December 22, 2010
Hey Hey – Happy e-mail day!
Thanks to all the people who have emailed me and sent cards. I haven’t lived in NC for years and people from our home ward still sent me cards and little notes. Also Mom’s friends, some of my old friends, lots of people. It’s nice to be remembered and I am so grateful for everyone’s paragraphs and pictures. I love you! Thanks!
Remember all that stuff from last week? Well! I found a verse recently that I’ve personally adopted as my soul anthem for the rest of my mission. This is Paul speaking to his converts in Thessalonica (1 Thes 2:8,20).
“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us […] for ye are our glory and joy.”
YES! Yes yes yes!
I exclaimed out loud when I found this.
The scriptures are so intriguing. If someone told you there was once a rebellious man who then changed his heart (and his name) and was called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ in the flesh… and that you could read the letters he wrote to the people he ministered to… wouldn’t you flip your chips?! Cause you can read em! You can! Go Paul go! And the sons of Mosiah too! Love these legend missionaries.
I’m gonna tell you some stories today. Merry Christmas!
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In order to get the full feel of these events you need to know that it has been MONSOONING, non-stop, for days. It’s nuts out here. Who knew California knew how to do this?
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What can I tell you about Sister Reynolds? (My new companion) She sleeps in a sweatshirt with the hood up. I love this about her. She’s from Detroit and is very tough. She has 10 siblings: 3 blood, 7 step, and 6 of the step are adopted… but all in the same house! She’s very perceptive and very patient. She’s also hilarious which helps me a ton.
Today we left earlier than usual because Sister Reynolds needed to see the chiropractor. On our way out the door I was staggering under a stack of things we needed for the day: area book, medical forms, a plate of breakfast, my bag, my journ… I was tryin to put my hood up and hold things in layers so that certain things would catch the rain and keep it off of other, more important things… namely my delicious breakfast.
Right at this moment of circus-quality balancing, I dropped the keys into my plate of peanutbuttery waffles.
Is it weird that I was a little bit comforted by this?
“Good to see that I am still me,” I thought.
Some things never change.
You should know the level of nast that abides within this set of keys. Not your standard front door and car key combo. There are little dingy mailbox keys, one for our squeaky old gate, another for the greasity grease greasy parkin garage below… a few for various apartment complexes of our top member dinner locations… anyway… you best bet I ate those waffles right up!
It is 8am and I am soaked already, and probably contracting some sort of disease.
Bring it on.
I said a blessing on it first.
Did I mention that I am driving this transfer? Storm drains are few and far between so the water just puddles and rivers itself… everywhere. You know that spraying sound when you go through a puddle and the water shoots up? I’m a champ at driving through those! But my coat hasn’t been dry in days even though it hangs up all night. And the clouds are so thick I haven’t seen sky for days.
In theory, I love heavy rain.
The first night we played in the rivers on the way home and rejoiced!
We don’t do that anymore.
I want to say that I love Abuelita hot chocolate these days. And that I’m having the weirdest Christmas ever. My packages are sittin unopened in the top of my closet. I see them and think,
I’m on a mission?
What is happening?
Last transfer I had a feeling that this transfer was going to be very different than the others. I wasn’t sure how except that I knew it would be harder. I felt the spirit distinctly on a few occasions tell me “You will need to be a leader.”
I had my predictions about what that meant, which were wrong of course.
But I did pray often back then for God to send me things that would prepare me for this transfer, and I trust that He did.
For now it is a day by day, sometimes hour by hour process.
I don’t really want to explain it except to say that I am carrying more weight than I am used to, and with less Holy Ghost than I’m used to and now I will tell you about two different things that helped me feel much better.
One happened Tuesday.
Tuesday all the valley zones went to the temple. This could not have happened in better timing. Before our session started we got to walk through the new visitors center in LA. Anyway, with the weight of the transfer and other things I’ve just been heavier. I often pray and ask Heavenly Father to help me be lifted out of these things. One of the LA sisters was showing Sister Reynolds and I around. She took us to a room and played a little video about Christ’s birth.
“This means a lot to me. I want you Sisters to see it and then I’ll explain why,” she said.
It was of Christ’s birth, the angel telling the shepherds that Christ has been born, the star, the whole thing.
At the end she says this:
“We are the angels! We get to go tell people that Christ was born and he died for us and He lives again! We get to show them the way!”
This little Sister was just almost jumpin up and down.
“Sorry,” she says. “Sometimes the other Sisters have to calm me down. I just get so pumped about this stuff.”
“ME TOO!” I said.
It’s like I had forgotten.
Watching her freak out was like replaying old videos of me.
I remembered my zeal for the work! I even felt it fire up in me.
I knew that’s what I had been praying for.
That’s what I needed.
I needed these things to be lifted so I could zeal it up again.
Or maybe my zeal is what will lift them… still figuring it out.
The second thing happened today in the car.
For the first time in about a week. I saw the sun.
I squinted through tired eyes and felt: warm.
It’s like I had forgotten what this light was like.
I didn’t realize how much the clouds were holdin me down until I felt them move away.
I was so grateful. So ready to have it back in my life.
Oh my heart! I wish I could explain the billion things I can’t explain.
But I just can’t.
So I will tell you one more embarrassing, funny, kinda gross story and be on my way.
Here it goes.
A member gave us some chocolate pretzels. Is anyone aware of how much I LOVE those things?!
I’ve been tryin to make them last. (One guess how that’s going…)
Anyway I grabbed a few as we ran out the door the other day.
Hours and I do mean HOURS later, Sister Reynolds found a nice melty one stuck to the back of my neck.
Is that the nastiest thing ever?!
Did it fall in my hood?
What a porker!
What a waste of a good pretzel!