Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Family!

Another week here in New Zealand come and gone. I am sorry but I don’t have much time today because the MacLauchlan’s are going to take Sister Bird and I to Bridal Veil Falls (google it) It should be pretty amazing. I am really excited although it will cut into my email time.
                So I have had a pretty interesting week. I have had my share of ups and downs but in the end I really enjoyed it. First of all, thank you so much for the package Mom and Grandma and I noticed that Sarah was the one that mailed it so I want to say thank you to all of you. It made me so happy and my scares are already looking better. I love my watch and my scarf and my sweatshirt and everything else that you all sent to me. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
                Sister Bird and I have had a lot of fun together and I know that we are going to find a lot of miracles together. She pushes me to be a better missionary and I am so grateful for that. There are some nights that we can’t fall asleep because we can’t stop laughing or talking. My mission so far has already blessed me with many life-long friends. Everyone says that it is really rare that there were five of us in the MTC together that all came to the same mission but I am so happy that we did. I truly love Sister Holmes, Sister McLemore, Sister Swindler, and Sister Whiting. We were all together for the first time at Zone Conference on Friday and we took that opportunity to take so great pictures with Sister Rudd. I hope that you got to see them and that you enjoyed them. Anyways I love that I still get to see Sister Swindler and Sister Holmes at the VC and I love sharing a flat with Sister McLemore. I am telling you I have made lifelong friends here. I know that Sister Bird will be the same even though we haven’t known each other that long at all.
                This week had its challenges though because we are still getting to know our area and the people there. There is just so much to learn and because neither of us has ever done this it has been a little challenging and overwhelming at the same time. The ward that we work in though is so great so that has been really helpful. I just don’t feel like we are making a difference yet and that is something that I want to work on. We have a few people that we are teaching right now but only a few of them are progressing. We are working with this one lady and she has been taught by missionaries since April and she really isn’t progressing. So our area is actually double-covered. This means that our area is also covered by a set of Elders. Anyways the elders gave the other sisters this lady and we went to visit her and she was so receptive and she invited us to come back. So we came back and at first she didn’t want to let us it which was really odd, anyways we just tried talking to her and then we were talking to her kids and she then let us in. She is single mom of 9 kids although only 6 of them are currently living with her.  When we sat down to have a lesson she just unloaded her burdens on us and we taught her the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how she can start to have a direction for her life to make things easier. The Spirit was so strong it was amazing. She was crying and she kept saying over and over again that she wanted this for her life and she promised us that she was going to come to church. We were so excited until she informed us that she decided not to come to church because she has better things to do. I was really sad but for some reason we feel like we should keep working with her even though she has done this to every set of missionaries she has met with.
                We also have an investigator with we met last Sunday when she came to church with her less-active friend. Our investigator is really great though because we taught her about Jesus Christ and how she can be forgiven of all the mistakes she has made and she was so happy. She admitted that she has done a lot in her life that she isn’t proud of and that she wants to move past and we assured her that she could. We then invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She wasn’t ready to set a date yet but we were just surprised that she even accepted our invitation to be baptized. We are a bit bummed though because we found out in ward council yesterday that she doesn’t live in our ward boundaries like we thought she did. But it’s okay because we are going to keep teaching her at her less-active friends house and then when she is ready to be baptized we will pass her of f to the missionaries in her area. As excited as I am I have to admit that I am sad that I won’t be able to count her as a baptism. I just hope and pray that someday soon I will be able to find someone and teach them from the beginning and then watch them progress towards baptism. That is a dream of mine and I really hope it comes true someday. I know that the message that I have to share can change lives and I want to see that happen for someone. I will just keep working harder and harder until it does.
                 Friday I had my first zone conference and it was so cool because we were able to have Elder Halleck (SP?) from the Second Quorum of the Seventy and the Second Counselor in the Area Presidency with us for zone conference. He taught us some amazing things. It really motivated me to be better and to lean more on my Savior because this is His work and not mine. President Rudd also shared some great thoughts. I cannot tell you how awesome he is. The more I am around him the more I love him and the more thankful I am that he is my mission president.
                Well I am sorry that I don’t really have anything too exciting to report this week. We survived another week with my driving. This week was so much better though. We didn’t even come close to dying once. Its funny though because last week it was obviously natural for me to drive on the right side of the road whereas this week both sides feel unnatural so I am constantly panicking because I couldn’t remember which side to drive on. Luckily I was able to figure it out before things got serious. I bet though by next week driving on the left will be natural and I will no longer be putting myself or Sister Bird in danger.
                Well I hope that you enjoyed this letter. I am sorry that I don’t really have anything exciting to report but after today I should have some amazing pictures to email home next week. Maybe I can convince Elder McLauchlan to send some to you tomorrow. Anyways I love all of you so much and I miss you more than anything! I love you!
Love, Maquel

Isn't my mission beautiful?



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