Oiiiiiii Minha Querida Familia!!!
I feel like a poser when I write that now because I'm still in Arizona haha! But it's okay!! I received an email saying "they continue to work on the established procedures for obtaining a VISA" and 3 other sisters from my MTC Zone are in Brazil now!!! SOOOO it's okay! I'll get there when I'm needed. wooh. haha.
Soooooooo first of all, I received letters from the Garrett’s, Skinner’s, and Bertagnolli's and wanted to thank them for their continued love and support! Those letters about life back home and what's going on and how everyone's doing are so great! I love getting glimpses of the real world haha. That is soooo exciting about the soon-to-be missionaries! I can't wait for them! It's going to be an amaaazing, yet suuuper difficult, experience. How exciting!!! I am still learning just how hard this work is, yet so gratifying! It's the weirdest thing. A real roller coaster of emotions sometimes. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that it's all inspired. I'm here at this time with these people for very specific reasons and so all I can do is find those things Heavenly Father wants me to learn while I'm here. I love what the Bertagnolli's said about how this is the one time in my life I can say for a surety that I am exactly where Heavenly Father wants me to be, when He wants me here, doing exactly what He wants me to be doing. What a comfort. D&C 121:7 or 8 I don’t remember. But this has been a shining scripture for me during the hard times. I should have it memorized by now but dang. it's something in the gist of Be of good comfort for thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. or something... look it up haha. homework :) … But yeah, this scripture helps me so much just helping me remember the eternal perspective. this is all just a tiny dot in my life and yet if i endure well, it will be for my huge benefit and there's nothing I will sacrifice here that won't be made up for. And boy, are there some lessons I'm learning now!
The new companion is still pretty tough. A lot of it is getting a little better cause we had a bigggg talk. Ugh I hate talking... communication is hard. But it's good cause it does help a lot haha. So we're working a little harder so that's good. And we're working together better. I just need to suck it up and stop being so prideful haha. I have the hardest time "picking my battles" as Mom and Dad would say. Just all these little insignificant things will bug me beyond reason because she is that type of girl who I would never be able to deal with for more than a few minutes. So I have to kind of breathe a bit and think about if it's really worth it. Patience is a biiiiiig thing I’m learning; patience and really just "picking my battles". Soooooo this will be another great lesson to learn! :) What a blessing haha.
The harder part of a mission is the fact that now that I'm also forced to see all of MY flaws and weaknesses and all the bad qualities in me: my pride, my judgemental-ness, my impatience, my slowness in forgiving, etc. I could go on, but basically the charity I've fasted and prayed for since last year in college has slowly come in bits but I never knew how far off I was until I came on a mission. But now that I can see all my flaws and weaknesses, I have to change them. It's a hard, painful process but really, I feel like this is what a mission does for people. This is why so many RM's come back a whole new person. They are forced to see these things and decide whether or not to change them. I definitely want to. But that's my nature and as Elder Jepsen said, the only way to change my nature is by changing my will to His will. I need His help to change my nature. and that's the hardest part for me at this time.
So last Tuesday, we got to go and see Elder Neil L Andersen and President Callister! They were amazing. Man, it was for two missions. Every missionary in the Nevada Las Vegas and Nevada Las Vegas West missions! It was amazing -- Just feeling that spirit and the combined spirit of every single missionary there. I love missionary gatherings because you can feel that spirit exponentially stronger!! That scripture about having 2 or more gathered together in His name, there His is also. It is definitely so true and it's always the best experience. That's why Church is so important for everyone!! For members and nonmembers alike to go and to get to FEEL that difference is so important. Oh, and I got to shake hands with an apostle!! How coool! haha.
Oh, yeah haha basically he talked about having that real personal relationship with the Savior, like Keilyn said before I left. Also how missionaries need to stay in their areas longer! so we can bond and get to know the people -- the members, non members, so we can have that bond and allow that bond to bring in more referrals as well as better, stronger investigators in their beginning stages of investigating the church. It makes sense cause even in my area alone, the tons of changes so far. I came in, then Sis Jensen-Coon left and Sis Roberts came in. They barely know ME and now there's like 2 new sisters. Then I'll leave when I get my Visa and it'll be 2 new sisters again! Within 3 transfers or whatever. so yeah, it's been a little hard with the members especially and the new investigators. But we'll see how it works.
I got the package! OMG! I feel sooo bad!! I didn't want real toms! :( no waste money on that! I feel bad. theyre pretty expensive! Buy Emily's new ones from online somehwere cheaper haha. sorry. I just don't want to waste money on missionary stuff that will get used to the ground in some months. but thank you so much anywayyy!! and omg!! so much good stuff! Haupia!!! So excited hahahahh and HiChews mmm!! I feel bad cause Sis Jensen-Coon requested that one but she's not here anymore! moa foa me!!! heheh. and the district of course haha. Maybe. Well and the journal! is soooooo nice! wow! What a beautiful journal. I can't get over it. so cute! and thoughtful!!! Please thank her so muchhhh for me!!!
Ps. there's been some trouble with my MSF money here cause I'm a Visa waiter so I don't get my own card and it's just put onto my companions card but since Sister Jensen-Coon got moved, she still gets my money and not my new comp so now I have no MSF with me and it's been complicated and for some reason it’s still not moving over! I called last week when we first realized it was messed up and thought it would be taken care of this week, but we just checked again and it's not sooo I might have to use my own money again. so yeah, I might have to use my debit card again. Sorry. I'm calling the office today again, but it most likely won’t transfer over until next week!
Heyyyyy Dad! I met Sister Smith!! I met her at the conference thing with Elder Neil L. Andersen and we talked and she was laughing cause of our strange connection! [My father was Sister Smith’s father’s first companion and trainer in Japan many years ago]. She's awesome! We talked a lot after the conference but we don't have a ton of time to talk but she's really cool. She said you added her on FB and told her to add me when we were both in Provo! How random! We're now in the same mission and shared a companion. haha. She keeps saying "say hi to KEN!" haha! so funny.
PS. I got to eat BEAR here!! Idk if I told you already but I’m so excited hahahah! It was a bear someone hunted and butchered into sausage. It was suuuuuper good! omg! So weird! There are a lot of hunters here so I asked them, the Burgess family, to feed us snake. hehehe. He said he would. He said “If I catch and cook a snake, will you eat it?” … and I said YES. idk if I told you all but my secret goal on my mission was to eat snake. I thought it would be in Brazil, but hey, I'll take some rattlesnake in AZ! woooh!!! hahaha. I'm so excited.
Anywayyy. Quick update on Helen. I just wanted to tell you all how amazing she is. 93. still living alone and cooking and doing her thing. She is almost completely blind and deaf, but her mind is 100% there. I love her so much. She just WANTS to die, but we've been teaching her and telling her there's a reason she's still here with her entire mind. She is amazing and I never feel the spirit so strongly than when I'm teaching her. She thinks so deeply about things and has been able to receive another answer. "wait." This was most likely because she had previously made the decision to be baptized Lutheran this Tuesday because she wants to be baptized but is scared of immersion. We explained the priesthood again and why it isn’t the same with the Lutheran church. We talked about how the adversary works because she gets super sick when she decides to go to church and so she hasn’t made it there yet. She is considering this very much and we had the elders give her another blessing. I've never prayed so hard for someone in my life. Her and the Pherigos. I just KNOW how important this gospel is and how amazing it can be for them and I just want nothing else for them, but the very best. I always cherish my Pday time and what not, but she said she might come with us to a tour of the church building today and the first thought was its Pday! But then I realized that the spirit in the church can be the key to helping her recognize that answer to her prayers and accept the gospel. Then I realized that I would give up every Pday for the rest of my mission for her and the Pherigos and all our other investigators to recognize the truth of this gospel. To accept it into their lives and finally receive that peace and allllll the blessings that come with it. Helen is my emotional rollercoaster investigator … the most strenuous exhaustion after each visit but I know it will all be worth it. She admitted herself she just needs to stop fighting God's way cause she's so stubborn but she knows it's true. It's the recognizing the answer, what she already knows that's the hard part.... and she keeps dismissing the feelings she gets after a couple of days. Satan is powerful, but prayers and the spirit, Heavenly Father, is so much more powerful. Like you said, Dad, the answers usually come in the final quarter, after the trial of our faith.
I am so grateful for all the letters of encouragement and support You sent me. I have never had a harder week of my life and those letters of advice and stories from your missions have helped me soooooo much … beyond words. Just remembering that I'm not the only one having to go through hard things and that it can always get harder, haha, has helped me so much. Thinking positive, leading by example, putting my pride on the altar of sacrifice. I want to thank you all sooo much! You have no idea how much you all help me. My Heavenly Father KNOWS how much I needed such a strong family and ward and friends supporting me through this time … and I am so grateful, because I know I could never do it without you all.
Love you all SOOOOO much!!!
Amo Voces muiiiiitoooo!!!
Ate a proxima semana!!!
BTW, We don't know what's biting us cause maintenance came in and checked and said it's not bed bugs! But we moved to the spare room in our apt and slept there with sleeping bags from members and then cleaned our sheets. And got no other bites. So we went back and slept in the clean sheets and i got alll bit up on my arm. and now a few on my legs but now it's like less and less. Idk though..... sooo yeah we'll give it another week see if i still get bites, if not its all good. sis Roberts doesnt have any sooo idk! weird cause she's sleeping on sis Jensen-Coon's old bed where SHE got all bit up begining of last transfer. THEYRE TRAVELING BED BUGS AHH!! update next week haha. Love YOU!!!<333