Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Happy Birthday Erin! I hope to hear from you about what you do and what you get, etc.

Well it seems like weather is the talk of Atlanta. I even have people coming into the Visitors' Center and when they find out I'm from Atlanta they say "have you heard how much it's been raining?" Of course we don't hear anything out here, but after this weeks emails it seems to be more than even the people out here have imagined. It hasn't rained here since my second week (so the "monsoon" season is over) but the temperature is starting to go down. Meaning that now it is below 100. Because I'm used to humidity it actually feels pretty cool now, and it has been windy lately, but not the usual hot breezes of the desert. Today it hasn't gotten above 90 yet, and it feels really cool, but thinking about it, for the end of September it is pretty hot.

We've had a really great week so far. I've found that the more you do each day, the happier you are at the end, and you are tired no matter what, so it is better to do a lot. We try to make it the habit of stopping and talking to EVERYONE we see. And oddly enough, the more people we have talked to the nicer they have all been. I think that that is all mainly on our part, because the more diligently and willingly we talk to people the more we have the Spirit and then we aren't as affected by the other persons actions. And we have talked to some really nice people this week, which always makes it easier to talk to the next one. Also, someone the other day told us that their neighbor was Russian! (Kylie, can you send me my Russian PMG and blue book?) We are going to try and contact her at some point and it would be great if we got to teach her. She speaks English too because she is a school teacher, but it says in D&C that everyone will have the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own language.
We have just started teaching a man from Mexico. We taught him for the second time last night with one of the members, Hermano Duarte. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had thus far. And Hermano Duarte was perfect for Juan.He has a lot of questions, but really wants to know the truth. He has also had a lot of hard times in his life and even though he has a family he is at a point where he feels very lonely, so we taught him about how after baptism we can have the Holy Ghost with us always, to help us on our way. I really want him to recognize the answers he gets. He even said that he knew we were sent by God because of the time we came at. Now he just needs to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He read a little from it, but he really needs to pray, so that's what we talked a lot about.

Yesterday really felt like a day of miracles. Before teaching Juan we visited a less-active member. She is married to a nonmember, but her family is very active in Church. First of all it was a miracle we went over there. She is only about 23 or 24 and has a 1 year old, but she is home by herself almost all day. We usually visit her on Wednesdays but for some reason went over yesterday (this week our p-day is Wednesday). Her mom just went through the temple on Saturday, and her sister is getting married in the temple in November, and so I think that that was on her mind. She opened up to us about some of the hardships her family has gone through. Her step dad was very abusive to her family when she was in her teens, verbally, physically, and from the way she was talking we think it was worse that even that. She had to go to therapy for a while and has really just had a hard time. She was telling us that she feels like she lost her chance to have an eternal family now, so we comforted her and assured her that she can have that and will have that. Hermana Blades opened up her scriptures and just shared the first thing she had marked and it ended up being a scripture that her bishop had shared with her when she was going the counselling and court trials against her step-dad. I was so glad that we were there for her at that time, because you could tell that some of those hard memories had been coming back to her and burdening her for a little while.

Tomorrow we have exchanges, so Hna. Blades will be leaving tonight and Hna. Mancilla will be my companion for the day. I was a little worried, but last Friday we went on splits with some members because we didn't have much time in our area, so I am no longer worried about being the one most familiar with the people and area. Plus, Hna. Mancilla is Mexican so she speaks perfect Spanish.

I had a request from Dad to write about my schedule and things like that. We actually get a lot of questions about this when we are talking to people, questions like "how much do they pay you?," "is this like a nine-to-five job?" etc. This is a typical full field day, meaning no time in the VC. We wake up at 6:30 every morning and try and exercise for 30 minutes. Sometimes we go outside to exercise and sometimes we stay inside. Then we have an hour to get ready and eat breakfast and such. At 8 we have an hour of personal study, at 9 an hour of companionship study, and at 10 an hour of language study, which we use to prepare for our lessons for the day. We eat lunch at our house (we live in the basement of some member's house, I'm not sure I've mentioned that) at 11 and try to leave right after 11:30, then we are out proselyting until 9 or 9:30, depending on if we are in a lesson. We eat dinner with members at 5 or 5:30. As soon as we get home we plan for the next day and then get ready for bed and go to bed at 10:30. If we are in the VC this changes depending on our shift. IF we have the morning shift then instead of study we go to the VC right after 8 (we need to be there at 8:45). Sometimes we get an hour of study at the VC, but they rotate which companionship gets to study each day. The morning shift is usually until 3 and then we are out in our area until 9 or 9:30. If we have the evening shift then we are in our area from after lunch until about 2:15, and come straight home when the VC closes at 9. We very rarely go out to eat, except for on p-days. Yesterday we had a shorter shift at the VC because 4 of the companionships had p-day so the way it works then is that there are 2 from 9-1, 2 from 1-6 and the four p-day ones come in at 6. (The shifts are also shorter on Sundays so we can all go to church). So yesterday we went out to lunch with the other c-ship that had been on with us in the morning. Our RS Pres is really good about making sure we are fed every night we are in our area. She feeds us herself if no one has signed up. In other Stakes, the sisters have food brought to them at the VC so they get dinner even if they are there at night. We live too far away for that though, but we don't mind, we just bring healthier snacks. We don't tract in the normal sense of going door to door, especially because most people are English and we drive a car. Instead, when we are going from place to place (the places we've planned) we drive up and down streets and weave our way through the area, rather than taking direct main routes. Then if we see anyone we get out and talk to them. We make sure to ask everyone if they know of any Hispanic neighbors. They all probably think we are the Immigration Police...

I'll end this email by giving you all a challenge. Sis. Bassett, the Mission Matron (President's wife) gave us the challenge in Zone Conference to everyday write down a miracle you have seen that day. It is really cool to see the different miracles there are, big, little, personal, etc. They really can come in a number of forms. Once we were having a bad day and were on our way to dinner. It was with our RS Pres and we eat with her a lot. The last time we had eaten with her she said she would make us tongue next time because it was really good and we should try it. Well, that day, we really didn't want tongue. It was the weekend I had been sick, many of our appts fell through, and we were struggling to get some of our investigators to recognize the importance of church (actually we were struggling to get the less-active husband to go to church) but we really wanted pizza for dinner. Yes, we prayed that we would get pizza. And we did! Some elders in our zone said at Zone Development meeting that they prayed for cake once and ended up and a diabetic woman's house and she said "Elders, I don't know why I have this cake, I'm diabetic, do you want it?" So the point is that they can be small things like that or big things like when we met Juan or Eliseo's fast recovery. So my challenge is to start writing down miracles in your life. And I promise that the more you recognize them, the more the Lord will give you.

De Mesa con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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