The Longest Email I’ve Ever Written

Do you feel like this week has flown by just like I do? All things considered, it was only 6 days instead of 7 days since I’ve emailed you last, but whatevs.

Sister Coutts and I had an awesome week here in Dunn! First off, it was a MILLION degrees everyday & I had the pleasure & privilege of experiencing “dripping sweat” for the first time in my life. Did you know your body can actually DRIP SWEAT instead of just getting slightly & uncomfortably moist? Well, I didn’t. But now I do. And I wish I didn’t. But it’s too late now.
It's 7/11 even in Florida!

It’s 7/11 even in Florida!

I guess I'm a real missionary now. Look at those tan lines!

I guess I’m a real missionary now. Look at those tan lines!

There was this fun glitch in our iPad area book app this past month where every single referral we’ve gotten from church headquarters in the past….5 years maybe? Got kick backed to us. We were commanded by our mission president to go revisit each of these referrals to “make sure none slipped through the cracks.” So we did. Each. One. We’ve been working through our list pretty quickly & only have a handful left now. Well, on Monday we stopped by one of them named Angel. She said she never got her bible that she ordered 6 months ago, but was so glad we were there to give it to her. She had so many questions of the soul! Such as why are there so many churches, can you really be forgiven of sins, are there missing books of scripture, and is the trinity true or false! She said she used to be wary of other books besides the bible but that she was open to reading the Book of Mormon. We taught her the whole restoration. As we were leaving, she asked if its too late to be forgiven after you die. Good thing the next lesson we teach is aaaaaaall about that! Miracles!

Reunited

Reunited

On WEDNESDAY we got to drive to Mandarin to pick up SISTER PASKO!! Oh man that was a flashback!! It was such a tender mercy to be able to spend her last day in the mission field with her. She’s a beautiful soul. I can’t wait to see all of the after mission adventures she goes on. Then we dropped her off at my favorite couple the Winters’ apartment that night & got to say goodbye to two other sweet sisters leaving the mission. It is incredibly incredibly weird to think that will be me someday. Good thing I’ve got, like, forever till I have to worry about THAT mess. So yeah. That was real fun.

Stank face

Stank face

So, I may or may have not found the people I’m in Dunn for. I’m Dunn for! Hahahahahhhh….oh man. Sorry.

Ahem. The Litelliars!! Sister Litelliar was baptized in ’65 with her family in her teenage years. Shortly after that, she stopped going to church & never went back. She’s married to a very nice man now who is not a member. Once upon a time, her daughter was meeting with the sisters Kloepfer & McCook in Mandarin 1st. In walks Sister Litelliar & she’s like, “oh yeah, I’m Mormon! I was baptized once!” So those sisters got her info & got her records sent to the right place. Which is Dunn Ave. SO. She is basically like an investigator because she doesn’t remember anything from before. But she LOVES it. She’s reading through the gospel principles book & Doctrine & Covenants & everything. She really wants to come back to church. But she doesn’t want to go without her husband. & he’s been a hard egg to crack. But this week, we brought an older ward missionary couple with us. The Moellmers. We talked about eternal families & temple work & asked them to read The Family: A Proclamation to the World together for homework. We even sang our well practiced Star Spangled Banner for them! Man, was the spirit there with us in their home, or WHAT. it was amazing. Brother Litelliar opened up so much & even said, “Well, I’m afraid that if I come to church, your job will be done & you’ll never come back to visit!” They are so cute. I love them SO much. & they loved the Moellmers so much that they asked us to bring them back every time that we come(: I am so excited to continue use teaching them. Keep them in your prayers, please!

Saturday, I spoke at a baptism of a teenager that the elders were teaching. I talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost. It helped me remember how lucky I am to have this heavenly gift from a loving Heavenly Father & how important it is that I never take Him anywhere where He would be embarrassed.

“When you hear true teachings or testimonies of Christ, the Holy Ghost touches His spirit with yours to let you know that what you are hearing is true. You may hear that phrased as ‘feeling the spirit’. This is the first step to gaining a testimony ourselves.”

Sunday was SO COOL. The Dunn Ave ward has a yearly tradition of having a “musical testimony meeting”. It’s kind of like testimony meeting, except you bear a one minute testimony about a hymn that changed your life & then the congregation  sings one chosen verse of that hymn. You know I love music, so this was amazing for me. I think this needs to be a thing everywhere!

Something I’ve been doing for the past four months or so is reading a general conference talk every morning from the year I was born. From there, I plan on doing eventful years of my life, such as when my brother was born, when I moved or started at a new school, when something traumatic happened. It has been AMAZING. I feel like every talk I read was written just for me in mind & somehow what I read always ties into something that’s going on that day or the day before. I tell you this just so you can start & hopefully have the same life-changing experiences that I’ve had. & also because President Craig just emailed everyone this morning saying that we can’t read general conference talks from years other than the current year….so hopefully you can continue the tradition for me & share with me the things you learn from it.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from our beloved Prophet Thomas S Monson & the testimony I have of the restored gospel. I know that the power of God (the priesthood) is very real & I know that Christ used it on the earth to heal the sick & forgive the sins of mortals. I know that that authority was lost when he was brutally crucified & His apostles run off. I know that Heavenly Father never intended  to leave us without the amazing blessings of the priesthood & that’s why He needed to restore the church through a new, modern day line of prophets starting with Joseph Smith. I know that only through being baptized by that authority & only through keeping the covenants we make with Him at that baptism & daily repentance, that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven & our family for eternity. Why would anyone want to jeopardize THAT amazing blessing?

Without any further adieu….this email is too long already anyway.
“Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order to be tested, we must sometimes face challenges and difficulties. At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end–no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea “Is there no balm in Gilead?” We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face.” (Looking Back and Moving Forward: President Thomas S. Monson)
 
-Sister Aure
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