Tuesday, December 16, 2014

News from the Mission

In case you're a new reader, most names of people Jessica mentions in her emails have been shortened to an initial to protect their privacy.

It feels weird to be 20. That's too old...but my birthday was great! Sister C & Mamma B are the best!! I walked in the door and saw a guitar on the couch & said "it's a guitar!!" I didn't know it was for me. but yes, Sister C borrowed it from a family for me. I got to play for almost 2 hours! I played the new Hallelujah Christmas song. It's pretty fun. Also, I brought it home so I can play it on p-days. Not sure when we'll give it back.

So, every morning we wake up at 6:30, get ready to go outside and "exercise" (we just go on a walk) until about 7. then I usually lay down for a bit until I get up and get dressed, then eat some breakfast (usually I eat a bagel thin with peanut butter/nutella), then at 8 we have personal studies until 9, 9-11 comp study (it's 2 hrs because I'm still being trained). I do love personal study time, but I'm not very good at it. Or at least I'm not good at it compared to my companion. It'll come with time, I'm sure.

Tuesday last week we had zone meeting. Sister C & I gave a BOSS training on becoming a disciple of Christ and how as we develop/change our Attitude, Gratitude, Charity, and Enthusiasm we become more Christlike which allows us to become a better disciple of Christ, which enables us to be more devoted missionaries. Do you remember Elder Bednar's talk in this October's general conference? He was directing a part of it to nonmembers, saying how "our eagerness to declare this message is not merely the result of a sense of spiritual duty. Rather, our desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you is a reflection of how important these truths are to us." We declared a bold statement to the missionaries: "if you don't feel like you are eager to share the gospel, you are not converted enough". As we become more and more converted to the gospel, our enthusiasm to share it with others increases.

I could see that in my life when I was living in EL. One reason I wanted to serve a mission is because I was so eager to share the gospel with others. My eagerness came from going out with the missionaries, reading my scriptures, and praying. As I was becoming more converted, my enthusiasm grew. As missionaries, we get days where we're not the most eager to talk to people, so this is something everyone needs to work on. Then that night we had dinner with the K's. they're so great!! such wonderful people. 

Wednesday we drove down to diamond bar to pick up Sisters S & P for our 4 week new missionary meeting and then drove to Rancho. before that, we got lunch at Chipotle! the meeting was really good and I got to see my MTC friends!! most of them have had troubles (not feeling adequate, wanting to go home, etc) so it's kinda strange to me to have not felt like that. Scratch part of that, I sometimes feel inadequate, but I haven't wanted to go home. I haven't even felt homesick. My companion has asked me a couple times "why haven't you had those feelings?" and things like that, and I don't know how to answer it. I'm not complaining, but it's weird that I haven't felt that way. Ya feel?

Thursday was really good! I seem to be more happy when we're out of the house & talking to people because God blesses us! We pretty much just went to a ton of less actives homes and invited them to the ward christmas dinner, but like zero of them were home. except we visited with one lady Sister R, she served a mission, her husband is active, but she doesn't agree with some of the things in the church...sad.

Then we went home for lunch & Sister C's old YW president (who reactivated her) had 2 pizzas delivered to our house! It was funny and awesome. Then we were planning on going to a park to update our area book & contact some referrals, so I chose which park we were gonna go to. On our way there Sister C said "you couldn't have chose one further away!" as we were passing 7 different parks. Well when we got close, sister C had the impression we should visit a less active lady, Sister B. She's always super busy & rarely home, but guess what! she was home! and we had a really nice visit with her :) and she told us to come back anytime. After that we visited the B's, then L & A, then to dinner with the D's. They're a nice old couple. I enjoy them. Then we had a SWEET visit with a less active/part member family, the W's. We went with their home teacher & taught a lesson. The dad really wants to increase his faith & the son said he'd like to learn more. hopefully we can set up regular appointments & teach the son & he'll get baptized! :)

Friday was good, nothing too special. But before our ward Christmas dinner, we went over to visit C, our investigator whose pastor gave him all the anti stuff, to invite him and his family, and standing in his driveway we taught him a lesson. I was super bold with him. I told him he needs to come to church to find out for himself. He wants the structure for his kids, but won't come! He thanked me for being persistent with him.

Saturday after my bday party we hung Christmas lights for the G's who are this really sweet old couple. As we were doing that, their neighbor came over and said he wants to hang lights up too, but he's never done it. I offered our help. And he ASKED FOR OUR NUMBER! that doesn't happen! He said he'll give us a call. Sister G came up to us on Sunday and said she was talking with his wife that morning and they're going to go shop for lights. She also said her young sons really want to learn about Jesus! Hopefully we can teach them. Their oldest is 8, so him along with his parents, that would be 3 new investigators!

Sunday was good, nothing too interesting happened. Sister C and I have been talking, and we're not sure why people think missionaries are always starving! I eat more as a missionary than I did at home...it's bad.

Converting Santa!
Hanging Christmas lights in t-shirt, shorts, and sunglasses--California style!

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