Saturday, April 2, 2016

ZONE CONFERENCE.....BUILDING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST

Hej Hej-

There are a couple of things that I just wanna highlight kinda from this week. 

Number one: zone conference 

Number two: my Sunday 

I'll start with conference. 
We had an incredible zone conference on Wednesday. 
It was..so awesome. 
About a week and a half ago we recieved the news that elder Larson and I would be singing the song, oh lord my redeemer (yes Amber and Mitchell, the one with the polys) 
We only had one day to practice together since elder Larson is in a different zone, but it went pretty well. 
I had to give my "dying" testimony..so it was my last zone conference. How weird is that. 
Sister brink also gave hers (btw, going on splits with her today, so stoked) 
Elder Larson and elder Backman both got to be there for our drying testimonies!!! It was so cool to have all four of us back together. We were really close in the MTC.
The conference however was about Jesus Christ. Building our relationship with him. 
Sister Beckstrand is amazing. And that is a total understatement but I would trust her with my life. 
She. Is. Amazing. 
She is so beautiful and talented and just wonderful. 
She talked about how to build our relationship with Jesus Christ and had put together a video of all of our family pictures and pictures of loved ones. 
And guess what picture was first. 
MY WEAK SPOT OKAY. THAT’S WHAT WAS FIRST. 
And I just lost it. The tears. 
Everyone in the room, was bawling. 
Everyone. 
It was so genius. 
Somehow I feel like it brought us as missionaries, closer. 
The mission culture in this mission is very close already as it is, but this was like ..it jut magnified it. 
It united us. We are all here trying to accomplish the same thing, trying to be strong for our families...depending on our families to be strong for us. 
The first picture that came up on the screen, was Coleman Peter Giles!!!!

gosh darn you and your adorable bow tie. 

all marbles were lost at that point. 
but it was so awesome. 
we ended the conference with the song, Families Can Be Together Forever.
rough. it was rough. 
I LOVE MY FAMILY GOSH I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THEM. 
they are so weird!!!!! and HILARIOUS!!!!! and so loving. 

MY SUNDAY. WELL. i was up till about 1am getting lessons ready for church because all the teachers were leaving for vacation and stufffff....so sister svensson had a talk and i prepared for relief society.... i was also asked the night before to have a musical number....sooo i had no idea what i was going to do. 

rewind to three days ago: people like to give us free stuff....we got some free food truck food which tasted really awesome and felt really bad haha we think it is food poisoning so we were dealing with that too. so during this whole day was just pain. 

i called elder Rowley and asked him to come to the church 2 hours before church to practice a song we could find for easter. 

well we found one...and it is gnarly. its called Gethsemane by Sally Deford. 
wow.

We had an hour to learn it and practice it together since neither of us had heard it till that morning...
in the middle of practicing we get a call from a man who is explaining that he joined the church in the year 2000 but has been inactive....he wanted a visit because he was in the hospital....i asked what happened..was he sick...did he break something...and rather sheepishly, he admits that he tried to kill himself the other day and was admit into the hospital..
i asked how he had even gotten our number...
we contacted him 2 days before he tried to kill himself. he still had the card in his jeans...
i told him we could come see him after  church with our elders and they could give him a blessing.. 
Elder Rowley and i contínue to practice and it just gets better and better and better. sacrament meeting went off without a hitch. cedric even blessed the sacrament for the first time :) 
3 american families showed up so that was cool. 
sunday school was amazing as well......to have 3 new members from the past 6 months together learning and sharing their views and asking questions... so. cool.
raymon received the priesthood!! 
relief society..... i taught a 50 minute lesson by myself and it was SO AWESAAMMM 
i was super cool. 
the topic was teaching the truth, a Liahona article from 2009. Pres. Eyring. 
i shared the story of Coleman from my perspective.....starting with adopting him all the way through till right now. 
how for a little bit i lost my faith but because my parents taught me the truthfulness of the gospel at a young age, and built that foundation, i found my way back. it felt like i was doing it alone at the time but i see now, how the Lord blessed me too much throughout those years. 
i would’ve never even learned guitar. 
everyone loved the lesson. a lot. there were some moments we were all just super teary and i didnt know how to go on, and someone would share something that i needed to hear. 

it was perfect. 

after church our senior couple elder drove us to the hospital to visit Bogdan, the man who called in the morning, we get there....and turns out it was actually an insane asylum............
ha..... ah...

terrifying place. 

we found him and boy is he terrifying. 
he is like almost 7 feet tall. deep voice...scars....the whole shebang...we sat in a padded room with a single 6 panel light, slightly swaying for some reason..buzzing a little bit...two of the panels not even lit yet it felt as if the light was too bright.
bogdan told us that he got mixed up in drugs. heroine and cocaine. and he finally thought he couldnt take it anymore and tried to kill himself...
they found him and took him to the hospital then foundout it was a suicide attempt and put him in the asylum. 
he doesnt want to continue that way of life...and he called us hoping for a second chance. 
the elders gave him a bessing...and we ended with a prayer....uí asked him if he would say it and he ..debated...then agreed to and offered what was probably his first vocal prayer in 16 years. and holy cow.....that prayer....he asked forprotection and to be welcomed into the ward to be surrounded with new people that he would want to be like....the sincerity...and i could just see him curled up in the lap of his heavenly father, pleading to be heard....and we all felt, that he was heard.... 
we walked out of there seeing stars.
all of us were just... mouths open. just totally dazed. the spirit was so so strong. 

Afterwards we drove to a dinner with elder Wood. The Woods invited a bunch of missionaries to come have Easter with them. 
i got to sit and shell eggs with elder Wood for like an hour. 
I LOVE THAT MAN. 
He thinks i’m pretty cool so we are buddies. We talked about life and about how i need to go after my dream and he believes that if i do that, im gonna change the world.... i have the determination and as long as i do it for the Lord, I’ll be blessed... we talked about our patrairchal blessings and the gospel and family.....and about eggs of course and how delicious they are.... they were soon deviled eggs. so awesome. 
The night went on, we played games and then everyone gathered in the living room...it kindof turned into a testimony meeting.....i wasnt going to say anything because to be honest it came out of nowhwere and i felt kinda awkward ... but then sister bourell started talking about how jesus christ is the change in the world....and for some reason it made me think of this story that is partially haunting. i hate it but i love it. 
i gave some backround about Coleman and our family and everything.....and talked about how when he got released from the hospital he couldnt walk up the steps.... i watched him crawl up the steps to our front door...he didnt even have the strength to lift his leg to the height of the stair....
how when he got to the top of the stairs he kinda plopped himself down turned around toward me and im pretty sure I had tyler on my back, he just said, 
I DID IT... with a smile... 
and i’ve never said anything about this...i dont say a lot of things i learned during that time, i keep them well locked away, but i brought this out.... i remember it hitting me like a brick wall that what i saw in his face, his eyes, everything....what i saw was the light of Christ. 
so clean, pure, and bright. so obviously there. 
i talked about how i had been having lots of nightmares and that night i had woken up and couldnt go back to sleep. but i just saw that light that Coleman had and i knew that i would sleep well, if i was with him..(not to mention that kid is surrounded by angels who im pretty sure protected me from monsters on the walk down the hall )
 i walked down to Colemans room and just said...whisper yelled, Coleman!  can i sleep witchoo! 
and he just said yeees tannerr :) 
and i slept, so well. 
i talked about how i watched Coleman change. and i saw how i was changed by the light he gained during his stay in the hospital. 
how that changed me. 
how in order to help others change we have to be changed first. 
only then can they SEE the light that we posess. 
i have learned so much from my little brother, even though we are 8 years apart, He is my buddy. He is my hero. 

i have THE coolest siblings in the world. including my inlaws which i cant even say are inlaws because they’re totally the sickest older sisters ever. 
I LOVE YOU GUYS. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU ALL. you have been there for me in the hardest times, and boys, im sorry i didnt write you on your missions, is this why you havent been writing me HAHA -___- mhmm. 
yall light up my world. i know we would kill for eachother and sometimes we wanna kill eachother but thats okay haha 
we are the coolest family ever. we have been through hell and back and to hell and back again together...but we are so tight. Tyler Jane, we have been waiting to tell you this.. youre adopted. also, youre black. 
we still love you. 

i LOVE my mission. and i love MY Savior. he is the absolute best.

i hope yall have a good week :) 

Love, Syster Giles















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