Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fa la la la la

We went to the funeral of the mother of a woman in the ward. The mother has been sick for a really long time. It was in a cemetery and was only 30 minutes long, very simple. I cried the whole time. I was thinking about Lana, and then about my grandparents and my parents and the others that might go before me into the next room, and I thought about how tender these relationships are to me. I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me.

This week we were office sisters. Meaning we were at the beck and call of the assistants and the office elders. We spent all day Monday helping the new missionaries around. Then Tuesday we got all 11 new missionaries to the office by 7:30 in the morning. Then we went running to the gare to get the trainers who were coming in. That is the 007 part of my job--running up and down train platforms in Europe trying to find lost missionaries--"Her train comes in in 2 minutes? Do we know which platform?!" "Elder, you have 3 minutes to get to your platform! Gooo!" "Has anyone seen Sister Smith? She didn't get off the train, and she doesn't have a cell phone--call her zone leaders and see if they have heard from her!" "The train from Dijon is en retard 20 minutes? That means he'll miss his next train. Is there another that leaves tonight?!" It's all really dramatic (not really, but maybe in the life of a missionary it is.) and all really fun.

We had the ward Christmas party this week. They asked us the missionaries to do the spiritual thought. So naturally we did the nativity scene. Because we are in the apartment with a bazillion beds, we of course have tons and tons of sheets. So we wrapped everyone up like angels and wisemen and shepherds. It's amazing how many different ways you can wrap a sheet :) Soeur Vidal read Luke 2 while I played hymns in the background. And Mary and Joseph came in, ringing a sheep bell, and asking people if they could sit by them (there was really no room, the chapel was STUFFED). And it was actually really touching. The bell made all the difference.

The wise men and shepherds threw candy out at the crowd as they were walking towards Bethlehem (and the audience loved that), and we sang hymns throughout. One of the sisters wrapped herself up in lights and was the star that went before the wisemen. The whole thing was really lovely--the perfect mix of spiritual and delightful. At the end, Soeur Vidal bore her testimony and read Ether 12:41--

And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever.

Then we all ate cheese and sausage and bread and clementine oranges.

This morning I was reading a talk by Elder Christofferson called "Redemption" I think. It was from the April Conference. He talks about the Atonement. I've never really understood when people say, "I made it through that hard time because of the Atonement." Or things like, "Apply the Atonement in your life." How does one do that exactly? Elder Christofferson says:

The Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane and His agony on the cross redeem us from sin by satisfying the demands that justice has upon us. He extends mercy and pardons those who repent. The Atonement also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure. “For behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.”

I realized when I read that that because the Savior experienced the Atonement, he knows how to succor us. Because he suffered what we suffer, he knows exactly what will help in every situation. He knows the antidote to pain, to loneliness, to confusion, to sorrow, to debt, to insecurity, to anger, to embarrassment, to mockery, to all of it. So when we experience those things, He is capable of healing us, because He has been there and He knows what we need to feel better and get better. We apply the Atonement when we believe that He can do that. Seeing the Atonement at work in your life really just means seeing the tender mercies that the Lord gives you, that are specific to you and your situation, and realizing that He is able to know how to specifically succor you because of what he suffered in Gethsemane.

I love the Savior.

Us sisters waiting for our training meeting to start. At first we weren't cold. Then we got really cold. And then an hour later the building was opened and we could go inside (I'm only early when I don't end up needing to be.)

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