Monday, May 28, 2012

Flossing and the Atonement

Today I started flossing.  Its truly a miracle.  I´ll have you know that I do brush my teeth very well three times a day.  But flossing... the dread of it... Its something that I have always intended to do, I know that its good for me and it will help me prevent cavities.  But things come up and there never seems to be time right?  So I didn´t floss and didn´t floss until now.  Recently  one of my teeth just starting hurting.  Bad new bears that's for sure, especially in the middle of Argentina.  Not withstanding all the council I have received from my parents and dentists on how important it is to floss, I have prolonged my change of lifestyle for too long.  Luckily there is still hope.  Hence the change of behavior.  Starting is painful, your gums aren´t used to that little white string.  Truth be told my gums are truly sensitive right now.  However, the testimonies of others have shown me that the pain will pass.  Using the tools I have to take care of my teeth will greatly benefit my life.
Now for the analogy.  Using the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ that we might become clean is an incredible thing.  Sometimes it takes us a while to get around to it.  We know that if we repent and change we will be happier.  We have countless testimonies of this in the scriptures, in the lives of those we love and care for, and yet... we wait.  Why?  Is it easier to let that sin fester?  Maybe at first, but what happens when it becomes to big, or painful to ignore?  Is it really worth the pain?  NO, its Not!  When we truly understand what Christ has done for us, we will want to repent.  Starting the process will be painful, and things may be tender for a while, but we need to keep moving forward and develop the desire and habit of relying on our Savior.  We learn that we can´t rely on our own efforts to become washed clean of our sins and weaknesses, we need something stronger, and that is the Atonement, we need some one stronger, who is Christ.
It is easier to maintain a city than it is to retake it.  I invite you to maintain your testimony and use the atonement in your life every day.  But if its been a while since you´ve gone to your spiritual healer, and things have become to big to handle or are on their way their, don´t wait to seek that help.  Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy, and I testify that we are happiest as we repent and change.  Starting that healing process is the hardest part, I promise you that its worth it, and you will receive the strength that you need from Him.  I love you all.  God loves you. The Savior loves you.  Don´t you Ever forget Their love for You.    

smile - Hermana Milmont

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Lord's Hands

I´ve been doing a lot of self evaluation.  It´s pretty brutal, but healthy I think.  I was recently talking with my companion Hermana Alvey.  Expressing my frustration about having to repent for the same mistakes over and over.  That seems to be how it works, you have specific struggles that you never can seem to beat. 
I said ¨I just don´t want to have to bother God with the same thing every time.  I don't want to need help with this anymore¨
I think that's a pretty righteous desire.  To beat my weaknesses.  Seems like a good thing right?  
Well my comp in her infinite wisdom said ¨when you say that, do you realize what you are really saying?  You´re saying that you don´t want to need God anymore¨
Well that hit me like a train.  She was right.  No matter how much I improve, no matter how many weaknesses I defeat, I will always need my God and I will always need my Savior.  So now my challenge is to let go of my pride and put my broken little self in His hands, and Trust that He knows exactly what He is doing and will help me become all that I am meant to.  I challenge you to do the same.  Give everything to Him.  Christ says take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  We are safe in His Hands.  I love you all, but He loves you more.

smile - Hna. Milmont

Monday, May 14, 2012

¡ser รณ hacer!

So I´m pretty excited because my companion, Hna. Alvey and I will get to be together for another transfer (6 weeks) which is great because we have been seeing a great deal of progress in the area and in our companionship.  I love making goals!  I never liked goals before.  ever ever ever.  The majority of the Goals I have made in my few years have generally not been accomplished.  Despite my best efforts.  So my view on goals has been slightly jaded.  Luckily, goal setting is something that we implement in the mission field.... a ton.  Our life is all goals.  Its a beautiful thing.  Not so we can have a bunch of check boxes waiting to be filled, but because we can look at where we have been, where we are and where we want to go.  I´ve been thinking about my ¨to do¨ list and my ¨to be¨ list.  The more I focus on the ¨Why¨ for each of my goals I can see the relation between to do and to be.  Who I am and hope to become depends primarily on the things that I do.  
once said that ¨what I do depends on how I feel about what I know¨ and 
said that ¨I become the person I want to be by continually being the person I want to become¨.  Wrap your brain around that one.  I know that God has trusted me with myself.  I need to remember that each day.  I challenge you to think about who you are and who you would like to be and then make goals to grow, step by step in that direction.  I love you all.  Have a wonderful day:)  

smile - Hna. Milmont 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mothers Day

Fast approaching once more is the marvelous day wherein we celebrate the existence of the most compassionate people in the world: our mothers.  Last year I studied about a group of young men whose faith would not be shaken because of the teachings, faith, and testimonies their mothers had shared with them.  This year my appreciation for my mother has increased substantially.  I have officially been away from my mom for just over a year and let me tell you, life far from you mom is not your average cake walk.
Recently we started reading the Book of Mormon as a mission.  Each of us is reading it from cover to cover in the next 3 months.  The purpose behind this is to strengthen our testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to prepare us spiritually for the opening of the Temple here in Buenos Aires in August and its dedication in September.  I love the gold mine of knowledge, insights, and spiritual strength that I receive from reading.  We receive that same kind of strength as we visit the Temple, feeling the love of God and showing our love for Him by making promises to serve Him and keep His commandments.
Throughout the Book of Mormon there are countless examples of how keeping the commandments and making sacrifices brings forth the blessings of heaven.  In the beginning of the Book of Mormon we are given the story of a little family who are commanded by the Lord to leave Jerusalem in order to escape the pending captivity and destruction in 590 b.c. - 582 b.c. (1)
Further along in the story, the 4 sons in this family -  Laman,  Lemuel,  Sam, and Nephi - needed to return to Jerusalem to get the scriptures and records of their family.  In other words, they were called on a mission.  They experienced many growing experiences.  Learning by trial and error, making plans, back-up plans, getting discouraged, taking courage, experiencing fear, finding faith and relying on the Lord etc.  Ultimately through the trials of their faith their testimonies were strengthened.  But how did their Mother feel, not knowing how her children were doing, being so disconnected?
We as missionaries often forget that people exist at home.  Our time is dedicated 100% to the Lord and His work.  We know that our mothers and the people we love are praying for us, but time to think about that is pretty limited.  In the scriptures there aren´t many examples of mothers, but the examples we do have are precious and give us comfort, no?
In 1 Nephi chapter 5:1-9 (2)  Sariah expresses much of her worry to her husband.  Her sons are alone, its dangerous, the weather is crazy, what might happen to them, they can´t cook, they have no kind of communication, basically she is imagining the worst.  On their departure her thoughts were possibly somewhere along the lines of ¨will I see them again?¨  once upon a time I judged Sariah for being ¨weak¨ but now as I study and have a little more life experience I realize that her worries had nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with Love.  Lehi, being a supportive husband comforts her.  He says (according to my interpretation) ¨I know, you think I´m crazy for letting them go, but they were called to serve¨ and then he bares testimony that they will make it home safely.  And they do.  On their return, her loving heart was put at ease and through that trial her testimony too was strengthened.  She shares that testimony and gratitude thereby strengthening us in our faith in our Father in Heaven.
We make sacrifices in this life and receive blessings that are incredible.  Another Mother, closer to our century, is that of Joseph Smith, the prophet through whom Christ restored His church upon the earth in these latter days.  As a child Joseph contracted typhoid fever which left Him with a crippling infection in his shin.  Amputation was the accepted medical procedure at the time (aprx. 1813)  But a new method had been developed whereby the doctor would bore into the edges of the infected bone and break it out.  Hoping that the healthy part of the bone would regenerate in that area.  With this procedure, 7 year old Joseph would be able to keep his leg, which he would need later in life.  The family chose to trust in the Lord and go through with the new method. (3)
I cannot imagine the courage necessary for such a painful operation and process.  And to be a mother knowing that their child is suffering such pain.  Through her words we try to imagine the situation:  Joseph refused liquor that might dull his pain; he pleaded not to be strapped but rather held by his fathers arms; and through tears he begged his mother to leave the room, insisting ¨the Lord will help me, and I shall get through with it¨
I doubt we as missionaries are going through such pain, but if we are, we all know or are coming to know that the Lord is there.  From all missionaries everywhere : Mom, if you are worried for me like Sariah was for her sons or Lucy was for Joseph, I want you to know that I am being held in my Father's arms, He is taking care of me and on my return we will rejoice exceedingly.  Thank you for your love, patience and willingness to let me leave you for this time to serve the Lord and His children.
I know that this Gospel is true.  That through Faith in Jesus Christ we can Repent, be Baptized by one holding the priesthood authority of God, Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Endure Faithfully to the end. I will receive strength to repent and change, to go to church each Sunday, to take the sacrament and renew the promises that I made at Baptism to always remember Christ and His sacrifice, take His name upon me and keep His commandments.  Christ is my Savior and through Him I am healed.  God is my Father in Heaven, He loves me and cares for me. I know that He knows me personally.  The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored for us in our time, the Latter days, through the prophet Joseph Smith who was called of God to do so.  Through the spirit of revelation he translated the Book of Mormon.  I am convinced that through its pages we develop a love so deep for our Savior and an understanding of His teachings in their Fullness.  I have read it, pondered it and asked God if it is true.  It is! I know it!   I want you to know it too!  I invite you to take that same challenge and know for yourself.  I Love my Savior, I love His Gospel.  God answers prayers. This is my testimony - Happy Mothers day Yaya, I love you forever.
Smile - Hna Milmont.    
1. Nephi 1: 4 Kings 24 1:3