Dear Family and Friends,
This week was great. I had some pretty low points where I was very very discouraged at the begining of the week but my attitude has turned around completely. We had two exchanges this week (Sister Fleming is a sister trainer- which is like a sister zone leader) so she has to go on exchanges with all the sisters in the zone and help them. The fist was in our area and I was with sister Fogavai. She is from American Samoa and she is absolutely wonderful. She told me about her and her family's conversion to the church. I learned a lot from her and really enjoyed serving with her. She's been out for about a year so she had lots of great advice for me. The second was awesome as well. I was with sister Harker. Her and sister Fleming and a few other are like the legand sisters in the area. I think it's silly that people in the mission put some missionaries above others in the way they talk but i'm just saying it how it is. Either way, she really is amazing. She reminds me of what I'll probaly be like by the end of my mission: assertive, loving, bold, kind. Kind of like Grandma Ann. Most of the time I don't feel very confident since I've just been out 12 weeks and haven't even finished my training yet so I'm not quite assertive or bold yet much of the time but there are circumstances where I am. It's amazing to be someone who's confident not because of who they are in a cocky sense but because they know who they are- diciples of Christ, children of God- and He will not let us be confounded before men so we have no reason to fear. She's still humble though which is amazing and something I need to work on. I figured out one huge thing I need to learn at this part of my mission: patience. There's in overriding theme that comes up in everything I do. Everything is taking FOREVER and I get really frustrated really easily. The work is moving slowly, our investigators are moving slowly, everything seems to be slow and I'm trying so hard to do EVERYTHING I can and asking for the Lord's help. I need to learn to be patient with members, investigators, everyone and remember that people have their agency. Heavenly Father is so patient with me each day and always so it isn't fair for me to be impatient with others. I also need to learn to be more patient with myself. Patience defined in Christ like attributes in Preach My Gospel (chaper 6) is described so well. Patience means waiting without getting frustrated or discouraged because we love them. It's not supposed to be endure to the end and grin and bear it the whole way but rather endure to the end and love every part of this human exsistance both the good times and the difficult times.
I saw lots of miracles this week. There were probably more miracles at the begining of my mission but my eyes weren't open to it as much. On Saturday when I was with sister Harker we taught a lesson to an investigator in their area whom I've never met in my life and our fellowship was a couple that was previously mission presidents. No pressure. And I've only been out for 12 weeks. And the sister I'm teaching with (sister harker) is on the last week of her mission. Awesome. I actually wasn't too nervous but I was just kind of thinking, well I sure hope I don't mess this one up. We tried to teach him the plan of salvation starting with the pre-exsistance and it was a bit of a struggle because he was Cathloic and doesn't believe in that. We talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and Gift of the Holy Ghost and how it testifies of truth and how he needs to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to receive a witness from the Holy Ghost before he will know. Then talked about the plan of salvation. It went okay but not fantastic. Sister Harker made a coment about something that rememinded of something I should tell him but then sister Collins spoke so I didn't then what she said made me think of something else. Then before I know it her husband cuts in and says I know these things are true and basically closed the discussion. But I still had so much left to say! Then the investigator said thanks to each of us and when he got to me he said thanks for being here even though it wasn't my area and I was just here for the day and thanks for my testimony and I basically said you're welcome it was great to be here but I have one more thing to say. I shared my personal testimony of the atonement and different points of it that came clear to me at different times in my life and was able to explain how it helped me better understand the plan of salvation, how it all fit together, and how I have been able to understand over time greater through the power of the Holy Ghost and that he can too. He just looked straight at me and I couldn't tell what he was thinking, if he was like what she's crazy or wow that's awesome and when I was done he was just like stunned and said plainly, How did you know? How did you know that was exactly everything I needed to hear and what I was wondering about and that what you said put everything together for me? It was an amazing experience. Sometimes it takes the weak things of this world to just be the ones that are like I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm unexperienced so please help me to know what to say Heavenly Father. Another blessing of being new is that I'm not stuck in usual teaching patterens or ways of teaching the same all the time so I can let the spirit work more fully and to be able to talk with people not to people and teach people not lessons which is something I always need to work on. Anther cool thing that happened that day was that Sister Harker and I contacted some former and potential investigators who were in her area I was in for the day (Temple City). It was a Hispanic family and they were so nice. She and I were able to use our Spanish again which was a blessing that I could remember it. They were so nice and when we left we asked if we could say a prayer. We asked the 20 year old son if he would but he said he'd never prayed before so we taught him how and he did! He prayed for the first time with us. It was wonderful. Another cool miracle- we've been meeting with a lady name Patty and she's from MN! We had a great visit with her last night. She's not exactly interested in the church yet but we talked about families and how we can be with our families forever. We then realized that she's from a broken family so sister Fleming was promted to say that Heavenly Father will also take care of those with broken families and everything will work out. She began to cry and out of the kindness of her heart said that I hope you two young ladies find wonderful young men someday to marry. It was very sweet. She has a grown daughter probably in her 30s and mentioned that she's not married and wants to be with someone but is having a hard time with dating and such so she asked us to pray for her- that was last week- and so we did in our closing prayer before we left. She told us yesterday- a week later- that her daughter later called her and said that last Sunday at like 8:30pm (the exact time we met with her and prayed for her) she found a guy! Nothing serious yet but he is interested in her and they've been talking and went on a date or something. We also found out that she knows a memeber in our ward. So we're going to bring her next week as fellowship and teach her the plan of salvation. I'm really excited. It's funny because numbers (key indicators- like lessons taught, etc.) don't mean anything if there isn't real growth taking place. We've seen so many miracles lately and have many great things ahead that can't be put into those key indicators. This transfer has been a bit rough as far as finding and teaching. We haven't taught a single first discussion to a new investigator once this transfer if that paints a picture for you and the very few investigators we do have are slowly progressing but we've been making greater efforts to work harder and ask for the Lord's help. I have great hope and I think there are great things instore these next few months. I also have a feeling I'll be here for a long long time. I think there's something I need to do here and much to learn and people to find. There's great work to be done. I love the Lord and I am so grateful to be serving him. I have finally come to the point that I don't want to be home I really really don't. I want to be here. Not that I haven't always but I just really don't want to come home. It's a blessing how our attitude changes when we better internalize our purpose and are here for the people and to do the Lord's work. I am so blessed.
One last awesome thing to share for dad. There's an awesome Korean family in the ward and they had us over and fed us tonkatsu and korean beef! My favorite foods! I hope someday to serve in a Korean branch here. That would be my dream come true. I love Koreans.
Have a great week everyone and I wonderful vacation. I love you all. You're in my prayers. Let me know what I can do for all of you.