Hello Family and Friends,
WOW! This week was PACKED! But before I get into it, I just want to say thank you to those who have e-mailed and written to me on my mission. It really has meant a lot and uplifted me. I seem to always get a letter when I’m having a hard day! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support!
The mission is flying by at the speed of light. I’m reaching my 14-month mark. My time is ticking! It’s crazy! Speaking of which, during our Mission Leader Conference, as we were talking about the mission and how everyone is doing, the Spirit taught me so much about what I can be doing better. It was such a heavy feeling, because I realized I still have so much I want to work on before I go home and now is the best time to re-evaluate my personal goals, align them with Heavenly Father’s and go go go! So I did that, I wrote them down and we went to work!
On Tuesday, we had an exchange with the Elgin sisters. I was with Sister Safley who just came out to the mission. She is doing well; she’s really shy, but is willing! We had a good time in Lawton. On Wednesday morning, she and I went with the rest of our District to the Food Bank for our weekly service. As we were hanging up clothes, a 14-year-old kid came up and started talking to us. I could tell he had some type of disability. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him 21, he said, “Darn it, I’m 14,” and all the sisters started giggling. Then, he walked over to the Elders and said, “Do you know that lady over there (pointing to me)?” They said yes, and he said with a sigh, “Ahhh, I wish adult/teenage relationships were approved.” haha The Elders wouldn’t let me live it down. It was pretty funny!
On Thursday, we went to visit a very less active sister named Gwen. She’s our age and has been dodging us for a while, but she finally let us come by. We met her new husband, Hogan, and he is interested in hearing our message! We are excited to go there this week! PS…I want everyone to realize how influential the members were in our work this week. Members are the KEY! That evening, we taught the Book of Mormon study class on The Heroes of the Book of Mormon, using stories from Helaman, Captain Moroni and Moroni. We made a HUGE Title of Liberty that we used and hung in the room! That night we went over to the Ponce’s and shared a short 4th of July message with them and then used the same Title of Liberty with the Tomanys.
Friday was the 4th of July, and we decided it would be cool to do morning soccer at the field right by our apt. It was going really well and the game was fun, but then Elder Chavez totally ran into and took out little Sister Porter and knocked her to the ground. We found out today she has a fractured elbow. Oops…. But it was kind of funny because when he knocked her down, she screamed, “I HATE YOU, GET AWAY!” hahaha You have to know that Sister Porter is this sweet, innocent little sister missionary. We laughed about that all weekend. Elder Chavez feels soooo bad though. The rest of the day consisted of our District Meeting after which we did Whiteboard Lawton again! We held up signs saying “mormon.org” and “Honk if you love Jesus!” and “Happy 4th!” Oh people went crazy. The intersection of Gore and Sheridian was a honking fest! It was so cool! We gave out a lot of pass along cards! It was so fun! Elder Holman was dancing around and pointing at people to honk. It was sooo funny! After, we went to the house of a single member (Brother Burbanks) who had invited 3 non-member friends. I swear we taught 5 lessons to them during that time. One of his friends, Raymond, even came to church on Sunday and the Elders are teaching him now! AND, his other friends, Collin and Brandy, are being taught, too! All 5 of us missionaries went to their home after church to teach them. They are in the Elders’ area, but we connected with Brandy, so we went just for their first lesson! They have a cute little son named Matty! They are coming to church next week!!
On Saturday, we had another really cool miracle. Sister Anna Boucher (my roommate in Provo last year) is serving in North Carolina on a military base there and was teaching a sister in a part member family. This family, the Brennans, moved here to Ft. Sill! Sister Boucher sent me her info, so now we’re teaching her! She opened up so much to us, and it was such a great lesson! She expressed her feelings about her relationship with God and gave us a great intro. It was so miraculous! And, she lives right next to some other women in our ward that’ll just love her!
Sunday was the best day! On Post, I taught the 4th lesson on the commandments. The Church just came out with a new change that lesson 5, Laws and Ordinances, will be taught before baptism. It use to be taught after baptism. Lesson 5 teaches principles like family history, temples, eternal marriage, etc. So, I taught all the commandments, laws and ordinances in 50 minutes. It was crazy!! Brother Shelley (who is engaged to a member) thought eternal marriage was so romantic hahaha. It is I guess, I just don’t hear that every day here! Brother Langevin loved everything and is getting baptized next week! I’ll send pics! I’m so excited for him! He is SO prepared. Elder Chavez said that in his baptismal interview he cried when he talked of his feelings about the Atonement and this Gospel. He said Bro. Langevin is very prepared and excited! At church, two of the Ponce kids came to church, AND Brother Niupulusu in our ward brought a friend from work. We actually taught him after church too, but he lives in Dallas. So hopefully he will want to be taught down in Texas! We also had a really good lesson with the Bentleys after church and read in the Book of Mormon with them. After that, we went to the Farewell Open House for Kade Kappel the soon-to-be missionary in our ward who is going to Everett Washington. He had tons of non-member friends there that we got to talk to. They were really nice! That night I was so tired that I hit the pillow already asleep.
Ah this week was just full of miracles! The members have really caught the wave of missionary work. Today is the start of the 40-day fast in our ward. Every day, a different family is fasting for the missionary work in Lawton. And guess what… It’s WORKING! It makes me so happy! I love the Gospel and my mission. I’m so happy and exhausted. No cross country interval or run has ever compared to the exhaustion I’ve felt as a missionary! But it’s the kind that you know makes you stronger spiritually! Miracles are happening here in Oklahoma. I’m grateful again for the support I feel from home. This work is true! Faith is the POWER, the spirit is the KEY, obedience is the PRICE, love is the MOTIVE, and CHRIST IS THE REASON!