I'm just going to start out by writing all the things that I reminded myself to write throughout the week! :)
First of all, if you see Eden, tell her to email me! I need to know if she is engaged yet or not!!!! And also, Khaya is supposed to be here and I haven't seen her yet. BUT, I did see Sarah Lawrence! She's so cute and seems so excited. Her district laughs a lot at lunch.
I read in Matthew 3:15? 11:15? I can't remember. But it's about Christ being baptized and I felt the Spirit so strongly. It's so important that we follow Him. Everything about it is so cool. The humility of John the Baptist and then the humility of Jesus and the spirit being so strong and God's love for His Son and for all of us. It's just so amazing.
I have been grateful for Julie always nagging me about remembering to have fun on my mission because I think I have noticed it more. We have SO much fun. We get along really well. (maybe... definitely too much fun some days...).
Thank you for the food and the packages! I haven't even gotten through 1/10 of it because I'm never in my room and we eat a lot at meal times and we just always have food. All I've had are those Reese's minis and I keep forgetting to eat my granola bars! Haha.
Hermana Johnson said if you go to scriptures.byu.edu you can look up what scriptures have been used in GC talks and then study it. I thought that was cool.
At the devotional on Tuesday, our choir teacher told us about the Atonement because we were singing about Christ and it was so inspired and beautiful imagining the Savior suffering out of love and stuff and it really helped us to sing with gusto.
The devotional was good. We had a district review that evening and I haven't felt the spirit more this whole time. We talked about enduring to the end in all things--good stuff. But then Sister Smith wanted a blessing so our District Leader, Elder Williams, gave her one for his first time. It was so cute and beautiful. Everyone cried. Then after he was like "GUYS I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT THE SPIRIT CAME RIGHT THROUGH ME THAT WAS SO COOL." And it was so cool! These elders are great. Then I was like yes I want one too. So I asked Elder Petersen, and it was his first time too, and he blessed me to know that God is so proud of me and so are you guys and so are the people at the MTC and God can't express His gratitude for my service and he emphasized so so much that there are people in Arkansas that need me specifically. It was so beautiful. I was surprised because I've had a hard time with Spanish and stuff so I thought I would get a blessing of ability, but it was more a blessing of assurance! And it helped me get a better perspective again. So neat.
I'm so excited to go to the temple!!
We just got back from the temple and it was so lovely! SO SO SO SO HOT but so nice too. It's all circular and the chandelier is amazing and the Spirit is especially amazing with a room full of missionaries! Lots of missionaries. It's so fun! I've been praying to have help because I really want to follow the Spirit but especially in lessons it's hard when you don't know Spanish and you don't know what the person is saying and you don't have all the time in the world to just memorize every phrase from every lesson just in case. So, that's my biggest issue right now. But I really am so happy here! I made a mini fort thing in my room. I was talking with Elder Petersen yesterday and we were discussing the joy of having a cave around your bed and he gave me the idea to drape blankets across the top bunk (because we only have 3 sisters and 6 beds) and make a cave. It made for a cozy sleep and a cozy cozy 10 minute nap today.
I have been so grateful for the Atonement lately and again today in the temple. I just can't even express my gratitude and we have been saying that if everyone understood the Atonement, no one would sin. And the guy in our devotional on Tuesday said the same type of thing with an example investigator thing. They don't understand baptism or else they would give everything they had in order to be baptized. And that's the beauty of it. It's essentially free if we can clear our minds and follow Christ. Love it.
Don't worry about me. All things are good here. It's hard in such a good way!!! Keep praying and being the amazing family you are. Mom thanks for all the notes and "dear elders", they really help! Emma and dad: I want to hear from you more!! Tell me things! Tell Andrew too! I want to tell him about Gabi being my companion and all the funny things we do!
I feel like I want to just keep saying stuff but I don't remember. Send me pictures of all the things! Emma, you, dad, Andrew, Suzy, Gabe, baby Oliver, Iris, etc. I would love to hear from everyone in the whole family and friends and whole world, but I will survive with just you and Emma and Courtney Griffiths if it must be.
The second picture is Sis. Johnson passing the torch of "senior companionship." It's fun because the only thing the senior companion does differently is decide who prays and directs companionship inventory - where we tell each other what is good and what is bad about the way we do things. And we had a small ceremony where Hermana Johnson placed the popped corn on my tongue and I ate it and then that was all.
Us during choir. The director is really amazing. I feel like I learn more from him sometimes than from the devotionals. But the devotionals are always really good too.
Also we LOVE dear elders! [YOU can send dear elders for free at dearelder.com. Unit #60 AR LRM Sep 22.] I feel bad because some of our elders don't get any letters or packages, only emails. And the Dear Elders are such a blessing during the week! We get them in the evening after dinner, M-Th. Feel free to make them as long or as short as you want. Tell me random things. Tell me good things and all the things.
I haven't taken the bracelet of yet! [A gift from her cousin Gabe who just returned from the Mexico, Cuidad Juarez Mission.] Mostly because I don't know how and it's really hard to put back on but also because I really like it and it's cute so tell Gabe thank you!! We are going to be on and off throughout the day because we only have like 10 minute segments sometimes and like 30 minutes other times. So let me know when you're here!
I remembered you asked about investigators. So, the first week we had Hermano Byers who is now our teacher but we didn't know at the time, and he was role playing "Alex." Hermano Arce was our teacher too. Now it's the two of them and Hno. Arce is leaving us and we are getting a new teacher who will role play someone, and Hno. Byers is role playing "Jacob" now instead of alex. And we also have TRC which I can't remember what it stands for but they are fake investigators. Mostly members that come and act like investigators but there are some non-members. Ours is Hely and she is a member and she is so sweet. She talks A TON which is hard and she asks a lot of questions but she's easier to understand than some of the other TRC people so that's a blessing. Also we do member teaching and eventually that will turn in to skype teaching. So right now: Jacob (Hno. Byers), New teacher starting next week not sure who role playing, Hely (TRC member investigator), and 2 new members every week. Yes it's stressful and yes it's fun.
I have to go because of time but I love you a lot a lot!!!
Today we all matched. Navy and gray. That's how in sync we are as a companionship. [I'm not sure if I should tell you this is a joke, or just let you think she really thinks this kind of thing ....]