Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wow, what a long week...

I am halfway through my first transfer and I can't even believe it! It is going by way too fast. Whoever controls mission time should switch it so that the MTC goes by faster and the mission slower. Actually, never mind, I liked the MTC and decided this week that I wish that we could go to the MTC and then go to the mission for about 3 weeks and then go back to the MTC to focus better on the things that we need to improve in. Missionaries at the smaller MTCs go out every night with the missionaries in that mission, but no way would they do that in Provo. (Can you imagine all of the missionaries in the MTC out proselyting in the Provo mission every night?!)

This past week was hard and Hna. Blades and I are just thankful that we made it through. I'm positive that this is just the first of many similar weeks and I'll get used to it with time. We talked to a lot of people but didn't get to teach very many. One reason is because most of the people we talked to were English. We are in a fairly affluent area and it is a real struggle for us to find the Hispanics. Also, about half of our area is made up of large "retirement villages" so we have a lot of snowbirds, and these people seem to have been hardened by life. I'm thankful that none of my grandparents have gotten mean and grumpy as they have gotten older, as age seems to make the people think they have an excuse for being rude. We still haven't found new people to teach, and we hardly have any time in our area this week because of our VC schedule. Also, the Elders in our stake are teaching 2 Hispanic families! They are teaching them in English of course, but who knows how well they speak English, and even then our branch needs families! We also know of at least 2 other member families that are Hispanic but attend English wards. That is really frustrating because our little branch is so strong and they all try so hard, they could really use the support and blessings of having more numbers. I can't remember if I wrote this last week (I often forget what I've already emailed) but our Relief Society president is so caring and selfless, once the dinner calender has been filled out she puts down her name in every blank day! And neither she, nor her husband have jobs right now! It amazes me how much these people live the gospel and how humble they are. I am learning so much from our branch, and I hope I can remember and use them when I am back to being a member missionary.

Last p-day we went to the temple. The Mesa temple is really beautiful, and really big. The inside has some of the same stonework as the outside, which adds to the feeling of being in Solomon's temple or one of the Ancient American temples. I'm sad that we can only go once every 6 weeks, but at least we get to go, unlike the majority of missionaries in other parts of the world. And I am at the VC almost every day so I get to be "in the shadow of the temple" where the Spirit is just as strong. Last Friday was one of the days when we weren't in the VC at all. We had had one of those days my first week out but then haven't had a "full field" day since. When there are more sisters at the VC we usually get one a week. I have been really good about staying hydrated out here, so I'm not sure what happened but last Friday I got really sick. I think I was dehydrated because I had an awful migraine, complete with nausea. But I was able to hold out until we got home at night, and the next morning I felt perfectly fine. I have now tried to drink even more water than I was before.

So last week (I do remember this) I said that Arizona was very ugly. That still stands, but I have found something really beautiful about Arizona and that is the lightning storms. Many nights, even when there isn't rain, there are lightning storms. I don't know if they are far away, but you never hear thunder with them, just lightning. And since the sky goes on forever out here the lightning lights up the sky, the land, the mountains... I especially love it when the lightning is behind a cloud and lights up only the outline of the huge dark clouds. It is really quite a sight.

One thing that Hna. Blades and I do every night is think of the miracle(s) we saw that day. Sometimes they are really big miracles, but we are starting to notice a lot of little ones as well. For example, we ate pizza for dinner on Sunday night. That was a miracle because earlier we had said that we really wanted pizza for dinner, and if you all had been out with us that day and known what type of day we had had, you would have seen that it really was a miracle. We are working with a family where the husband is American, and less active in the church, and the wife and son are not members. We have really started to see changes in Bro. Farnsworth as we've visited and he has become more active in the lessons, even getting his own scriptures out. He is the key to this family, whenever we invite them to church she always looks to him first. We had stake conference on Sunday and went over before to try and get them to come, but Bro. Farnsworth said that "they would have to pass today." It was such a blow, and one we weren't expecting. Things like that are really frustrating, because we just want to yell back at him "you can't just pass on salvation! and this isn't even your salvation at stake but your wife and son's!" But we don't, we just express our disappointment and invite them again next week. That is one thing that I am trying to work on, being bold, but loving, like Christ always was.

Well, I don't have much more to write. Mirna's husband is getting released from the hospital (I'm pretty sure this happened after I wrote last week). We thought that he would be able to be moved to a hospital closer to home if he kept improving, but he gets to come home! He has gone from intensive care with 3rd degree burns from the waist up, to being able to go home, in just over 2 weeks! That is definitely the largest miracle we have seen, and it is because of the power of prayers, the priesthood, and faith. We are really blessed to have access to the restored authority of God on the earth today. There are many day that I think what my life would have been like if I wasn't born into this gospel. Would I have found it? Would I have accepted it? I would like to think so. But every time I think that it makes me all the more thankful that my ancestors have been so faithful to the faith they found that my parents were able to raise me in it. It also gives me such a greater respect and admiration for all those who have found and accepted the gospel themselves and are the pioneers of the descendants that will come after them.

De Ensenada Park con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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