Monday, January 6, 2014

First Week of a New Year (January 1-6)

We got a bit of an unexpected email from Emily today! Her normal P-day isTtuesday, but because they have transfers this week, P-day was switched to Monday. Here is her letter:

So I'm writing on a Monday instead of Tuesday because it is TRANSFER WEEK!  But other exciting news, I am not getting transferred and therefore, I am staying in EL PASO for another 6 weeks (at least... I'm hoping more, because I've heard the farther north you go, the harder it is, and the less Spanish you'll use... so I'll stay in Texico as long as the Lord will keep me here)
So exciting things from this week....Well, let's start with New Year's eve
Tuesday (New Year's Eve)
What a great time to make goals.  Actually, I'm still working on that little detail of the new year, but it's coming along.  Here is a video we've been showing all week for the New Year (  It gives me goose bumps every time I watch it and I've seen it probably 4 times in the last 3 days.  So watch it and learn.  This year is going to be a great year.  For me I'll have a full year on a mission (which is super exciting) and it's a year to grow. And for everyone else (not on a mission) it's still a great time to grow.  I love in the video how it talks about each day is the first day of the rest of our life!
We had another p-day without the car but it was really productive.  And we only had one appointment that night, because we used the time for planning, because of appointments we had Monday during planning. 
Wednesday (2014!!)
Amazing as being in 2014 is, it was kind of anti-climatic.  We went to bed at 10:30 the night before, work up at 6:30 the next day and went to do missionary work.  We went and served a member in another ward, and then cancelled our other appointment because Hermana Callaway was sick and the lady in charge of medical stuff down in El Paso told her to go the ER, but then Sister Miller, told her to wait.  SO we went to the ER and then waited for a ride to dinner.  At dinner Hermana received a blessing from the Elders and then we went to go teach lessons that night.  The members that helped us were amazing!  Hermana C has helped us before, but Wednesday we had her and her husband helping and it was awesome!  He served his mission in DC and has been home for about 10 years, but he is still an amazing missionary.  It created a desire in me to still be an awesome missionary 10 years after I come home, but also to go out with the missionaries and help teach with them.  One of our lessons was with a couple teenage girls who when we talked about goals, said they didn't have any.  And no motivation to do anything.  SO that was an interesting lesson.
We had an amazing church tour Thursday!  Our investigador has had several baptism dates, but won't come to church, because he says he has to get things in order.  So we thought that if he had a tour of the church first, and we talked more specifically about what happens at church, he'd come.  The tour was amazing, the spirit was strong and I know that he felt it.  But he still didn't come to church.  Such is the life of a missionary.
We also had an awesome lesson with Hermana H, a less active/recently moved into the ward sister.  Her son is in jail and she has been trying to find someone from the church to go visit him and help him, and she's been trying to find someway to get him a Book of Mormon.  But the last time she brought one, they wouldn't let her give it to him.  But we called and found out that if the book went directly from a company to the jail, they would accept it and give it to him.  And so we ordered one off of and sent it to him.  We also set Hermana up on and told her to play around with it and we'd help the next time we came back.
We get to our next appointment and the parents weren't home.  The kids are like "oh yeah, our brother had an appendicitis and is in the Hospital."  And we're shocked because it's the first we've heard about it.  Luckily the hospital was located in the area of some of the Elders in our ward (Las Tierras) and so we asked them to call if they weren't in a lesson.  Less than a minute later, Las Tierras calls and we relay the information and ask them to visit if they already didn't have appointments.  And after I said that, Elder Richards told me that, not only had all their appointments cancelled, but they had been praying about what they should do when we called.  That right there is the power of inspiration and how we are doing the Lord's work and not ours.  The elders went to the hospital to visit the S family and to see how Ca was doing and they get there and nobody is at the front desk to help them find the room.  And the kids back home weren't helpful because they didn't remember the number.  But somehow (I haven't asked yet) they figured out the room number and were able to give Ca a blessing.  We still haven't had a chance to visit with the family yet, but it was a relief to know that the elders could help us and that it was the plan all along.
We had zone training and it was really good!  And then we had cleaning checks.  And we passed!
Dinner was with the G family, and then afterwards Hermana and Hermano helped us with our lessons.  We had a lesson with a new person named F, and the beginning of the lesson was kind of scary because Hno and F got into a really animated discussion about physical evidences of the Book of Mormon.  And then the lesson calmed down, we were able to share a scripture and then Hno. and Hna. were able to share their experience in joining the Church and other spiritual experiences they had.  Unfortunately we missed our following appointment, but the appointment with F was really good.
I biked for the first time Saturday.  And I learned several things 1) it's really hard to get on a bike that's too big (even if it's just slightly too big), 2) it's really hard to get off a bike that's too big, 3) I need to find a bike that actually fits me and then my taller companion can ride the one I had since the elders took back their bikes.
We also received transfer calls Saturday night!  We are both staying in the area and in El Paso, BUT they are closing down an area next to ours (most likely because of lack of Spanish missionaries coming in this transfer).  So our ward goes from 3 companionships to 2 and our area practically doubles... Eeek.  So exciting, but so much work to do!  And the good news is that we will be puro carro (pure car), meaning we don't have to share anymore, but since are area is so big and we don't want to use our miles, we probably will still be walking/biking some days (or partial days).  So it's sad to see the elders go, but it's super exciting for us!  And it's a big change....
We started church at 9.  And we had another lesson with the teenage girls (from Wednesday).  And they were able to think of goals!  And so we talked about goals and how we can achieve them and I shared this quote from Elder Ballard, that everyone can use and apply in their lives.
 "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see we reached but a small potential.  When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."
Goals are wonderful.  And that is why I am still working on figuring out what goals I want for this year, this transfer, the rest of my mission and then eventually the rest of my life. 
One of my goals right now is to study the General Conference talks.  I have been able to study them one at a time, usually taking a day or two (using 30 minutes of personal study) and it is amazing how much I can apply them to life!  As a missionary, but also just as a normal person.  They are so amazing!  I've been studying the October conference, but am looking forward to studying last April's before April 2014 conference happens. 

And a picture! Its the gift the elder gave her over christmas (see previous post)

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