1) When you have to speak in church as a missionary, do you have a "go to" topic you like to use? What is it? Or do the bishoprics give you a topic like regular?
2) I know you said not to send any more candies, or treats, but don't you want one last package for Valentine's Day? Does Sister Albrechtsen. have any favorite treats?
3) How was the wedding this weekend? Any good stories?
4) Annika Jaccard. got home last week, but I haven't seen her. I was thinking about popping over to her family's home just to give her a hug in person. Any message?
5) I have to teach on the Plan of Salvation in February to all the YW. Any bonus hints you might suggest?
1. So far, I've been given a topic usually. I think I've only been allowed to pick maybe once. So I don't really have a go-to topic.
2. Her favorite is Reese's.
3. It was amazing! Wow, first off, the ward here is just phenomenal. We set up for the wedding Friday night and it was lovely. As for stories, Diego, the 7 year old son of the newly wed couple, almost walked out just before the actual ceremony because he had to go to the bathroom. haha luckily we got him back in before it got too far along.
4. Just tell her I love her!
5. Um......use Preach My Gospel? That's about as simple as it gets....haha sorry I'm not more help.
Well, I don't have much to say this week. I'm staying here in Sycamore-Dekalb with Hermana Albrechtsen--she's going to have killed both of her trainers. I am so blessed to get to be here for another six weeks. The people that we are teaching here are just amazing. The members are awesome. And Hermana Albrechtsen is wonderful. I'm excited to continue to learn and to grow with her here in Sycamore-Dekalb.
Something I learned this week was to appreciate the Spirit in my life. One day, the only homes we made it into was members' homes. And yet there was such a difference between homes of how you felt inside. One was a sister who is going through some medical issues and has a rough past, and at least this time always seemed to be bringing up hard times she's been through. Her husband isn't a member, and for some reason neither of us could feel the Spirit in that lesson, though I think it had more to do with something that happened before we went in, though we never did figure out what it was. And later we visited a less active family whose daughter was recently baptized. And it was so contentious in the home that it was really hard to teach. After we left neither of us felt at ease. Then we had a dinner appointment and we both thought it would be a respite compared to the rest of the day, but it still wasn't super peaceful. After that we stopped by our ward mission leader's home to counsel with him and his wife. Both of us were feeling confused and exhausted and we just needed some guidance. We both also got blessings of comfort and counsel.
I truly am so grateful for the priesthood that has been restored. I know that Jesus Christ is the source of this power and authority. He gave it to his 12 Apostles during His earthly ministry, but after their deaths, there was no one who had the permission of God to perform ordinances and blessings, until Peter, James and John appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, almost 2000 years later, to give him the same priesthood authority that Christ Himself had given them. It is such a blessing to have that power on the earth once more so that we can be sealed to our families not "until death do you part" but for time and all eternity. It is also a blessing to have it in our every day lives and be able to rely on priesthood holders, who worthily exercise their faith and authority for the benefit of others, whether it be through blessings of healing or ordinances such as baptism. I know that this power is real. It's healed me physically and emotionally and mentally more times that I can count. I know with all my heart that it is this priesthood power and authority, which all of God's prophets have had, that sets apart the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from all the rest. It is by that priesthood power--God's power--that a person can be baptized and truly receive a remission of their sins, because only God can forgive sins. Money won't give you a remission of your sins; only a broken heart and a contrite spirit, when you make a covenant with your God that you will always remember Christ, that you'll take His name upon you, and that you'll keep His commandments. Then and only then is His promise fulfilled--that He will forgive us of our sins, that we will be born again, and that we will always have His Spirit to be with us. I know that these things are true, and I know that any person can come to feel and know their truthfulness, if they are willing to pay the price of divine knowledge.
I love my Savior, and I am privileged to be His representative here in Sycamore-Dekalb. I know that the work we do as missionaries--18, 19, 20, and 21 year olds--is the work of salvation. Everyday we go out and we offer everyone we see the opportunity to inherit eternal life. Because God works by two laws: mercy and justice. And it is through divine ordinances, and our own personal enduring to the end, that both of those laws may be fulfilled and we may feel at home in our heavenly home once more. I know all these things because I have read the Book of Mormon and pondered on its words, and asked God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true, along with all the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which I am blessed to teach every day for 18 months. If you yourself do not have a knowledge of these things--if you do not know that these are true nor false, I invite you to find out. I know that they are true. And you may know if you will show your faith and read, ponder, and pray. It's as simple as one, two, three. Because God loves you and wants you to know what is true. That's it.
Love, Hermana DeBuck
1. nice zone foto: E. Trappett, Hadlock, Hibbard, Frark, Hastings, Clark, Weigel, McNatt. H. Webb, Henricksen, Albrechtsen, DeBuck, Beuhner, Osborne, S. Smith, Seyfi, Waters, Smith.
2. "serious" district photo. (I just can't do serious, people...)
3. photo via my best friend from Japan (we know where he lives...)
4. Found this in a diner, and thought of Dad and Cameron.
5. The diner we ate at, in downtown Sycamore. Checking things off the before-I-die bucket list, one P-day at a time... (:
6. all the sisters in the Rockford South zone (Sis Smith, Sis Waters, Hna Beuhner, Hna Osborne, Hna Webb, Hna Henricksen. Sis Smith, Sis Seyfi, Hna Albrechtsen, me.) [I feel like I'm always on the end
7. Funny zone foto #1
8. Funny zone foto #2
9. district photo: Hna Albrechtsen, me (not on the end this time!), Hna Henricksen, Hna Webb. Elder Frark, E. Hibbard, E. Clark, E. Wiegel, E. Trappett, E. Hadlock
10. decorating the cake for the wedding
12. everybody at the wedding. I think. (back row: Sis McConkie. behind the piano, Gonzalo Pizzaro, Megan (friend of Francisca), Loni Williamson, Francisca Freeman, Anabel (friend of Francsica), Francisca, Saul, Presidente Garza, Miguel (Saul's uncle), Brother Briscoe, Pablo, Javier G., front row: me, H. Albrechtsen, Diego (son of couple), Emma, James, Rosemary, Elizabeth, Christian and Brother McConkie.)
13. us and the cake...
14. the weather on Sunday morning....this is what I'm living through...