Hello hello. How is everyone?! Thank you for all of the emails!!
So...this week was really good! Of course, it still had it's rough moments, but I'm really liking it here in Elko, and I've actually found myself wanting to stay another transfer so I can be with our investigators as long as possible :) They are such great people who are really trying to make the necessary changes in their life so they can align their wills with God's will. I'm so grateful that I was able to grow up in the church and learn about the blessings like the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity and Family Proclamation and Book of Mormon. What amazing modern-day revelation we have!!
I went on splits for the first time this week. We drove two hours to Lovelock, NV, where I stayed the night with Sister Liddle. Highlight of that exchange: getting to have family song and prayer with a bunch of kids on the Indian Reservation. It was a very sketchy place, with lots of wild dogs and flies and broken things everywhere, but the kids were so innocent and fun! The Spirit can dwell in even the most broken places when there is faith and a desire to follow God. The exchange was good, but I was glad to be back in Elko with Sister Hingano the next day. This coming week, we will be having exchanges again, but this time I will be the one staying in Elko!! I'm more than a little nervous, since I'll be primarily in charge of teaching our investigators and knowing my way around XD
Also this week is a Mission Leadership Conference in Reno. Since Sister Hingano is a Sister Training Leader, we get to go to Reno. That means eight hours of highway driving for me....daunting, but also exciting. The Lord will turn our weaknesses into strengths, right? haha
I have found myself being stretched in every way possible since being on a mission. Everything I was scared of before...dogs, driving on the highway, sports, drugs, dark alleyways, sweating profusely, rejection, strange foods, etc....the Lord is definitely showing me that I'm braver than I realized :) I'm grateful for that. I'm learning so much!!
Speaking of learning...we play basketball with a bunch of Elders every morning. Definitely needed some improvement on that sport haha.
Our investigators are awesome and Sister Hingano and I are super busy all the time trying to keep up with everyone we are finding! We have a baptism this Saturday of two little girls, Li and Em (as long as their dad gives permission...praying nonstop...) so that should be a very sweet experience! We also have a few more investigators preparing for baptism this month. Everyone we teach has their own stuggles and difficulties, but they're all awesome. We just contacted a new investigator this past week, Mel, and during our first lesson, she already had a list of questions ready for us! Turns out, she had already downloaded the Gospel Library app, read multiple conference talks, and read all of 1 Nephi!! She's awesome. We also contacted a part-member family, the Su's. The kids were super excited and were begging their mom to let them get baptized haha the two girls came to church yesterday, and Na leaned over to me during sacrament meeting and whispered, "I wish Jesus was in my house right now!" So precious. Our investigator, Ca, is making really great progress as well. She has a lot to get through but she's really trying. We're hoping to have a wedding this week or next for Ka, so hopefully I'll be writing about that soon :)
The members here are so ready and willing to help and they are really the key to any success we have. The Gospel is so good!!
Yesterday at church, there was a couple visiting who both served their missions in Brazil! And the woman served in Sao Paulo East!! She was also a visa-waiter, and she served in California for 11 months! It was such a tender mercy to be able to meet them yesterday!
Sister Barton, who we live with, is super sweet and she reminds me of Grandma Marcia a little bit, because she works so hard to serve everyone around her. Funny moment this morning...she made us crepes for breakfast, and as we were sitting down to eat, she says, "Oh blast, I forgot my teeth!" So she goes to her room, comes back a few minutes later, sits down, goes to take a bite, and then says, "I went to the bathroom, blew my nose, and completely forgot my teeth again!" Haha she keeps us laughing and it's a joy to live with her :)
Anyways, you guys are awesome! I love you and I hope you're doing well :) I know that God will help us with whatever we are struggling with if we turn our will over to Him and make the decision that we will do whatever we need to to choose the right. The Savior is proud of anyone who is willing to repent. He wants to help you, so just let Him! :)
SHOUT OUT TO MY AWESOME BROTHER ETHAN WHO WILL BE TWELVE TOMORROW!! YOU'RE NO LONGER A BABY! I might cry. It's fine. Anyways, I love you baby brother! You're one of my favorite people in the whole wide world and I know that an awesome new priesthood holder like you is going to make some amazing changes in this world and be such a power for good. Can't wait to see what God has in store for you, Beef. You're awesome :)
Don't forget your prayers! Your Father in Heaven loves you and so do I!
All my love,