I just had to read back through my journal over the last week to remind myself of all the things I need to tell you guys! First of all, before I forget, there are TWO elders her going to Corson's same exact mission and they have RED HAIR! How cool is that. So naturally, they're my friends. Haha. They are actually in the same district as the other elders here who are going to Panama so we see all of them a lot. So mom, Corson won't be the only red-head there haha.
Anyway, about my week. So to start off, the investigator that I think I told you all about last week that we were teaching is now our 2nd teacher. Her real name is Hermana Young and she's fantastic. We have the BEST teachers. Hermano Stewart, our original teacher that we started off with, also doubles as our new investigator now, so that's a little strange haha. He also speaks insanely fast so most of the time I just nod my head and bare testimony. hahaha. But he's great. He's all business. When he was in the MTC he spoke ZERO english because he wanted to learn the language so bad. Everyone hated him and he regrets it a little I think because he says he had absolutely no fun in the MTC. But his dedication still inspires us all to be better.
Church on Sunday was fantastic. President Lindahl (he was a mission president for one of the Argentina mission, Gunnar have you heard of him) came and spoke to us and he is AMAZING. He absolutely loved his missions and talks about them with such enthusiasm. He lit a fire in all of us after he spoke, I think. He also told us about this way to learn the language that I think you should try too Corson. He learned this from Elder Holland who learned it from the world class spanish teacher person who taught him spanish. Anyway, you get a little tiny notebook and on each page you pick a category (such as grocery store, banking, or barber shop) of something you'll need to know about in the field that doesn't have to do with the gospel. and that same page you write up to 15 words in spanish that you'll need to know for that specific category, not phrases but just single words. And then on the back side of that page you write the english translation for each word on the same line as that word on the front page so you can just flip the page back and forth. My branch presidency told us they'd NEVER heard this kind of advice given and that we'd all be so dumb not to do it. One of the counselors in my branch presidency is a world renowned psychologist so he doesn't beat around the bush haha. But President Lindahl told us that the reason this works so well is because you learn how to talk about things that aren't related to the gospel so you can just have actual normal conversations with EVERYONE in your mission, not just your investigators. He said it's the best way for the people in your mission to love you and the best way for you to love them. You should try it and tell your district about it Corson! I'm going to start making my book today.
Devo <devotional> on Tuesday was sooo good. Stanley Ellis of the seventy spoke to us, along with his wife and nine children who ALL served missions. Three girls and six boys. They all just bore testimony to us about their experiences on their missions and I took like three pages of notes because there was just so much to learn from them! One of the things that the oldest daughter talked to us about was an analogy about a train. She said that in this gospel we're all on God's train and His train never stops, and then when you get on your mission the train all of a sudden starts going EXTREMELY fast (so true). She said that NONE of us can afford to get off this train because it will not stop for us and it will just pass us by and we will miss out on way too much. Basically saying that now that we're in this, we better finish it out. I haven't had any problems with that yet, because the Spirit is giving me more strength than I would've ever dreamed possible (ABSOLUTELY NO homesickness at all up to this point, and I didn't even get that lucky at college. A.K.A. the miracles of the mission), but there is an hermana and an elder in our zone who came in last week who were really struggling with this and after this talk, they both said they felt so inspired to just push through. It's incredible how the spirit prompts others to say things that so many people need to hear right at that time.
I've been praying a lot to know what I should do during my personal study time (1-2 hours every day) that would help me be most prepared for the field, and I received my answer yesterday! I felt that I should just re-read the entire Book of Mormon every time I have personal study time. I just don't know it nearly as well as I should in order to testify of it's truthfulness, so I know that re-reading it will prepare me so much to teach about it! I've always struggled understanding the scriptures, but now when I read them I feel like I'm reading one of my Nicholas Sparks books because I understand them THAT much. They're so much more clear to me than they ever have been before. Another way the spirit is helping me, and another miracle of the mission. I actually look forward to reading it and am so sad when it's time to stop. It's so great.
That about sums up my week. Now let me respond to your DearElders. Thanks so much for sending those by the way! I actually really like to receive your responses to my email via dearelder instead of on here, that way I can get those during the week. So keep doing that please! Does Corson get his DearElders? If you do Corson, is it as much fun to get them for you as it is for all of us here in good ol Provo? hahaa it doesn't take much to make our day here!
Dad, that's crazy how empty it was at church on Sunday! It doesn't surprise me though, I'm sure it's insanely hot there by now. I'm glad work is going well and that you're delivering new buses. That is definitely a good thing. Side note, any news on the house? I haven't heard anything so I was curious. That's a bummer that you have to go to Reno for so long, but it'll be a quick week and then you'll get to be home again. That's exciting that football is starting up. I bet Bryson and Peyton are ready to get started. That's great that Bryson will be on JV. Record some of those games! I'm sure Brennon is just ready to get to wrestling. That definitely needs to be recorded to!! He's going to be so cute (don't tell him I said that hahaa). Tell him thank you so much for his message and that I loved making him food too and that I promise to make him more in about 17.5 months :) Also tell him I miss him soo much too and that I'm always happy here and that the only time I cry is when I feel the spirit. :) Tell Bryson and Peyton that I miss them soo much too!
Did you get my letter yet? Mom, I definitely get full here. I eat too much. haha, it's great though. I'm just trying to enjoy normal food now while I still can. And mom, you're definitely in the right place. I still pray all day every day that your house will sell soon and I have soo much faith that it will. Trust in the Lord's timing! He has a plan and it's a perfect plan!
Hi Whit!! These two weeks have definitely gone by fast! I'm already sad about the day I have to take my name tag off, though. I can't think about it because it makes me want to cry. I LOVE being a missionary and I'm only two weeks old. Shoot, does the Lord know me or what?! I'm so excited that Teagers is trained!! I knew he'd pick it up quick, he's so dang smart. Send me pictures of the boys either on here on in the mail! I'd prefer in the mail so I can show everyone my dang cute nephews! I want to see how Taeson is growing! Sounds like he's a chunkers for sure. I wish I could hear him talk! Record it! Record everything and we'll just spend an entire month when I get home watching all of the videos :) That's really cool that you'll have a fitness trainer. You'll do a lot better with that than I would. I don't like someone telling me what to do, did you know that about me? hahaa. But you'll have to definitely tell me how you like it! That's exciting about Limestone! Is it on the market yet? And have you sold your other flip yet? Thanks for the DearElder, keep those coming!!
I love and miss you all soo much! I'll be on for about 5-6 more minutes if anyone is online and wants to chat :)