Monday, July 18, 2011

Both my wonderful trainers-Sister Davis and Sister Allison

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New companion-Sister Allison from Lester England

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The Character of Christ

I am so obsessed with my new companion Sister Allison. We are already bonded and working together with such unity! It is such a blessing. She is a very strong missionary and natural leader. I love learning from her and I am begging to better understand how I can be myself in the work. We have a blast. Summer here in England seems to be over. We enjoyed it while it lasted (a week). The heavens are opened and they are POURING DOWN upon us. Literally. But I feel right at home :). This week has been one of great humility and new perspectives. I have been trying to focus myself entirely in doing what the Lord wants me to do and not what I want to do. As a missionary it is very easy to see your personal flaws, the Lord does not hesitate in bringing them to your attention so you can CHANGE. However it is very easy to get caught up focusing too much on ourselves, thinking I need to improve, I need to know more, I need to speak more simply, etc.. Something I am learning, as we reach outward and focus on lifting and developing others, THAT is when we learn and grow the most ourselves.
Belle Spafford General Relief Society President said:
The Lord's call "Follow Me" comes to us this day, as truly as it came to his early disciples...His work must go on. It's progress depends upon the strengths we lend it. Each of us is called to a particular work because of some strengths we posses. It is our responsibility to accept His calls, to grow in His service to such stature that our weakness and our limitations will not impede the progress of His work. We must not be so sensitive to our shortcoming that we fail to recognize and MAGNIFY our STRENGTHS. As we magnify our strengths our weaknesses will diminish.
As I have pondered the idea of magnifying our strengths to diminish our weaknesses I have refocused my study to the character of Christ, the ultimate example of strength in righteousness.
Elder Bednar said:
Character is revealed, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; in the ability to detect hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus, character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward.
Jesus Christ's character was/is the perfect example. The perfection of His character is what we are trying to become. Before my mission I thought of "Sister Lovell" as a character or role I was preparing for. I got a costume and lines to remember as if I would be "acting" as a representative of the Lord. But now I see so much clearer that as I not only learn about Christ but try to truly KNOW Him, only then can I become more Christ-like.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He is my brother, and suffered for me in a way that is incomprehensible. I desire now to know Him, his character, his motives. I desire to love people as He did, so unconditionally and selflessly. This transfer I am committing, with more resolve than ever before, to myself and to Him, to study, to pray, and to act as He would. Not only because I want to look like a missionary outwardly, but because my conduct, countenance and character should reflect my divine calling as a representative of Him. I share this commitment with you to increase my level of accountability. I know that as we show Heavenly Father our dedication in following through, only then can He assist us (we could all use more of that help).
I invite anyone reading this to join me this week in focusing your study on the Character of Christ, who He is, and what he has done for each of us.
As we study Jesus Christ more we can better know Him. I know that that this is His gospel and it is true. I know that it has been restored on earth today by Joseph Smith. I know that it is true because I see and feel His power everyday. Any doubt of truth I ever had is gone. It is not true simply because I want it to be or hope it is. I know it is true from the miracles I see everyday. From the clarity that the Holy Ghost brings to me when we align our lives and actions with God's will. I pray that all those who are doubting will just take the time today, right now, to read the Book of Mormon. Study it out in your mind and pray. Plead with the Lord for clarity, for discernment, acknowledge your mistakes, repent, plead for forgiveness, then let the love of the Lord heal you.
Spiritual knowledge is power. Focus on the things that matter, don't dwell on the details that are irrelevant to your salvation. When you have questions take them right to the source. When we are not praying we cannot receive answers to the questions that cause us to doubt.
I love this Gospel, I am honored to serve and represent our Lord and Savior.
I pray that all of you have a beautiful, spirit-filled day and truly ponder Jesus Christ's example.His purpose is to give us hope. 

I love you family, I feel your prayers, they give me strength and comfort each day- keep smiling!

Love always,
 Sister Lovell

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Day of Miracles and a Transfer

I forgot to tell you that this week, the week of transfers, we have P-day on Wednesday!

TIME FLYS! A few days ago I realized I have already been out two months. It feels like two days, yet I feel like I have always been Sister Lovell-haha. You know you're a missionary when you dream about testifying in the street! (Regularly). This week I just wanted to share a quick tidbit since we only have only a few minutes to write you and President!

This week I learned more about the power of prayer and faith in large numbers. Let me explain. Our zone, meaning all the missionaries in the Greater Manchester area, were given a special weekly focus from the zone leaders. We were to put special emphasis on "Forever Finding" which means speaking to EVERYONE we can. To do this, they set a goal for us to have 800 QGCs (Quality Gospel Conversations- teach a principle, testify and invite for an appointment) with 400 appointments set and 100 new investigators. This meant that as a companionship we would have to be having 80 QGCs/40 appointments/10 new investigators EACH. It seemed quite hard to do but we all accepted the challenge. By Friday night Sister Davis and I had 29 QGCS /3 appointments/ 2 new investigators. We were not pulling our share at all. And we were feeling very discouraged. We prayed so hard that night before we planned for the next day that we would have a miracle and be able to find enough people to help fulfill the goal set by our leaders. WE knew that they had been divinely inspired to set that goal and if we had enough faith as a zone we could reach it. When we woke up on Saturday I felt a stirring in my soul, an urgency that I have not yet experienced. I was itching to get out the door. Most of our plans had been dedicated to finding (street contacting) and we met the day with excitement and untapped potential.

Let's just say the Lord was on our side! When we went in that evening we had had 53 QGCs set, 7 appointments, and 1 more new investigator. Our weekly total was 82 QGCs/ 10 appointments/3 new investigators. A true miracle! That day was incredible. I know that when we show the Lord we have the faith to find people who are ready for the Gospel He delivers. He just has to see that we are trustworthy. He has to see that we know the importance and urgency of our message. It was an honor to be utilized in the Lord's hands and truly see that this is His work. There are ready souls everywhere, we just have to have the spirit with us to be guided correctly.
Our Zone surpassed the the QGC goal and fell within 10 of reaching the appointment and investigator goal. There is great power when faithful missionaries pray for miracles. I know the Lord delivers when we pray with real intent, real intent meaning we INTEND to DO what He tells us. :) I love this work. I'm developing new muscles in my face from smiling 24/7.. It's brilliant!
OK... so now about Transfers. Sister Davis has moved on! I really miss her already but I have been blessed to have a great new companion to follow-up train me. Her name is Sister Allison and she is from Nottingham. Her accent is AWESOME. I will practice:). She was just made a Senior companion to work with me but EVERY sister in the mission says I'm lucky. I can tell why already, she is so organized and personable. The first things she wanted to know, "When can we meet with the Bishop?" and "Who are you teaching?" I know that we are going to have a miracle transfer together and I cannot wait to report back on it.

As I said I am well and SOOO HAPPY!!
Thank you for your prayers I feel them everyday
I will be on again Monday!

Sister Lovell

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Photos

 Sister Davis and Sister Lovell- Zone Conference
 Beans on toast! (Love her)
 Our District
Paul's baptism 7-2-2011
Helping Hands Service Project

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I was once told that there are three reasons a missionary is called to an area. First, there are people in that area who need to hear the Gospel from that missionary. Second, the missionary is sent to the specific Mission President and his wife. Third, they are called to an area which will develop them in a way that once they return home, the specific skills learned can benefit the growth of the Church in their home ward/stake/region. Based on my limited experiences, I wholehearted can see this is to be true!

This week my understanding of the importance of working with church members has grown stronger. We had a baptism this week, (Paul McNulty), our first one whilst working with our new ward mission leader, Brother Daniel Chester. Because of Brother Chester's attention to detail and following up, we had over 50 members of the ward to support Paul on his big day. Never in my life have I felt of such love and ward unity. We decided to have a short testimony meeting as we waited for Paul to change. The spirit engulfed the room. All those in attendance were lifted and edified by Christ's love and approval. That night showed me the potential of this area. I know that the Lord magnifies us. He makes us who He needs us to be. I know that no matter how imperfect we may be as long as we are exactly obedient and give the Lord all we have to give, He always makes up the difference. Sister Davis told me she had never gone to a baptism that ran so smoothly and it was all because the ward rallied together to welcome him with open arms and help in anyway they could. It was a dream. The way 'Preach My Gospel' teaches how a ward should interact with its new converts IS WHAT HAPPENED. It was beautiful and everyone in attendance was touched by the love of Christ that night.
I know more powerfully than ever that the Lord's hand is in all things.
There have been times in my life where I called things coincidence but each day I am here the fog is more lifted. There are forces of God and evil all around us. We, as a world, have become more and more numb to both sides. We need to be more aware of the good and the bad. We cannot be complacent with the gray. It's important to not get comfortable with the easy, comfortable, or "socially acceptable". I do not want to be numbered with those who were comfortable. Each day I am working to get COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE. I promise you and the Lord that I will push harder each day to discern Light from dark and invite others to do the same. We are here to bring ourselves and others we know to the light.
Pray to find that person that needs you today and lift them.
I know the Lord will only bring the people who are searching to us when we show him we are trust worthy.
We must DO all we can to BE worthy.
I love my family, I love this Gospel. I love this mission. Wow, do I love this mission. I LOVE THIS WORK AND PEOPLE.

Sister Lovell