Monday, December 16, 2013

Just someone please go lay down in the snow for me, please.

Dear Family,
 Okay you guys.. slow down there right this second. Before you start being jealous of my lovely summer weather, let me tell you something terrible. It is going to be 41 C today. That is just over 105 F. Guess what...we don't have air conditioning. Also, it's not just your average 105 degree weather; this is AUSTRALIA. The ozone layer is thinner here than anywhere else in the world. And trust me, you can feel it! The sun literally smacks you in the face like a burning hot frying pan filled with lava drenched with acid and sprinkled bits of Satan's wrath. You don't have to believe me but I'm just being honest here...I am MELTING. But hey like it's great and stuff, no dramas. Just someone please go lay down in the snow for me, please. Ha ha okay that was a little dramatic, but trust me, it is hot. Waikiki is a lake of fire and brimstone. Ha ha just kidding.

Guys Christmas is about CHRIST!!! Not about stuff!!! Go sell all your presents and give the money to a family in need. Do I need to rebuke you guys? Because if there is one thing I can do, it's rebuke! Ahh I'm serious all I want to do is call the whole entire world to repentance. I'm for real though, Satan has taken everything that is good about Christmas and replaced it with "me me me, want want want." Guys. It's not about you. I'm talking to you, my little munchkin siblings. Give more than you get. Because if you don't, someday you will get less than you gave...way less. Everyone. Go repent. Me too I'm going to go repent too. Ahhh I'm so excited to come home and give all of your guys' stuff away!! Ha ha no jk. But for real.

Okay so let me tell you one thing that happened. Well, so, at the beginning of last week Sister Payze and I got PUMPED out of our minds. We talked to this RM Maori guy in our ward that should really be a general authority/motivational speaker, and no joke guys, during the whole conversation with him I could hardly even sit still. All I wanted to do was run out into the street and start preaching all nations. Anyways, he gave us all these really great ideas of how to be better missionaries. But then he said, "expect opposition. Satan does not want you to be better, and he will try to stop you." So we assured him that we wouldn't.

Well guys, guess what. Satan hard out tried to stop us. Do you want to know what happened?! Well guess what. The first lesson we had after that conversation was with a less active. We're sitting there, ready to start teaching, and BAM. Her granddaughter breaks her wrist out on the driveway. Yep, lesson = over. So they took her to the hospital and we went out to our car. Guess what?! Our tires = slashed!!!! Haha ha I'm just joking about the equal sign, I'm being hilarious guys. But no, for real. Someone slashed our tire. I know who it was, too. SATAN. He did it. He came and he slashed our tire. And we just laughed. As IF that would stop us, you know what I'm sayin?! He's just mad because we are winning, so he threw a tantrum for a second. Moral of the story - opposition. It's a real thing.

Like I said. Satan slashed it.

Me and my awesome companion sister Payze

So, on a more serious note. Something that I want to share with you guys. So Saturday night, I realized that I was really stressed, and have been for weeks. I didn't realize until I laid down, tried to relax and couldn't. I had this constant knot of...I don't know, anxiety? my chest that I couldn't really get rid of. It was just from having so much responsibility and trying so hard to get better and be a better missionary all the time. We have to constantly improve, but holy smokes I was stressing myself out. I mean, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to study. Come on, that's psycho! Yep so I realized that I've been stressed out for weeks and it was making me physically sick. So before I went to sleep Saturday night, I prayed for peace. That feeling was still there though! Even after I had slept a whole night, I woke up with that knot of anxiety. I've probably had it for weeks and haven't realized.
So we went to church. During the opening exercises of Sacrament meeting, I prayed really hard. Honestly I was like, pleading. But still, nothing. And then, the Sacrament started. We always talk about how important the Sacrament is. It's symbolic of the Atonement of the Savior; His body and blood and how it was shed for us individually. The bread represents his body, the death of which overcame physical death. Because of the Resurrection of Christ, all men - good and evil - will rise again. But his blood - represented by the water - was shed as a sacrifice for sin, which gift is conditional on our personal righteousness. So during this meeting, with that in mind, I prayed for the power of the Atonement of Christ to take away the feeling of anxiety that I had. And you would not believe the degree to which that prayer was answered. As I took the sacramental cup, all the tension and stress and anxiety literally just melted away. It was the coolest thing. The Atonement of Christ is real power, and we should all use it more.

You know what? You are RIGHT! It IS cool being on a mission during Christmas time!
That is So. True. Revelation takes work. You have to ask, seek, knock. The scripture doesn't say, "don't say anything, and ye shall receive, sit there, and ye shall find, sit outside on the porch swing, and it shall be opened unto you". I think way too many of us sit in the shade on our porch swings and wait for the Saviour to open the door, get our attention, tell us to come in and point to the steps.
Yeah! I like that! "the wicked sacrifice others to promote themselves." So true. I never thought of it that simply, but Satan's kingdom is built on selfishness and the Lord's is built on selflessness. It's been like that from day one, since the grand council in Heaven. That was, ultimately, the difference between Christ's plan and Lucifers. So the forces of good and evil are divided into, ultimately, two groups - the selfless and the selfish. Which side are we on? Which side do our actions say we are on?
Guys we are SO blessed to belong to this Church. It's so much more than a church; it literally is the Kingdom of God on Earth, and we all have a part in it. What is the three-fold mission of the church? When the Church was restored, a marvellous event happened. Moses, Elijah and Elisha appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. Three things were restored. Moses brought the keys to the gathering of Israel. Elijah brought the sealing power. Elias brought the preparation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With that, the three-fold purpose of the church was born - Proclaim the Gospel, Redeem the Dead, and Perfect the Saints. We all have a part in that. Right now, I am proclaiming the gospel. You guys are in the perfecting the saints/redeeming the dead section. Are you doing it? Because this is Christ's Church, therefore it's purpose is His purpose. Perfect yourselves. Do the little things - read your scriptures, say your prayers. DAILY. Go to Church, listen, then APPLY. Redeem the dead. You should all go do baptisms for the dead together. That's my commitment to you. That's what I want you guys to get me for Christmas. You can go a little bit after Christmas, but go. Guys. REPENT!!!

Okay well I have to go. I got your package this week, thank you SO much and don't worry, I haven't opened it. It's driving me crazy though. Ha ha nah just joking. I love you all! Listen to me! For real though. Remember who I represent. D&C 68:4.
Sister Bryce

P.S. On those last two paragraphs you wrote me - yep, yep yep. Amen to everything you said. Ahhh I love the gospel.

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