I hope all is well in the great AZ. I'm sorry to hear that not much work is being done in the temples. I hope that changes soon. It's such a blessing to be able to have so many temples in Arizona, and if people aren't going that's really sad. I know that as soon as I get home I want to go there as often as possible. I know it'll be difficult, but I definitely want to go through the Gilbert temple and the Mesa temple bunches and bunches of times! It's such a blessing having a temple so close to the house. Being here I can't go until the end of my mission or unless my zone gets at least 42 baptisms, so I hope more people can figure out how important that work is!!
This world really is getting tragically messed up. Things going on in Ukraine, our political leaders, media, everything. It's just sickening. I'm glad that ya'll were able to help out that couple. I'm sorry that it was so disgusting there, but I know that it probably really helped out that couple. Who knows what spiritual potential they had before this life and what they will become in the next :)
I'll be honest, Transfers were hard. It was really difficult to say goodbye to my trainer and greet my new companion. Sister DeBry and I had gone through some rough patches but we became really good friends, and it was hard being in this area without her. But now I've got my new companion Sister Hooker and she is the bomb! She's really awesome! Haha, we're actually a lot alike personality wise. And both of us are striving to become self confident and appreciate ourselves more rather than believing that other people are naturally better than us. Haha, both of us have struggled with that a lot so it's nice to get her opinion of things. Her dad is also a therapist which is really interesting and he has quite a lot of good advice. Just that if you're not going to care about yourself than nobody else is going to want to care about you. (Sound familiar mom? :P) But it was good to get the reminder. Especially out here on the mission where there are so many new things happening constantly.
And with that book on the personalities, I agree with you. Haha, soap box time: It's true I am a sensitive type person. And it's also true that I have to take time to think things through. But I also know that I try very hard to be kind to people and I'm trying every day to be a good listener. I can bless God's people in different ways than other people can who are naturally louder and more authoritative. It's not a bad thing. God needs all of us in order to help out His kingdom. I am the way I am and I like myself the way I am. If people think that I'm slow or that I'm odd just because I don't always pipe up when others would, so what? So what if I take my time? So what if things affect me deeply? It just means that I pay attention to my emotions and I care about people. If I take my time to say something it just means that I care about what I'm going to say and I want it to be the right thing to say so that I can best help the person that I'm talking to. It doesn't mean that I'm perfect. And it certainly doesn't mean that I should do the same tasks that other people are naturally capable of doing. It just means that I'm different and that I like being me :) God has need for all kinds of missionaries. And He has a lot to teach me, which makes me really grateful that I decided to come out here :)
Anyways, end of soapbox :P . The work is moving forward. We've been striving to build up our teaching pool this week. One great thing about Sister Hooker and I is that we're both determined to go tracting two hours every day even if we both don't like it :) That way we can find more people to teach. And it was awesome! We found a random less active in the neighborhood that hadn't had their records moved into the ward. So we're planning on working with her and getting her records moved in. Also we had two people come to church this week!!! Beverly (pretty much our top investigator at the moment) and Naomi! Sister DeBry and I had ran into Naomi before when we were trying to contact Garnicka (a woman who was baptized in February but ended up stop coming to church :/ ) Naomi is Garnicka's cousin. So while Sister Hooker and I were trying to get in contact with Garnicka again to invite her to church, we ran into Naomi and ended up inviting her instead. We figured why not? And she CAME TO CHURCH!!!! It was Awesome!! She looked so great! (She and Garnicka share a home. They don't live in the best living conditions, and Naomi smokes, but she looked beautiful with her hair all styled and in her dress. It was amazing to see her there!) We did not expect her to come AT ALL. It was fantastic! So we're going to try and meet with her again this week to see how she liked it and hopefully try to teach the lessons with her. Who knows? But God was definitely blessing us with so many miracles this week.
Transfer weeks are hard. It's like your best friend gets taken from you who you're not going to see for months and then you're expected to take over the area with someone that you've never met before. Those first two days were rough. But Sister Hooker was awesome and we both managed to pull through to Sunday. Haha, they always say make it to Sunday. And it's so true! Once you can make it to Sunday everything just seems to improve. You have P-Day next and then you're a lot more comfortable with your companion and you feel much better about the changes. I am NOT excited for when I have to leave this area. Then I'll be taken right out of my comfort zone once more and placed with another brand new companion. Ah well, it makes me learn a lot.
Anyways, I really have learned a lot this week. The mission really teaches you how to grow up. You can't rely on mom or dad anymore. You've got to take care of the area and act professional. You've got to be spiritually prepared for what happens and there are a lot of disappointments that you face. You're constantly thrust out of your comfort zone and you're constantly relearning things over and over again in different ways so that the message gets stuck in your head :P Probably the biggest lesson to learn is just how to love God, people, and yourself over and over again. How to let go of everything that you can't control (which is just about everything :P ) and allow God to take care of it. And that's a hard lesson to learn especially after coming from a life where you feel like it's yours. You make your own decisions and then when you come out here, you've got to turn to the Lord and trust in your leaders that they're making the right decisions for you. And that's very humbling :) Mornings are usually the hardest. I don't know why, but you start thinking about things and sometimes you realize just how long 18 months really is. And then over time you start to realize how short 18 months really is. (Time is so warped here hahaha)
But it's incredible and it's wonderful. It's difficult and it's humbling, but it's teaching me sooooo much. I know there are going to be hard times, but those times are also when we have the greatest growth so I'm grateful for the hard times. I've learned a lot and I'm excited to see where things take me. I hope that ya'll are having a great day! Haha, have fun reading this super long letter! It makes up for last time's letter :P I love you all and I hope that you have so much fun this week! Have fun at the cabin! And I got your package!! Thank you so much!! Haha, right when I got it I immediately put one of the cds in our player and turned up it way loud. It was SO nice :) Thanks for all that you do! I love you!
(P.S. Tell Grandma the weather has been fine here. I'm not up North where they've had some tornado warnings. Things are good in these here parts :P It's a little rainy, but other than that, the weather's good. No more blossoms, but it's SUPER green :) And the Magnolia flowers are blooming!!!!)