Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I believe in miracles, you sexy thang! 5/29/2013

I'm gonna be honest. This week has been one of the greatest and hardest weeks of probably my entire life. I've never worked harder; I've never felt such joy; I've never felt such disappointment and I've never felt my Savior so near to me.

I have been on two exchanges with other sisters in the past week; both of which were in my area. As an S.T.L. we are to have the “model area.” Talk about pressure! I’m still figuring this whole missionary thing out! I have never worked/prayed so hard. Not that numbers matter but just to get an idea about my past week…we had 49 total lesson taught, 24 of them taught with a member. Freak! I’m exhausted just typing that!


I can say with my whole heart that God knows us perfectly and it is through His perfect knowledge of us, He places specific people in our lives and very specific times. There is so much I want to share with you about this past week! I'll do my best to sum it up but if you take anything away from this email, know that I know that God knows you and me, perfectly.
Miracle on Legend Hollow
Legend Hollow is a blessed sub-division where God's angels are working their wings off (ha!) but fo realz! The neighborhood is flooding with hot hot hot potentials, 4 of our recent converts and members! On Monday after P-day was over we felt like we needed to change our plans and go down to Legend Hollow. Sure enough, our dear friend needed us at that very moment. To spare some unneeded details, she was a wreck. God loves her and knew He needed to send us her way. We treated her family with McDonald's and how quickly the children devoured those Big Macs was another testament of why we needed to be there that night. We found 2 new investigators on that street that night and we were able to get a priesthood holder to come give her a blessing. God knows us!
Miracle at Bible study
We knocked into this fantastic couple one day and after preaching the good word and captivating their interest, they asked us to come back and join their weekly bible study because we "had great knowledge and wisdom to contribute." Surely!! And what did they say they studying so we could prepare? The book of JAMES! Haaaaa...coincidence? I think not! It just so happens that the entire restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ originated when young Joseph Smith read from a verse in the book of James that reads, "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God."
We came to bible study beaming with the Spirit! What an honor and blessing it was to be given this opportunity! I volunteered to say the opening prayer and after I said "amen," there was silence for a good 7 seconds and a member of the group broke it by saying, "what a beautiful prayer".  Insta-respect. I thanked Heaven for allowing us to build a relationship of trust with the group from the get go! We engaged in fantastic conversation and we established firm common ground. They were shocked how well we were versed in the bible. Why is it such a shocker that us crazy Mormons know the bible?...maybe because the pastors preach anti-Mormon crap on the reg. We were stoked we could change their twisted beliefs on us Mormons.
After building strong common ground, we were then able to share what makes us different from all other Christian denominations. We love and respect all other religions!  We all believe in the same Father and the same Savior whether you're  a Baptist, Methodist, or whatever! But our unique message to the world is that there is a Prophet on the earth today and the fullness of Jesus Christ's gospel has been restored in these latter days. We went on to explain that the Book of Mormon is another testament of the divinity of our Savior. That it is a record of God's dealing with the people of ancient American. Christ isn't just the Savior of Israel! In Ezekiel 37, we read the prophesy that the stick of Judah (the Bible) and the stick of Joseph (the Book of Mormon) will run together and we "one in thine hand." As I held my scriptures and declared that that prophesy has been fulfilled, there was astonishment in that bible study. One member of the group actually asked us if she could come out with us. Non-member team up? Alright!  God knows us.
Miracle on Bullard
We were driving down the road and we passed this house and I heard this voice saying stop at that house. I kept driving and I felt it again. Something I know to be true is that you never ever ever ignore a prompting. We turned around and knocked on this house.
Chester, an old man with overalls approached in the front yard and immediately welcomed us in and said, "go around the back to the porch and I’ll be there soon." What the? Did this man know us? Who are we going to meet out back on the porch? We had zero idea, but we were following the spirit so it couldn't lead us astray. We met his wife and daughter and instantaneously connected. They were just about to leave and we caught them at the perfect time. We told them our purpose as missionaries and they were delighted! They asked us for our number and when we could come back. Something that is very common around here is prayer talking. So during a prayer they say things like "yes, Lord!" "Halleluiah" "Praise God! and so forth. As I prayed, all three of them were prayer talking like I've never heard! It's kinda awesome actually! We are excited to meet with them again next week.
Miracle at a fireside
Our stake tried something really cool this past Sunday. Our dear mission president and his glorious wife coupled up with our stake president and his beautiful wife for a fireside (devotional type deal). It was filmed and broadcast to all the other bishops homes where the missionaries and their investigators were tuning in. The Lost Mountain Ward (my ward) was the chosen ward to be the “live” guests. We had a huge responsibility to get people to come! I was stressin! It’s one thing to get people to come to church! After hustling our booties off, we got 5 of our investigators to come! It was the most spiritual devotional I had ever been apart of. One of our investigators committed to baptism that night and another committed the next day. Sweet President Harding (our mighty mission president) talked with them one on one and gave them the most powerful and inspired advice. I know that President Harding is a man called of God to lead us in the missionary efforts in Georgia. You shake his hand and you just know. I love his wife. She’s perfect. You look at her and you think nope, not real. And then she opens her mouth and bears her tender testimony and then you’re going nope, NOT REAL. Oh the Harding’s. Oh and they have a 10 year old with them and he is my buddy! He is my replacement Sammy for the time being. Sammy, you and Stockton are gonna be BFFs one day.
I only want to focus on the good because the good outweighs the bad by like a bazillion! Sure, times get stressful and overwhelming and I’m thinking “I don’t get a break for how many more months?!?!?” Then I think how I started the sentence…”I”. This isn’t about me. This isn’t my work. I am not doing this to evaluate myself. I’m here to evaluate our Savior and I am on His holy time. I give my all every day. And if for a moment I feel like I’m not, I feel like straight shizzz. Pardon my language. Ha! Okay, I just promise you- be good, do good, and you will feel good.
All my love,
Sister Miyahara
p.s. I got to go to the temple this morning and it was literally celestial. The temple is my #1 - make it yours too!

The Carnells had the Pestana's over for a Memorial Day BBQ. These South Africans had never had American BBQ before so you know that Brother Carnell showed them how it is done. My stomach is still full (*defeated sigh*)

Exchanges with Sister Wright from Pasadena, CA

Thursdays volunteering at the family history center is PRIME journaling time.  Yes, yes I do get very excited for journaling time!  ]

Gail's birthday dinner!  so much love right here going on!

ORBZ!!!  We took this one picture and got outta there STAT!  I was freaking out! YIKES

My STL buddy  Happy Memorial Day!

This is brother Carnell.  We live in his basement and we love him! 'merica!!!

I love my cute trainee lady! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Birthday, Exchanges, and Sister Linda Burton 5/20/2013

I could seriously write a novel about this past week! Thankfully//unfortunately time will not allow that so I will do my best to give a spark note version that can sufficiently express my gratitude, excitement and pure love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  How shall I break it down? Hmm..

Birthday lovin'!
I had a phenomenal birthday! Probably the best birthday I've ever had. I was spoiled rotten for reason I know not! Ah my heart is so full just thinking about last week! We played kick ball and shopped and ate and ate some more and I was so humbled and appreciative of how ridiculously thoughtful everyone was! At the end of the day I actually just started crying of pure joy because I felt so special and loved! Pathetic but real!

Because of my assignment as Sister Training Leader, I have to go on about 2 exchanges a week with other sisters in my zone and nearby zones. These sisters are amazing and it's an incredible opportunity I have to go to other areas and witness miracles everywhere! One place I went this past week was Cedartown and I learned so much...probably more than the sister I was supposed to be training! It's so wonderful when you take the identity of individuals and literally see them as God does. How could you ever be rude or judgmental if you had the eyes of God? The people we were able to find and teach were incredible children of God and although their exteriors may have not been of a king...boy were their inner souls true heirs of God's kingdom. I hope that makes sense! People can change. We have to give them a chance to change. We prohibit others to fully use the atonement when we don’t let people change. I love going on exchanges! We have 2 this week and I’m stoked!

She changed my life. This weekend changed my life. My spirit won’t ever be the same again because of how Sister Burton pierced it! haha I'm not kidding she is the Lord's right hand lady! The conference was an experience I'll never forget. I was also privileged to be in the choir and the songs we sang have to be the most beautiful songs I've ever heard "The Olive Tree" and "Write Thy Name Upon My Heart." Look up the lyrics! They will make your heart melt. One line that will forever be a prayer in my heart says, "Grant me strength to serve Thee well, light my spirit with Thy grace, 'til all my works reflect Thy goodness, 'til all my labors sing Thy Praise. Endow my soul, with loving kindness, make me even as Thou art..." SO GOOD!

(Avery was asked to speak with Sister Burton at the Atlanta Regional Women’s Conference)

Maybe I’ll just paste in my talk...maybe someone will need to read it?..

Good morning! What a privilege and honor it is to have the opportunity to speak with you beautiful wise women this morning! This has been a very special meeting and I pray the Spirit will continue to teach us.

We can "bless the one." I believe a common misconception may be that "the one," is going to have a spotlight around them with arrows pointing saying "save me!" I have learned that this however, is rarely the case. We need to search out for the "the one," because the one won’t be obvious. We all need to have the faith and confidence in ourselves to act upon the Spirit's promptings because God will lead you to "the one" when we ask Him. Sisters, I ask you to pray to be an answer to someone else's prayers. I can promise you when we show the Lord our willingness to be instruments in His holy hands, He will allow us, His servants, to bring about great deeds of good.

When we entered the waters of baptism, we all made a covenant or a promise to the God of the universe that we would take upon the name of Christ. Sisters, our Savior Jesus Christ depends on us! You and me, His believers, His advocates of the truth, His friends to carry out a great and marvelous work upon all those around us, His sheep. Jesus Christ is the great Shepherd! Like Christ does everyday, we can bless "The One."

I love the parable of the lost lamb. Christ, that great Shepherd stopped all He was doing to save His lost lamb. How incredible is that? Think just how many 100 sheep are! He knew His herd so well that he knew when one was missing. As it says in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." Those sheep were His!

The Webster dictionary describes a shepherd as "a man who tends to His sheep and watches over their safety," and the definition of tend is just as cool! It means "to watch over, direct and lead." As people in a covenant with God to bear Christ's name, the Good Shepherd is counting on us to make His sheep, our sheep. To know them, love them, and to not only watch over their safety, but to direct them. Who are His sheep? Your family members, friends, acquaintances and even those you don’t’ know!

My favorite account in the bible is in John 21 when the resurrected Savior visits His disciples on the Sea of Tiberias. The Savior has to ask Peter three times if he loves Him, truly loves Him and the commission he gives to Peter after every reply is "okay, if you really do, then go feed my sheep." Christ knew His sheep, loved His sheep, found His sheep and they did the same for Him.
Elder Bednar said "As you loose yourself in the service of others, we find yourself because you weren’t looking." It is this quote that describes how we can know the Savior, love the Savior and find the Savior. He is asking each of us every day to be like Him, a good shepherd and to watch over, direct and bless His sheep, one by one.

Each of us has been saved until now, the last days for a specific purpose and we are to be a service to our Savior, now! He believes in us. He loves us and has so much confidence in us that He would entrust us to save His one lost lamb! We have a sacred obligation to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

President Kimball has said, "The Lord does notice us and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs, therefore it is vital that we serve each other." As we continually make a prayer effort to "bless the one", I know that Jesus Christ will meet us at the gate and say, " Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Can you think of anything more beautiful?

The Great Shepherd lives, may we all live for Him.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

It has been a week to remember! I'm astounded by the goodness of our God! I'm puzzled to why I got so lucky to be serving here in the Georgia Atlanta Mission. I am a witness to everyone that God qualifies the weak things of the world to bring to pass His almighty work! I'm on His holy time and what an honor it is!! I’m the words of
Uncle Phil..I'm happy happy happy! :)

Lot’s of lovin’
Sister Avery Miyahara

This sweet family is one of my favorites and we've been teaching them and I LOVE THEM. They made me a cake and it was the nicest thing, ever! 

Exchanges and Sister Nelson are a hoot and a half!  So much love!

24 hours in Cedartown was sure a day to remember! Talk about different worlds only an hour or so away!

Aren't they the cutest?

Oreo delight at the Stickland's home! They were too kind to me! I love my ward here!

The elders made me a cake and decorated it with a skydiver, waves and a panda bear. hahahaha I love them! So much fun!

And some more cake...I'm fat and happy!! Ha!

Us sisters had to have a little b-day shopping spree to Gap, Francescas and Eddie Bauer! :

We <3 kickball and be sweaty missionaries on a fab P-day!

This is Sister Black and she is my gma/mama/friend/ i just love her so muc. I dont know what I would do without her! She's my Geogia rock! 

Sister Linda Burton in all her glory! Being in the same room as her is powerful, but speaking with her...changed me forever. I'll always be greatful for the chance I had to speak with a true handmaided of the Lord! 

Oh you know just measly me and PRESIDENT AND SISTER BURTON!! Can I be them one day? Psh I can only dream! They're incredible. Through and through

Frolicking in the springtime sun! Thank heavens the humidity has totally rolled in yet! 
Birthday cake with my sista ladies at our lovely abode! I love Sister Richardson, Nelson and Mataele with my whole heart!! They made my day so very special and I'll forever look back and smile at the thoughts of my 20th birthday :) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hip Hip Horray! 5/13/2013

It's crazy how days can seem so long but how weeks seriously zoom on by...not to mention years!

I'm 20 today! And as I lay in bed last night I thought about my recent birthdays. My 18th was spent skydiving with my daddyo and then with all my high school BFFLs playing an intense game of kickball at the Arroyo Vista Park.  My 19th was spent with my most glorious girlies as we graced the streets of Barcelona, Spain. Then comes my 20th and I'm a real life, set apart representative of Jesus Christ serving in the Georgia Atlanta Mission. It's absolutely absurd!! Time moves so darn quickly so we best be living every
(Sometimes seemingly long) day to it's greatest potential!

I'm grateful to have been blessed with a strong desire to always "go go go!", if you will. Because of this innate part of me, I've been privileged to accumulate priceless experiences and memories that I fully believe were divinely given to me so I can help others find joy in this incredible journey of life!

We were invited to be apart of the Young Women's lesson last Sunday and I just had the deepest love for these girls! I just wanted to hug them and tell them to go be awesome! Stand up for truth and righteousness! See yourself as the beautiful royal daughter of God you are! Get involved in everything! Be friends with everyone! Hold firm to the testimonies you have! Make everyday the best day ever! This life is marvelous! Don't be down trodden by insecurities, fears or regret! Christ is the answer, always! Work like everything depends on you but pray like everything depends on the Lord!

I feel this indescribable love and almost responsibility to the youth of this generation. I see so clearly how vital the gospel is in their young souls. The world is getting more wicked by the hour and thankfully I fully believe we are getting stronger! There are no middle grounds. Are we progressing or digressing? We can’t be stagnant!  Are we making it easier or harder for the people
around us to be living righteously? Are we happy, truly happy? I can promise you the peace and happiness the gospel offers is unlike you anything you can imagine! Open the door, Christ is knocking! Let Him in and watch as He changes your heart forever.

My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, changes my heart everyday and He will continue to change my heart for the rest of eternity. When Christ asked His apostles to leave their nets, He meant to leave those fishing nets forever.  There are things Christ asks all of us to sacrifice and when He asks us to He doesn't mean for only a short while, He always means forever.

In my missionary world I was told that each day determines your week, which determines your transfers, which determines your mission, which determines your life, which determines your forever. Look at everyday as the magnitude it really is! If your days aren't as happy or fulfilling as you'd like, fix it! We can do all things with Heaven's help!

Christ lives and I'm nothing without Him.

Today is totally gonna rock! My sweet companion and the two other wonderful sisters we live with made me pancakes this morning and later today the missionaries in our area are getting together to play kickball (Miyahara family favorite!). I'm stoked! Then some lovely families feel a need to "stuff a birthday girl silly with southern cookin" So the candles I'll be blowing out will probably be a wish for reverse obesity! Three cheers for
another year...shoot in the butt! Just kidding, my Dad would always say that hahaha love you Dad! Okay Ah! I gotta go! Time is a doozy, lemme tell ya!

No longer your 19 year old missionary,
Sister Miyahara

P.S. skyping with y'all yesterday was such a joy! I love you all with every part of my heart! Ma and Pa, I love you. Blake you're a tan babe, I can’t handle the fact you're graduating. Sammy, your karate and singing skills never cease to make my day. Britt, you're beautiful and I loved having some girl chat with you! Hearing your voices and seeing your smiles only motivated me to work even harder so God has no choice but to pour out heavens blessings on you, my family :) Hey, and nice meeting you Jason! You're awesome! Man, I just have the best family ever! Those lucky ducks who get to marry into our fam ;)  

P.S. Thank you for my birthday package! It was seriously the most thoughtful package I'll ever get. Everything stuffed into that box was perfect and so needed! Thank you for being so thoughtful. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you.


The Wallace's spoiled me and made me the most delicious cake!  They are my "Georgia mama and papa"

Sister Richardson is another diet coke addict and I love her for it. If you're seeing this Mrs. Stapleton, cheers to you and diet coke!

Flirt to convert?  Just kidding!!!! Never would we do such a thing!

It was Elder Roger's big 21st! Ow OW! So how did we celebrate? Nerf war around the church! That's some good wholesome fun is you ask me!

Sis. Rich "happy happy happy" (duck dynasty) shirt and my face mask just equals a good time after a long day of hard work for the Lord!

Georgia is a dreamland in the spring

How I love this lady

Hey, look I'm thrusting my sickle with all my might and reaping all I'm sowing! This sickle is actually from the 1800s and never has been sharpened!

Pancake breakfast with the best sisters in the mission field

I love the mission home for a couple of reasons and a big one is their massive swing set!   So freakin fun!

Because we are missionaries and we are crazy!

We said to do a "cute one" and my trainee decided otherwise....and that is why I love her!

No, you're not hard core unless you live hard core!

My sweet friend, Sister Mary Lou Rader surprised me with a crochet kit for my birthday :) She's just the greatest lady there ever was! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Look to God and Live 4/29/13

Another fantastic week has come and passed! I'm giddy all day everyday for the gospel! It's a privledge and an honor to be entrusted with this name tag at this time! I dont take this sacred calling for granted! My sweet K8 Hargadon gave me some killer advice this week, she told me that I have 18 months to serve with all I got and then I have an eternity to reminisce on it. I loved that! What a motivator! I've been called to be the new sister training leader for my current zone as well as a few other surrounding zones. I'm humbled and freaking stoked for this newly established role for sister missionaries! The work is going haywire over here in the Georgia Atlanta Mission! Hurrah for Isreal!
My sweet trainee is the! I adore her! Her name is Sister Richardson and she's from Sandy, Utah! We have so much fun together while working our tails off! I'm grateful to share this great urgency for the work with her. This next transfer is going to fabulous, I just know it!
Earlier this week I was reading Alma 37,  and Alma's parting advice to his son Helaman was to look to God and live! Alma (the greatest most inspiring missionary/human ever) is staying when we live our lives, looking to God, then we can live with a fullness of joy! Our all-loving Father isnt trying to weigh us down with burdens and commandments, that's what the adversary wants us to believe God's intenions are...but that is entirely false! I loved L. Tom Perry's G.C. talk where he said that "obedience to law is liberty!" Dont believe him? Try it out! I did and that is why everyday I frolick around in pure joy because I'm working everyday to change not just my behavior but my nature to allign with the Lord! I promise, I promise, I promise, that if we simply look to God, then can we more fully live :)
Prayer is real! You can never over utelize the power but we all so frequently under utelize the divine power of communication with the God of the universe, the King of Kings! I pray for all y'all all day errday!
Peace and blessings sweet people I love!
Sista Miya
P.S. If you're reading this Weens/Reta...know that my heart soared with the news of your baptism! The choice you made will forever ignite your soul. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the most beautiful gift we can recieve here in mortality. I'm over the moon excited for you! More happiness and joy than you have ever imagined await you! Stay strong! Your life is now changed for eternity! Oh how I love you!!!

I Ran 13.1 today

I ran 13.1 this morning….


Because I learned the importance of consistency this week. God mentions multiple times throughout the scriptures that His honor is His power. Why is God so honorable? Because He is perfectly consistent! As well as, consistently obedient!  Mormon 9:19 says it all, "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being?  And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."

I ran a distance of a half marathon this morning because every springtime for the past 6 years I have ran a half alongside my girly friends. The tradition had to be continued! I said I would, so I did. I'm trying really hard to be "a woman of my word." Being consistently engaged in good is everything this life and the next is dependent on!  Join me! Let's all be more habitual in good deeds and righteousness. Let's finish what we start and do what we say we will do. As we align ourselves with God, I know there is no greater joy we can experience.

This week has been yet another crazy awesome week. FILLED with meetings for my new assignment where I sit there iching to get out so I can go preach the gospel but hey, patience is another virtue God is building my endurance on! I'm thrilled to skype with you this Sunday!! To see y'alls faces is just gonna make my soul sing! I love you so much, yet right now the people of Georgia have my heart!

Until next week,
Sister Miyahara!

Deer!  I ate freshly hunted down deer!!!!

Pwetty bird, pwetty bird!

The other sisters (Swanson and Thronock) eat the nastiest CRAPOLA and we try to eat healthy and it's hilarious! We laugh everyday comparing our shelves of food. I love living and working with these sisters!

The best district there ever was that has been split THREE times due to increase in missionaries! So awesome!

Georgia is Beautiful

Precious!  Yes, her name is Precious and she truly was Precious!

Time with Sister Nelson is so happy! We seriously are the ultimate duo. I love her so!

Yay!  my new trainee!  Sister Richardson!

Julie + Gail  My total favs!

Elder Clemence!!!

My precious trainee is the cutest! We laugh all day errday

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This WAS NOT planned! So rad, huh? Totes would get likes on insta. lol jk. Oh and the dream catcher was a gift to us from one of the ladies we have been teaching! I love it!

Everyone has chickens here!

Corn rows for the half!  I'm going gansta in da A*T*L

We got to do some gardening! I cant wait to plant a garden when I get home! It's so fun! I was thinking about my Jichan the entire time!

Gail and Torey have my heart!

The West's hosted the best BBQ ever!

13.1 baby!!!!