Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 24, 2013

So my area is very small! I am in Maple Valley. Sister Margaritis says our area is about  1.5 miles by 1.5 miles. There are trees everywhere, and it rains often, which I know isn't a surprise! We still have not been able to sit down and just teach a lesson to someone, which is frustrating to me. A lot of the times we try to find people at the park to teach. We have only gone tracting once.Sometimes when people are rude I just laugh so as not to be offended. But with the new vision of missionary work that the Quorum of the 12 shared with us at the Broadcast yesterday, hopefully we will have a lot of people to teach and won't have to go contacting in the near future! Were you guys able to watch that? It was a great meeting. I love hearing all of the apostles speak. They each have an amazing testimony built upon their own individual personalities and experiences. I really loved watching the clip of President Monson from when he was younger. He is quite the story teller. I love that about him. Anyways, if you weren't able to watch it maybe you can watch it online or something. The Church is really excited about missionary work!

Yesterday we ate dinner at the DeBoer's home. They are a sweet older couple who live alone, but they had their granddaughter over (Ava, age 11-she reminded me of Kylee) and their neighbor over as well, Brother Stock. It was such a blessing to be in a warm welcoming home eating yummy food that wasn't fixed on a missionary budget. Brother DeBoer used to be a detective and is so hilarious. Sister Debeor is just so sweet and thoughtful. It was like having grandparents away from home. 

We have one progressing investigator, Trish, and she came to church yesterday! I think she really enjoyed it. We are anxious to teach her, because we know the gospel will help her through this tough time. She has a lot on her plate right now. She also has a 5 year old son, Preston, who is adorable and loves to meet people and loooves to talk! I am really excited to get to know them better.

A scripture we have been sharing with people a lot lately is Helaman 5:12. "It is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God" that we build our foundation. This scripture can apply to anyone at anytime, but I find that it applies to me so much at this point. When I need comfort I to turn to the scriptures and to prayer. I don't have the things that I had at home to give me comfort. I can't curl up on the couch and watch a movie or call one of you or my friends. The only thing I have is missionary work! And so I must lean on my Savior more than ever. The scriptures have so much power. When I read them I feel peace and hope. They are just brimming with comfort for my worries each time I open them up. When I pray I know that God is listening and that even if I can't see a resolution to every single one of my problems right away, I know that He is watching out for me and will not let me fall.

Just in case anyone is wondering, missionary work is HARD. Big surprise! But the Lord has promised so many blessings to those who serve Him. I am grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior, and I cannot do this without Him. I know He lives. I know His arms are open to all those who will just come to Him.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

MTC Life

So....What a crazy thing! I am four days away from leaving the MTC and going to Seattle! I can't believe how the time has flown. I have really grown to love the MTC. I love the feeling I get when I learn a new concept of teaching and then apply it. And honestly I'm not a big fan of Preparation Day. I would rather be studying and learning and teaching versus doing laundry and getting to wear jeans-not all that exciting. But going to the temple is nice. Oh, before I forget, you will never guess who is in my zone and is going to Seattle-his name is Elder Bailey-Thorogh(I have no idea how to spell that) Bailey's nephew! He turned down a basketball scholarship to come serve a mission right out of high school. He is so kind and humble. I think it actually makes him uncomfortable when people make a big deal out of it "fame." But he really is awesome and I just thought I would share that. I can't really think of what to say about what I've done. I guess it's mroe about what I am learning than what I have done. I have learned so much about the Atonement. I can already tell that my countenance has changed. When you really understand the Atonement and Christ's love for you, it's very difficult to harbor negative thoughts, even when you know you are inadequate. There have definitely been times when I have been scared, or very frustrated, or just TIRED but at the end of the day, if I have given it my best effort, I feel so at peace and content. Something esle I have learned about a lot is prayer. I want to challenge you that the next time you pray, pray as if you don't know how to pray. Really be sincere and ponder a lot before you think or say something to Heavenly Father. Remember that each time you pray you are using Christ's Atonement, and He is with you every step of the way. I think that I used to feel like Heavenly Father was connected in our lives with a few strings. I thought he would lead us in small ways, tugging at the strings sometimes or letting them hang loose at other times. But what I am barely beginning to grasp is that He is in every aspect of our lives. He is preparing us for the experiences we need to have. He is woven in and out of our lives, not with just a piece of string, but with an infinite amount of strings! I knwo that He loves me, and I know that He loves you! Believing in, trusting in, and fully accepting the Atonement can allow us to see glimpses of ourselves as heavenly beings.

I love my district! The elders and sisters are all amazing! However, I find that my biggest struggle here at the MTC is trying to be exactly obedient about using my time wisely. We all get along so well and are always so excited to talk to each other that it can be distracting when we are trying to get work done. I think in the field it will be easier beacsue it will just be me and my companion. But I know I am going to miss these elders and sisters so much! Four of the elders are serving in Misssouri, so we won't ever even get to see them at zone meetings or anything.

The food here is ok, not the best, but its good. Eating here is weird, because we eat on a schedule and sometimes I can't tell if I am hungry or not hungry or if my stomach hurts becasue it is empty or it doesn't want food or I don't know! But we eat when we eat and we don't go hungry! So that is nice!
Yesterday we had in-field orientation. I wasn't a big fan of it, because it was like almost 8 hours or something, and they kind of just scared me. But that's ok! Every missionary has to go through the transition from MTC to the real mission, so I know I will be fine.
If you ever have any questions for me let me know, because I really am struggling with what to say!