Hola FRAMILY! (Friends and family. thanks for the idea Diane)
I hope you all had a wonderful week. It has been pretty good up here in Fort Morgan. Sister Mangum and I are having so much fun and working really hard. Thanks to Mama Tiff for the package and letters from Sister Reeve and Sister Gates and Sister Vargha. I loved them. Here are some of the tender mercies of the week.
- I have a grey skirt that I need to get rid of. It looks pretty bad. When I finally decided to donate it, Mom sent me a new, cuter grey skirt. Thanks mom!
- We had dinner at this fun little Mexican restaurant one night this week. we didn’t have a dinner for the evening so we planned to go to this restaurant. we got there, ordered food and started enjoying it. When we were about half way through our meal, a brother in the ward came in. We smiled and waved and talked to him for a minute. Then he proceeded to pay for our meal. It was really sweet. I am really grateful for the kind people in this ward.
- We visited with Hope this week. She is a less-active 80 year old member. she reminds me a lot of my mimi. She is really strong and really kind and I just love her. We met her my 2nd week here and I have always just loved her. Anyway, we visited her this week and we went into the visit with a specific lesson in mind. While she was talking, it hit me like a ton of bricks “share that quote from the ensign.” There is a quote we have been sharing with a few people but we didn’t really think about reading it with her. In the middle of the visit, I stood up and asked Sister Mangum if we could go to the car. I searched in the car and luckily found the ensign in mind. We read to her the quote and she just said “thank you. that answers a lot of questions for me.” It was so neat because I found that quote studying for a different lesson but it really helped her. I think too, sometimes we just have to try to follow the spirit, no matter how awkward it might seem at first.
- We got to teach a lot of English this week. the ESL 2 teacher (George. he is just great). He was busy working on other stuff so we taught all the ESL 2 classes on Tuesday and Thursday. We were teaching from about 1pm-4:30pm and it was exhausting and so so so fun! we love teaching English so much! I have really just fallen in love with the Somali people. We teach them and a lot of Hispanics. It is amazing how after just teaching 2 days, we just love our students so much. They were really excited to have us in class too. It was so so so much fun! I love them a lot. I really love teaching English. I really think I could spend the rest of my life teaching ESL. I am so grateful to have a chance to teach here in Fort Morgan.
- We had a sister’s conference last Friday. It was all 65 sisters in the mission. We all came together and talked and learned and embraced womanhood. It was really fun and it was fun seeing everyone. I didn’t realize until I was there how much love I have for all these sisters. They are so amazing! I really do feel like there is such a sisterhood in our mission. We all just really love and support one another. It was so fun!
- The sisters conference was in Loveland (about an 1 hour and 40 minutes away). So instead of leaving the house in Fort Morgan at 7am, we drove to Greeley the night before the conference and stayed with some sisters in Greeley. we got to stay at the Bugarin’s house. They were the ward missionaries/ward mission leader in the Spanish branch. They are housing some of the sisters and so we got to stay there. I will tell you, it felt like coming home. It was the greatest thing ever to get to see the Bugarins. The Spanish branch will truly always have such a special place in my heart. I feel like it is my second home. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fort Morgan so so so much! I love this ward but the branch is where I started my mission, so I just feel an extra special love for that place.
- We visited Nancy this week. She may have exposed her entire self to us. It was a little awkward but we tried to keep our cool. Nancy is great. She is very sweet but she is just a little too comfortable with her body for our taste. We have been advised to give it some time before we visit her again. hahah. I am glad Sister Mangum was there with me. we had a good laugh when we got back to the car.
- We visited Olivia twice this week. She is old and has a lot of health problems but she LOVES when we come over. When we go over there, we try to visit with her and she will interrupt us and tell us to say a prayer. She loves it when we pray. It is the sweetest thing in the whole world. She always tells us how much strength she feels from our prayers. We really love it. She has a lot of faith and we love that she can recognize when the spirit touches her heart.
- Simon is still doing well. He couldn’t come to church this week because he hurt his hip pretty bad but he reached out to us and asked us to pray for him. It was great to feel like we can be a support system to him. He is so nice. We really love working with him.
- Last Monday, we took Sister Korf to the Somali store. She bought a dress and a skirt. I love that we are slowly getting people more and more comfortable with the different cultures here in town. It is so fun!
- Last night, we visited Grandma Nichols. She is 93 years old with a thick german accent. We had a good long chat with her. She is so sweet. She LOVES chocolate and always has it in her house. We were joking about that and she told us she has some chocolate for us. She asked us if we like “kitty kats” It took us a second to realize she meant chocolate kit kats. It was really cute. She is such a fun woman. She still lives on her farm, by herself and is just one of the coolest women in the whole world. I really love her. In fact, last night when we showed up, we went through the garage (because everyone is supposed to go through the garage) and we step into the garage and see a brand new baby calf. It was born that day and was a bit sickly so they had it in the garage. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my whole life. It almost made me want to live on a farm. It was just stumbling around trying to walk. I loved it. Fort Morgan and the whole farm culture is really starting to grow on me. It started with the truck and now the cow. I hope that Heavenly Father isn’t preparing me to live on a farm somewhere. 🙂
- the ward is really supportive of us here and really wants to help as much as they can. In fact, I think they genuinely like us. We got asked yesterday to both give 15 minute talks in church and then to teach the next 8 weeks of gospel principles starting on this Sunday. On top of that, we were asked to teach Relief Society the following week. It is a little much but I am grateful for the chance to study hard and with a purpose. I am also grateful that the ward trusts us so much. I also get to speak on one of my favorite talks from General Conference “Come, Join with Us” By Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I am really excited about it. I hope it all goes well. Please keep Sister Mangum and I in your prayer this week as we try to balance our teaching schedule and preparing for Sunday. I know the Lord will provide a way for us. He is great that way!
- Oh also, a new project that sister Mangum and I are doing. Every time we have an extra minute here or there, we make an “I am a Mormon video.” they are getting rather ridiculous but it will be rather fun to show them all to you when we get home. Mormon.org is a great resource. I encourage all of you who can to make a profile or go online if you have questions. I really love that site.
I love you all so so so much! Thank you so so much for all the support. I feel so blessed to have you all in my life. have the most wonderful week!
Ps. The picture is sister Mangum’s lovely drawing of us in our Somali skirts.