From the perspective of her friends the Strong's

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013 - hmmm

I don't have much to say.
But anyone who knows me, means that I'm really saying: I have a million things and thoughts and fears and feelings and tears, but I'm not going to tell you, I'm going to sulk in the corner and make everyone wonder, "What's wrong with Zoe??"
I don't want to talk about it.
No I am not happy.
No I do not love my life right now.
And yes, this is quite the surprise for me as well. I was the poster child for the MTC. President Greer about died when he had an interview with me and saw that I placed the MTC at a 10, from one to ten. He said that was the first time he had seen that.
Thank you for the e-mails and love.
I miss you all more than I can tell you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 15, 2013 - Only 6 more days! Sad & Happy!

Ok dear ones,
I only have 6 more days here! So unless you live in UT do not send me anything this week :) I won't get it. And that would be sad.
OMG about Elder Bennett!!! I was freaking out! I can't BELIEVE we're going to be in the same mission! Hahahaha! It is bizarre enough to have 2 people in the same ward go to the same mission. Even funnier that it is me..and Shideler! Oh it's going to be so much fun! So excited! I can't believe I will preaching the gospel in WA in 6 days!
I have to start packing and I said goodbye to the Provo temple today. It's weird, I feel like I am saying goodbye for real now. I'm really leaving home.
I understand now why people so often say that letters from home can buoy a missionary up, and bring great encouragement. IT IS THE TRUTH. I don't know which talk it is but find it haha. I'll find it. Every time I reaceive a letter from home, I feel like I'm lifted off the ground, and can easily go and do my hardest for another week. They make all the difference, so from my heart, thank you.
Shout out to Mallorie and Julia for the pictures and letters. I have them taped on my closet door. Love you nubidies. My companions say that allll the time now, by the way :)
This week has been incredible like always. We had a breakthrough with one of our investigators, that is actually a friend of the teachers, so this has been cool...and really hard, because all of our investigators are people that they had taught on their missions, but this person is just a friend of hers that she wants to share the gospel with.
I don't have very much time, because I sat crying over my dad's e-mail and re-reading it haha, and the server is being whack, and keeps logging us out. But we had the privilege of hearing Elder Russell M. Nelson last night, and his wife is who actually shared what was most meaningful to me personally, and I want to share with you what she said. She spoke about ancestors, and told us to pray to be led to people who's ancestors need us. I had never thought of doing that. And then she told us this, (and I can't imagine I am the only one who can benefit from this): Pray for specific ancestors by name to help you. Or, to ask for them by attribute; what do I need help with today?
How               (there is not an adequate word) is that?? To say in your daily prayer, or in a specific situation, "I really need someone who was really great at understanding people to help me through this one." Praying for help by ancestor, and the specifc gifts and qualities they have. It's maybe the most wonderful thing I've ever heard. Don't take my word for it, I will look up the exact wording and e-mail it next p-day.
All my love to all,
Hermana Patton

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 8, 2013 - Hmm

For the best people in the world,
Thank you for all of your letters, packages, love, and LOVE. And prayers. I feel the prayers, they are not just being sent straight up, they are coming right back down..onto me. :)
So. Every day is so filled with good, I don't even know what to share! Well, the Elders told me that they had been talking, and were thinking about who was the funniest in the group...and they said they definitely chose me. So THAT was exciting. Especially because all the Elders think they're hAAAlarious, so I know this was a big sacrifice for them. Haha. Anyways. The MTC is pretty strange.  People get really weird here after a couple of weeks haha. In a good way. Things that couldn't be less humorous give us cramps of laughter. I feel huge now. All of us have gained weight, and we are going to fix this. Wendy, about your question haha, all of us are generally the same size, so we all shop in each others closets every day. I went two weeks without wearing my own clothes! I love it. I am a new person...I have had to figure out all new coping mechanisms. Whenever I was stressed or frustrated, or sad, I would take a nap, listen to th music that conveyed my emotion, or went shopping. Well. I can't do any of those things. Therefore, I have 1) turned to my Heavenly Father with my problems, and 2) developed better and healthier coping strategies. Luckily, I don't need them very often; the Lord takes care of me. However, I am obsessed with exercising now, because it is literally the only way I have to release stress, so it is now my sanctuary. And I am a BIG fan of the give away boxes in the residence areas. In order to keep my suitcases correct weight though, I am sure everything I take will end up in the give away box once again. Spanish is fine. I never stress about Spanish though. I wish I worried more, so that I could be motivated to be better at the language. But I'm almost convinced that your Spanish levels out at some point until you actual get into the mission field. OK so now that I have told you a lot of unmeaningful things...
I have had maybe one of the most important events in my life happen this week, but it's not something I want to share, so this e-mail might not be anything special.
Hermana Hawkins and Naylor have both left to their re-assignments in Florida and Arizona, and I am very sad about it. Not like debilitatingly sad, just miss her sad. Hermana Hawkins especially is someone that I admire and love with all of my heart. I sacrificed a little pretty scarf for us five to send back and forth to each other after every transfer.
I'm growing and I'm learning. I only have 17 months left. I got to usher for the devotional yesterday. Elder Gavarett of the 70 and his wife spoke. They are from Uruguay(?) and are amazing. His wife especially. She converted to the church as a little girl. She was Catholic, and loved the Bible stories and the miracles, and hearing about Jesus. When she would go to the priest with all of her questions and fascinations, he would tell her that she was young, or she didn't need to know. Basically that she didn't deserve that information. LDS missionaries were teaching her neighbors, and they noticed her interest, so they invited her, and told her that she could conduct all of the questions :) She told us how she felt when she heard them recite the words of the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith. She spoke of miracles. And how all we need is to believe. She shared her testimony in four languages. I was honored to be able to talk to her for a minute, and hug her. The words that touched me most were the first words that her husband spoke when he got to the pulpit.  He mentioned how he was very nervous about giving this talk, because of his English, but that he knew God would help us. Help him to speak, and convey the meassage that we need to hear, and help us to understand it. Okay so we hear that all the time as missionaries. But this is a Quorum of the  70 speaking. So that was humbling. That even he stuggles with the same thing we are struggling with. I'm sorry that this e-mail is less than great, but I don't have my notebook with me to remind me of all the impressions and thoughts I have had these past few days.
Let it suffice that I really love you all, and will never be able to convey how grateful I am for your love and thoughts.
Once again, I am amazed at how close Heaven is to us. We are all working together, on both sides, to help and lift and serve God and His children. Angels are working with the missionaries. One great thing Elder Gavarett said was that we have to have knowledge about the war that took place before we came here, in order to win this one.
Love you,
Hermana Patton

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 1, 2013 - Pictures

 "one is of the Mexi treats"
 "One is of me and my companions"
 "one is of the 5 girls in the district"
 "one is an awkward pic of me and Hermana Robison that doesn't need to be seen by the public, I just wanted to send it home to make sure I had it haha. Thank you vedy vedy much."

Mom's never listen.........Pictures are show whether awkward or not.
Hermana Hawkins and Hermana their least crazy.

May 1, 2013 - More beautiful every day

To those I love,
I will never get over the MTC. I am truly obsessed with being a missionary. I just got out of the temple, they switched my P-day to Wednesday. I have a lot of...feelings right now. Haha, so this should be a good one. At least for me.
Everything that happens in this place is inspired. If you're are doing what you are supposed to be doing, and where you are supposed to be, there is no such thing as a wrong step. The seemingly tiny movements in your day later surface as a small miracle. I want to tell you things that have been miracles to me.
The first one that comes to mind, is Hermana Hawkins. She is in my zone, and is also my roomate along with all of our companions. From day one, I thought she was just amazing. Her love goes deep, and her service and compassion are comparable to Mother Theresa. On the first day, I found out that my companion's boyfriend had just returned from serving in the Carlsbad CA English speaking mission...Riley's. Haha. Then Hermana Hawkins tells overhears, and tells us that she lives in that mission. Last night we were in tears over the thought of saying goodbye next week, as they head off to Argentina. This morning, I receive a picture of Hermana Hawkins' mission plaque from Elder Strong. As we sat on the ground talking before bed one night, my companion sees a box peeking out from Hermana Hawkins bed that is from Shaina, the very girl that Brandon (my companion's boyfriend) taught and baptized. And also Hermana Hawkins' best friend. It may not seem important, but it is. I have never been so aware of how connected we all are. And it so very obvious that we are meant 100%, to be in each other's lives. Instances such as that one happen almost daily. And I am more aware now, of the importance of suffering so that you can understand people, and weep with them during their trials. Hermana Villabos is going through what I went through right before I left. It was awful, but I think of the Lord's mercy; that he had one of us go through it first, so that the other could strengthen and understand. My other companion, Hermana Robison found out last night that her sister, and dearest friend in the world, eloped last night with an ex-boyfriend. I don't need to explain the feelings you can imagine she felt. She was devastated. And not something that is super common. But I realized that I could for once, offer more than empty words. Because I had been in her position, not once, but twice. It makes pain more worth it, when you know that someday you will do more than console will understand them, and their heartache. I hope this doesn't sound like I am speaking of myself, for I understand more clear each day, that all opportunites, as well as any love and empathy I exercise is not me, but a gift from God.
We are all here in each other's lives for very specific reasons. Sometimes, we are shown early on, why that person is in our path. Other times, we must be patient to see the purpose.
Everything we do affects not only our future generations that come after us, but our ancestors that came before. I know what my mission is once I am released from this one. We are all connected. There are two pedigree charts. One that shows the complete line of family, from generation to generation. And the other is a direct line from us, to Heavenly Father. We are each His children. Brothers and sisters of the same Heavenly Father. Elder Boyd K. Packer's son shared that with us last night in Tuesday Devotional.
The space between heaven and earth is so much smaller than I ever thought it was. We are all connected.
Hermana Zoe A. Patton