Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 21, 2014

So to clear up your confusion, I was in the Newark ward so that is the name of the area. We covered several cities, so our address was in Elkton MD but the ward was Newark DE. Confusing I know, but the place you live isn't always the name of the ward, hope that makes sense.

Also about some Facebook requests I have gotten, I can only be friends with immediate family members or people in the mission, I can be friends with Donna Lauer because she was in my Stake when I served in Bethlehem. I am friends with Mom and with Stuart because they are immediate family members, so sorry everyone else! Please don't be offended when I decline your request, but they are trying it out to see how we can help our families learn how to be a missionary on facebook and to try and involve our families in our teaching online. So that is why all of a sudden I am friends with Mom and Stuart.

Oh I LOVE Cheese Steaks! They are sooo good! And I made the mistake of calling it a 'Cheese steak sandwich' and the vendor laughed at me. I was confused for a while why so many pizza places were also selling steaks, but turns out they are selling cheese steaks (no one says sandwich). But they are good eating!

Gwen is 7?! No way! Im glad that they enjoyed the balloons, and that you got the big ones for them, I bet the kids loved that! haha, I realize that balloons are one of my very favorite things. I love them a whole lot. :)

Im glad that things are working out with Grandma and that she is able to stay there with you for a while. Its sad to hear about Uncle Robb but I am glad that he is making progress and that Lori was able to come out and they were able to talk to the doctors and everything. Im surprised that he remembers about us, even if it is the girl out back teaching church, and the boy in the army. That means that not all is lost, so for that we can be thankful. I will keep him and all of you in my prayers still, hopefully he keeps progressing. Where would he go if he could be on his own and not in Vernonia? Has he gotten visitors other than family this week do you know?

Well I am glad that you were able to find a few people to help you out with seminary, glad that the church is full of people who are willing to help each other. And I am sad for sis Boswell! I know she talked about this year being her last year while I was there, but she truly does love teaching and being with the kids. She does such an awesome job, I always loved her lessons and being able to learn from her. I know the kids will miss her, and as sad as it is she could probably use a break, she puts her whole heart and soul into it! I will be interested to see who they call to teach for next year. I know the next person will be great as well and will grow to love the kids and they will grow to love the new teacher. That's the neat part about callings and serving in the church, knowing that it comes from God and it all works out in the end some how.

And I did get an email from both Stuart and Lindy, Stuart sent some pictures of Janie and Clara dying eggs which were cute, and her cute Easter dress. She is so dang cute! I love her.

I love how you closed your letter talking about fulfilling our potential and running all of our 4 minutes. That is one talk from conference that people seemed to especially enjoy. And we were talking about this this morning in our companionship study.
We were talking about enjoying all of our 4 minutes, and not just going through the motions, especially on the mission. It feels like I only have a minute left of my mission, and at the same time it feels like I just got here and have 7 more to go! But I am grateful for the things I have learned and I am grateful for the joys ahead. It will be a new experience to be a leader and a sister, but I am excited to see what challenges and joys it will bring.
I hope that I do run the last minute of my mission, because there is nothing else like this! This is such an adventure that will bring stories and experiences I will treasure and share for a life time.
I used to roll my eyes when someone would start a story with 'on my mission' I would think yeah well things are moving on, why are you holding onto your mission? And being out here has helped me realize that it is not so much holding on as it is learning from and remembering these feelings.
I didn't know you could love someone so deeply, or how much more you can really get to know a person, or how diverse the world truly is. I thought I knew that from growing up in Portland area, I mean we have a lot of diversity and that is something that I did learn being there especially compared to school in Idaho, but being out here has helped me realize even more how individual and unique people are.
God is great! He gave us agency and we get to make the choices that determine our own destiny. I am learning about the principle of obedience, that is something that gets talked about a lot on a mission, and I thought why? Why is it so important to get up at 6:30 am and not 6:31? Why is it so important to be strict with the music I listen to? Or even how we speak? How we interact with people, when we write people, how long our lunch breaks are. All of it! Why is it so important?
And I realized that it is not about the importance of one hour lunch breaks and only emailing on Mondays. Its about sacrifice and obedience, its about can God trust us to do what He asks? Are we willing to follow the things He would like us to do. That is all about conversion.
If I know that God is my Heavenly Father, that should change how I do things. When I realize I can be with my family forever that should change things, it should help me want to earn that privilege of being with my family forever. It does affect every aspect of how I live my life because I love my Heavenly Father and I want to follow Him.
I want to do what He asks of me, if for no other reason than I have a testimony that obedience brings blessings.
God gives us commandments and the opportunity to use our agency or our ability to choose, and then he rewards us with blessings, like any parent does with their children. And the more I learn about obedience the more I realize how important it is.
If we are obedient not only are we showing God that we love Him, but we are showing Him that He can trust us to do what He asks us. We are showing God and I think teaching ourselves that He can trust us and that He should. And as He trusts us He gives us more to help us learn and grow and see that it truly is what we want.

I have learned a lot about obedience to Heavenly Fathers will and it is something that I will keep for the rest of eternity, and for that I am grateful.

And I guess I should tell you about my week as well!

So Easter was fun, Jennifer was baptized! She was baptized in Newark and we were not able to go because we had things that we needed to be at here, but I am so excited for her! What a great way to celebrate Easter! By making covenants to serve your Lord and Savior and to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
It truly is a neat thing when you think about it...

so what did I actually do? Oh you know, just got to celebrate with a family and feast on Greek Easter.
It was awesome! And I learned that I like Greek food! Sister Shaia got pictures Ill have to steal from her later, but it was way good! Keira will be pleased to hear that I do like lamb, so we will have to try gyros again when I get home and see if I do like them.
But this week we helped a less active sister in our ward (she is the only member in her family and they are all awesome! I love them :) They are probably my favorite people I have met thus far here), but we spent some time doing some service at their home to help her prepare for this Greek Easter feast. We did some yard work and we did a lot of baking as well. If you have ever used fillo dough you know it is a pain, but it was fun to work with and make lots of Greek treats :) And they were delicious!
We were very filled after that on Sunday, but then we had another Easter dinner to go to... holidays on the mission turn into lots of dinner appointments and lots of eating and pretty gluttonous honestly... so we went to our second dinner and ate there. Not nearly as much, but it was nice to have a ham and a green salad and green beans etc.
Then we went back to Stephanies house to help her and her daughter clean up after Greek Easter, it was a mess but between the 4 of us we got it cleaned up pretty fast. We also decided that the words 'eat' and 'work' were off limits, we both wanted to puke we were so full, or really just lay down and not move, and they had to go back to work in the morning, so they were both off limits for the night!
 Then we practically rolled ourselves home and luckily our day was planned for today so our planning session was super short and we put on our stretchy pants and laid around writing in our journals until lights out. 
So it was a very successful Easter, and one that I will not forget soon! So much fun, and so much laughter and love. Stephanie said come back here for Greek Easter, its here every year! Haha, I love her already! She is awesome. Their family is just so nice and welcoming and friendly and it was the perfect Easter dinner!

Anyhow, I should probably stop because this is long enough! But I love you! I hope you had a great Easter, did you get together with everyone? Or were you resting from all the stress of the week? I hope you were able to relax and enjoy some of it.
I love you guys! Keep on keeping on,
talk to you soon!

Sister Kindra Wilson

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