December 12, 2011
It’s raining today for the first time in at least 2 months and everyone is stir-crazy.
I know I have so much to tell you– let me try and think of what it is.
Last week we rode our bikes in 70 mph winds, and thus we have bragging rights for LIFE.
A while ago Bubbles showed us pictures of her boarding school in China. We got to see the strict schedule they live by (they study SO MUCH!) and the school uniforms and how all the girls have the same hair cut. She is excited to be here in America because she can grow her hair out and wear bracelets.
This week we brought her pictures of our friends and family. She was surprised so many of our friends were married.
“And not even finish the university yet?!” she said.
In China the government suggests they don’t have children until they are 26.
“Because there are too many people there,” she says.
We started talking to her about her future… about whether she wants to be married or have kids and where she’ll live.
“Will you still believe in God and pray after you leave America?”
She looked surprised. We really want to know where her heart is. We want to make sure she doesn’t feel pressured to meet with us just because she lives with people who go to our church.
“Yes,” she said.
“My environment will change but my belief will not change.”
I love these simple English statements she makes. They are so beautiful.
“Why?” we asked.
“It helps me. And I like having someone to talk to at night.”
We talked to her about getting baptized. I just love teaching Bubbles because everything is new. She’s never heard of baptism. It’s stretches my mind to teach in such basic words and think of what it must be like to hear them for the first time. We told her what you do when your baptized and what it means and why.
“I don’t think I’m ready. I need to be ready to keep my promise forever.”
She’s right. We’ll keep helping her. She did pick a day she thinks she can be ready by. I am so excited.
Teaching her has changed my life.
This week our friend Escargo spoke in church. She’s leaving on a mission at the end of December.
The Bishop got up and announced “She’ll be serving in Nashville, TN.”
And I remembered when my call started floating around me.
“Where are you going?!”
“Where in California?”
I used to draw out the words. It was so fun to say.
I would smile so big.
Because that was the place God called me to!
It was just out there waiting for me.
I loved that place but I had no idea who was there or what it was like.
I was just hopeful and starry-eyed from afar.
Now I hear “San Fernando, California” and it is so personal to me.
I found pieces of myself in this area.
“Mission Hills. Valencia. Lancaster.”
They are symbols to me.
Symbols of change and believing.
And when I say I found pieces of myself there…. I don’t mean I was lost before.
I was very self-aware before my mission. I’d been finding myself for years!
But I have truly found myself on my mission, in ways I don’t believe I could have in any other setting.
Because I found my Savior and in Him I found myself.
I am more happy, more healed and more whole that I ever have been or could have been on my own.
I needed Him.