Monday, March 17, 2014

The Power of Absolute Trust 3/17/14

Remember the story in the Old Testament of David and Goliath? That bible story hit home for me this past week. For a quick sum up (if your primary days or veggie tales memories don’t suffice), David is a puney little boy who fearlessly volunteers to take a shot at the Philistine, Goliath (a really really big dude who beats the crapola out of anyone who dares contend him). David had such great faith in the Lord that he gathered a couple smooth stones, grabbed his sling and moved forward. David ran at Goliath. He ran with total trust in the Savior! Goliath had to wonder why David was running towards him; he must have thought he could be running the other way.
Be like David! Be strong. God is with us! And for the coolest part…After he drew his sling and knocked down the big guy down on his back…he stood on top of him and (kinda gory but you know the OT…) slew off his head! That’s when goliath’s army turned around and ran. They got the heck out of David’s way! This is our destiny against evil forces. We can make our very own “Goliaths” in our life RUN away from us with our trust in God. How empowering our faith can be!
It’s been a week to remember. In my claims of being honest, I will say that I’ve been humbled this week. I’m increasing in focus when I try and wear the Lord’s lenses. His vision and sight is becoming clearer and more beautiful.
With my brother returning home from his mission, due to emotional ailments, I want to publically testify that God is merciful to those who extend mercy. I couldn’t be more proud of my brother, Blake. I know that God’s plan for us is perfect. He will guide our steps as we take them. I plead with all to heed the Savior’s counsel in Matt, Luke and 3 Nephi to, “judge not, that ye be not judged.”
Trials or “Goliaths” will come our way as long as we are on this earth. Mosiah 23: 21-24…it’s just how God makes us stronger.  But we gotta choose to keep our chin up with confidence in the Lord as well as our head bowed in prayer and humble submission to His will (which is always better, btw).  
Miracles have been rampant these past two weeks. I was blessed by learning from an apostle last weekend! Elder Cook of the quorum of the twelve taught us with the power and authority of God. When he stood at the pulpit and gave his apostolic witness that Christ lives, it was undeniable. 550 missionaries and I could have heard a pin drop. The spirit of the Lord is felt in moments of reverence. God is the author is peace. Satan can disguise excitement or thrill to be good but he can’t possibly fool us with that inner peace that is only present when the Lord’s light and truth is being discovered.
Julia and Nya Love were baptized this past weekend in Whitewater. They are a family that I know I knew in heaven.  How thankful I am for these moments out here. Moments that make me stop and stand all amazed. Moments like when your investigators try on church clothes and cries and says, “I feel beautiful. I never feel beautiful but I do in these clothes.  I can’t wait for Sunday to come.”  Moments of when a member looks at you and says, “the influence you sisters have had on this ward will leave a legacy of charity forever.” Moments when your brother tells you on the phone to, “put your head down and sprint through the finish line. GO! We’ll be with you real soon but right now, Georgia needs you more.”
My heart is happy and grateful. I hope you, mama, will have the most glorious birthday tomorrow! I hope all of us can be a little more Christ like and tweek our perception to align our vision with His. Have a fantastic week and remember who’s boss.
Sister Avery Miyahara

Monday, March 10, 2014

Picture week!

Hi Everyone,

Avery wasn't able to write a shareable email letter today. But she did send some great pictures to forward to all of you.  She is doing great!  She is really excited about an upcoming baptism of a very dear friend and daughter who she taught in her last area. Julia and Nya will be baptized this Saturday.  She is sad she won't be able to be there but she is an "emotional mess of happiness" for them.

Mini "Apples to Apples" Ha! Classic, right? crazy mormons!

When six sister missionaries go out to eat!

Yard work at our favorite Camacho's - coolest family!

Cheers to some miracles at McyD's

Oh how I love my dear sweet companion!

Cartersville Sisters <3

SO many birthdays this week!  This was only one days worth of celebrations!

Sista friends before hearing from Elder Cook

Porch-side preaching' in the South!  nothin' better!

Okay, How Weird Am I??  Happy Birthday O*lando!

Miller seminary

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Few Things I Know For Sure 3/3/14

This week rocked, like seriously it was the bomb.diggity and I’m just giddy at the library to tell ya about it!! Every week I’m flooded with increased understanding and joy and gratitude but for this email I’ll share some specific things I’ve grown in testimony of this past week.  
1.  “Honesty is the best policy” is TRUTH. It’s kind of funny. Out here on a mission you grow so much in such limited time that recognizing changes and improvements is crazy! I’ve never been so bold, so clear, and so honest in my life.  I forget! Was I like this pre-mishy? I don’t know! But I know I am now haha and it’s blessed me, my companionship, my zone, everything so much! Why beat around the bush? The Savior surely didn’t sugar coat, He taught doctrine with so much love. In life, especially in this day and age, we need valiant and honest people; people who believe something with conviction and who will bring integrity to the table. Through multiple experiences this week, I know that honest integrity will bring about a change in your heart and the hearts of those you love.
2. Tide > cheap detergent. Just don’t even attempt to save a couple bucks. Not worth it!
3. Helaman 3:35 defines my week. Look it up!
4.  The Lord knows whose coming in and out of our lives. He is perfectly aware of our needs and sends people our way to do what He would do if He were here.  One thing is for sure, He blessed me with my companion, the Chase Family and President and Sister Harding. This week I needed their love, counsel, and wisdom. I know that when we read that we can be “instruments in God’s hands” we literally can! We can be and we can also recognize others as such. Humility brings miracles! My pride detox has been a continuous success! Hurray!
5. Chiptole in GA is a tender mercy and the Camacho’s ordered some and we stuffed our faces, again! Goodness me, happiness from home in a burrito!
6. Carrying my Book of Mormon with me everywhere I go is the greatest, ever! It just makes me happier. Sounds silly but so totally true! When I read and share itàI grow in love for my Saviorà which makes me want to serve othersà then I’m happy! The pattern of love then desire to service and then total joy is real and the key is filling in the first ingredient to kick start our love of God. It’s healthy to reflect on our actions and ask ourselves, is this making me love God more? And if the answer is no, then quit it! Whatever it is will only bring disappointment. I know that the little actions we take will make all the difference in our entire attitude and countenance.
7. The Lord requires diligence, persistency and obedience. When we show Him we’re down to do His will, miracles happen! Angel came to church yesterday. She even bore her testimony! We’ve invited her to church probably a few hundred times and yesterday was her day. Her day to finally feel like peace and love she desired but fearfully withheld. My fortune at the best Latin/Asian restaurant in GA said, “Every effort you’re making will ultimately pay off.” COOL, huh? I loved it. Already glued in my smash book!
8. Going through 7 phones and numerous phone numbers in a month is quite the adventure. Phones don’t swim and Sprint network is...accomidating..over time. ha!
All is well here in Georgia! Weather is still madness but hey, I just love here!
Until next week,

Sister Avery Miyahara!

God Blessed Yesterday (and everyday, really!) 2/24/14

Sunday February 24, 2013
6:30am Missionary coordination meeting at the church with our ward mission leader and ward missionaries! We discuss the progress of our current investigators and other families we are working with. Brother Beckman talked about being "quick to observe" and how we need to be aware of opportunities to serve others and act on promptings from the Holy Ghost. I loved it! I'm inspired by the devotion of our WML and our ward missionaries. The members just rock!
7:30am Ward council with the stake leadership! President Chase discussed the chapters at the end of Alma and Moroni's continual "preparations." He connected it back to our own individual lives and the lives of our families and how we need to be continually making efforts to strengthen and fortify ourselves. This world is haywire! I needed the reminded to keep my lamp full of oil and to be prepared for the bridegroom! I was so inspired by the words of encouragement and passion of the work of salvation. The Cartersville stake it on the rise!
9:00am There is a family we have been working tirelessly with since we got here in November. I cant even put into words the love I have for the Goins family. I'd do anything for any of them! We've been trying to get them to come to church for months. They are some of our most reliable member team ups but just don't come to church, ever. On Sunday, the filled two entire pews. I just cried! And our investigator scheduled to be baptized next sat in between two of the less active siblings. Church service was powerful. Bishop Settle and President Chase spoke on the faith to act and do. I needed to hear it, for their words would give me motivation and strength later in the day. And can i just say, Sister Miyahara LOVES the acworth ward. Geez la weez, these people are my family! Again, I'd do anything for them. Anything!
1:00pm We headed over to the Coley's, a family in the ward who are stellar missionaries! We are teaching a handful of their referrals and they take care of us as if we were their own. While we were there, I ended up just making a bunch of calls in the other room. The most important call was with one of our progressing investigators set to be baptized but didnt come to church..again. *This is the part that the wisdom of my leaders at church really helped me* By sure guidance from on High we knocked into Angel and her family. They've been prepared like none ever I've seen. A few weeks prior to our knock, this random guy gave Ashley (Angel's sister) a Book of Mormon at Ross. So rando, huh?? We've taught them, done so much service for them, you've kept their commitments to read and pray but they wont come to church! So on the phone with Angel, I've never been so bold or so clear! I was devastated she didnt come to church, again! I felt like I was pleading to my own child to get up and take steps the Lord can correct! To put her faith into action and to quit putting limits on the Lord. I love that family too much to be okay with thier apathic attitudes when I so clearly see their potential! The blessings of heaven are at their reach! They just gotta claim them! Angel was receptive and sounded to have motivation and sincerity. All I could do was pray.
4:30pm ran into a former invesitgator we've been trying to get ahold of at the gas station. We just pulled up totally out of the blue, not intending to get gas and BAM there he was! The spirit was felt, return appt was set, and the Lord once again proved he was incharge!
5:00pm stake wide missioanry leadership call. wow, I'm amazed at the unity of the Lord's work. I'm so blessed to be apart of it all. A bishop from Texas who works with President Chase joined us to give some suggestions of what have worked in his ward in Texas. Wow, this man was inspiring! The missionaries there are inspiring! This work is catching rapid fire all over the world! It's just incredible.
6:00pm The Settle's (Bishop's family) fed us dinner and even picked up our investigator to join us! This family blows my mind. 5 crazy awesome kids and two inspiring parents. I love being in their home! It's loud and exciting and filled with home made goodness. Our lesson after dinner answered so many questions that only I was having. We all were able to teach in unity by the spirit and it was pretty incredible. And I thought that was the end to fantastic missionary day!
10:20 After we had reported to our district leaders on our indicators for the week, we were getting ready to go to bed when our phone rang. It was Angel! She asked if we had a minute, psh please, we always have a minute to talk to the people most important to us! She goes on to tell me to flip to page 287 in the Book of Mormon. Then she goes, "I did like you told me. I prayed and God gave me this page. The words on this page jumped out and had Sister Miyahara and myself all over it. I know this Book is God's because I prayed and He answered me." She continues on to bear testimony with tears and say that she promised God that she will be at church next Sunday and then asks if she could share her experience at Sunday is fast and testimony meeting! wow. She then says she's gonna write all her feelings down cause she gets stage fright and wants us to proof read it later today! I just cried! I was so grateful for the words of my priesthood leaders who inspired me to be so bold with her, and that she so courageously acted and the result was nothing short of miraculous! I'm just merely an instrument in His mighty hands. This is the most fulfilling work a human could be laboring in.
This break down of yesterday also represents the miracle week we were blessed with. I wish I could share with you all the glorious experiences but it would take an eternity to type them all. Just know that the Lord is aware of us. He requires our faith to act and once we do, we are so blessed! Life is easier that way. I promise.
All my love,
Sister Miyahara!
p.s. blake, i love you! Pittsburg doesnt know whats comin!