Monday, February 10, 2014

Update from the Bayou

Hey guys-
Sorry to group email yall this week. I'm so tired. I need to take a pday from pdays but the elders won't let me. They say that if I rest on pday (take a 3 hour nap like I want to) I'll wake up just as tired and it won't help. And they insist that we have to party and do tons of stuff together every pday or else we aren't unified. Ugh. So over it. Just let me take a nap without feeling guilty for once. Elder Crane and I are still working some things out...

Anywho...thanks for all the updates! I can't believe yall are going snowmobiling in Yellowstone! So awesome! Take tons of pictures/video so I can see how it was. I really want to go do that some day!

Mom- Thanks for all the happy bits! I loved reading them! They made me smile so big! :D And also, opening up the valentine's envelopes every morning is so fun. Everything you sent has been amazing and I freakin loved all the notes and cards from friends and families from home that I love so much. My favorite little gift that you sent so far was the wipes - to "wipe your love" on me with-- hahahahhahaha. Seriously, that was so funny! Also, I got the package from Deseret Book with all the pictures and books and CD - thank  you thank you thank you! So great! That picture of Peter and the Savior gets me every time.

Dad- Thanks for sharing what you learned from ward conference. I truly love President Heller and Bishop Miller. They are so inspired. It's funny that you talked about weaknesses - I was just studying that this morning. In Jacob 4:6-7 Jacob is talking about the amazing things we can accomplish through the power of Christ, while at the same time the Lord gives us weaknesses so we can stay close to him and continue to to do amazing things. It was a really cool insight that I had never found before, and I'm having a hard time explaining over email right now, sorry. Hopefully you can read the verses and make sense of what I was trying to say :)

So updates from the Bayou-
-Mission Leader Council this last wednesday with President and Sister Wall and the assistants. We were trained on what President wants to focus on for the last 5 months of his mission, based on what we learned from Elder Perkins at Zone Conference. We are working on finding, urgency, and purpose. On Friday, me and Sister Recksiek and the zone leaders instructed the missionaries in our zone about the various topics, with a focus on confidence - President Wall said that the biggest/best thing we can do for our missionaries is to help build their confidence. And so for my portion (we broke the zone into four groups and each of us leaders took ten minutes with each group, instructing on a different aspect of confidence, and then rotated around to each of the groups. It was cool!) I focused on confidence in your talents and gifts. I have learned that the Lord has given each os us talents, gifts, and unique abilites/interests, and that if we deny these talents it is like denying blessings, and who would ever want to do that? So I had each mission take a piece of colored paper and gave them markers to draw things that are unique about themselves or talents that they have, etc. And then in D&C 8:4, it says that applying unto our gifts will protect us from our enemies. If a missionary's greatest enemies are fear and lack of confidence, then we should apply our gifts to overcome that. i told stories of real life experiences when a missionary used his or her individual gifts/talents/interests to contact people, conect with an investigator, or help someone feel loved. And basically I tried to teach that God doesn't want us to be robots, He wants us to be the best version of our selves so that He can use each of us to bring forth His purposes. I learned a ton about myself and how I can have more confidence, and I felt confident (through the holy ghost) as I instructed other missionaries on this topic. Hopefully it made a difference for them. I know it did for me! :)

Ok, gotta run, but thank you so much for all your love and support! You two mean the world to me - you are the best parents and cheerleaders I could ask for! I pray for you guys and I'm so thankful that I get to be with you for eternity!


Monday, February 3, 2014

A Looisiana Wintry Hello

Hello to my family who I love so much!

Sounds like in most parts of the country it is cold cold COLD!

This last week was a little crazy sauce. We had lock down on Tuesday and half of Wednesday. It was only like 20 or so degrees but there was freezing rain and a little bit of snow, so the whole city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas (therefore our entire mission) shut down. Our mission only shut down for a day and a half (Tuesday was walking and biking allowed so we walked to the church for district meeting and games with the Elders. The Elders had our bikes. We walked a mile and half in the freezing rain and I have never felt so dumb in my life--- hahaha. That whole thing is another story. Ask me about it when I get home). The city was pretty much shut down from Tuesday through Thursday even though Thursday warmed up beautifully. Friday and Saturday were nice too and Sunday was humid but cloudy. I seriously love the weather down here. No -30 degree windchill for me, thank heavens!

So I wanted to list some of the little things that have been making me happy recently-

Bluetooth- the Elders hooked up the bluetooth in our car so now we can talk on the phone as we are driving and it's like the coolest thing ever. It's a silly thing but I love it. :)

Claritin- Thank you to everyone that sent me Claritin. It is helping so much. We have an investigator who is a heavy smoker. We are helping her to quit starting tomorrow but it's been really tough going over there so much. On Saturday we helped her clean her whole house to try to get rid of the smoke smell. Hopefully that will make teaching her a little easier on my respiration system.

Crane/Stork/Pelican Birds - Ok, these birds are seriously the coolest thing ever. I don't know what kind of bird they are, but they are white and have long white necks and long skinny legs and they wade around in the drainage ditches by the side of the road and I get so excited whenever I see them. I think I've only seen birds like that in the zoo but here they are everywhere just chill in by the side of the road. I yell "Bird!" every time I see one and my companions just think I'm crazy! LOL.

The Book of Mormon- This book is seriously the best thing ever. H and R finally started reading it - we went and read it with them, and the spirit was there so strong . D, their inactive mom, actually made them these punch cards so every time they read 10 minutes or one chapter, they get a punch. After they get 18 punches she said she would take them to get frozen yogurt. How awesome is that! D has never discouraged her girls from joining the church but she definitely hasn't been helping them with it either. So this is a big turning point for her!

My companions- I love being in a trio. Weird, right? It's actually really nice because until we became Sister Training Leaders, we never saw other sisters (its only Elders in our district) so it's just nice to have girl time - three sisters feels more like a party and like a sisterhood, it's awesome.

So please pray for R. W. this week. She is the one that we are helping to quit smoking tomorrow. She has plans to be baptized on February 15th, but she needs to quit smoking and she needs to come to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet. Those are her two biggest obstacles. Everything else she is good with. She needs the gospel, but her path towards the gospel has been rocky. Please pray for her!

K, I love you all! Thanks for being so great and sending me words of encouragement, pictures, comic strips, and the like. It all helps to keep my fire burning bright. I couldn't do this without all of you!

Sister Chausow