Monday, March 11, 2013

but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

Dearest loves,

Last week Sister Sanchez and I read a little talk about purifying your heart. It was a story about an Elder who wanted to feel the Spirit more profoundly each day and he talked with a visiting general authority who told him he needed to purify his heart. So he fasted one day and then started a "40 day fast" where he gave up all the things that were distracting him from the work. He committed to live more obediently and to hold to the fast. It wasn't easy  but by the end of the 40 days something changed within him. He was seeing miracles in the work and he was feeling the spirit so closely that many things were bringing him to tears on a daily basis. He was able to discern people's needs and really testify with power. After we read the talk we both felt a surge to do the same. We are obedient missionaries and we strive earnestly to do our best but I know for myself that I let little things slip into my thoughts that distract me from the work. All I know is that I don't want to look back on this time and think that I probably could've given a little more. So we fasted and we've set our list and started our "40 day fast". More than anything, I'm just realizing how imperfect I am. I need my Father in Heaven. And I need my Savior. All I want is to lose myself in this work. 

I feel like haven't told you very much about Hermana Sanchez. She's the companion I've been with the longest and I love her so. We are different. Super different. She's very organized. She loves avocados and granola. She speaks English really well and the other day after I got off the phone with a member she said so genuinely, "hermana, you are fluent in english!" which I took as an honest compliment because she meant it. She thinks I say things really beautifully and eloquently which I love. She leaves me little sticky nice notes all around our house for me to find. It always touches and softens my heart. I love that she is Mexican. She has a humble heart and she loves the Book of Mormon. I always feel the spirit as she testifies of it's truth. Even though we're different, we have the same goals and we want to do our very, very best. I have loved working with her. I have learned SO much in this chapter in my life and I always think, "Wow, if i didn't serve a mission or a didn't get called here, I would've never known little Sister Sanchez." The Lord knows us so well.

On Saturday night I wrote in my journal, 

tomorrow there's more sunshine.

and I meant that because of Daylight savings and how we literally we're going to have more sunshine in our day but then after I wrote it I realized it's true in another sense. There's always something to look forward to. There's always more miracles and love and happy each day. I was telling Sister Sanchez that I felt like I was at my mission prime with Sister Tippetts. I was loving Moses Lake, my companion, our investigators, the work. Everything was jiving. And then I got transferred to the Valley. And I felt like I was in a slump. It was tough. But we worked hard and grew in ways I would've never imagined. It changed my life in so many good ways. And now I'm feeling great again. I'm at my mission prime. Which leads me to believe that over the next 13 months I will have many more valleys and hills and mountain peaks. I will dig low and soar high. There will always be challenges. We're still facing challenges. But God is there. He is besides us in every step of the work. I just feel really content and happy. Someone said that to me too! One less-active sister we met on Wednesday just looked into my eyes and said, "You are a happy, content person. I can tell. You are happy." I felt really at peace with that because everyday is difficult in one way or another, but I truly feel like one of my God-given gifts is hope.


I look forward to good things to come. Right now we don't have anyone to teach. We dropped nearly all of our investigators because they weren't progressing or they weren't really interested. We are only teaching Aridai and her daughter, Emily. And Katelyn Bedolla. We haven't had anyone new for a week. And that's been tough because we are doing all we can possibly think of. We've gone through all the finding ideas in Preach my Gospel and we've visited all the members in the ward. I'm at a loss. I really don't know where to go. But I am really excited for this week. I know that there are people prepared waiting for our message. Pretty soon we'll have more people to teach. Which just means more people to love. And miracles happen so often. Just now, like 20 minutes ago, Alejandro Pineda called us. We've never met him but the other day we stopped at his door and he wasn't there so we left a card with information for the English classes on his door. We don't usually do that. We just hand the cards out to people. But we've been stopping by his house a lot because a former investigator used to live there and we just really felt like we should try again. And then he called us. And we have a lesson with him on Saturday. I almost cried because it was a real answer to our prayers. I feel like we'll continue to see many more miracles like that all week.

And, yesterday Brother Fry stopped us at church and told us he invited a less-active family (with a non-member daughter) over for FHE. The Frys are the cutest and we had dinner with them last week and challenged them to be missionaries everyday and so they took our challenge! I felt so touched like we really are making a difference. And last week, the Poulsen family, who have a son on a mission right now, invited their friend Megan over for dinner with us. I loved Moses Lake and my heart still aches for my home, but gosh I love it here. I love these members. I feel so entwined with the work here. My heart is in it. I want so badly so do all the Lord asks. Which also means this week we'll be knocking more doors. Oh, it pains me. I'd rather do anything than knock doors. But we've exhausted all our other resources. It's come down to this. And not because I think we will find more people through knocking. But it's the effort of submitting my will to God's. I'll put aside my pride and try to be a little humble and show the Lord that I will do anything, anything he asks, to find his lost sheep and bring them back to his fold.

love you muchly,

Hermana Em

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