Thanks for all the super cute pictures! That one of Caitlyn looks like it should be in a magazine and she should be a model! Shoot!
So Halloween was rainy down here too, and we were on kind-of lock down - there was no contacting or tracting allowed, so after a delicious southern dinner at our Ward Mission Leader's house and coordination meeting, we went home and I folded laundry. Haha. But later that night an 11-year-old girl and her mom from 2nd ward came by and she gave us some of her candy. How sweet is that? Her sister is on a mission in Oregon so I wonder if she was missing her sister and reached out to the Sisters in her own ward. That family is so awesome! People were giving us candy left and right before and after Halloween, and I might've binged a little bit.
Yes, I will take a good photo this week with my name badge on and send it home! Don't judge me for being a little chubbier than when I left haha :)
That is so sad about Adele! I will definitely send a letter today! She had a huge impact in my life and I will forever be grateful that Heavenly Father put her in my life.
So I'm going to copy and paste my letter to President Wall. I got pretty down one day last week. It starts as kind of a Debbie Downer but it gets better I promise!
This week was an interesting week. Satan had almost convinced me to go home, that I am not worth staying, I need to go home and fix all my personal flaws before I can ever be an effective servant of Jesus Christ. And then we went to the temple, and I went in, thinking that maybe when I came out, I would call you and tell you that I needed to go home and work things out and then maybe I would come back and try to do better than I've been doing. And then, guess what happened - We went in the temple, we got dressed in all white, and we sat down and learned about our true identity as children of God. And while I was sitting in the Celestial Room, and I was praying to Heavenly Father to let me know what to do. At that point I had forgotten about even the possibility of going home and I was just praying to know what Heavenly Father would have me do to be a better missionary. And the answer that I got was that I needed to be more like the Savior. And I thought, ok, that's kind of broad. So then, this morning, I was thinking more about it, trying to figure out what personal goals I wanted to set for the transfer, and feeling a little frustrated because God told me the "what" but not the "how". And then, after talking to Sister Alvine about it for a few minutes, and getting some really great advice from her, I then looked over at my wall where I have tacked up my Personal Vision that I wrote like 3 months ago. It's a bulleted list of who I want to become, and the words that kept drawing my attention were "Become kind, loving, and gentle."
The Spirit just touched my heart and turned on the lightbulb and I just realized, that's what I need to do. That's what I need to focus on to be more like my Savior. I need to be more kind, loving, and gentle like Him. And so I jotted down a few ideas for how I can do that. And it's what I'm going to be working on for the next month/transfer - becoming more kind, loving, and gentle just like my Savior. Kind to myself, loving towards everyone I come in contact with, gentle with my district and with my companion to show my love for them all. And I need to show love for my Heavenly Father and my Savior, I can do that by being more obedient and repenting every day. I've come to realize the Savior doesn't want a fan club that sits around and sings praises to His name - He wants disciples that will listen to His teachings, live those teachings, and use the Atonement that He so graciously provided so that we can become like Him and dwell with Him and His Father forever.
Sorry, President, my email doesn't follow the typical format this week. I just wanted to share that experience with you, and testify that what you said is true - we really do find joy in the high and Christ in the lows. Quite literally, I was drawn to the Savior during a low point in my mission.
I was tempted there for a minute to apologize for struggling, but you know what? It's ok that I had a hard day. And I'm humbled and thankful that my Heavenly Father helped me to just have a hard day instead of a hard week. I think in the past I wouldn't have been able to get through something like that without calling you. But by continuing to take steps of faith and literally take steps into the temple, peace and answers and strength came and here I am telling you about it a few days later, feeling strong and excited and close to my Savior. So life is good. Life goes on. I'm not perfect, the people here aren't perfect, my district isn't perfect, but we are all here together striving to accomplish one goal - to build the kingdom of God, and I know that Heavenly Father will magnify our feeble efforts to bring to pass His great work. I'm so thankful to be a part of it, and nothing can hinder our progress except for iniquity (like it says in the Book of Mormon). Hurrah for Israel!
So family- please know I love you millions and bajillions! Thanks for being so dang amazing! Love love love love you!
PS: Wanted to send some pictures. Not sure if I sent some of these before or not, can't remember. If I already did, sorry!
Here is a picture of me and my companion Sister Alvine. She is so much fun!!
With the cow that is next to our house trailer, which is next to "Red Barn Motors"- a used car dealership. Their whole schtick is farming, so there is a big cow, a big chicken, and a big pig next to their car barn. HaHa-only in "Loosiana"!
We went to Bass Pro Shop on a P-day a few weeks ago and this is something we saw there. Great before and after faces, eh? Don't worry BUT our whole district bought these hats to wear at district service projects. It's the best $3.99 I've ever spent!
More Bass Pro Shennanigans--Too much fun!