Monday, November 13, 2017

Today is the BEST day of your Mission

What an incredible week! So many, many things happened, and I could tell you so many stories of this week, but I'll limit it to one, the best one of course!
Elder Kearon, companions, Elder Stevenson
This past Saturday our mission had two very special visitors, Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to our mission. What a blessing! As they each spoke I felt a renewed desire to fulfill my calling and to work as hard as I can until I go home. I was invigorated to work and to find those who need the gospel. What a blessing. Elder Kearon spoke on retaining our recent converts and I nearly started crying as I realized that every person I have taught and baptized has stayed active in the church thus far. What a miracle. I love my recent converts with all of my heart, and I am reminded of a verse in Alma 17. Alma sees his friends for the first time in years, this is how he describes it:
2 "Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord..."
What a blessing it is to know that those who the Spirit has used me as an instrument to touch have not fallen away from that!
Before the meeting, we were able to shake hands with each of them, as I shook Elder Stevenson's hand, he spoke of my Grandparents and how much he loved them. When I shook the hand of Elder Kearon, he spoke of my parents and told me to meet him after the meeting because he had something for me from them. So after the meeting my companions and I rushed to find Elder Kearon. Our sweet mission president beckoned us into an office, where we found not only Elder Kearon, but also Elder Stevenson. What a treat to spend time with two incredible servants of the Lord. We spent just five minutes together, but they are five minutes I will never forget. Elder Kearon handed me a letter and some candies from my sweet parents and told me of how much he loves them. Elder Stevenson talked about my grandparents and how his father was their bishop when my Grandma Diana passed away.(editors note: no coincidences, the Lord knows each one of us no matter where we are or what we are doing) Their example taught me a lot about focusing on the ONE. They came all the way to Washington to meet with thousands of people, and yet they chose to spend a few minutes of their time with a sister missionary who needed a boost. That is how the Savior worked; while he taught the multitudes, he would stop to heal the one person along His way, or to teach the one person who needed a little more encouragement. It was truly an incredible experience to be that one. How incredible this gospel is!
All my love, 
Sister Megan Monson
Lunch with Sister Lee
cute companions

doing missionary work

doing more missionary work

trying to stay warm
Zone Conference-comp unity

view of Seattle from Gig

Monday, November 6, 2017

To Love Another Person...

Thursday morning at 7:15 I hugged my sweet companion, Sister Ramazetti, good-bye and wished her luck. After a constant battle, God told Sister Ramazetti it was time to go home to get better. So she flew off to California, and I was transferred to Gig Harbor, in the Crescent Valley ward! My new companions are Sister Jennings (from Georgia) and Sister Peterson (from Lehi, Utah) and we are quite a dynamic trio!
I learned a very profound lesson from Sister Ramazetti that has really had me thinking. Elder David A Bednar once said "Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of others when we ourselves are suffering; in the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward."
It always amazed me that whenever Sister Ramazetti was feeling absolutely horrible, she would be more concerned about me than about herself. She was constantly worried that I would be bored, so she bought me puzzles to keep me busy. She was always thinking of ways to help me endure HER illness, instead of thinking about herself. She wanted my happiness more than she cared about her own. And when she decided to go home, she was constantly apologizing that I would have to switch companions yet again, when she was the one who would be going home.
Olaf on Frozen says "Love is putting someone else's needs above your own." And Sister Ramazetti, despite debilitating illness, put my needs above hers.
Elder Bednar teaches that "Ultimately the gift of charity possesses us--we do not possess it." If we are truly charitable then it becomes who we are, we can't just have a Christ-like love, that love has to compel us to act and to do things that we normally would not do.
Jean Valjean (from Les Miserables) says "to love another person is to see the face of God." Love truly changes the way we look at others, we are here, amidst the children of God, do we see them that way? Something to think about.
All my love to you,
Sister Megan Monson

Here is the talk from Elder Bednar that she references to:

new companions Sister Jennings and Peterson

temple trip with recent convert and comps

for you Sister Plume

Monday, October 30, 2017

You're Doing the Best You Can

lunch with Sister Lee
While a lot of things happened this week, still basically nothing happened. For one thing, the Brookdale ward got a new bishopric, and that was quite an excitement. We sustained Brother Self as Bishop, and it was a really amazing testimony to me that whom the Lord calls He qualifies. For one thing, just a few weeks ago the Selfs didn't even live in this ward, but the Lord guided them to a house in the ward boundaries, and they were able to buy it. For another thing, Bishop Self is only 26 years old, the youngest Bishop I have ever worked with, but it is abundantly clear that he has been prepared by the Lord to serve in this calling. God truly works miracles.
The rest of this week was a little different than usual, well entirely different than usual. (story shared with permission) My sweet companion, Sister Ramazetti, has an auto-immune disorder called POTS. Before her mission she was on her way to recovery and had the strength to do most things, when God told her to go on a mission she obeyed. Because she was doing so well she was approved to come out.
Unfortunately through the course of the past few months her condition has gotten progressively worse. And this week it was particularly bad. Sister Ramazetti is an incredible missionary, she loves the gospel and is so happy to share it, but this week had her flat on her back most of the time, and that wasn't very easy for her to deal with. So like I do whenever my companion is sick, I wrote a poem, just for her.

You're Doing the Best You Can

I watch you struggle,
I know this is hard for you.
You're being a strong woman,
You're doing the best you can

I see your heartbreaking
My own heartbreaks for you.
Reaching out for the Savior's hand,
You're doing the best you can

You are tired and worn out
Every bone and joint hurts,
But look at this race you have ran.
You're doing the best you can

When you are upset or angry
And the words of others get you down
Remember not everyone has to be a fan.
You're doing the best you can

You are ready to quit
And that's hard for you.
When it gets hard to stand,
You're doing the best you can.

What the Savior asks for is our personal best. And sometimes that best is not what we want it to be. But we just have to keep trying, to keep fighting, and making the progress that we can. Sister Ramazetti is facing a hard decision, whether to go home, or to try to get healthy out here, and I know she will make the right choice for her, and I will support her either way, because she really is doing the best she can.

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Its hard to not feel well

when at home we do crafts
beautiful missionaries

love both of these sweet sisters

A little sunshine from Sister Ireland!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Stand Still to see the Salvation of God

Throughout my time as a missionary I have learned many things, but some of the same truths echo throughout my entire mission. This week I was taught again a truth I learned early in my mission.
Sister Ramazetti and Sister Monson
While the Prophet Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail, perhaps the darkest part of his life, he wrote to the church, persuading them to take courage and to trust in God, this later became D&C 123.
He ends with this: 
"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."
What God asks of us is that we do what WE can, and let Him make up for what we cannot. He does not ask us to push ourselves to the point of exhaustion.
Mosiah 4:27 teaches us:
"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize;therefore, all things must be done in order."
We cannot expect more out of ourselves than God expects out of us. That is unreasonable, but often we still want to impress ourselves.
How did all of this mumbo jumbo come to be this week? Well, I was talking to my sweet mission president, describing my fear that I might not have a baptism for the rest of my mission, and how I felt like I could have just gone home if God was done with me.
Of course he laughed and reminded me of what I already know, it's not about the numbers, and that God isn't done with me yet.
The fact of the matter is that I was expecting more out of myself than it was logical to expect. If God wants me to have a baptism, then I will have a baptism, but if not, it doesn't mean that I failed, it just means that I tried my best, and it just wasn't in God's plan for me, and that is okay.
All my love to you,
Sister Megan Monson

Wa-Tac missionary music:

Monday, October 16, 2017

No such thing as Coincidences

Monday night, it's 8:15 and we are out of things to do, typical Monday night. It's dark outside, so we usually don't plan on knocking doors, but when all else fails, you knock doors. Sister York felt inspired to go knock some apartments in our area, so we said a prayer and choose a building to start with. A few doors in a woman answers the door and immediately invites us in. Her name is Shayla, and we talked for just a few minutes. She told us that her kids go to our church with their Nanny, and that she was very interested in what we believe. So we set up a return appointment.
We ask a member, Sister Self to come with us to the return appointment, and the lesson was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences I have had on my mission. Shayla told us that we had knocked on her door just hours after she had been having a panic attack, and she knew that God had sent us to her door. Sister Self, being the totally boss member-missionary that she is, invited Shayla to be baptized, and Shayla accepted.
Now let's take a look at this story, it could have just been a coincidence that all of these things happened, but I don't believe so. There has to have been some divine inspiration that told us to knock on Shayla's door, that told us to invite Sister Self, that lead Shayla to choose a member of the church as the Nanny for her children. God is truly at the helm of this great work!
Another seeming coincidence happened on Saturday, I was expecting to get a letter from my family on Thursday, but I checked and nothing came. Friday, same story. Saturday was transfer calls, the most anxiety filled day of the transfer. That was the day my letter came. My sweet Daddy (who has a birthday today!) sent me his talks that he gave in Stake Conference, and it was just what I needed to calm my anxiety. He spoke on 1 Samuel in the Bible, and on Raising the Ebenezer, or stone of Help to the Lord. So I took a little rock and on it I wrote the words "Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by thy help I've come...." From the hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" to remind me just how far the Lord has carried me.
Now, is it a coincidence that my letter came on Saturday instead of Thursday? No, God controls the mail system too!
The Lord knows us Perfectly! He Loves us perfectly, and He knows what will help us and when it will help us the most!
All my love to you,
Sister Megan Monson

Monday, October 9, 2017

If God be for us...

I wish I could say that this week was the craziest week of my mission because we were rushing between teaching appointments, but... it wasn't. Which is okay, I've learned to be okay with the constant door-knocking due to lack of investigators.
But this week I learned a lot about Grace, the Savior's redemptive power. What an amazing gift our Savior has promised us, that if we do all that we possibly can, He will make up the difference.
So I started by rereading one of my favorite talks, "His Grace Is Sufficient" By Brad Wilcox ( actually took the time to look up every single scripture it references, naturally I found some golden ones.
Romans 8:31

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

If God is for us, then no one can really be against us, and if they are against us, they're pretty much powerless in comparison to our Heavenly Father. So if we are on His team, if we are doing what He wants us to do, then we should feel secure, knowing that He will take care of us. Further down in that same chapter we read:

Romans 8:37

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

Because our Heavenly Father and our Savior LOVE us infinitely, we can truly be covered by our Savior's grace. We can truly conquer those trials that seem insurmountable, because Christ has already paid the price for us, He truly, deeply loves us.
Brad Wilcox states that "Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power." We are not freed completely of our end of the deal just because the debt is paid, but we can know for sure that even if we do fall short, God's power is there to cover the difference.
In the WA-TAC we sing the song "Amazing Grace" it is our mission song, the one that always makes all the missionaries start crying because it hits us with the Spirit, but the version we sing is a little different, it's by Chris Tomlin, and here are the lyrics:

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns

Unending love, amazing Grace

I am truly Amazed at the incredible grace of my Savior, He loves us, He wants to save us, and He will, if we let Him.

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson


Why I Believe Fireside