Monday, October 28, 2013
Hey there minha familia! How's life? I've been getting Brynne's e-mails each week from the MTC which is fun because I totally understand what she's experiencing now! haha I was freaking out thinking that Ashley had had her baby, but I guess not....so now I'll be freaking out this week! hahah jk I'm super excited for her. You can tell her that I tell Brynnlee? that she can be born now. Maybe that'll help speed things up. haha
And names, we write them ALL down, in the back of our planner, on our planning whiteboard, when we plan for the day, and we talk about them with each other all the time, so it's not too hard to remember. Also, I think the Lord helps with that because their names are important to Him :) But yeah, lots of notes too help :) I've only had one door slam. Usually people are pretty nice and we get a little smile out of them at the very least. They'll say something like, sorry not really interested I have my own church, so we'll say, well you have a wonderful day. Good to meet you :D then smile real big like. haha Although, we've been mentioning Family History more too. We've had a couple people interested in that so hopefully we'll be able to get them an appointment with Sister Mackey the family history consultant at the family history center. Also thanks for getting music ready for me! Muah! I think I'm good on clothes for now :)
Sister Mortensen and I went down there to the family history center, lds.org account info and you're IN. If you click on the temple thing and it has a red star thing next to it, those are opportunities of people who are related to you in someway that need their temple work done, so look up Roy Kirby and Lavina Wagner. Brother Mackey and I were looking at the Gahlbecks. We think we found the husband, but you look up census record and can see their name written in and stuff. It was so cool!!! I wish we could go back to do more, but our work is for the living right now :) But you can do it for me! haha but seriously. It's the coolest thing ever. It was kinda exciting doing some digging to find people.to learn more about it so we can tell people more as we are inspired to when we meet people. It was super cool!!! You can go to LDS.org and then Resources then Family History. You log in with your
There's only a few large dogs here, the rest are little Chihuahuas. So no big dog chases, but little dog chases galore. They like to think they're big and tough. haha This one time a little Chihuahua was going after Sister Mortensen's foot while we were biking by. looked so funny, she was afraid to hurt the little guy. baha And
So this week was incredible. Linda is totally progressing, She's all the way into 2 Nephi 10 or something in her reading. We met with her and Sister Mackey came with us :) Member missionary work! She was seriously the perfect person to bring. We taught the first lesson which wasn't totally smooth as it was the first time Sister Mortensen and I had taught a full lesson together, but it was still good. Sister Mackey had some great input and talked a bit about family history and Linda is totally interested because she doesn't know hardly anything about her family. The Spirit was really strong and I got to invite her to be baptized. She pulled back a little bit and said she wants to study a bit more. She committed to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Sister Mackey was really reassuring to her and bore testimony as did I and Sister Mortensen. I love the feelings the Spirit of the Lord brings to our hearts. It feels sooooooo good :) We're meeting with Lindato follow up and hopefully teach about the Plan of Salvation.
The next day we got to see and talk with Caroline and Mike. Mike is a little quieter, but Caroline, my goodness she already knows everything! She's never read the book of Mormon but she knows the Bible really well. She was asking some hard questions too :) She would say, "I believe that Satan doesn't understand God's plan otherwise he would have made the people like Jesus" And she said so many other I believes, that were totally in line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! She's totally been prepared and doesn't even know it. We were at their house for an hour and a half just talking about the Gospel. I didn't want her to think we were just agreeing with her so we could convert her, but seriously pretty much everything she was saying was true doctrine. We went through the first lesson and even into the Plan of Salvation. She doesn't fully understand priesthood power being restored, but she committed and wants to read the book of Mormon and compare it to the Bible using the footnotes.
And this e-mail is just getting longer!!! haha So we went and saw a referral we got from the Sister missionaries in Garden City. This family, Lynnsi and James Green have 4 kids, I think, that were put into the foster care system because of major problems with their house. 2 of the kids were put with a Mormon family in Garden which the Sister there know, thus the referral because the kids real parents aren't LDS. We went and saw them and they feel their family has been torn apart and are working really hard to clean up the house and fix it. They are very humble, and are living humbly, but both have jobs. They're totally open to learning more and so we gave them each a book of Mormon and talked about how the Gospel blesses families and in time, their family can be sealed together for eternity :) We're going to go over there hopefully this week to help them paint and such :) So excited for them.
The Lord is hastening His work! He's preparing people to receive His restored gospel more than ever before!!!! I'm humbled that He has trusted His precious children to be taught by all the missionary youngens here. I know that when we can feel the Holy Ghost working In us, we can be assured that we are doing good, and that we have been forgiven of sins. I know that the Lord is blessing all of His children in countless ways. I love having time every day to read the scriptures, study Preach My Gospel, conference talks, and to be instructed by Him.
Today is Zone P-day so we get to go to Liberal and carve pumpkins with everybody. So fun! Good way to let loose so we can focus even better the rest of the week. The Lord knows us so well :) Also, for Halloween we can't go out tracting past. We can go places we have appointments and some of the ward members have invited us over which is super nice of them :) Anyways, Love you! Love hearing from you! "For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people" (Mosiah ). Yep, that pretty much says it all! Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
-- Love always and forever!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Kansas is a crazy weather place. haha Confusing kind of like Utah. Since the wind is always blowing it blows the storms away and the heat in, or the heat away and the storms in...not sure which. haha Well we got our first snow here and it was just a little bit, like 2 inches, but it took a couple days for it to melt anyways. the next day was super warm outside. weird. haha Sister Mortensen and I got some nice warm tights at Wal-Mart last week so we should be good to go there. It's been a little chillier, but not too bad at all yet.
I love my District so much. We have a lot of fun, especially playing with Bay Blades and having competitions on P-day when our laundry and everything is done. haha you'll have to look up what those are and imagine how young we must be to play with those. let's just say it was one of the elder's idea...haha They also have great stories from their weeks that I love to hear about. Elder Bennett and Elder Sweeten just committed someone to baptism yesterday!!! Best news ever :)
firstname.lastname@example.org had exchanges for the first time. The Williams (who actually have a blog that you can look at that they tell stories and put district photos up on
com should be it) they gave us a ride up to Meade so we could do the little switcheroo. Sister Mckay came back with me, and Sister Nash took Sister Mortensen with her up to Liberal. I was super nervous cause Sister Mckay has been out for 9 months, everyone loves her, and basically says she's perfect cause she's a pro. haha Anyways, I loved it! I seriously learned so much from her. She's Spanish speaking so when we went out tracting, she was super helpful and spoke really well to the Spanish people we came in contact with. My bike currently has a flat tire, so we decided to go out and walk. She gave new meaning to the concept of talking to everybody. We talked to 16 people 6 of which we actually got to teach a lesson. We handed out one book of Mormon. Our goal of 7 other lessons this week we outdid by a lot, getting in 18 total for this week!! We're learning quickly :) I feel like I'm becoming more of a missionary now because we're working harder, trying to plan better so we can use all of our time effectively. Sister Mckay encouraged us to look through all of the former investigators and plan out which ones we want to go see this week. Often times, people aren't ready to hear the gospel the first time they are contacted by the missionaries. After a little, time, they are. I'm excited to find those people :) We've decided also that when we go to a door to find a former investigator and they're not home, that we should also knock on the doors next door. We found a man named Jose that way. We gave him a book of Mormon and talked a little bit about it, asked if we can come back to talk to him a little more and he agreed. Sweet!!!
Zone Conference was the day after exchanges so we drove all the way down to Liberalmorning. It was a great/fantastic learning experience. We did a lot of role plays and got some awesome feedback to work with, which I wrote all of it down so I can refer back. It's amazing because the zone leader leads it, and there were a couple senior couples there. This is definitely the Lords work because where else would you be able to get a group of 20 year old people together to learn, teach eachother, role play, and strive to be better at teaching the gospel? No where!!! This is truly amazing to see every missionary being so converted and determined to serve the Lord as best we can. It was really motivating.
Still trying to speak Spanish as best I can, but it's horrible. haha I still need to find out when I can study it, It's cool though at church an older lady named sister Fletcher and her husband both speak Spanish, She is learning a little bit of English and is doing wonderfully. I try to talk to her and we can communicate it a little. She told me a bit about her family which seems really big. her daughter has 10 kids for example. haha But she is super patient and loving which is always nice :) Love her.
Dad thank you so much for the story! that is perfect! And truly amazing. I wonder if they still have your suit. That is truly a sweet experience :)
Mom, Grandpa would LOVE, the Boot Hill Museum, guaranteed. We were able to see Angie in passing, but haven't had the opportunity to actually talk to her about the Book of Mormon. Her work schedule is crazy and we haven't figured out really when she's home yet. I'll remember to ask her next time we see her. Linda is progressing. We followed-up with her a couple times and she's still reading the Book of Mormon and believes it!!! We were talking with her and Daniel and Kim (recent converts)and bringing by a triple combination for Daniel, and we were talking about a scripture in Jacob and answering the question we posed of what we would give up to know God and Jesus Christ. Daniel was bearing testimony of what we do give up, and the change that the gospel makes in our lives, and how it's not the easiest, but it's the best. Linda was nodding the whole time!!!! Seriously, she's totally been prepared by the Lord. So exciting, we have a real appointment set up with her for which I am utterly stoked for. I wanted to invite her to be baptized , but couldn't with Daniel talking the whole time. hahah He and Kim are chatterboxes. but I love them to death. We've been trying to see Caroline and Mike, their neighbors, as well but they haven't been home. Daniel and Kim told us the times they should be home, so we're going to try and see them tonight :) I have extremely high hopes for them too :)
Another interesting experience from this week happened when we were beginning our walk home from area 4. We stopped to talk to a man who was outside by his truck. We talked with him and found out he has a wife and two kids, so we talked about how the gospel can bless families. He was pleasant and had heard of the Book of Mormon but didn't know much past that. We could tell that he had questions, and so we asked him what he heard. He didn't want to offend us, but we assured him that he could feel free to speak what was on his mind. He said, "The Bible says that we don't need anymore and the Book of Mormon is more. So it can't be right." He also said something about Joseph Smith being high. So we basically got to talk about the whole first lesson as we were standing there!!! This was the best that Sister Mortensen and I have ever worked together, and it truly was help from the Lord. We talked about the Savior's earthly ministry and Atonement, the Apostasy, The Restoration, and praying to know the truth. He told us we should question the church, and so I whipped out the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and said, we ask all men to question it. and read the last two paragraphs of the Introduction with him. Because we do want people to question it, to pray about it, but to not deny the knowledge they receive when they get an answer, but to act on that knowledge in faith. He agreed to let us come back to talk with him. He doesn't want to be converted, but wants to know more about he church. We're going to see himnight. We prayed yesterday to receive some inspiration of how to talk to him during church, which we did :D and Also we talked to our District about it too at our meeting last night. Elder and Sister Williams had some fantastic input and offered to come with us, which we might do :)
Also, I'm realizing all sorts of answers that I'm receiving in the Book of Mormon. When we talked to a lady who was really not interested and very judgmental. She did not like the idea that we had been raised in the church and was a bit overbearing. She said, do me a favor and venture out because there's a lot more out there to learn. We said thank you for your advice, have a nice day and walked away. THis experience was weighing heavily on my mind. Was there something else we should have said? Should we have been more bold? I was thinking this as I was having personal study. As I read, I realized there was nothing more we could have said. She was set in her way and definitely not open to feeling the Spirit. I read in Jacob"Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you if I don not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you" Whoa! man is that what I needed to hear. I was being over anxious which was causing me to stumble and doubt. So I repented. I know that the Lord knows our concerns. He knows the questions that run through our minds. He knows the worries we have. And He answers our prayers. I know it. It is proved to me time and time again as I study the scriptures and open with a prayer. The scriptures are powerful tools when used correctly and read with a purpose. What a glorious gift we have from our Father in Heaven.
Well I am super duper excited for Greg and Ashley and cannot wait to see a picture of their new little one!!! What's her name gonna be? Also I got an e-mail from Brynne, or Hermana Capps!! Her e-mail actually is email@example.com. Fun fact. haha The Preciados also sent a Halloween card to Sister Mortensen and I cause they know both of us. Fun! Also, can I get Laura Wilde the redhead's address? I gotta send her something :) Way to go mom with visiting teaching!!! I never realized how important it really is til we got out here. Yesterday Sister Baker came with us to see a referral, Karla, and A less active, Rebecca. It's amazing what the members can do, and the way they can connect that we can't. The work is so much more effective together. You have normal things happening everyday that you can relate with, families, husband, and kids, like they do! You can make the atmosphere more comfortable. Members are so important in this work :) I love you all and can't wait to hear another story from you DAD! and to get the ancestor stories:) Thanks again for doing that for me :) I know this church is true and every part of it is essential and important. God truly is over this His work.
-- love always and forever!!
-- love always and forever!!
Monday, October 14, 2013
HIIII!!!! So what a wonderful week it has been! I'm feeling more like a missionary than a lost lamb. You all know how easy it is for me to get turned around. haha Let's just say I'm real grateful for Sister Mortenson to get us to the people that we plan to see each day. This week is bike week. Fun fact about biking with skirts (since you all want to know haha) we have to clip the front and back together so they don't do crazy stuff. It's eventful. haha We've also had a couple days this last week where it rained and thundered and lightninged, which was really cool. Today I'll have to buy a rain jacket at the store so we can bike no matter what! Because the people we talk to and find are worth biking in the rain and ice for!!!
Last P-day the Elders in our District and us went to Boot Hill museum. It's a pretty cool place where they set it up like the Old West days with horses, and itty bitty jails, and old dresses, and pianos and cool things. It was a fun little break and didn't cost anything because we live here in Dodge. The Senior couple Elder and Sister Williams were going to come with us, but sister Williams was not feeling well :/ They are a wonderful example and so fun.night it was back to work.
We visited Angie who is the door across from us in our apartment complex who was looking for a church. We gave her a Book of Mormon and encouraged her to read the introduction. It was the first time I had gotten to do that which was really exciting! We tried to check back with her twice this week to see if she started reading but she wasn't at home. Hopefully this week. But we have 1 new investigator and 2 potential investigators! Daniel and Kim, a married recent convert couple in the ward, were married 3 weeks ago and baptized 2 weeks ago. A couple of their nonmember friends came to support them and Kim's nonmember mom Linda. The new investigator is Linda. We went over to talk with her, and she was like "Daniel and Kim aren't here" so we said, "we actually came to see you!" We had a wonderful talk with her. She said she really felt welcome at the wedding and baptism by the people of the church. She's part of another church and reads the Bible, so we talked about the Book of Mormon and how it also testifies of Christ. I offered one to her and she asked, "it's alright that I have it?" Of course!!! She said,"I'll start reading it tonight" Great Idea! haha we hadn't even mentioned anything to read yet. Oh the spirit felt so good. I truly believe she has been prepared. We stopped by yesterday and she's already read like 20 pages. I suggested she read Moroni 10:3-5 and she read it there on the spot! and she's liking. I can't wait to talk with her more at our next appointment, which is way too far away. I'm so happy and excited for Linda. Also, Daniel and Kim referred us to their friends and neighbors Caroline and Mike. Caroline is actually from Liberia so she has an awesome accent. We got to know them a little bit and what they know of the church. then Mike got a phone call and had to step outside, so we talked a little about the book of Mormon with Caroline. She said, well I know we are both Christians, and accepted the Book of Mormon. They offered to have us come back again which was perfect and we'll meet with them . What a great week!! The Lord is truly with us and guiding us.
We were searching the area for less active members to help them out, and we came to a trailer that apparently a new family had moved into. The mom answered the door and said she didn't speak English so I threw out what I knew to introduce ourselves and our message and she invited us to come back another time because she was busy with her kids begging for her attention and going crazy. haha so we went backand her husband answered the door. He didn't speak English either and they were about to leave to go to something so we set up an appointment for Today at 6:30, which the Spanish Elders are going to show up to so they can actually teach and communicate better than I can. We'll text the Elders tonight to see how it goes, because this is a family! And that's who we're searching for!!!
As part of the training I get to go through, I had to memorize the 1st lesson in the 7 topics and 3 sub points for each topic, along with 7 scriptures to go with each section. Whew! haha I was able to pass it offwith my Companion and now I get to learn more about lesson 2 the Plan of Salvation. It's a great opportunity to really study and learn what's most important to teach about during lessons, and will help me to remember to cover everything we need to so nothing is missed. I can't wait to teach an actual 1st lesson! :)
This week we also found a less active woman named Rebecca. She said, " I haven't been visited by anyone in the church for a while" Sad!! this is why home teaching and visiting teaching is so important! We help keep each other strong so this never happens!!!! When I was learning about visiting teaching at first I felt like there was nothing really happening because the people I was talking to already knew the gospel. But now I understand that what's most important is inviting the spirit into their home and to ask questions so you can teach and share incites with each other!
Also, we met with Sarahi, an17 year old investigator who has been taught all the lessons by the Elders, but then was given to us to teach. She's been taught and visited for 2 months but doesn't seem to be progressing, we have an appointment with her tonight, so we can find out what's really going on. I hope we can be guided by the Spirit and apply what we've been taught and are still learning so we can help her as best we can, and invite the spirit so He can teach the rest, because Heavenly Father knows her heart, and can teach her "more perfectly" than we can (D&C 88:78)
Yesterday at church Brother Chamberlain asked me and the other new missionaries to go up one at a time to introduce ourselves, say what we like about being a missionary and bear out testimonies. What a great opportunity. the war was so welcoming and many members came up and introduced themselves to me. I look forward to getting to know them better.
Really great spiritual experience this week too. To be obedient is to be wise. Sometimes I don't feel I completely understand the relationship between us and our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Then I realized, God gave us families to help us understand that relationship better. Like you said mom, when our family is in harmony, what a powerful sweet spirit that brings. God said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John). I've always thought that was interesting but then I thought, when mom and dad ask you to do something, sometime you do it just because you love them and you show that by doing it. Think of your relationships with family members. You know when someone says, "Do you love me?" and you're like" yea what are you really asking? what do you want?" haha. Well, think if they were truly asking if you loved them. My response would be, " Yes! with all my heart, always and forever, no matter what!" Jesus asked that very question of Peter and asks it of all of us. "_____ Lovest thou me?" Although we might not serve Him directly by getting Him a glass of water, it is as if we did when we do it for those around us, and He thanks us every time. Every time we do what pleases Him, it is helping another of our fellow peers here on earth, and we also are becoming more converted in the process. More Christlike, more willing to serve more people, more willing to volunteer when someone needs one, more willing to be what He wants us to Be. We don't become Him, because He made us different for a reason. But we become like Him. Everything we want to be boils down to having Faith Hope and Charity. We are more confident when we have a perfect brightness of Hope, we have more knowledge when we study with faith, we are kinder and more loving when we have charity. And the list goes on!!! What's the kind of person you want to be? Look at the root of how to get there and it's Faith, Hope and Charity. Hope that all made sense.
Wow! I've been hearing this my whole life and never got it before. haha And there still is so much more to learn!
I'll try to get a biking pic too, gotta say we look pretty legit. haha Instead of finding Toto, we've found tons and tons of Chihuahuas. Dodge City is pretty much a mini Mexico, have I mentioned that before? haha but really they're everywhere. Also, I can only listen to the mp3 on speakers instead of headphones so my companion and I can both hear what's going on, so I da know if you want to send the little speakers I have too if it's not too expensive... you're choice. Thanks though!!!
I love you all!!!! Thanks for your prayers and support! I'm praying for you too!
-- Love always and forever!
Monday, October 7, 2013
So I'm officially here in Dodge City! haha Also, my new P-day is! It's so different than the MTC because it's real! Real people, real stories, real spirits. It was great to chat with Dad for a bit at the Airport but I was sad to have missed the rest of ya. Fun fact, my companion/trainer is Sister Mortenson, Sister Jamie Mortenson. Name sound familiar? So when my mission president showed me a picture of my mission companion I was like, "hmm she's kinda familiar, pretty sure I've seen her at Girls Camp" And in fact I have. haha She's from Cameron Park. We were both familiar to each other, but we didn't really know each other before. Also, cool thing, Mckenzie Howell is also here in Kansas serving a mission, somewhere....haha And yes, Katrina, there are lots of fields here of Milo apparently. Also, thank you for sending my letter on to Alyssa in Japan! She wrote me back and so that was real fun to get :) The weather has been pretty warm, it's just super windy all the time. Thanks for the Jacket though mom! I think it'll be good enough til' I go, and I don't think I need to buy anything clothes-wise here, but we'll see as it gets colder :) Tornado season is over, so sorry, no tornado photos....haha
Here in Dodge my District has 4 elders and me and my companion Sister Mortenson. Pretty small. The elders are all Spanish speaking, and my companionship is English. There's a meat packing plant here in Dodge so there are a lot of people from Mexico here that only speak Spanish, or very little English. (Also, I had to buy a bike from Wal-Mart, so I got the cheapest I could that works for women because we only have the car every other week) Anyways, we were out tracting and stopped by a lady's house who is a member, but is less active. She doesn't speak any English at all really, so I got to try out my Spanish skills. Let's just say I'm trying to keep the Portuguese and Spanish separate in my head, but I was able to communicate and understand ok. It's like Portugespanol that I speak now. haha THe mission president has encouraged even the English speaking missionaries to learn some Spanish, so I've been studying Portuguese mostly during language study, and a teeny bit of Spanish. I know the Lord will help me to understand as I try my best to communicate with and strengthen His children in the gospel, and befriend them, and love them. I let the Spanish people I talk to know that I was learning Portuguese so what I say is a bit of a mix, but I'm so grateful now that I took Spanish in High School and a semester at BYU!!!! I think the Lord knew I would need help for learning Portuguese, and that I would be able to use it here in Kansas.
Also my MTC companion Sister Jackson is currently serving in Lawrence Kansas, I think. She gets to be around a college campus which she was excited for. I think she'll be able to relate really well to the people there and help them to see the amazing impact the Doctrine of Christ can have in their lives and in their hearts.
Speaking of sickness, my companion got a 24 hour flu bug so we stayed in our apartmentto watch conference rather than go to the church building. The senior couple, Elder and Sister Williams were kind enough to bring their laptop over so we could still watch. Oh what a wonder conference is! I just want to tell everyone we talk to that it's available online for the world to see! I also noticed how much the apostles and leaders of the church speak in scripture. They quote scriptures all the time! I was looking a bunch of them up because I want to remember them for later reference when needed during lessons. Conference has never passed so quickly before. I was sad it was over, but I'm glad that I have notes to refer back to until we get the conference Ensign and can treasure up the talks once again. I seriously learned so much that I don't even know what to share!
Mom, that's so fun you were able to visit with your sisters! Also, cool thing about Ephraim's Rescue, the man who directed it, Ron Tanner, came and spoke to us one time at the MTC. He also co-produced 17 Miracles, or something like that. He showed us a clip from Ephraim's Rescue which was amazing and totally made me cry. It also left us on a cliff hanger. haha Something he said in that devotional was "my heart was softened and it became a labor of love" Why do we think sometimes that when something is hard, that it's not worth it? Sometimes that means that there is a greater reward in it! I know it's important to make this mission into a labor of love because I love the Savior and I love His children, but I'm working on making that love into Charity. I encourage all of you to pray for charity, especially towards the people you may not necessarily get along with. I got a glimpse of itat church when I was looking around at all the faithful members there watching conference. Neat experience :)
As we were biking aroundon the way to Laticia's house (sorry don't have much detail past that since I'm still trying to learn names and backgrounds) We stopped our bikes and talked to a man sitting on his porch. He was nice and not interested because he goes to another church, so we went and talked to a lady setting up a garage sale on the same street, and she said something similar. Yesterday, since Sister Mortenson's bike tire was flat, we knocked on the doors of people who live in our apartment building. One sister, in the apartment directly across from ours, said she's looking for a church, but one that meets in the evening because she works in the mornings on Sundays. We told her what time our church starts at, but we didn't even talk to her about the Book of Mormon or anything! Sheesh, so we're going to stop by again tonight and invite her to learn more, because she's searching!!! We talked to a few other people, and I think we made a pretty good impression on one man, Doug even though he's content with the religion he currently has. I need to learn to be bold, because this gospel is important!!! Everyone needs it, it could help them so much to experience a lasting happiness, and receive relief from the burdens of sin and guilt. I know I need that every day.
I just want to thank all of you!!!! Thank you for the wonderful examples you all are to me. "Your devotion strengthens my devotion" (Elder Eyring) I can see how important it is for families to be together and how we strengthen each other so much as we love each other unconditionally and talk with each other every week. You all have wonderful strong testimonies that I know can be even stronger. I'm learning how much of a surface testimony I had on various subjects of the gospel, and that it can touch me so much deeper as my understanding increases. I love having personal and companionship study every day. It's my time with the Lord, to be strengthened, to be taught, to be inspired concerning myself and those we have planned to teach for the day. I know our Savior is with us. He will NEVER forsake us, for He is loving and merciful to all His children.
Yesterday in-between sessions, my district, including Elder and Sister Williams and some recent converts went to the Dameron's for lunch. Taco Salad, DELISH! anyways, haha It was wonderful to meet them. They have 5 children, 4 daughters, and their youngest is a boy. Their oldest is 19 and preparing to serve a mission! so cool :) Anyways, one of the little girls Abby took a liking to me I guess. She came up to me and gave me a jinormous hug. I was a little awkward about it cause I'm not supposed to hug children! so I patted her on the back, haha She said that I look like Hermione and that Sister Mortenson was Ginny because she has red hair and I have curly hair. Perfect! haha she also liked that Abby and I both have green eyes. So cute. Sister Dameron paid me the compliment of saying, you're not 19 are you because you seem more mature. hahah I'm 20, I replied! Yay! I hope that will help to establish some confidence with the members to trust their friends into our care as we follow the guidance of the Spirit. I look forward to seeing the difference in my heart as I allow the Lord to influence my decisions, and help me to become truly converted, so I can better help others to become truly converted as well. Also, Elder Sweeten gave the spiritual thought at the end of lunch, and Brother Dameron afterward asked me to share my testimony in Portuguese to everyone. He told his children that even though they wouldn't be able to understand what was said, to pay attention to how they felt, and that the Spirit would touch them anyways. A lot of pressure! haha jk Brother and Sister Dameron both speak Spanish because they served Spanish speaking missions, and a little Portuguese as well. So I got up and bore my simple testimony, I was really grateful to him for giving me that opportunity. Sister Dameron said she understood all of it, which is cool :)
Anyways, whew what a novel. haha I hope you feel the Spirit when you read at least some sections of the e-mails you get every week. That's my goal :) Love you all! Eu sei que Jesus Cristo e meu Salvador. Ele Vive and Ama todos nos. Em nome de Jesus Cristo Amem. I hope everyone feels better soon!