Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dear Family,

I love Mondays because I love emailing all of you. Thank you to everyone that sends me emails. It really makes my week. I'm sorry that I don't send any hand written letters it is just that the postage is so expensive here. I hope that no one is offended. 

Anyways I had another great week here on my mission. I honestly love this country and the people here. You have to meet them because they are the best. The members are so sweet and they take such good care of us. They know that when they help us they get blessings so they are always bringing us food or taking us to do our shopping. It really is great. I have found a few families that I click the most with and I love visiting them. We really have a lot of fun. Because we have mostly members in our area we visit them A LOT. So we decided to start making better use of these visits instead of just stopping by to share a scripture. Sister Whiting made these cards that we give out when we visit the members and it has a picture of Jesus on one side and then on the other there is a place for them to write a missionary goal for their family and then the date that they are going to accomplish it by. The response to these cards have been great. This one 10 year old girl brought her non-member friend to church and we taught her a lesson in primary. Another family brought their in-active friend up to the VC and he watched the Joseph Smith movie and afterwards he told them that he wants to work towards coming back to church. We then got a call last night from the same family saying that the in-active man wants to bring his non-member friend up to the VC for a tour and to watch the Joseph Smith movie. I am so happy that some of our work is paying off. 

We are still struggling with some of our investigators though. We haven't seen the 13 year-old girl since her grandma cancelled her baptism a few weeks ago and so we are starting to get really worried. It has been school holidays here the past few weeks and so the girl was up visiting her mom and her grandma just hasn't gotten her back home. I don't want to be negative but I am starting to doubt whether or not she will get baptized. Our other investigators are at a cross roads right now and it remains to be seen whether or not we will keep teaching them. The wife who is the investigator really wants this but her husband who is less-active just doesn't want to change right now. So even though the wife wants it she won't do it without her husband. We have a lesson with them tonight and I am praying that we can teach them in a way that the spirit can really touch them so that they will begin to make those necessary changes in their lives. But the situation with this family is really complicated because the investigators sister lives at the house too and she is less-active. Now this sister has a non-member friend who also lives at the house and we started teaching her this week as well. But the hard thing is that the less-active friend has some really hard feeling against the church right now and so we are trying to pull our investigator one way and she is trying to pull her the other way. The thing is that the less-active girl is sixteen and she developed a crush on one of the missionaries that baptized her earlier this year. Then I guess after she was baptized the missionaries moved on and she felt abandoned and betrayed by the missionaries but it was more serious because she was in love with one of them. So now she is just really bitter and she says that she will come back to church in a few years. Its just hard because her friend is really interested and she lights up every time we teach her but we have a hard time getting in contact with her because of the friend. Wow I know that is really complicated but we are told not to use people's names in our emails home. Sorry. But hopefully over time we can help both girls find the happiness that they are looking for. 

I ate brussles-sprouts for the first time this week and they weren't as bad as I had always imagined. I was really scared when I saw them on the table but I ate them and I survived. Thank you for also making me eat beats when I was a kid because they eat a ton of those here. The food here however isn't as weird as I thought it would be. We eat a lot of mashed potatoes and shepard's pie and other things like that. I haven't had anything too crazy yet but we'll see what the future has in store. 

Mom guess what I just did at the store. We were doing our grocery shopping and we needed bread so I walked over to get some and I automatically just started pushing on the loaves of bread  to find the right one. Sister Whiting looked and me and said "What are you doing?"  I didn't even realize I was doing it. I then had to explain to her that I had turned into my mother who has to feel the bread before she can pick a loaf. Man even when I am 10,000 miles away I am still turning into you. But that thought makes me happy :)

So I will find out on Wednesday if I am training or not. Supposedly it is inevitable and everyone will be training but I am still hoping for an alternative. We have transfers next week and the number of sisters in the mission is just about doubling. I have no idea what President Rudd is going through right now trying to get everything ready for them. We have a ton of elders coming too of course so big changes are in the future. Hopefully I will know what's going to happen by the time I email next week. It is just crazy to me that right now there are 125 missionaries in the mission. 18 sisters and the rest elders. Then by the end of the year there will be 100 sisters and 150 elders. That is 250 missionaries! It is just crazy. Plus by the end of the year most of the experienced sisters will have gone home and the sisters and I that came together will be the experienced ones. I can't believe it and it makes me really nervous. A saying that we often repeat is "Whom God call, God qualifies" so I guess everything will be fine. Its just crazy to think about. 

Well I love you and I hope that you all have a good week. I miss you all!
Love, Maquel
Here is a picture of me with my first bucket of KFC. I mentioned a while back that it is a delicacy here and that when you get KFC you know the members love you. So I guess now they love me and I am an official New Zealand missionary :).

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