Monday, May 13, 2013

for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow

To the loves of my life,

So I'm in Cheney, Washington on the Eastern Washington Campus and I am loving it. This campus is beautiful. And it's spring and warm and delicious. It reminds me of my beloved Provo except more beautiful, cuter houses and lots of trees. It's been a different experience working in YSA but it's been pretty fun.

College kids are super open and willing to listen which is awesome. It also helps that we are two adorable girls. But seriously. We ask people for their phone numbers all the time to send them texts about activities at the institute and people have been a willing, although a little reluctant. Can you imagine some lanky elders asking for college girls' numbers? Not a chance. But the girls are willing and the boys are hoping we'll call them for a date. Also, not a chance. But I know there is lots of potential here. There are quite a few recent converts in our YSA ward. I think it's so awesome. A lot of the students had friends in high school who were LDS and they were always a little curious. College is the time to find out who you are and what you will become so a lot of kids will just come into the institute building to learn more. And our members are super awesome. We've been trying to visit all the students. I don't know if I would be quite as cool as the people I meet on my mission but they are always happy to meet with missionaries or help us out or most importantly, give us referrals and invite their friends!

We sat down with some members last night and they all thought of people they could invite or we could call. President Mullen is spot on when he says that the Lord is hastening his work on both sides of the aisle. Meaning more missionaries are going out but also more people are being prepared to hear the message.

In our last Zone training we were asked to think about a Christlike attribute that we could work on for the month. My first thought was humility because sometimes I can get into my head that I know enough. I know enough how to teach, I know enough Spanish, I know enough about how to be a missionary. And this week taught me a lot about how much I don't know. It was tough and humbling. But the more I prayed and thought over the attributes the more I felt like I really need to work on Faith. Faith is at the root of everything. If I have faith I won't fear or get stressed. I have faith that we'll find, I have faith that my companion will be able to teach and grow as a missionary, I have faith that the area I'm in is the right area and that God is aware of me.

Fear and faith cannot coexist. And so I'm building my faith, because I don't want to fear.

They are splitting my mission in July and all but one of the Spanish branches that we work in will move to the Kennewick mission. Right now I'm on the side of the mission that will stay with Spokane. But truthfully I'd like to be over on the Spanish side, because I love the Spanish work. It's been a battle in my head and heart and I've tried not to let it creep into my thoughts too much. This is why I need faith. Because with faith I will have confidence that whatever mission I end up with, whichever mission president I will get to work with, will be right.

I'm training Sister Johnson and she's pretty cute. She's 19 and from Safford, Arizona. This is her first experience away from home. She'd never planned on going on a mission and then she was sitting in the conference center when President Monson made the announcement so she thought, "sure, what the heck." For that reason I think it's been a little tough for her. Missions are hard stuff and she wasn't totally ready for all the changes. But she's a trooper. We get along really well and I'm surprised at how nice and patient I've become as a missionary. It's part of the call and I know God is helping me. I'm trying to be a good big sister and work her hard. She's made a lot of progress even in the last few days and I'm confident she'll make it just fine through her mission.

But my best advice for any young girl who "just thinks" missions "might" be a good idea--really pray about that decision. Missions aren't for everyone. Being the right age isn't the only qualification. Really dig deep and figure out why you want to come. Because you can't quit. You can't give in  when it gets tough. You gotta know why you are here and fight for those reasons.

It's the most rewarding experience you'll ever have, but go because it's the right thing for YOU.

Welp, I love you all dearly. The church is true! We have a prophet of God. Invite your friends!
Hermanita Em

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