Thursday, 4 October 2012

Off to the Mission Field!

Hello from Missouri! I am finally here! Whoohoo! First off, mission life is crazy. Really crazy. For everyone that said it will be hard... but couldn't tell me why, I now know what you mean. It is really hard, especially the first week. It's a huge adjustment because I am retraining my brain to think of others before myself... not something I have done for the past 22 years (I am ashamed to admit). But I have been working hard and putting my faith in God and have seen definite miracles and it is getting better and better! Heavenly Father has his hand in everything! It is amazing.
My companion's name is Sister Sant. She is great! We are already good friends and work and teach really well together. She is a great trainer and is very helpful but not bossy (you know how well I deal with bossy people haha). We live in this ghetto little apartment in an old house, definitely not Santa B or Condo Row. It is clean though and there aren't any cockroaches, so I am good with that. President Keyes was telling me about Sister Sant in our first interview and he was like "your area isn't really spanish, but you can still practice your spanish with Sister Sant." I about had a mini heart attack because I don't know spanish and I'm not speaking spanish. I told him I wasn't and I guess he had thought I was... so luckily I'm not in a spanish speaking area or i am pretty sure my adjustment would be even more difficult! The first day here was great, we had 25 people in our travel group, which is the largest that the mission has ever seen! We all stayed in the mission home and it was a party. Also, my mission is the biggest in the WORLD! It has the largest number of missionaries. Cool huh?

I love the visitor center! Oh my gosh, it is the best thing in the world. I love giving tours and teaching people about the history. I took the cutest couple through on my first tour!  They are from Arizona and the man was a bishop.  The photo is Sister Baker and I from my first tour.  I told them it was my first tour and they were really nice about me forgetting a lot of the dates and things. I am really trying to make each of my tours a meaningful experience that helps the visitor strengthen their testimony of Jesus Christ and have a desire to come closer to Him. It was really cool because we had a great discussion and they both expressed to me their gratitude for helping them think about church history in a whole new light. He even said I've never thought about my testimony this way before. I was really grateful for the positive reinforcement because it helped me understand that the spirit really is helping me teach. I could not have done that on my own, but I know that through my Heavenly Father's help I can.

Working at the visitor center does make working on our area kind of stressful though. We only have half the time in our area! But Heavenly Father makes up for that by helping us find people to teach.
One thing I have learned in the past week is that sacrifice brings blessings. The early Saints in Independence sacrificed so much to come here and build their community. They were selfless as they built Zion and really tried to be of one heart and of one mind. They lived in destitute circumstances, but still everyone was happy and joyous because they were serving God and their fellow man.  I have applied their stories to my life. What can I sacrifice to serve others more fully? I think each of us have things that we can sacrifice in order to show gratitude for our many blessings and come closer to God. As we sacrifice our faith increases, and we are better able to recognize Heavenly Father's hand in our life. Not to mention that as we sacrifice we literally see miracles. I have seen so many this past week.
I don't even think I got to write about Temple Square, that seems like forever ago! Well, I got to go to Temple Square and Sister Jarvie and I were companions! It was so fun to work with her. She is an awesome missionary. I am so glad that we had that opportunity to teach together!
I know that the Lord has called me to be here, and I know that I have work to be doing and I am grateful to be doing it. it is hard at times but it's through those hard times that we become stronger and better.

View from my first apartment.  We live across the street from a cemetery.

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