Monday, November 25, 2013

Not only did Katnis catch fire this week….. 11/25/13

Not only did Katnis catch fire this week 11/25/13……………..
Truth be told, there has been a zone I’ve prayed not to be sent to. When I found out I was being transferred and still “STL”ing, this zone was out of the picture because the STL over there was rocking it. When President called transfer assignments, I wasn’t even really paying attention during this zone’s call because I wouldn’t be sent there. “Opening up a sister’s area, training and continuing as Sister Training Leader in Acworth, Cartersville Zone, Sister Miyahara and Sister Watts” I turned to the sister next to me and asked if he just said my name and with great shock, I stood up confused and concerned. And when I sat back down my stomach dropped and I had the first somewhat panic feeling I’ve had on my mission.  I instantly prayed, begging my Father for peace, assurance, greater faith then forgiveness for my doubt…because wall-a, course the Lord’s plan is always better!
Sister Watts and I jumped into our new Chevy Cruise and headed up to Carterville. We were told that President Harding felt strongly impressed that we needed to temporarily live at the Stake President’s home. So we pulled up to President Chase’s home and BAM it hit me! I had met him and his sweet wife at the regional Relief Society conference I spoke at with Sister Burton!! He even recognized me. Holy moly, tender mercy! Insta-friends! We moved our stuff in and wow, it just felt so right.
I’ve LOVED every single second of our time so far in the Acworth ward.
Our short 4 days here has been packed with miracle after miracle. I couldn’t be happier. K im gonna try to sum up just a couple stories

::Day 1 we met with the Relief Society President and 1st counselor. After getting to know each other and expressing our great enthusiasm for this work Sister Petersen (RS President, an angel!!) said with tears in her eyes, "God knows me and He loves me because He sent me you sisters."

::We visited a part member family, bomb! Set up return appt for this week. She (nonmember) gave us a referral to her neighbor, Gracie. We went on over and had the most inspired lesson with Gracie.  She wants to be baptized and do whatever the Lord wants her to do. She gave us a referral, her daughter! So we visited her. We knocked and her husband opened the door and welcomed us right in! We sat down with them and got right into the beautiful restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They had said 2 days ago, “If we were to join any church, it would be the Mormon church.” Barbra accepted to be baptized and her husband will get there too. So many “I love yous” were exchanged. Barbra said to me at the conclusion of our lesson, “I think we were friends before. I think you’re the answer to my prayers.”

::Every night we’ve been here there has been some sort of a ward activity. Before Sunday we already knew by name so many families. These families are incredible! So much love overflows just talking to them. During Relief Society on Sunday, desserts were shared as we introduced ourselves to celebrate the prayed arrival of sister missionaries. So blessed and humbled it just doesn’t seem right.
::We called over 100 members of the ward: active, less active, part members, etc. Our planners are full of appointment of families thrilled to have sisters in this ward. Never has this ward has sisters, ever! Our ward mission leader told the ward during ward council, "these sisters are novelty items now, their spirits will make them legends here"
::Living at the Chase home is changing my life. The compassion, love, and goodness in that home radiate the whole neighborhood. President and Sister Chase have become like parents and their youngest daughter, Catie, is our third companion sister. Their entire family is in town for the holidays and last night we circled around grandma on the piano and sang hymns so happily. I took a step back and thought to myself, this is exactly what I want for my future, a family and home centered around the Savior and His perfect teachings.

The Acworth ward has caught fire! I couldn’t feel more thankful during this Thanksgiving week. We'll be spending it with the greatest family ever :) I'm just at a loss of words. God knows best. I was silly to ever pray away this place. The sisters we are working work are inspiring! My heart grows a new chamber every day. Trust in the Lord, trust Him forever...I've decided I will and that decision will shape my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all! Gobble till you wobble :)
Sister Miyahara

Monday, November 18, 2013

Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes! 11/18/13

Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes!
Well, I’m being transferred. Opening up a new area (which has never had sisters!!), training, and Sister Training Leading. Ha! Me oh my, imma die. jk totally stoked!
This week has been nothing more of miraculous. I truly feel as though the Lord picked me and Sister Hebert up this week and allowed us to be astonished by His unceasing miracles. The people here are just wonderful. We talk to everyone and every person we talk to, I am blown away by their faith in the Savior. This is a land of miracles. God is in the city of Atlanta. I love how we can talk to anyone, anywhere about the merciful power of Christ. I wish the entire world had this kind of passion and faith to just open up and bare their testimonies anytime anywhere. I could give two poops if you’re a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Mormon, "black white, bond or free, male or female" (2 Nephi: 27:33)! I’m gonna talk to you about the fullness of the restored church and I’m gonna love you! We are commanded to love others as He loves us. That is perfect love! There is no room for judgment or gossip. We have to love each other.
I want to take a hot sec to thank some people who changed my life. The Whitewater Ward is fantastic! I’ve been blown away by the charity and kindness of the families in this ward.  Thank you to Bishop Kennedy who unfailingly makes anyone feel like best friends and who truly cares about the work of salvation in this ward. Thank you RS presidency who loves the women in this area to a degree that is Godly. Thank you ward mission leader and the rest of the ward missionaries who made missionary work a priority in the hectic of their lives. Thank you to the senior couples in this area who gave me the support I so desperately needed at times. Sister Rose, Huffaker, Seeley and Harding have taught me more than they will ever know about how to be a dignified, real, vibrant, charitable daughter of God.  And thank you to our dear investigators and recent converts. I’m getting emotional typing here trying to put into words the powerful spiritual experiences I’ve been blessed to experience with y’all in just a short 3 months. It’s amazing how the Lord hand crafts relationships and I sure have been blessed here in the whitewater ward.
So, here we go again! On to total new news this holiday season : ) This mission is everything to me and I’ll go and do whatever the Lord needs me. I’m His, forever.
Stay tuned! Sister Miyahara will be shipped off this Wednesday morning! I’ll keep you posted on my new address next week! Praise the Lord! Hallelujahs all around!

Mama and her baby!

Teaching seminary has been one of the most fun things to be asked to do our here!  Love these girlies!

The coolest seminary teachers ever! - Besides mine of course!

Tanner's dance moves are out of this world!  ah! Love this family!

Baby hungry? maybe

So many monkey's jumping in a bed!

And Mckay's juggling skills are one of a circus act man!

Gangstas in da club! ey bay bay!  I love the Love's!!

After we clean we get some play time!

Picking up new cars off the lot!!  2014 Corolla - 6 miles on the odometer!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A “Flame Boyaaaage” Kind of Week! November 11, 2013

So this mission for the Lord I’m serving and really all of us in our own individual lives are on these beautiful journeys of self discovery and defining moments but this week I’m blessed to share with y’all what I’ve learned during my week of REfining moments. 
 Yes, I think I’m going to describe it as my “flame boyaage” week.    This comparison is inspired by/from my Sammy, so excuse me if you may be lost. We Miyahara’s, (well mostly me and the boys) love us some Super Smash Bros. We’ve loved the game since Blake got his Game Cube like a decade or two ago (what’s a decade again? 10 years, right? You get the point) (and for the record, I’m red Kirby every time). ANYHOOTS, something we’ve always cracked up + died laughing from was when our little action people get the flame/firey tunnel thingy and we would say in a deep voice “flame boyaaaaage!!!” haha okay this is so irrelevant.
This week was a blessed week where the Lord’s worked His mighty, yet loving, refiner’s fire on me (got where I was getting it? Ha. Maybe?)
Truth be told here’s how it went…sickness led to discouragement, then to complacency then to the Lord’s refinement which then led to a stronger than ever outcome. To break down what I learned, I’ll start with the fact that I know there is a God, our Father who loves us infinitely. His Son, Jesus Christ already paid the price! He already suffered in agony for each of us individually, His friends. Acknowledgement of such is what allows me to believe with confidence that we can overcome anything - guilt, shame, laziness, bad habits, addictions, anything!
 The Lord loves us, so He is going to let us fall sometimes. Elder Evans said a few weeks back that you would never boo a child when he falls learning how to walk; so surely the Lord doesn’t either when we take a few falls in our efforts to learn how to walk (uprightly in all righteousness).  I really like this Mormon message regarding the Lord’s loving correction,
Watch it!
One chapter in the Book of Mormon I found solace in this week was Mosiah 23.  So at this point Alma and his people are righteous and prosperous and happy. They’ve overcome difficult circumstances but they’ve come out conqueror. And after illustrating all their blessings it says in verse 21, “NEVERTHELESS (caps to add drama J) the Lord seeth fit to chasten His people; yea He trieth their patience and their faith.” We can be totally righteous but sorry truth is, the Lord will always try us. By you know what, it’s the greatest blessing! It’s an evidence of His love because if we do endure it with patience and faith, we are guaranteed to be made stronger with increased faith, more than which we already have! How cool is that? I know that I will never be fit for His kingdom if I don’t allow for His loving refinement. 
Just believe in the good of hard times. We are here on earth to prepare to meet God. I know that when that day comes, I will be held accountable for how I handled these “chastening” moments here on life and while I’m here on His mission. We just gotta get up, dust ourselves off and more forward. And thankfully we don’t have to do it alone and also that Friend helping us up and onward already experienced it so we can trust His counsel and believe His love.
I love y’all so much. It’s seriously not possible to convey via email the love I have in my heart for you, my family and you, my dear friends. Thanks for being the best, ever.
Until next week!
Sister Avery Miyahara 
Sooo Sick!  I think I read through the entire General Conference Ensign!

The local High School parking lot

Sister Huffaker made us homemade chicken noodle soup and brought it to us with more Nyquil - Yippee!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A List of Loves! 11/4/13

Okay so this morning I feel like I’m experiencing a spiritual hang over from this past week! Haha that’s probably not the most appropriate comparison but like holy crapola THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME. Because I love love and I love lists, I’m gonna make a list for y’all of reasons I loved this week so bam here ya go! (Happy belated Halloween BTDUBZ) (Quick disclaimer: these are both temporal and spiritual…D+C 29:3, right?) okay ready, break! 
::Concord Village Apartments is stepping up their game and we had workers in and out all week long installing new cabinets, spraying from pest control nast, replacing door knobs, etc! It’s fantastic! They even repaved the asphalt! AND on top of that our lovely neighborhood kid friends call us the “church ladies” and I love it (and the creepy men still whistle and say “eyyy sista miya” but I’m over that).  A new family moved in this week and literally every time they needed help we were walking by. It’s now a joke and they call us the “avengers”  haha I love people and helping people and did I say loving people enough yet?
::SKYLER AND  NICOLAS GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! These are Mary’s kids and they’re the cutest. When I wrapped the towel around Skyler and asked her how she felt she simply said, “I feel warm.” That sweet 10 year old girly has a beautiful future in store for her! It was such a glorious baptism. So many of the ward members came out to support.
::I LOVE driving our brand new 2013 VW Jetta and we were 56 miles under our limit this month. Can you say master planners or what? I have a dream catcher on the rear view mirror and we jam to hymns (LOL I’m dead serious).
 ::I picked up reading Jesus The Christ again this week and it’s changing my life. SO good. Highly recommend it, don’t be intimidated!
 ::K so this was the sweetest thing! There is this less active in our ward who owns the cutest boutique and we decided it would be appropriate to go visit her on a non-pday and you know, “build a relationship of trust” and what better to do that over the cutest clothes ever?? But the funny part was the music that was playing…okay I am not joking or making even a smig of this up!!!! These are the artists (totally blanking on song names, what else is new?) in order of what was playing 1. Ingrid Michaelson (okay my fav FHE when we saw her in concert with the fam and Kyle) 2. Fine Frenzy (her main song of her newest album that Nicoley, Chlo and I went to see her on that album’s tour right before my mission!!) 3. First day of my life (OLIVIA, I died a little) 4. Noah and the Whale (Concert I went to with BYU friends over Thanksgiving break at HOB in downtown Disney). UNREAL. I was dying and totally loving that little tender mercy. But the best part of all, I was talking with everyone and just like dancing in this boutique and we got 3 new investigators out of it! 3 new people who wanted to hear about the restored gospel as I sang and danced along to background music hahaha so happy!
::HALLOWEEN!!! Best evening ever, let me just say…GOLF CART MANIA IN PTC!  So our member fellowershipper family (the Mayfields) invited our investigator family over to their house for Halloween (so obvs us too). They’re from Haiti and it was their first time trick or treating! The Mayfield’s set up this awesome arrangement with a fire pit thing in their driveway for s’mores! It was Manoucheca’s first time having a s’more and it was THE FUNNIEST THING…she hated it! Haha I guess us Americans are a little wacky? Who matters, I love them but goodness me that was so funny watching her eat that s’more with such hesitation. And ya there were golf carts GALORE! I guess it’s an effect way to trick or treat? So funny. Only here!
 ::I got so much mail this week from so many people I love so dearly. But the best of all…It was the busiest day ever and I was exhausted and we came home, flipped on the light and there was a letter on the floor that was slipped under our door from some mysterious person and I didn’t have to read the name, I knew from the hand writing…sweet JORDAN LEE GUNDERSEN : ) Some how it ended up on my apartment floor after a long hard working day and I danced around and squealed at the polaroid of logan, mikay, and sam bam in Seattle! Such a treat! Thank you, dear sweet friends of mine!
 :: Miracle lessons teaching the Restoration and using the Prophet’s (Joseph Smith) own words. My companion and I have been trying to memorize a lot of JS’s accounts, not just the first vision and we used them this week and it was so powerful. There is something so moving about those words that allow the Spirit to undeniably speak truth to anyone ready to accept truth.
 ::So I was forced to go to the Doctors office and truth is, I’ve been sick for like 3 weeks now but dat don phase me ; ) Until I found out Doc is certain I have mono. I’ll get a blood test after my sinus infection antibiotics run out so we’ll see! But there was so much good in that Doctor’s visit! I loved all the workers, such good people! We got 2 new investigators out of it. They messed with me and I just laughed and laughed and HEY! Guess what, they weighed me and since my doctors appt the first week I was in Georgia…I’ve only gained 6.5 lbs, baby! Not even bad! OHH how could I forget, more funny background song stories! So I’m waiting for the doctor to come in when I realize there was music playing and what is it? HEY JUDE (okay senior year Homecoming half time show)…next song JOHN MAYER- OLIVA (you know, “I think something like Olivia…” DYING)…THEN on comes the Dixie Chicks Earl had to die song (BROOKIE STAPLELOTS I FREAKED OUT AND STARTED DOING OUR DANCE). Like what the heck? No coincidence. Heavenly Father really has a sense of humor.
 ::It’s SO beyond words beautiful here in Peachtree City during this time of year. All the leaves are radiant reds, oranges and yellows; the crisp breeze and wintery clothes I can wear are such a joy! It’s just a painting every time I open my eyes. Georgia in the fall, nothing quite like it!
 Excuse that lengthy list but it really was just a glorious week! I realize that if I stopped loving the world wouldn’t be half as wonderful as I see it to be. If you struggle to love, I humbly suggest praying for some because you’re missing out! I’m happy about life and excited for eternity! 
Love lots!
Sis Miyahara