Monday, August 26, 2013
I have way too much time to e-mail today.
Only because all of the mothers will ask:
Hermana Scow is a brand new missionary straight from the MTC in Mexico. I will be training her! She is from Palos Verdes, CA. Yeeah. California girl from inside out, and I love her! She likes to talk about people like she has known them forever, so when we leave the house of someone we just met, she says, "Classic Polly..." Haha. Or, "Classic Juana", it's way funnier than you would think. Everthing she eats and owns is organic, and she loves Beyonce. She does exercises in bed while we are all trying to go to sleep ahahaha. And she hangs up her clothes to dry on antler horns and housetops. I think that about sums her up. Classic Hermana Scow.
My family and my friends that are also family,
There isn't a TON to say, because this week was pretty simple. It went like this:
TUES: Took out the brand new missionaries upon President's request
WED: Transfer day! I got a present in the form of Hermana SCOW. Possibly, no no no, THE funniest, most ridiculous person I have ever met in my life. She never has any idea why, but I am laughing on the ground, almost every other minute. I love her.
FRI: Pioneer Trek with branch. Branch council requested our presence, and President Taylor okayed it. It was pretty great. A hike, pioneer games, dinner, talk, 17 miracles, camping. No we were not allowed to stay for the movie or the camping unfortunately haha.
SAT: Elder Holland came to speak to our mission. Very, very, rare and special for an Apostle to come to a mission in this day and age.
SUN: Sent Hermana Peterson off to Argentina.
So this week was crazy. Really crazy. It's now me and Hermana Scow. I'm lovin' it. I told President I am too happy and content...tragedy is coming.
By the way, I would send more pictures, but LDS mail only allows one at a time, so...I would have to send you like 20 e-mails. That would just be obnoxious. For you and I both. I'll probably do it. K here are some pictures.
Love you all tons, I exhausted anything intersting and meaningful into a letter to my father. You need photos anyway.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I miss Aubrie! Can someone please tell her to write me!!????
Dear family and friends,
It is zero degrees in this library and I can't feel my fingers, buutt that's alright. Okay haha, this week was so great. I need to calm down so that I can actually write about it nicely and reverently.
I got to be a part of something very special as you know. Mara is now a member :) It is so exciting to see her faith grow. She is my example of courage and faith. She did it alone, save the help of her Savior. She's just incredible. It was a beautiful service. It was also the most stressful day of my life. Last minute we found out that there was going to be a stake youth dance the same time as the baptism! AAH! So we had to move it 20 minutes away, and just...lots of stuff happened. Plus you invite all of your investigators, and everyone you talk to all week..you can't move it! It was all hilarious now that I think about it. The Elders did some crazy things to salvage the night and make sure everything was perfect. Just picture 3 Elders running throught the mall trying to not look at anything they pass by, just trying to get to the copy center to make maps for everyone of the different location two hours before the service. Haha. Anyways, it turned out beautifully. Hermana Peterson and I were too focused on everything that needed to happen next that/ it was one of the first services we had seen, so we couldn't really hold an opinion. But everyone said that it was one of, if not the most spiritual and well put together services they had seen. So we could breathe after that. We jsut kept telling ourselves that Mara, Hermano Ruelas, and the witnesses were the only people who needed to be there. President and Sister Taylor and his counselors and their wives were in attendance. Just to give you a little taste of Mara's character, when Sister Taylor went to meet Mara and congratulate her, Sister Taylor explained who she was (serving as Mission Presidents), and Mara replied with, in very broken English, "No. We are here to serve you." That is Mara for you. No missionary helped her enter the waters of baptism. No sir, she is just incredible.
Oh, I am not getting moved. I will stay in Vancouver and be training a new missionary again! Yay! I am so happy to stay here. These members are family. Hermana Peterson will be going off to Argentina. I love my mission, yes I do. And I hope I come back as weird as can be!
Sunday, August 18, 2013
This week was crazy haha. The zone leaders asked our companionship to go work in Battleground a few times a week. Battleground is farther north; one of Vancouver's surrounding cities. There are not man spanish speaking people there. I think we about found them all. And we are teaching them, so it's great!
Right now I am trying to get Hermana Peterson ready to train if she has to next week. Never would most mission presidents have a missionary out 6 weeks, and waiting on a visa train another missionary, but this is President Taylor. This man is fearless, and has more faith in us than we can believe sometimes. We are also getting Mara Munoz ready for baptism this week. We couldn't be more excited for her, and that we get to be a part of this. When I got here, Mara had already been taught for a few months. After meeting her, I exclaimed to my first companion, Hermana Williams, that I was not leaving until Mara was baptized. It wasn't just me being determined; I felt those words were true. Well, I taught her with Hermana Kidd as well, and then Hermana Peterson came. Before I told Hermana Peterson how I felt about Mara, she said, "I'm not leaving to Argentina until Mara is baptized." So..we both knew why we were in Vancouver. Mara's baptism is this Saturday, the 17th. We also get transfer calls that day. Neither of us will be surprised if we're both outta here. Mara is one of the best people I know, and it is truly a privilege to be walking with her on this road for a short while. The picture enclosed is of two of her sons. She has four children, and they are about the cutest, sweetest, most polite little things you'll ever meet.
A pair of missionaries came up to me after sacrament meeting yesterday, and patted me on the back, congratulating me on a baptism. "Way to go!", they said. "You got a baptism!" I looked probably a little..disgusted haha, because this is not how I see the situation. When I told them that it wasn't me, but Mara's preparation, and the Lord, they looked confused, and told me, "It has everything to do with the missionary." And tried to defend their case that baptisms arise out of the missionary. Hmm. False. Because that would mean that someone would be considered UNsuccessful if they weren't a part of a baptism. Which is not true. Preach My Gospel teaches us that people have their agency to choose, and your success is measured by your dedication to the work. Not the outward results of your mission, but the inward results of YOU. The longer I am here, the more I think that the Lord doesn't really need 18 and 19 year old kids to come and convert people to His gospel. He could do it on His own, through angels, or dreams and visions. And if He really wanted people to understand the gospel perfectly, He would send out certified teachers, and scriptorians. I feel like the Lord calling us out here is an act of mercy. He knows that we need this mission to shape us. Not for us to shape other people's lives.
I hope you all know that I love you, and I love the Lord. That is why I am here.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Sorry! This is going to be short, because I just wrote a bomb e-mail to President Taylor.
Okay...transfers are in two weeks, and there are 4 companionships of Spanish speaking sisters. And three new Hermanas coming. So. Something intersting is for sure going to happen, especially since I have already been here for three transfers. Hopefully I get to finish training Hermana Peterson before she goes to Argentina. The church has a 12 week training program for new missionaries, but I'm sure they are going to change it to six soon enough. We don't have time for 12 weeks anymore! There are too many missionaries coming!
Okay I am finally going to buy a working camera today. So I will send you some pictures! We have our only zone P-day ever today, with our new Spanish Zone. It will be fun. BBQ and volleyball at our Branch President's house. Which you have already been to! So crazy! I can't get over it. And yes it was a hard choice this morning choosing between my Canter's Deli shirt and the Goonies shirt. The life of a missionary.
Okay 7 minutes now. This week, we had a super huge miracle. A woman who has been taught for 8 months, and taught by all of the hermanas to pass through is finally getting baptized! There have been some road-blocks, but she is being faithful in the dark right now, and that is when the Lord is nearest and most proud of us I think.is going to be a good day :)
The Lord tells you as a missionary when you have come across the people you were called to. And it is not even to all of the people you teach.
I love you all with all my heart,
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Mi familia y otras personas quien son familia tambien,
Esta semana fue muy maravillosa, pero la proxima semana...mucho mejor. Muy anima. Ok, no mas. Jaja. Our ward mission leader told us to forget that we even knew English. "Forget English. Forget you even know that language." Entonces, esta es mi meta, pero es muy frustrando para ustedes. Entonces, no mas.
There was a baptism in the branch this week. That was a wonderful experience to witness. Hermana Peterson and I have created a Branch plan for member involvement. We took our plan to the Branch Mission Leader, and he is excited about it. Our branch consists of mostly recent converts, so I think they are really nervous about being a part of our lessons. But their testimonies are so beautiful, and they don't realize that they are everything in a lesson. Save the Spirit of course. So, the Zone leaders have asked me to be in charge of member present lessons. Our goal as a district is 50 member present lessons per week, and I am to consruct a plan that makes sure we reach that, without overlapping or over-using the branch members. I feel a little honored that they trust me with that responsibility.
I must say that I do love my mission. Every single day I love it even more. This is a sacred time in my life. And I love it.
Hermana Peterson is super great. Easiest companion ever. The Bonewell family is who we are living with. They have been housing missionaries for several years. Sis.Bonewell is the cutest and tells the world, "Those two are the busiest, hardest working missionaries. We never see them!" So yeah, we love her :)
I'm super attached at the hip to this branch. I am going to actually die when they ask me to leave. I'm convinced that they are the greatest people in the world.
I got to have my first interview with President Taylor this week. Well, first of all, he is the greatest. When he asked if I had any questions, I told him, "Well President, what do you know about patience?" We had a great talk, and those words are invaluable to me. As he shook my hand, showing me out of his office, he said to me, "Hermana Patton, we've got some big plans for you." Yikes! I don't know what that means.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings from heaven.