Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

THANK YOU FOR THE PICTURE!! James, you are the best! You guys all look relatively the same... except Jonny is like a mammoth. What are you eating, boy?! You're tall. And like... grown up. That's weird. Wilsy needs a haircut :] But we will disagree about that because Mom likes his hair long and I like it short short. Oh well.
This past week was a good one. Sister Kinikini was so awesome. She helped me a lot with my speed during lessons. I am usually full speed ahead, talking talking talking (which is so not good) but she was so relaxed and asked a lot of questions. I realize, though, that she is so effective because she focuses so much on the work and bettering other people. And as I focus so much on that as well, I will be good like her. I told yall about my "servants" verses "great missionaries" thought right? I'm still trying to do that.
We are continuing to teach Doyle. He is so awesome, and so sincere and he DOES ALL OF THE THINGS WE INVITE HIM TO DO!! I'm loving it. He is keeping commitments, my hero! We have taught him a lot about the Book of Mormon and how we can't prove or disprove anything. God will tell him, and that is something he and I firmly believe. We just have to deliver the Spirit of the Lord well. Which is one of the reasons I am starting a new study of Preach My Gospel. I am reading it from the beginning and doing ALL of the "Personal/Companion Study" activities. It is so great. Because, let me tell you, I could be 900X better at teaching than I am. That's what Preach My Gospel is, a guide on how to be a better missionary. Because I really do want to be a good missionary... or I guess I really want to be a good servant, right? :] It is a little overwhelming at times, but I am learning to live with myself and my imperfections. I'm SO glad I figured all this stuff out now, before I have a family and a husband. I have realized that I put that perfectionist expectation on others as well as on myself. I'm working on not doing that. Obviously that is a very bad thing to do. I'm also reading through the book that the church just put out "Daughters in my Kingdom" Have you read that mom?? It's the Relief Society book. OH. MY. GOSH. Mucho gusto.
James Jr. is again MIA. I am trying not to have a heart attack about it. I'll keep you posted. Last thing we heard from him was that he went to Institute all by himself! So good!! And nooowwwww... we have no idea.
Yesterday we had stake conference. And it was SO GOOD! President and Sister Crawford Spoke, one of the temple presidency members and his wife, and then the Stake Presidency. Our Stake President is pretty cool. He reminds me of you Dad! Something he does is every year, he challenges the Stake to do something. This year it was this: "Every day, for the rest of your life, read one chapter of the Book of Mormon." Those things sound a little melodramatic, but let me tell you, people won't usual do something unless they're invited to. And if President Paulsen invites someone in the Stake to read the book of mormon evrey day for the rest of their lives, the invitiation will be taken by at least one person, and that one person's life is -badabing!- changed forever. So cool. He also talked a lot about member missionary work which WE NEED SO BAD!!!! I am so done tracting, and like I said, I really think it's because the Lord wants us to work with the members more often. Anyway, the title of his talk, I'm pretty sure was "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?" And it was kind of losely based on a talk by President Kimball in the October 1974 Ensign. Could somebody print that out for me and send it? I would appreciate it, I really want to read it. And, whilst you are doing that, could you print out the talk by President Uchtdorf about Creating? It was conference a couple years ago and it is BOMB. I am way excited to read it. This leads me to my Christmas list:
1. memory card
2. Mormon Messages DVD
3. My gray sweatpants. (Not the dark gray one's with the bleach on them, but the light gray ones. They should be in the bottom drawer in my dresser. I hope. I have no sweat pants and guess what? It's COLD! Amazing! A miracle!)
4. Lotion. Sister Lundgren had some called "Paris Amour" from Bath and Body works that was great. But whatever kind you like, just something fruity and nice.
Those are my requests for Christmas. I feel like a loser for not only wanting socks and red pencils. But you seriously don't have to get me any of those things if it won't work out. You are helping me so much with this mission, and that is for reals enough of a gift. I don't want to ask for like 6000 other things on top of that.
So. Now. Family.
How goes it this week? Can you believe it is Halloween???? Yall should watch Hocus Pocus for me, since I can't. Tomorrow is NOVEMBER. TOMORROW CHRISTMAS MUSIC STARTS ON THE RADIO!!!!!!! YUSSS!!!! We will not benefit from that, however. If you run across any Christmas MoTab CD's I would love them. We only have "Ring Christmas Bells" and that will get old real quick.
Dad, no worries about the letter :] I will just be more excited to get it now. I hope you give me a full account of stake conference. mom said you spoke and striving for perfection or something? Holla. That is the best topic and I really feel like SO many church members struggle with it. Hence President Uchtdorf's talk in Relief Society. How is everything else? Any exciting things going on?
Madre, you are just my best friend. You were in my dream last night. That was sad. I can't wait til we can hang out again! That will be awesome. How is everything? Did you decorate for Halloween at all this year? Or get th books out?
James, I already told you you are the BEST, but you really are. Thanks for that talk. Go Cecil! Perfectionism seems to be a common thread in the talks I'm hearing which is just proof to me that the Lord knows who I am and wants to help every single one of his children individually. How is work for you? I will get everyone to go to Chelsea's on Friday after district meeting and take a picture so you can show that person at your work. I'm excited- I'm sick to DEATH of going to Jasons Deli every week. Free Ice-Cream ropes the Elders in every time.
Jonny. You seriously look way old, it is weird. WEIRD. How is senior year? You are almost half way done, right? Maybe? Also weird. Tell me all about it and the dances and how is basketball looking for you? Hopefully good.
Well. My Family, I love you so much. You are the greatest people ever. This week we had a hard day, I hate transfers and I get all emotionally weird right after them, and then we had a funeral to go to and it was so sad and then just other things piled up and tracting in Kingwood scares the pants off of me because there are no trailer homes and that intimidates me, and I just wanted to see you guys! I was like "Man, I miss my family! I miss talking to people that like me!" So thanks for being people that I miss. And that I like to hang out with. I love you so much!!!!!!!!!
Keep the letters comin' Por Favor! And turn on the Christmas Radio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • some of the missionaries at the Cruz house for dinner. Pratt and Peterson were going home in two days so we were saying hasta la vista. It goes, Peterson Me Sister Cochran Natalie Elder Pratt and then behind us Rasmussen and Davis. We miss them a lot.
  • (you really don't need to see me in this picture) the k2 missionaries in the car sunday night. We LOVED those Elders and they loved us. And it was so nice to have them in our ward.
  • at the halloween carnival for our ward. we are so cute, huh?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guess where I am going!!!!???

Message body

Nowhere! I am staying here in K2. With Sister Cochran! We are excited. We are nervous because they are flushing the Elders out of our ward and giving us the whole ward! My whole mission I have shared a ward and I am feeling a little bit nervous about doing it all without the Elders. But we will keep going. I'm excited because there is still so much I need to learn from this area and from Sister Cochran I feel. One of the most important things is how to work with the ward and the members. We are not awesome at it. We had only 1 member present lesson this last week, and that was at a dinner appointment. That is not very good. We are working hard on getting members at our lessons this week. We have already scheduled 3 member present lessons with the members. Now we just need the investigators to cooperate.
This last week was a good one! We have been having some cooler weather lately, which is always so good. We haven't been going finding as much lately because I have been not liking it lately. I think that's for a reasons, though. Because I used to LOVE tracting. SO much. And I just really don't anymore, and I'm starting to think it's because we need to work with members more.
James is back at home. We saw him on Saturday night. He is doing good. He just has so much to be up against and that is hard. He came to church yesterday though. I hope he felt loved there. They are trying to detach him from missionaries, so I don't really know how to act with him when the ward is around. So he's okay. I want to find someone else to teach and baptize though! I'm really trying to be a good missionary.
Well, actually, let me rephrase that. I am trying to be a servant of the lord. "the 4th missionary" talk says that we should not strive to be "great" missionaries, because "great" implies us in relationship to others. We should strive to be servants of the Lord. Which is so what I want to be. I want to be good and I want to be enthusiastic and I want to be impactful. I really want to help people.
We found a man tracting this week named Doyle. He is great. Me and Sister Cochran taught him a 1st lesson on Saturday and it went very well. We talked about it afterward and we felt like the Spirit was able to testify through us and that Doyle really understood the importance of the message and reading and praying to know if the book of mormon is true. That's all we can ask people to do after all. His baptism will be November 19.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT IS ALMOST NOVEMBER?!??!?!?!!?!? WHAT? Where did the year go? I got a letter from Daren this week and I had asked him if it really does speed up after a while in the field (I wrote him like the 1st week of the 1st transfer) and he told me that he thinks that sometimes, time goes slowly. But overall, it starts to go fast. Guess what, family? It has started to go fast. In 5 weeks, I will have been on my mission for 6 months! I will be coming home in 1 year!!!!!!! That is bizarre. And 1 year still seems like a long time. But we will just keep going. And we'll see how fast it goes. I bet it's quick.
For Christmas I actually DO have a list :] And it is much better than James' mission list. I would like a new memory card for my camera. Mine is full. And I want to just get different cards so I don't have to delete pictures you know? Mine says "SanDisk 2.0 GB" and on the back it says BE09162117240. I have no idea if that helps you to know what kind to get. I don't know how much they cost, but I would like one that is more than 2 GB if they are cheap-ish. Just so many fun pictures to take.
I am also thinking about getting a legitimate tracting bag. Because my brown one hurts my shoulders after a while. I want one like Sister Cochran has, maybe. I will take a picture and send it next week. Or if you see any recently returned missionaries, ask them what an ideal tracting bag is and they could probably steer you right.
I am also going to need some winter gear. Like my nice green coat? Or I can buy one here, but it is going to get cold at some point, I hear. Like, really cold. Good thing I have some awesome scarfs right? Scarves? Scarves.
This coming week we have the most legendary sister missionary staying with us for a few days. She is training, so she'll get her greenie on Thursday, and we get to hang out with her til then! She is (surprise) Polynesian. her name is Sister Kinikini and EVERYONE knows her and loves her and is obsessed. I'm a little intimidated, but also super excited because I have heard only good things about her. Actually, I have heard only INCREDIBLE things about her. Seriously, when I say legend, she would be it. This will be a SUPER good pride check for me, right? No competing!
We are going to have a good week. I'm excited for it. Weeks are starting to go by fast. Days still lag sometimes. But I am really trying to schedule more appointments. Because this is something that I've learned. If you schedule and appointment, then you expect yourself to deliver a better message. Because you don't just want to go waste people's time, you want to do something impactful and meaningful. That's why we're here, to invite people to act. I'm loving learning all these things. My life is never going to be the same after going on a mission. It's rad.
Today for Pday we went to a park and had a barbque. Pretty sure we were only invited cause Kinikini is with us. Sometimes the mission gets clique-tastic. Which is DUMB and I am not having it. We are a family, right?? But it was fun anyway. Sister Lundgren got a new companion but she is still in the zone, which is cool because I love her.
When this transfer is over, I will have spent 1/3 of my mission in Kingwood 2. Cool.
How is everything going at home?? How was conference and meeting Elder Bednar?? (Dad did you actually get to meet him?) That is way cool that you got to sit in the apostle chairs! I don't know what else to call them.
Dad, how is work going? Still good? How is the stake? Did you do your big calls yet? I hope they went smoothly. How are all the people in the stake and in the ward? How is the U doing this season now? Any better? How is Wynn?
Mom, how is work going for you? I loved your letter this week! I read a ton of it to sister cochran. All of my companions just know all about my family because whenever I get a letter I freak out and read the whole thing (pretty much) outloud. How is Wilsy? How is Grandma? I should write her. I have not written ANYONE is like 3 weeks. The worst. PDay has started to get nuts. But I love and appreciate and THRIVE off of the letters that I get, so it is so dumb of me not to write back. Becuase they seriously mean the world. I am so blessed, whenever I get a letter I just am blown away by how many blessings I have and how I don't deserve them.
Jamesy! How are you? How is escuela? You are about done with the semester. And I bet you have perfect grades huh? Do you go to institute? How is the ward and how the elders quorum? How's work? Have you picked a major for reals yet? How are the ladies?
Jonny, you have been silent for a while now. How is school and being a senior? Have you gone to MORP yet? Seriously, I want to see all the pictures from your dances. On the real. You can tell me about your ladies too. :] How is basketball going - when do you start? Or try out or whatever?
Family, what is up?? What is going on in the neighborhood and in your lives? I miss you so much! I think I'm always going to miss you. We have the best familia ever. I would LOVE a picture??? PLEASE???? LIKE TODAY!? Just sit down after dinner and take a picture for me. With Wilsy. I don't have my chord to attach pictures, which is sad because I have them to send. This last week, us and the K2 Elders were on a "Legacy" kick. I had to stand up for the movie, because I still LOVE it... even though it is just sometimes way cheesy. But somehow, we got to the point where we acted the best scenes of legacy out. and I hope I can attach a video because they are SO funny.
Well. I love you guys. You are really the best. I am so blessed to have such a great family. And also, all of the rest of y'all that read my blog and write me (or don't write me :] ) and pray for me. I am so blessed by all of you. I love the gospel. The gospel is my purpose as a missionary. I gave a talk in church yesterday about changing your heart. And I believe that only through the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ can we be effectively and permanantly changed. With the gospel, change is wonderful and lasting and every day we become better. That is why I want to share these things with people. I think I've forgotten that a little bit over the past 41/2 months. But I am remembering it now. I am remembering why I love the gospel and why I wanted everyone to know about it. People are still mean, but it's easier to deal with them. And not everyone's mean. And what's the worst they can do to me? Probably no one is going to smack me, so I'm good. I LOVE YOU!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Familia! How are you all?? Thank you Mom and Dad for your letters this week! I loved them. Everything you say to me is always just what I need to hear. I'm glad you all are happy!! Can you believe that I am going to have been out for 5 months in two weeks???!!?!?!? WHAT?!? Bizarre. That makes it feel like it's going fast.
So. Transfers are coming up next Monday. We will see. I would LOVE to stay here for another transfer, but I don't know if I will get to. I can see it going both ways. So just keep the mission president in your prayers are he decides where the Lord wants me.
This last week just sped by! We taught a lesson to C's mom on Wednesday because she thought that we were a cult that practiced polygamy (join the club, so does everybody else) and we taught her about the restoration and she is going to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I love the tool that the Book of Mormon is. Because, seriously, I just have to be lovingly bold and know the right questions to ask them to get them to think, and then we tell them to read the book of mormon. And then we follow up. And that is ALL we can do. I cannot make anyone believe this. I never would be able to. But God can, and all He wants me to do is be there physically so He can teach them spiritually. It makes this all much less stressful. I'm doing better at not trying to be perfect. It is hard business. But I am trying every day to be better. I have kind of given up thinking this is going to get easy and super enjoyable at this point. I just need to do it. That is what I've been asked to do. And I am happy. I just am stressy and I don't like being rejected all the time. But I'm learning a lot a lot a lot.
Thursday we went to the temple. Oh. My. GOSH. I just want to LIVE there and never leave it. We always have to go too soon. That's something that is hard to get used to as a missionary, that you don't have time to just be. You just are constantly going going going. And I guess that is when we are supposed to learn to rely on the Savior because after a while you just don't have it anymore. It's just like Why should I keep going? Nothing is happening. And you still have to go on. Those are things that I really am grateful to be learning, even though it is not fun to learn them. But that's life - you keep going even when you can't. Because you don't have another choice really. And the Lord has promised that if we come unto him we will find rest for our souls. We are studying the New Testament as a mission right now, and it is AWESOME! The 4 gospels, a chapter or two every day, will take us all the way to CHRISTMAS! And then I will get to talk to you on the phone!! AH! I can't believe it is snowing there already. I think that's another reason why I feel like time just has not passed here in Texas, because the weather is pretty much exactly the same, except now it's a little cooler. Still hot though. And so it's like time just hasn't passed. Knowing that it is snowing at home, though, makes me realize that time is passing!
Thursday was also my brother's birthday!!!!!! WAS IT GREAT? I hope so. I hope you did all kinds of crazy things. I told everyone at lunch after the temple that it was your birthday. And that it was my half birthday -cause it was. I am officially 21.5 years old. It is great.
Speaking of the name, my lovely solid recent convert... is kind of in jail. Yeah. Awesome. We found out last tuesday. He apparently got a DWI and is in jail for 15 days. Very nice. So the ward has been out to see him, but we are hoping he just realizes that this does not change who he is and what he knows and where he can go. Unfortunately this will have a TON of consequences for him and school and work and everything. I am very sad about it. But there is nothing I can do, so we will go on.
Yesterday after church we went finding. And it was awful. We got told that we were going to hell. And that is just always a joy, but Sister Cochran started to cry after we left. And it didn't make me sad, it just made me apathetic. Like What in the world am I doing here? I'm still feeling a little bit that way. I'm just tired of going places where people don't like me. It's hard to want to do things that will make me feel bad. So, I'm thinking that from this we are supposed to be learning that we need to work with members more. Because I used to LOVE tracting. Like, LOVE it. And now I am struggling with it. Because it's like "What good even comes of it? People are just rude and I'm tired of putting myself into positions where people are rude." Oh, listen to me complain. I am sorry. That is just how I'm feeling this morning. It was a good night after that. We went to dinner at the Gold's house. And then we went tracting some more and met the nicest guy named Billy. He is cool. We're going back on Wednesday.
This will be a good week. And even if it's not, I will live :] But the idea that I might have to leave the Zone that I love and all the people that I know is alittle scary so I'm going to try and make it good. OOOH, by the way we have a new Assistant! And a new MTC-Training-Elder. Elder Sadleir, one of our Zone leaders, is the new AP. And Elder Tauteoli, our other Zone Leader... is the new MTC Training Elder. So we are just floating around without zone leaders a little bit. Kind of. Not really. But they're being trained this week... so kind of. I am excited for them! We have just had the BEST Elders in the Zone. They are top notch. We try to be good missionaries because we are so inspired by the missionaries around us.
Me and Sister Cochran laugh a lot. So that is good. I love her and I am so grateful for her. I really hope I'm with her for another transfer. There are so many things up in the air about the transfer though, because there is a totally empty sister's area, and an empty zone leaders area and not a lot of missionaries are coming in, and a lot are going home. And I feel like I'm an old hat now and that is SUPER weird because there are people that are newer than me. We'll see. Oh, family I am just constantly learning and that means that I am like never comfortable. Sooooo that is fun. I'm trying to be happy while I'm uncomfortable though. That's something that is a little foreign to me, because being happy and being comfortable in the real world usually go together.
How is everything there? I'm sorry to hear that the Utes are struggling, bless their hearts. How is the ward? Any new things that I should know about?? New kids or big events? Tell Spencer and Kenzie congratulations from me when you see them next! That is so cool!!! Everyone I know is going to be married when I get home haha. Me and Sister cochran talk about how we're just going to have to chum around with eachother because everyone else is getting married. How is school and work and everything else? How is the fire pit? I would love you all to just use that in honor of me all the time. ALSO I would really like a picture of my family!!!! HELLO??? What do you all even look like anymore??? :] So just send me one. I'll send some pictures from the temple and the past weeks for you. LOVE YOU!!
Haha in the one of me and sister cochran at the temple that is peterson in the background hahahhaha he is so funny i love him!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

to the best family in the world

Holla! Oh, I just love you guys. And I am in a great mood. This week is going to be the most phenominal week. I'm way excited. Let me tell you about last week...
Last Monday for P-Day we went to the mission home and helped Sister Crawford bake like 100+ muffins so she could freeze them for interviews and zone meetings and etc. Because she was staying up til what Elder Rasmussen calls "The ding of dawn" the night before they were made every time. (Speaking of Elder Rasmussen. SARAH GUNNERSON. GUESS WHOSE COUSIN ELDER RASMUSSEN IS???? Yeah. Write me. :]) So it was a good day. Then we went and saw James. He is doing well, but for the past weekend he has been MIA. No body can get in touch with him. Please keep him in your prayers. I worry about him. After that we helped out at the mission office doing laminations for Zone Meeting. It was way fun, we have the best missionaries in our mission.
Tuesday we did the usual, which included our appointment falling through. Well, I'm sure you can imagine that I really don't like it when appointments fall through. I hate not knowing what to do, because I feel like I'm not fulfilling my purpose if I'm not busy. BUT, I am learning so many awesome things on this mission. One of which is to relax. Things are not going to be perfect - ever. And if something changes that is okay. I like to have everything planned. I like to know everything that is going to happen to me. Because then I feel less scared. But that is not life and it is DEFINITELY not a mission. And I am learning how to deal with that. Did I already tell you that one of my goals is to be a "poly at heart" and by poly I mean polynesian. We have some awesome polynesian Elders and Sisters here, and at first I thought it was just a fluke that I looked up to them all. But I know it isn't. Me and Sister Cochran talk about how they are so happy and such problem solvers and so energetic, and we think it is their culture! Because they are all awesome missionaries and just roll with the punches. I love it. So it is either a part of the polynesian culture to just get it done and be happy ... or it is just the culture of all of them I have met out here. But I just want to be like them.
This is a cool thing from the week: all week we have been passing out flyers to the community that said "Please Join Your Friends and Neighbors in a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Rain Sunday October 9 2011". Because we need rain in the WORST way over here. It hasn't really rained since January. And so we passed out these flyers (in Kingwood. Mom. We HAVE to go walking in Kingwood Someday. You would LOVE the houses). and talked to a TON of people this week. Which was great. And then on Sunday, boom. Thunderstorms like you wouldn't believe. We were sitting in Relief Society and one of the members of our ward goes "Sisters Listen!" (she is so awesome, she is like 80 years old and still kicking) and it was RAINING so hard. I believe in prayer. And I believe in fasting. Oh, I have never loved fasting the way I love it now. I still hate being hungry and not eating, but I LOVE the way I feel when I fast. I am so much more spiritually sensitive.
Friday morning, I was in a bad way. I just did not want to see or be around anyone, I was irritated, the work was going slow and I just wasn't having any of it. We had Zone Meeting, and I was like "Ugh. I love Zone Meeting, but I am not in the mood right now." We went and oh. my. gosh. We have the BEST Zone Leaders in the world. It was the greatest Zone Meeting ever. Talk about an attitude adjustment. Because attitude really is everything. You can either be happy or miserable. Every day it is your choice. I am learning that because missionary work is not always fun and especially not when you don't have solid people to teach. And it is hot, and stressful and more full of disappointments than anything I've ever done in my LIFE. You are constantly putting your neck on the chopping block and 9 times out of 10 people swing the axe and take your head off (nice visual, eh?). But ... oh well! Like, seriously, Oh. Well. That doesn't change that you have to go out, that doesn't change that you have to keep going. So you might as well be happy about it. You might as well be nice and loving to people. I am so not as good at this as I want to be. But I want to be better! One of the things they did at Zone Meeting was show a video of a high school football team. And the team is talking about how the opposing team for the game that weekend is better than them, so the coach pulls one kid up and has him do this CRAZY drill where you are on your hands and feet (not you knees, but you feet. like, if you were doing yoga it would be downward dog) and you move forward that way- WITH another player on your back. Nuts. So anyway, the coach has this big kid come up and puts a blindfold on him, and asks him "Can you make it to the 30?" and he says "I can try coach". So off they go. And the coach doesn't stop him after the 30, he just keeps walking by the kids side. After a while the kid starts to ask "Am I at the 30 yet? Am I there yet?" and the coach just tells him "Don't worry about it, keep going. keep going!" and then the kid really starts to hurt. He starts telling the coach that he can't go any further and the coach says "Give me your best!" and he keeps going. Then the kid goes "it hurts!" and the coach goes "I know it hurts, keep going! Keep going! I want your best. Don't quit! Don't quit! Don't quit!" And finally, the kid just collapses and I'm pretty sure he's crying because he is so frustrated. But the coach takes off his blindfold and goes "You're in the endzone". And then he leans down and says to the kid "You are the most influencial player on this team.If you lead the others will follow." And it was just the coolest video I've seen in a long time. I LOVE sports analogies. They are so cool. That was like perfect for missionary work and what I was feeling Friday morning. So incredible. Because sometimes, like Friday morning I wrote it in my journal, it hurts. Every day hurts and I don't want to do it anymore because I just feel like I have nothing more to give. I'm empty and there's nothing else. And it hurts to try and fail and it hurts when people are mean, and it hurts when even the members fall through. Those things hurt. And then we watch this video where the kid goes "It hurts, coach!" and the coach answers "I know it hurts! Give me your best! Don't quit!" That's what I am learning here on my mission. Don't quit. Keep going. Even when you don't have anything else. Because when you've literally done all you can do, you're in the endzone.
I'm also learning a lot about mistakes. I have never been okay with making mistakes. It makes me so mad when mistakes are made. How horrible is that?? We are here and human and because of that we will make mistakes DAILY. And as long as we are trying and praying and consecrating our day to the Lord, He will make good out of any situation. He will make good out of my mistakes. I really am learning so much. And some days, let me tell you, I do not like it. I do not want to hurt and be uncomfortable and fail or any of that. Some days I just want to take a day. And relax. And stop. But that is not what I am here to do, and that is not what life is about. Life is about up and at 'em! One of our zone leaders (a poly, wouldn't you know?) always goes "Up and jumpin! Up and jumpin!" and I LOVE it. That is life. Two quotes I've always loved are "Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing." and "The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all."
So that's my life on a mission. This morning, we spent 2 hours cleaning out the house of a woman in our ward who is wayyy sick and has literally 25 cats. Half of which are full grown. 13 cats. Sick. I love you guys so much. I thank you SO much for your prayers and examples and letters. I owe my sanity to them some days haha. This is hard stuff. Some days I am blessed with an I can do it attitude. This is one of those days! I am grateful for it all. I am grateful for who I am becoming. I am grateful for the hard things, even though for me they are REALLY hard for some reason.
I really love you all though. You're the BEST. I have the best family and friends that there are. Ya'll are so rockin awesome :]
James, you asked a while ago about mission lingo. Well, I have some for you. We do say apostate, but it is more about Elders that are going to go home and "go apostate" meaning, they are just done-zo. "Cupcakin'" = wasting time, as in "Hurry up. Quit cupcakin' ". And when Elders are really serious about something they say "No jiving" I assume it means "no joking". Then there is the standard "pros' ". We don't really say ZL or DL very much. Any of those universal? Or are they just THE stuff? How is life? I would like some p90x still. Muchas gracias.
Jonny, how goes it? You are almost outta there in like 10 months! AHH! I am so excited for you. You are seriously going to be the BEST missionary in the world.
Mommy, I just love you. Thank you for the double letters this last week. I'll have you know, you were right. I did feel totally different in about 2 days. :] I'm still your daughter, freaking out all the time that I am going insane when really I'm just... normal haha. How are you doing? How is work? How is my dog? Is he getting lots of walkys now that it's cooler. Has it snowed yet??
Dad, I'm WAY excited for you to do the wedding! That will be so cool. How is everything at the new office? How is everything with the stake? You had some big things coming up, didn't you? Have any of those come to pass? I love you and I thought about you on your birthday.
SPEAKING OF BIRTHDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! James. You are THE BEST big brother I have ever heard of. AND IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (which, consequently is my half birthday. Feel free to dedicate a slice of cake to me :]) But other than that I hope you soak up the entire 24 hours of the day for YOURSELF. You are awesome, and you deserve to have an awesome birthday! Want to date my mission president's daughter? She is gorgeous and single and 23 and living in provo. :] Yes. I hope you just celebrate the beck out of your birthday. And know that I love you so much and you are the best.
Well, time is running out. Guess who gets to go to the temple this week????!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! AHHHHH! I am freaking out. I am so excited. I LOVE THE TEMPLE. And I love all of you. Keep being good. I pray for you. I love you. Good night and good luck (haha, I am in SUCH a good mood today)
P.S. in other wedding news, is katherine goodell getting married soon??

Monday, October 3, 2011


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKY!!! I hope your birthday is swell! Look for a letter in the mail from me :] And PADRE! Your BIRTHDAY IS ON WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you! I hope you have a smashing birthday party! You only turn 34 once, right?? Haha I am so funny. October is such a birthday month for the family! I will miss you all for it, but know that I am pretty happy out here. Stressed to death, but pretty happy when the stress goes away for a little bit.
So. This last week. CONFERENCE! I have been so excited for conference for like 2 months! Unfortunately, Saturday morning at good old 3:30 A.M. I had an appointment to pray to the porcelain goddess. Yes. I got super sick. All night long. But I wanted to watch conference so bad. At 9:00 Sister Cochran got sick. Awesome. So we asked our District Leader if he could give us a blessing. He was so nice about it. A lot of Elders (and returned missionaries that I've talked to) are like "Oh, Sister missionaries are the worst and here's why... they ask for blessings like every day and it's the worst and blah blah blah." So we are super hesitant to ask for blessings but no WAY was I missing conference. And plus we were legit sick. So we both went and got blessings, but Sister Cochran was like still way sick. So we watched the second session of Saturday at the mission home. With Sister Crawford whom I just love and adore with my whole heart. We are helping her today make a bunch of cupcakes to freeze (for meetings and stuff) after we e-mail. Didn't you just LOVE conference?? What happened to Elder Hales though??? Oh my gosh! I could barely listen to the first part of his talk, I was so concerned about him. But then, that turned out to be one of my favorite talks of the whole thing. His was the "He waited upon the Lord" one I believe. So incredible. That is what I need to do, that is what we need to do. I'm bummed that Elder Holland didn't speak except to the fellas. But I hope Priesthood was very good. I also loved the President Monson "It is better to look up" story. And I liked the Devn Cornish guy's talk. And basically every talk I just loved! I filled 20 pages in my journal with notes haha. But the cool thing was that so many of the questions I had written down seriously were answered. The overarching thing I got from conference is that I need to pray better and more and listen better and more. I am so grateful for conference! It was a little awful to see Salt Lake- it still looks so green! How is the weather there? I also thought as we were driving away from the church, "Oh. My. Gosh. My family is in HEBER. This is the worst." haha but it's okay. I will be back for April 2013, no worries.
The weather here is becoming like a DREAM! When we go finding in the evening, it feels like it's only 70-80 degrees!! WHAT?? We love it. Yesterday when we went tracting an old man just YELLED at us. And I just cannot believe a grown man would ever yell and two girls. I mean, no matter what they were doing! People really are just hateful sometimes. But we have to keep going. We have to keep trying. We have to continue on because the alternative is to stop... and that is actually not an option for us haha. So on we go. And we lift each other and we try to find the good and pray for these people. It was actually just a stellar night for us and tracting - a few minutes later we were walking and this couple was walking a dog and we stopped to talk to them and said who we were and the girl goes "I do not care!" and keeps walking and her husband/boyfriend/whatever was like "Oh, man, I'm sorry ya'll have a good night." and I was like "Bless you, sir, for not being a monster." People seriously just forget that we are human beings too. I am still a person even though I am a missionary. I still have feelings, and I don't understand why people think that because we wear a black name tag all of the emotion we have goes out the window. Not so. Still me. Still don't like to be yelled at by old men or have people be rude to me. But whatever. Like Sister Cochran says "It's all part of the job." And it is. Unfortunately. However, after last night, I totally vowed that if anyone who is at my house ever ever ever is rude to a total stranger (jehovah's witness, salesman, customer service, whatever, you name it) they will have a thing or two coming from yours truly. I will never act that way to someone. EVER. Because it is so hurtful, and our Heavenly Father loves them just as much as he loves those who are nice to us. So, now I will step off of my soap box. :]
This last week continued to be hard. We are trying, and I am trying to be a leader but it is very difficult for me. When I just don't know what to do, but I have to make the decisions, it is hard. SUPER. And when the work is discouraging, I have a hard time making my mind think about it. Because then I just want to cry all the time haha. But I know as I keep trying and keep pushing forward, things will improve. I can't tell you how many times I have read Elder Hollands "An High Priest of Good Things To Come" talk. Like a zillion probably. And I can hear in my head the part where he goes "Don't give up. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead - a lot of it. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come." And I just love him. And I am learning a lot about the Savior and my Heavenly Father. I am grateful for these grating times because I know that I will come out of it better able to help myself and help others around me. So I will keep going. I promise. :] Please continue to pray for me.
Padre, Thanks for your letter! I hope your birthday really is wonderful, you very much deserve it. Just take a day to have a good time, right? I LOVE YOU. Oh, and SO COOL that they had a Brother Bott special!! I think the man deserves a monument, but at least they're giving him a TV special. I'm glad you had Jonny watch it too. JONNY did you love it? James, thank you for your letter it was golden, as always :] I'm glad school and work and church are going well. Keep em coming! Mommy, you are just the best. Thank you for the package and the letter and the everything. I LOVED the picture of you and your friends at the wedding. ALSO thank you for mikelle's e-mails. I am beyond 1000X thankful that she and I are out here together. It just comforts me like you wouldn't believe. I love her, she's an incredible friend and example. So thank you for doing that for me!
I love you family. I will have better news and feel better next week. I really hope. Please pray for me though. I really need that. I'm sure you do.