Monday, October 21, 2013

I Will Go and Do! 10/21/13

This week Elder + Sister Evans changed my life and the life of the Georgia Atlanta Mission.
 Elder Evans is a member of the Seventy over missionary work. So if this (missionary work) was a corporate business and all 80,000+ of us missionaries were employees, Elder Evans would be the CEO. But of course it isn’t and the Lord is at the head. But let’s just say that Elder Evans is the “Moroni” of these last days. He is leading the armies of missionaries.  Of the 4 missions he visits yearly, the Georgia Atlanta Mission was chosen by the Prophet to be one of Elder Evans assignments for this year. Talk about awesome! He and his wife spent a couple days observing and training us. His authority from God was evident. There were a couple points he frequently touched on that I wanted to share! First, he urged us all, and to invite all, to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. He said no more “hop scotch” reading. A “hop scotch” testimony of the Book of Mormon isn’t enough these days! We need a real, deep, unshakable testimony of that powerful Book of scripture that can only come through a thorough cover to cover read.
 We have an investigator who is a 75 year old great-grandma who is the definition of a “Southern Jesus Loving Lady”. She knows her Bible forward and back and she has visited and worshipped every church on the planet. After a first week of meeting with her and giving her a Book of Mormon, she was almost 3/4 complete reading it cover to cover. With tears in her eyes she said, “when I’ve worshiped with all these churches my entire life I am surely filled but when I read that Book of Mormon, I am fulfilled.”
Another big thing he focused on was taking matters into your own hands. We can’t be so worried about what others are doing and what they are not doing that we lose sight of our own personal responsibilities. It’s so true. He asked missionaries what they can do to be better missionaries are children of God and if the answer consisted of a “we” (we can talk to more people…we can pray for faithfully…etc.) he would quickly cut them off and say no what can you do; he wanted “I” statements. And that really hit me. We are a church of familial and social support. As missionaries we only really ever use the pronoun “we” but I need to realign my mindset, in regards to personal improvement, to things I can specially do to be better. And this applies to all of us in our own personal affairs. Let’s be a little bit better ourselves and everyone else will be okay too.
Okay so funny story about the day we had zone conference with the Evan’s. We left at like 6am to get to the church building we had to meet at. It was dark and I was half asleep and I mindlessly forgot my nametag. Sister Raley happened to have her extra so I throw that one on thinking that no one would even notice. Black nametag, you’re good. Well, the only person who noticed was Elder Evans. For lunch, the Evan’s and the Harding’s sat at the table Sister Hebert and I were at! It was such an honor actually. We are talking about our families and our hobbies and Elder Evans goes, “I didn’t know Miyahara translated to Raley.”  Mind you Elder Evans served his mission in Japan, served as a mission president in Japan and also an area president over Japan…this man knew his stuff! So of course, the one day I forget my name tag is when I am sitting casually eating a turkey sandwich with Elder Evans. Only me! I just have to laugh.
 Mary got baptized! Mary is our neighbor in Concord, widowed mother of three. She has been baptized Catholic, Baptist and now third time is a charm : ) Talking to her after her baptism she said, “it feels like coming home. I’ve been through sh** (we’ll work on that ;)) in my life. But now I’ve started over; this baptism was complete and I can feel that the authority of it made it different. This is what it actually means in Romans after you’re baptized to walk with a newness of life.” Two of her three is of baptismal age and will soon follow the example of their mama and of Jesus Christ. Happy days!
 Christ said in many instances that where your treasure be, there also will your heart be. My most valuable treasure right now are my scriptures. I’ve become obsessed with the Word (so they call it here). I want to center my library of thoughts, knowledge and priorities on the Savior and His teaching. But most importantly I want others to want this too because it’s seriously the happiest!  Forget Disneyland, anywhere can be the happiest place on earth if you have the Holy Ghost with you! Read the Book of Mormon and love your life.
 Peace and Blessings,
Sister Avery Miyahara! 

My muddy-buddy buddies

Julia's family baby shower!  We may or may not have had a dance party in the kitchen


THANK YOU MOM AND DAD for sending me a surprise edible arrangement to make me cry and laugh and love y'all even more (if that was even possible) 

Sister Mata-smelly my love!

DC and slurpee sisters

Mary!  Isn't she just beautiful?

Fall here and walking to appointments on the golf cart trails makes me oh so happy! 

zone training meetings are my fav because 1. It's a spiritual smack in the face and 2. I get to see my friends! 

Had to.... sorry JuJu

Monday, October 14, 2013

Peachtree City is the bomb! October 14, 2013

Holy Hannah Banaza! This week!...may or may not have been the most insane emotional rollercoaster of a week. I’m not entirely sure how to even partially sum up the madness this week brought. Usually to the contrary, these past 7 days could have been a month’s time. So to get to the point for explaining why I am so dramatic this morning…Tuesday my companion felt that the Lord was pleased with her efforts here and was encouraging her to accept a medical release back home for personal reasons. Wednesday was transfers and it wasn’t until 10 minutes before transfer meeting started that we got a call from the AP’s telling us to be there to support Sister Green’s departure, mind you I was in the shower. We haul to transfers and I have no clue what is going on. I text one of the AP’s on the stand right before President was going to make transfer assignments asking him if I was going to get a new companion today (we didn’t know when Sister Green was going to be leaving). I get a response, “Yes, you will be training a new MTC sister and both of you will be with Sister Green until she leaves tomorrow.” Say whaaaat? Sister Green was going to be leaving tomorrow?!? I’ll get a brand spanking new greenie to spend her first two days as Sister Green’s last two days?! I responded back with a sincere, “haha alright sweet let’s do it!” *Deep breaths, Sister Miyahara, deep breaths*
So it was awesome and ridiculous and so memorable. Thank heavens my new companion Sister Hebert (pronounced A-BEAR…crazy, I know) is so laid back and easy going. We saw so many miracles this week that the Lord really was good to me. But the funniest thing happened Friday night that I just have to share!
It’s 9:03pm Friday night; I’m knelling waiting for Sister Hebert in the other room to come in and nightly plan. We get a call from Elder Perez (ZL), the zone leaders call us all the time so no biggie.   I answer and they are screaming that there are bombs going off in Peachtree City and we need to get to the Mission Home immediately. They are freaking out and screaming as they explained how they were outside and heard huge booms and the entire sky turned orange and there are bombs being dropped on Peachtree city.  We book it out of our apartment, shoeless and in total panic. I’m going like 70 down a 45 and there are literally no cars on the road, NONE! We pull up to the mission home; no other missionary cars are there? Weird, we must be the first to get there.  Sprint up the front door and there is Sister Harding, so gracious walking to the door with a smile on her face. What is going on?! Where is the urgency here?!?! She opens the door and I frantically ask is everything okay?! Is there bombs going off?! She calmly calls up to the Presidents and says, “honey, you haven’t heard of any bombs going off have you?” President comes walking down with as much as love and confidence humanly possible and asks to put the zone leaders on the phone. He calls, they are freaking out, calling all missionaries to safety locations…then we hear President so calmly inform them that there is an airshow in Peachtree City tonight and there is nothing to worry about.  Those elders will never hear the end of it.
The quote that got me through this week is one by our former Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley. His prophetic promise is that, “Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.”  I believe that through and through. When we serve the Lord with gladness (Psalms 100:2) then things are just gonna be fantastic! No matter what your weeks or days or even hours have to throw at you, just smile and believe in good things to come. Fake it till you make it if you have to. The Lord’s wants our desires to be aligned with His; it’s not an easy task but the results are eternal and everlasting.
Thank you for your love and prayers and just pure goodness y’all are to me. In a priesthood blessing I got this week, I was told that the love I receive from my family and friends is God’s way of showing me His love for me. Amen to that. Thank you for loving me.
Until next week!
Sister Miyahara

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy Fall Y’all

As we welcome a season of change, I’ve found myself reflecting on the concept of change. It’s been yet another eye opening week where I am constantly humbled by the change in others and in myself. At the beginning of the week I studied one of President Monson’s talk (  His central message seemed to be this week’s theme…“We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. And they can serve the Lord diligently.” And also including into that, we can change, we can put behind our bad habits, we can repent from transgressions and we can serve the Lord diligently.
At the beginning of my mission I wrote a list (a very long list) of all of my weaknesses, bad habits, selfish tendencies, insecurities, fears, etc. I wrote this list so I could hand them all over to the Lord. I wanted these short 18 months to shape my nature into something more pleasing to God, forever. So, I shamelessly made a list.
Almost 9 months later, that list was read a few days ago to a struggling new sister out in the field. She felt defeated, inadequate, homesick and weak. As she complimented me and put herself down, I felt prompted to shamelessly read her my list of weaknesses I recorded when I was in her exact position.  As I read down the lengthy list, I joined her in tears. Almost every compliment she had just spewed at me was on that very list of weaknesses. I was overwhelmed with the realization of my personal progression out here. I confidently assured her that as we give our “whole souls as an offering” to the Savior and let His almighty mercy change us, we can become something extraordinary. We all can. Each one of us has equal opportunity to utilize the atonement, to overcome bad habits, to be forgiven and to reach our potential.
I echo Paul’s declaration to the Philippians that we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us! Let’s not pray away our problems, but pray for our problems! Our weaknesses are not permanent; believe Christ. Give it all to Him who knows best. Let the Creator of this universe create someone remarkable out of you!
Listening to our dear prophet and apostles this weekend was so uplifting and inspiring. Their messages were the very messages from the Savior.  I’m thrilled for the future! It’s a bright and happy one when you’re on the Lord’s team!
Love y’all so much.
Sister Miyahara!