Monday, May 2, 2016

"Everything really is bigger in Texas, Especially your heart."

 Hermanas Knight and Marble

I have the sweetest companion ever! Earlier this week, she said to me, "Everything really is bigger in Texas, Especially your heart." I love her! It was a bit of a weird week, with a couple of bad days mixed in there in the middle, but it started and ended on a good note, so that's a good sign.

Something funny that happened to start of our week. We were at dinner at the Hovinghoff's and Bro. Hovinghoff is a huge tease. He was being really goofy and weird and then he just got really serious and was like, "So, Sister Texas (my nickname around here), tell me what you want to know." I asked, "What do you mean?" and he said, "Tell me something you would like to know, and I will help you answer it." I was like, "Hmmmmm" for a while. I figured he was just trying to be funny or something, so then I was like, "I'm sorry. I already know everything." Everyone just started cracking up so hard. Bro. Hovinghoff was pretty quiet after that. I thought my dad would be so proud of that response. 

I hurt my hip at p-day about a month ago playing basketball with some elders back in Yakima, and it hasn't gotten any better like I thought it would, so I'm actually going to the doctor tomorrow morning. Wish me luck! Hopefully it's nothing too bad. 

Tuesday we had interviews with President Lewis! It was fun to get to see him and Sis. Lewis. I got kind of used to seeing them all the time in Yakima, so it was nice to not have to wait too long. Sis. Lewis got us super pumped up about writing in journals. She pointed out a few really true things to us about journals and record keeping. She said most people just think they should only write about how they feel or what they think, and only write positive or smooth things, but the truth is, if you don't write about it, it might as well have not happened. Write details! Write about what your routines are, write about what you ate for breakfast, and write about specific experiences. Don't write just about how you feel, write the facts. If you write what happened in detail, your kids and grandkids won't have to be told how you feel, because they will understand just from the events. She also challenged us to write for at least 8 minutes every day. SO far I’ve made it every day, but usually it's more than 8 minutes. Ha ha! on Wednesday at lunch I wrote 5 1/2 pages just about that morning.... maybe I'm putting in too many details!

This week we have been trying a couple of new things that are going really well! The first is nightly companionship feedback. We really like that our companionship is really open and we aren’t' afraid to talk about things, and we want to keep it that way, so we have started talking about specific lessons at the end of the night. What went well, what we did wrong, if there was anything our companion needs to tell us, etc. It's been going really great! Another thing we have been trying is OYMs over the phone. After we organized our Area Book last week, we realized we have a TON of potential investigators (people that other past missionaries have met and that seemed interested, but we never got back to) that have never been contacted! We are looking for new people to teach, so we figured the potentials list would be a good place to start. A lot of them only have phone numbers though, and no address. SO we decided to just call them! We were like, "Hi we are the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is this Chris?" Then they would be like "Um, yeah! Hi, how are you guys?" Then we say something like "We are good! We are actually new in the area and saw on our records that you have met some missionaries before, how was that experience for you?" and then that's when we hit the gold mine. Usually that gets them talking a ton! It's really awesome, and we've ended up with 3 or 4 new investigators this week because of it. There was one lady in particular, her name was Emma. She was so nice and so cool! She said that she really admires everything that we are doing and knows that it must be for a really good reason if we are going to be away from our moms for a year and a half. She was interested in our message, and she said that we can come over any time if we want some free food and a good mom hug. I can't wait to meet her in person tomorrow!

Check out the name of the street!
(Shout out to my Coxes!)

Wednesday was pretty much a huge joke. Oh my goodness! We had ALL of our appointments cancel on us, and then we got lost on the side of a mountain in basically an ATV trail on our way trying to find a member’s house for dinner. It was stressful but pretty funny looking back on it. Then we had a SUPER weird lesson with an investigator. Not sure if we're gonna go back there....

Thursday was pretty good though. We went to help a sister named Larissa. She reminds me so much of Yvonne in Royal City. She is so sweet! But she is moving right now, so she really needed some help going through all of her stuff. It was so cool, because we got to see so much cool old stuff! My favorite thing was seeing her dad's briefcase he carried on his mission in the 1940’s to England! It still had all of his missionary things in it too! SO COOL! My favorite was seeing his super old scriptures and flipping open to my favorite one in 2 Corinthians 4:6-10 and seeing how it is exactly the same. It just reminded me how God is eternal, and his word stands forever, never changing, like such a rock when everything else is so unstable. 
Some other cool experiences this week--we met the Whites, from North Carolina! And the Whites (not related) from Nashville (totally loved talking to them), and we also met a family who gave us 2 dozen eggs and some freshly butchered, home-grown meat! It was at least $100 worth. The people here are so cool and so nice!

A mini-miracle happened with an investigator named Hayley. She and her boyfriend have been having some major financial struggles lately, and seemed really interested in talking to us, until they found out we couldn't give them any money. We tried for two solid weeks to text, call, and stop by their place, but they didn't respond. So we figured they weren't actually interested and dropped them. But then, the other night we saw that we needed to get gas. We went down to Bingen (local town) and started to pull into the gas station we usually go to, but then for some reason we felt like we should go to the other one across the street, even though it was a little more expensive. Then, as soon as we pulled in, HAYLEY comes pulling up right next to us. We got out really quick and were like "Hey Hayley!" She was so surprised to see us but seemed really happy, and then she started crying a little. She said that she has been praying a lot lately that God will give her some direction. She said she just barely got done praying for like an hour and then decided to read a little bit in the Book of Mormon that we gave her, looking for some guidance. She didn't need gas but decided she wanted to go to the station to get a Slurpee, which is pretty out of character for her, and when she was driving there she just felt like God was going to give her a sign. She knew he was going to answer. Then as soon as she pulled up, there we were! How cool and crazy and amazing is that?!

Okay, last but definitely not least, TYLER IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!! WOO HOOOOOO! HIs date is set for this Saturday! We are SO excited. It’s so fun being able to actually be here for this baptism, and to help him plan it, and stuff. He's only 17, so the youth have been really involved the whole process. Even one of the priests in the ward is baptizing him! It's so cool to see everyone coming together for this. The youth here really are amazing. GAH! I'm so excited. Plus on Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I get to Skype with my family! It's going to be a great week! I can already tell :) 

Love you all! 

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