Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fishers of ...

Last Sipple Selfies

Here are some funny things about Arkansas:

No one uses their front door. For some reason this is a cultural thing, and I don't get it. It's like people are so weirded out when we knock on the front door! Maybe it's because the houses are sort of crooked sometimes so you don't really know where the front is. But I think it's because everyone has long driveways and stuff and they wrap around the back, so that's where everyone goes in and out of. I love this place.

I have yet to have fried chicken. But chicken fried rice is a must! Also chili. I have had chili at almost every house I have been to! Granted that's like 4 houses, but still. It's a hot item here in the fall.

Everyone likes trunk-or-treat. The thing about Danville is that there are churches on every corner. Kind of like Utah but more and none of them are the same. The most common are Baptist churches, but there are quite a few different kinds. Some are these massive meeting houses the size of 2 Stake Centers and some are smaller than our house! But they ALL have trunk-or-treat! (Even our tiny little Danville Branch is having one. So excited.)

Everything is so small here. We went to a homecoming game and it was so hilariously small town, but so awesome. Our homecoming (at LPHS) was huge and the entire school was there and everyone's parents and grandparents and uncle Joe from California flew in. But here, it's just everyone's parents and friends, but they're all friends with each other and the school is so tiny that it hardly would be the size of the band section at Lone Peak. (Just kidding. It was a little bigger.)

I have had a small growth in testimony of organized religion this week, and really this whole transfer. I didn't consider how cool it is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same everywhere. There are different teachers and callings and things but it's the same manuals, scripture, interpretations, gospel, principles, etc. It's all under the direction of God and He has given us the truth. It's amazing how the truth is applicable everywhere you go! There are those funny differences as you go across the world, mostly cultural (for instance, sister Garvin in Australia said that for the primary program there they all dress in white and sing stuff. In Utah they sometimes dress up or sometimes just sing good stuff but everyone and their dog comes to see it and all the girls' hair is on point. In Danville, it's about 15 kids and they are just singing with all their energy!). I'm thankful to know I belong to the one true church!

We are sad to see Sister Sipple go this week. She had touched so many lives. She was never concerned about having bad numbers for the week or whatever. She taught me to care about the people, and the numbers will come as God needs them to. I realized if we pray about our goals with the intent of helping others and not ourselves, God can and does help us reach those goals. I asked her yesterday for her parting advice, this is what we got:
"Don't take a day for granted, but don't regret the choices you've made."
"It'll all be worth it."
"The Atonement is real, use it."
"Better yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ but don't let anyone change you. You should only allow the Atonement to change you."

That last one is something I have thought a lot about this week actually. I am trying to figure out how to be molded without changing myself. I have been called here for myself but also because I can bring things that others can't. I'm trying to figure out how to be like other good missionaries and do the things we are supposed to do, while still being me. And that's exactly how you do it, with the Atonement. Only our Heavenly Father knows our true potential, and only through the Atonement can we reach it.

And here it is. The awkwardness of the district is not fake. It is
very very real! Also, Brooksbys were in their car so they didn't
get in the picture.

We had a District meeting this week and it was so funny because we let the Elders know we would be running a few minutes late, and all they said was "mmmmmk alright." Assuming they were mad, we sped on. A few minutes later we see the familiar Chevy Cruz pull up behind us with the Elders sinking down in their seats trying not to be noticed. It didn't work. We beat them there. It was a really good district meeting! Though, role plays will never be more awkward.

Katie made Sipple a video this week with signs and music and it was SO cute!! We helped her out a lot with it, and Sipple cried. It was so sweet. She will be so missed! It was a fun project this week!
We ate with the T's this week again, and they made the best lasagna with zucchinis instead of noodles, it was amazing. I want to eat it everyday everyday everyday! Also the T's found out that I kind of softly yell when I get excited ... I'm working on that.
Good-byes with Sister Sipple

I was able to teach in Spanish this week! We taught J (in the rain standing on his front porch) and he was SO nice about my Spanish! It's nice because he knows English but he also knows that I don't know very much Spanish so he helps me along. Most people here are like that, they can pretty much understand what I'm saying. He is a recent convert and we taught him the Plan of Salvation! He kind of taught himself, he's great. It was cool. Also, the gift of tongues is real! I don't fully understand everything. I haven't put in enough effort nor is it reasonable for me to always understand Spanish, but I can understand WAY more than I should! I love the Holy Ghost and the gifts that it brings.

This week has been a sad one but good one. Sister Ponce and I are ready to go ham (I have no idea what that means) on Danville for our walk week!!!!!

We prayed and fasted to find a family of 5 that speak Spanish in Danville, and I had the impression we need to contact a less-active family. So, prayers and fasting are so amazing! Specific prayers bring specific blessings. 

This is our newly organized study room. My perspective (looking at the tapestry) and also what I
look like when I "study"

Companions hate this. I love it.

Our ponderizing scripture this week is Mosiah 4:15

Katie teaching me how to fish! Well, just reel in actually. I didn't
know you could do it a right or wrong way! She kept telling me to put
the rod down. Hahaha it was so funny

In church, sister K taught Relief Society about the three new Apostles. They all had something in common of feeling inadequate but how the Lord prepares those he has called. I may not ever see the effects of my work, but if I do my best and do what I know is right, God will make my efforts enough. I'm so grateful this isn't my work because if it were, I would fail.
First Sippless Selfie
Cool underpass in Little Rock

I know if I can turn my perspective outward and worry about what people are learning and their spiritual well being, and stop worrying about my bad teaching or lack of ability to empathize, God will give me the knowledge I need to connect with people and love them and touch their hearts and do good here.

I love you a lot a lot!!! You have taught me so much. I'm noticing more and more everyday the good things you and dad have done for our family. Especially simply being a good example of what you believe. You can say all you want, but you aren't a hypocrite so you will actually do those things you say!! That didn't make sense. Sorry. :) I'm grateful for your mercy. I'm grateful for the things you overcame so I could be here today. I'm grateful for your love and example. I'm grateful for your willingness to follow the lord and do the right thing, always. We are so similar and I know we can be our best with the help of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I think our desire to do what's right gets turned against us somehow. Satan tries to use our good qualities of wanting to be good and make us feel like we're not enough. When we ARE enough! There is work to be done but the Lord is happy with our progress and potential. I love you and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it's true and I know I've been sent here for some reason. I have been told that in blessings, and I'm ready to be put to work!! I love you!!

I hope you guys are having a good fall there. Tell Sipple hello for us if you go to lunch with her!

Much love,
Hermana Macfarlane

No comments:

Post a Comment