attributes, to really learn from His teaching, to listen to His words of peace and to love His saving infinite embrace.  I want everyone in the entire world to know of Jesus Christ.  I know that Joseph Smith was talking God's words when he said, "the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on the earth, and the keystone to our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book." I love the Book of Mormon. That book shines as evidence that is this the only and true church on the planet today.  The Spirit that teaches me as I read it testifies of it's truth. Gah! I am just exploding with internal soul is truly singing with joy! This is Jesus Christ's fully resotred gospel and our Father is in complete control.  As the coming years pass, I know that this gospel will spead like wildfire.  The world needs this happiness, peace and understanding! Nothing is happier! I am so beyond honored to wear this name tag.  It is a privladge and a responsibility I have right here, right now to represent Jesus Christ and bring others to Him. 
Tomorrow morning at 5am I'll be leaving this precious haven.  Ill be leaving this God led training center to go love and serve the people of Atlanta like Christ would.  I could have never imagined that the MTC could have been so impactful.  There is something about this place and pierces your soul and lifts you up to an unthinkable high.  Blake, get ready.  Your time will come fast. You wont be able to fully understand this goodness until it's your turn and boy and I thrilled for you!
I'm so excited to go out to the field! I know that God is going to never leave my side, this is His work so He wont ever hestitate to help me. Ah!  Every finber in my body is excited right now! Well, this is all I have time for. I love you all and I wish I could put that genuine love into words.  I think and pray for you all throughout the day. I relish in your letters and feel your love as well! I'll be calling early tomorrow! Hearing your voices is gonne be the freaking best! I love you I love you! I love you!
Peace out yo,
Sister Miyahara

Branch Presidency and District 43E = the

Branch President's wife/my make shift mom for the past three weeks!  Isn't she the cutest?
 So much love for Sister Oswald

Happiest day when I got to squeeze my B-ritto!  I love you sis - tremendously!!

Wanting to cry just thinking about parting with these hooligans!  We really are family.  Lucky for me, I get all these sisters with me in Atlanta!  Hollaa!

Atlanta doesn't know what's coming!!!

'Cause we are sistas. #mymuffinmadeit #brainfarts #sisterswetartspencerelton #guilty #bff

Sister Kimberly Monroe bore her testimony in spanish to me and we both were sobbing.  She just came here this week and is already perfected!  Bless this beautiful girl.

My soul sister, Sister Taufa.  Eternal friends!!