Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Justyce and Mercy

So I know what you're thinking, "Sister Monson can't spell," but I promise I can! Justyce is the name of the girl who was baptized in Silverdale 6th this past week! What a great blessing it was to be able to see her be baptized and to feel of the sweet spirit that she brings to this ward. Justyce is 10 and she loves the gospel so much! Sister Stallings and I had the opportunity to teach her the last few weeks, and it has been such a joy. The missionaries who began teaching her were able to come up as well.
What I have been thinking a lot about lately is the subject of mercy and justice. It seems at times that both mercy and justice cannot reside in the same place at the same time. We are all sinners and we all deserve a little bit of justice, but we, as children of God, also need mercy.

I love these verses in Alma 42:
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
23 But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.
24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.
25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

I talk to people every day who tell me "It is by grace alone that we are saved, works have nothing to do with it!" Internally I am laughing at that, for how could we be saved, if we simply ignore God's commandments and rely solely on His grace?
Nephi describes it this way:
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.(2 Nephi 25:23)
When we have given our all, that will be enough, and Christ's amazing grace will be there to heal us, to save us and to lift us up. I know that's true, and that we really do have a Savior who can save us from our sins.
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson


Monday, August 7, 2017

In the Hands of God

Life is full of trials and sometimes those trials seem so impossible and so insurmountable that all we want to do is quit. But we also know that there is something better on the other side, so we choose to keep going. I have seen this time and time again that there is always something better after some great trial.
So with this thought in mind, I read in the Book of Mormon, in the Book of Mormon (it's like Inception) and in Chapter 5, when Mormon is basically begging the people to believe in Christ, he says something deeply profound. "Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?"
I think of the song "He's got the Whole World in His Hands" it has super repetitive words but, it has a good message:

1. He’s got the whole world in his hands.
He’s got the whole wide world in his hands.
He’s got the whole world in his hands.
He’s got the whole world in his hands. 
2. He’s got the wind and the rain in his hands.
He’s got the wind and the rain in his hands.
He’s got the wind and the rain in his hands.
He’s got the whole world in his hands.
 3. He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands.
He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands.
He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands. 
He’s got the whole world in his hands.
 4. He’s got you and me sister in his hands.
He’s got you and me sister in his hands.
He’s got you and me sister in his hands.
He’s got the whole world in his hands.
 5. He’s got ev’rybody in his hands.
He’s got ev’rybody in his hands.
He’s got ev’rybody in his hands.
He’s got the whole world in his hands.

We are truly in the hands of the Lord, and He knows exactly the trials and exactly the battles He Gives us. And because He knows us so perfectly, He knows just what we can handle. 
I have seen great miracles in my life come because of the trials I have faced. and I have seen miracles in the lives of others because they have been humbled by their trials.
I love Alma Chapter 26, it is literally the best chapter in the whole Book of Mormon. Ammon's words are truly profound, he says:
5 Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
6 Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.

We are His children, and He will always be there to rescue us. I love the way Sister Rosemary Wixom put it, "Because you are His child, you not only need Him, but He also needs you." He needs us, and we need Him. What a powerful truth!
I love this opportunity I have to witness miracles because of the great love God has for His children!
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Whale

In the Book of Jonah, the prophet Jonah is asked to do something he desperately does not want to do, go to Nineveh. He does not want to go there, he basically tells God, "I will do anything but go to Nineveh!" So naturally he gets on a boat headed the other direction and sails and sails until naturally he gets swallowed by a whale and has to repent and decides he will go to Nineveh and teach them about Jesus and call them all to repent as he has just done.
So last week while I was anticipating a transfer call, I knew in my heart that I would be leaving my beloved Manette Ward. So as I prayed, I told God, "I will go anywhere, I will do whatever you want me to do. But PLEASE don't make me double in again, please just let me have a normal transfer for once." MISTAKE

Lesson learned: Never tell God what you want, ask Him what you need.
one of my favorite scriptures says: 

"Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." Jacob 4:10

We can't tell God what we want Him to do, my desire to have a normal transfer, while it is not a bad desire, was not what God wanted for me.
Another great gen of the scriptures is from Isaiah 55:9 

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

I've learned on my mission that Heavenly Father always knows best. He always knows what we need much more than we do. So over a year ago when I turned in my mission papers, I promised my Heavenly Father, that "I'll go where you want me to go," and though I didn't know it then, I also agreed to be doubled in for the third time and doubled out for the second. We never know what will happen to us next, but we can always be sure, that we will be better because of it!
As for Silverdale, it is a lot of trees and streets that don't connect, but should, and long driveways, and critters all over. Yep, it's the boonies. It will be another grand adventure, and Sister Stallings and I will definitely be conquering the world up here!

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

God is at the Helm

Waste and Wear Out Our Lives
High council speakers often get a bad rap for being boring. But sometimes they say some truly profound things. Like yesterday, Brother Mantzke said "the Pioneers truly wore out their shoes and wore out their lives to gather the saints." I thought it was appropriate to pioneer with "missionary." "the Missionaries wore out their shoes and wore out their lives to gather then saints."
Yes that is what we do, it reminds me of this verse:
D&C 123:13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
And that is what missionaries truly do. I have worn through two pairs of rainboots and have totally trashed all my shoes, clothes and purses because I love seeing people's lives change. Every day I come home feeling like I've just been snowskiing, my body is so tired. And it is worth it.
What an amazing blessing to be a missionary!

Monday evening we were knocking doors in an apartment complex and we came to door 205, a young woman answered and just said, "no, we're good." so we turned around in the narrow hallway and knocked on the door exactly opposite. A Hispanic woman answered, and I used my meager Spanish skills to tell her, "we have missionaries who speak Spanish, would you be interested?" She answered yes and I scrounged up more Spanish to tell her how to get a hold of them. Just as I was finishing the conversation, the young woman at the other door opened it again. She told us she kept having this feeling to invite us in. She introduced herself as Abby and her sister Ashley came in as well. Abby is single and Ashley is married, but her husband is on deployment so they're living together until he comes home. Sister Pluim and I thought we would teach the Restoration, but when a question about Heaven and Hell came up we switched to the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit truly guided our words and Abby and Ashley felt the Spirit strongly. It was one of those experiences when you know you are doing your job. The gospel is so true!
Sometimes Heavenly Father does this thing where He puts you in a place and just when you love it so much that you could stay there forever and never leave, He grabs you out and sends you away! That's right, I'm getting transferred! After two wonderful transfers in this amazing area, I'll be going to Silverdale 6th ward with Sister Stallings, who is from one of my favorite places in the world, Logan, Utah! Neither of us have ever served in Silverdale 6th before so it will be nothing short of an adventure! This will be my third time "doubling in" and my second time "doubling out" because Sister Pluim is going all the way up to Port Angeles to train a new missionary! So crazy things are happening.
I have learned so much in Manette Ward and it is so sad to be leaving so soon, but it is time to say good-bye. Luckily Abby and Ashley won't be left behind because new Sister missionaries will be coming in!
God truly is at the helm of this great work, He decides where each person needs to be at what time for a very specific and divine reason. And I can not wait to find out what He has in store for me!
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Saying Good-bye to Bremerton Manette Ward

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