Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello All- Sister Milligan (Shannon)

Hey, everyone!
     I'm doing good right now. Only three days left of my 2 week short-term mission!

    Today, Monday(p-day; preparation day), we're going to watch a movie called "Ephraim's Rescue"....which Sister Boyer has a small role in. :D Also, we're going to have cinnamon rolls while watching it, thanks to Sister White's hard work over the past couple of nights and this morning. (Sister White and Sister Boyer live with us, but are serving in the other ward.)

    Last night was kind of hard. I broke down and cried because of stress, homesickness, and feeling kind of overwhelmed. After talking to my dad on the phone about it, I prayed to have the strength to open up about it to my companion. After that and taking a breather, I finally just told my companion, Sister Gruwell. She was so sweet and helpful. We just sat and talked about what I was feeling until I finally felt better. Then she gave me a copy of a booklet about adjusting to missionary life. Reading it is helping.

    After that, we went contacting (handing out flyers to get people to come to church or English class) at the train station. That also helped me feel better. We handed out 48! The day before we handed out 60 though haha.

   Even though parts of it have been hard, I'm grateful to have been given this oppritunity. I know it is helping me improve in so many things and is teaching me so many things. I know the Lord has truly blessed me thoughout all of this.

   Oh, also, I have also been figuring out how to share the gospel with 3 of my friends! :D I'm excited to get started once I get back.
   I'll be back on Thursday afternoon (Wednesday night for those of you in the U.S.).
   I love y'all and miss y'all! I'll talk to y'all soon.
    Shannon Milligan

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Re: Dear Sister Milligan

Dear Sister Milligan,
I know with all my heart that as you pray to the Lord when your in struggle the Lord will answer you. Turn to Heavenly Father in prayer! As I have experienced myself when serving a short-term mission I was taught it was important to let my companion know how I felt, even when I thought it would be hard to do so. It's actually not hard, it's great letting your companion know your feelings, and it's like talking to a best friend. Your companion will help and guide you, remember we are human it's okay to express are feelings. In a book called "Missionary Miracles: Stories and Letter from the Field" there is a great example of a sister missionary expressing her feelings;

"The Best Day I've Had"
Brazil Belo Horizonte-Mission

This last week was truly a great one. Things have been pretty frustrating the last little while, so we had a meeting with the elders in our ward about how we can turn this place around. Our meeting ended with a desperate prayer to our Heavenly Father to help us and guide us to be able to help this ward grow.
I think the next day was the best day I've had on my mission so far. We went out to the “end of the world” for a couple of discussions with families there. The first discussion was with a family we've been teaching for a few months. The mother has a testimony and wants to be baptized, but the father has been very hard-hearted because of their financial problems and thinks that God has abandoned him. They also have had problems with their marriage due to the financial stress. The father had to go to work for his father—four hours away on foot, in the middle of nowhere. When we got to their home, he had returned from work as a completely different person. He told us that he now trusts God and has faith that God knows what’s best for his family.
After that we went to our next appointment. The husband has already heard the discussions twice and has really changed but always has some excuse not to be baptized. Right now his excuse is that he doesn't know how to pray correctly, even though he has a testimony and goes to church every week. We gave a lesson about the Savior’s sacrifice and asked him to choose someone to pray for us. He hesitated, and his wife asked him again to choose someone. He turned to us and asked if he could say the prayer. We quickly agreed and bowed our heads before he could change his mind. It was a beautiful prayer. He cried, his wife cried, we cried, everyone hugged, and we left in complete awe of the spirit we had felt.
Well, if that wasn't enough for one day, we had planned to visit a family who had been taught by some other missionaries but hadn't yet been baptized. When we got there they were excited to see us. The mother cried as she told us that she had been praying for God to send us to them.
My companion and I couldn't do a thing after that. We just sat by the edge of a dirt road at the “end of the world” for about thirty minutes and thanked our Heavenly Father for the changes we had seen. Everyone always asks if we ever get homesick—yes, I miss you all, but I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be here and to be able to witness so many miracles, even something as simple as a prayer. Don’t ever doubt it; don’t ever forget it.
Love you,
I hope this story helps and up-lifts you! It has done so for me many times in the past, for that I'm grateful.
We're truly proud of the accomplishments you've made and that your coming to learn the language easier. As you continue to pray to Heavenly Father that your tongue might be loosened, practice speaking to and teaching others, I'm sure the Lord will strengthen your language skills. 

The Family

P.S. Elder Boyd's companion Elder Chen asked dad if you sent pictures to us, dad said no. However, now he's thinking ya'll have taken some crazy pictures at ya'lls zone meeting. haha

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Enduring Struggles

When a situation arises whether it is adult rivalry, your boss telling you that you need to work hard, or a child miss behaving at home, we all at some point in our lives have these struggles. But...what do we say, what do we do, and how do we feel? Some of the times we exploded to the point of physical and or mentally harming ourselves and or others.

In a speech called “Big Issues” of Faith, Family, Religious Freedom, Elder Jeffery R. Holland says, “Regarding religious freedom, it’s important to give faith the freedom to flourish, because humans have both the ability and the responsibility to make choices with the hope — indeed, the confidence — that we will ultimately choose that which benefits the individual and the larger society in which those individuals live.

Faith, family and freedom are big issues inextricably linked with the hope and promise of democracy. And they are intertwined, interlinked, and interlocked so tightly that when one of them is struck, the other two are damaged; so that when one of them is cut, the other two will bleed.”

I suggest you all to watch and deeply ponder this video, then apply these things to your own lives and also strive to do the righteous things advised. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sister Milligan: Hello Family

My younger sister is currently serving as a short-term missionary, she'll be back next week.

   I just wanted to send y'all a quick email to let y'all know how everything's going.
Last night my companion and I went with the elders to have dinner at a member's house. We had hot pot. The food was good, but most of it was sea food, which of course I didn't eat because of me not liking it. I couldn't understand about 90% of what was being said and didn't get much translation, so I felt a little awkward out of place. It's was nice to have at least gone though.

I obviously went off of my "diet" of eating healthy foods. However, once I finish the short term I'll probably go back on it because my stomach hasn't been feeling the best, but I have to make do with what we have to eat.

I've continued to exercise daily, except on Sunday's of course. I kinda miss dancing along with Just Dance though haha, but I'm trying to stretch my muscles more and definitely working out my legs by riding around on a bike. I've been coming home tired each night because of all the riding, but I've been sleeping really well because of that.
Today, Monday, is windy, so it might be a little harder to ride around. :/ I'll try my best and jia you! (refuel; add gas; go; etc.) This evening we're having dinner with the district (4 elders and us 4 sisters that all meet in the same church building). I'm slightly nervous about that. Tomorrow we have a district meeting.

The past few days have been kinda hard, and I've honestly been close to giving up, but Sister Gruwell has helped me and been very patient with me. I'm so thankful to have her as my companion. Seeing y'all yesterday also helped.

Momma and Daddy, I love y'all so much, and I thank you for your encouragement.

Kenzie, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for letting me use your shoes! They're the only ones that seem to work for both riding my bike and walking (and running when necessary). My new shoes and old shoes worked well for riding, but not walking. The new shoes gave me blisters, and the old ones were like trying to walk around in flip-flops....and they're flats. Oh, also they pantie hose you got me didn't fit like at all. They were too short and too small. I tried putting them on, and I ripped a hole in them before I could even attempt to get them all the way on because they were so small. I couldn't help but laugh when that happened. :D

Heavenly Father has really been blessing me with strength to continue, get through the day, and to ride my bike haha.
There's more that I can write about, but I can't think. Bleh!
I miss y'all and Ricky! I love y'all!


P.S. Please send this around to family, friends, and ward members. *hugs and kisses