November 4, 2013
|12:20 PM (4 hours ago)|
12:20 PM (4 hours ago)
How is everyone doing this beautiful November day? First of all, I hope someone is forwarding my emails/letters to Kortlynn and Rex. After reading their letters, it sounds like they think I don't care about them. haha Kortlynn and Rex! I do! I read your letters weekly and pray for you daily. Kortlynn, your companion sounds awesome...what faces do I make? I'm concerned haha My companion always teases me saying that I make "chicken lips" when I get focused on writing...Are there more faces I need to be aware of? Ahh! haha jk, but she must be awesome if she can pull those kind of faces. ;) Rex, it sounds like things are good in Russia. I can't imagine it being hot at all! It sounds like both of you are keeping busy and working hard. That is the way to find true joy in the mission. I've found, when I work my hardest, I am the happiest. No matter the success.
This week was crazy! The good kind! On Monday, after writing letters, Sister Nisse and I went to Maggie Moo's Ice Cream for some deliciousness and the girl at the counter happened to know some Mormons. She wasn't interested in talking, but she raved about how awesome the Mormons she'd met were. You never realize who is watching your example! We then got to go to the Kesler's family for dinner. They have 3 children. They had 4, but one of them passed away and 2 of the children were adopted. I love the family! The dad coaches football and the mom spoils us rotten. She even mentioned taking pictures of us to send to our family. Maybe next time. :)
Tuesday (Happy Birthday Kortlynn!), we had the District Leader Council where we discussed the needs of the zone and it hit me that I need to help the sisters step it up! They are working hard, but being so young in the mission, they don't know where to put forth their efforts. They know how to fill their time, but they need to know what to fill their time with. So of course, with all my knowledge and experience as a missionary. haha (Sarcasm implied) I went to help them out! I pretty much feel like a super hero most days. Okay, I need to stop. :) I truly would not be able to do any of this without the help of our Heavenly Father. There have been times when a concern has come up and something comes to my mind that would help. It definitely is not me doing the serving. I hope that I can continue to help the sisters reach their potential and to help them know how to work. The Lord is aware of what they need, and I need to live worthy of the promptings of the spirit. I'm truly striving to recognize them better and to act upon them. Mike, you were right. On my misson I am learning how to follow the promptings of the spirit better. A lady in the ward also baked us a delicious pumpkin pie! I love this time of year!
Wednesday we drove to Bedford which is about an hour drive and spent the day helping those sisters tract, work out concerns, and get pumped up. I love being a cheerleader on my mission! Who knew what I learned in high school would one day help me in the mission field! We only spent about 5 hours with them because we had to come back to our ward Trunk-or-Treat where we got to be the costume judges. It was a fantastic event and we had so many less-actives and non-members come! Of course the candy was also a huge bonus because people would save extra candy for us. I wish we had events each week to invite our investigators and members to.
On Thursday (Halloween and Steven's Birthday!) we started off the day doing service at Sister Beardsley's house. We pulled weeds, raked leaves, and cut back vines. I had to laugh because I thought about when I used to do this at home. We would have to wet the ground to make pulling the weeds even possible whereas here, we have to wait for it to dry a bit to be able to grip the weeds. Also, all they have to do is plant something and it seems like a week later it is in full bloom. It is amazing! I enjoyed getting a bit muddy and getting to work with my hands. I didn't realize how much I missed yard work. I love seeing the finished product after a few solid hours of work. So rewarding! We then went to Panera with the zone leaders for lunch to again discuss how to help the zone. We have excellent zone leaders. They are both hilarious and spiritual when needed. We ended the night with dinner at the Christley's (my family away from home). They invited us over their family tradition of soups and doughnuts before the kids went trick-or-treating. We of course did not go trick-or-treating, but instead went home to do some weekly planning so that we were safe that night.
Friday was our miracle day!!! We started off at the animal shelter, then we went to contact some potential investigators and referrals. The first referral was this super nice lady who we didn't get to talk to much because she was leaving to pick her husband up from the airport, but she told us to come back anytime! We then drove up Bent Mountain and contacted Ashley Fralin who we had formerly left with a Family Proclamation. She said she had read it and was very interested in learning more about our church. She said she only had one concern and that was polygamy! Hallelujah! We don't believe in that! haha She is so elect! We then went by the Farmer's Market for some honey (we ended up buying some goodies) but the lady at the cash register had one of our pass-along cards posted up on the wall. It was very faded, so I asked her if she would like a new one! She agreed and we ran out to the car to give her one with our phone number on it. She asked if she could have more copies to give away and of course we agreed. We are going to go back this week to see if she is interested in learning more about our church, or if she got to pass those out. We then ended the day at Sister Alarcon's house...She had brought us a Panera Fiesta! She had paninis, subs, soup, salad, pasteries, and so much more! Holy cow! Of course she gave us the leftovers, so we now have Panera for the rest of the week! I love her!
On Saturday, we had a little bit of a slow day. We got to see a few inactives and had a fantastic dinner with the Ruckers and Nancy Moorhead, but other than that many of our plans fell through...I knew we were onto something great. :) Oh funny story about the Ruckers. Brother Rucker is the 2nd counselor in our bishopric and he is hilarious! He dressed up as Doc from Back to the Future for Halloween. :) But he has this little Wiener dog for a pet named Oscar. That dog is his baby! The whole time we were there we kept saying, "The Leedle Pup" haha I wish I could record him saying it. I was hysterical! So funny! The lesson was amazing though. We taught about church attendance and about why going to church is such a blessing. We were able to have the Ruckers and Nancy's sister share their testimonies and the spirit was so strong!
Sunday was the huge miracle for the week! Oh and it was my Click Day! 4 Months! Wow...Fast and Testimony meeting went well and dinner was good with the Bohons, but with Daylight Savings Time starting, it now gets dark here around 6. Yuck! We had finished dinner and had 2 hours to contact people...in...the...dark. Not a fan. Well, we went to contact this man who apparently was baptized, but the church can't find his records. We've been trying for months to contact him, but he's a doctor and divorced, so he's gone a lot either at work or with the kids. Well, as we were walking up to the door, who should drive up?! Him! With his two cute kids! He welcomed us in and his girlfriend was there too. We told him that we can't find his records and that he will need to be baptized again. Apparently he was baptized in Bolivia at 16, but the records were never sent to Salt Lake. He is definitely a member, he knows all the lingo and I don't think someone would be able to lie that well or would want to. But, he and his girlfriend said they would love to have us come back and teach them and his two kids! He said he wants his daughter to be like us! Yay!!! A family! We are so pumped! The kids are 4 and 6, and the little boy looks like a miniature of Taylor Lautner haha They are cute family! Well, almost family! We will work on that too. :)
That was my week! Wow...Just so you know, if I didn't talk much before, I talk a lot now! Uh oh! haha I think it is funny that Kortlynn is in a culture of soft-spoken people and respect, and Rex, I'm not sure what Russian is like, but out East, in the south, people are talkative. :) I do a lot of listening on the mission and when we teach, I'm learning how to talk in a way that doesn't allow for tangents.
Sister Nisse and I get to sing in church next week and in about an hour we are going to go get our pictures taken for the holidays. A lady in another ward in the stake is taking all the missionaries pictures for free to send home... :) Fun times! Tomorrow I am driving to Charleston for the Missionary Leadership Conference and on Saturday we are having another misson conference with a 70. His name is Elder Statiti. I'm so excited! I will let you know how it goes!
Well, I'd better get going, but I want you all to know that I love you dearly. I pray for you daily and know that the Lord is blessing you. I know that I am where I am for a reason and I'm so grateful for all I get to learn each day. It is amazing the blessings that come with obedience and faith. I'm so grateful for my fantastic family and for each of your examples to me. I am seeing now more than ever how essential a family is in our Heavenly Father's plan and how important the little things we do each day make a difference in the long run. Keep on studying the scriptures as a family, pray as a family, talk, have Family Home Evening! Go to Church! The little things you do each day have a lasting effect on future generations. I want my famly to continue to be an eternal one! I don't want one person missing around the dinner table! :) Dad, Mom, Mike, Kim, Kortlynn, Chandon, Madisen, Alexa, Trace, Cody, Rhett, Alysia, Rex, Hannah, Seth, Jack, Sam, Grace, Jared, Bridget, Mason, Brigham, Steven, Kortney, Dallin, Adam, Stephanie, Adysen, Hollen, Lane, Orinda, Matt, Tammy, Gideon, Oliver, Baby Girl?... I love you all! I'm so blessed to call you family! That goes to all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandma! Have the most wonderful day ever! Phew! I hope I didn't forget anyone...I love you too! :)
Picture 1- The sisters in Bedford with my companion. The rest of the pictures were in the previous emails. :)