Monday, March 25, 2013

Awake, my soul! rejoice, o my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

hello hello hello!

Lots going on right now. I don't know if I told you or not but this was a 5 week transfer so it's done and over. What?!??! I've been out 6 months tomorrow. CRAZY how time flies.  Sister Sanchez and I are staying in Spokane Valley! The Lord loves us a lot 'cause we are working hard and seeing good things happen. He trusts us here. And I really feel and know that. Anyway, we went fear busting again this morning. Good fun. 22 SISTERS came into our mission today. Only 6 are visa waiters so that means 16 are staying! And 4 are spanish speaking. SO great. Sometimes I get a little sad that I'm over on this side of the mission and not on the west side with all the other Spanish sisters and maybe I even had the thought late yesterday night, "Did God forget us? Did he skip over Sister Sanchez and I? How come we are here again? In the exact same place with no changes?" I love change. I really do. And change on a mission can be both bad and good. And I was hoping/expecting something different this transfer because that is what I want. What Hermana Emily Judd wants. But God knows best. And He didn't skip over me or Sister Sanchez. Probably just the opposite. Because He has seen how stinkin' hard Sister Sanchez and I have tried to earn the trust of members and meet people to teach. It's a blessing to stay here again because I may get to finally see the fruit of the labors. 

I love the Valley. Yesterday we were driving through a hilly countryside and it was majestic and beautiful and I thought back to before my mission when President Palmer sent me a letter and told me that the Washington Spokane Mission encompassed the lyrics to America the Beautiful: "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain!" And it rang true in my heart and I just thought, "How great that I am here. How great it is to be a missionary here." Every missionary has a different experience. No one mission is the same. And mine is so great. Because God knows me. He knows what I need and I am learning all the things I really need to learn.

I'm at a loss for what to tell you about this week. Lots of good things happened. Sister Sanchez and I continually comment about how much we are learning each day. We really help each other to find new things out about the work and ourselves. We've been pretty good about asking members to come to our lessons but this week we made a resolution to ask a member for EVERY lesson. We will do what ever it takes to bring members. There has been this gap where we teach awesome families but they never come to church. And they need fellowship. We've been hesitant to ask our Spanish members because many of them live in Downtown Spokane about 30 minutes away and we only have about 5 members here in the valley and we ask them over and over and over and over. But finally we decided to involve all our members in the branch. Part of the reason missionary work feels so wonderful and great for missioanaries is because it's a sacrifice for us. We sacrifice our time and families and talents to be missionaries. If we allow our members to sacrifice time and gas to come with us, they will feel the joy of the work too. I've seen miracles come from it already. Some days go by and I think, "wow, I really get missionary work now." I didn't know anything my first transfer. Oh man, I was lost. But I really am starting to get somewhere now. And I have a year left of learning.

I was SO excited on Saturday. I knew Hannah and Jacob were going through the temple and it touched my heart all day. I read "Preparing to enter the Holy Temple" during my personal study and I was filled with joy and love of the Lord. The temple is the house of God. There is nothing that testifies more to me that God loves me than the temple and eternal families. I am so grateful to be here serving and still I am able to feel connected and loved by my family. I imagined the scene in heaven where we will reunite and rejoice together to be with our Heavenly Father forever. Is there a sweeter message than that?
I haven't sent pictures in a long time so here's what's going on peeps:

Best Mission!? Hello! Today as we were sharing experiences from our Fear Busting, different missionaries talked about the miracles they saw as they testified of our Savior and fulfilled our purpose and one of the new Elders said, "wow, this is the best mission!" And I know it's true. I love my mission. I love my mission President. This is the best place to be ever.

 This is my district from last transfer. Elder Hobbs, Elder Legarra (my MTC brother! and we are still staying in the branch together. I'm SUPER happy!), Elder Sherwinsky, Elder Molyneaux, Sister Sanchez and me. Good times.
Sister Sanchez and I! I don't think I've sent home a picture of us two. Aren't we the cutest? I really think that because we are both so small, people's hearts are softened to hear from us. Chiquiditas hermanitas!

This is us TODAY. With the sisters we went fear busting with, Sister Wood and Sister Rasmussen.

This is Elder Magana (from Mexico, we came out the same time and he is such a GREAT missionary!) , Elder Whiting (my zone leader here in the English area) , Elder Lohan ( from Great Britain and SUPER funny. He quotes movies in his funny british accent and I love it!)

Love you all so MUCH!
Hermana Em

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