Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Family!

    THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE!!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how much I loved everything in there. The jewelry is amazing and the green chili and bug repellant wipes brought a smile to my face. I cannot thank you enough. Really I love it so much.
                Sometimes I cannot believe how fast my week goes by. Every week and I think “Oh man it will be forever until next p-day” and then I blink and here it is again. I also cannot believe that Sister Bird and I have been together for six weeks. This just blows me away because it doesn’t feel like that long at all. It is so crazy.
So big news for this Saturday! Our investigator Pauline is going to be baptized! We are so excited. Can you believe it my first real baptism? I am so sad that I am not going to be able to see it (Like I said last week I am pretty sure that I am going to be transferred) Anyways she is just so incredible. On Saturday we had to teach her word of wisdom and we were really worried because we were well aware of the fact that she drinks tea. So we pushed off this lesson for as long as we could but we started running out of time and so we finally decided to teach her. We thought that we needed as much help as we could get so we invited two ward members to come with us. So we started teaching her and we explained what the word of wisdom is and what it means for us. We asked her what she thought about what we had said and she responded by saying “Well I don’t have a problem with Alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. And that over there is my tea and you can take that. I don’t want it anymore.” I can’t tell you how happy we were. She is seriously the greatest.
One day while knocking doors, Sister Bird and I also found this lady who was taught by the missionaries a few months ago. She let us in and we have had a few lessons with her but the thing is that she knows a lot but then she also has heard a lot of false or inaccurate things and so she asks us the hardest questions. I leave every lesson with her just feeling completely drained. I seriously spend the whole lesson praying in my mind to know what to say or how to help her. We had a lesson with her yesterday morning and we invited her to church which was at one and she agreed so she came and I felt stressed for the whole three hours. I kept waiting for something to set her off but luckily she liked it and she said that she is going to come again next week. At this point we are just trying to help her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon because if she gets a testimony of The Book of Mormon then all of the other concerns that she has will be resolved. What we believe/claim all comes down to whether or not The Book of Mormon is true and we are trying to help her understand that and gain a testimony.
It is honestly getting harder and harder for me to remember what happened during the week because it is all starting to blur together. But I can remember Saturday night/Sunday morning however when we had a freak thunderstorm. So I have mentioned before that it rains like crazy here. I would say that it rains maybe four out of seven days a week. But most of the time when it rains it is like a light mist that only ruins my hair but doesn’t really get my cloths wet. Well I guess that we have officially moved into spring here and now the rain has gotten heavier and even more frequent. But having said that, in the four months that I have been here and throughout all of the rain storms I have never heard thunder like what we had on Saturday night. I have some trouble falling asleep at night so I was laying awake just thinking about things when all of the sudden the room lit up and then a few seconds later there was a defining boom. I honestly didn’t know what was going on because we never have thunderstorms here. After that though it sounded as if the clouds let all of its moisture go at once. I have never seen such heavy rain fall in all of my life. Luckily our porch has a drain or I am sure that our house would have flooded. It rained like this all night and I can tell you that because I wasn’t able to sleep at all. All of the other sisters (excluding Sister Bird because she had ear plugs) lay awake too because it was so loud. The thunder mixed with the sound of the rain was ridiculous. I still can’t believe how crazy it was and I would have loved it if I could have slept in the next morning. That was the only frustrating part. I had to count my blessings though because I didn’t have to be out tracting during that storm so for that I am truly grateful.
Well I guess there really isn’t that much more to say. Things here are great and I really don’t want to leave. I am still hoping that I am not leaving but I should find out tomorrow. I guess this is what I signed up for when I sent in my papers. I pretty much signed my regular carefree life away to live a life of constant change. It’s hard because you just get used to an area or you start to form these relationships with the members and your investigators and your companion and then it all changes again. Missions are hard but I am starting to see how beneficial they are to life. I have already learned so much about myself and I know better now than I ever have before what my weaknesses are (trust me I have a lot) but I have also been able to find a few strengths. I can see how this mission will help me overcome those weaknesses and also help me develop these strengths. I honestly see now why people come home so different. No one can know what the mission life is like until they live it. Growth is hard sometimes but the results are worth it. When I first arrived in New Zealand, President Lekias said that he wanted the greatest convert on our mission to be ourselves and I am striving to have that as an outcome of my service. There are lessons that can’t be learned without going on a mission and there are experiences that you can only have when serving the Lord so I hope that my three brothers, and my cousins, and young men and women everywhere choose to serve a mission because it is one of the greatest things that you could ever do. Danny, Steven, and Tyler, if you choose not to serve a mission you will be giving up one of the greatest opportunities of your life. I hope that you will start to do all that you can now to prepare yourself for your mission so when the time comes, you will be able to accept the call.
I love and miss you all dear family. I hope that all is well at home and that everyone will have a good week at school and work and whatever else you have going on. I love you!
P.S. If you remember my MTC companion Sister Swindler, she is still serving here in the VC and so I see her quite a bit but her sister called her a few days ago and said that he older brother had passed away. So if you could please remember her in your thoughts and prayers. I can’t imagine what she is going through right now so please pray that she may be blessed with comfort at this time.

P.P.S. Molly, don’t climb any trees I had a bad dream about you last night. Seriously though don’t even try it. I woke up crying and scared to death for you. Be smart and be safe.

So this is a picture of me and my investigator Pauline who is going to be baptized on Saturday. I look awful in the picture but can you see just how cute Pauline is? I tell you I love her to death and I am so excited for her!

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