Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sister Missionaries youtube video

                 Sister Ireland, Sister Pen and Sister Rust all sing Lemonade by Alex Boye

Two of these sisters are formal companions of Sister Monson and Sister Pen was in a companionship that lived in the same apartment that Sister Monson did in Lincoln.

More of You, Less of Me

The other day, my companion was sick, flat on her back, not going anywhere type of sick. So I had a lot of time on my hands to think, to ponder, and to take a break. My dad sent me a poem by Henry Drummond, that really made me think. 
I lived for myself, I thought for myself,
For myself, and none beside—
Just as if Jesus had never lived,
As if He had never died.
[The Greatest Thing in the World (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, n.d.), 40]
That part stood out to me and made me think a lot, thinking, "who am I living for?" As I sat in our little apartment with nothing to do, some thoughts came to my mind that turned in to words. Words turned into lines and lines into stanzas. Eventually I came up with some deep truth that was hidden in my brain.

I Give my Life to You

"I give my life to You," I say.
As I turn and walk away
From everything I've ever known
My heart begins to sway.

"I give my life to You," I say
As I kneel down to pray
eyes watering as I tell you
of this very, very hard day

"I give my life to You," I say
As I hear my new friend pray
Hoping this time it will lead
To the straight and narrow way

"I give my life to You," I say
As I go up to pay
Kind tribute to your Holy Name
For we have come all this way

"I give my life to You," I say
As I turn and walk away
From the best things I have ever loved
This time I know it will be okay.
(Written by Sister Megan Monson, 2017)

The Relief Society teacher yesterday quoted some mainstream Christian song that was really profound. "More of you, less of me. Make me who I'm meant to be." This is one of the most challenging things about a mission is coming to know that your mission is not about you. It is only about God. 
The Savior once taught:
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it”. (Mark 8:35)

The promise a missionary makes when they put that nametag on for the first time is not just for 18 months or for two years, it is a promise of a lifetime of service to the Lord. What an amazing thing!
All my Love to you,
Sister Megan Monson

Monday, July 10, 2017

Is Not This Real?

There are certain chapters a missionary reads about a thousand times, ones that often answer questions for investigators and usually help them to gain testimonies of the gospel. I have read chapters like 3rd Nephi 11 or 2nd Nephi 31 with so many investigators and less actives I have lost count. Another such chapter is Alma 32 when Alma teaches the poor people about faith. As I was studying this chapter for the upteenth time my mind caught hold on a phrase "Oh then, is not this real?" in verse 35. Is not this real? is not the gospel real? is not Christ our Savior?
It never ceases to amaze me that even though you read the same thing a million times, something new can always pop out at you.
As we were reading Moroni 10:3-5 (another very common missionary passage) and the member pointed out in verse 4 "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." Moroni literally tells us to ask of these things are NOT true, that is how much confidence he has that you will get an affirmative answer.
I love how true the gospel is, and I love how much it can help and bless the lives of families.
This week was overall kind of an upset, our area seems to be a little dried up for missionary work and things look very gloomy right now. Whenever this happens my mind turns to a verse in Alma 26 "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." And that is what we will be doing. We cannot control others' agency but we can control our own.
Because the Gospel is so very real, I keep going! Because it is real, trials are okay, because Christ is always there! How grateful I am for a Savior who lives and loves me. I know that this gospel is real!
All my Love,
Love being a missionary!
Sister Megan Monson
Sister Wadsworth

Lions Park

Lions Park

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Let go and Let God

This week my Heavenly Father answered a prayer that I said when I was 6 years old. "Heavenly Father, I really want a sister." And He certainly gave me one! 14 years later, but who is counting? I am so grateful for the knowledge that Families can be eternal and that we are not meant to be individual beings but members of family units.
If you can imagine this week was a little bit rough, I wanted so much to be with my family for my sweet brother's wedding, but the Lord told me He needed me here, so here I am! As I pondered why I could possibly need to be here rather than there, a phrase I have heard a thousand times came to my mind, "let go and let God." Our Heavenly Father is very aware of us and our situations, He wants to bless us and He wants to guide us, sometimes we need to just let Him take the reigns and trust that He can lead us better than we can.
I will never lie and say that my mission has been easy, or that I haven't ever thought about giving up. I have been studying the Old Testament with what little free time I have, and the phrase that sticks out to me constantly, is "and Noah walked with God." or Adam or whomever. This life is a time for us to learn to walk with God.When the Savior taught His people and they found something that was a little bit hard to handle, they gave up and left. In John 6 it says:

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

I know that my Savior is there holding me. Every trial I have had on my mission is nothing in comparison to what He went through, suffering for my sins. I know that He is there and He understands me. Jesus is the Christ. He is my Savior and my friend, He is my older brother and my comforter. I know that there is nothing that I can do to repay Him, but I am certainly trying! 

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

This is what Sister Monson was doing on Saturday July 1st:

Having lunch with Bishop and Sister Hill

enjoying the sights of Bremerton while doing missionary work

AND... attending her brothers wedding in the Bountiful Temple 
She fit right in as one of the Bridesmaids
and even gave the groom (Jaymes) a photo op

but actually she was in Bremerton all day enjoying a drink run with her comp

Monday, June 26, 2017

All in the Lord's Timing

This week was Basically the Longest week of my entire life. We went on exchanges on Tuesday and I gave a training in District meeting on Wednesday, but when I was looking back on my week I thought that those things happened last week it felt so long ago!
This week we had an amazing experience with the Bergman Family. Our Bishop had gone over to visit them for ministering visits on Tuesday, and felt that we needed to visit with them as well. We had to put it off because all the times we could visit Sister Bergman were either filled, or we didn't have our car when we actually had time to go visit them. So Friday came around and we had left our ward list at home!
The ward list is the most important tool you have to find people to visit, if you don't have an address how can you find them?!?!? Sister Pluim and I looked at each other and decided we could probably find our way to the Bergman's house.
The coolest thing was that just as we were pulling up, they were building a fire to roast s'mores, but Brother and Sister Bergman were wondering how they could help all of their 7 children to roast marshmallows.
When we walked into their yard they were so grateful for two extra sets of hands! So we roasted Marshmallows and laughed, and talked to the kiddos. I wound up having a really great conversation with Sister Bergman about why they aren't coming to church, and a couple of her children expressed desires to come to church! So we are hoping to get them in there one of these days!
The Lord's timing is perfect, even for simple things like roasting marshmallows!

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ode to Dads

Admission time: Fathers' Day is the worst as a missionary, at least on Mothers' Day you can talk to your mom! But Fathers' Day was just sad because all the talks were on fathers and the little kids sang about fathers, and all you are thinking about is your dad and how you don't get to see him! So naturally you decide to write your weekly email on fathers!
The little primary kids sang a song in Sacrament meeting yesterday that really touched my heart and made me think of my sweet daddy,

My father’s hands are steady and kind.  They hold me and show me the way.
And when they are gently placed on my head, the fear in my heart goes away.
My father’s eyes are tender and wise.  They twinkle with laughter and fun.
They scatter the sunshine, weep when I’m sad, and rest when the day is done.
Knees which are worn from the years of kneeling to pray fervently.
Feet which have walked many miles, making a path for me.
My father’s heart is turned towards God.  He serves doing all that he can.
Reflecting the love that comes from above, He follows a heavenly plan. (My Father)
A year ago I was asked to give a talk on Fathers, with the stipulation that I wasn't talking about my dad. Well, now it's a year later, and this is my blog post, so I can talk about my dad all I want! 
My dad is an incredible gospel scholar (he will probably deny this) and he taught me everything I know about the gospel. I remember watching a video about the Savior appearing to the people in the Americas, and my dad testifying of the reality of Christ. My testimony grew from an early age, because I knew my father had a testimony, and I wanted to have what he had.
My dad is an amazing example and I will follow in his footsteps for the rest of my life. Where would I be without a father who guides me?
Dad, you're incredible, you have truly taught me everything I know. Without you I would never know the difference between a Phillips and a Flathead, or a mallet or a hammer! But seriously, thank you!


On a side note,
Yesterday we were also asked to go to a missionary's homecoming, we were told to sit with all the people around our age, so we did and basically listened in to their conversation. All of them had served foreign missions and were very critical of missionaries who served in the states and were from Utah... so basically me. I left angry, why is it that there is such a stigma about both things? and why did I have to fit both descriptions?
This morning I studied a talk by Elder Bednar, "Called to the Work," and it struck a chord with me. Elder Bednar says:

"Every year tens of thousands of young men and young women, and many senior couples, eagerly anticipate receiving a special letter from Salt Lake City. The content of the letter affects forever the person to whom it is addressed, as well as family members and a great number of other people. Upon arrival, the envelope may be opened neatly and patiently or ripped apart excitedly and with great haste.Reading this special letter is an experience never to be forgotten.

The letter is signed by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the first two sentences read as follows: “You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the ______ Mission.”

Please note that the first sentence is a call to serve as a full-time missionary in the Lord’s restored Church. The second sentence indicates an assignment to labor in a specific place and mission."
There is a stigma in the church and I think all should throw it out, missionaries who serve in foreign countries think that they are more worthy, better servants of the Lord. There is no difference. Missionaries who leave from places other than Utah think that they are more valiant in their faith. There is no difference. Members of the church everywhere, especially in the states, think that missionaries from Utah as somehow less competent than missionaries who grew up other places. There is no difference.
I beg all who have these notions to cast them out and to appreciate missionaries wherever they are from and wherever they serve. We are ALL trying to serve the Lord, and we are ALL trying to do what is right. It hurts when members scoff at where I am from, and it hurts when people ask "what did you think when you were called to WASHINGTON?" 
I know that I am exactly where I need to be, and I LOVE IT!
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Gospel Blesses Families

A year ago in a tiny tiny little town called Clarkfork, Idaho, two missionaries knocked on a door, just like missionaries do. They talked to a young man named Ben, who truly embraced the gospel wholeheartedly, as the missionaries taught him, his mother, father and wife all eventually joined in. They were baptized and immediately started sharing the gospel with their family members. Ben's mother, Sandra, referred her own mother on Mormon.org several times, with no response. She continued trying until finally the missionaries were able to make contact with her mother, Carolyn.
Carolyn had some reservations, she wanted to know, for 100% positive, that the church was true before she ever even went. The thing about that is, if you don't go to a church, you can never know it's true!
Over the course of the 8 months she was being taught, she went to church only once. Eventually, the third set of missionaries who taught her lost contact with her and decided it would be better to wait for a few months for her to be more prepared.
That's where Sister Pluim and I came in. We started teaching Carolyn again and she came to church almost every week since we started teaching her. Her heart changed and she was ready to listen. We had about a billion lessons on the Word of Wisdom and Carolyn really changed her view of smoking (which she has done for 60 years) and Coffee (which she has had many times daily for 65 years).
The most amazing part about this story is that her grandson, Ben, who listened to the missionaries a year ago, was able to come out from Idaho to baptize her. One of the first points in the first lesson is "The Gospel Blesses Families," how true that is, the gospel blesses families so much!

I love the gospel and I love seeing how it can change lives. What an amazing blessing it is to know that through our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can be with our families forever.
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson