Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15, 2013

Well what a great email! Thank you for sending the pictures, you look awesome! 138lbs, thats amazing mom. It really is!

As for the apts taking packages, I still don’t know. But transfers are the week before my birthday so I will probably get the packages as long as they are in the office by oct 25... so you’ve got some time. I dont know why I haven’t found out yet about that, but its just easier to have them sent to the mission office and not worry about it.

That story about getting the stove insert, wow, yeah. Funny! Im glad that no one got hurt but man! I cant even imagine trying to get that thing up the stairs! And then into a truck bed... yeah stinking right. So good job everyone! Glad that everyone was good about it, that could have been a very unpleasant experience for all.

Your crafts sound like a lot of fun, and very cute! Sounds like a good idea for the crayons and the advent calendar, spice jars, genius I say! I dont know who comes up with all of the RS crafts but they are always cute and fun. Im glad that they were able to do it at the lodge, its much more homey to go there than to be stuck in the church buildings. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is about now.

 You would think that I would be all Falled out being in PA in the Fall, but hardly any leave’s have changed color. It seems they get to yellow and then fall to the ground and turn red and then brown there. Which is still pretty but its not what I was expecting. There are still a LOT of green trees around which is surprising me. But its been fairly warm out still for being mid October! I cant believe its already October! I have officially been out for 5 and a half months... thats not okay. Why does my life fly by so fast?! Its weird because we are pretty close to a college campus where we email home at the library and such so I get the college campus vibe sometimes and I feel like I am back in Idaho, especially because I would be back at school right now. Super weird! But I am glad I am here now! I know this is where I need to be. And I am excited to be able to come home and still have a year of school left before I get kicked out into the real world :)

I have not seen Dawna Lauer or the Shea's. I had dinner at a members house who said he is doing Pathways with her and she said to tell me hi. So we are in the same building and interacting with the same people, but my ward meets in the morning and then the Spanish branch and then her ward, so unless I linger and she shows up early we wont cross paths on Sunday, which is too bad. It would be fun to see her! We are in the same stake I know that much. So close, yet so far. :( Maybe one day Sister Lauer!

Can I get Garrets email? He moves around too much any more to try to ask for his physical address and to write to him that way. But I havent talked to him in 6 months! And I do want to talk to my brother sometimes (hint hint! Garret) But I am glad that he is doing well. Too bad they had to get rid of their car, that sucks! But I dont feel too bad for you since your in freaking Hawaii! Hope your living it up and enjoying all you can in between all your work stuff.

 I cant believe Samantha is gone! Man, sometimes I feel so old knowing who else is on a mission from our ward. All the little kids, but then I know that there isnt a huge age difference between us, it just seemed like that because I was a laurel and they were not! But I am excited to say that I was able to serve at this time. Its a testimony to me of the importance of the work seeing everyone who is preparing to go and who is going. What an awesome experience for us all.

Sorry I need some better descriptive words... don’t judge. I’m interacting with a bunch of teenagers, it wears off.

That’s awesome that Stuart and Lindy get to come home for Thanksgiving! How exciting to have them there for more than a day. That will be fun. And I am glad Keira is looking forward to gingerbread houses! Don’t worry, next year I will be home and eating all the candy as we construct them, so it might take a little longer... :D But Im glad that you are doing that again this year, thats something that I do enjoy doing at the holidays, eating all the goodies you guys bake :) Feel free to send any over here to the East Coast, maybe not to the mission office first, but you know, I like to eat :) Sister Carrigan and I tell our members, we eat like the elders, but we just eat in shifts. So we take a lot of things to go instead of stuffing our faces, they get a kick out of that and they send us home with leftovers so we dont go hungry. And you know what! Its a miracle and not a complaint, but they have been sending us home with so many left overs that our fridge is full. And so is our meal calendar! We have a dinner every night for the rest of the transfer. Its awesome. Our members do love us. We saw our bishop at his daughters baptism this week and we had previously talked about having dinner with his family and our investigator at his house in ward council. But we didn’t put it on the calendar and now its booked through! So we had to say sorry bishop, unless if you want us over on a Monday night it’s going to have to wait. Kinda weird huh! But a good problem to have non the less.

And now I will tell you all about Ashley! She is our investigator who we got from the Elders. She met someone in a neighboring ward at a single parenting group. She was introduced to the Elders over there and then after she decided to seriously look into it she was transferred over to the elders here and then they were transferred. Which they were sad about because it would be their first baptism in 3 transfers but they left... sorry guys!

Ashley is awesome though. She is 25 and has an adorable 5 year old daughter Kylie! She said the cutest prayer for us after a lesson one night it went like this:
"Drive safe, don’t crash, don’t hit a tree, say your prayers, amen!"
It was so cute, Ashley and Sister Carrigan laughed at how cute it was. But its been a really great time teaching Ashley. She lives with her grandma who doesn’t like company over so we have been teaching her in members homes. Which is great because the spirit is there already and then she is building relationships with them and not just us! Also we have gone to families who have girls Kylies age so she is making friends as well.

The ward is really great about doing what we ask them to do. If we tell them we need something, like a place to teach Ashley, they invite her over to be taught by us, and then invite her and us over for dinner as well! Its inspired that we came now because we have been able to get the sisters more involved especially with a female investigator.

This area is hard however. The ward has a high turnover rate, lots of med students doing their residency, and so we have a lot of moms at home with small kids. We had an awesome lesson on missionary work too on Sunday and we had a good discussion about how we can go from having example-itus to the next step. it’s hard to know what to say to people, or how to respond to the question "what do Mormons believe?" so I talked about how we go back to the basics. Use the articles of faith and what we learned in primary. We believe firstly, that we are all children of God. That he is our Heavenly Father and we are all brothers and sisters, His children. And then you can go from there. But it really is just sharing the simple truths that we know and love. Being a missionary is not about bearing a 10 minute powerful testimony and sharing the account of Joseph Smiths First Vision, that is for the full time missionaries. And I think, at least I know I did, but before I came out on my mission, I was intimidated by being a member missionary because I felt like it had to be a huge big spiritual experience. But it doesnt have to be that! Its about sharing simple gospel truths. We are brothers and sisters and so we love everyone. We believe in faith, which involves action! We believe in sacrifice, because thats how we learn and grow to become more like our Savior. We believe in a lot of things, but we dont have to be a gospel scholar in order to share the gospel. One of my favorite quotes from Sunday was in  the lesson manual for President Lorenzo Snow "There is a way to reach every human heart, and it is your business to find the way to the hearts of those to whom you are called".

That is not just for missionaries, that is for every baptized member of the church. We have the truth, we have the light and the way. We covenanted to share the gospel and we have been called to bring it to different people, near or far. We need to figure out who we have been called to share this joy with and then figure out how to help it sink into their hearts. Which is why this work is so dictated by the spirit. How blessed are we to have that spirit with us! What a great work to be a part of. I am so blessed to be here at this time.

We are also teaching a young adult from Rwanda. She is studying civil engineering at the university here and her family back home in Rwanda are members. Her uncle is over the church in Rwanda so she decided to meet with missionaries and figure out what the church is all about. We had our first lesson with her and we meet at her friends dorm building. We were in the common area and her friend at one point walked by. Sheilla introduced us to her friend Denyse and we invited Denyse to come in as well. She was timid at first, they were both very quiet and listened quite intently. At the end of the lesson we asked if they had any questions and Denyse said she wanted to know more about 'that book' being the Book of Mormon. So we gave them both one. She didn’t commit to coming to the next lesson but said she would see if it would work to meet with Sheilla and us next week. It was such a miracle to see how willing they both were to learn about the gospel, even though Denyse had no intent that day or really any idea of who we were and why we were there.  The Lord is preparing the hearts of people all around us. its such a testimony to me of the importance of this work.

We also finished labeling our map this week! AH! We doubled into the area and the Elders that were here previously were good about keeping information in their heads... NOT helpful Elders Thank You. They also had 3 maps on the walls, all with different boundaries. So we scrapped them, bought an atlas and have spent a lot of time putting together a map, labeling different zones within our area, and then labeling the map with all of the members on our 22 page ward list. Yes 22 pages... and about 4 per page are active member families. So it took some time but we FINALLY got the map labeled and finished! Doubling in is a lot of administrative work, but we got most of it done!

And I will leave you with one funny... and slightly embarrassing story. So one day this week we didn’t eat very well, our fault just being stupid, but by the time we got to dinner we were STARVING! And we were at this sweet members home, just a nice older empty nester couple who loves having the missionaries over. She had chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, fruit salad, home made pretzel rolls, salad etc. It was quite the spread, so I took a little of all of it, because we all know my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Well we ate and ate and ate, and I ate everything except for my salad, I just couldnt do it, There was too much there that I did like, to waste room on salad! Well I also got full and I was not about to barf up that dinner over a salad. Luckily, I thought to myself, I haven’t put any dressing on it... so we finished and we offered to help clear the table but they refused us. So I thought, perfect! They will take some stuff into the kitchen and then I will be able to put my salad back in the bowl and then I dont have to worry about wasting food or making them feel bad since I havent touched it at all.

BUT what does he take into the kitchen? The butter and the salad bowl... that was the only thing he grabbed! So now Im stuck. I look over at s
Sister Carrigan and I say now what do I do?! She said jokingly 'put it in your purse!' and I said 'NO!' I have some dignity... she said 'do it! It’ll make a good story!' and I am a sucker for a good story, and I didnt want them to feel bad! So I said 'take my scriptures' they are too precious to have salad thrown on them. So she took my scriptures and I proceeded to put my salad into my purse, one handful at a time. At one point he came back into the room and my hand was over my plate of salad ready to grab more, but hes a little bit older so I dont think he saw me retract my hand at lightning speed. I got the salad in my purse, not clearing the plate because that looks unrealistic. And I decided to stuff a few pieces if lettuce down (I used my fork!) While they were in the room so they thought that I had eaten it... and then I had to find the car keys in my bag without dropping or revealing the lettuce it contained inside.

And I walked away astonished at myself for doing such a thing, and then it hit. The smell of onions. Yes, there was no dressing or drippy tomatoes or anything wet in my salad, but there were now onions in my purse. And I knew it because the keys smelt of onions. My heart dropped. My purse, was ruined. (dont worry not the one we bought before I came out, but one I bought at interfaith for a buck). So we got home and I cleared the salad and assessed the damage. but it was too late, the purse was a goner.

And I have now learned my lesson. When you put food in your purse first wrap it in a napkin!

And I share that with you so that you dont make my mistakes.

Love you all! Sorry its so long! Also yesterday was Columbus day so we proselyted because we do that on holidays, even the ones that no one celebrates like Columbus day. Huzzah!

Love,  Sister Wilson

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