November 24, 2014
Thanks for telling me what everybody's doing. It's fun to hear about! Don't worry about leaving the Christmas decorations up until I get home...that's two whole months after Christmas! I can wait until next year to see them. Or maybe you can send me some pictures. I love the pictures of Abby's art and of Benjamin in scouts! He is so TALL! In the picture he looks about the same height as Daddy! Also Daddy's hair is a ton grayer than when I left. And your hair looks like my hair always was before the mission. Abby's art is unbelievable. She is honestly so talented.
We're not doing anything special for Thanksgiving. Thank you for sending me the dressing recipe...but I'm not gonna be able to make it. There are too many of the ingredients that are really hard to find here, and I also have basically zero time to cook. Thursday is our weekly planning day, so we have to plan that day. But we bought a frozen pizza and Hermana Wadsworth wants to make a German pancake/dutch baby just to celebrate in some way. We also planned a family home evening with some less actives where we will talk about gratitude on Wednesday night right before Thanksgiving. We are going to share with each other something we're thankful for every day this week, too. So in some way or another it will be celebrated. :) Today we also got together with all the hermanas in our zone in Hermana Stott's house to celebrate a little bit together. We made pancakes and desserts in the microwave.
This week has been a really tough one. The whole time we have been together with Hermana Wadsworth, we have been searching, not just looking, but seriously searching for someone who is prepared for our message. And it has been hard. We have so many days where we just walk for the entire day, because no one in our plans opens their door, and try to contact people or knock doors. It's just hard to face so much rejection...to us and also to Jesus and God. It is unbelievable to me how many people just don't want God in their lives. We're running low on spiritual energy. My companion is usually really positive and just keeps on keepin' on, but this week I think she kind of reached a rough point. I think the last straw was when we had to drop the only investigator we had who let us visit frequently. She just told me she is struggling with understanding why Heavenly Father sent her here because she feels like she is not able to help anyone. I remember feeling exactly the same way when I was in my training, and listening to people talk about how much they loved the mission and thinking that I would never love the mission because it was so hard. But with time I have learned many things, and although it is still so hard, I have learned to love the mission. I am praying for her that she will have a lot of hope and be happy. I think her family really misses her a lot...she is the oldest of 6 and her next brother is getting ready to leave on his mission sometime in the summer after he graduates from high school. This time of year is just really hard for a missionary. Thanksgiving doesn't exist here, so you just find yourself feeling really homesick and missing your family a lot. I had gotten to where I was so focused on the work that I didn't miss you all as much, but when you're in the street contacting all day, it's hard. I keep having dreams where I can see you guys, but I can't touch you. And then when I wake up I feel sad.
But what we are striving to learn is to search with faith, or "buscar con fe." Faith that Jesus and Heavenly Father really are preparing someone who we can help, someone who we can bless. Because we know what a blessing this message is. And we know that it can bring people joy. And sometimes when you feel like you just can't take one more contact who tells you they aren't interested, you run into somebody who really needs your help. One day this week we found a lady sitting alone outside her home, and she just had this empty look in her eyes. We stopped to talk to her, and found out that she was feeling sad because her brother had recently died. We shared with her a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and about how Jesus knows how she is feeling. I hope that we can visit with her more, because I know that this message can make the difference in her life.
So it's tough. But we are just plowing on, because whether these people know it or not, they need this message. And we have been called to share it.
The Primary program went really well yesterday. We have 9 kids in our Primary, and all of them came dressed up in their Sunday best. They all gave their talks very nicely and sang the songs so well! I think my favorite talk was a little 5-year-old girl who talked about Jesus, and how He is her Savior and she knows that He loves her, and that she loves Him too. It was really touching. Another little girl talked about how love in family means giving hugs and kisses and obeying your parents, your uncles and aunts, and your grandparents. :)
I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that Daddy has a great birthday! I love you all so much! I will be thinking of you this week!
Also some fun words I learned this week in Spanish...
Fanny pack=banano (another word for banana...haha I guess it's descriptive of the shape?)
Hula hoop=ula ula (that one just sounds funny.)
I am so grateful for you all!
Love, Hermana Latham