From the perspective of her friends the Strong's

Sunday, June 9, 2013

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

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