April 21, 2014

April 14, 2004

Hello everyone!

I feel so rushed during emailing in that I feel there is so much to be said and read.  A lot of things went on this week and it sounds like you all had a busy one too.  That is crazy to hear you got my flight plans.  Around 3:00 then?!  Ahhhh.. It really is weird to think 7 more emailing days, 7 more weeks of being here.  I've mentioned it before, but I'm getting super scared to come home.  I keep having night mares.  Not bad or scary dreams, but just a lot where I wake up exhausted and more drained than anything and where I just want to cry because I don't want it to be like that when I get back.  I understand life goes on for both sides, and I can see now how RM's feel when they get back and how they feel depressed because they don't fit in.  But I know every missionary goes through that and I will get the hang of things.  Probably won't even have a problem with it and am worrying to much I will.  Just keep me busy and going when I get home with fun activities!!!  

This last week we had a lot of days inside.  Sister Allred has been having stomach problems.  We went to the doctors on Friday and they gave her medicine which helps at times.  So it's been nice to have catch up time on studies and getting things more organized.  It's also been nice to get out and teach.  The biggest stresser this week was getting everything set for Jessica's baptism.  Recap of her situation, the missionaries have been teaching her since October.  She has been wanting to get baptized since, but her dad kept saying no.  Well we came along and told her if her mom says yes, then she can get baptized since her mom has custody over her.  We told her of coarse she still needs to tell her dad and get his permission.  Well we got that a couple weeks ago at the BBQ.  He told her she needs to talk to her grandpa though and get his permission.  Thursday night we got everything finalized program wise and gave her the baptism form for her mom to sign when she got home.  Friday the mom still hadn't signed it and wouldn't sign it until Jessica talked to her grandpa.  That whole night the mom wouldn't give Jessica the grandpa's number or let her use the phone.  So it was frustrating Jessica.  Saturday we went over to see if she called him, but she still hadn't but was going to call him before the interview in a couple hours.  When we came over later for the baptism interview, Jessica looked beyond distraught and said her mom won't sign the paper and doesn't want her to get baptized this weekend.  Jessica went and talked to her privately, and all we could hear was the mom going anti on us and trying to persuade her from doing this.  Jessica stood her ground and a few minutes later came out angry but showed us that the paper was signed.  She started doubting everything herself and was confused why all this stuff was happening.  She wondered why if something was so true and good like this church, why does everyone degrade it and talk bad about it and not want me to be apart of it.  We told her that is all Satan.  He knows it's true and wants to keep you and everyone out of it.  The spirit was not there with us in all of our frustration.  She still went through with the interview, and afterwards was beaming and had that spirit back in her countenance.  We pointed that out to her, and she told us she knew this was true and would continue to fight to be baptized.

So that was all Saturday.  We were very nervous the rest of the day in the fear that the mom was super mad at us and would tell her not to do it.  Sunday morning we went over and woke Jessica up and to make sure she was ready for church.  She seemed ready and like nothing was wrong and things were still on.  The talks during Sacrament could not have been any better for Jessica.  I was just so happy and knew these were the talks meant to help her as she becomes a member.  It was the YM's presidency that spoke.  Thomas Clelland (baptized in Jan) talked about his baptism and his journey getting there.  The other speaker talked about the Atonement using an analogy of seminary students and donuts. (you'll have to look the story up.  It's about a seminary boy having to do 10 push ups for his class mates to receive a donut).  The other speaker talked about his baptism at age 16 and how he was the only member in his entire school and family (Pretty much like Jessica!) and how he had to defend his beliefs and rely on Heavenly Father.  It was great!  4:00 finally came and Jessica was baptized!!!!  I talked on the Holy Ghost.  She was baptized and confirmed since we have Stake Conference next week.  The Relief Society room was packed.  I've never seen such a turn out for a baptism like that.  During "half time" when they were changing, we let people bear their testimonies.  Bro Martin got up just balling and told Jessica he sees a lot of himself in her in that he was just like her where his family didn't approve.  Everyone was crying.  So powerful.  Jessica went up and bore her testimony.  And if everyone wasn't crying before, they sure were by the time she was done.  She really is such an incredible girl.  I have learned SO much from her in fighting for what you love.  I don't know how her family is going to accept her now, but to see that she knows that this gospel is true and will do everything in her power to live it, is inspirational.  Everyone kept coming up to me afterwards telling me how blown away they are with how strong she is.  She's a fighter and is going to make an awesome member. :)  So proud of her and so glad everything worked out to where she was finally able to be baptized!!!!  YAY!!!!!!
That of coarse was the highlight of the week.  Oh and guess what?!  Sister Allred and I found out that we're related.  We were watching "Mountain of the Lord" and they showed a guy plowing.  Allred said, "My great great great...grandpa was the first man to plow in Salt Lake".  I looked at her like "You can't lie to me like that.  That's my grandpa.  You can't fool me with that story."  So I said "William Carter?"  And she was shocked I knew.  I told her he's MY great great great...grandpa!  We were both just confused and in awww.  How weird is that?!  All because of Polygamy, we're related.  Ha ha.. jk  She comes from Sophronia and William.  Very interesting.

 Also this week we had a competition with the Zone on how many people we could invite to be baptized.  Our district lost, but it was kind of fun making that our main focus on every contact we made.  I found it very awkward in being so blunt, especially when people were NOT interested in our contact.  But it was still a learning experience for me to remember our purpose as missionaries.

So your one brief recap of this week is:
- We prayed with a Muslim.  Allred gave her a BOM.  The lady was scared to touch it in fear it was the Bible.

Hopefully you all enjoyed the story of Jessica and her journey in her baptism.  It was a great weekend.  Transfers are next week and I'll will be starting my last transfer.  It seems unreal that all the time of wishing for the end, that it's a lot sooner than I'd like now.  I hope I can keep being a missionary in all that I do when I get home.  I hope I don't forget or lose the things I've learned here.  I'm so glad I chose to come out.  If I knew it would be this hard I wouldn't have, so it's a good thing I didn't really understand! Ha ha..  I have loved the things I've learned through all the pain.  Thank you for pushing me with love and keeping me out here.  I can't wait to see you all in 51 days.  I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
- Hermana Sorensen

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