Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Re: A Cup of Fiery

Dear Family,

I can't believe that Alan is in Mexico!! The thought has popped into my head randomly throughout the week, and it just seems so weird! I'm so proud of you Alan! Way to go for starting up a conversation in Spanish. The more you make yourself speak it, the better you will learn it, and even if you ever feel awkward about it, just enjoy how well you can make fluent speakers laugh. Work hard in el CCM, but remember to be yourself and not to work so hard you poop out. That's not what Heavenly Father is asking you for.

Sally told me all about the BYU v. Utes game. I'm sorry it was another disappointment for those of us true believers  :)  My companion is a Ute, so I won't be able to talk about it too much this week.

We had such a great week here in Lake Austin!! To start with, the weather finally changed!! I never thought I would say this in my life, but the highs have been about 87 the last three days, and it feels so great! After 97-104 every day for the past month, and higher temperatures before that, 85 and even low 70s in the mornings and evenings feels like a dream! On Saturday, we had a whole day of driving around and looking for inactive members, and we found NOBODY, but I didn't even realize it until we got home and counted our numbers because I was happy to be outside in such gorgeous weather. What a blessing. 

Honestly, I think the best thing about this week has just been my attitude. The last several weeks I've been thinking a lot about "becoming a missionary" as President Slaughter calls it, and the struggle that so many missionaries go through because they feel like there are two versions of themselves, the missionary version, and the version they left back home. After going through their whole mission struggling to feel normal, they get home and have a crisis when they are suddenly a schizophrenic with two identities and they don't know which one to be. The problem is, they need to bring themselves with them on their mission, and then accept the changes that Heavenly Father works in them through their experiences, and then when they get home, they only have one identity, and it's better than anything they were before, so the temptation to return isn't nearly as great. I've also thought a lot about the importance of being ourselves on our missions. Heavenly Father has given us all talents and abilities that he needs us to use, wherever it is that he has placed us. We started developing those talents and abilities even before we came to this earth. We each have unique identities, and it is especially important to incorporate those things as missionaries so that we can do our work more effectively. As I've worked on that, being myself, teaching like myself, acting like myself, thinking like myself, talking like myself in both Spanish and English, and having a positive attitude, I have felt so much happier than I ever have before in my time as a missionary. My faith and hope have increased, and I just love being a missionary so much more!!

On Wednesday we had Zone Meeting and I was able to give a training on this topic. It was so much fun!! I love teaching people, especially other missionaries. A brand new Elder gave me a stellar complement at the end of the meeting. Just as preface, you should know that I love Elder Holland and I love the way he teaches. I have always thought it would be cool to be able to teach the way he does, and have now and again even thought about his style of teaching as I have been developing my own. After the meeting, Elder T told me "Elder S and I were sitting back there and decided that you got some of the fireiness from the same bucket they used to fill Elder Holland up with." That definitely made me smile.

We were able to have some great lessons with N this week. She's back on track and has realized that the dejection and despair she felt last week were not feelings from Heavenly Father. She came to all three hours of church this week and set up three visits for the coming week. I think we're going to start working on some family history with her.

We contacted 10 referrals this week, which is a record for me. We've really been trying not to knock random doors this transfer, but rather work through the people we already know to find new people to teach. So far, we haven't had to do any door knocking, and I hope to keep it up.

This Saturday is the Relief Society General Broadcast. All you wonderful ladies, GO! And if you can, invite a non-member or even a less-active friend. What a wonderful experience we have to be able to listen to a prophet of God that has the Priesthood power and authority to lead and guide us in our day and age. Everyone needs that blessing. If you're afraid to extend the invite, role play it first. Maybe that would be a good FHE activity.

I love you all so much!! I was thinking this morning about how much my testimony has deepened in the last 7.5 months. As we progress in the gospel, we don't necessarily learn a lot of shocking new doctrine, but our understanding and appreciation of what we already do know grows and deepens profoundly. I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that loves his children so personally and individually that he will put us all in the right place at the right time to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life again. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and the price he paid so that we can be resurrected and live with our families forever in his presence. I know the gospel is true, and I am so glad I have the opportunity to share it with other people.

I love you all so much!! You are all one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Hermana Emily

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