Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 53--1 Ano Como Misionera!

Friday officially marked the completion of my first year as a missionary! Wow. I would say it flew by, but this week I actually had a lot of experiences with people from the past in my mission that made me realize how actually long it's been and how much I have learned and grown. 

Interviews! Hermana Shewell, Me, Sister Carroll, Sister Lewis (in the back), 
Sister Grigg, Sister Goodrich, Sister Atkinson

Not much to report about the beginning of the week, so I'll just skip to the good stuff. I don't have a ton of time to write today, there's been a lot more personal emailing than usual! Life is crazy. 

We got to finally meet/visit with the Relief Society president on Thursday after our district Council, and she ended up giving us 7 referrals! All Spanish! Wow! It was so cool. Counting those and the others we got this week (two last night that we are SUPER excited about) we ended our week last night with 11 referrals to contact this week! I love working with the members, it's the only way to actually get stuff done, in my opinion!

We also went to the doctor on Thursday, well, kind of. One of the members in the 3rd ward is a doctor, and he actually said we can come to his house and he will examine us there for free when we need it. SO nice! I've been having this whooshing sound in my right ear for about 10 months now (since I was in Royal) and it is driving me crazy! It's like being able to hear my heart beat in my ear! I have been talking with the mission nurse for a while about it and after trying all the things she could think of to fix it, I finally went to see the doctor. He said there are these little bones in our skulls by our temples, our jaws, and on the back of our neck that are supposed to sort of move, or wiggle, etc. and apparently the ones on the right side of my skull are not, so it's causing a lot of pressure to build up. He said it happens because of stress, which makes a lot of sense. He did "cranial manipulation" on me and the whooshing actually went away for like 2 days, but now it's back :( I'll have to go back and see what we can do. 

Friday we had interviews with President and Sister Lewis! It was so nice to have some quality time with each one of them. I have so much going on right now and had a lot to talk about! Usually interviews only last about 20ish minutes, but mine were like an hour this time! It's so nice to have them to fall back on and be able to depend on. 

First I was with Sister Lewis and with Thanksgiving coming up, she asked about the top 3 things I am grateful for. It was pretty hard to decide! 

1- Animals because they show us what unconditional love is.

2- Being a big sister, because it helps me understand just a little bit of how our heavenly father feels about each of us. Every time I have the temptation to not like someone or judge them, I try to look at them as if they were one of my little sisters,and I am filled with love for that person. If that can happen just by being their sister, how much more powerful must the love be of both earthly parents, and our perfect parent in Heaven?

3- I'm grateful for Christ's example to me of turning outward, especially in the middle of terrible trials. It helps me to choose happiness.

Something REALLY cool happened right after interviews, too! I came out from talking with President Lewis, and there was a guy in the other room chatting with Hermana Shewell, Sister Lewis, and the elders (they were next after us,) and he had a Royal City High School sweatshirt on! Usually I use code names for almost everyone in these emails/blogs, but for this one I can't. I saw his sweatshirt and just automatically grinned ear to ear " Are you from Royal?!" he said yes. I told him I was "born" there (on my mission, ha ha) and he said his name is Tyson Allred. His sister is Andrea Fielding, who is the wife of Spencer Fielding, the president of the Spanish branch there in Royal. (are you still following? it gets better!) so then I was like, "Hey that's so cool! I actually have known Spencer's brother, Jeremy Fielding and his family for most of my life, they are in my home ward!" AND THEN he was like, "Oh so you're from Rockwall?" and I said, "Yeah, you actually know Rockwall?" (usually I have to just say Dallas) and he was like, "Yeah I served my mission there!!" NO WAY. THAT IS SO COOL. WE TOTALLY TRADED PLACES.  WOW. Ha ha, it was so cool! BUT WAIT there's more! He was like "We have a present for you!" So idk if you remember, but Katie Christensen (one of my fave people in the whole world)'s parents live next door to the Lewis's in Orem, so her and Sis. Lewis are friends. SO SHE SENT A PRESENT FOR ME WITH SISTER LEWIS. It was so sweet and thoughtful! She sent me a Royal High sweatshirt just like the one Tyson was wearing. it's the new spirit wear for this school year! and she sent a sweet note as well. It was sweet and made me feel so loved! My people in Royal still remember me! <3 <3 <3 
Me and Tyson Allred! 

My sweatshirt from Katie!
Thanks Katie!

Then on Saturday we went to a conferencia cultural Hispanica in Selah. It was SO FUN. I got to see HERMANA LUEVANO (I love her so so so so so soooooo much) and also, nearly all the members of the Englewood spanish branch where I served in Yakima! They all remembered me, too! It was so amazing. Hna .luevano and i got to catch up a bit after she PERFORMED A DANCE, adn I got to see Antonia and Jaime, and Mama Brenda! When she saw me she said "Oh! MIJA! LE EXTRANO!" and then she started to cry a little. It was so sweet. People from yakima loving and remembering me, as well as people from Royal sending me presents and being excited when they saw me at the temple last week has just been so reassuring and comforting this week. Sometimes it feels like a mission is just constantly saying goodbye to people. Then you wonder and worry if they'll actually remember you and if you've left an impression on their heart. It made me realize I actually did! And that these goodbyes are all just temporary and that I'm really just expanding my family <3

 Hna. Luevano and Hna. Pons before their performance!

 Some silly dancers, including the Branch President

Me and Mama Brenda. So cute!

Me and Antonia. She is literally SO pretty!

Yesterday was the primary program at church (I got choked up, those kids are so so so cute) and there was this super cute family that got up and did a special musical number "Jesus once was a little child" the mom was at the piano, and the dad and son were doing a violin duet. It was so cute and brought the spirit so strongly. #familygoals. THen our lesson in RS was really awesome! It was all based on Elder Oaks' conference talk a few weeks ago about sharing the gospel. The spirit was so strong and it was one of the main things that helped us to recieve so many referrals just yesterday! Then we had dinner with the Hana's and they gave me some mini scriptures, like the one's I've been wanting! (less weight to carry around) it was so nice of them! 

My favorite song this week is "More Holiness Give Me" from the CD "nearer: a new collection of Hymns" the singer's name is Debra I can't remember her last name, but It's really good! 

I love and miss you all! 

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