Monday, February 22, 2016

Here in Fairbanks, you can tell half the town is in the military because everywhere you go the houses are pretty utilitarian.

Feb 22, 2016
Curly hair and Alaskan babes
Poor Sister Schoppmann is going home in four weeks!  Pray for her soul, she’s sad.

Hey look, this is me with my combat boots in Alaska.  Yay.  Also note the new bag, my old one lasted until my hump day and then bit the dust with a death rattle…Poor guy, the strap completely broke.  Probably fixable, but with a $9 replacement I’m happy.

This week in Alaska: children were born, houses were all the same, Jeramia scheduled his patriarchal blessing for this coming Sunday (yes!) and post Valentine's Day candy was 
purchased and consumed with great zeal.

I went on exchanges with Sister Schoppmann, pictured below. We taught one of my new 
favorite people, whose words of wisdom deserve your attention: "don't y'all go diggin 
through a woman's hair without askin' her permission first, ya hear?"

I also got to see someone from my last area and teach her! She is less active and her 
fiance is taking the lessons, so that's exciting. They moved up here right after I met him, so I was really disappointed he would be up here in Fairbanks... But now I got to be there for a
little bit, so that's awesome. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and challenged him to pray about a baptismal date with her. It was cool to see people that I knew and loved and teach them :) as Kathryn always says in her New Zealand accent: "#tendermercies"

We also had a really neat experience with a recent convert of a couple months. He has 
been struggling to know whether or not he should serve a mission at 24, and it's been really hard for him being in the military and other such problems that keep cropping up. We were
thinking "wow, it'd be cool if this one elder we know that's 26 could talk to him. Too bad he's in Anchorage right now..." Lo and behold, who shows up to our district meeting the next 
day? That very elder, here on exchanges with the zone leaders, here for one day. We
contacted Jeramia and they had one of the most spiritually intense conversations I've ever 
been a part of. It's cool God sent that elder all the way up here to have that conversation, 
and now Jeramia's opening his mission papers as soon as President Kratzer gets back in

I just wanted to mention that sharing personal spiritual experiences is an amazing way to 
really bring the Holy Ghost into a room. Usually we don't think of telling stories as a a way to feel the Spirit - you might think of singing hymns or talking about Christ or making 
covenants at baptism as some of the ways you can feel the Spirit. But when you can look 
back in your life and identify clear indicators that the Atonement of Jesus Christ changed 
your life, as you tell that story and testify that it happened, the Spirit will confirm your words. That's one thing I've really focused on this first half of my mission, identifying specific 
experiences with the Atonement and ways that Jesus Christ has actually impacted my life, 
and I am so glad the Lord has blessed me with those experiences and is helping me 
recognize them. I know I have changed, and I know anybody can change if you reach out to Christ and let Him heal you and help you. Alma 7:11-13 tells us that He does know all of our sins and infirmities and anything that stresses us out or causes us pain, and He will help us
through it - He will run to us and bring us that peace and strength we need to make it 


Sister Rollins

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