Friday, July 25, 2014

"You're right where you're supposed to be"

To Kelsey's Blog followers - So sorry for the delay in posting this July 14 blog update.  Kelsey's blogmom has been traveling and just returned.  This story below is one of my favorites - I hope you enjoy it.  - Kelsey's Mom

I am grateful for each opportunity I have to write home and to reach out to all of you where ever you may be. I am grateful that my perspective on the world around me has changed so very much since I've been a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am grateful to know that each of you are family, and that you are God's greatest and most favorite miracles. Parting the red sea was a miracle in our eyes, but in His eyes the true miracle was the faith of those who passed through.  

This past week I was so inspired and motivated by the miracles I am surrounded by.  Just think--each day I am blessed to see sisters from 50 different countries and hear them speak 46 different languages. Just in May and June of this year alone our sisters have taken over 30,000 people around Temple Square and shared with them, in their native language, the blessings of the temple, the sacrifices of the pioneers, and the power of faith in the Savior Jesus Christ. (It's crazy to believe these 30,000 people that have been counted do not include those who came onto temple square without a scheduled tour...with those people added in it would easily be close to about 70,000 guests!).
With all this hard work, our mission President, wonderful President Poulsen who has truly become family to me, wanted to celebrate all of this hard work with an activity up in the mountains.  Yes, President Poulsen took us all up to Brighton's Girls Camp this past Saturday.  What may have appeared as just ropes, tests of balancing and cool tricks in the air on the zip line was really a significant glance into all the ways that life does denote that our Father in Heaven lives and cares.  He'll do anything He can to make sure each of us have these experiences, and it's through the Holy Ghost we can really take note of them. The world we live in was created for such a special purpose, and everything we do will teach us and help us to fulfill that growing purpose.

One of our favorite activities was when we were able to repel down the side of a mountain! Yes! That really did happen.  Not to worry Mom, it was a small mountain and there was lots of protection in place to ensure a safe and fun journey down the side. Sister Ordoñez and I both anxiously awaited our turn to climb down and to experience this activity.  While we waited we were asked to walk around the camp and to take pictures of all the sisters doing the various activities. There was one moment at the camp that was especially meaningful for me to see and be a part of.

Sister Xu from mainland China was next to do the repelling. All strapped up in her harness with her helmet on her head, she slowly started to inch her way back to the edge of the cliff.  Hope and excitement then turned into absolute fear.  We watched as she stepped away from the ledge, talked with the camp counselor who was giving her the best advice she could, and were inspired as her companion held her close and told her she could do it.

Once more, with a new confidence, Sister Xu took steps towards the edge of the cliff again.  She was ready for the experience, but not ready for the steps that would lead her to such an experience.  What happened next was something I will never, ever forget.  Sister Ye, also from mainland China, came over to the edge, sat down on the rock and began to speak in Mandarin with this frightened sister. Sister Xu kept her eyes locked on Sister Ye, continually nodded her head, and started to repeat what Sister Ye had been saying to her. 
With each step over and down the side of the cliff, Sister Xu repeated these few Mandarin words with Sister Ye.  With each small step, and each hand held on the rope, she continued to say these words.  Soon, surrounded by sisters from Oregon, Honduras, Brazil, Fiji, American Samoa, Japan, France and Denmark, these few Mandarin words were being repeated by each of the sisters and were ringing throughout the forest and ears of this afraid sister.

I felt the Spirit so so strongly as I saw the eyes of sweet Sister Xu become more hopeful, and a smile come across her face.  When she reached the bottom of the cliff she jumped for joy and thanked us all for what we had done for her.
As she made her way back up to us, we all turned to Sister Ye and asked what it was we had all been saying to help our sister make it down the mountain. 
"Left foot, right foot, left hand, right hand," she said," that's all we were saying."

I was struck by the simplicity of the words we were saying, yet the power that came when we all said them together.  So often I think we believe that there must be something big and eloquent to help those around us in need, but really it is taking the Savior's simple and beautiful words, and saying them with Him. It is the steps we take day by day that bring us down the sides of the mountains we each face in life.
"Each day is a day of decisions, and our decisions determine our destiny." -Russell M. Nelson.

 With the people you seek to help this week, help them in the little things.  Pray for the little steps they can take and know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will always show us the way.  Be prepared to know that the steps our Savior asks us to take are small and simple and that they lead us to become and to achieve more than we could alone with the overwhelming steps we often expect ourselves to take and make.

The gospel is true, you are all important and you all are right where you are supposed to be. Know that the people beside you are right where they are supposed to be too.  Work together :)
Sister Briggs

SHOUTOUTS: Welcome home Liz!!! Happy Birthday Lauren!!! Kate Thornock---your letter was SO inspiring and I have been able to share it with so many sisters! I love you and thank you for writing!!!Jessica Helms, Dad Layton, Sister Pickerell, Sister Opeda, Mom & Dad, Casey Briggs, The Donakey Family, Robert Donakey, I love you all! :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog. Our family has found this blog to be one of the best for Temple Square. We have been following her since our daughter received her call to Temple Square. Our daughter in one week will be meeting your daughter on the square. We are so excited and appreciate the insight that Sister Briggs has given us. Her testimony is truly appreciated.