2 #Blessed 2 b stressed

Yesterday was a stressful day. For missionaries, Sundays are generally the best & the worst. The best, because we get to see less actives & investigators come to church, because we get to partake of the sacrament, because we get to spend three hours with people we really really love, & because the dinners are usually always the best on Sundays. The worst, because sometimes no one you’re expecting to come, comes, because your mind is to focused on who is where & when are they going to get here to think think about the Savior as much as you would like to, because everybody is pulling you in a million different directions & you have to go to choir practice, ward council, all of your regular meetings, plus give a talk in sacrament, plus share a message in Young women’s, then go to a second choir practice, then go to dinner with a member & find a ride home from dinner, and STILL find enough time to do three hours of study & accomplish all of your weekly goals by doing an hour of finding & teaching two recent converts or less actives. BIG BREATH.

Then it’s Monday. But not until you’ve done all of your lesson reports, called in your numbers to the Sister Training Leaders, texted President about your goals, planned for the next day, written a letter to president about the week, & brushed your teeth, said your prayers, & turned off the light.

Okay.

So you see why I, the most naturally stressed out person in the entire world, might get a little stressed out about Sunday. But I love it. I live for it. I can’t imagine life not being so fast paced & go, go, go all of the time. We are never wasting a second. I wanted to paint a picture for you of yesterday, because of a moment we had that only lasted about 7 minutes, but made all of that crazy worth it. After we had found a ride from dinner to choir practice where we listened to the elders try to learn the same notes for an hour straight, we jumped in the car with Sister Mills. She is our ward choir director & just the sweetest, most tender human being. When we got in, she pulled out a giant collection of CD’s that had every single song in the hymn book in it. She asked us to choose something, & I chose Christmas songs. Now, don’t get started with me & how it’s not even Halloween yet, because I just don’t care. There is a spirit that Christmas hymns bring that cannot be brought any other way. & that’s what happened. We all just started crying in the middle of a screechy, way too loud, & way too enthusiastic verse of “Away in a Manger”. The spirit reminded me of why I’m doing what I’m doing. If I could have chose to be anywhere in the world, doing anything else, I still would have chosen to be right there. It was beautiful.

In other news, the Fluffies–sorry, I mean, Laura, Sister Randle, & I all gave talks in sacrament meeting. It was really fun. I just felt like I was at a party with my two besties the whole time. & there’s your sign about how Mormon I have become.

We had zone meeting this week which was great. It’s always a good time. Plus we have a new sister training leader & a new zone leader, so it was exciting to watch them sweat & stumble over their words during their trainings. It’s always interesting to me to see the difference in confidence levels between a leader’s first big training & their second. Some sort of Magic Ju Ju goes on between that time which helps them gain +200 confidence & about 2 years on their maturity level. At least in front of the curtain.

I love the missionaries we serve with. Although Sister Randle & I love each other VERY much, sometimes we get a little sad when the elders  get to hang out with other elders all of the time & the closest sisters to us live half an hour away. But our elders very considerate & let us hang out with them on pday. Anyway, we’ve kinda had a bummer week for a couple reasons, & one night after a lesson, we’re picking our car up from the church, to see it had been covered with oranges & pecans. It had a little bitty note on it that said, “Here are the FRUIT of your labors!-The Elders”. What a little tender mercy they were a part of that night. Even though, I would much rather the fruit of our labor be baptisms, nuts & citrus come in a close second.

We almost thought we were getting asked to Prom again

We almost thought we were getting asked to Prom again

They take us out once a week. This week, we chose Longhorn!!

They take us out once a week. This week, we
chose Longhorn!!

Buddy the Goat my new bff

Buddy the Goat my new bff

Yesterday we had a less active couple come to church that hasn’t been to church in foreeevveeerrrrr!!! The grandparents of the little girl we’ve been teaching lately. Although I have only been witness to one baptism, I have been witness to 6 full reactivations of people who had not been attending church for one reason or another. We are all called the same work, but we’re not all expected to do the same job, I guess. You could say I’m super grateful to be here, but that would be an understatement. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I’ll probably just submit my papers again the week after I get home. I will become a career missionary. I feel like that’s how long it would take to get this whole thing figured out, anyway: forever.

I love you & am trying to forgive you for not sending me any mail even though I asked for some two weeks ago. I know y’all got lives n stuffs.

Have an awesome Halloween & invite a nonmember to your ward’s trunk or treat!!!

🎃🎃sister aure👻💀

Super Size Me

Yesterday marks a year since I went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple with my friends & family to receive endowments from my Heavenly Father that would help me tremendously on the mission I’m serving. What a special day that was & how grateful I am that Heavenly Father has given us temples yet again, just as He did in ancient times.

Temple Time last week

Temple Time last week

This week was fun! It always is with Sister Randle. Yesterday we were looking at the training schedule, & there were only four weeks left!!! I cannot believe it has been so long. + it makes me a little sad, because trainers usually leave their trainees after the 12 weeks. I’m not ready for that!!

Playing cards last week.

Playing cards last week.

I had a chunk taken out of my leg this week! I had a biopsy! It was scary, but mostly because of what it looked like afterwards. (Don’t worry, parents. It’s not actually a chunk, more like a little circle the size of an ibuprofen pill) we also had a lesson with someone who I have probably talked about before….she’s an inactive woman that we meet with every Wednesday at 11am. When I first got here, she was talking about how she felt like she didn’t know anything or understand the scriptures. Since then, she has read & understand many a scriptures & she thoroughly understands the first two missionary lessons! It has been a miracle to watch her attitude towards
everything change as th e Book of Mormon had become an important part of her life. AND GUESS WHAT, SHE CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY AND PLAYED THE PIANO IN RELIEF SOCIETY. it was a miracle. She was talking to old friends as though she’d never been gone. Ugh. Just so neat. I sure love her.

I’m singing in a trio with Elder Day in my ward & the elder’s quorum president in two weeks. We’re singing Come Thou Fount. Hopefully it sounds good. I’m the only one that can read music & I’m still not quite as patient as I would like to be, especially on fast Sunday. So practice yesterday was a little rough. They’re both naturally great
singers though, so it should be fine.

Also best Sunday ever will be next Sunday because Sister Randle, Laura, & I will all be speaking in sacrament meeting. Laura is the stake young women’s secretary. We are all speaking on different general conference talks. We’ve thrown around some different ideas of what we could do, including a round table discussion on our topics,
each of us getting up & sharing our ponderize scripture of the week then sitting down with 40 minutes still left on the clock, etc. needless to say, it will be a great meeting.

I wore my baggy boyfriend jeans to pull some weeds this week (because yes, it’s finally cooling down enough to wear pants some days) & they fit like skinny jeans, so that was a little depressing. Just pretend I’m skinnier than I was before I left, when I get home, ‘aight?

image1 (3)

We had some unfortunate, uncontrollable situations occur, so that we no longer have two baptism dates. They are both still getting baptized, but they will not be “our” baptisms. We have been praying & fasting for a baptism for months. We’ve even been on a music sabbatical, only listening to MoTab until we get a baptism. That has
been the worst of all. I can only listen to the same three CD’s so many times, ya know? If you can spare the prayer, please pray that we will find someone that’s ready for the gospel that can be baptized by 11/7/15. That’s the last day they can be before transfers!

I know this church is true, blah blah blah. You’ve heard it all before. What do YOU have faith in? What gets YOU through the day when times get tough? I wanna know.

Love you a million, whoever you are.

-Sister A

Happy Fall, Y’all🍂🍁🍂

You may or may not know that before I left for my mission, there were two different periods in my life when I had a warrant out for my arrest. I’ve become really good at writing things down to remember them, so don’t worry. There will be no forgetting to pay traffic ticket violations in my future. Well, in the past 5 weeks, we’ve had two run ins with the cops. The first time was Sister Randle’s…second week? We were tracting aka knocking on stranger’s doors. We were talking to people about family history. I was catching lots of geckos. It was approximately 8:50 PM. A cop pulls up beside us. He shines his bright light in our eyes. “Is that your white Chevy parked up there?” “Yes…”, I say embarrassed that I was caught driving a Chevy Cruze. “What are y’all doing out here?” “Talking about family history to people!” Slightly less embarrassed this time, but not by much. “Alright…..well….be safe. Someone called us about that car.” Then he drove away. FAST FORWARD TO LAST NIGHT. We are walking back to our car after a successful golden hour of tracting. It’s 9:00 PM. A cop zooms past us & starts shining his spotlights in the bushes. They turn around & slowly roll up to us with the window down. “Didn’t I see you two the other week?” “Oh yeah, hey!! Did someone call us in again?” We ask. “Yeah. You’ve gotta stop parking your car in shady places & start sharing Jesus during the day time, alright?” Then he speeds off. I love being a missionary.

I know my last three emails have been revolving around my halfway mark & this is the last one, don’t worry. You know how nostalgic I get. THAT hasn’t changed about me. Anyway, we do not have a temple in our mission. The closest temple is in Orlando, about 3 1/2 hours south of Jacksonville. For everyone’s half way mark & right before they go home, we get to go to the temple with senior couples & the Craigs. I got to ride down with the Winters. Y’all have already heard a million things about them. & Sister Jensen was there because she’s going home on Friday! It was really fun. I forgot how much I love the temple. How beautiful, pure, & holy it is. What an amazing day it was to take part in an endowment of spiritual gifts for one of Sister Bolos’ deceased ancestors. (She was my EmptySea comp if you don’t remember.) we were able to enter a sealing room together after it was over & discuss anything we wanted with the temple presidency & the Craigs. While walking into the dressing room, holding a white dress to put on, I got an overwhelming touch of the spirit enter into my soul telling me that Heavenly Father is proud of me. He’s happy about what I’m doing. My actions are pleasing to Him. What a tender mercy. I love the temple &
the sacred experiences we can have in the Lord’s literal house.

The Van

The Van

Everyone at the temple

Everyone at the temple

The Craigs

The Craigs

All the halfway sisters!

All the halfway sisters!

We’ve been teaching some amazing people & have some new investigators.
I’ll keep you updated if anything happens there.

President Craig asked me to sing for the Why I Believe fireside that our stake was having. It is where missionaries bring members & non members to hear recent converts share their story & testimonies. It was powerful. Sister Winter picked out a beautiful song by Hillary Weekes called Still Believe. Jason (Laura’s co worker) even came with his wife!!

OKAY BUT HOW AMAZING WAS GENERAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE. Growing up, I never watched conference, or anything, at the church. Always for the convenience of my couch. But ever since conference last spring, I have decided that I’m going to watch it in a church building every opportunity I get. The spirit is SO strong, the distractions are gone, & I can focus on what Heavenly Father wants  me to know. Plus it’s a lot harder to fall asleep….😊 I would invite all of you to give it a try for at least one session this conference. My favorite talk was by Sister Linda Reeves about the dangers of pornography FOR WOMEN. those poor priesthood men that have been getting railed about it for years. Well, it’s a disease for the entire race, not just the male gender. So it was refreshing for the first time, in church history I think, for there to be a talk to the women about how to avoid & recover from it.

Sister Randle & I are here again together for one more transfer at least. Yay!!! Which means we’ll be here for trunk or treat. Which means we can dress up for Halloween. Which means we need to dress our car up for Halloween. Which means our car needs to be better than the elders’. Game on.

We’re in this together. Never forget it. The members are where the miracles happen in missionary work. Don’t waste any time missing out on it.