Monday, August 29, 2016

Better Than You Left Me

August 29th-Sept 4th

Super long email!!! My other emails could probably be this long but
sometimes I forget everything that happens.

Monday we finally played volleyball! It's been so long! I did a normal
serve and then a couple jump serves that were better than I had
expected and one of the elders said "we get it! You played
volleyball!" Haha I also nailed my district leader really hard in the
front row. Yikes!
When we got home we saw a huge spider outside and I made sister
Daulton kill it. I really wished I would have videoed it because it
was quite entertaining!

Tuesday I went to the baptism for Derrick Hall in my last area. MJ
from the YSA ward was kind enough to be my companion and drive me
there. Here's a little background about the Halls. They moved here
about a year ago from Colorado where they had been investigating the
church for a couple years. When they got here the ward moved them in
and missionaries met with them but they had been dropped and picked
back up until sister Koyle and I came to the area and picked them back
up and held onto them for dear life! They were also super busy and had
the hardest time committing to a date but they would come to church
regularly. My last Sunday in that area we followed up with them and
asked if they had prayed about their baptism. We went around in a
circle. The first daughter said "no" then we moved onto Derrick, we
thought the answer would be the same but to our surprise he said
"August 30th". Sister Koyle and I about flew off our chairs and had to
pick our jaws off the floor! Derrick was the last person we thought
baptized out of all of them. He had studied with so many religions,
from Muslim to JW. It goes to show that when someone feels the spirit
they can become converted.
Their fellowship from Colorado came and it was one of the most
spiritual services. Jade, their oldest daughter had tears in her eyes
the whole time which was a miracle because she hated sitting in on
lessons and would only join if we were doing FHE with the family.
Conversion takes time but those seeds planted are so precious. I'm
grateful those members from Colorado could plant those seeds and see
the fruits of their labors. Man that fruit is sweet!

Wednesday I bashed with a JW... Well kinda.... The spirit was still
there but his brain wasn't. The spirit helped me know what to say and
it got him to but because of their stupid translated bible he
justified his reasoning! Like the saying goes "it's impossible to
argue with an idiot." Anyway, I'm grateful for religious freedom. I
know that it's worth fighting for our liberty and family and religion.
I'm thankful for those who are brave enough to defend our country and
our freedom so that we all can worship the way we feel is right. You
can not brainwash me enough to be a JW.
Sister Easterman asked us to come to the personal progress activity
this week. She has sister Daulton read a story and she had me share my
testimony of choice and accountability and what it took to get me on a
mission. I'm so grateful for the leaders and examples I had so
preparing for a mission was easy because I had been preparing my whole
life without even knowing it. "Decisions determine destiny" -Thomas S.

Thursday, for the first time in my life, I washed a dog. Yes, you read
that last sentence correctly. And because of my experience, it will be
the last time I wash a dog. We were walking down the street and we
started talking to an elderly lady who had a pitbull. Sister Daulton
loves pit bulls and offered to wash the owners dog like usual. However
this time the lady didn't have time to reply before sister Daulton
said "oh please! Please let us wash your dog! We would love to!" Most
of the time this is when the people say "nows not a good time, I'll
give you a call when you can come back" or "I just had it groomed not
too long ago" but to my dismay neither of these objections were used.
We went to the back yard and found a kiddy pool and a water spicket.
Sister Daulton offered that I would hold the dog by the collar while
she washed it. I could not believe what I had gotten myself into!
There was no hose, no leash, just a energetic dog! When we asked the
lady for some soap she gave us a bar of soap. We clarified by asking
for liquid soap and she brought out dryer sheets... Dryer sheets to
wash the dog?! Sister Daulton scrubbed the dog while I filled a large
bowl with water and poured it on the dog. It was crazy! The lady loved
it and the dog got clean. We smelt awful afterwards so we sped home to
shower before dinner. Like I said, I will never wash a dog again.
We saw more miracles in the evening. For example we met Paula. A
couple weeks ago we knocked on the door of a Jewish guy who said we
could come back and talk with his JW wife. Somehow we were lead by the
spirit to put her in our plans, I was thinking I was going to have
another nice discussion with a JW. Two in one week! However, Paula was
so excited to meet us. She asked when our service was and said "I'll
be there!" We told her our purpose as missionaries and she let us
right in to share the Restoration of the gospel. It was incredible!
It's so rare that people let us in on the spot! She said that a lot of
her questions were answered and she felt good about our message. I'm
excited to see her at church and for her to be baptized.
Before going home we had to get a paper from the zone leaders. We met
under a street light and they handed it off through the window of the
car then we both drove off. This made sister Daulton think of ways
missionaries could become the best drug dealers. She went on and on as
we drove to a members house who had made us brownies. Ironically they
had to choose to make brownies which made sister Daulton thing of weed
brownies so she continued on her drug dealing plot further. Most times
if my companion had been discussing this I would be a little
concerned. But sister Daulton can't even sneak a Popsicle from the
freezer without making it obvious! Haha

Friday we ate at Sonic for lunch because sister Daulton had never had
a corn dog before in her life. I'm not sure if she got out much before
her mission.
The STLs called us during lunch and asked to meet with us and the zone
leaders because something happened and they want our side of the story
but they wouldn't tell us what it was. No pressure! Holy cow we were
freaking out thinking about what sins we've committed that would have
caused this to happen or if we should just start packing our bags now!
We couldn't come up with anything but obviously it was important that
they needed to talk with us and the zone leaders that day. We got
there sat in a circle like an AA meeting and said a prayer. They were
beating around the bush trying to say it delicately and finally they
came out with it. They told us that the bishop in sister Daultons last
area heard from one of his member that she has frequently stayed with
a member to "chill" while I go work. Ha! I was like "that's it? You
took time away from our lunch for this?" Of course it was a huge
misunderstanding! The only time sister Daulton was at a members house
is when she got sick that first Sunday and I knew it was important for
me to go to church and meet the ward while she stayed with a member in
her last area (because we didn't know anyone in our new area) and get
better. That's what the zone leaders and STLs had thought as well but
rumors are rumors and must be resolved. So the lesson this week is
don't gossip or exaggerate. Because we nearly had a heart attack
thinking we had done something wrong!

Saturday we got our transfer doctrine! You would think I would get
less nervous as my mission progresses but that is not the case.
However, I did have a good feeling about what was to come. On my way
there I caught ear that Sister Lellis was called to be an STL. I told
her how cool it would be if she was my STL since I trained her and
then was her STL (same pattern as sister Sandoval and me). Drum
roll... I am going back to NORTH STAR YSA!!!! That's where I started
me mission!!! It's super duper rare to go back to old areas but I am
so thankful I get to go back to my roots!! And to top it off Sister
Lellis IS my STL!!! How crazy!! I've spent half my mission serving in
YSA!! Our district went to IHOP to celebrate the work that has been
done and the new beginnings to come.
The Heritage ward was really sad because sister Daulton is getting
transferred too and elders are coming back to the area. We had dinner
with the Chowens which was awesome as always. Sister Chowen was kinda
slaphappy and said without much thought "Cancer's a killer!" when the
topic was not so upbeat which made her comment even funnier. We took
pictures with their family. I know we were there for the young women,
to give them that example.
I'll be real honest this transfer has been hard. Too top it off, when
we got home the lock on the gate broke so I jumped the 6.5 ft wall to
try and fix it from the inside. It was dark and late and I was
exhausted! I asked sister Daulton to pass our things over the wall so
we could just go inside and figure it out in the morning. Silly me for
thinking it was going to be an easy fix. As she was throwing things
over she wasn't paying any attention and dropped the keys to our
house, gate and car, down the 6.5 ft hole in a pillar between the gate
and wall. I was not happy to say the least!! My patience had fully run
dry! I then had to jump the wall again and get her to a spot where the
wall was lower to lift her over it. Not a simple task!! Thankfully our
landlord was still awake and was able to get a really strong magnet to
get our keys out of the hole. It was not any easy story to explain. By
the end of it I broke down. I was done. Sister Daulton was upset with
herself and I was upset with her. I always wondered what parenting
would be like and I think this transfer I got a great taste of it. In
the heat of it, thankfully the spirit paused life for a split second
to whisper what needed to be done. In the heat of it, I listened put
pride aside and followed the gentle promptings. In the calm of it,
things were resolved. I could see what type of parent I would be. We
are always improving. Gods love is never ending. These aren't our
children, their Gods.

Sunday was probably the best way to end the week. Paula came to church
and brought her mom and son! What a miracle! Paula said "this feels
right" and had a huge smile the whole time. And her son wants to come
back too so they are making him a part in the primary program. I wish
I could work with them all the way to baptism but I know they are in
good hands with the ward and will be right at home.
After dinner we got to go to a multi stake youth fireside by Brad
Wilcox. He is a wonderful speaker and relates the gospel so well to us
personally. I took some good notes but my email is getting long so it
may have to wait. To top it off, I had the lucky surprise of seeing
the youth from the Inspirada and Madera Canyon wards which was
Afterwards I was talking to a sister who is super awesome and has been
out for about 9months. We will definitely have to hangout after the
mission! We talked about the hard times on our missions and she said
looking at me she would never think I would have a hard time. The
conversation was really heartfelt. She has so many incredible
qualities as a missionary and a kind hearted person. I tried to
explain my view on missions and the things I've taken away so far. She
began to tear up and told me that this was something she really needed
to hear. She told me that she really looks up to me. That she just
sees a light in me and when she thinks of her mission vision she wants
to become more like me because I'm relaxed but I put my personality in
the gospel and I seem mature. Being out of leadership this transfer I
thought my influence on others would be limited, but Gods timing is
best. He was able to use me as a tool in a unique way to touch other
missionaries, members and investigators that I wouldn't have been able
to impact otherwise.

SPIRITUAL THOUGHT: Window at the Pool (Aug 2015 Ensign)
I chose this article because I'm pretty sure this is our family
someone just took credit for the story. This is for you, mom, because
I know being an empty nester is hard. Be proud of the experiences we
had in our home to learn, grow and become virtuous daughters. Even
though times have changed we can still learn gospel lessons through
our families even if we are all scatter around the country. We are
still family.

Our vacation was ending. Over waffles that morning, we planned how to
make the most of our time at the hotel before enduring the five-hour
drive home. My husband decided to take our three young daughters for a
final escapade in the pool. I would take advantage of a treadmill in
the workout room.
    The treadmill I chose faced a wall-sized window overlooking the
swimming pool. Shortly I saw a family, my family, make their way to
the pool. Towels, shoes, and T-shirts flew everywhere as the girls
excitedly prepared to jump into the water. Normally I would be
following behind them, gathering up clothes and shoes and, quite
honestly, being a bit annoyed by it all. Instead, I saw this family
from the outside looking in, as though the giant window before me was
a movie screen. As my feet pounded a rhythm on the rotating belt
beneath, I watched.
    I saw how happy everyone was, laughing and playing together, and
I thought about the times I had become discouraged by the petty
arguments that inevitably arise in a family, by the uneasy feeling
that, despite my best effort, I was failing to teach my children to
love each other. But as I watched, I saw people who were happy
together. I discovered that I wasn’t failing to teach them to love one
another; I was just failing to notice that they could.
    I watched one of the girls jumping from the pool’s edge over and
over again into her daddy’s arms. I thought about all the big jumps
she would make throughout her life and hoped she would trust Heavenly
Father to catch her each time. I knew that with each jump she was
learning to trust and that being part of our family was a safe way to
learn that trust. (Amanda)
    Another daughter sought to perfect a swimming skill. I saw how
her family’s encouragement kept her trying. There would be times in
her life when she would need that same support in the face of more
difficult challenges. (Me)
    And then I watched as our third daughter was accidentally bumped
into the pool. Upset and angry, she sputtered her way out of the water
and into a chair. Immediately her family noticed she was missing. I
watched each one lovingly encourage her to rejoin them. She eventually
did, and I thought of her future, of all the times she would be hurt
and feel like giving up. I hoped she would always find in the love of
her family the strength to endure. (Natalie...who else would swim into
a wall?)
    Suddenly, the realization hit me: our families can be a key to
our ability to learn, understand, and live the gospel. Nephi noted
that “by small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi
16:29). And so it is with families. Yes, parents struggle. But every
effort to teach and train and love, no matter how small, matters.
    My little movie drew to a close. As I turned off the treadmill
and watched my family gather their clothes, I felt renewed
determination to keep going, to keep doing all the little things that
I sometimes worry don’t make a difference.

Sister Daulton quotes: "Watch, one day I'm going to end up kicking a
rock right at a rattle snakes feet... Well not at his feet, but you
know what I mean."
"There was a gigantic spider that I smashed with my shoe!... Something
needs to be done about this because if there is one then there are
more!... They are like rabid potato chips!"
"Maybe he will let me have a dog...No?...It was worth a try." (New
housing director)
"I'm not hast tagging anything 'dope'... What is a hash tag?" (#dope
district council)
"It's too hot to get a dog in Las Vegas...This is the kind of pet I'll
get!...A small tree... It even shakes hands... Nice to meet you too!"
"Get out of the road you stupid rabbit!!!... I mean cute rabbit!!"
"Do you think the Mormon tabernacle choir can only listen to the
Mormon tabernacle choir?... I don't think so because that would just
be conceded."
"Oh look! Pest control!... I think they are looking for me..." (Pest
control sign on a door)
"You know Mormon missionaries would make the best drug dealers... No
one would expect drugs in a Book of Mormon!... When president calls us
into his office just smile and nod... Now let's go get some
"If they make us move apartments on pday I'm going to riot!"
"I managed not to sneeze like an evil chihuahua!"
"I'm not a hoarder...I'm a collector... I'm not a hoarder, I'm not a
hoarder, I'm not a hoarder... No matter how many times I say it, it
doesn't make it true."
"I like that car... It has good dog rescue can hold
lots of cages"

Maybe I should clarify for the readers back home. The ... doesn't mean
any information was lost or another conversation is going on. It means
that it's me being silent and watching the show while she is talking
to herself. Just in case you were wondering.

No comments:

Post a Comment