Saturday, April 27, 2013

DC Week 11!

Hey Family!

How's everybody doing?? I sure hope you are all taking advantage of having a beach close by!! I was watching one of the I am a Mormon videos about a Hawaiian girl who just loved to surf. She said, "I believe anything can be cured with a little salt water." Really making me ache for those lazy childhood days of walking barefoot in the sand and falling asleep on the hot pavement at Grandma's after a dip. Anyway, back to business!

It’s been such a great week here. Heavenly Father has given me many opportunities for service and growth. I can feel him shaping and polishing me for His work. Sometimes it is a painful process, however truly rewarding. I know these types of humbling experiences are necessary to make me the best vessel for successful missionary work in His hands. Deiter F. Uchtdorf has said:

May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will soon see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Yesterday, we had such a spiritual training meeting at the Visitor Center. I haven’t felt the Spirit so strongly in a long time. Our new elderly couple shared their conversion story and current relationships with their “angel”missionaries from long ago. This is now their ninth mission as a senior couple. It was sweet to see the far-reaching effects of missionary work. They assured us they would continue to be friends for eternity, as will we with our investigators.

Sister Brown, (one of the VC trainers) then shared some words about our sacred calling as sister missionaries, and asked us to each remove our nametags…I didn’t like it.

She asked us to hold them in our hands in front of us; to look at our name…then Jesus Christ’s. She bore her bold witness that we are His representatives. This mission defines us. That tag is an emblem of our role as His disciples. People notice us wherever we go…it is soon becoming no secret who we are…This gospel is going to all nations, etc… It was a wonderful and powerful message. She is a great missionary.

We then proceeded to have a testimony meeting for those sisters who felt prompted to share their personal witness of Christ, (including my dear companion who leaves for Guam on Tuesday). Each one was different. Poignant. Powerful. I will never forget it, nor the special Spirit that was present there. These sisters are so precious to me. We are already such dear friends…and truly sisters in Zion in this wonderful work together. Made me think of my three sweet sisters at home and how much I adore and admire them.

At the end of the meeting…we were asked us to choose an aspect of our work in which the Lord knew we needed improvement. We were asked to make this a goal for next transfer (which begins Wednesday, May 1st). Mine? To love the people more fervently…and to truly “be devastated” when they choose to not accept Jesus Christ or His gospel. Don’t misread me…I have not set a goal to be discouraged…but rather to allow my heart’s capacity to be filled to overflowing with the desire to bring people unto Christ. I believe that when I have truly reached that point, (which will take work), it won’t be easy to start daydreaming about the beach when Iris tells me she hasn’t “found time” to read from the Book of Mormon. I hope to be able to establish a certain focus that I haven’t found yet on my mission. I hope to be able to sell my distracting thoughts, and discover new avenues I had never dreamed of before concerning this wonderful work. In his most recent Conference address, Neil L. Anderson brought to light the following:

We are witnessing the miracles of the Lord as His gospel is spreading across the world. All of us have a contribution to make to this miracle. The voice of the Lord shall be unto the ends of the earth. That all that will hear, may hear. It’s a miracle. It’s a miracle. Go ye therefore…and teach all nations.

This is our mission motto from Washington DC: To “go ye therefore…and TEACH ALL NATIONS.” It is such a privilege...

On a more temporal note, it is SO beautiful here. I never knew earth had so many colors. Spring is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t get enough, neither can photographs adequately portray God’s work. I had a good friend up in Rexburg one semester who said that she’d like to think that just how a husband is the provider or builder of the house, and his wife makes it a home…that likewise through Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father created this world…and Heavenly Mother made it beautiful. I believe it.

Time to run. Remember: Every member a missionary! I love you all.

Sister Graff
Mormon 9:15 …miracles have not ceased...

PS--Sorry for the delayed email. Once a year, the whole mission will attend a Washington Nationals game at the stadium in the city. It’s the one day a year we have a full P-Day, and things got pretty busy. We valiantly played the St. Louis Cardinals and lost, but it was still a wicked fun day. I’ll send some pics next week. Boys, I thought of the two of you the whole time I was there. You would have loved it! We had the chance to sing “Take me out to the ball gaaaame!” with a stadium full of baseball fans, and even made it onto the big jumbo-tron—three times! I think the camera man really liked scanning over all of section 230 because it was impossible to miss our group of white cut-off shirts and black nametags. So. Awesome. GO NATS!! 

1. Tulips... 
2. The Kortu Clan! 
3. After lunch at the Eyrings. 
4. Church.
5. Goodbye Cardalls, we'll miss you!

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