What shall we give in return for so much?

Wow. Where do I start? My time in beautiful Alabama has come to end so quickly and I’ll be released as a full-time missionary later this week. I’ve tried and tried to put how I feel about my mission into words but it’s just not possible.

Here are a few of the many, many things that I learned on my mission: (I had to conform to tradition haha)

1. God qualifies who He calls

2. How to drive in rainstorms

3. God gives us EXACTLY what we need

4. Telling Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision ALWAYS brings the spirit

5. How to survive a tornado

6. You can do anything with Him on your side

7.You can love anyone

8.If you can survive a southern summer you can do anything

9.There are people starving for truth

10. Cockroaches are very, very fast

11. There’s nothing like southern hospitality

12. We NEED the Book of Mormon and it was written for our day

13. Even emergency transfers are inspired

14 . God gives us EXACTLY what we need

15. Life is better when you make your companion your best friend

16. This is HIS work and He will never let us mess it up

17. The southern squish is very real

18. God hears unspoken prayers

19. If it’s good, it’s from God

20. The Bible is just as important as the Book of Mormon

21. Context in scripture is everything, you can’t take it all literally

22. Preach My Gospel is inspired

23. Covenants are everything

24. Roll Tide and War Eagle are to be taken very seriously

25. It’s a blessing to have a full set of healthy teeth

26. Christ’s atonement covers everything

27. In the south, there is literally a church on every corner

28. God is preparing people everyday

29. The light of Christ is real

30. Obedience is the first law of heaven and it’s worth it

31. I’ll never have to find another home church and that’s a blessing

32. The need for the great apostasy

33. There’s no such thing as a junior companion

34. A missionary’s trainer makes all the difference, either good or bad

35. You can break a negative cycle

36. God will always protect His missionaries

37. Bible bashes won’t get you anywhere

38. Some missionaries plant the seed and others will harvest it

39. There are good people and truth to be found in every church

40. There are way more religions than I thought

41. Things will ALWAYS get better

42. It’s important to be on time

43. A strong handshake goes a long way

44. Always avoid Birmingham and Montgomery traffic

45. The civil rights movement is still happening today

46. Listening is key

47. Always follow up

48. Music in church should invite the spirit

49. Parents must live the Gospel and set the example if they expect their children to do so

50. All callings are inspired

51. This is not just another church

52. Communication is so important

53. God is a God of miracles

54. You aren’t called to a mission, but to a mission president

55. What it means to be a true Christian

56. 6:30 am. No later. It makes all the difference

57. Nothing will ever compare to real southern BBQ

58. One person has the power to change generations

59. There is nothing better than Blue Bell ice cream

60. Speaking in tongues means something totally different in the south

61. Missions bring the most unlikely of friends

62. One of Satan’s greatest strategies is making us doubt ourselves

63. Hills are considered mountains in Alabama

64. It’s a buggy, not a shopping cart

65. A lay ministry is how it should be

66. There’s a difference between reading and studying

67. No effort is wasted

68. Never eat ribs with a fork

69. Southerners are more afraid of a little snow than they are of a tornado warning

70. "A good minute" does not mean a minute. It means a very long time

71. The witness comes after the trial of your faith

72. Southern cornbread is different than what we’re used to out west

73. Service softens stony souls

74. ABM= America’s Best Mission

75. It’s not possible to "repay" God

76. The Spirit teaches way better than we ever could

77. Knocking that last door is worth it

78. People are put in your path for a reason

79. Inspired questions are the key to effective teaching

80. It’s important to weekly plan

81. There’s a difference between being busy and being effective

82. Memorizing scriptures is worth it

83. Member trust means so much

84. You can learn from anyone

85. The missionary often learns more from the investigator than the investigator learns from the missionary

86. There’s a difference between a leader and a manager

87. First impressions mean a lot

88. What is a sacrifice now won’t be later

89. Even the rules that seem silly are important

90. Be the companion you want to have

91. God gives you trials because He loves you

92. “Y’all” is appropriate in any situation

93. God always has and always will follow a pattern

94. Gratitude makes everything better

95. God often answers prayers through other people

96. Everyone is infinitely and divinely loved no matter what

97. Jesus Christ has infinite roles and we need all of them

98. There’s no way to put a mission into words no matter how hard you try

99. Alabama is the greatest place on earth and it’s exactly where I needed to be

100. This gospel is absolutely, positively, 100%, no doubt, TRUE!

Well folks, there you have it. Thanks for staying tuned the entire 18 months. What a privilege it has been to represent my Savior and meet the most incredible people in the world. I will eternally be thankful for my mission and these experiences God has allowed me to have.

Alabama will always hold an incredibly special place in my heart. I am a better person because of Alabama.

For the last time,

All my love,

Sister Oscarson

p.s. for anyone who is interested my homecoming talk is this Sunday the 17th at 11am in Provo!

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The final week

Hey y’all!

So I’m going to send out 2 emails today so this is 1 of 2!

Well this has been a week of lasts and goodbyes. My heart is being ripped out but it’s fine. I didn’t know it was possible to love people and a place so much. It’s been like 4 days since I emailed last but some seriously crazy things have happened since then and I want to tell you about them!

Thursday we went to the temple and it was wonderful obviously. And then we had pday in Birmingham and it was the best! I love that place so much.

OKAY THURSDAY NIGHT (well Friday morning technically) at 2 am we’re sound asleep and we hear a super loud boom from outside. It woke us up and we heard another one a few seconds later. We didn’t think much of it and tried to go back to sleep and then all of the sudden there are all these light shining outside our bedroom window. We looked out and there were like 20 cops storming our apartment complex and yelling and banging on all the doors so loud. Honestly probably one of the top 3 scariest moments of my life. We got up and turned on all the lights and opened the front door and smoke just filled our apartment and we couldn’t see a thing. We were like, "literally what the heck is going on right now?" We were finally able to see and there was A CAR ON FIRE RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR APARTMENT. Like so close. So just imagine Sister Clifford and I at 2 in the morning, retainers and all, just sitting on our porch watching this thing burn and then watching the fire department put it out. Craziest thing of my life. And the best part is that the elders slept through it all and their apartment is just as close as ours.

Then Friday morning it started snowing!!! It hardly ever snows in Alabama and get this: IT SNOWED THE WHOLE ENTIRE DAY. Needless to say everyone was freaking out and in the evening it snowed super hard and we woke up the next morning and it all stuck! It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!

Saturday was our ward Christmas party and MEGAN CAME and had a great time!

Church yesterday was wonderful! I love the Prattville ward more than anything and I am SO grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve here. My heart is so incredibly full. There’s no other way to say it.

All my love,
Sister Oscarson

ONE WEEK LET’S GOOOOO

Hey y’all!

Tpday is our pday because of the temple trip! This will be a short one because we don’t have much time but I want to share a couple cool miracles with you!

We found out last week that Megan moved out of Danny’s trailer. She had been telling us for weeks how much she wants to get out of there and get away from him because he is abusive and terrible. We were really sad to see her go out of our area but also really happy that she was able to get out of that situation. Their neighbor, Marcus, gave us plates of food a couple weeks ago so we decided to take the plates back to him one day. We got there and Megan was out on the porch of where she used to live and we thought we’d never see her again! (she was there getting a couple things that she left) We went over there and had a really good talk with her! It was the most perfect timing ever. She told us that he leaving was really smooth and not a problem at all, and that’s what she was scared about because Danny always threatened her when she tried to leave. Our conversation with her brought SO much peace to us. This is so much better for her and her boys and she is now able to feel the spirit and progress! I love her SO much! I am so proud of her and the progress she’s made and I know one day she will be baptized!

Remember Rocio? The girl from Spain who knew Sister Clifford’s friend at home who we were teaching? (that story itself is super cool and crazy) Well she told us a little while ago that she doesn’t want to be taught. Through all the times we were over there we met her really cute friends who are from Mexico. Friday night us and the elders were contacting at the Christmas parade and we saw them there! We started talking to them, their parents were there too and they only speak Spanish. The elders came up and Elder Swainston speaks Spanish so they talked to him for awhile and taught them right there and they basically agreed to be baptized right there on the street corner. Literally I couldn’t even understand what was going on and I felt the spirit so strong. It was so cool. They were definitely the ones we needed to find through Rocio!

We also went to the Montgomery nativity event with Mary Ann and TJ and I LOVE THEM!!!! It was so cool and SO Christmas-y. I love Christmas. I love missionary work.

Don’t forget to keep doing #LightTheWorld!

All my love,
Sister Oscarson

Thanksgiving, 18 months, and baby goats

Hey y’all!

Wow so much happened this week! Here are the highlights:

-Going on an exchange with Sister Orchard on Tuesday. We found the sweetest and most prepared former investigator in the area book!

-Teaching Felicia and finding out what her roadblocks have been this whole time. Very thankful for the spirit, because otherwise we would never have been able to figure them out.

-Thanksgiving! We spent the morning helping our ward mission leader’s family with a cute kids fun run that they organized. We had a very southern Thanksgiving with Sister Yow and then that evening ate with the Chambers and it was the greatest day! My heart is so full!

-Saturday was my 18 month mark so that was pretty weird. I am so grateful for this time I’ve been given and never would have imagined it would be as good as it’s been! We celebrated with Blue Bell (obviously) and came home out apartment decorated by our district because they’re the best ever.

-Today we had a super fun zone activity at Jackson Lake Island (where the movie Big Fish was filmed) and literally almost brought a baby goat home with us!

Stay blessed y’all!
All my love,
Sister Oscarson


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