Patience, parties, and priesthood oh and prayer!!! always prayer! Letter from Oct. 28

Pues, esta semana fue muy divertido y yo apprendi muchismo. estoy muy agradecida por la expiacion!
Okay, Hi Family and Friends,
How are you all? Thank you so much to Lindsay, Sister Webber, and The Shield Family for their letters and packages this week. They were so so much fun. Thanks to those of you who wrote emails this week. It was really fun to hear from all of you! Please keep both the emails and the letters coming. I love them all so so so much! I also promise that if you write me, I will write you back!
This week I am going to do bullets of the highlights of this week because I am not quite sure how to organize my thoughts and stuff
  • I learned to make homemade corn tortillas. They are and I want to open a tortilla shop when I get home. Today, we are going to the same members house to make flour tortillas. I am soooo excited! It was even better because while we were making tortillas, the elders were assigned to sort beans. (sorting beans is not nearly as fun.. they made it fun for themselves though). The good news is that I can now get married, according to the women in the branch. Our cooking is sufficient enough that I am allowed to find a husband. haha
  • The priesthood is amazing! This week I have seen the priesthood bless the lives of two of our less-active members and myself. I got a blessing a week ago sunday and looking back, it was exactly what I needed and I got it exactly when I needed it. It has been amazing to see the contrast between men who have the priesthood and those who don’t. More impressively, it has been amazing to see those people who have the priesthood and how they magnify it for the people around them. I love the priesthood and I love seeing it bless so many lives. I love that God blesses us to be able to have His help and guidance in our lives. It is bomb!
  • We visited another less active this week and her 7 yr old daughter wanted to give the opening prayer. The prayer consisted of asking for “money to buy more God Stuff” and to “bless the house that there wouldn’t be anymore cucarachas (cockroaches)” oh and also “candy so they can pass it out to others on halloween” It was the silliest and sweetest prayer I have ever heard. I loved it. I know that God may not answer our prayers in the way we want or planned but I know that He listens. He even listens to the 7 yr old little girl. I know He will listen to you so you should pray.
  • We got to do a big flood clean up twice this week. The first day we went, we were told we were going to get super messy so I bought elastic waistpant jeans at the clothing bank so I would be able to throw them out but then we didnt even get that dirty and instead, I looked like a dork all day. haha. The flood clean up was awesome though. We mostly worked outside, burning moldy tree stumps and stuff. It was basically a giant 2 day bonfire with a bunch of missionaries and it was so fun. Don’t worry though,we worked really hard and got a lot done too. We just had fun along the way.
  • We had a 2 ward and our branch trunk or treat. Sister Vargha and I dressed up in orange and black and wore some huge hoop earrings that a sister in our branch gave us. They are ridiculously large and they dont work for normal missionary life but we figured it would be okay for halloween. I will send some pictures.
  • So, we were visiting another less active this week (all of our investigators canceled on us so we had lots of time) and we shared a message and then she said “Do you plan this or something?” and we asked her to clarify and she said that every week the message keeps telling her she needs to come back to church and she needs to start going regularly. She told us that her hard was pounding and she she said that Christ knew she was broken and that He would help me. We loved it because we have actually been asked that a lot. People figure that we deviously planned a lesson that would get them to do what they think we want them to do. But really, we plan our lessons with the spirit and then the spirit testifies to them what Heavenly Father wants them to do. I love it! I love getting to hear that the spirit is really working on them as we visit with them. We have seen a lot of progress with many of our less-active members and it is so exciting!
  • This week, we also visited a part-member family. She is a member and he isn’t but he loves having the missionaries over. He seems like a really nice guy. Anyway, we went over and he asked if we had eaten. we said no and he says “Hold on!” and then he disappears. He was in the kitchen for like 25 minutes and we didn’t know what he was doing and then he appears with bagel sandwhiches for all of us and they were great! They were so yummy and then he talked about how his dream is to open up a sandwhich shop and he joked and said he was going to call it “Bomb Samitches” Anyway, I proceed to laugh so hard that my face turned the color of a tomato and I nearly chocked on the bomb samitch that was already in my mouth. I told him I would come work in the store when he opens it. I think I laughed so hard because I thought about Haylie and I knew she would love it and then that made me laugh harder.
  • Cool thing that happened this week. Yesterday, we were at a member’s house for dinner and the husband was talking to us. He is a convert and he talked about how the missionaries were intimidating to him when he first met them. It is funny he said that because he grew up in the ghetto of chicago. We asked him why and he said that “Goodness is intimidating, especially for those who are not used to seeing it” I thought that was something interesting to think about. It makes me want to make sure that I don’t seem to intimidating. I want to represent goodness but I want everyone to believe that they can attain that same goodness.
  • We had a missionary fireside in the branch last night. Everyone was supposed to come and bring nonmember friends and we (the missionaries) were going to introduce a movie and talk about the plan of salvation. Not very many members showed up and only one investigator family showed up, which was a bummer but the spirit was there and I think people were uplifted and that is what is important.
  • We do not have a lot of investigators right now and most of them canceled on us this week. It is a bummer but we are just going to get to work and try to start find some new people to teach. We have some potential investigators and we are going to go track some trailer parks. Pray for rain please! People are a lot more friendly when they see us walking around in the rain. 🙂
  • We also went to 2 fiestas this weekend. It was really fun. In fact, one was so fun that Elder Hanks (one of my zone leaders) fell out of his chair and that made it even more fun for the other missionaries there. It was great. The other party was a halloween and birthday party but it was really fun to stop by. So, my advice is, if you can, invite the missionaries to parties. If they have food then it will be great and it is a nice change of pace for the missionaries. Also, it is a super easy way to do missionary work.
  • The spanish is coming along and I feel like I am growing bit by bit each day. Sometimes, I understand a lot and other times, very little but I am working on having patience with myself and with others and with the language. That is my focus this week. Patience.
  • Anyway, things are good here. Enjoy your halloween everyone! It will be a good time. If you want to hear a little more serious thing then you can read a little more below. I just felt I should be really open and honest this week. I love you all.
So last monday was probably the worst day in my entire mission. To be honest, it was just the worst but I know I needed to have that day. I needed to hit rock bottom. I needed to realize that my will was not Heavenly Father’s will. I think from the beginning, when I decided to serve a mission, I just kept thinking about the next step (submitting the papers, opening my call, going to the mtc) I never really thought about the fact that I would be gone for 18 months. I think I just was banking on something happening and I wouldn’t end up being able to serve for a full 18 months. I think I still had one foot at home. Last monday is when I realized that I needed to go all in. I needed to decide which side of the fence I was on. I thought I could maybe go halfway. I thought, well I can serve and then choose not to and still be good. I can follow Christ without serving a mission. That is true but for me, it is not. It is not true because Heavenly Father told me and called me to serve a mission. Therefor, to follow Christ and follow Heavenly Father, I NEED TO BE HERE!!! I decided, I am not really sure when, but sometime this week that I needed to either choose the Lord’s side (anxious and terrified and feeling inadequate) and sumbit totally and completely to the mission or I needed to go home and accept that I would live with regret my whole life knowing that I didn’t do what God wanted me to do. I don’t exactly know when I decided but I know that I want to serve God. I know that He wants me to be a missionary. I know that even though this is hard and I will probably feel inadequate nearly every day that I need to be here. I also realized that God chose me (anxiety and limitations and all) to serve Him here in this area for a reason. I realized that I needed to stop hardening my heart and instead tell Heavenly Father that I am willing to do whatever He wanted me to do. I needed to listen to His council and know that He would help me represent His son. So, basically, I feel a lot better this week. I am still inadequate and will probably feel underqualified for a long time but I realized that God wants me here and my purpose of this life is to do what God wants me to do. I need to have faith in Him that He wants what is best for me and that He will only give me those things that will help me.
 I received a lot of revelation about that too. I realized that I need to work on the Christlike attribute of Patience. I need to be patient with myself and with others. I need to realize that while yes, I am a missionary, I am also a human being. I will need to take a minute to breath every once in awhile and sometimes I will need to rely on my companion to be more intune with the spirit. I think last weekend I just wanted all of my hurt and frustration at myself to go away right then. I wanted all my problems to be fixed but I have realized that (again) I need to work on having patience. I need to be content with what the Lord gives me and when He gives it to me. So, that is where I stand right now. I feel much better today than I have in a long time. The thing is, not much has changed. The only thing that has changed is that I have decided to give it my all. I have decided to give it all to Christ. I am putting all my cards in and you won’t see me until next December. So, there we go. I am sure that I will email you both again telling you that I am overwhelmed or stressed or such but when that happens, just send me back this email. Remind me that I told God that I am going all in. I love you both so much! Thank you for your love and support.

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