Hola again! Week 4 or 5 or something was great. I'm not sure how they count the weeks but we are somewhere around there. We leave in less than 2 weeks!! And I just have to say that the excitement is really really real. They people of Arkansas already have a place in my heart. I'm so pumped. Here is my random list of things I wrote down throughout the week and day to tell you:
-First of all, I sent this story to Andrew in a letter but you will probably read this first. Last P-day on our way to the temple, we looked at our vending machines and saw a radio/walkie-talkie thing. Naturally, we bought it. Actually I bought it. $1.50 for that thing and a bag of trail mix- not too bad! Sister Smith took it and said "hello?" and this guy responded so we proceeded to tell him what happened. He got very confused and other people chimed in and it was so hilarious. They couldn't understand that the guy who was stocking the machines left his radio in there. It was a good time. That's what these pictures are!!
-Like I was saying I am so excited to learn and teach with people in Arkansas. We were teaching our teacher who's investigator name is "Gabriel" and I got so excited to learn Spanish and be able to communicate fluently. I felt a lot of peace about it.
-Thank you for the stickers, they make me feel like I have a really good sense of humor
-Sister Smithson makes good cookies and I love Kneaders pumpkin bread.
-Today we watched a thing about family history and how to use it as a tool. I finally got around to filling in my little booklet from my mission president and it was so cool. I love that stuff. And that family history is such a genuine thing. You don't have to trick people into hearing a message, they can come closer to Christ by just learning about their heritage and what that means for their family too. I love it.
-Thank you for all the pictures you sent last week and emails!! I love it so much. You all seem like you're doing well. Emma, sorry that you got sick! I did too. But probably the shortest cold I have ever had in my whole life. It was runny nose and itchy throat and watery eyes for one day and then I took medicine yesterday and the day before and I've been fine today. Every once-in-awhile I cough.
-I was really nervous before I came that I would be late for everything, take too long showering and getting ready, be distracted by elders, and really miss you guys too much. But I didn't realize until this week that those things are hard for me still and I'm not perfect but it's certainly not a burden. The Lord has helped me with so much that I didn't even realize. I can focus on learning the doctrine and the language way better. We have been focusing on the Atonement a lot lately and how it's so awesome that you can be cleansed from all sorts of sin throughout the day but also it's enabling, strengthening, comforting, etc. We have been trying to look for ways that the Atonement has blessed our lives and how we can apply it more. I have felt a lot of help studying and being at peace with the lessons and I'm really trying to be selfless with my lessons. We all have a tendency to think about how we did but it's really about how they came closer to Christ or didn't. I have felt a lot of strength in different ways and it's so cool.
-Thank you mom for teaching me how to use the Bible Dictionary. I have always just wanted to ask you questions (and here I just want to ask my companions) and find the immediate answer, but I'm trying to take what we teach to our investigators about finding out for yourself, and apply that to my life. I can pray about hard doctrinal questions and research and read and I have everything I need because I have scriptures, LDS.org, and prayer. So thank you.
-Something hilarious that we do is really bad harmonies. (Yes, I still have that talent.) Especially me and Sister Smith. Our most recent favorite is "Christmas Shoes" by that country singer. We love to sing that in the shower together in grandma ward talent show voices. It's way funnier than you are thinking.
-My companions are so amazing. They have so much knowledge about scriptures and love and everything. We had an hour long companionship inventory last night talking about strengths individually and as a companionship and goals and how we can work better together. It was really really good. They said very genuine nice things to me and I to them. We realized that we are not perfect (whaaa???) but we really just want to follow the Spirit in all things. ESPECIALLY in our lessons as we don't know Spanish or all of the answers, we do know how to follow the Spirit and we are trying to be sensitive to that even more.
-It's weird because I keep wanting to ask for you to send me things but I can't really because they're not necessary and I don't have room to take them to Arkansas. But it's actually really awesome to live so minimally. I know I have a lot still, but I have a lot less too. It's been cool to be free from a cell phone (actually we have a hilarious sister training leader phone that does nothing but call the front office and receive solicitor calls).
-The Causse's came on Tuesday (general bishop and his wife) and they are so so cute. They talked about how hard it is to move away from their family and France and do these hard things but we can be obedient and humble and have faith and consecrate our lives and all that good stuff. It was so awesome. Then he played a beautiful rendition of Come, Come Ye Saints. It was so inspiring.
-We have a new elder, Elder Sheppard, his visa didn't come yet or his transfers are messed up or something so he is with our district now (and extra 2 weeks for him) so that's been fun
-Thank you for those markers you sent me! We got our white board taken away because another teacher is allergic to chalk so we have the chalkboard now. BUT our companionship goes to this other room, the ZRT room, with a big beautiful whiteboard and we write on it and stuff so thanks.
-EMMA thank you for your daily note thing!! That was so hilarious and awesome. It totally made my whole week and it was so fun. (Emma wrote one thing about her day, everyday for a month, on little post-it notes and then sent them all to Ashley. They were so funny!)
-DAD thank you for your letter too!! When I am tired, I have been strengthened thinking about you not only working so hard all the time but also getting up early to go to the temple and working on our house and being so awesome. I hear the grass rocks and Iris loves to pee on it still?? Thank you for your prayers and fun stories. Keep 'em comin'.
-Em, did you audition for anything else? I can't remember. What's your next thing? How do you like drama? Is your teacher fun?? How is your locker and averie and friends and stuff?
-I especially love the random Dear Elders. I feel sad for those in our district that don't get them everyday. But I still want them. Hehe. Thank you!! And that letter about the bat is accurate. I talked to her before I read this actually not knowing who she was. She was cleaning with us. Did I tell you I saw one of the bats like a few weeks ago? They are way cute. And we can't kill them because it's a $10,000 fine for EACH. So the bat problem will go on. And hopefully I won't get rabies shots and have to stay here for another month.
|Sister Smith likes taking pictures of people as they come out of the bathroom.|
Send all my love! Things are great here. Thank you for your prayers and everything you have done for me and continue to do. I know that this work is so important. I am so thankful for the Atonement and for Christ's perfect example. Heavenly Father doesn't just forget about those who are less fortunate. He cares so much and it's us that forget about Him. Please keep doing the amazing things you already do!! I love you all, talk to you next week! :)
(P.S. tell Suzy to email me. Please. :))