Tuesday, November 11, 2014


On the mission there's this pattern within a transfer. Week 1 is kind of awkward and very fake-happy as you try to understand your companion and how they work. Week 2 you settle in and fake laughter becomes real. Week 3 and 4 are full of miracles, maybe some baptisms. And then week 5 just plain out is miserable. Every single time. I don't even understand why... So this week was a big growing experience for me. Both Sister Cotton and I struggled to stay motivated and positive. We had our eyes opened to a lot of things that we can change to be better, and so now with the last week of the transfer, week 6, we are excited to apply the things we've learned and really get to work. 

Because I don't want to drag you down with the hard parts of this week, I'm going to lift you up with all the happy things :). I know that reflecting on the positives is so much more gratifying than dwelling on the negative. 

Even The Book of Mormon teaches plainly that happiness is our destiny. It speaks of dwelling “with God in a state of never-ending happiness.” (Mosiah 2:41) 

So on Tuesday I got to go to MLC (Mission Leadership Counsel). That was a ton of fun because we met with all the leaders in the mission down in Nashville and had breakfast and lunch and got to learn and teach and find new ways to better help our mission flourish. It was fun to see old friends. But more importantly it was just such a spiritual experience to hear such wise words from missionaries who have made a great impact in the work. It was also a good opportunity for Sister Cotton and I to become better acquainted with our Zone Leaders, so we can hopefully have greater unity within the Paducah Zone. :)! 

District meeting on Wednesday was a mini miracle. As Sister Cotton and I role played working with one of our investigators, we found out that during that morning we had both received the same exact revelation about the scripture we needed to share with them. Just little confirmations that we are doing things right like that is so rewarding. 
That night we went to dinner with some less actives. It was amazing because as we taught, we watched as the spirit rebuked them and gave them a desire to change their lives. We didn't have to point out one thing they could improve on, the holy ghost told them! We were just there to invite him in :). Even greater was when we had a prompting to go see a lady we had never met who lived wayyyy on the other side of our area. We followed the prompting and had probably one of the greatest beginning lessons I've ever been apart of. We didn't even get to fully teach her the restoration and already she was telling us that we were exactly what God wanted her to have. She just kept saying "yes! yes! yes!" to everything we told her. Her aunt had always said that the right religion would come to her. And it did! Wahoo! To put the cherry on top, we were also led by the spirit to go see a less active we had never met. We ended up showing up RIGHT when she needed us most. 

"Striving for happiness is a long, hard journey with many challenges. It requires eternal vigilance to win the victory. You cannot succeed with sporadic little flashes of effort. Constant and valiant living is necessary. That is why patience and faith are so often associated in the scriptures. You must “withstand every temptation of the devil, with [your] faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Alma 37:33.) But remember, faith is not a magical formula. It requires that you make a deliberate decision to do good and then carry out your decision. Do it. Simply do it, and do it long enough that you experience success, no matter how hard it may seem. Your victory over self brings communion with God and results in happiness—lasting and eternal happiness." (Jack Goaslind)

The next day was quite the opposite. But let me tell you the atonement was still there. We had a lot of people to see, and not enough time to prepare for them. During my studies that morning I asked God to help me , and He did! I somehow was able to use the short amount of time I had to plan for every single person. I know that when we are about our Father's business, working in harmony with his purpose, then his will WILL be done. 

Friday I went on a weekly planning exchange. That means I went with a set of sisters and spent 3+ hours training them on how to plan for their week correctly. It was draining, but only good came from it :). That evening I reconnected with Sister Cotton and we went out for icecream! Unfortunately even something went wrong with that, which didn't help us feel very happy. A less active texted us and asked us to come over... we were dreading whatever news she would have for us. We went, and she told us she had gotten Sundays off so now she could come to church! We had a very powerful lesson, and by the end we were so full on the spirit we didn't even want any icecream ;)! THEN just to make things better, we taught the restoration lesson over dinner in a mexican restaurant with one of our investigators... here was his message to us that night: "I feel great inside and it was nice seeing you two . I loved the message you shared with me. I just feel really good about this. I feel TRUTH when I'm with yall and that's the only way I can explain it. :D"

I got THREE really really great packages from my family this week. That was definitely a miracle! [I am pretty sure she isn't trying to sound like we never send her anything!]

On Sunday we had our first ever ward counsel meeting!! This is so exciting because missionaries have never been able to go in before, so great progress is being made in the Paducah Ward! Then that evening we had a beautiful lesson with a part member family, and we were able to commit them to come to church next Sunday!

I think that sometimes we  fill our lives with all of these little things that we think make us happy. Sports, music, school, parties, etc. We then say we just don't have TIME for God anymore. But you know what? You're right. You don't have time for God anymore. He has given us such a limited amount of time in this life that if we aren't careful we just won't have room for what matters most. I can testify from experience and from observation that the only way to true and lasting happiness is through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Next week, I'll go over just what exactly I mean by that :). For now, I'm running a little behind so I'll take a rain check on the insightful blog post for this week, sorry!
I sure do love everyone! 
-Sister Hochstrasser 
Write to me!!! (DearElder.com, or by mail)

Sister Jennifer Hochstrasser
Tennessee Nashville Mission

Or if you can't do either of those, drop me a short line via email   jennifer.hochstrasser@myldsmail.net

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