Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sit down and have a Coke with you...[Dec. 28, 2015]

So it was Sunday and we still didn't have any new investigators this week and Sister Mertens was looking at the old paper area book that we still have. Pretty much the whole thing hadn't been put in the area book app. Well, we found some former investigators to try and the first one was this single mom that has 7 kids living with her all baptismal age. We knocked on their house and before we could introduce ourselves the daughter let us in and the 5 kids that were there and the mom all sat with us as we taught the Restoration, it was soooo awesome.

    Then we still needed some new investigators to count as our found through member ones. Well, we found a potential that was a referral from a now less active recent convert that he referred several months ago. So we visited her and we could tell she had a lot of friends over, but we knocked anyways and she let us right in. Her name is Patty and she is pretty old and has that scruffy voice that long-term smokers do. We found out right away that one of the ladies there was a member who hadn't been to church in several years and her nonmember daughter. After 2 hours of laughing our guts out because Patty is hilarious, both Patty and the daughter became investigators. I love how apparent God shows His hand in this work.

     Anyways, more about Patty, she smoked at least half a pack within the span we were there. She offered us diet Dr. Pepper or Coke my companion asked for a Coke and I made the mistake of asking for diet Dr. Pepper (which btw is my recent go to, when I am in need of a caffeinated beverage which is necessary a lot here with having to drive so much) anyways, she was handing it to me and asked, "do you have diabetes?" "No...." "Well, your not fat. Are you constipated" No...." "Well, we're going to have to work on you."

     Pretty much any topic of conversation goes with Patty. We went from visiting teaching, to our 'magic underwear' and then the social occasions that would require one to wear a bra. (Apparently shopping at Walmart is one that doesn't.) Anyways, I'm pretty excited to start teaching her, but now with Patty "musk" on us, everyone we meet is also going to start thinking we are chain smokers.
So Christmas was fun, we got lots of chocolate and that's all that matters. Skyping the fam was a delight as well.

     Lacey is set to get baptized on Thursday, so we are super pumped about that. I love her so much and this is going to be the greatest thing she's ever done....so yeah....it should be kinda fantastic.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Near, Far, Wherever You Are...[Dec. 21, 2015]

We finally got to move into our new apartment today, so it's been kind of hectic. You have no idea how much stuff apartments accumulate after housing missionaries for just three years. So I'm trying to email in half the time I normally do....hopefully this works out.

Yesterday was a bucket of crazy. Well the night before our district leader was talking about the mission presidents devotional that was happening in Liberal, Kansas the next evening. He mentioned how awesome it would be if we could get Lacey to go. So we made this crazy plan of asking a certain member to drive her and us the 2 hours and 45 minutes to the devotional. (Yeah, that was where they were doing it for our stake) the member was all for it, but she said she only had two seats besides herself. So we needed a member to drive us. We were exhausting all resources and finally as we were talking about it after the block a member overheard us and said you need a ride? We can take you. Haha, no you don't understand....its to Liberal, KS which is almost 3 hours away. Yeah, we can take you. What!? So we went and had lunch with them (this is the same member that fed us goose last week) and we were going to meet the other member at Lacey's house. Well when we got there we found her getting sick on the side of the road so that was a no go and considering the members small car we were in only one sister and Lacey would fit, so me being the graciously generous companion I am I offered Sister Mertens to hang back with the Fillmores all day...haha jk, no she was a doll and said it was my last chance to go to a mission presidents devotional and let me go.
I called the ZLs...no answer....called the district leader and he said GO so me and my companion went on splits....for 7 hours 169 miles away. We had a good discussion with Lacey on the car ride there and the devotional was #worthit. Lots of testimonies from recent converts and lots of talk about acting on faith and the importance of the BOM.
Then I made sure she met President and Sister Bell afterwards which was really good. He told her she was ready and she just needs to take that step of faith...its just faith from now on. Everything that evening came together so well, it definitely was the hand of God. I also chalk up it up to eating that hairy goose.
The ride home was also sooo necessary she opened up so much and I think we FINALLY got to the root of her concern. I also got a call from the ZLs saying the assistants called them and to tell me never to go on splits 3 hours away from my companion again....I imagine that though it will be somehow tempting with all the opportunities that would present themselves over the course of this next month to go on 169 mile away splits, through the grace of God I'll have the will power to overcome such behavior.

We also had our Christmas zone conference this week which was delightful...besides the fact that I had to give my testimony because it's my last transfer....so weird and not okay!

 Pic 1 zone Conf
Pic 2 Lacey and I

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our House in the Middle of the Street...[Dec. 14, 2015]

So, I was just about to write this when the elders texted us asking if we could come out to give them the car keys. After grumbling about why they couldn't just come to the door I go and open the door....see that there is an iPad a few feet away recording and then I look down to see some sort of animal skin on the Fillmores porch and then it slides away as Elder Michaelis giggles reeling it in, because he had attached it to a fishing pole. They were kind of disappointed I hadn't screamed and I almost felt bad, but they're going to have to try a lot harder than that!
I showed them a pic of my brother and Elder Michaelis said hey it's Elder Porter and Elder Porter said, hey it's me a few years down the road.
The main topic/struggle for this week was definitely our housing drama. It's been going on quite a while, but it reached its peak this week. I got permission from our mission housing several weeks ago that we could look for a new place. Our apartment is 2 miles outside of town and we can't go back for dinner and it's too long to walk so when it snows we always have to get rides. One day we just had to eat crackers in the elders garage in below freezing weather, because we didn't have a dinner or transportation. Anyways, so it was a problem and I was trying to fix it...well our bishop owns the place we are at and his wife was beside herself that we would want to move. We ended up calling the mission housing people back after we viewed a perfectly fine apartment that is in the middle of town and has everything we need and they talked with the president and we are getting moved. We have dinner with bishop tonight, so let's hope that's not awkward. Lesson learned here: don't rent as a missionary from your bishop. Super excited to not have to walk an hour in freezing cold weather to finally see people!
Lacey is progressing more and more rapidly! She just keeps going through all of these concerns. She mentioned, okay guys, I've been holding back an addiction I have...I smoke weed. It's like Lacey, we know your house reeked of it when we first met you, but it doesn't anymore we thought you quit....well yeah I haven't had it for a few weeks....and your concern is?? Well what if I want it again! Do you want it? No, not right now....okay....but she really is concerned about it. She of course said the classic, well it's like an herb from the ground. God created it for us...uhhhh. #onlyinCO She completely gave up alcohol and it was because she saw her friend get sick from it a couple nights ago and just realized it's not worth it. Then last night Pshe was like, guys I know what to do! I'll smoke weed right now and you'll see me act all not myself and I'll realize I don't want to be like that anymore. Yeah no! How bout lets be obedient to all of Gods commandments...yeah? Anyways, her countenance has changed so dramatically since I first met her. She is a completely different person....well not different, but a glowing shiny version of herself.
Sister Mertens is my new companion and she is awesome! Unfortunately she hasn't gotten her driving privileges yet, so I had to drive from Wichita to Lamar pretty much straight 6 hours. We have been able to see a lot of miracles since she got here. We have a few new super promising investigators and we have been able to contact a lot of people that it's been hard for us to contact before. Super excited to see what this transfer has to bring.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away...[Dec. 7, 2015]

We watched the Christmas devotional at the church last night and it was so good. Sometimes a French horn player I know plays with them and he was there last night. He was on the chamber orchestra tour I went on right before I left and he was being really friendly on it. I was not at all interested in him, but it still was discouraging when I saw his wedding ring. I have no contact with all of my music school or brick oven friends and I'm going to have to take some happy pills before going on Facebook when I get home to see what I've missed. I feel like I started watching a tv series on Netflix, and I told myself oh I'll just watch one episode, 5 episodes later I've procrastinated everything else I need to get done for so long that I might as well finish the series. I now understand why people used to beg for extensions.

Tomorrow we head for Wichita at 2:00 to get there by 9:00. Then I drive back with my new comp the next day.....fun times living in the middle of nowhere on the edge of the mission! Last week we had
interviews and then the next day zone training, both in Garden City, so that was 8 hours in two days, I complained, so of course we have a drive of 12 hours in two days this week. Karma.

Onward to my last transfer! So incredibly crazy....how did I get here!?

Yesterday I woke up feeling sick to my stomach, but I was good enough to go to church and everything. When dinner arrived after fasting all day I was a little worried how my stomach would hold up. Then we were eating this wild goose, which was good up until my last piece. I turned it over and it was hairy on the other side. I looked up and the hostess was watching me. I could tell she knew what I was thinking, so I looked down and I put on my big girl pants and stuck that hairy goose meat in my mouth. I felt like standing on my chair and yelling, what! What now! Bring it on hairy goose!! Long story short, my stomach, with the help of Chamomile, held it all.

We had a movie night where we watched Meet the Mormons. Some active members were being bums and told us, you know the missionaries did this a few months ago and only two people showed up. Well we advertised and told everyone and 28 people showed up, so that was super awesome!

We had a super spiritual testimony meeting on Sunday which was perfect for Lacey. She was crying and told us she's really warming up to coming to church on Sunday. She even had comments and questions in Sunday School and Relief Society and everyone was so nice to her. Ug, she just needs to get baptized already!!

I feel like so much more happened, but I don't have time to write. Love you all!

Pics: Sister Fillmore, Sister Birks, Lacey and I

Zone training

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's our problem free philosophy...Nov. 30, 2015

This was kind of a bleh week. We had exchanges with the STLs and they were stressful as always. That combined with everyone else I'm working with made me feel about as useful as chopped liver. I was having a breakdown afterwards and asked my companion...well should I just clock out? "No" but really I think that's just the easier route, because everyone else thinks they know how to do things better than I do, so why bother? I also realized that this is my first area where there is no major hurtle I have to push myself to overcome. Nothing that is making me go the extra mile. Other areas I whitewashed, led, trained, and saved from being closed. This area is just fine and my companion is competent. Who knew that the trial I needed was feeling the lack of being needed in an area that was trial free. Well, obviously God.

An experience yesterday kind of sums up how the work went this week. We went and tried a potential we both hadn't met that was in the area book. She was a teenage girl and let us right in. We taught her the restoration on her couch and she took it well. Then we invited her to baptism and she was like to be a Mormon!? Uh...yeah....she said no, then we invited her to read the Book of Mormon...no, I'll stick with the bible...then we gave her a card to Christmas.mormon.org

We had thanksgiving with these members that are RAs for the dorms at the community college here. A couple college kids showed up....they're new investigators now!

I'm trying hard to show gratitude for everything that God gives me. Isn't it cool that we have a holiday that reminds us to do that? But I really think that is key to happiness.

"Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I'm suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstance- whatever they may be....Being grateful in our circumstance is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, 'not my will, but thine be done.'" President Uchtdorf

Sister Fillmore let us help her make pies.

Thanksgiving dinner.
Elder Michaelis and his food baby with Elder Porter.
Outside our window this morning. Mother Nature decided to welcome our bike week in with some aerial bestowed powder.

The weather update....we call this area Lamar beach, because there is a river bed that had a beach and some elder way back from California started calling it the beach and it stuck. I thought. Super ironic the weather update showed the beach...



Monday, November 23, 2015

I think we found Fluffy...[Nov. 23, 2015]

So last Monday we were driving to Walmart and I saw a big tumbleweed on the side of the road and I pulled over. Our apartment is rather dreary so I was thinking a tumbleweed decorated as a Christmas tree would lighten it up. Well the tumbleweed didn't fit in out car so we walked it the couple blocks which was awkward especially when people we knew honked at us. We tried stuffing it in the elders garage, but they walked out right as we were stuffing it in the doorway...it was funny. Well, we got it in and later when we wanted to go home, Sister Birks was a trooper and held it outside the window as we drove the couple miles to our house. Of course we also left right as the elders came up with the Fillmores. They got a pic of us. 
One evening we were biking to an investigator and it was dark and this dog came out of nowhere and it was big and barking at us and following at my legs. It got real fast and I screamed bloody murder. Had I had the pepper spray on me that dog would've had it coming! But thank goodness I didn't because it ended up being our investigators dog. It was a German shepherd, but it was far scarier than some pitbulls I've met.

The elders have been driving all over the place and have had lots of adventures they've told us about, but they were butts and scared Sister Birks as she got something out of the trunk and saw a dead bird. I hate sharing a car with elders! They are good elders though and they met a guy two weeks ago and he's getting baptized Saturday!

 There was a crazy blizzard that happened earlier in the week and it calmed down enough that we could walk outside. Lots of semis were stuck in Lamar, because all the surrounding towns got tons of snow.

Lacey is still progressing. She is making small steps with changing her life. We are trying to really get her in the Book of Mormon, because that's really gonna be the key with her understanding everything. We also established that we are having a dinner with her every weekend in the hopes that she won't be tempted to go drinking afterwards. She is so fun and cute and I just clearly see how much potential she has.

We had dinner with this one member who told us that in Brazil on his mission whenever they had trouble with someone they were teaching who wouldn't stop talking, they would ask three random successive questions without giving them time to answer, to break their train of thought and the other companion would go straight into the lesson. The elders tried it on us one time and it was so annoying!

 Anyways, stay fly. Read the Book of Mormon. Go to church. Know that God loves you. Oh and pray for things that you need right then!

Pics: Sister Birks, Lacey, me
Our tumble tree
Sister Birks, and I with Lacey's dog, princess. She blended in with my
black scarf.
E. Michaelis, E. Porter, me and Sister Birks
E. Michaelis without adjusting the seat after I drove.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's a Christmas Miracle, Charlie Brown...[Nov. 16, 2015]

We have been teaching this lady named Lacey. She's had a rough past involving incarceration and teen pregnancy and she has SO MUCH POTENTIAL, but it is so hard for her to see! Babylon is all she knows. There's that popular quote, what the mind can conceive it can achieve. Yeah she is still at the conceiving part of it. But just within the past little over a week she has changed so much. She is feeling the spirit more and more during the lessons. Well, at the beginning of the week she was set to be baptized Feb 28th but then we taught her the WOW and LOC and she had a mini freak out. She mentioned that no one had taught her this when she was young. We fasted for her and the next day we took this awesome team up that helped her with her vision of herself. Then the next day she kind of dropped us and said she was going to a different church in Sunday. But we told her about priesthood blessings and she really wanted one so we set it up for at the church. She got it and felt really good about it and then we showed her the font and because of him on our iPads. Then I told her that God didn't send us to her in a few years, but NOW, because He knows she's ready. I asked her if she still wants to get baptized. She said yes. I asked when. She said Feb 28th. (Totally unexpected, we were thinking she would say months down the road) then I told her she would have to live WOW and LOC that day and she committed to do so. Such a MIRACLE! Lacey told us a psychic told her that people would be coming to see her and she will learn a lot about herself through them and she took us as those people. Another investigator this week told us that a lady in her old church that she doesn't know too well stood up and said that people are going to come to see Gail and she needs to listen to them and she is taking us as those people. Talk about prepared!

 Both the elders and us hit standard, which I think is the first time my whole mission that my entire district hit standard so that's a miracle itself.

 Yesterday I may or may not have told a random stranger that he is the most prideful person I ever met...we were in a gospel discussion talking about the existence and nature of God and he pretty much said he believes He exists, but that doesn't motivate him to change his sinful behaviors. We had a good discussion on pride and he's a new investigator and we have plans to meet his wife who is a referral we were planning on seeing anyways. I think I have old man syndrome again where my death is eminate and I'll say what I want to say. Oh who's
kidding....I have that all the time!

 One evening we prayed and I rubbed my eye....than it started burning and felt all blood shot and I had no idea why. Then later I was playing with the nozzle of the pepper spray in my pocket and was like...oooooh....

 We got a new phone (nothing to be excited about...it's harder to text than the last one) well we tried setting it up, but it failed and then we didn't have any phone. So we went to our appointment and across the street was a member so we asked to borrow her phone and she was super
 nice. On the phone the lady that helped asked my first and last name and she started calling me by my first name and then it got to the account name and I was like LDS church? And she's like oh...is it sister? Uh yeah! And she started calling me that. I don't know if she
was a member or maybe just working at Sprint she must talk with a lot of missionaries changing their phone. But the member we borrowed the phone from asked if we had a dinner...we didn't...so she fed us dinner and talked about our investigators and just was so nice. I love members!

Picture: selfie with Kaitlyn

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oh When the Saints go Lamarching in...[Nov. 9. 2015]

This week was a hardun' ...my companion likes to plan things to a T and I'm one that's like....let the spirit just blow me where I need to go. It's more PMG to plan to a T, but try planning with Sister Seymour at 10pm after biking up a small hill for 30 minutes to get home and see how that goes. :] Oh yeah it's also bike week...and we live about 2 miles outside of town...yay. Anyways, so I know that I've seen success, therefore I know what I'm doing is at least one right way to do things, so it's been a lot of a balance act with not letting my pride get in the way, but also correcting when I know there is a better way. Can I go back to training?

This week marks my first EVER flat tire on my bike. Even before my mission I used to go road biking and stuff and have never gotten one. The elders fixed it up. We got some gooduns!

The Fillmores have bailed us out so many times and they are such sweethearts! I have no idea what we would do with out them. She feeds us pancakes Monday mornings and they never go to bed before 9:30 in case they have to help one of us.

We had a double baptism! Isaiah and Kaitlyn! They are so awesome and were super ready. They're brother Jesse got baptized last week and their mom the week before. (Found through aunt who got baptized 2 years ago) The grandma and sister are left. The sister is named Kristina...its just a matter of time. :)

Lamar is interesting, because they really are the size of a small Ward, but the population is just a bit bigger than Goodland, which had to travel to go to a very small branch in the city 30 minutes away.
The difference? Goodland had one big less active family. Lamar has a big solidly active family which created a foundation for the ward. Goes to show every person is so vital in building the kingdom. It's
been hard coming from Junction where people come and go so often to here where everyone is related and if you talk with anyone they know at least a couple people that go to the LDS church.

On Weds we had a team-up with this active member who is probably about my age. She had these super cute glasses on and her hair was thick and was in this sleek slicked back pony tail. She had this perfectly cute coat on over her thin figure and I had this immediate....I want to be you when I grow up impression. The next thought....oh wait. We are like the same age. I have been working to be you for several years and yet here I am in my ugly black smudged shoes with my I don't care hair in a low falling out pony. Pale legs splotched with mosquito bite scars. Whatever make up I had on had long been sweated off from biking. Why am I failing at this goal of perfection? Haha, maybe because only Christ is perfect and He has no intention for me to be perfect in that way. But this goes far beyond the mission. Not having social media has been bliss because my self esteem doesn't at all stand with how many likes or followers I have. It doesn't rely on the funny or profound things I have to share on Facebook. My self esteem here completely relies on my standing before the Lord....that is until I have a run in with a team-up that the adversary uses to let me lose sight on what the vision for myself is. Don't know what I'll do when I get off this shin dig....I guess practice what I preach. CPR...church, pray, read.

Random AP visit... Me, sister Birks, AP Merrifield, DL Michaelis, E. Porter, AP Limb
Zone training
Baptism! Me, Sister Birks, Kaitlyn, Bro. white, Isaiah, MaryAnn (mom)
LDS.org...been there don't that. (Regarding the prompt to meet Elder Stevenson

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm not in Kansas anymore...[November 2, 2015]

This week has been crazy. It started off with so many sad good byes. Saying bye to Sarah was the hardest. She is a recent convert and just a classic teenager and when I told her I was leaving the next morning she started tearing up and I just hated life at that point. She was the first one to get baptized in her family and I just found out that her brother in law who is also like her adopted father is on date for baptism and committed to quit smoking. When I left he completely refused to quit smoking and consider baptism, but I just got Sister Chappells email and after fasting he had a change of heart. I LOVE THAT FAMILY sooooooooo MUCH.

 So Wednesday we drove 2 hours to Wichita, had the transfer devotional then I sat in a van for 3 hours awkwardly squished next to an elder and then another 3 hours to Lamar. So full day of driving. Then we had Thursday and Friday where Sister Birks introduced me to so many awesome people here in Lamar. I feel like right away I click with like everyone here, more than any other area I've been in. It's Gods way of saying, hey, you weren't done with just Junction.

 Saturday we were back on the road for 12 hours. We didn't get back til 12:30, thank goodness it was the time change! Sister Birks just finished her training, so she doesn't have driving privileges yet, but we took a bus for part of it so it wasn't all me. She is just like me when I was that far in the mission. She puts a lot of pressure on herself and I want to help, but I don't want to step on her toes with things, so it's a balance. I feel like I'm getting good at being in the background of things and a safety net when they need it. She has a very different personality than me and I realized that I just have to constantly decide we are going to get along. We'll be besties by the end of this.

 We drove 12 hours to see an apostle! The third one that I have shaken hands with. Elder Stevenson. He is so awesome! He asked who was here when E.Holland visited in May and most of us raised our hands and he was like oh dear....you should never lower your expectations...except for right now. Lower your expectations. I learned a lot from him. I need to promise specific blessings when committing people. I also need to testify at the end of each lesson to leave the spirit in their home. He talked for like 2 hours and it felt like nothing and it reached 6:30 and he was like holy smokes it's 6:30! Then he went on for another 15 minutes lol. So we missed Halloween in its entirety, but this was much preferred.

 Oh I forgot, Friday we had a baptism! When I got there late weds night they had nothing set up for the program including the talk and no one to baptize him. We got it pulled together though and it was awesome. It was for Jesse who is 11 and two of his older siblings are getting baptized this Saturday. His single mother got baptized a week ago.

 My mission dad (first district leader) went home this last transfer and in his departing testimony he talked about the Wizard of Oz and how it's about Dorothy and her adventures to Oz. She meets up with people along the way. They all help her and she helps them and in the end when she finally gets to her destination she realizes it wasn't where they were going that mattered, but the people you meet along the way. Completely describes my mission. Especially the meeting of people with no heart, courage or brains :P

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Out of the Darkness and into the Sun...[October 26, 2015]

Transfers are this week. I'll be going to....can I get a drum roll please?....Lamar, Colorado. It is the furthest you can get from the mission office, like even further than Goodland, KS. I am soooo excited to go back out west. Totally unexpected! I'm kind of sad that I won't be staying in Junction for the rest of this shin-dig, but I think it will be good to immerse myself in another town for these last two transfers. Junction will be missed, but I totes will be back to visit fo' sho'. 

Do you ever have that feeling like you have an amazing story to tell and you are bursting at the seams to finally get the niceties out of the way so you can get to it? Maybe that's not a feeling everyone gets, but I have it ALL THE TIME and I'm holding onto a spectacular one.

 An elder in our district...it may or may not be our district leader...takes pride in the fact that he can talk on the phone while biking and the person on the other line doesn't realize it. Conversations will go....uhhh are you on your bike? What!? How can you tell? oh it's the wind right? yeah....and you're breathing kind of heavily....no wAay! Well, last Friday he was biking and talking on a conference call and got distracted and ran into a car. Apparently, the crash wasn't too bad and he just got back on and biked the rest of the day. Well, the next morning his calf was all swollen and he went in and got xrays and it sounds like he fractured his leg. He finds out for sure today. So we had been loaning them the car and his companion has been driving. Last night after they gave it back to us he brings up the dreaded weight room topic. He is taking this whole thing as a sign of God humbling him and he apologized and we compromised to get the weight room from 6:30-7am. He had lightened up so much over the past couple days. I don't know if he was holding onto all of this and it was weighing down on him or what, but he was joking around with us and almost like a completely different person. He's a good guy. It really was our matching pride that created the situation. It will be nice not having to wake up at 4:45, but more importantly this whole experience has grown me sooo much. The refiner's fire is tough, but what you learn about yourself afterwards and the experience you gain from it is so incredibly worth it. We get these tough experiences as blessings from keeping the commandments. Isn't that crazy? Keeping the commandments doesn't make us live happy go lucky lives, but it makes them tough... and real... and it forms you into what you need to become.

 Oh my gosh, I am going to miss Sister Chappell so flippin' much!!! She is such a kindred spirit and my bosom buddy!! :'( Yesterday we sat through two Primary programs. I haven't seen a primary program (a real one, my last one was in Goodland and consisted of like 2 kids over the age of 10) for like 5 years. It was so delightful!)

 I keep forgetting to put this in, but at a zone conference I was sitting and eating my lunch when the conversation of first names got going. I told a sister that I sometimes tell people my first name is Elaine and her companion looks up and says, wait, it'
s not!? You told me your first name is Elaine....haha whoops! She also thought I had only been out for 6 months until someone I came out with told her we came out together and she figured it out.
Ugh, I just have no time to write in this!

 We went on exchanges and I actually got to stay in JC this time! I've been to Salina so much! Sister Palmer had been here for 7 months previously and she came with me and we visited some people she saw a lot and we kept expecting them to get all excited to see her, but every time they just were like same old same old. One person Sister Palmer was even like, I'm Sister Palmer, do you remember me from before and they just were like yeah and shrugged their shoulders. It was kind of sad, but also funny. I think she was just here for so long they think it's old news if she comes again.

 This week is going to be super exciting. I know transfers are always inspired and I am ready to see what this next transfer has to hold. Hopefully, its not as hard as the last one, but they keep getting harder and harder.....I guess if it's not harder, I will just be cheaped out on the experiences that I can gain. hmmm....

 Love you all and thank you so much for your prayers!
 Sorry no photos, but there will be plenty next week!

Monday, October 19, 2015

I'm really sorry Stephen, but your bicycle's been stolen...[October 19, 2015]

So there was sitting down in a small room sister trumpet was next to me after FET of the Johnson was sitting facing us between us for production of sugar hands down on the table I tried using the diction feature on my iPad and obviously needs some nerd to fix it. Totes not a problem the way I talk...
[Stop right there...Phew....for a moment I thought either I or her had completely lost a mind...but the most hilarious part is that there is "totes not a problem the way I talk"...I seriously do not make this stuff up...how could I??? Dear Readers...don't worry...the saga continues. Ask yourselves is this a mission blog or more like a novel? It definitely reaches new heights this week....]

 So there I was. Sitting down in a small classroom, with Sister Chappell next to me after FHE. Elder Jones was seated facing us. He had placed a small table between us, for protection I'm sure. His hands palm down on the table. "Sister Seymour, are you going to let go of your pride? Are you going to let this go?" My arms were crossed in front of me and I placed my right hand to my forehead. My eyes started welling up. I wanted to let it go. It wasn't pride holding me to this, it was standing up for what's right and fair. It wasn't about the YMCA. It was about not letting him walk all over me. I WANTED to let it go so bad. I had tension headaches every day. I was emotionally drained. I had just asked the zone leaders for a blessing that afternoon and I had been promised that this would soon be over.
The zone leaders talked with the APs about it and they told us that we need to figure things out ourselves. Of course the zone leaders also don't know what to do about it, so it kind of was all on me. There wasn't anything I could do, his "compromise" wasn't a compromise at all and we all knew it. Would it be right for me to just let it go? How far can I go?
In that moment I felt constrained. I know we weren't alone in that room and the angels that surround us were there supporting me. Then the words of my loving mother that I read in my email that day rang in me. Don't back down. "No."

[OK...Wait a minute...Back up...Remind me...How exactly did I get drug into this little drama when I am hundreds of miles away? I seriously do not remember saying, "Don't back down"....Does that really sound like something I would say??...If I did, why does she chose this moment to start listening to me?...Ugh!!...Once again--card carrying member of  "Loser Mom of the Year Club"...(Please tell me no one in RS reads this??)...Here's hoping that this drama is all a joke that she will come home and laugh about that we all took her seriously!!....]

We didn't have any more time so I asked if we could talk about it the next day and he told me to go home and pray about it and repent.
I got home and talked with the ward elders to see what they thought. Then sought some advice from the STLs and prayed and I finally, after an extremely long week, felt peace. It was over and done. The angels silently took their notes. The bubbles in that test were filled in and whatever actions we all took in it were noted.
It was interesting, because this is the one and only thing that he would be like this over. We all have an Achilles Heel (well, technically we all have an Achilles' tendon... haha!)
Of course, the aftermath still goes on. It was bike week so Weds and Fri we woke up at 4:45 so we could bike to the Y so we had enough time to exercise before the elders came in at 6, which now means my body just wakes up at 4:45 every day :( Tues the Spanish elders were talking with Elder Jones in an interview and they brought it up and said it wasn't fair. That was right before District meeting and they got in an argument in DM which was awkward.
The cherry on top was Weds morning we were in the weight room and 5:55 rolls around and I'm facing Sister Chappell who is on a machine and there's a door with a window behind her. I see an elder peek through, but I couldn't see who it was fast enough, then I see an older guy look through. It took my early morning brain a couple secs to process it, but then I turn wide eyed to Sister Chappell....uh President is here.
No, he's not.
Uh yeah, he really is.
We awkwardly walk in the hallway and President was like its so great to see you guys up so early to exercise! What do you guys like to do? Sister Chappell mumbles, lift weights. Wow, that's awesome! Well, don't leave on our account. Haha, yeah.....
I don't know the whole story, but what I gather is E. Jones asked to go on exchanges with him and he came. Apparently, he also didn't know about the whole weight room drama because the ZLs were talking about it afterwards. Regardless we unexpectedly saw President at 6am in sweaty exercise clothes with no make up.
Nothing much has happened since. We are just trying to keep the peace.
But after all this I'm now almost positive I'm leaving. I was talking with the ZLs the other day and complaining that we have a baptism and Elder Stevenson (the new apostle) is coming to stake conference the weekend after I'm gone and they were like, "hey, it's not 100% sure you're gone....just 95% sure"...yeah.
I was thinking about it yesterday and over the past 4 and 1/2 years I have lived in 12 different wards. (Wards that I went to at least 6 weeks in a row and served in) it's no fun...the life of a nomad.
This week was hard with lots of biking and no one being home. The weather is phenomenal though. People in our apartment complex probably think I'm high all the time because every time we leave the apartment I talk a deep breathe and just marvel....it is sooooo beautiful!
Friday, we went to Wichita for a sisters conference. It was delightful. I learned a lot about myself. Sister Gomez was my STL before and she is uh-may-zing. We were in her training and she was telling us that sisters lose confidence, because we start listening to lies the adversary tells us, like I'm not good at this, no one likes me, I'm ugly. We start voicing these lies like they're truth. She then told us we need to make an honest inventory of our strengths and weaknesses. At one point she pointed out a few peoples strengths and randomly pointed at me and yelled Sister Seymour is so BOLD. (haha, some people would say that would be on my weakness list.) She's a doll though and exactly what I needed to hear.
We saw our bud from last transfer, E. Christiansen. He is in the office now and lit up when he saw us.
Now for some funny bike stories.
Both took place around 8:00 so in the dark and Kansas is too cheap for street lights( the ones that light up the street, not the ones that direct traffic) so it's really dark. Well we were biking pretty much all the way across junction and we hear this clanging and it was like we ran over a glass bottle or something. Sister Chappell joked that hopefully it wasn't something that fell off our bikes. We get there and Sister Chappell asks where her kickstand went...it's a goner.
Sister Chappell is faster than me so she was way ahead and I get to this giant truck that is parked and hide behind it to see how long it would take for Sister Chappell to notice I'm not behind her. Well this black lady comes along and mentions what is that flashing light!? It was my back light, but she curiously comes closer and all I'm thinking is she is giving away my hiding spot! Well she was very talkative and we of course go into the conversation of religion. She goes to Faith Tabernacle which could also be referred to as the great and spacious building. She was super nice though and pretty much told her life story as I was standing in the road mounted on my bike with my helmet on. Sister Chappell finally came back and told me she went all the way to our destination before she noticed I was not behind her and probably dead on the side of the road.
Well, here's to hoping that was my last bike week ever! :)
The Bohmans mission ended and it was so sad! They lived across the hall from us and have lent many a shoulder to figuratively cry on. Us and the Spanish elders helped them move. I get to be the first one to see them off the mission though! I also found out that out of the 9 people in our district I'm the only one not from Utah....yeah....

Milford Lake on the way to Wakefield

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's fun to stay at the YMCA...[Oct. 12, 2015]

This week has just been one of those weeks. I wouldn't say we got into an all out war, because it never got declared....but it definitely was what congress would declare a "conflict". We've been having a disagreement over the gym and which resulted in a new policy from MLC and several discussions between us and the Zone Leaders and the Zone Leaders and the APs and President. It's been just dandy. In an effort to not have to abridge myself I'm just not going to post any details in a public format, but if you want them just email me or my mom and we can just copy and paste the whole story...preferably me, because I'm getting a pathetic amount of emails compared to my companion. :D
Consequently, angels have been watching over us. Our week was full of awesome lessons and lots of people earnestly seeking for truth. One such person is Sunshine. We just talked with her on the street and she mentioned she met with missionaries before. We had been stopping by her place, but it always was not "good timing" we were about to drop her, but we tried again and we got to sit down with her and her husband and they both were very interested. We explained about the Book of Mormon and he was like I really want to read that! Do you have another copy? Haha, yep. Another occasion, we visited a member we never had met and she was doing the hair of two of her friends and she was so good at getting them to understand our purpose and both of them were super interested
and committed to come to church.

We decided we needed some good pics together. Sister Chappell is the only reason I'm surviving out here. She is my best friend and I am so mad that I have to wait a stinkin' year to hang out with her
afterwards. We understand each others quirks and we have so much fun together.
I had a stomach ache and my biceps were killing me so we made a pit stop at CVS and I got some Sprite and muscle rub and both were exactly what I needed. I thought the Sprite can had a quote on it that was quite fitting.
Oh and we had some flour wars on p-day.

Monday, October 5, 2015

For some reason I can't explain, I know St. Peter will call my name...[October 5, 2015]

Well, this week marked the first time on my mission I've been pulled over. As it's been mentioned in the past...I make sure when it's our turn for the red car...we get it. Well, the elders didn't mention to me that they for some they decided to turn off the automatic lights, and I didn't notice it until law enforcement brought it to my attention. Just got off with a verbal warning, huzzah!

We had a zone conference that lasted from 9-5 on Tuesday and it was so good. We talked about being spiritual giants which was inspiring. Elder Jones gave an awesome training on visions and goals, and I think that was all a good prelude to conference weekend. I think the biggest thing you can gain from conference is first, to remember and ingrain the spirit you felt as the apostles witnessed of Christ and second, what are you specifically going to do about it. What are you going to change to progress.

I realized that one of the reasons I'm lacking in confidence is without even realizing it, I think negative or judgmental thoughts about people and I want to recognize when I'm doing it and change.

 We had a lot of investigators watch conference which was awesome. One was Sharla, who has been investigating the church for forevers and it was her first time making it to the building. She has a 4 year old who amazingly kept entertained with the several copies of coloring pages I got from the lesson manuals in the library. Her baby was also with her and slept for most of it. Sharla LOVED conference and I think it's finally getting to be the right time for her with everything.

Elder Jones has been like a completely different missionary since we had our talk. There was just one day last week where we had really bad numbers. Sometimes that just inexplicably happens and with it came the smallest of reflections of the old E. Jones, but it went away again. There are few missionaries that I have had the honor of working with that are true spiritual giants and Elder Jones is definitely one of them. If we lay everything on the altar of sacrifice the Atonement truly can change us from where the natural man led us to what God intended for our divine nature.

Now for some comic relief....on Saturday, right after the afternoon session, Elder Jones calls us to tell us that a family in the branch invited us all to come over for a bbq in half in hour. We didn't have a
dinner, so we agreed to go. When we got to their house, we knocked. No answer. Rang the doorbell. No answer....okay...so we text the branch elders. They said that they were on exchanges and E. Jones was with a Spanish elder. We call up the Spanish elders and E. Tarma was with a member and said that his comp and E. Jones didn't have a phone. Then we decided E. Jones must've been pulling our leg and had us go to a rando members house expecting dinner, and we were already thinking of ways to get back at him. Well, I was thinking maybe we should check in the back, but first off, it's on Post so that would be creeper status and some MP will come at us. So while we were doing all of this we were in the car, so we decide to try one more time and we go back and they still weren't home. Right when we decide to go home, their neighbor comes out and asks if we're with the missionaries....uhhh, yeah? Then he tells us we can just go in and that their in his house, apparently the bbq was at their neighbors house.
We still will probably get the Zumbrennens involved. "oh hey elders, what's up?" "not much, just excited for dinner" "um...." Just kidding. That would be mean.... ;)

Have I talked about the joys of going on Post. It requires every week to go get passes, which is like 8 miles out of our way. They do a big background check and I had one comp who they told her that her parents car tags were expired. Then while on Post we can't talk with people except for members or friends of the members. Its also huge and hard to find anything.

We had an awesome lesson with an investigator we have living in a less active's home. I was talking about her relationship with God and she was explaining how she prays when things are going bad, but forgets to when it's going good. I explained that's not how it works, that He wants to here from us all the time and that's how we can rely on Him and I asked her how she can continue building that relationship all the time and she's like, well, I guess I need to go to church. THANK YOU. Been trying to tell you that since day uno, but now it finally got across. Haha, she still didn't get to church, but that's missionary work for ya.

A less active gave me her cello (side note--just so no snob musician freaks out--her cello was the same price as what it would cost to ship me home) to fix, because the tail piece string thing that goes around the end pin kept coming off. So I did what any highly educated luthier would do and super glued the metal screw thing that kept popping off. It worked. Now the problem, which she probably hasn't realized is that her bridge is stupid and not curved right, so the D string is like the same level as the A and G so it is really hard to play right. But you bet your bottom dollar I'm playing the heck out of that thing on p-day.

Sister Chappell used to go to the gym all the time to work out and we decided we need to start doing that. Skinny September ended up being the month of our biggest weight gain....the YMCA is an effort to not turn October into Obese October. So we are now having the exercise regime of waking up at 5:40 and treadmilling it for 30 minutes, then working out in the weight room--which Sister Chappell is an expert at. The unfortunate part is you can probably guess who also frequents the gym at 6 am.

Now for a side story--also wow, sorry this is the longest post ever-- so there once was a father and son who were making a journey to the market to sell their donkey. To get there they had to go through 3 towns. To the first town the father offered the son to ride the donkey, so as the son was riding it and the father walking beside it the town people would murmur saying, how rude of it was for the son to not let his elderly father ride the donkey. So the father and son switched places and as they were going through the 2nd town the townspeople would say how rude it was for the father to not let his young son ride the donkey. So they both got on and rode it through the 3rd town and by the time they got to the market the donkey was so worn out that no one wanted to buy it.
Now what should have happened is the father and son should have made a plan, where the son could ride it through the first town and the father through the second and they both walk the third in an effort to give the donkey time to recuperate and look healthy for the market. Then as they were riding it wouldn't matter what people said to them, because they could look at each other with full confidence, because they had a plan.

So Saturday mornings at 6 am, the YMCA is closed and we do this just delightful thing called morning sports. *the sarcasm is so real for this one* so we do soccer, basketball, volleyball and last time we did smashball. It's a true test of patience for whoever is on my team. It actually isn't as bad as I was imagining, but I'm still about as good as chopped liver next to any other elder. My middle child syndrome was kicking in and I was kind of annoyed with it all. These kids all did sports in high school and that's so easy to find and do....then God sent me a cello. Now I'm all good.

We went to Herington and found this delightful field decorated.
Just hanging out with my mummy friend.
Sister Chappell and I started making a list of people who we love and would want in our room of favorite people. It consists of like everyone in Junction City, so we decided we want to start taking pictures with all of these people. This is the first with Twana, Sister Humbard and Jen.
Exhibit A for reasons we are gaining so much weight. 


Monday, September 28, 2015

Put a Little Love in your Heart...[Sept 28, 2015]

You know you're a missionary when a member comes up to give you a  compliment on your skirt and then tells you if you had plans to burn it before you leave, give it to her instead. It was my black and white vertical striped skirt. I think I'll keep it.
To preface the next compliment I was given...it was raining and we biked to her house, of course wearing helmets. I left my hair to dry and it was -Hermione in the first two movies- level of frizz. She said I had beautiful long hippie hair. #flowerpower

Gloriah got baptized! Such a sweet experience. She shared her testimony afterwards and it was so awesome! She just has a pure testimony of the commandments and the importance of your relationship with God, rather than just going through the motions.

At dinner last Monday I felt something licking my leg and I looked down expecting a dog, but it was their enormous cat.

The broadcast on Saturday was awesome! Sarah brought a friend and it was cool talking with her. I really enjoyed the last video in it and my favorite line was when she said she didn't feel like she had to get to know me before she loved me. This is one occasion where fake it til you make it DOESN'T apply. Because we all run into those people who put on a front when you first meet them and then they ignore you every other time. I think there just needs to be more unconditional Christ-like love in this world. Of course, like everything it starts with you and I think especially with showing love for others it spreads like wildfire and pretty soon, maybe not ALL over the world but at least in you're little microcosm, people will reflect what they see in you.

The Spanish elders bailed us out
when it started pouring rain. They
made us get a pic though.

 Sister Chappell, me, Gloriah
and Jack Peko, President Downing 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Look down, look down, don't look him in the eye; look down, look down, you're here until you die...[Sept. 21, 2015]

This week was so long! It didn't feel like it as we were going through it, but last night Sister Chappell mentioned it was just Thursday when we sat down with Elder Jones....what! That felt like a week ago! And a week ago was when we got our hair cut....no way!
We reached our climax with Joneskilletbiscuit. Wednesday, we had our second combined lesson with Gloriah. They requested the elders come as well and we think it's because Jack (her husband) really likes them. Well, it went well, we talked about the covenants of baptism and answered her questions about her baptism. Afterwards Elder Jones, to put it simply, was just acting irrationally about the whole thing. Thankfully our ride came and we left for dinner. Inside the car I was close to tears, but then I remembered when things get bad, turn outward. Which was easy to do, because it was with Sister Fields, this older single sister in our Ward. I love her so much! She is like one of those fairy-god mother like people I run into and she told us just how she was able to really understand about the atonement over the last year. I'll talk more about it later.
Later, I talked with the Bohmans and they told us to call the zone leaders, so we did. After I told them the whole story they were like, have you told Elder Jones how he's making you feel....yeah! Well...kinda...its kind of obvious how we feel, right? They then told us to have an inventory with him and they committed us to do it the next day.
We made a comprehensive list of everything we think he's doing well and then everything he does that makes us feel like the scum of the earth. We planned to meet them at a park next to our apartment and on the walk there I felt like a guillotine was at the end of it. I think he was dreading it as well, because they were like 30 minutes late. We just talked to a bearded homeless lady while we waited.
When we finally sat down, he just listened as we went through it all. We started with the good stuff....he does this lip-purse thing when he is holding back a smile...and so there was a lot of that, but then we got into the bad stuff and he looked like we gut-punched him.
In the end, he told us how he has had problems with sisters in the past. Nothing serious, but just with flirting. So to avoid that, he just isn't that nice. He learned to be better with it all when he was in Colby (he was my DL back in Goodland); but he explained after being an AP, he just went back to his old sister-hater ways. Yay....
But I think he's realized that's not gonna fly anymore. He has been better since. We've been having to be on our toes with anything that could possibly be interpreted as flirting. He said we have to figure out what to improve on on our own, because he gets obsessed with things we're doing wrong, which has also helped a lot. I feel like he trusts us more. It's been good, but it's only been like 4 days, so hopefully it stays okay. :) Communication....it's good stuff.
We have this one investigator who lives a little bit away, so we can't just stop by, and she started not replying to our texts. We were worried she was upset about something, but she came on Sunday and said her daughter was playing with it in the shower. So yay for broken phones! Haha!!
We also are teaching this single mom and her kids and her 11 year old daughter mentioned how they pray every night together now. So cute!
Now for Sister Fields. She was explaining how this last year has been her year of true conversion. She had been through the temple and watched her kids go through and everything long ago, but she still was able to just have an eye-opening year. I thought that was so cool and I mentioned to her how I sometimes worry that after my mission. How much it has changed me into a better person and was such a refiners fire, that I will be stuck and not able to progress as much spiritually. She took me under her wing after that and gave me a letter yesterday that had a scripture in it. 3 Nephi 31:18-20. She also told me to read When Thou Art Converted.

On the same topic, I was reading just this morning a talk by Elder Maxwell called Endure it Well. He mentions "enforced change usually does not last, while productive enduring can ingrain permanent change." As well as "Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow, in the tumbling, we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised."
I have a feeling the refiners fire won't end for me when my mission ends.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I Got Soul, but I'm not a Soldier...[Sept. 14, 2015]

Yesterday was one of those Felix Felicis days. I might've mentioned this before, but it's like when Harry takes it to get information from Slughorn. After he takes it he decides to go see Hagrid and Hermione is like, "what are you doing, you're supposed to go see Slughorn," and he's like, "I just have a really good feeling about Hagrid, I'm going to go see Hagrid,"
 and of course that's how everything works out for him in the end. Well, yesterday we were talking to the elders and they were getting on our case about our investigator Gloriah, she didn't make it to church and they were like do you want to see her get baptized....uh, yeah....then they mentioned do you want us to go see her. Which struck a chord for me like they didn't trust us and I started walking away so I wouldn't get too defensive, but they kept picking at it. I finally got away and we were walking to Gospel Principles and I was chanting CHARITY NOW! Like the quote from Seinfeld...Serenity now! When we get into Gospel Principles guess what the lesson was on....So Sister Seymour, What's the definition of charity? God has a dad-like sense of humor.
So Gloriah was priority uno. She is super solid and I've been teaching her this whole time I've been here. She just has a hard time keeping appointments. We went to her house to drop in and as I was sitting in the car about to get out, I felt like, you just need to go to Amy and Sarah's. I didn't know if we needed to necessarily take Sarah on a team-up with us, but we needed to see them. (Sarah is the girl that got baptized a couple weeks ago) So we drive to post and see Sarah. She was at work, but we talked with her sister Amy a bit and we mention we wanted to take Sarah, because she is pretty good at helping us open people up, which we wanted to do for Gloriah. Well, Amy said she was at work, but her husband Garrett said that her work is super chill and they don't really have set hours, so she can leave early, so we followed him to her job and she came out and said to Garrett, DID YOU CALL THEM?
We find out that she planning on getting another nose ring right after work and we told her we just felt like we needed to see her and she was like Jesus, you can't do this, I need to get that nose ring.
Totally acknowledging it wasn't just a coincidence and it wasn't us. She agrees to come with us, but when we try to see Gloriah, she wasn't available until a couple hours later. Then we visit a couple other people and Sarah is getting antsy because the place she was going to get her nose pierced was closing soon. I totally laid it out for her. I was like you can go right now if you want. We aren't going to stop you, we aren't going to be mad at you, but you know this is not what your Heavenly Father wants you to do. She kept addressing Christ saying, Jesus, no I earned money to get it done, I've been looking forward to it. All this stuff. I honestly didn't even care, because she already has a nose ring which she was planning on taking out and the one she is getting she can hide easily, but this is for some reason a turning point decision God is having her make. Well, she decided to go for it, but by the time she made that decision she was out of time and they closed. She was pretty upset...I really hope not at us. But I think she recognized that it was a decision between her and God. Let's hope.
We saw Gloriah without her and Gloriah had visited Salt Lake the week before and she visited the temple and felt right about getting baptized on October 3rd. So happy for her!!
We found out this morning that we are both staying another transfer as well as our district leader. He'll be getting a new trainee and Elder Christiansen will be getting switched out.
We have been inspired by our ward mission leader who is fluent in pig latin to pick it up. It's pretty slow, but has been entertaining us. I'm ettpray lowsay, utbay I'm ettinggay etterbay. We have been trying to figure out what to do with words that start with vowels and I asked the ward elders at dinner, yeah like octopus. Would it be octopusay? E.Christiansen died laughing.
Considering my last post was almost entirely on the woes of struggling with my district leader, I probably should address it. It got a lot worse and now its getting better. We found out this week from his companion that he thinks I'm prideful, which I think he is just confusing my lack of charity for pride. Of course having a lack of charity is prideful, so in the end I guess he's justified. Either way, he still called every night, which was good, I just made them stiff, awkward and short. I'm starting to realize I need to just fake it 'til I make it. Do the actions and then the respect will follow. Respect on both sides.
We got this exciting family of investigators this week. It's a single mom with four kids, 2 are older than 8 and they all sat listening intently as we talked about Christ and the Restoration. The elders  tried them before, because they are listed as a part member family, but they got divorced, so the mom doesn't really know anything about the church. The elders told us to go try them, but when we first
visited she said yeah you can come by maybe sometime on Saturday, totally seeming not interested, but when we came on Saturday she let us right in.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...[Sept. 7, 2015]

An ode to coconut oil. The most versatile jar of gunk I have. It easily takes off my waterproof mascara with a delightful eye massage every night. I use it on the ends of my hair because it's like the
natural oil of your head, but my ends are so far from my scalp, so it is keeping them healthy and letting my hair grow long. It takes off rings easy if they happen to get stuck on your finger. You can use it while cooking, but the jar I have has olive oil as well and was meant for hair, so it has whatever other crap in it as well, so I don't use it for that. But the best part is I have had the same small jar for
at least 6 months and it's not even halfway done. It can be used for so many more things, so much potential, but this is as far as I have ventured with it.
Now for this week, I'm going to take the advice of Thumper's mother and without anything nice to say, I'm going to just not say anything at all...or at least try to. It's hard for me to edit stuff out....I'm
kind of an open book. But just, these are my thoughts, so take them with a grain of salt and I hope I don't offend anybody.
We went to the temple on Tuesday! It was fantastic, well the actual temple part of it. It was amazing. I would start to think of questions I have and revelation would just flow and everything I needed was
instantly answered. I would not even be here if it wasn't for revelation I received in the temple, revelation I by far wasnt even looking for, over 19 months ago.
We went to the Kansas City temple. I went to it before when I was in Topeka. Going to the temple is a super rare thing, especially since we don't have one in our mission, so it was really awesome and I had been looking forward to it for weeks. But when we got back that night I just turned to my companion and we decided, stupidly, because of actions of another person, it ruined it for us.
That night I had decided that I was done. I had given him a good month full of chances and all he did was burn bridge after bridge I attempted to build. I just lost whatever trust I did have for him.
Then on Friday, at zone training, I had an epiphany and realized that we were having a trend with a few of the people we are working with asking for advice with drama at work. They just keep getting in tiffs with girls that just don't like them. The girls feel either threatened by them, or for some reason or other they just feel like being bullies to the people we are working with. One girl asked me, what would you do if you were in my situation. I said I would ignore them. IGNORE HIM. A lot easer said than done, since ---- [I am editing this part out for her to protect her from herself.]---- I can't just avoid him.  It's really just a matter of forgiving him and moving on. It's hard because I just want him to not be a pain, but you can't do that. You can't make someone change. Agency is real and you only have it for yourself. The only thing within my control is how I let his actions affect me. It does not matter whether or not I am justified in being angry or offended or hurt. (Wow, I really sound like the most sensitive sissy on planet earth, but missions have a way of poking at the deep wound of a weakness you cover and hide even sometimes without realizing it.) I don't know his back story and I don't know the reason behind his actions, but God called him to be [who he is] at this time. He also commanded me and all of us to love all of His children and we are not exempt from ANY of His commandments. But we aren't expected to trudge through them on our own.
Sunday I had another slap in the face revelation. I was watching the addiction recovery videos they just put out. SO GOOD. Seriously check them out. I realized HELLO SISTER SEYMOUR, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE ATONEMENT? Why the heck do you think it won't apply in your situation. It's the coconut oil of gifts God gives us. You can use it for any trial you are going through. If Christ can change water to wine and can give that guy the ability to get over his coccaine addiction and her meth addiction, he can give you the ability to have charity for [this person]. Give it over to Him!
I realized that because of my lack of charity for one person, that was affecting my charity for others. I've made that decision that I want to change, and today was the first day at it and I completely failed, but guess what, tomorrow is another day and I know that without a doubt Christ is there with me and for me ALWAYS. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I'll try again tomorrow.
I love you all! Thank you for all your support!

pics- splits with the STLs. Sister Mitchell...my old comp was with me
and she let me rant and was an awesome friend like always. I learned
so much from this chika and she's going home soon.... :(

BIKE WEEK! ...and they said there's no hills in Kansas....this was
Wednesday, but Sunday night it was 8:30pm and still 95 degrees outside
and the weather app said it felt like 100...

district and comp pic at temple.