I am now in the library for my first pday in Sioux City, Nebraska! The computers are way slow, so I am getting a bit annoyed. But all is well!
This week WAS so CRAZY! First of all we had an amazing Devotional by Elder Richard G Scott, an Apostle of the Church...I got to sit in the front row! His words strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ and that our Church is the Church of Jesus Christ restored for the last dispensation. I left th MTC bright and early Wednesday morning (4am)...got to the SLC airport. My Mommy was there so I got to see her! That was such a great blessing. She met my travel group and Elder Holman (from my district at MTC). I also got to talk to Jilly and Jon on the phone. I was so happy to hear her voice! Jon gave me few spanish pointers. :) On the plane ride to Arizona, mommy was on my flight! That was by accident...we got to sit by eachother. Very surreal. Elder Holman and I taught Mom the first lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel. She really liked it and we both started crying (because the Spirit was so strong)...talking about how Heavenly FAther has prepared me to find the Gospel and now be a missionary! God is so mysterious, He has His hand in our lives constantly...I have already seen it out on the field..thatll be in a few more paragraphs...Once I hit Arizona and said goodbye to Mommy, I got to see Dad, Heidi and Tommy. Their route to Indiana included a flight from Phoenix to Iowa. I got to sit with Dad on the plane to Iowa and talk about the usual, life, volleyball, mission...He had had dinner with my ASU coach previously so I got to hear about that. Tommy has gotten so big! I am excited for Heidi to have another baby! AH! Once I got to Iowa and said goodbye to the Daddy, Heidi and Tommy I walked to the checked baggage with my travel group and meet my Mission President and his wife for the first time! That was really exciting! They are the nicest people :)
All of us new missionaries stayed one night in the mission home in Des Moines (had meetings and dinner)..Then the next morning was when we got our areas and companion assignment. It was funny because Thursday morning during exercise time I used the treadmill and President Talbot found me and said "I knew that was you." haha. Im intense. But opening the paper with my first area and trainer was like opening my mission call all over again! Drum roll...I am serving in the Sioux City 2nd Ward Spanish with my trainer, Hermana Madsen (she has been out for 13 months and is from Utah). My companion is a very nice Hermana! She is a great example to me on how to be a missionary. We have had successful days thus far...we are both willing to work really hard and follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I am so excited for this area! I went to church for the first time in our ward and the members are so welcoming and friendly. :) Our ward is an english speaking ward with spanish members. We have headsets and translate sacrament meeting and relief society for them...the Gospel classes are in Spanish. I offered to read out loud in Spanish in the Spanish class…good times with my pronunciation. I already love the Spanish culture..they are so loving and love to hear us speak spanish, and help me with words and pronunciation...I can tell they appreciate it when I struggle to speak their language. They like how bubbly I am. I make them laugh. We have eaten at a few Spanish members homes. The Brisenas cooked us authentic mexican food..they dont even speak english..I used a lot of hand motions with them. haha
I feel very comfortable in this area and feel blessed for my companion and the experiences we have had together so far. We have taught many lessons (in Spanish and English) and found new investigaters. The promptings of the Holy Ghost come naturally out here in the field. A few times we have been led to certain houses and people who are ver interested in our message. All of the people we talk to speak spanish but some of them prefer english..so we do teach a bit in english. I really want to work on my spanish so I try to do both with them. I have felt the inspiration of the Spirit while communicating with the people. It is so neat to receive promptings and be able to say them in Spanish without thinking about it! Heavenly Father is involved in this work! It has helped for me to show people my baptism picture of me, Jon and my sister missionaries. They enjoy hearing my conversion story and how I had missionaries teach me and now I am a missionary! Jon’s face is famous in Nebraska now.
We found the Pacheco family a few days ago and taught them the first lesson. They came to church on Sunday (which is so exciting!). I think Heavenly Father has prepared them to receive the Gospel.…as He does a lot of the investigators!
Our preparation day is really intense. We are going to drop off dry cleaning, get lunch, meet a member at Wal-Mart (she likes to get groceries for us!)…which is really nice. Then we will be going home and doing things around the house. Tonight at 6 is our first appointment of the day. We are meeting with the Hernandez family. Then we have another appointment and will go out tracting.
I am so pumped with my new missionary life! My testimony continues to grow as I see people understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This work isn’t easy, but all the hard work and lack of sleep is worth it! Our companion theme is “Faith.” Faith that we can speak Spanish with the help of the Lord, Faith that the investigators will feel the Spirit, Faith that we will bring people unto Christ. Believing is seeing.
I love all of you and hope to hear from you soon! God bless you!