Happy New Year!

20151225_184148Hi everyone,

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!

The work was slower this week because of the holidays, so hopefully it will start to pick up again. Sister Sherwood and I have had a lot of fun, though! On Christmas Eve and Christmas day we basically hung out with members. And of course we got to talk to our families!!:) Haha everyone said it would be weird, but it was just fun:) I’m so grateful for modern technology! And then that evening we were allowed to watch a Disney movie, so we watched Tangled and sang and danced around our apartment:)

One of the sisters in the ward told us, "I got you this present. I wrapped it twice so you can both take a turn opening it." "How sweet!" we replied. When we got back to the apartment, we realized the real reason she wrapped it twice. :D
One of the sisters in the ward told us, “I got you this present. I wrapped it twice so you can both take a turn opening it.” “How sweet!” we replied. When we got back to the apartment, we realized the real reason she wrapped it twice. ๐Ÿ˜€

Yesterday we had a miracle! We had two pretty solid appointments scheduled in the evening, and they both canceled. But then this less-active girl texted us and asked if we could come over that night! So we went over, and her less-active older sister and her non-member younger brother both came in and participated in the lesson! And the sister even prayed for the first time in a long time! So everything just worked together so we would be able to see them. This is the Lord’s work, and He is truly directing it:)

So I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately since it’s almost a new year. (Can you believe it?? 2016!!) As a missionary, you make a TON of goals all the time. Daily goals, weekly goals, transfer goals. In Preach My Gospel, there’s a quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard that says:

Sister Sherwood and I bought tiny stockings. Hers is Elsa. Mine is Darth Vader playing the piano.
Sister Sherwood and I bought tiny stockings. Hers is Elsa. Mine is Darth Vader playing the piano.

“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to made a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

I love this quote! We are children of heavenly parents. We have so much potential, it’s crazy. But if we don’t do anything to reach it, we’re not going to go anywhere! We have to have something to work toward.

Goals have been hard for me throughout my life. I’ve set them so many times, but then I wouldn’t reach them. But since going to college and especially since going on my mission, I’ve been learning how to make good goals and how to work towards them and reach them. It’s really exciting! There are a few things I’m learning that I want to share:

P10109401. It’s so important to make realistic goals. If they’re not attainable, why make them? With goals you should be able to see the steps you need to take in order to reach them.

We’re teaching a woman who is discouraged because she doesn’t understand the difference between dreams and goals. She has so many dreams, but they’re pretty lofty. We trying to help her see that she can make realistic goals so that eventually she can reach her dreams!

2. You have to care about it. I’ve made goals that I didn’t really care about and guess what? Never reached them. But then I’ve had goals that I cared a ton about, like going on a mission, and here I am!

It’s really about knowing the reason behind it. I’ve never done this before this year, but for my new year’s resolutions I’m writing down the reason for each of my goals. I think it will help!

Our Christmas decorations! :)
Our Christmas decorations! ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Be accountable to someone. Tell them about your goal, and check in with them periodically.

This makes it sooo much easier because sometimes you let yourself get away with things that someone else wouldn’t let you get away with:D It probably should be enough to just be accountable to yourself and Heavenly Father, but I know that for me, I usually have to have someone else too.

So those are some of my thoughts about goals! I know that we can be the people we want to be, but we have to make goals to get there. And our Savior will always be there to help us. There’s the part of the Atonement that means we can be forgiven of our sins, but then there is another part called the enabling power of the Atonement. That means that Christ made it possible for us to grow and to get stronger and to learn. He made it possible to change! In Mosiah 5:7, King Benjamin taught his people that a change of heart comes through faith in Christ. He’s made it possible for us to reach our full potential.

I hope that all of you have a happy new year and that 2016 is full of joy! Thank you for your support:) I love you all!

Love,
Sister Stratford

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