guys–this is shannon! i will upload pictures soon too, dont worry. thanks for being patient! xo
Hola Familia y Amigos!!
Como esta? I miss you all tons! What’s new? How is school going? It is so wierd to me not to be in school. It is weird that I dont miss it either. Thank you to Haylie for her awesome letter this week and for Sister Buchanan’s package! That was so nice! It was so awesome! Thanks to Tiff, Dad, Brooke, Sister Webber and Elder Roush for their emails this week. Thank you Brookie for the pics of the kids and your testimony of the plan of salvation. I loved it!!!
Pues, This week was good. I found out on saturday that I am STAYING HERE!!!! I am staying with Sister Vargha! I am just really excited to continue to work here and help the people. I Love love love the branch. I know I say that every week but I do. They are some of the most incredible people in the whole world. I love them.
Anyway, This week has been good. We got to work with mormon helping hands and clean out some houses filled with mud. We got there a little late though so we didnt really get dirty. We were mostly cleaning off furniture and tools and stuff so i just reaked of bleach all of saturday. It was so cool to help out though. It was just really neat to put on the mormon helping hands tshirts and see a million other people helping. The whole stake came together and those who weren’t cleaning made us lunch and it was just really neat. I love it. This week, we also helped a woman in the branch. (the one who sent you the picture Tiffany). We called her to see if she could come with us to an teaching appointment and she sounded a little wierd on the phone. She told us she was stuck in bed all day and she just sounded really sad and in pain. We asked her if she thought she needed a blessing and she didn’t answer but then all four hermanas said aloud “Yes! You do!” We called the Elders and went to work. We stopped by a tortilleria and picked up some stuff to make lunch and then we went to her house. She hadn’t eaten all day because she literally could not leave her bed (something was wrong with her back, I didn’t understand what). Anyway, the Elders gave her a blessing and the 4 hermanas were standing there and I could just feel the spirit so strong in that room. I just felt so blessed to be able to be there. I love being a missionary! It is sooo amazing! Anyway, after the blessing, we kicked it into relief society mode. We made her lunch and dinner for her family and cleaned her kitchen. With the four of us, it took about an hour or so but she was so grateful. We made some cookies and just tried to help as much as we can. Her husband isnt a member but I could tell he was really impressed. I loved it. I mean, I am not typically a fan of doing dishes but I just loved it. I love doing what Christ would have done. I love serving members and nonmembers and inactive members. I just love it all. It is so so so humbling.
Anyway, this week we found a new investigator!!!!!! Her name is Sarah and she is awesome! She lives in our apartment building and she barely speaks any english. She has a 2 yr old daughter and was trying to lug her massive stroller and this huge bag of groceries up the stairs when we were about to leave. We asked if we could help her and then just got talking. She is new in town and doesn’t have many friends and her husband worked a lot. I guess she used to attend a spanish ward where she used to live with one of her friends. She seems really open and ready to hear the gospel. It was just really neat because I felt like she was hand delivered to us. I know that Heavenly Father is helping us so much with this work! It is so neat. We are hopefully meeting with her today. She is so awesome! She just seems really prepared to hear the gospel.
This week, we also got ot watch the relief society broadcast. It was so so so awesome!! I loved it! I was just nearly crying the whole time. I could barely handle it. I just know that the Lord loves His children so so so much. It is so awesome! I just kept thinking about a year ago. I kept thinking about how last year, me and Deeds and Brookie went to the General Relief Society session. I remember thinking about how I would love to do that every year. We were with Megan Allen and we went to dinner and just laughed and talked it was awesome! I think about how much my life has changed since then and how I had no idea that I would be serving a mission a year later. It is so nuts but so amazing. I am soo pumped for General Conference. It is especially meaningful because last october conference changed my life so so so much! I am super excited!
We also had transfers this last week. I am staying and so is my companion, but Hermana Smith is moving and we are getting a new hermana in my branch and 2 new elders! We will now have 6 missionaries assigned to a branch! It is so crazy but I think it will be really good. My companion and I both really want to dive into the work and find some new investigators. We have some steep goals this week but we are really excited to work hard to try and meet them.
We also got to go to institute this week for UNC. A recent convert in our branch wants to learn more about the scriptures. Her brother in law is a seminary student and she was asking if there was anything like that for adults. We said YES! She asked if we could go with her and we all just LOVED IT!!! Institute is so cool! I just loved being able to sit and soak up knowledge about the scriptures. It was really awesome. She really liked it too and seems really excited to go! We are really excited for her.
I have been studying the plan of salvation a ton this week and it is so so so cool! I think I could study it every day for the rest of my life and still have more to learn. That is something I love about the gospel! It is so simple but so complex on the same time. We can teach the plan of salvation literally in 3 minutes if needed. We can teach is to someone passing on the street but if you really dive in, you can spend forever studying it. I feel the same way about so many other gospel principles. The atonement, faith, patience, integrity, prayer, etc. I love it! Being able to study every day has showed me how much there is to learn. I want to study this way for my whole life because there is just a ton to learn from the gospel. Anyway, I want to end with my testimony. I know the plan of salvation is a plan of Happiness!!!! I know that it can help us. I know that God set up this plan because he loves us so so so much! I know that because of the plan of salvation, death does not have to be a sad thing. I know that families can be together forever! I have testified of that fact a lot this week and the more I do, the more I know it is true. I know I will see my mom again. I know that my family can be eternal. I know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement, we can overcome every adversity life may through at us.
I love you all!!!! Be strong! Keep praying for me please. I can feel the prayers strengthen me.
Here are some scriptures and talks that I really liked this week:
1 Nephi 17:36
2 Peter 3:8
2 Nephi 2:25
The Spirit World: Our Next Home by Dale Mouritsen
Teachings of Brigham Young on the Spirit World
The Greatest Plan of the Eternal God by Neal A. Maxwell
Love you all again!