Saturday, July 15, 2017

Grace and Cooking

             Our amazing district leader, Elder Mancer, is inspired!  He asked us to do a 5-minute presentation at district meeting on stress reduction.  Did you know there is an entire booklet for missionaries titled “Adjusting to Missionary Life” that is all about types of stress you can feel on a mission and how to manage it?  (We didn’t!).   Little did he know how important this little assignment was for me.  
 As I studied the booklet I decided that cooking was my biggest stress (big surprise to no one!) and that it fell under the category of “intellectual” stress : )  For the missionaries this refers mostly to the stress of learning a new language.  For me it was needing to learn the language of cooking here in the Netherlands.  This included 1) no one-stop shopping…which store has what;  2) stocking up since  most everything is in very small quantities; 3) fresh

food goes bad fast; 4) converting imperial measurements to metric; 5) figuring out substitutions for our American recipes; 6) the inadequate oven; and 7) dealing with a refrigerator only big enough to hold the makings of one large meal…..frequent shopping.   I thought back to the first few months we were here and remembered going to bed on Sunday nights and lying awake nearly the whole night worrying about the food we were responsible for in the coming week! 
Over the last 11 months I have learned this new language.  Without realizing it I had used the tools in the booklet to adjust to my missionary life.  I use the very important “weekly planning session” (Preach My Gospel pg. 147).   I use the concept of the “missionary daily planner” in my own way.  I don’t go to bed on Sunday night without writing down all the menus I need for the coming week, along with the necessary shopping lists.   And now I sleep on Sunday nights!

I have learned to ask for help (Sister Hill has gone home to Utah but she still lets me call her.  And I can always depend on Emily for great ideas!).   
                A few days after our little presentation in District Meeting I stood in the kitchen, making my own cream of chicken soup so I could then make green chili chicken enchiladas to take to Den Bosch institute.  At that moment, I realized I was feeling happy, competent, and content. 

                A week or so later I gave a lesson on grace in one of our institute classes.  We discussed what grace means, and drew a diagram illustrating what the Savior does for us, what we need to do to receive grace, and the blessings of grace.   We read in D&C 50:40 that increased knowledge is a specific blessing of grace.   In that moment, as I studied the diagram we had drawn, the Spirit testified to me that I had indeed received His grace.  I know cooking isn’t a necessary skill for exaltation : ) but it is so very important to me on our mission.  And He knew, and after all I could do, He made up the difference helping me gain the knowledge I needed to succeed with our assignments.  I love Hebrews 4:16….
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”   I testify that we can “find grace to help” when we need it.  I have.


  1. I love the lessons you have learned and how you're applying them in your mission. You continue to inspire me everyday.

  2. This is so fantastic! You are an inspiration and I love you so much!! He helps us with everything...even with cooking! 💗💗💗