Thursday, August 16, 2012

my dear dear dear family

I love you all. Thank you all for everything you continue to do for me. I appreciate it more than you could possibly understand. Thank you to all of my wonderful extended family, aunts and uncles and grandparents, who write to me even though I am not so faithful at responding. I will repent :] I promise.
I'm getting transferred tomorrow. I think it will be a really good thing. I have learned so much from being here with this wonderful wonderful Sister. I love her so much, it will be hard to leave but also very good for both of us I think. Sister Mokeaki, when we found out, said "Maybe when you get transferred your family don;t write to me anymore." And I said "That's not true!" Please continue to write her when you get a spare minute. It doesn't have to be every week, but do it when you can. She will be so blessed by your efforts.
We had a pretty good week. We're doing better. We have two investigators with baptismal dates. Right in time for me to leave, awesome right? It's okay though. We had one reactivated sister at church yesterday too. Her goal is to get to the temple, so she has been coming more. People need goals. In Proverbs it says "Where there is no vision the people perish". So true. We need a vision. In our monthly message from the assistants, they gave us a quote from President Kimball I believe that said "If only you could see the vision I have. I wish I had your bodies for this work. I would run from house to house telling everyone about the gospel. And when I had lost my strength to run, I would walk. And when I could no longer walk I would crawl. And when my knees were too bloody to crawl I would drag myself with my arms. And when every muscle was spent in my body I would begin to yell. Oh, if only you could see the vision I have!" Love that.
So our investigators, one of them is Billy Jo. She is the cutest little old lady who lives in the same apartment complex as like 10 of our active members (right across from the church) and the bishop's dad took us over to see her. She is awesome. Oh I already told you about her. We went back to give her a lesson 1 in full form and invite her to be baptized. She is the sweetest thing and so humble. She said if she knew it was true by her date, she would get baptized. So we'll work our best to get her there.
The other investigator, Kimberly, was taught while I was on exchanges in La Porte. It was very good to be back in La Porte and good to be with Sister Cochran. I don't know how we managed it, but we have been on like 90 exchanges in our times as missionaries. But she apparently really liked the book of Mormon and she accepted the baptismal challenge. The only problem is that yesterday when I called to invite her to church she was like "I am rearranging my room." Just a step above "I'm watering my plants" or "I have to wash my hair". So we are going to have to address the importance of church attendance.
Other than that we've been trying to see people and trying to get in with people. I've realized that I have been selfish and prideful. Pride Pride Pride. It is at the root of EVERY problem in life. EVERY single one. I am convinced. So if that's true, than humility would be at the root of every solution in life. And I think that's true too. Haven't tested it yet, but I plan to.
Thank you for the packages you sent me, Mom and Dad and James. I have loved listening to the CDs. The one talk "Grace is Sufficient" is one that sister mokeaki has already heard and loves and we have used in teaching members. And then yesterday in church the high councilor talked about it. That was really cool. I think I need to learn that, too. Practice practice practice. Also I've been taking a look at my motives. Are my motives for doing what I'm doing pure? They need to be selfless instead of selfish. I need to stop thinking about myself. Why in the world can't I do that better?
We went by John's house (who is across from us listening to the book of mormon on the internet as we speak. love him.) and he was getting ready to go to the temple for the very first time. I was soo jealous and sooooo happy for him. He had a great time, we talked to him on Sunday at church and he said it was great that he wanted to go back.Yay yay yay! That is where we want anyone that we baptize and he just only got baptized in July. Actualyl a month ago tomorrow. So cool.
Say Hi to Daren for me! I cannot believe that he is home. That is so so nuts. I hope he's doing good. I'm down for dennys in december. ha. alliteration.
How are yall? I know I've been needy lately, but I do want to hear about how yall are doing? I hope everything's good. Jonny when do those papers go in??? ASAP! :] I'm way glad that youll be there when I get home. WAY WAY WAY glad. James, are you excited to go back to school? HOw are the ladies? I still need the green light from you to set you up with Lundgren and Bouwhuis. Dad, how is everything with the stake and with work? I cannot wait to come home and really see what you do for work. I'm excited to come see your office! Mommy, how are you? Thank you for being so wonderful. When we were on our exchange, Sister Cochran quoted "The Holiday" and we decided that right after we get home you and me and Cochran and her mom are gonna watch "the Holiday"... let's do it!
I'm going to be better. I promise. But one of the things that I really am learning from my experience is the Plan of Happiness. God's plan for us required a Savior. Which means it also required sin and mistakes from every one of us. And apart from those sins and mistakes it also required weakness. How many times do we read Alma 41:10 and in our minds say "weakness never was happiness"?? That's not what is says at all. Weakness is not wickedness. That's hard for me and I would guess it's hard for others. Weakness is not sin. Weakness is not wickedness. It's just weakness and it's a very important part of being a human being. I have thought so many times," oh if only I was good enough I just wouldn't need to go through the pain and fail and repent." But what I am really saying is "Oh, if only I was good enough, I wouldn't need the Savior. I wouldn't need his atonement." And that is dangerous pride, is it not?
I hope yall are good. I hope yall are not as hard on yourselves as we're prone to be. Coach your minds and you will be happy.
So, write to the mission office again this week. Ugh. Let's hope they send them on. But if not I will live. I will give you my new address asap next monday. LOVE YOU.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

feeling better

Dear family,
Thank you for being so good to me. I love yall so so much. I am doing better than I was last week. A lot better.
First and foremost, I want to tell you some exciting news: As I write this, MIKELLE NORTON IS COMING HOME FROM HER MISSION! TODAY!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? I would love for yall to be able to go to her homecoming and give her a hug from me. The details should be on facebook if you can find it. I love Kelle with all my heart. She has been an incredible source of strength and support for me. We were in this together. Now I just feel lucky and thrilled that I get a few more months to be a full time missionary. She had an incredible mission and I just love her. Sabatoge all attempts at her getting married, we need to be roommates in the Winter.
So. Wowee what a week. I am just going to be perfectly honest with yall. Monday was a terrible, horrible day (you might have gathered that from my e-mail) and I cried pretty much all day long. But we went to the church and I played the piano and I felt better. I got a letter from Cindy that morning that really hit the spot. It kind of spurred me to action on Wednesday. So, thank you Cindy! I love you. I'm writing you a letter I promise. Then Monday night we had dinner with the Bishop and his family. The Bishop is very young. He has four kids and the youngest is 3 or 4. They're a good family.
Tuesday was an okay day. We had a lot of appointments, even though a couple of them fell through. Seriously, I have never had so many cancelled appointments in my entire MISSION. If we schedule two appointments, AT LEAST one of them cancels. It's nuts. We taught our investigator, Kimberly. She was the referral from church head quarters that's grandma was a member and went to the temple all the time. Kimberly wants to know if she can find the same peace that her grandmother had. That was pretty good.
Wednesday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JONNY!! I love you kid ! I'm so proud of you and I hope your day was swell. Yall know how wednesday went. It was a toughie. But I felt better by the end. We had one appointment that didn't cancel and then another appointment that just appeared out of no where to do some service and then Sister Crawford came by.
Thursday was fine. I'm pretty sure all of our appointments cancelled then too... but except hour of power didn't cancel. That was so nice. We did hour of power with a really nice slightly-newly-wed couple in our ward. Their street, though, had been tracted like a zillion times because the husband's father and mother had lived in that house for 40 years. Yikes. It was okay though. We talked to their crazy old neighbor and told him about the priesthood. When I don't feel good, I am way more bold. Who knows why, maybe I'm like "Well, we can't go anywhere but up so I might as well shoot for the moon," It was good.
Friday we had zone meeting. Our zone is half a zone because the new stake is ginormous. So we have two districts in our zone. It's nuts. It was a good meeting though. Our zone leader is way rad. He's the one whose deferment form I took at BYU, do you remember that? Probably not. At student services a guy came in and I took his deferrment and lo and behold he was going to the same mission as I was and left for the mtc on the same day! so cool. that's elder facer. Now he's my zone leader. I am just SURE he's going to be an ap before long. He's great. Friday we drove up to vidor. That is a LONG drive. But it was okay. We had dinner witha good ward member on Friday night. It was fish. I like fish now, who knew? It has to be good fish though. Fishy yukcy fish is no bueno.
Saturday we went to la porte in the morning to get help from sister cochran with the ward list. It was very nice. i've been kind of awful for the last transfer so sister cochran and I are back friends again. Sister Mokeaki, though, honestly is the most wonderful sweet non judgemental loving companion I've ever had. She is so christlike. I love her so so much. One the way home from zone meeting, I told sister mokeaki that I talked to sister cochran and that she had said "I feel really distant from you lately, I miss you." and Sister Mokeaki started to cry. And I was so confused and then she said "I know how it feels to love somebody and you miss them." and so she was feeling sad for sister cochran that she had felt that way. Oh my gosh. This girl is two seconds away from being translated. Saturday all of our appointments cancelled also. Seriously. Except for our ward mission leader had us for dinner and correlation. That was good. He's going out of town fro the next 3 weeks. That's okay we hardly ever see him anyway.
Sunday was fine. I feel like I've just hashed the ward to death. But it was fast sunday and the testimony meeting was wonderful. I love the spirit of the church. We are so lucky in baytown cause we live so close. I can just go to the church, if I want, and sit in the chapel (like Catholic style. I did that once. It was rad.)
Monday, yesterday we went back to Vidor (yuck) and the doctor called me just now and said that a normal functioning thryoid is between .47 and 5.0 or something. And I'm at .87. So he said when I get home I should get my thyroid checked again. He is very nice. Also yesterday we had our afternoon apointment cancel, but then Brother Kinder (the bishops dad) took us to meet this lady whose wheelchair he fixed and also gave her a first discussion whilst doing it. so rad. She is our new investigator, Billy Jo. Nice. Then last night we had dinner with the Shermans. They are so awesome. Except, you know what, I really think that they carry half the load of the ward. They go out of town for the whole summer every summer and it seems like when they do the ward falls apart. Bless their hearts. (They also had their neighbor over for dinner with us. so awesome.) We were talking about serving in the churhc last night and they said "The church really isn't hard if everyone pulls their weight. And here that doesn't happen." Ugh, it's so true. I wish I wish I WISH everyone would pull their weight andthen everything would work. But that's not the case. We all struggle.
So today. It's tri zone pday. We are going to live. I'm going to make it. I'm learning a lot about pride and love. Thank you for praying for me. I will serve well, I promise for the next few months. I only have 4 left that makes me want to cry my eyes out. I love you all. I hope yall are well. Thank you for everything. One good side effect from not sleeping at night was that I read the entire last part of the book of mormon in like 2 days. 3 Nephi through Moroni. And I lvoe the book of mormon.
okay, haha mokeaki has been making polite small talk with the crazy old black man who is now researching her island. he is so funny. he keeps being like "oh, wow. they are dancing. We just met billy williams. I think. he said "we gotta go where she's from. That's fantastic. and until you came along I never even knew about it. i'm gonna save up al lmy money and i'm oging htere." oh my gosh. priceless.
i love yall. i am sorry to worry you. but today will be fine. thank you for praying and fasting for me. I am going to do more, and be better. I love you and will talk to you next week