February 3, 2014
Dear Family & Friends,
Yeah the flight was great!! I don't remember much of it since I was asleep the whole time. All I remember was Sister Wilson saying: "Look, it's white all ready to harvest!!" So the welcome wagon came to meet us as I said and Sister Cutler made us an amazing lunch and dinner :) Our AP's were Elder Beech, who is a 22 year-old British missionary and looks like a 12 year-old Bradshaw, and Elder Thoreson, who had only 2 days left on the mish and gave Sister Anderson (my new training companion) and I each one of his winter hats when we said our heads were cold (my hat was still in my luggage) :( Talk about sweet! But he didn't need them anymore haha
I'm in a small town about 30 min. from Milwaukee called Waukesha and our ward consists of 6 missionaries (our whole district)! 2 English Elders: Kimzee and (forgot the other); and 2 Spanish speaking Elders: Hubert and (forgot the other). As usual I am the oldest :) But I think our district contains the shortest missionaries in the whole mission ha ha, our ward is great though! A woman came in who is writing a paper for her church about the Mormons so we sat by her and I got to bear my testimony :) The Spirit in our ward is so wonderful; we have a lot of strong ward missionaries.
I've been trying not to drive my new 20 year-old training companion, Sis. Anderson, crazy, but she is very patient with me and my lack of not knowing what I'm doing. She's only been out 7 months and I'm her first trainee, woohoo! We both like music/singing a lot and she's introduced me to all the customs and great places to eat. She is also very organized and punctual in planning...I know, that just screams uh-oh is she in for a treat, but she like I said is a very loving and sociable person who goes with the flow just like me.
So guess who's the designated driver is...ME. Thinking I had the most driving experience in the snow, since my companion is from Texas, they thought I should. So far, I feel foolish since she knows where everything is and has to tell me. The weather hasn't been TOO bad (knock on wood). But I have a feeling it won't be for too long.
It is so frustrating when you have a message to share that is so enriching and so powerful and truthful, but people's hearts are not yet ready to receive it. I try and remember Elder Bednar relating the cookie monster to missionaries: "I want baptism NOW!!" ha ha But I have met SO many interesting people. Based on the people I've met thus far, many are converts. This is a place full of smoking, drinking, and who knows what else, but the miraculous change you see in them as they build their testimonies...nothing can compare. People that are so crazy and sweet that you just have to love them!
We did some service at St. Vincent Thrift Store and priced and organized belts and clothes. I hear we get a discount, so...look out! Just kidding I will be frugal. Speaking of which, could you please send the following:
Some more toe/hand warmers, black eyeliner and foundation (both in makeup drawer), and a hooded sweatshirt/zip-up hoodie. Thank you so much!
My first day out, we tracted and a man opened the door who said he didn't believe in God. His wife then came to the door and said jokingly, "You're talking to the WRONG man." She then invited us in and we heard her talk about her belief in God and that she had to have a belief in Him or else there was no way she could survive everything she had been through. She related a vicious past full of heartache and family chaos. We met her son, who was handicapped and gave us both a hug and kiss, and her other son who was around my age (who she was always trying to convince to date church girls instead of getting his heart broken all those times). I know, uh-oh. It was funny though, when he came in, she said: "It's okay...they're nuns." haha My heart really went out to her and we listened to her talk for almost 2 hours. Sis. Anderson said I need to prepare for people to dump everything out to us, but I really don't mind...when we understand the needs of our investigators, it makes our message of the gospel of Jesus Christ that much more precious and relatable to a person's circumstance in life. We set up a time to come back this Wednesday and I am so excited! I hope she stays interested :)
Ha! I can totally imagine Dad and Nani cheering on the football game. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom Mommy. I am pinning that quote up on the wall today :) Sorry I forgot my cord so I don't have any pictures this week but I promise I will next time! I am so happy that you are all taking on the invisible badge of missionary work in the ward and church! Sis. Chambers from the MTC sent this to me:
If you have an Amulek beside you, someone he can relate to—same age, economic status, whatever, and he testifies with his personal experience of the blessings of paying tithing (or any other principle), who do you think will do the astonishing? It’s going to be the member.
We learned that for every 700 doors the m’s knocked, one person would be baptized. The M’s didn’t want to knock on 700 doors. We also found you can baptize 2 out of every 3 in another way. When we taught an investigator in a member home, and it is the same home you stay in for the entire set of lessons, we baptized 2 out of every 3...
...Too often we don’t have the right member present for the investigator to relate to. Not a 17-year-old boy going to help teach a father and his family. Get someone the man can relate to on the long term.
I know that this is true. When someone learns lessons with a member present, the missionaries feel much better handing them off to the rest of the ward, because we know that they will fellowship and take good care of them when we leave.
Be the best missionaries you can be!! I love you all! I promise all my emails won't be this long!