Monday, July 22, 2013

Pictures from the last three weeks!!

TENDER MERCY OF THE WEEK: I found a trader joes after our temple trip and zone training meeting. Blessed day!

There are wild blackberries in ya...i smash them in my teeth...then of course, a member from a neighboring ward pulls over as I'm doing this to offer us a ride. face in hand. dang it, me!)

Me and my sweet trainee will continue together in Lost Mountain for another transfer! Could Georgia skies be anymore beautiful?!

My darling friend, miss Lily Checketts sent me these sunflowers to my new apartment the day I moved in. Bless the kind souls who never cease to make me feel so loved. I love you, Lil!! Thank you thank you! 

Lost Mountain District is sure gonna miss our sista richie :( sad day! I'm gonna miss her everyday! She was sent to serve in downtown ATL, baby! So excited for her! 

Julie is my lady here. This was taken when she was chastising me for cutting my hair last week. You cant even tell though! She and her native americaness insists I grow my hair out forever! haha so silly

Lift Where You Stand, July 22, 2013

My life is such a beautiful sham of joy! Sometimes I take a step back for a hot second and examine how ridiculous I am...maybe it's because it's summer in Georgia and the weather goes from sauna humid hot to down pour flash floods in a matter of seconds and I can never really tell if the wetness I’m drenched in is sweat or rain. Needless to say, I laugh all day long. 

I love how the Lord's plan is always better than mine. I was ready to part from my beloved ward but the Lord wasn't quite ready for me to leave just yet and I'm so thankful His ways are always the best way. The bishop should really just give me a calling in the ward and put me on the roster!

It's a reoccurring lesson I am learning to absolutely trust in the Lord. I am SO thankful that the Lord wanted me to stay in Lost Mountain. Our new apartment is the bomb! We live in a basement apartment of the sweet grandparents house and the basement is the epitome of a grandma's basement! haha I sleep in a queen size bed. Hello, glory of a good nights sleep! Tender mercy! Oh wonderful stateside missions :) With our new place, comes a new area of the ward. Thank heavens, I thrive off change and although I’m still in the same ward, we have plenty of change! I'm back in the area I covered my first transfer here so going back to those I used to work with has been the greatest joy! 

I've learned so much about myself lately. It's so true that missions shape you into adulthood. I'll be eternally thankful for my time on a mission to figure out who I am and who I want to become, through my Savior's mercy, of course. I was pondering Revelations 3:15 the other day where Christ says, "I would thou wert cold or hot." We have a choice when we wake up every morning what our soul's temperature is going to be. We gotta pick one. Let me be frank and say that nothing urkes me more than wishy washy "luke warm" Christians out here in the South. Be on the Lord's team. Represent Him well. 

I realize we all have our fair share of personal trials; some more than others. Thankfully our Father is perfectly knowledgeable of our circumstances. However, trials are no excuse for mediocrity. Temporal obstacles make eternal development possible. Failure can be one of the greatest teachers if we have the faith to learn from them. I literally fail every day...but thankfully God is always victorious. Satan may win some battles if we let him but God will always win the war. 

Our newly called Bishop's motto is "lift where you stand." I loved it! If we are doing our job to the best of our ability then others can do theirs too and then we become one cohesive team of children of God. Wherever we are in our own personal journeys, or whatever our calling or responsibility may lie...lift and elevate those around you! Hard work and love is so satisfying.  I know that I can only share the gospel to the extent I live it. The Lord has called me to do His work, He is laboring with me as I listen and ask for heaven's help and my heart is exploding of gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

The south will be lifted again! 
Peace + Blessings, 
Sister Avery Miyahara! 

No mo "wack" house! July 15, 2013

(The title of her letter bothered me so I was lucky enough to be online when she was still online and I asked Avery about this.  She said she and the other sisters living with her called it the "wack house" because they always acted so wacky!  Avery also said this week was a very challenging/scary week.  She is very grateful for the power of the priesthood and feels safe and happy with the move.  It didn't have anything to do with the wonderful people they have been living with - it was a person they have been teaching.  Please keep her in your prayers!  She also said all the letters she recieves from everyone is so much needed and gives her so much strength and happiness - so keep sending those letters - even if they are one paragraph!  She loves to hear what everyone is doing!!)

Here is her address..
Sister Avery Miyahara
Georgia Atlanta Mission
112 Governors Square, Suite A
Fayetteville, GA  30215

I'd like to believe I reverence my call as a set-apart missionary and representative of Jesus Christ; I've realized the magnitude of this responsibility and the potential power it truly is. I'll be honest with y'all and say that this past week was by far the hardest week out here in Georgia thus far.

In an attempt to be sensitive to others involved in this week, I can only say so much...but we've been living in our Bishop's basement since Monday.  Transfers are this Wednesday and I will still be in the Lost Mountain Ward, we are just moving into a different basement.

I've come out of this week with a strengthened testimony is two areas:

1. The priesthood has been restored and is entirely real. It is my solemn witness to the world that the power of the priesthood can ease all stresses, cure all sicknesses and bring the greatest peace to all the faithful. I'm grateful for worthy priesthood holders who exercise their authority in righteousness. I pray that those who are priesthood holders do not take their role lightly.

2. We must pray, and we must pray often. Specific prayers receive specific answers. If it's God's will, let it happen.

D+C 84:88 took even greater solace this week, " And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up".  Before this week I had never felt the power of the adversary so strong in my life; and I had never felt the presence of heavenly angels so evident either. Believe that our actions and the actions of those around us invite spirits to be present, whether it be good or bad. God's light is real and it is available to all. We must live in such a way that the light we posses will always outshine any trace of darkness. If you feel any sense of that darkness, know that our Savior is the light. Let's radiate His light!  

I'm looking forward with faith!

-Sister Avery Miyahara!

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

Do you ever ask yourself those personal self check questions like, "What more could I be doing?" or "How could I be better?" and so on? Well, I do and if you're like me it can often actually do the can bring you unnecessary discouragement. You know? When no effort -even at it's greatest degree- feels sufficient. This week I've learned the importance and blessing it is to never actually be satisfied. It's because of my constant hunger for improvement and God fills in the rest, lifts me higher than I could have ever on my own.

My inspiring zone leader pointed out in Jacob 1, where they found success because of their "faith and great anxiety." I was relieved when I could find complete solace yet again in the Book of Mormon. It can be a really, really good thing to be greatly anxious in a good cause! Eternal matters take time. We give all we can give and our Savior will never forsake us, ever!

Yesterday at church will go down in my brain and my heart as one of my most glorious Sabbath days. Literally a serious of miraculous events

::Sister Rader is a (completely) less active lady whom I've been visiting since I got here in February. She has been out of town for the last month but at transfer time 5 weeks ago she called me and told me that she prayed and told God that if I stay in Lost Mountain, she would come to church with me the Sunday she gets home from her trip. This Sunday was that Sunday. Watching her partake of the sacred sacrament filled my soul with as much joy as did witnessing our recent converts enter the waters of baptism. She loved church and said she is coming next week, and every week! Hurrah!

::Then I look over and there sits the Pestana family surrounded by a ward family who love them. Their smiles were the evidence of their conversion. Sara even got a calling this week and when her husband raised his arm to the square to sustain her, it was just ah! beautiful! God is so good! The gospel blesses families. period!

::And then, it being fast and testimony meeting, my sweet (newly baptized) Tribecca (she's 10) walked up and bore the most tender testimony. With tears in the bishop's eyes, he looked at my teary eyes and it was a moment of pure peace and spiritual confirmation of the reality of the glorious gospel. It changes lives. It brings families together forever. It's for everyone.

::Sunday school came and we had a lesson with our investigator from communist China! The other classes go over his head so we have a lesson with just him. Teaching someone who God and Jesus Christ are is very new to him. We had to whip out google translate and as we typed the lessons, I was blown away by the spirit there as we did so. I even invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized over google translate and he accepted! He gave the closing prayer in broken English and after he said "amen" with tears in his eyes and sighed and said it was the first time in his entire life he ever prayed to God. God is good.

::We met this lady tracting and when she opened the door, she said, "You're representatives of Jesus Christ? Oh good, I need you right now. Please come in and help me get closer to God." She defines "golden" Anyways, so she wasn't sure if her schedule would permit her to come to church. We walk out of our meeting with Chin Po (Chinese dude) and there she is! In a skirt! Talking with the Bishop! She cried all of Relief Society and is overjoyed to learn more and to bring her family along too!

I left the church feeling overwhelmed with excitement, yet a little run down because (of course, silly me) I wanted to give more attention, more love to those special souls who were at church. And then as I drove home, I realized that after we give our all, God will always deliver!

Psalms 139:23 says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." When we can confidently say this to God, I promise you, the windows of heaven will be open and blessings will flood into your life that is unimaginable!

Bring it on, week 5!

His truth is marching on!

Sister Avery Miyahara

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pictures from the last 3 weeks!

Pedi's with my ladies for Sista Deena's birthday! ow! ow!

Another lovely exchange with my sweet Sister Bui from Vietnam

Miss Lily and Sally Buttle.  Does it get any better than this? Gosh, no it doesn't!!!

Happy are We!!

We are famous at the local Kroger.  Preachin' erwhere we go!!

The women of Legend Hollow.  I love them so dearly!

Georgia skies!!! (*sigh*)

Love me some exchangey-angies with the sweetest sisters ever!  Sister Bui converted just a couple of years ago in Vietnam and Sister Warner is from Washington.  So much fun!

Classic member/investigator bonding!

Be Here, Now! July 1, 2013

There is something beautiful about being 100% devoted to something or another. It's like this feeling of actual satisfaction I cant quite figure out how to describe. Thus far in my life, I have never really been able to give 100% in one area. I've always been "spread thin" my teachers would tell me. Going on a mission, I was thrilled and also a bit apprehensive about having only one purpose, one focus for an entire 18 months! Yet, I've found that it is the most beautiful thing. My one purpose is essentially to love.

The answer is always love. Every problem can be solves through the power of love. Doesn't it feel good when we actually embrace the Christ's commission, "As I have loved you, love one another"? John's chapter in the bible is pure gold. Love literally the glue that holds this tumultuous world together. Without love missionary work would have zero effect...on the missionary, members or the investigators.

The love I have for my Savior and His work is what drives me every second of everyday out here in Georgia; It is seriously the fuel that makes this engine move. We can choice to love, every day! It is our choice. I say the line from that Mason Jennings song, "be here, now" in my head multiple multiple times a day. Whatever you're going, wherever you are, be there now. Doubts are about the future, never about the present. Although we all have a million things on our plates, God does want us to slow down, take a breather and bask in the beauty of each moment. Try it. I promise you'll like it.

This week was awesome. I'll say it again, I've never worked harder and I've never been happier. I’m trying my very best to not pull the work down to my level but to rise up to the Lords.

Go kick Satan’s butt.

All my love,
Sister Miyahara

A Week of chaos+nos+perfect timing! June 24, 2013

My body, spirit and soul is currently in recovery mode from this past week. Thank the high heavens for P-day and glorious few hours we have to go play and be crazy humans (today we are playing games, hiking Kennesaw Mountain and fishing with the elders)! If you just had any inclination that our P-days are group dates, please rethink that! More or less, these sweet elders are just straight awko tacs and I find great entertainment at making them feel even more awkward. Hey, someone’s gotta do it.

Where am I going here? Oh right! The glorious havoc of this past week! So to give you a short run down...Monday was a half p-day, Tuesday we got go to the temple (hallelujah!), Wednesday was zone training and leadership meetings up the ying yang, and Thursday I was out of my area on exchanges for 24 hours. Needless to say, my area was being neglected and we had work to be done Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So what did we do? Go to work.

I find it absolutely hysterical when people feel the need to teach us about our religion and say things like "bless your heart, let me tell you how you can be saved from the hell you'll be off to!" or "oh honey, no, you may not pray with me but I sure will pray for you!" My heart breaks for these wonderful Christians! Their pastors have polluted their minds with such false beliefs that some actually believe we have horns! If you've ever known a Mormon, you could never claim such a thing! So I just smile and bear my testimony and pray that the Spirit or something about our encounter will leave them pondering our message. We had a painful amount of "no’s" but our "yeses" sure made up for all the rest!

So after a sufficient amount of no’s we went to our scheduled appointment with a new investigator and her family. They didn't answer. I was on the verge of discouragment but not totally yet! I was just pooped from the week! Anyway, so we drive down the street, turn around to leave and an older lady comes out of the house and waves us down. We pull over, teach her about the Restoration, invited her to learn more and then a member in the subdivision drives up and offers to take her to Walmart and they bonded and BAM! Conversion is taking place!

If y'all didn’t get a chance to watch the world wide missionary training broadcast that took place tonight, I encourage all to watch it! It was incredible. Everything that was said came from the Lord so we better put it into action pronto! This is the Lord's work and we just have to do it His way or else we will fail! He knows what is ahead. I am fully committed to His royal army! 70,274 missionaries currently now serving the Lord throughout all nations, kindreds and toughs. Marvelous!

We have a glorious message to the world! We boldly proclaim each day that the fullness of Jesus Christ's church has been restored by a loving Heavenly Father who wants His children to enjoy a fullness of His blessings! Can you tell how excited I am about this gospel?! It's because it is true and it is the Lord's. I pray we can all be like Nephi and "go and do the things which the Lord commands!"

Peace and Blessings, yo!
Sister Miyahara

P.s. I got to talk to Nicoley on the phone this week!! She was in Georgia! And a Happy Birthday to you my dear friend!!
p.s.s.s Blakey, have fun at BYU for me..and...brookie...and lily :

A Sweaty Hello from Georgia! June 17, 2013

Excuse my redundancy about how over-enthused obsessed I am about the Book of Mormon...but it's seriously the greatest source of pure light and truth and knowledge! Anyone who actually reads from its pages could never ever claim that an unlearned farm boy could ever come up with this! I deeply study the Book of Mormon every day and every single day I receive direct answer to prayer within its pages. It is the word of God. If you haven't read it or if you have read it, I urge all to read it because it will bring you closer to God than you could have ever imagined...and we all need that in these tumultuous times, right? I promise you there is power that will flow into your lives the moment you begin sincere study of it. I can guarantee that because I see it change peoples lives everyday.

The other day we were tracting in a rather wealthy community and we knocked into this lady and her teenage daughter. They were not interested in the slightest so we asked if we could leave them with a word of prayer to bless their family and they accepted. After I said amen, their entire attitude changed and the mom said, "wait a second, I can feel Christ's power radiating from you girls, now what do you have to share again?" I was holding a Book of Mormon in my hand (like I always do, totally recommend it for all you missionaries!) and quickly introduced this magnificent second witness of Jesus Christ. She asked us a million questions and replied to our answer with things like, "yeah, I've always wondered if Christ preformed miracles in other lands" and "Absolutely, I would read anything that would help me grow closer to our Savior." This sweet family is from Nigeria and they have accepted the Book of Mormon, which now stands as evidence to them that the gospel of Jesus Christ has indeed been restored in this these last days.

In the Book of Mormon, they are either listening or they are not. Obeying or not. And whether or not they are direct effects if they are prosperous and joyful or not. This is entirely true for us! I've learned that we all just need to relax and be like Nephi. Everything will work out if you're living righteously. Simple as that! Take a step back from your problems and just be righteous. It's just the intelligent thing to do. Let Jesus Chirst fight your battles (D&C 98:37 so good!)

I hope you had a glorious Fathers Day, paps. I love you dearly. Blakey, you're graduated and you're going up to BYU without me and I'm so stoked for you. Sammy, the pictures from your play melted my heart! I'm so proud of you, actor man you! Mom and Britt, I love you so much. I just have so much love for y'all. Know that I pray for you specifically everyday!

Peace+blessings, baby!
Sister Miyahara