August 26, 2013
I am taking an excerpt from my mission president letter because I don't have much time to email you today.
My trainer's name is sister Jones, she's from Alaska and she is basically amazing. We are super unified and often quote Disney to each other, among other things. She goes home in December and this is her fourth area.
2nd: Katie, there's a couple in our ward who own the most delicious bakery I have ever eaten at. If you come with me if I ever get a chance to visit, I will let you go there.
3d: Carrie, if your friends live in Natchez, Vidalia, Ferriday, Jonesville, or Ridgecrest, then yes we can eat there. If not, no. out of our area.
4th: It's been a crazy week.
5th: Could I maybe convince you to put a care package together for my four-person district? If not, no big deal. if so, :) There's me, Sister Jones, Elder Adkins and Elder Ryan.
6th: Could you look up the cost of a gel bike seat cover? We're all dying here.
7th: Bike is here, not using it right now (borrowing one from a member) because we are doing 14-20 miles a day. Needs some repair, then I will use it.
8th: Yeah, if you wanted to mail my shirts you could. If it's a hassle, don't worry about it.
9th: Weird things you learn on your mission part 2:
The Mississippi casino law is that the casino has to be seaworthy and docked so that it could leave port at a 10-minute notice.
Also how to repair a bike chain/
Now from my letter to President:
It's really interesting that the first letter in my inbox today was the one you sent on attitude, because I really gained a testimony of how attitude can change things in a week this week.
2 weeks ago was really rough for me--I hadn't had to deal with homesickness until that , when one of my best friends got married. Add to that just really learning how to accept rejection made for a big wake-up call of what I had gotten myself into. There were a few times when I had tried to follow the Spirit (I still have a lot of work to do there) and really just ended up fumbling around in the dark and being "confounded by men." I was frustrated with myself and not really cutting myself any slack in doing things right. I think I expected more from myself than was reasonably possible at this point in my mission, since I have only been out for a month. But I see all of these shining examples around me--Sister Jones, Elders Adkins and Ryan, who are just so solid in their teachings, their doctrines, and their testimonies. Then I go and read the letters I get here and a small thought wormed its way into my mind of "how on earth could you ever live up to these people?"
I had to have a really long talk with Heavenly Father last Sunday night before I went to bed, just asking for help and for comfort. I started the Book of Mormon over again this week, since we issued a challenge to the entire ward to read the Book of Mormon again by the end of the year. So I was in 1 Nephi 1:8, and it says in Lehi's vision that there were "angels in the attitude of praising their God." I'm fairly certain that had nothing to do with anything I was experiencing, but the word "attitude" hit me with a ton of bricks. It was my ATTITUDE that needed changing. If I would accept my faults and rely on the Lord, with faith and not with fear, I would be enough for the Lord to work with. So I tried it this week. We worked a lot on finding this week, and every time we got a door closed in our face, somehow I managed not to get discouraged. And it was an AMAZING week. We made huge progress with some of the less-active members we've been seeing, we found a new investigator and got several referrals that I wasn't expecting to get. The Lord strengthened me and I really felt like I was better able to listen to the Spirit in the lessons we were teaching. I'm not saying it would be like this every week, and I don't expect it to. But that attitude adjustment was what I needed to keep moving and not get discouraged.
Love you love you love you!