Thursday, August 29, 2013

miracles, happy times and goodbyes

Holy moly I have so much to say and I have zero clue where to even start! Alright well I’ll start with the big news that I’m leaving my beloved Lost Mountain Ward L  And this next transfer I’ll be training a new MTC sister…opening up a new area (white washing: both missionaries are new)….and continuing as Sister Training Leader of this new zone. Holy moly me oh my! This is straight nuts!
K so to bring it back, I have got to share a miracle and some happy times of my last week here at home (I seriously feel like I am home here. This ward is my family. They joked and said I needed to have a farewell! My heart is actually so sad to leave but truthfully I’m STOKED for this change. You know me, I thrive for change! Shoot this is a really too lengthy for parentheses)…oh man my scattered brain is going to be evident in this email!
A few months ago Sister Nelson and I were in Fayetteville (about 90ish minute drive away) at Mission Council and at the stake center there they were hosting a blood drive. We start chatting with one of the phlebotomist from Brazil, sweetest lady there ever was and we ended up teaching up the wazoo and she was golden! Assuming she could live anywhere around Atlanta we asked for her address to refer her over to the missionaries where she lives. She gave us her address AND SHE LIVED IN OUR WARD BOUNDRIES!! After many more miracles occurred, she was baptized on Saturday and she is the newest member of the glorious Lost Mountain Ward! The Lord is ever mindful. He is in the details of our lives. My sweet Alessandra has taught me so much about real faith. She was beaming on her baptism day!  As she hugged me in the locker room, sopping wet (I embraced it 100%) after her baptism she repeatedly said “Thank you God for sending me the sisters, Thank you God for bringing me Your truth.” It was a moment I’ll never ever forget. Alma says it best, (Mosiah18:30) “how beautiful are they…who came to a knowledge of their redeemer…how blessed are they, for they shall sing praises forever.”
Have you heard of the Nashville Tribute band? Well they played a concert for our stake at this huge performing arts center and it was totally awesome! I’ve never been a country kind of girl but I’ll shamelessly admit that I may be slowing converting! Churchy inspiring music with a Nashville twist? Surely! It was so fun. At one point in the show they asked for all missionaries to go on the stage and it was such a powerful moment when this huge auditorium gave us a standing ovation. I was so proud to be a missionary. Our mission president and his wife were rocking out too! I’m so obsessed with my life out here haha it’s just the best!
I’m so grateful for the 7 ½ months I’ve spent serving with all of my heart in the Lost Mountain Ward. The level of love I have for these good people is beyond measurable. My companion told me she hasn’t seen so many people cry happy/love tears in her whole life. These goodbyes are so hard. The members, the less-active, our investigators, and the missionaries I serve alongside…everyone (!!!) means the absolute world to me! I’m forever grateful for the things I’ve learned from my time here. This ward has taught me how to be a stellar member when I get home; they’ve taught me how to love and serve like the Savior; they taught me how to more fully keep my covenants; they helped me to become someone better than I could have ever been without them.
So here’s to the next adventure! I already feel a love for my new companion, new sister friends, new area, new everything! Here’s to the joys of total and complete faith in my Father and His perfect plan! I’m ready! Bring it on, baby!
Until next week!

Sister Avery Miyahara
My cute companion and ms. torey girl! Gonna miss these two so terribly much!

Nashville Tribute Band

My sweet Alessandra, happy as happy gets! 

Deer steak with my Georgia paps! #thesearemyconfessions I hugged him goodbye! 

Some of my most favorite women

The Friedrich's cooked me and their son a "last supper" (their son leaves for the Marines today!) Kindest people! 

Barb (the driest of all mormons) has changed my life. I will forever LOVE this lady. So many tears! 

haha having to pack up and leave is a struggle and a half! So much stuff! 

Elder Romero baptized her and ah it was just glorious!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Satan Hates Baptisms...... 8/19/2013

…But the Lord always, always, ALWAYS wins and He sure did this weekend! We were so blessed to have 4 precious souls receive a remission of their sins through baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! But let me tell you, we fought the enemy all week long! As I strive to strengthen my relationship with my Savior, I’m also coming to better understand the subtle and evil work of the devil. Satan hates baptism. Period. He doesn’t want anyone to feel the cleansing power of the Savior's atonement, certainly not to the degree of baptism. However, he sucks and he looses.  God is victorious yet again!
Anita and Johnson family are pretty remarkable. Their stories are inspiring. I believe God’s timing is immaculate. The gospel is for everyone but within the timeline of the Master, of course.
The Johnson family has been BFFs with the Brown family for 10 years…they’ve known/admired the church for 10 years but when they moved away from their friends (the Browns) and into our ward and were in need of some help, they knew who they could rely on…the Mormons! Our ward jumped on the opportunity to serve them and they said the day they came to the first church activity (‘summer sounds’ we had a month or so ago) they knew they found where they belonged. Their journey for truth ended this weekend and now their journey to eternal life with each other has begun. The gospel blesses families and I couldn’t be more overjoyed for the Johnson’s.
Anita and her family have been meeting with the missionaries since 2009. TWO THOUSAND AND NINE!!!! She is in the neighboring Kennesaw Mountain ward and I met her a month ago and we had such a connection. She is from India! And has to be the most humble, kind, Christ like person, ever. The elders serving in her ward continued to struggle to see progression and prayed about it then randomly asked us if we would be willing to teach Anita.  I didn’t know that was an option but I rejoiced in the opportunity to teach sweet Anita. After many miracles she was baptized this Saturday. Satan worked extra hard on her, because she is an extra ordinary person but he lost and she had the most glorious of days! I’m so humbled to be out here in Georgia. God is a God of miracles and He sure is working His miracles here in the Lost Mountain Ward! Happy day, all is well!!
In other news, I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Like real bad. And (un)fortunately I don’t have the option to lay in bed and have my laptop on my stomach playing netflix while I scroll through blogs and my iphone to scroll through insta/twitter posts…so I sit at my desk and READ. Can you believe it? I sure can’t. My late night book of choice has been Jesus the Christ. I recommend it! If you can’t sleep, I challenge you to resist the techno and do some quality reading. My dreams are way cooler on my mission too :)
I just loving being a missionary!
Have a blessed day, y’all – Sister Miyahara
The beloved Rentz family

Angels!!! President Owen (Powder Springs Stake President) and Anita

Exchangy with the cutest Sister Warner my BYU RECM buddy!

Ha!  "man"pries

Zone kickball baby!!!

Pshhhh, ya right!  We never have time to just sit and eat!!

Love me some kickball and Sister Barnett

Johnson girly shot

Anita's confirmation

What a beautiful sight!!

Radiant mother in Zion

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart 8/12/2013

My heart is exploding with joy today! Being a missionary is absolutely positively the greatest most rewarding service I could be doing, yet the most challenging responsibility in the history of ever. It’s been a crazy week of very little sleep but hey, the Lord always makes up the difference! I feel compelled to write a list of things I am particularly grateful for after coming off yet another ridiculous week so let me just unload all of my hearts explosions on you for just a sec, sound good? Cool. Here we go!
·         My knowledge and testimony of the reality of this restored gospel. It’s undeniable. Let it change you like it’s changing me.

·         My dear family. I love you. I’m so grateful to have been raised by parents who love me like mine do. I’m so thankful for parents who keep their covenants and strive to valiantly to keep our house a home centered around Christ and His teachings.

·         I’m forever thankful for my call to serve in the Georgia Atlanta Mission. I know with surety that I God called me personally to labor with all my might here in Georgia under the stewardship of our mission president and his wife, the Hardings. Because of their great love, our mission is excelling. They’re big on the future and I love it. President is always reminding us that our missions are forever and we must equip ourselves with skills that will allow us to be wonderful spouses and parents.

·         Thank you sweet friends of mine at home for making me feel so loved each day. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the letters and emails and all your love! How blessed am I to have such phenomenal friends.

·         I’m so grateful for the Lost Mountain ward. This ward I’ve served in has changed my entire perspective on the church. The charitable love that is overflowing the congregation is inspiring. I’m learning to serve like the Savior by being around the members of the Lost Mountain ward. They are my family. I know and deeply love every single name on the ward roster.

·         The investigators we currently have are remarkable. Im so grateful for the faith and desire of these children of God. Our teaching pool ranges from babies to 92 year olds…from Haitians to southern hicks…the gospel is for everyone.

·         I’m SO obsessed with my scriptures and I’m so grateful for the freedom to freely study and discuss religion. May this country forever to one nation under God.

·         I thank my Father in Heaven every day for trusting me with the responsibility of Sister Training Leader. Getting to know all the sisters in the zone on such an intimate level really helps me still feel like me. I love these sisters will my whole heart and I’d do anything to help them but truly they are the ones teaching and helping me.

·         I’m so blessed to live in the most comfortable basement apartment of a wonderful old couple in our ward. They’re so good to us! We came home kinda late one night and she hugged me and said she was so worried and was about to call bishop and said that she feels like mother hen to us. It was so precious.

·         I’m grateful for my companion. Sister Sullivan is such a hard worker and we make a great team. We are learning so much from each other because we are total opposites in every way and it honestly works out great! You learn a lot about yourself with those who are not like yourself.

·         I’m kinda obsessed with our district and our zone.

·         THE TEMPLE!!! We got to go the temple this week and my life was again changed. The temple is heaven. We are literally taught from on High in those holy temples and I am forever grateful that God gave us a little taste of heaven while we are here on earth battling the adversary.

·         I’m thankful for the priesthood. It has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and it’s the power is real and undeniable.

·         On Sunday we got the privilege of teaching the CTR 6 year old  class and by golly they are incredible. The raising generation of the church are powerful. Watch our world! The Mormon primary kids are comin in hot!

·         I’m grateful for bug spray, air conditioning, our morning runs, frozen blueberries, my camera, that I get to work at the family history center once a week, otter pops, kick ball on P-days, my naturally ability to use “y’all”, oil blots, my thriving banzi tree and the list goes on and on forever!
WE HAVE A FAMILY GETTING BAPTIZE THIS WEEKEND! It’s gonna be a fabulous week! My heart is full!
Peace and Blessing, yo!
Sister Miyahara

Prayers in the Park.  Thanks elders for the stalk work!  I am impressed.

Lost Mountain District comin' at ya!

My crazy girl club members :-)

Excuse the slips!  Happy exchange with Sister Kynaston!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Singing the Song of Redeeming Love

A couple months back when Sister Linda Burton (General Relief Society President) came to Powder Springs she taught me something that forever will stick with me. She said something that I interpreted as, “people will forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
And I got thinking this week…how can I, silly stupid ‘ol sister Miyahara, make someone feel something lasting? How could I be more like my Savior? The easy answer was to acquire greater charity. I’ve realized that charity is a lifelong pursuit. Charity is not merely actions but it is our very natures. I love Paul’s’ plead for charity in 1 Corinthians 13. We are literally nothing without charity. If we don’t have compassion and love backing our efforts to be good than what is even the point? Moroni’s words in chapter 7 are just as powerful; He says that everything fails, but “charity never faileth.” If we have charity we are guaranteed a win!
I so badly want to be numbered among the “peaceable followers of Christ.” I’ve learned through our diligent efforts out here that progression towards Christ is no frolic in the fields. We have to be consciously aware of our every action and thought and adjust where correcting is needed and pray and pray and pray some more. I know in my heart, I need the Savior the most. As I strive to know strengthen my relationship with my Savior, then I can love others like He loves. The atonement is real. We can depend on it. I know that we can attain greater charitable love, His infinite and eternal love, and allow all those we encounter to feel That love through us. He needs us, His strong believers!
It’s been a hectic week! I’m gonna send a million pictures so all the glorious daily dets can be seen rather than read. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Sweet cause I don’t have time to type a thousand words!
-Sister Miyahara

country stuff, y'all 

SUNFLOWERS!!!!! happy days! 

Sister Raley... 'nuff said. 

the Hardings have my heart!

The oh so mighty Powder springs zone leadership gang. I love these people, so so much! 

Happy Birthday buscuits and gravy with the Wallace's! I love these good people with all my heart. My Georgian parents! He turned 52!, you're 52! 

we walk in and a drunkard karaoker says, "the sexy ladies have arrived!"... without speaking we all walk out. bail!

roaches in the chapel! yikes! 

shake and shave ice with my ward mission leader and his fabulous family! 

Downtown ATL Adventure 

Gettin' cray on our Sunday conference call walks!

Dragon Flies Galore! 

lalaLOVE Georgia! Humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife; spirit so thick you could cut it with a knife!

happy as the georgian sun :) 

compy funzies 

kisses from little miss Abigail, the goat! 
my best good friends!

The kind of views we have as we drive from appointment to appointment :)