Monday, September 25, 2017

He Once was Broken too

We have a Savior who truly, truly knows what we are feeling, that is the most true thing that has ever been taught. In Mosiah 14 we learn:


3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows,and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.


Our Savoir truly understands the pains and the sorrows and the anger, everything. I cannot testify of that enough. This week my poor companion got sick. It seems to be going around. So despite caring for her, I still had a bit of time this week to just ponder, study, pray, do whatever I wanted really. After reading those verses, with my heart full of gratitude, I put pen to paper, and wrote out my feelings in verse. So I'm sorry if you don't like poetry! But this one is called "He Once was Broken too."

I feel like I'm broken,
I fall in a heap.
My life is a token
to the one who hears me weep.

He is my Savior,
the great Emmanuel,
but my life has lost its flavor
for reasons I wish he would tell.

I follow in His footsteps
He said, "Come follow me."
and my life has had some mishaps
due to things I cannot see.

I look for His hand
and I plead for His grace
He is in high demand
I simply wish to see His face.

As I ponder and I pray
a thought I come to see.
Could it be just as they say
He was broken just for me?

Could He really know my pain?
Does He really know my sorrow?
What did He have to gain
when I His blood had to borrow?

What a blessing it is to know
He once was broken too
and though my progress may be slow
He will love me through.

It never ceases to amaze me just how much the Savior understands me and what I am going through. He feels your pain, He feels the sorrow, the hurt, the anger. But He also knows the way to inexplicable joy. He loves us!
I love testifying of that truth to everyone I meet, it is the greatest joy to talk about my Savior.
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson









Monday, September 18, 2017

EMERGENCY TRANSFER! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

So, I've been awful lately and haven't written in about three weeks... I'd like to publicly apologize to all of my fans, I know how you all just LIVE to hear from me (this should be read dripping with sarcasm). But really, I'm sorry.

To catch you up to speed, I've had a crazy past few weeks. I got transferred out of Silverdale and down to Parkland in a trio with Sisters Larsen and Powell, we had a lot of fun together and saw a lot of great finding miracles. We were "tripled in" meaning all three of us were new to the area, but we were figuring it out, and having a blast.

We had dinner with Brother and Sister Lee last Sunday, they were in my first area, and their parents both live in Parkland! So I got to see some of my favorite people

Last Monday we had a very special visitor, Elder Benjamin De Hoyos of the Seventy came to speak to our mission. He taught of the importance of providing investigators with opportunities to receive revelation. It was a really cool experience to hear from him. Crazy story time! The night before he came the APs texted and told me Elder De Hoyos had specifically asked to have an interview with me, I was like "Whaaaaat??" So we were able to sit down and talk together, and he told me my cute daddy had asked him to come talk to me while he was up here, and he gave me a picture of the two of them together. What a treat!

I stayed for exactly 11 days in Parkland, on Friday this week President Leishman called me and told me I was needed in the Brookdale ward because a sister went home for medical reasons.
So in a hurry I grabbed all my stuff and moved it... across the parking lot to the Brookdale apartment, in the same complex... that was by far the shortest distance I have ever transferred.
I am now in the Brookdale ward with Sister York! Sister York is awesome, she is from Boulder City, Colorado and went to school at BYU Hawaii. I absolutely love her. We'll be together for about a month before we find out about transfers, and we are going to have a blast. She and her companion were doubled in, but the didn't really get to work because of her companion's health problems, so we are starting from scratch here.

I've had more areas in the past 3 weeks than I had the first 10 months of my mission, and the change is crazy, but it is also good.

I've learned a lot about Love the past few weeks, President told us the other day that you should be able to tell your companion every day that you love him/her. But that love doesn't just go to your companion when you are a missionary, but to everyone you meet. Sister York and I were talking yesterday and she pointed out to me that we love everyone as missionaries, even, and sometimes especially, the ones who don't love us. I have struggled with some companions, but I love them sometimes more than any others. I have love for those who yell at me and don't want me to knock on their door, even after I have walked all the way down their ridiculously long driveway...I still love them.

And if I as a simple little missionary can love people that much, how much more does our Savior love us? I know He loves us infinitely.

Alma 7 says:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.


He can heal us, because HE LOVES us.

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

Why I Believe Fireside
Sunday September 17, 2017







pyramid!

twiners-not her comp but Sister

Monday, August 28, 2017

God Cannot Lie

Editors note: I didn't publish last weeks letter until this week so if you'd like to go back and read "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" please do! It may make this weeks letter sweeter and more understandable! Love this amazing missionary who when life throws lemons she makes lemonade and isn't afraid to share what is in her heart! How am I so very blessed?

Yesterday in Sunday school we had a lesson on Honesty. Typical lessons on honesty go about like this:
Teacher asks, "why shouldn't we lie?" and then the class gives the stereotypical answers such as "because God told us not to."
So when the lesson started, I expected to zone out and occasionally comment to keep the lesson going. This Honesty lesson was different though, we started by reading from 

Ether 3:
11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.


And it dawned on me that God Cannot Lie to us. He literally can't. There are no "crossies doesn't count"s or half-truths. God will always tell us the truth, no matter what happens, He will not lie to us.
So if that is true, and I know from the depths of my soul that it is, then because God has promised that He will not leave us suffering for longer than we can handle.
My favorite book in the Old Testament is Job. I feel like lately I have understood Job, a lot more because I understand the things he must have felt a little better. Two verses that have really stood out to me lately are Job 11:18 "And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope..." and Job 13:15-16 "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him... He also shall be my salvation..."
I've been studying a lot about faith lately, and what I've learned is that Faith is trust. So if we have faith, and we all know that if you have faith you also have hope (Moroni 7), so if you have faith and hope, you have to trust God. That has stuck out to me again and again.
God cannot lie, He just can't, so He is the best person you could ever trust. When you are down and out, remember the faith that you have, even if it is small, and know that God is there for you, He loves you.
And I love you all,
Sister Megan Monson

view from apartment

wild blackberries

Llama?

yep Llama!








super beautiful missionary




Shall We Not go on in so Great a Cause?

So for the past several weeks I have been thinking and praying about when and how to send this email. I feel like personal experiences are to be shared with others only when the Spirit prompts me to do so, and the Spirit has been telling me to write this letter for a while now.
I have a problem, yes, this missionary just admitted that she is not perfect. I have a monster in my closet that just won't let me be free, I recently learned that the name of this monster is "depression." Last transfer when my incredibly loving companion, Sister Pluim, encouraged me to get help, I thought that she was crazy. I figured that everyone felt the way I did and this was normal. Little did I know that the way I felt was the furthest thing from normal.
Shock, cannot even begin to describe it. I was stunned when my results were off the charts. To put it in perspective, on the scale they came up with for missionaries, 45 is normal, 80 is debilitating, and 100+ is top priority. I landed myself as "top priority" before I even admitted to myself that I had a problem. But when you sit down in front of a counselor and he asks straight out "how are you functioning? because there is no way in the world that you should be." you kind of start to realize that you have a problem.
I still haven't entirely admitted it. But after months of frustration I have finally been able to put a name to the things I have been feeling, Depression, anxiety, the whole works.
Yes, my friends, I have a problem, but that's okay isn't it? That's what the Atonement is for, that's why we have a Savior.
I love, and have found hope in, this quote by  Sister Chieko N. Okazaki (it's sort of long, sorry):
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.
He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. 
You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.

I never write about my trials to trigger worry or panic, PLEASE DON'T. I share trials to tell you all that I am real (when I walk off the plane in a little over 4 months, please do not expect me to be perfect!) and to help others to understand that trials are a part of life, and they are okay! And it is only okay because the atonement and the Savior are real.
Often I think we can testify of the reality of the Savior to anyone else, we can tell them that "he's there for you!" but we can't believe that the Savior is there for us. We can't believe that He is there reaching towards us, trying so desperately to help us. A few weeks ago, I could tell anyone and everyone that the Savior is there for them, but for myself, I felt as thought I was alone. But I am not alone, and I know that more than ever.
Often, it seems like the easiest thing to do would be to quit, but as I read in the Doctrine and Covenants, I came across this amazing verse in section 128:22 "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad."
Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Is this not worth it? Watching Justyce get baptized last week, I remembered that it is. 
Never forget that God Loves you!
All my love, 
Sister Megan Monson







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