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|