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 :) 

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a spectacular birthday! How cool to speak with Sister Burton!