Monday, April 27, 2015

It goes like this, the 4th the 5th...[Apr. 27, 2015]

Well, this week started off with interviews with president which for some reason stressed me out, but it went good, he was super happy with what we've been doing here and said that I've reached, "my pivot point" which slightly bothered me. I was like well, I'm just doing what I did before and he said well you're just using the atonement to carry you and I was like yeah, but don't hate me if you just jinxed this week. Okay, I really didn't say that last part, but I wish I had, because he did.
I'm okay with that though, because these weeks humble you and because I feel like it's STL prevention, because the only thing worse than exchanges with the STL's is having an STL as a companion which would happen if you were an STL...I'm guessing it actually would be pretty nice because they would work hard, but it would depend on the sister.
We had a training from the AP's during interviews and at one point I made a comment that letting investigators know our vision for them is like Nephi's vision that he tried explaining to his son's Laman and Lemuel and Nephi had to go find out for himself what the vision was. It made no sense and Elder Jones looked so confused when I said my comment. It was like an awful confused glare. Halfway through the training I turned to my companion and asked if I really said Nephi's vision and she said yeah....and I was mortified and didn't make a comment the rest of the training, until the very end when Elder Jones was asking people to say what revelation they received during the training and he called on me and I told them that when they asked us if we love our missions and how do we show we love it, I was thinking well heck yeah I love my mission and then I got the thought, really?
You loved it last Wednesday when you had a huge headache and no one was answering their doors and you were dog tired? You loved it then? I realized that I don't love every little aspect of my mission, but I can through the atonement, if I let it carry me through the hard times. Yeah, I definitely over think what I say for comments.
On Thursday we spent two hours in Montara in the early afternoon walking around and then we got a ride to Carbondale and spent the rest of the day there visiting less actives and had a dinner with a member there. We found out that night that the elders ran into three different people in Montara that said they had just talked with sisters right before them. They must have walked the same route we took...gotta get to them before they do!
Our investigator that ran away is still missing with a reward for who finds her.
We have investigators who are children of record, but not baptized and we saw them walking down the road so we pulled over and walked with them and talked with them and they are just the cutest! They want to go to church and get baptized, but their parents are just not seeing how church will help them. We have been working with them since I've been here, but the mom dropped us yesterday, so that was super sad.
My aunt visited this week!! She sent a pic to my mom, so hopefully she puts it on here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time...[Apr. 20, 2015]

I used to always have awesome weeks and then the next week would crash and then an awesome week again and my mission followed this pattern, but last week was awesome (the AP's even texted us that night congratulating us on our awesome week) and then this week happened and yep, it was even awesomer...dare I say legend-wait for it-dary.
2 things attribute to these awesome weeks. The first being that it's just all from God. I have an awesome companion who kicks me in the bum and makes me always want to give my all and we teach really well together. She connects really quick with people on their doorstep and I can turn any conversation gospel related through a bom scripture. The second that I'm learning to set my pace. I talked about this a couple weeks ago, but it really is making all the difference. I'm not letting other people push me, I'm going at what I know I can handle and it is the pace God wants me to go. He doesn't want us stressed out, but he wants us living our potential. We need to be pushing ourselves, but in a healthy way. Living in a way where we'll truly have no regrets.
Update on the same girl that I thought had the made up boyfriend in my last blog: Well, the boyfriend is real. They got a new staff who is really nice and one day we visited and she was off with her boyfriend, but we came back later and we just had a long awkward chastity filled lesson. She's not super right in her mind, so our conversation didn't make sense. She committed to come to church, but didn't show, so we visited and her staff said she had ran away with her boyfriend the night before. So she is currently AWOL and we don't know what will happen when they eventually find her. She couldn't have gone far, because the only thing around Montara where she lives is tons of fields. Unless they hitch hiked they are probably still somewhere around there.
We had exchanges this week and they were the least stressful exchanges I've ever went on. I don't know why they give me such anxiety, well I do, it feels like I'm being tested, because randomly throughout the day the STL will write things down that she noticed or she will make super judgmental's great, but our STL's now are super chill and you can actually tell they just care about how you're doing.
We had this one dinner last week where we sat around this portable fireplace and it was delightful. They made all sorts of meat on it and I felt like I was at a brazilian grill. Also, the classic grilled corn. My comp and I decided to not have sweets and we have a sign on our wall saying how many days we've gone without sweets, but when exchanges happened we went to this one lady's house and I was worried she'd be offended if I didn't eat dessert, so I partook. I felt soooo bad, what would we do with the sign?! Well after feeling like I failed my companion...I sheepishly asked her the next day, so um..did you have dessert yesterday... she sheepishly answered yes and I was like ME TOO! We high fived and the sisters around us were super confused. Comp unity at it's finest.

A house had this sign on it's side
while we were tracting this week.
At first I was like hey!
We can tell them the answer to that question.
Then I read the rest of the sign and
we chose life instead. 

Westboro Baptist church decided to picket
our building this week.

Monday, April 13, 2015

We're halfway there; livin' on a prayer...[Apr. 13, 2015]

Yup, this Tuesday is my true halfway mark....crazy!!! Like how did I even get here?
This past week was amazing! I gave the most lessons in one week than I have my whole mission as well as went on the most team-ups whoot whoot! Sister Westwood is awesome and we just balance each other out so well.
We got this new investigator that was a referral from the Elders and she is a bit interesting....she lives with a roommate who also is interesting and they have "staff" with them 24/7 that are kind of like their guardians. Well, she was super interested, she also gets super sidetracked. I recited the First Vision and I could tell she was thinking of something else and when I finish she looks at me and asks, is being gay a sin? Ummmm, no, but acting on it is, now back to the Prophet of the Restoration.
Well, one day we visited and she was on the phone with her boyfriend and so we waited about 10 mins and she came out. Then the next time we saw her we asked if her boyfriend would be interested in coming to church. She said yes, but she would have to ask his staff and she didn't think they would listen to her, so she told us to go see him ourselves and said that he lives at this certain address, well turns out that it is just a couple houses down from her. So we went to this house and it was completely vacant. Okay, there's a possibility she's schizo...
One day this week I had a really bad headache, so I took 2 Tylenol. Then I realized after an hour it was only getting worse, so I decided in an effort to not overdose to just take 1 more, but then after a bit, my head was still throbbing and it was also foggy. I also was yawning uncontrollably and had absolutely no motivation to go knock doors. So we stopped by this gas station and I downed a liter of diet coke, it was the first time I had caffeine in like 6 months, so an hour later I had to go to the bathroom so bad and my hands were shaking, but man, my headache was totes taken care of.
Well, this week, I realized I had my recital CD and I listened to the part where I explain the last piece I'm going to play, but then I had to turn it off, because I realized how stupid/valleygirl/boring I sounded. It was the first time I ever listened to it, but it ruined me for the week, now I'm super self-conscious about how socially awkward I am. Self-consciousness is something I have definitely gained on my mission and it's a good/bad thing. I think. I don't know. I feel like I haven't really changed much at all on my mission, but I'm sure I have, I just am in the midst of it, so I don't know.
After dinner with the Scerbo's one day we were walking in Montara and it was cold, so Sister Westwood was like we should go running, because it'll make us warmer, so I, of course, remembered that one Friends episode where Phoebe decides to go running with Rachel and while they're running Rachel realizes Phoebe runs like a mania with her arms flailing and Phoebe later explains to her that it makes running fun that way and Rachel tries it one day and was like, whoa, Phoebe was right. So naturally I had to demonstrate how Phoebe was running to Sister Westwood and then we hear the elders and Ben cracking up behind us. Haha, okay maybe I'm not becoming self-conscious at all.
We had a Zone Training last week and I learned something that had nothing to do with what they were training on. I learned that if we want to understand the atonement and how to apply it, we have to understand charity. The Atonement was only done out of complete charity and the best way to get out of any tough trial we are going through is to have charity.

After a zone lunch I was sitting and talking
with Sister Mitchell (my old comp)
and her trainee (sister Hansen)
and I had this sudden urge to just
throw something,
wow it sounds like I was mad,
but I wasn't just wanted to set something flying.
So naturally the only thing I had
was the phone in my hand and I figured
if it really breaks from this then I would just get
a brick (the new phones their issuing out)
 and obvs Sister Blood wouldn't mind,
cuz she was leaving and my new comp
would just never know the reason
why we had a crappy brick phone.
  Well, I yelled out to Elder Wright
and Sister Blood was randomly taking a picture
at the same time and caught the phone in motion,
it's the black blur next to Elder Hunt's face.
Did Elder Wright catch it?
Did it break after skidding across half the gym?
This was before transfers, but coincidentally,
everyone in the pic is still in our zone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunrise, sunset...[Apr. 6, 2015]

This week has been pretty good, my new companion is Sister Westwood who is super motivated and awesome. She is very positive which is great. She is from St. George, Utah and she's Asian. Pretty much everything there is to, no, but really I'm excited for the work we can get done this transfer.
Yesterday we went to this referral we got from the Kaw Valley Sisters. Well, she wasn't home, so we decided to tract around and we got a few appts for later and just some really solid potentials. I was thinking about it and I was like why haven't we tracted this area before and why does it not look familiar at all? Well, we went back to the car and texted our Ward Mission Leader asking if it really was our area. Long story short, the Sherwood Sisters got some awesome referrals from us.
On Friday, we went to this thing in Lawrence, KS they do in the church building called "Walk with Christ". They transform the rooms inside to steps in Christ's life and have actors explain that part in Christ's life. We got a ride from an older part-member family. There was a long line outside and it was pretty cold. The couple we were with were getting tired of standing and it was really cold. Well this lady came by and was like mentioning if there was any nonmembers they are taking them to the front. I was super excited and yelled out, wait, he's not a member! I felt a little bad about it afterwards of just stating his nonmemberness to the world, but then later his wife was like, wow, I'd never thought there would be a time I'd be happy you're not a member.
It was so awesome, they put a lot of work and money towards it. At the end they showed the "Because He Lives" video and I really started thinking about our relationship towards Christ. It's just like any other relationship we have. Whatever effort WE put into it, is what WE get out of it. If you don't feel like you are receiving strength through the atonement, in the words of Mrs. Weasley, it is entirely YOUR fault. It reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye asks his wife, "Do you love me?" She starts off saying, I don't know... (okay it's been awhile since I've seen it, but I think it goes like that and all I can think of is that gilmore girl episode when Kirk plays Tevye and it's for this elementary school play so his wife is a little girl and he's asking her, do you love me? It's fantastic.) and then she realizes she does all the cooking and cleaning for him and then realizes she does love him. Of course, our relationship with Christ is different, but we still can exert physical efforts. He asks us to serve others through magnifying our calling and building our families, yeah pretty much anything we do, that involves building the kingdom and keeping His commandments would build on that relationship with Christ. It was an epiphany that I had, but I'm pretty sure, it would only really make sense if you received this epiphany as well.
Our last two new investigators we got are named John and Jane.... with such generic names I think our District Leader is thinking we are making them up. John is pretty awesome, though, he is super interested in the Plan of Salvation and he asks some intense questions that you answer and you can see the light bulbs go off in his head.
We have been working, or I should say attempting to work with the girls in our ward for our young women investigator and it has been a bit frustrating. Not that it reminds me of the ward I grew up in, but I'm getting flashbacks of the ward I grew up in. I've been having to use more charity and like patience and like it's just a good thing that I don't send the texts without reading them to my companion, because they would be getting some really snooty responses.