From the perspective of her friends the Strong's

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 24, 2013 - Rasberry Fields Forever

Okay so...
I'm hardly in an inspirational mood. I'm hungry, and I ate my body weight in rasberries this morning so I'm not feelin' so hot! We went rasberry picking with Pres. Alder today; it was so much fun! Elder Collins is from South Carolina, so he sang us _____ pickin' songs while we picked rasberries. It was great.
Okay so just so everyone is up to date: I received Hermana Kidd last week, our next transfer is in 2 weeks, and I am permanently in the Vancouver Mission. Which will swallow up half of Portland as well. Yes, I would love to go to Portland. I wanted to live in WA befforree I moved here. Let's just say...the citizens of WA take full advantage of the mary-jane being legal. High people looovee the story of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. "Woooowww", with big eyes, is what they look like when we tell them about it. It's a real self esteem boost after so many non-intoxicated people say no thanks and shut the door. Anyways. WA is a trip for sure.
Okay so Hermana Kidd. She's pretty awesome. She is 25, a school-teacher, adorable, and an answer to my prayers. She is an incredible missionary. I will get to go on exchanges with other companionships often, because she will be moving around with other sisters. I could not ask for a better trainer. I can't see us being life long friends or anything...we're pretty opposite in everything other than how we are both fully aware that our way is best. EXCEPT I will have you know family, that I think I have been cured, since I am alwayyys the compromiser now, or I just give in because I don't care to have things my way all the time anymore. So that's good. It took someone just like me, to see, and think..."Ugghhh, is that how I am?" So now I try really hard to not be that person who is always right. But she is a near perfect trainer, and that is what mattered most to me; a trainer that could give me an example to hold onto for the next 15 months. I don't need to be best friends forever with every companion. I just want to learn what God would have me learn from them. Hermana Kidd is extremely busy, fast paced, knowledgable about the field, and focused 1,000% of the time. She is exactly what I asked for, and I got it. It's just as hard as I thought it would be, but I'm finally doing the missionary work that I desired, and was sent here to do. The real reason why I was so miserable, is because I felt like I wasn't fulfilling my purpose. I got into the field, and my trainer killed my fire. I was so pumped and excited, and ready to work, and then I came here and there wasn't any. And I wasn't being taught to be a missionary...on any level. So I just felt hopeless, and basically like, "I'm not doing ANY good for the people of Vancouver. Why am I away from all that I love and hold dear to just walk around aimlessly with a badge on? Nobody is teaching me how to be a missionary!!!!" So Hermana Kidd was my gift from Heaven, and I am so, so very grateful for her. I am learning how to be a missionary, and how to do missionary work. She is the best of the best, and anyone that has been trained by her is so blessed if they are willing to learn from her. Your trainer is who sets the pace for your entire mission. They teach you how to be a missionary in deed, while the Spirit trains you in your heart.
The most important thing I have learned this week is this: (It just keeps running through my head)
Everyone needs a Savior. Everyone needs the Savior. Everyone needs our Savior.
Once you can let the sterotypes of missionary work and all the stigma that comes with the words, "Mormon missionaries" fall away, really once you let EVERYTHING fall away, that is all that is left. That is the only thing you will find there. Because it is the only thing that matters. I am just learning this. I imagine it will be a life long endeavor.
Love you all so much, thank you for the love and letters,
Hermana Patton

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Shared email from our friend Eli

Encouraging words from our family friend Eli helping out Zoe.

From Zoe:
Oh my gosh, HI!
Hahaa I TOTALLY forgot that you served here, I had a freak out just now! Oh my goodness this makes me so happy! Okay so I'm in the Vancouver West stake working in the Spanish Branch right now. There are a lot of really awesome people in this branch, but we need to get the members excited to do missionary work. Kinda hard, when I'm not excited yet either. This is so totally different than what I thought it would be. And I am so different than what I thought I would be. I SUCK as a missionary! I'm obedient and I try hard, and follow the Spirit and stuff, so I'm not the worst. But I just....don't enjjjooy being a missionary. Hahaha. I've come to terms with it. Now I think it's funny. But no one here watched Parks & Rec so they can't understand how I'm April. I don't even know if you know what I'm talking about. All I think of when I think of Eli is Breaking Bad haha. Pres. and Sis. Greer are incredible. I love them to death. Sis. Greer is just about the cutest thing on the planet. She made me stay in for a whole day because she was convinced I had some bug going around...I didn't, haha. Where is Sharon at?? Sharon's Bible? Is that her name? E-mail me back, I freakin' love that you came here, it's trippin me outta my mind!
Have a better day than I will,
Hermana Patton, haha
From Eli:

Hey Zoe where is your first area? How did you like the greers? I'm sure they are very different now than they were when I was there. I served in the following areas: Longview 2nd ward (Longview stake), lacamas creek/harmony wards (vancouver east stake), cascade park (Vancouver stake), union wars (Kennewick east stake), meadows ward (Vancouver north stake) and McKay creek and the Pendleton third ward ysa (walla walla stake).

Adjusting to the mission from the mtc was very hard for me and since you are sharing the mission I served in I feel a special connection because I will understand the dynamics/area a little better than most!

Hit me up when you can, I hope all is well!

From Provo with love,



June 17, 2013 - 15 minutes!

Loved ones,
for you are loved :) I am learning and growing. Transfers are 6 weeks, but because of the mission split, this is a 4 week transfer, and we will have another one in 3 weeks, once President Taylor is here. I am in the middle of being trained, though I feel like I am training, bless her heart, she is the sweetest girl. But I am not being trained. Other than by the Lord. So I am welcoming with open arms, my new companion Hermana Kidd. I will be receiving her this Wednesday, and she will also be the Sis.Training leader; basically an Assistant to Pres/zone leader for the sisters. So that will be fun!
Things are brighter. Time is all anyone ever needs anyways. Things aren't easier, but I am learning how to be like Jesus Christ. And to sanctify myself and sacrifice my heart. "-which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." Helaman 3:35
The Lord answers my prayers so quickly; heaven and earth aren't so far away from each other.
I hope you each know how much I love you, and how grateful I am for you prayers. I feel them, I promise. The whole of my work here thus far has been service. Not teaching. This place is tatally caucasian, and the few people we are teaching most often cancel our appts. But we have touched a lot of hearts, and changed many people's views of Mormons through our service to them. I am just trying to find my purpose here. Oh what a journey this will be.
All my love,
Hna. Patton

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 3, 2013 - one more thought

This scripture has meant everything to me, and taught me the greatest lesson about serving a mission
Romans 8:17

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

June 3, 2013 - Better.

Okay family and friends,
Sorry for the scare. But I was seriously thinking of turning back. Special thanks to those that have written words of encouragement and offered prayers in my behalf. It means more than I could say, and though I don't have time to e-mail back, expect a letter from me shortly.
Because I have such little time, just a few details and things that matter most.
I am in the Vancouver West Stake, serving in the Spanish Branch with 8 other missionaries. I know! Don't be fooled, our area is HUGE and this is the only Spanish branch we have. Though the mission change will not be final until July, where we are on June 18th is where we will stay. We have not yet been told who will be the Mission Pres. for the Vancouver Mission, which is where I will most likely be staying. My apartment is nice. I made an omelette for myself this morning and ate it on the balcony overlooking WA trees, and a parking lot. The girls I live with are great, though I wonder if I grew up in a Nazi home when I see my cleaning and homecare abilities. I don't have any issue keeping up a home. In fact, it's the thing that brings me the most fulfillment right now.
Hna Williams is my companion. She is from Texas. She is very goofy. Haha, I am so lame in this e-mail. Can you sense my enthusiasm? Nobody here has seen Parks and Recreation, so they can't understand that I am April. Really though, I wonder if I am. I do what I am called to do, seek guidance from the Spirit, I am obedient, and by the book, doing great. But I do NOT love being a missionary. I love learning Spanish, and doing service, and communicating with the Hispanic people, and studying this Gospel, and especially the Savior and His earthly ministry....but I do not love the life of a missionary. It was not designed to be fun or indulgent in the least, and therefore, it isn't haha. Being happy and enjoying yourself, I'm finding, are not always correlated. I need to learn how to have more happiness, but it's not going to come from having fun being a missionary. At least I know Sara understands ;) I've just come to terms with it. Before, I thought I was destined to go home, "I'm the worst missionary EVER." But now it makes me laugh how much I dislike being a missionary. That is probably not a good thing, and I'm sure I'll be chastized by someone for this, but I am laughing, and that is rare here. And it's a step. Between me and the Lord, we know I'm doing what I am supposed to and loving those I teach, and working hard, and learning as much as I can, so I think it's okay that I don't enjoy it. As long as I continue to do it with all I have inside me. The love for the work will come. But what I have learned from this is that we must suffer with the Lord. This expains it pretty well:
Gethsemane by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden's gate,
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battlw with some fierce despair.
God pity those who cannot say,
"Not mine but thine," who only pray,
"Let this cup pass," and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.
I love you all dearly,
Hna. Patton