“What should I Title This Email?”-Sis A “Big Cats, Fat Hats….It’s My Birthday.” -Sis J‏

Best Birthday Ever

Best Birthday Ever

Due to festivities & it being the day where I get to do whatever I want except not really cause I’m a missionary, I am sorry in advance if I did not get around to writing you. I will try extra hard next week to email everyone back. This week was the best week ever for a lot of different reasons.

On Wednesday we got a call from the assistants asking if we could drive to transfer meeting and take a sister with us that would be going home that week. We picked up Sister Herrera & brought her back to  JAX Beach for her last day in the mission field. Sister Herrera speaks Spanish so we took her to visit our Chilean family & also we just happened to run into a bunch of Spanish speakers that she as able to share the gospel with. By the end of the day, we had talked to three people that told us, “You know I was just talking yesterday about how I needed to find a church” or “I was just praying for help a couple minutes before you knocked on my door.” Being an instrument for the Lord is so cool. OH ALSO SISTER JENSEN’S BIKE FLEW OFF OF OUR BIKE RACK GOING 60 MPH ON A FREEWAY AND SOMEHOW AVOIDED GETTING RUN OVER AND/OR GETTING RUINED. it just has some minor flesh wounds. Miracles, my friends.

Gave that guy a Mormon.org card at a stoplight

Gave that guy a Mormon.org card at a stoplight

Oh I changed my major. I think. In my head. Not officially. Can’t do that for at least 14 months. Holla back.

Heavenly Father blessed us so much this week. We had a real desire to work hard and talk to a lot of people, so that’s what we did! He put so many prepared people in our path. On Thursday night we had FIVE LESSONS in TWO HOURS! And also we went out for food twice that day thanks to amazing members.

Sister Jensen's POS (Plan of Salvation, hehe)

Sister Jensen’s POS (Plan of Salvation, hehe)

Jalapeno popper shots for my 21st birthday at Longhorn!

Jalapeno popper shots for my 21st birthday at Longhorn!

Crawfish…Super gross

Crawfish…Super gross

Saturday was amazing. The end.

Our ward missionaries/leader/random people in the ward got together for an amazing race type scavenger hunt! I picked the Simmons family to be my team members! They’re the family we had lunch with on Easter & that have the African Cervil. That’s probably not spelled right. Anyway, we got a packet with a bunch of pass along cards in it as well as a Book of Mormon and a list of tasks to do for points! We brought treats to a less active family…we bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and shared scriptures….we raked yards with brooms…we blasted hymns out the car windows….we hauled people’s groceries….all under an hour! Oh, and brother Simmons got to talk to my dad on the phone about how much they both love me, so that was the best birthday present ever. Heavenly Father sure loves me!!

Our team for the scavenger hunt!!

Our team for the scavenger hunt!!

Giving treats to people

Giving treats to people

Then to top it all off, we met up with the elder’s neighbor that we’ve been trying to contact foreeeeveeeerrrr & we have an appointment with her tonight!!! With Laura! Who is taking us out for birthday dinner!! After we go out with our investigator Jazz! Who surprised Sister J & I with gift cards and hand made signs yesterday. She’s surprising us with something, so I’ll tell you about how that goes next week.

Last night the Chilean (Rosbach) family had us over for dinner for the first time without a translator!! It was so fun communicating through the little Spanish I remember from freshman year at UVU and the little more English they are learning at school and classes. They moved here from chile in February because Sandy married somebody in our ward! Sandy converted when she was a young adult and served a mission less than a year later! Talk about faith. She told us last night that her husband  (he’s not there a lot, because he travels for work) needs to be baptized again because he had a time in his life where he was very far away from living the gospel of Jesus Christ, so now we have a new investigator! Sandy wants to be sealed to him in the temple so bad & is hoping we can help him get there. With her faith & God’s help we know we can help him keep and make commitments that will help him step into the cleansing waters of baptism once again.

UPDATE: remember that guy we found at the park weeks ago? He has a baptismal date & has been attending church andlivesinarlingtonsowehadtohandhimovertothezoneleadersanddweretryingnottobesadaboutit. We were part of his journey though, so we’ll take that.

We were part of his journey though, so we’ll take that

Sister J is real great & helps me be my best and woke up at 1 AM this morning secretly to decorate the whole apartment with balloons and a piñata and “Hey, Happy Birthday” signs. She also doesn’t hate me for naming her morning studies with the poop emoji while mine is the princess emoji. She actually laughed really hard about it, so I think she likes me.

I love it here & I love being able to start my mornings with an intensive study of the Book of Mormon. It has brought me many answers and clarity it times of confusion and jumbled thoughts. Thank you one and all for the best birthday I’ve ever had (yes, even better than #golden20 if you can imagine that). I’ve loved the outpouring of emails, letters, and packages. I’ve never felt more loved & I’ve never felt like I was doing something so worthwhile. For my birthday, I want you to either go to a teaching appointment with the missionaries or invite them over for dinner. You will make theirs (and my!) day.

Fruit trees everywhere!

Fruit trees everywhere!

Happy My Birthday, everyone. I hope it’s a good one; you deserve it.

Sister 21
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Rollercoaster

My birthday crown of wildflowers.

My birthday crown of wildflowers.

That is the name that I named this week. And also this email.

I don’t really know what to say about it, either.

We did a lot of things, I know we did. Like go to Zone Meeting & go to lunch with the sisters in the zone. We waited for a lot of people to be where they said they were going to be. We taught an awesome Book of Mormon class. I was sung to at Outback Steakhouse because it’s #SisAure21 and got to awkwardly deflect comments about how this birthday is no different from a regular birthday for me. Hashtag word of wisdom pamphlet. Are hashtags still a thing? I’m going to be so lame when I get home.

Birthday song at Outback. A member treated us.

Birthday song at Outback. A member treated us.

Well, the universe just decided to delete a big chunk of this email and it’s not really worth writing again, so just know we had a good week. A good, tough, hard, eye opening, really marvelous week.

Elder Ballard said something really great in general conference this year “mature love has a bliss not even imagined by newly weds”. I’ve been thinking about that in regards to serving a mission. When I got here, I loved it. I loved everything about it and I knew I would continue loving it. Now at 1/4 of the way done with the mission, I love it more than I thought I would and for entirely different reasons that I originally thought. So I cannot even begin to fathom where I will be in 14 months. I cannot comprehend the reasons that I will love it at that point and the ways that it will change me. I have no idea who I will be. But I DO know that she will be great because she will have done all that God has asked her to do. I, Sister Aure, am I disciple of Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life. And I love it.

Sister Almost-21-Years-Old-My-Birthday-Is-Next-Monday-On-PDay-Because-God-Loves-Me

Oh and also I am staying in Jax Beach with Sister Jensen for at least 6 more weeks!

Average Is the Enemy of Excellence

Ugh. How awesome was conference, amiright? It has never meant so much to me than it did this past weekend. We teach people about how Christ’s gospel has been restored through modern day prophets everyday…the. We got to listen to the, speak! So great. I’m turning into one of those mormon missionary people that the outside world can’t relate to because I get most excited by fortissimo’s in MoTab songs & morning scripture study.

we had this giant tv to watch conference on, but it didn't work so we had to watch it on that tiny iPhone instead. It was hilarious.

we had this giant tv to watch conference on, but it didn’t work so we had to watch it on that tiny iPhone instead. It was hilarious.

I’m over it.

This week was just dandy. We’ve been getting really great at talking to everyone (even if they don’t turn into new investigators) & defining the kinds of missionaries & people that we really want to be. I really like Sister Jensen. Mostly because one of her goals this week was to find nice things to say about me. Can we say birthday month?

Jammin to EFY songs.

Jammin to EFY songs.

We did a lot of service this week (the reason why you see so many pictures of me in civilian clothes) and were able to get in contact with some former investigators.

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OKAY, SO MIRACLE. Back when Sista P was at the Beach with me we got what we call a “media referral” which is someone that called the church’s 1800 number & asked for a free Book of Mormon or video or something. We went over to her house and brought her the Book of Mormon and told her about it…everything going great…we ask when we can stop by again and she says that we can’t and that she’ll call us when she wants to talk. OKAY, WE GET THE HINT, THANKS, SEE YA.

Well fast forward to Friday. Sister Jensen & I are driving trying to see some people that haven’t been coming to church and I make a wrong turn and accidentally we had to take the really long way back to where we were intending to go. While on our detour we were passing the apartment complex of someone who was baptized within the past year and decided to stop by and see if she was home. She wasn’t. Ugh. Bummer.

Right?

WRONG.

As we were walking back to our car, saying hello to everyone (like we always do cause we missionaries) someone says hello back and asks how we’re doing. We turn around and go back to talk to her only to find that IT’S THE LADY THAT TOOK THE BOOK OF MORMON AND DIDNT WANT US TO COME BACK. totally on the other side of town, outside in the pool. WOAH. so we start chatting with her and she said that literally minutes before we walked by she was talking about Mormons and thinking about how she needed to start reading the book. We invited her to do so and told her about how much God wants her to hear this message. She agreed. & then told us the sad news that she’s moving to some tropical island and that we’ll probably never see her again. How amazing it was that Heavenly Father loves her SO much that he would put us somewhere we we had absolutely zero intention of being, just so she could be reminded of that. I love being a missionary.

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Easter was great. We spent our day with two different families, one of which was the Chilean family whom I love with my whole soul. I learned so much in conference. Mostly about who I want to continue to become for the rest of forever. We can never stop learning and growing. We can never accept mediocrity as our best effort. We must press forward with faith in Christ. I know that our savior died for me & He died for you. I know that He lives today & hurts with us each time we hurt as He remembers how that pain felt when He suffered for our afflictions in the garden of Gethsemane. I know that it is only through following His example & striving to be like Him each day that we can return home & live with our families forever. I know that He loves us deeply. Because He lives I can live again.

Thanks for the Easter Eggs, Mom!

Thanks for the Easter Eggs, Mom!

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-Sister Golden Hair Surprise

Because He Lives

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This week has been really exciting & I’m trying to remember all the reasons why, but it’s hard right now because I’ve been fasting for 23 1/2 hours, so actually maybe I’ll try starting this email again after lunch.

Okay, lunch was had & I feel much more capable now of forming complete, coherent sentences.

You know how most weeks I’m like, “woah, this week went by so crazy fast, what the heck, how is it Monday?!” This week did NOT go like that. I think it was because we were anticipating Chris’ baptism so much. We wanted to make sure that she felt ready & comfortable. We wanted to make sure that everything was in place & that it would go smoothly. We met with her a lot this week and listened to general conference talks while we cooked spaghetti with her. How lucky are we that we were able to be her guides through this journey & answer questions & help her answer her own questions through the scriptures!

We dropped two investigators this week. One was much easier that the other. Everyone needs the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, but sometimes they are just not ready to act in faith with the steps that will help them get there. Mainly reading the scriptures regularly & attending church every week to partake of the sacrament.

OH, OH, OH! The new Easter video came out! Go to helives.mormon.org if you haven’t already. I would like to commit each of you reading this email to finish the sentence “Because He lives…” And post it on your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram along with a link to the video. For example, if I was able to use Facebook right now, I would probably post something like, “Because He lives, I can declare His word among His people so they might have everlasting life.” Along with the great video the church provided us. This is such a simple way to share your testimony, be a missionary, and show thanks to God & His Son for what they sacrificed for us. I’m going to follow up next week, so you better do it!!!

We’ve been sharing that video with a lot of people while we knock on doors & meet people on the streets.

On Wednesday our favorite Laura came to a lesson with Jazzy. Jazz has a billion questions about everything & because we’re just two 20 year old girls, we’re not perfect & definitely don’t know all the answers. Luckily Laura was there to help us make more sense at times. Anyway, while she was asking a billion questions, we started talking more & it got to where she was overwhelmed with something we talked about. By the end of the lesson, she had told us that she was going to have to do some heavy praying on that topic. She texted us the next day and asked if she could take us out for breakfast on Saturday. We said, “Duh.” & we met her a the Metro Diner for chicken & waffles. While there, she brought up the heavy topic again and told us that after she prayed about it, she opened the Book of Mormon to see what God wanted to tell her about it. Her prayers were answered in a way that could only be through God & she was able to find peace & understanding through what she read & what the spirit told her. Wow!! We were blown away! It is a rare occasion when people that have been LDS for a long time can come to find answers like that, let alone someone who has only come to church twice. It really strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon. If we do our part to search hard & involve God in our process for finding an answer, He has promised that he will provide us with the truth. What a great blessing that is.

On Sunday we had a great testimony meeting. It was mostly centered around people’s relationship with Jesus Christ, which was very appropriate since we had Easter right around the corner. Chris was there & getting excited for her baptism after church. THEN JAZZ GOT UP AND BORE HER TESTIMONY AND IT WAS THE BEST AND SHE IS JUST SO COOL & MY HERO BECAUSE SHES ONLY BEEN GOING FOR TWO WEEKS BUT SHE DID IT AND WAS AN EXAMPLE TO EVERYONE. She also brought cupcakes for Chris’ baptism which was just so great. She’s so great.

Chris’ baptism was incredible. She asked me to sing Amazing Grace for it, so our District Leader played the piano for that. She invited her friends and family to attend. The ward was so supportive & involved. It has been such a miracle to watch Chris bloom & blossom from when I first got here 4 months ago. I know that this gospel changes lives because it causes you to act. When we prepare for baptism & keep our baptismal covenants, we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. We strive to have a deeper relationship with God. In turn, He fills in every crack & cranny of our hearts and souls. How grateful I am.

That night we used the rest of our monthly miles to drive to St John’s for a missionary fireside that President Craig asked me to sing at. I sang with a Sister Boucher. We sang my favorite missionary song, The Olive Tree. I’m so grateful how often I get to hone & use my talents here on the mission.

The longer I’ve been here, the longer I feel like I’ve always been here. The longer I’m here, the more I really really hate to think who and where I would be if I wasn’t serving this mission. I honestly have no idea where I thought I was going & doing. I totally thought I knew the gospel & knew what was expected of me & how to be a good person. But I was suuupeeeer off. I’m so grateful that God called me on a mission so I could succeed in life. & will know how to properly teach my children & posterity how to live good, wholesome, useful lives. I now know that I could not have done that without coming here.

Share your daily/weekly/monthly/life-ly miracles with me! I love to hear about those things.

Aight Now,
Sister Aure

P.S. My birthday is soon.
P.P.S. My address is still the same and should be on
sisteraure.wordpress.com under the Send Me Love tab