Sunday, September 18, 2016

Holy Computer Issues, Batman!

The computer in the library was giving me fits, so after multiple attempts and crying, I was unable to send my journal last week.   So this is one week late.  I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Twas a great day!
                We saw the sunrise with Sean and his mom this morning! Loved it. Sean is adorable!
                We then took our car to the shop to get it fixed up and we had to bike home which was rough. Our car will be in the shop for the rest of the week, so my legs should be flawless by the end of it haha. Jokes. Biking to the library wasn’t super fun.
              Sarah painted my nails for me while Sister Eddington wrote letters to mom and Grandbetty (I was going to write them but then she asked if she could do it for me… Since my nails were wet I said yes?). It feels nice to feel feminine and cute with painted nails since I’ll feel super sweaty and gross biking. Good times.
                Finally, we had dinner with the W's. It was pretty amazing, we planned to share one scripture with them and right before I felt prompted to switch scriptures. The message we shared made Brother W’s mother, a non-member, tear up and get super emotional and it was exactly what she needed to hear. It was amazing what the Spirit was able to do. God is so great!

                Sister E’s bike was terrible! It would basically jerk her from side to side as she was riding it, she had no way to truly control it. Which was fine while we were on mostly roads with sidewalks in Kiln Creek today, however after C’s we were supposed to bike down Denbigh which is a two lane street with no shoulder where the speed limit is 45 miles an hour. There was no way we’d risk that with her bike, so we parked at the church until we found a member who was able to pick us up. All our lessons were pretty close together in time but far away in distance and up to that point in the day we’d been basically biking as fast as we possibly could so the break was incredibly nice. We only biked around 10 miles today but biking 10 miles in one go as fast as you can vs. 17 miles at your own pace throughout the day is a major difference. Also, fitness update: I did two consecutive pull-ups today! I’m not sure how many pull-ups I can do not in a row. I’ve done three not in a row before, but usually stop there because I get bored haha. Maybe I’ll have to motivate myself to keep going to see how much stronger I’ve gotten. Though it’s kind of comical because I have to stand on a skateboard to reach the pull-up bar. #ShortPeopleProblems.
                Anyway, Yorktown is great! I’m super happy. I love Sister Eddington!
                It was a day full of service haha. We started off in the bargain box doing some service, then we went to the V’s to help them pack up their stuff for their move. While there they fed us sandwiches and chips, which was basically another meal between our lunch and dinner haha. It was a full day of eating. The S's live on her street so we gave them a visit. They gave us coke and a chocolate cupcake. It was fantastic. We then had to race home to meet Sister A, who was bringing us dinner tonight. She gave us each a shepherd’s pie, an entire red velvet cake, and a bag full of 9 peaches. The peaches are AMAZING I’m crying they’re so yummy. We both took basically two bites of the shepherd’s pie then had to save it because we were so full from all the other food we’d been fed the rest of the day. It means I’ll have meals for the next few days, which is awesome. Also, Sister A brought our monthly meal calendar and we only have dinners with members around 3 times a week the next month. So stuff like this won’t be happening very often the month of September. It was fun while it lasted though. And tomorrow, I’ll get to feast all day on shepherd’s pie, red velvet cake, and peaches. (By the way, this is the first time I’ve had shepherd’s pie and it’s pretty bomb).
                Anyway, we did so much biking today my legs and butt are dying. I can also officially do a pull-up without standing on the skateboard, and I can do 2 consecutive pull-ups too! So I’m getting more arm strength as well, which is stupendous. Makes me feel better about the cake haha. I love being in a biking area
                Elder H and Elder R are finally getting a phone that works! Since he dropped theirs in the toilet last Wednesday, the screen on their phone hasn’t been working. They haven’t been able to see who’s been texting them, or calling them, etc. Poor, poor Elder H. He’s been so frustrated, I feel terrible. Sister E got her old bike back today, though! We had to borrow a bike yesterday from Elder Alexander, one of our new zone leaders. Hopefully it’s safe to ride now.
                It was a good day. My body hurts all over, but it’s a good kind of pain. I love the work, I love Sister E, I love the people I’m serving. Life is so, so good!
                After weekly planning today we went to Sister W’s house to help her repaint some of her walls! They recently moved into their current house so she’s kind of remodeling it. The colors are beautiful, it was so much fun! And I love Sister W so helping her out was wonderful J
                After we helped her out, we biked over to Christy’s house to put sticky notes covered with hearts and scriptures on her front door for her 8 year old daughter Tatum, which was super fun. They’re such a cute family, I love them so much!
                We then did quite a bit of tracting and had a little bit of success, taught a less active lesson with Sister J, then stopped by Baskin Robins to get a milkshake on the way home. It was pumpkin cheesecake and it was absolutely delicious. Crazy to see the place decked out in pumpkins in September, though. I wouldn’t have really thought of that as being fall, but what do I know? I’m just from Arizona. We were told by President W today to get a flashlight, cash, and a full tank of gas because we’ll probably get pretty bad rain tomorrow. I’m sort of kind of super excited to see what that’s like! Another day in paradise J

                Today was my second zone meeting! The trainin was great. We just discussed the importance of setting goals as well as things that we can do to meet our goals. It definitely made me think about things I can do to set more specific and measurable personal goals. I have this idea in my head of the person I want to be when I get off my mission, but if I don’t take steps to get myself there I never will. I plan on working on that tomorrow during my personal study!
                We got two new investigators today, which is definitely a success in my book! One kept complimenting us on our modesty, and about how refreshing it is to see young women dedicating themselves to God. It’ll definitely be fun to teach him!
                Sister E and I were both in goofy moods tonight. I love when the work feels like just pure fun! If missionary work doesn’t feel fun, you’re doing it wrong.
                Anyway, I love this gospel. I know the Book of Mormon is true. The Lord knows each and every one of us, and He loves us unconditionally!

                We did service for the V's today which was super fun! We just helped them pack up some boxes since they’re moving to Williamsburg. Prior to that, we dropped of a copy of the children’s book of Mormon to C's house, as well as two copies of the Bible with major scripture events highlighted as well as our favorite Bible scriptures. It was super fun giving those to her! Fun to spend so much time making something for someone I’ve really grown to love and care about and seeing them so excited to receive them was just truly wonderful. Also, when they answered the door they were in the middle of making pottery so they were coverd with clay and it made me so happy. I hope that when I’m a mom I do random fun things like that with my children!
                We stopped  by A’s house tonight. She was a new investigator we got at the beginning of August, and we haven’t been able to meet with her since our first lesson. Well, when we knocked on her door, her husband came out and was like “Yeah, she’s not interested.” During our first lesson with her, she’d asked a question about why the Book of Mormon and Bible were both necessary and I told her that the Book of Mormon kind of just clarified the meaning of  things in the Bible. She’d asked us for specific examples, and Sister E and I both blanked. After that lesson, I spent a good 3 days of personal study time studying up on the matter. I wrote out on an index card references in the Book of Mormon to the Bible, and references in the Bible to the Book of Mormon. On top of that, I’d written out a bunch of different topics like baptism, prophets, etc. and found references in both books of scripture that teach the same principles, demonstrating how the Book of Mormon clarified some of the meaning in the Bible. After her husband told us she wasn’t interested, I asked him if he’d at least give her the notecard I’d spent so much time on. He said no. 
At that moment, my heart shattered. Rejection on the mission is tough because although I know they aren’t rejecting me personally, you develop an instant love for all of your investigators and you see them reject something that could make them happier than they could even imagine. It’s hard to see someone you love miss out on anything. On the bright side, I got to do a thorough study of the Book of Mormon and the Bible working hand in hand and that was something that strengthened my testimony of both books tremendously. If anything, I gained so much spiritual growth from meeting Angela. Though I only got to teach her once, we were able to give her family a Book of Mormon which planted a few seeds as well as study the Book of Mormon in depth in a way I never had before which made me fall in love with it all over again. Heavenly Father blesses His missionaries. Sometimes it isn’t always in the way you expect, but He knows what He’s doing! “Trust God, and believe in good things to come.”
                Church was great. Fast Sunday is wonderful J. During church, Sister H went on a rant about how much she loves me haha. She told me I reminded her of a cartoon named Holly Hobby? Some cute little Pioneer girl, I guess. She was like “you just radiate positive energy and you’re so sweet and you always wear a bow in your hair and it just makes me so happy” and I was so, so flattered! While in Yorktown, people have also told me I remind them of the girl from Casper? Not sure I ever saw that so I don’t know what she looks like. Hopefully it’s a compliment haha
                Anyway, after church we had studies. Since it was a Sunday I focused my studies on the Savior, reading about His suffering in Gethsemane. Oh it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me! How blessed am I?
                Later, we were trying to find a place  to tract when Sister E felt prompted to go to a specific street. I felt prompted to go to a specific house on that street. We walked up to the house, and a woman was just sitting outside. She talked our ears off for 30 minutes about how much she loves her family, and we ended up setting up an appointment with her for Thursday! We only had 30 minutes to tract today, and in that 30 minute period we only got to try the one house because she was so excited to talk with us. It was such a blessing, we have such a promising potential lesson now!
                Later, we had an active member lesson. I adore them so much. They’re such a sweet, devoted young family. We walked in on the dad sharing a spiritual experience he had with their children, and I couldn’t help but think about how I want to marry a man one day who seeks opportunities to share spiritual stories with his kids.
                In relief society today, we talked about protecting the family and tools we can use to combat satan’s tools. I want to make family dinners a big priority. Quality time in my family in general. Additionally, I want a big family. 4-6 kids, I think. I don’t want to be able to give my kids the best of everything, I want to teach my children to make the best of everything they have, and to be happy with the things that matter most in life. I want to have weekly family home evening, and I want to set aside daily time to spend with each child. I want a date night once a week with my husband. I don’t want to fight with my husband in front of my kids. I want to feel like equal partners with him. I want him to be my best friend. I want us to always not only love each other, but like each other. I want to not only read the scriptures as a family daily, but ponder them together and teach each other. I’m learning so much out here about what I want in my own future home. Missions are such a crazy wonderful learning experience!

                Today was a great P-day. As sad as it was to not email, it meant we had an hour and a half extra time to just relax. Though we didn’t exactly relax today haha. After doing our shopping, we went to the S's house and played Phase 10 for literally 5 hours. It was so much fun! I love card games and board games J
                It was a pretty low-key day today. Since we’re going on exchanges tomorrow, we did our deep cleaning tonight. Sister E and I got to talk about family traditions and other stuff like that. I’m pretty adamant my family will have tons of traditions when I’m older. No idea what they’ll be yet. I guess I’ll get to figure that out with my future husband haha.
                Sister E gave me great life advice today. She said the best way to know how your future husband will treat you is to look at how he treats his siblings and his mother. I’ve been learning more and more that coming from a close knit family is incredibly important to me. I want a man who adores and respects his mother.

                Exchanges are tomorrow! Sister L will be switching for a night with Sister E, putting me basically in charge of Yorktown for a full 24 hours. Although terrifying, I’m kind of actually super excited to be in charge. It’s like I get to prove myself, and my capability as a missionary. I think Sister E did an excellent job of giving me enough responsibility and treating me like an equal that I feel ready to move on from training and become a big girl missionary. I hope I learn a lot on exchanges. I hope Sister L pushes our investigators to progress. I’m nervous, but so excited for this big adventure!

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