Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 45--Our Biggest Lessons as Missionaries (with a little Spanish thrown in!)

I'm kind of at a loss of how to start this email this week, because it seriously just flew by! I can't believe it's already Monday again! Today has already been a fun day. Yesterday I had a KILLER migraine. I've been getting them more and more lately, which is a little concerning, but hopefully it's just tiredness. But anyway after about 11 hours of sleeping and a rather large dosage of Tylenol this morning, I feel great! Well, almost great, but a whole lot better than yesterday! We also got to go SHOPPING this morning. Like, real shopping. Like adorable and comfy dresses shopping. I got three new dresses and it is SO refreshing. I was getting so tired of my clothes after 10 1/2 months... I'll send some pictures next week of them :) A bit of advice for future sisters- most of us like dresses better than skirts and shirts. It's a LOT easier and we have a very limited time in the morning to have to worry about picking out a skirt and shirt combo that match. So it's good to have a few skirt/shirt combos, but you'll most likely tend to wear your dresses a lot more. It's just so much easier. 

SO this week-

Monday I had a really bad headache. Not to the migraine level of Sunday, but pretty bad. There's a lot of new people in the zone, so hopefully my zombieness wasn't too bad of a first impression. I was so exhausted! 

We've been watering the Fore's garden for them while they're in Alaska for the last two weeks. It was stressful, because it's been like 105! But the plants are still alive and doing okay, so that's good! 
Watering the Garden

Monday night we had to say goodbye to Larissa... She's going to Alaska for two months! I probably won't be here by the time she gets back :(  It's okay though, because at least we can still talk to her on the phone!

Tuesday we went to the Doctrine of Christ. It was SO GOOD. It's a training by President and Sister Lewis all about 2 Nephi chapters 31-33, really in depth. It was even better than last time. (Trainers/trainees go in their 2nd transfer of training) I was pretty tired though, because we had to wake up at 4:45 to get there on time! But fortunately this transfer the meeting was at the mission home in Yakima, so not nearly as long of a drive as last time. We did some roleplays reading the very beginning of the Book of Mormon with someone for the first time. It was cool to go in depth. We found a lot of cool things I had never noticed before! That's one thing I love about the scriptures a lot, is that you can read the same verse 10 times and get something new about it each time! For example, in chapter1 verse 2, Nephi says he's making a record in the learning of the Jews, but in the language of the Egyptians. We read that and then President was like, why don't they write it in Hebrew? That's the language of the Jews? and then we found 3 Nephi 5:8 and Mormon 9:32-34 So cool! 

At Doctrine of Christ Training

Wednesday we took a trip to the doctor. Hermana Hull's weird throat thing happened again!! Every three weeks, almost on the dot, her right tonsil swells up and hurts super bad for about 4 days, and then it gets better. It's happened four times now! The doctors can't figure out what's up. They even did a blood test for mono, but it came back negative. Please keep this in your prayers! It's so weird! 

Waiting at the hospital

 Dreading the blood tests

Ouch! They poked her twice!

Wednesday we also got to have nachos for dinner at the Abkens. I don’t know why I felt the need to share that, but they were delicious. We also had our missionary correlation meeting and our new ward missionary, TYLER came! It was so awesome! He is a GREAT missionary and progressing so much as a recent convert! He got the Priesthood last week and passed the Sacrament yesterday! I was literally crying, it was so beautiful. He's doing a great job of reaching out to Max too, because their stories are so similar. We also are loving our new ward mission leader. He's doing a great job! 

Thursday we had plans to have a lesson with Tyler, and he surprised us by bringing his friend, Raul. We taught him the Restoration, and he actually found it all very interesting! He actually asked if he could have a copy of the Book of Mormon, even before we gave him his. New investigator! finally! We also have a few potentials that look very promising.

Friday we had dinner with the Line family. It was COMIDA MEXICANA REAL! I was so excited. We also had a chance to call the STLs for our weekly Spanish practice, and it was Hermana Luevano's Year mark! WOW! 

Fuimos hablando en que hemos aprendido lo mas/ lo mas grande leccion de nuestro tiempo como missioneras. Ella dijo que ha aprendido lo mas que es posible hacer cosas muy muy duras. Yo he aprendido que esta bien para cambiar. Aun si antes de mi mission, ya me gusta mi mismo, esta bien para todavia cambiar y mejorar no solamente como missionera pero como mi persona. Hna Hull tiene 3 meses ahora, y ella dijo que su leccion lo mas grande es como ser valiente y tener confidencia! Fue un conversasion muy espiritual. 

(We were talking about what we have learned the most and the biggest lesson of our time as missionaries. She said that she has learned that it's possible to do things that are really, really hard! I have learned that it's okay to change. Even if before my mission I already liked myself, it's okay to change and improve, not just as a missionary but as a person. Hermana Hull has three months now, and she said that her biggest lesson has been to be bold and have confidence! It was a very spiritual experience.)

Quiero usar mas espanol en mis correos electronicos :) (I want to use more Spanish in my emails.)

Saturday we went to the Damans for a visit and Loretta surprised us by teaching us how to paint with watercolors. It was fun and good to help her out with a project. We had an awesome conversation about talents that God gave us, and Hermana Hull and I sang " Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy" for her before we left. She was crying. It was a great day! 

 Painting with Loretta!

This is random, but ya’ll should read the article "Love Where I Least Expected It" from August 2016 Ensign. It's really good! We read it to a less active family that we had dinner with on Saturday. They are really sweet, especially the wife, Kendra. She actually does a lot of energy work and physical therapy on horses and people, and was able to help me with my shoulder that was sore. (I think it’s from my bag). It was so crazy she just touched some certain points on my back and shoulder and the pain was gone the next day!

Well, yesterday was an awesome day at church. Like I said, Tyler passed the Sacrament, and I had tears rolling down my cheeks! They grow up so fast. ;) Also, we cried in RS because we were talking about nurturing and how to nurture others, then we talked about our safe place, and everyone started talking about their moms! That one sure got us as missionaries! I love and miss you, Mom! After church my headache started getting a lot worse! I barely made it through dinner! I got really nauseous too, because the pain was so bad, so it's really good it was CHORIZO (aka my favorite food ever besides fried pickles) or I probably wouldn't have been able to eat! Fortunately, I'm feeling better now though. Thank goodness for Tylenol! 

I think that's about it. I love you all!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 44--Listening to Christmas Music and Trying to Pretend it's Not 105 Outside...

 A fun way to end language study is translating our favorite songs.
(Anyone know this one?)

Well this week we found out what happens when you fast for two days (and only have member dinners in between) all your food starts to rot... More on that later. 

P-day this week was pretty good and went by a lot faster with a third companion. We said goodbye and hello to a lot of people this week! Hermana Hull and I are the only companionship that stayed the same in the whole zone! Monday night we did Spanish work in Hood River, and holy cow it made me so homesick for Spanish work! We don't get a ton of it here in White Salmon I'd say it's like 70% English work and 30% Spanish. I've been praying all week to find some more Hispanic people to teach! Then on Saturday at our member dinner, the Maddens told us a couple of Hispanic families just moved in next-door and they don't speak a lick of English! Miracle! 

Tuesday night we went to a Noche de Hogar for the Spanish group, it was so fun, and I loved getting to use my Spanish more. We had a birthday party for Sergio, including a peanut butter cake! Hermana Andrews said it was really good. 

Wednesday morning we went to the Hood River building pretty early to meet the greenies! Hermana Andrew's new trainee is Hermana Young, from San Diego, she's so cute! And Elder Vejnar got Elder Hamblin, I don't really know anything about him yet, but hopefully today in P-day I can meet him some more. 

Some members of our ward left to go to Alaska for a couple of weeks, so we are watering their garden for them while they are gone. It's nice because we have extra service opportunities, and they said we should eat the veggies when they are ready because they won't last until they get home. But I'm also nervous they will die!! I'm a bit of a black thumb sometimes! Plus it's been in the 100-109 range all week, so we don't want them to get cooked!

Wednesday night we did family history with Tyler. He loved it! I was so excited to get to share something I'm so passionate about. I love all the aspects of the Gospel, but we don't get to actually do family history with people all that often. It was fun. The ladies at the family history center showed us a few really cool features on Family Search that I never knew about, PLUS I found out I'm actually related to Elvis. So that was great news! Tyler is so excited to go to the temple soon to do some baptisms.  Then we had dinner with Sister Carkhuff, she's a lot like Hermana Hull’s mom, which was weird but cool for Hermana Hull. She is super into natural stuff and healing and meditation, and has an incredible conversion story.

I'm related to Elvis, Walt Disney, Emily Dickinson, and 
Amelia fun!

Thursday we went to Larissa's for lunch and to help her pack/prepare for her trip to Alaska for TWO MONTHS. I most likely won't be here when she gets back, so tonight we have to go over and say goodbye to her :( Last night I was just thinking about how long I've been here! It's really been a LONG time! And I still have 5 more weeks. Wow.

Thursday we had an exciting lesson with Max and our new ward mission leaders, Brother and Sister Madden (THEY ARE AWESOME BY THE WAY!) We had gone to the Madden’s earlier for just for a couple of minutes to ask a question and get their phone number (they aren't on the ward directory yet, because they just got back from a mission in Sweden) and ended up being there for a while talking, and so many of our prayers were answered! It turns out their family is just like the Hulls--one biological son and then two adopted kids, a daughter and son. It was so reassuring and comforting for Hermana Hull, especially, to get to talk to them about their family and their life. Just to know that someone gets you! It was so cool.

Friday was a weird day. Weekly planning went well, but we just felt off the whole time. It was like we felt something coming on. Also, it was a little overwhelming realizing that we only have two investigators right now, only one is actually progressing a lot, and he was going to get baptized this next week. It kind of felt like, now what? Then, right as we were going into the Halls' for dinner at 5 that evening, we got four text messages from Max (the one who was getting baptized on 8/27), and he said he needs to postpone his baptism until a little later when he can fix some things. His wife had started freaking out and feeling really uncomfortable with the Church again. I was a little bit annoyed and disappointed, but mostly confused, because we have invested a lot of time and energy into Jane (his wife) over the last few weeks. We did everything possible to make her life easier, help her make good friends, and teach her about the Gospel, as well, so that she will understand what Max believes. I was kind of in shock the rest of the night and had no clue what to do or say. 

Saturday we decided to fast about it to know what to do.  After some awesome lessons with less-active members (we shared the Character of Christ with them—my favorite talk!) we went to visit Jane and see what we could do to help/understand better/resolve concerns. It went really well, but afterwards we went to visit Max (they were both working at the time at their separate businesses, so we couldn't meet with them together,) and we realized how much miscommunication is going on between them right now. What they say about each other, and to each other is totally different than what we see or hear. We were starting to feel like we were getting too much in the middle of things so we needed to back out. We had texted the bishop the night before and he had gone over to talk to them right away on Friday night (since we were going into a member dinner an hour away,) and then on Sunday we also had a Zone fast with us 16 missionaries in the zone to know what to do. It's so cool how missionaries come together and support each other! 

Saturday night we went to the Madden's for dinner and they made PULLED PORK!! Like, REAL pulled pork! He has a Traeger smoker and everything! We pulled in the driveway just as he was taking the pork off the smoker, and I seriously wanted to cry (Hermana Hull did cry.) We miss our barbecue!! It was amazing and SO delicious.

Pulled Pork!!!

Then on Sunday, amid our second day of fasting (with the amazing dinner break in between), the Stake President showed up at church in our ward! We weren't expecting him. He actually asked us if he could go to meet Max with us after church. (Max was working.) It was pretty crazy, because I've never had a Stake President as a member present before. But we were like, “Of course!”

We visited Max and President asked him a lot of really good questions and gave some definitely needed and inspired advice. We came to the conclusion based on what everyone there said, and from feelings of the Holy Spirit that the best thing to do is to postpone the baptism for now. The church is all about families! The family is the center of Heavenly Father’s whole plan for us. We didn't want to drive a wedge between Max and Jane.

We do have some awesome news, though…Yesterday Tyler received the Priesthood, and a calling to be a ward missionary!!! We were BEAMING. I actually got really choked up, it's amazing to see the incredible progress he has made! The ward is so great and gives so much support and encouragement. Maria's son, Leroy also received the priesthood yesterday. That family has made SO much progress over the last two months. I was thinking about how they were my first transfer here, and now how they are now, and it's hard to believe they are the same people. The Gospel truly changes lives, and I'm so happy to be Heavenly Father's messenger and bring that Gospel to more people. 

My favorite scripture this week: Doctrine & Covenants Section 75. I randomly flipped to it on Friday night when I didn't know what to do, and it's so good. 

I love and miss you all SO MUCH. 

10 Months, What the heck?!

She's Cinderella; I'm the ugly step-sister...ha ha!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 43--Transfer News! Six Months in White Salmon!

Look what Hermana Hull got in the mail! It's so beautiful!

We got our transfer calls Saturday night and we're both staying! That means I will be here for at least six months! WOW. That's a third of my mission. I can't believe how lucky I am to get to serve in this awesome ward for so long. It's going to be so hard to say goodbye! It actually feels a little like a death sentence, because it's extremely rare that someone ever stays in an area more than three transfers and pretty much zero chance of staying 5. I better make the next six weeks count! 

The best news of the week:
Tyler got baptized! It was awesome! We are so proud of him for finally making this decision. It was a great service. Every active family in the ward was represented! We had people sitting out in the hall because there wasn't enough room! It was so cool and so sweet to see the support of the members here these days. I was just thinking the other day about how it was when I first got here 4 months ago, and how much of a culture change there has been in the White Salmon ward. I'm so proud of everyone for all the hard work they are doing. Also, Tyler's parents, sister, and grandma came! It was actually a pretty big deal because they haven't been the most supportive or comfortable with all of this. They asked a lot of really good questions, and our member missionaries were on it! The members had a great time getting to have missionary experiences, I could tell!

 Tyler's baptism!

Sis. Hull and I got to sing a musical number at the baptism. We sang "Brightly Beams our Father's mercy". Ever since we sang at Romero's baptism, it's spread like wildfire that we love to sing and we keep getting asked to do musical numbers all over the place! District meeting, zone meeting, baptisms, sacrament meeting. It's really fun and so special to have a companion who is such a good singer! She's amazing. 

Wednesday and Thursday were both fun days because we got to have a Mini- Missionary working with us, her name is Britney. She is so sweet! She is actually in the Dalles 1st ward, but she came and stayed with us for 2 days to experience what real missionary life is like. It was great, except of course no one was home when they were supposed to be. Ha ha! We were like, "We promise this usually doesn't happen! It's just because you're here watching us!" The first day was a little overwhelming for me because, as a trainer I already feel like everything I do (especially my mistakes) are under a magnifying glass! So it felt doubly strong there for the first half of the first day or so, but soon I got over it and remembered I'm not perfect and I'm not supposed to be.

On Thursday night before she left she thanked us for helping her to see that missionary life can be fun too, it made 18 months seem not so long and scary anymore. She said she wishes she could go on a mission tomorrow! 

Us and our mini-missionary, Britney

We had a phone lesson this week. Those don't happen too often, because we usually prefer to talk to people face-to -face. But on Thursday we had 30 extra minutes pop up all of the sudden, and had a strong feeling to call one of our former investigators, Lisa. She lives like 45 minutes away, so we had to call instead of stop by. It ended up being perfect, because she's 77 and her husband passed away last year. She said when we called that she had been just sitting there missing her husband and feeling lonely and wishing she had someone to talk to. INSPIRED. We talked a lot about the Plan of Happiness and what happens after we die. Families can be together forever!

Max and Jane are doing well this week! Jane's warehouse is finally all finished and put together. It looks so cute! It's really satisfying walking in there and knowing that we helped! Also, Max had his baptismal interview yesterday and passed!! Things are lining up for them. Max is so smart! Lately for our lessons, since he already knows all the material, but we have to go over the lessons to make sure he understands everything, he's been actually teaching us! It always just ends up that way. He is so prepared and thinking so deeply about his baptism. It's cool to watch his testimony grow as he gets closer to this important step! I'm so glad I'm staying and get to watch him get baptized. It's been a looong road with this one!

Jane's "woman cave" is finished!

The other day we went over to see Jane for a bit to introduce her to another lady from church (she's been wanting to make some more friends in White Salmon since she's still kind of new here,) and they hit it off right away! It was awesome, and then a mini-miracle happened. We've never mentioned going to church to Jane yet, because in the past, we've pushed her too much and freaked her out a little, so we're taking it slow and gentle and she brought it up herself! She said, "I can't go to church this week, but I'm thinking I'll probably go next week" WHAT? Cool! We were so happy to see that just the fact that she will have friends there is already helping her feel more comfortable. Again, I'm so grateful for the members here!

Thursday night we had a RS activity about health and fitness that was really fun. We did some exercising and had smoothies! A member offered to give us massages any time we need them for free because she knows how important backs are to missionaries, ha ha! It was pretty funny to see all the women's faces when we walked in in sweats, too. Missionaries own sweats?!

Yesterday Hna. Palsson went home, so now Hna. Andrews is with us until Wednesday when her GREENIE gets here. We are so excited for her. She'll be a great "mom"! It's fun being in a trio, and nice to finally touch base about a few of our shared less-active members (we work in the same Spanish group). Last night we all went over to visit a sister at church and see how she is doing. She had been having a lot of back pain for years and finally the doctors did an ultrasound and found a huge tumor in her uterus! It was pressing against her lower back and making her back hurt, and her legs and feet go numb at times. She just had a hysterectomy about 10 days ago, and when they took the tumor out it was 5 lbs! Wow! She is doing so great though, so we are so happy. And so glad the tumor wasn't cancerous.

It's been a good week!

 The Goodriches got new puppies!

 My comp is so adorable!

Comp unity!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Week 42--Tyler is Getting Baptized!

I can't believe I get to live here!

On Monday we went on a hike as a zone. It was pretty good, but a little stressful because we had a time crunch to get home a little early! After P-day we had a really good lesson with a less active family in the ward. I'm learning so much from Hermana Hull about loving people! 


Tuesday was fun because we got to paint! Our investigator, Jane, has a business and is renting a store downtown to have a warehouse/office. She's run out of room in her house for all of her inventory! We are painting and decorating it really cute! It's still in the process right now, but I can't wait to send pictures of the final product. It was great to spend some quality time with her and get to know her better. She's really amazing. Her life story is so crazy, and it's truly a miracle the things she has overcome! We went back on Thursday to help paint some more and ended up just sitting on her little couches for the last 30 minutes or so and having a lesson. I feel like I learned way more from her than we could ever teach her, though! She is a very gratitude-centered person. She was homeless, abandoned, starving, and literally had to live in a tree for a while. But she just accepted it and found a way to find joy in whatever circumstances she is in. She said even just the sun on your face and the beauty of nature was something for her to pray and say thanks for. Wow. I can't wait till we come back here after my mission so my loved ones can meet her.


Wednesday a miracle happened! We were set to have another lesson with Tyler. He was on-date for baptism back on May 7, but he randomly dropped us at the last second and was really fearful. He had a lot of concerns, but he couldn't tell us what they were. We knew the fact that he was meeting with us again was not something to be taken lightly, so we prayed and felt like we should bring Mama Abken with us. She converted in her early twenties, so we thought it would be a good fit, since Tyler is 18. It was like MAGIC. It was like Mama had this little hammer and just tapped it on the right spot, and suddenly he shattered open. All the concerns and fears just came flooding out! We were able to turn to the scriptures and resolve every last one of them! Then, Hermana Hull turned to me and asked, "Should I do it?" I said, "Go for it!" She said "Tyler... Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the authority of God.... on September 3rd?" He started cracking up. "What? You already had a date picked out? You just knew I was going to say yes, didn't you?!" I said, "Does that mean yes?" He said, "Yes" with the biggest smile ever! Then he asked if we could do it sooner! We said of course he could, and long story short, now he's getting baptized on Friday!!! WOO HOO

Friday was awesome, because we said goodbye to weekly stressing! The mission is shifting our focus with weekly planning (I used to refer to it as weekly stressing). We used to have a Washington Yakima Mission checklist of how to do it. Now we are ripping those papers into shreds (very satisfying) and going back to the root--Preach my Gospel. It felt so good! I have never liked this kind of planning and always wondered why we did it that way, so I am SO HAPPY. It was a truly beautiful experience being able to just take the time to have a spiritual, inspirational, and revelatory experience. We fell in love with our area! Instead of focusing on numbers, standards, or lessons, we focused on individual people, and it was just... beautiful I can't even explain it. 

Saturday night we had an awesome lesson with a less active member, Maria (Romero’s girlfriend), although she's gone to church for 4 weeks in a row now, so pretty soon it will turn into Active Member lessons! She has SUCH a strong testimony, too. I feel like the visit with Maria and Jane both were more for me than they were for them! I received a lot of answers to my personal prayers and concerns, it's so cool when those come from other people! Maria has started reading the Book of Mormon and loves it. It's so cute to see how excited she is, and such a testimony of the joy we have when we read the scriptures. 

Sunday was Testimony Meeting and I loved it. The Spirit is always so strong. And Tyler was there. Everyone was like, "We missed you!" He said, "It's good to be back." ITS GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK, TYLER! 

I love you and miss you all. 

 Hna. Hull (A.K.A. "Hna. HULK")
loves morning exercise time!

I made enchiladas! Hna. H loved them!

Zone picture

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 41--La Semana Mejor de Todo mi Mission

(The Best Week of my Mission)

To quote a fellow sister missionary: "90% of the time being a missionary totally sucks. It’s hard; it’s sad; it’s homesickness; it’s blood, sweat, and tears, and you just want to go home. But 10% is absolute, pure, unadulterated JOY. That 10% makes everything else worth it."


Monday after P-day we went to a less-active member’s house and had one of the most spiritual lessons ever. She finally opened up to us about why she isn't active in the church right now. It was a very powerful feeling to think that she would have enough confidence in us to share something so personal. After that, we had planned to have a lesson with Max, who is scheduled for baptism, and his wife, Jane. Sister Taylor came along as well. (We love having members there!) Unfortunately, Jane is still feeling a little upset about all of this. She wants to be involved in the lessons, but she is just so busy and is feeling left out. She also didn't understand why Max felt the need to be baptized into another Christian church, even though he was already baptized once as a kid. He was trying to explain things to her about what he has been learning but asked for our help. He asked us if we could just make a really simple, basic list of what makes Mormons different. He asked for it to be really simple so he wouldn't have to go further into explaining it. It was kind of hard but we did it with the help of our awesome Sister Taylor.

Tuesday we had interviews with President Lewis. It was really great. I was glad to have a chance to talk to him one-on-one about some things for a little bit. I'm so grateful for the awesome support he and Sister Lewis are to us! The Hood River hermanas were scheduled to have their interviews after Hermana Hull and I finished, so they were waiting out in the foyer of the church building. Suddenly, during the middle of Hermana H's interview with Sister Lewis, Sister Lewis’s phone started blowing up! Text after text after text... she was like what is going on? So she looked at the phone and it was the Hood river hermanas texting Help Help Help Help Help HELP over and over and over to get her attention. Then they said "Come out to the foyer! Help!" So Sister Lewis and Hermana H went out there to find that a homeless man had wandered into the church building and came over and sat by Sister Palsson and was saying weird creepy gibberish! It was pretty funny when President Lewis and I came out of my interview, and they were all like, "Keep the doors locked whatever you do!!" 

Texas sisters! Hna. Palsson from Prosper, Hna. Hull and 
Hna. Harston from Austin, and Hna. Knight from Rockwall

After interviews we headed back over to White Salmon and picked up Hermanas Luevano and Harston for exchanges!! It was SO FUN. I GOT TO BE COMPANIONS WITH MY “MOM” AGAIN. I absolutely LOVED working with Hermana L again for a day. I love her so much! It was cool to see all the progress and growth we have both experienced in the last 5 months. It was also really good to listen very closely to her Spanish accent and be able to apply things to my Spanish and improve again! I hope I can have another native companion in the future.

 Hermanas Knight and Luevano

 Hermanas Hull and Harston

Wednesday we actually had the chance to visit with Tyler. It was equally amazing, terrifying, and weird! We were so happy when he met up with us, but it was a little sad to be honest. It was really hard on Hermana M and I when his baptism fell through at the last minute a couple of months ago. It really made us feel kind of like failures. Constantly we would look at ourselves and our teaching skills and his lessons and say, "Where did we go wrong? What happened? I wish there was something we could do to help him!" Seeing him again brought a few of those feelings and questions back, but fortunately my companion Hermana Hull was ON IT. She was so bold and loving and just amazing in that lesson. She's already an amazing missionary. I can't wait to see what she will become in the future!

Thursday we had a chance to teach the Merrills (Max and Jane) again with the bishop's wife, Sister Goodrich. It was a great lesson with a lot of spirit and a lot of great questions. Jane really appreciated the 10 things sheet that we had made for her. (I’ll send a pic), and she said it helped her understand a little bit more. She still had some questions and concerns, and we could feel a tension there, but we are praying hard that things will get better.

Friday we stopped by to see the Damans, a sweet older couple in the ward. Sister Daman had a stroke almost a year ago, but has been doing really well the last few months. On Tuesday Hermana Luevano and I had visited them and Sister Daman was doing really, really poorly. We were really worried about her, but then on Friday when we went she was back to her normal self! It was a miracle, truly. Friday also included a visit to the doctor, because my companion has been really sick! She has had a sore throat and a swollen tonsil for about a week and a half, so the mission nurse said to go to the doctor. After, we went to Hood River to pick up her meds and go home a little early so she could sleep. The good news is now she's doing a lot better! It was just an intense reaction to allergens in the air. Adjusting to a new climate is no fun!

Friday I also had the opportunity to read a really cool talk by Elder Bednar that Hermana Luevano had given to me on exchanges. It's called "The Answer is the Doctrine" and it's SO GOOD. It's all about how the true doctrine of the Lord's church, is not the deep stuff that people think it is, it's simple, fundamental, and foundational. It's the basic simple things that the lord taught that are essential for salvation. I loved that definition! He also talked a lot about the difference between Doctrine (why), Principles (what), and Application (how). You should read it when you have the chance!

Saturday was the first of two days of amazing miracles! ROMERO got baptized!!! Woo hoo! 

We also took the opportunity to use our extra miles from the end of the month to drive out to Trout Lake again and try for the last time to contact a referral, the Shelby family. We got a little frustrated and discouraged when we couldn't find the address and the phone number didn't work. But we wanted to make the best of it, because it’s about 80 miles and takes at least two hours round trip to go out there. So we decided to say a prayer of what we should do. Hermana Hull had the idea that we should stop at this RV resort we saw just outside of town and ask them if they knew where this address was, so we did that. It took 20 minutes, and they said that address doesn't exist. Then we decided to call another referral and see if we could visit her. She lives in Glenwood, which is close to Trout Lake. That took another 10 minutes or so, and then I had the thought that we should just pick a random less active member that lives in Trout Lake and visit them. We looked at our ward directory and chose a family. It took us a little bit to figure out their address (GPS doesn’t work very well up in the mountains of Trout Lake), but we found it and went to their house. We knocked on the door and they let us right in! They were super excited to see sister missionaries. We didn't know anything about them, we just poured love into them and even sang a few hymns for them. We had told them that our investigator, Romero was getting baptized that night and that we were doing a musical number, and they asked if we would practice it for them. We sang "Jehova Mi Pastor Es," and by the end they were both crying and asked if we would do it again so they could record it on their phone and watch it over and over and over again! Then they asked if we know “I Stand All Amazed.” So we sang that one and they recorded it, too. They were hugging and crying and said that was their favorite song and it got them through hard times in their life together. The Spirit was SO STRONG.

Then day two of miracles--Sunday. We were sitting in church, and all the sudden Hermana Hull started getting choked up. She said, "THEY ARE HERE!" I looked over to see the family from Trout Lake walk into the chapel and the bishop was in shock on the stage. After the meeting was over, he pulled us to the side and asked, "Hermanas! How did you do it? They haven't been to church in over five years and they won't let anyone in when we try to visit." WOW. WE HAD NO IDEA. WE JUST PICKED A RANDOM FAMILY!

Another really cool thing was that we got to teach the 5th Sunday combined lesson! We shared all about member missionary work and easy ways that we can work together in this missionary work. We shared some clips from "The Missionary Next Door" by Diana Hoelscher, and then we were talking to them about things like how tracting and knocking on doors is extremely ineffective and annoying to people. Then, our investigator, Max, raised his hand to make a comment. "Sister Knight, I was just wondering, how did you and Sister Marble find me? Were you just knocking on doors walking up the street?" and I said, "No, actually a member suggested that we go to your house," and he was like, "See guys! There you go!" Then he bore his testimony about the things he had been learning. My favorite part, "My sister missionaries come over and teach me all about the Church and Jesus and you can just tell that their whole entire life is made up of faith. It's in every part of their DNA. They live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  Obviously we started getting emotional again!

Then last night we ended the week with an awesome lesson with Maria and Romero and their family. (They are dating right now) we started off by asking how Romero's confirmation went and talking about the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then we were talking about the importance of our families. We ended up sharing really funny stories about our childhoods (I talked about when I almost killed my baby sister, Libbie with my tights!) it was great and a lot of laughs.

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. The 10%makes it all worth it!                                                             
 Mt. Hood in the distance

        More beautiful scenery