Hello friends and family!
So, whenever we have dinner with a family in the church or talk to anyone, really, we ask them for referrals. We ask them with people they know who could use the gospel. That way, we can find people to teach. It's a big deal. This is what 99% of people say when we ask them:
"Well, let's see. There's one fella who lives on the old Larson Farm.. next to the Siddoway place. Do you know where that is? No? Okay, so you're gonna go south from here, until you see the old green shack with a blue door. It might be hidden in the snow. Turn left there, and go until you pass 3 potato cellars. after that, There'll be a double-wide trailer where the hernandez or torres or something family are living now. It used to be the Parker's property. So you turn left there and go till you reach the high school. Then go east on the caddywompus road off the high school property and go until you go over the railroad tracks. After that, drive for about 4 minutes and ours is the house next to the one with their christmas decor still up."
Every day. It's so hard for me to know where these people live and I would be MORE than happy to go share the good word of God with them. Working on my patience with knowing how to get around up here. It's all very spread out and... quaint?
I LOVE the members, though. They will do ANYTHING to help us, it seems. Always willing to come to lessons with us, always willing to drive us and feed us and give us leftovers to take home. There is one woman who went and bought church clothes and shoes for some girls we know who don't come to church because they don't have anything to wear. They are so sweet. I love working with them and the bishops and the ward mission leaders.
Something else: most of the people we talk to ask us if we've "been to the new Super-Wal*Mart in Rexburg". There was a regular-sized one there, I suppose, but now there's a super walmart and everyone talks about it and asks us if we've been there. We hadn't until last week and we went. It was pretty crowded and about the size of the Walmart on 249. It made me smile to see half the people there with a literal map of the store.
I've been seeing a lot of people I know! When I was going to BYU-I, some of my professors and leaders from my singles ward there are ALL in my stake that I cover! When a member took us to a pizza place in rexburg (home of BYU-I) one night, I saw one of my dear friends from the study abroad I went on and a friend from my stake back home! So fun! Also, turns out one of my bishops from Houston, ALL of his family is all over the place up here. Small world. Small town.
A couple days ago, I felt like I should start reading from the Book of Mormon in spanish. random. That's not something I usually do, but I did. Only about a chapter. And since my spanish isn't super developed, I had the english Book of Mormon next to it, to help with the tricky parts. The next day, I did it again. The next day, I did it again. On THAT particular day, Sister Stein and I were visiting some people in the ward that nobody really seemed to have met, just so we could learn their story, learn if they are interested in the gospel etc.. we knocked on the door of this one house, and a woman opens the door. I introduce myself and my companion as missionaries of The Church of---then she stops me and says "no english. spanish. sorry." Then starts to close the door. Then I'm just like "Espera!" (Wait). she opens it up, and I introduce us again... in spanish. She invites us in. And she and I and her husband talk... in spanish. I ask about her family and how long they've lived there... in spanish. I told them that we have a message about Jesus Christ and about God- about how he loves each of us and is our heavenly Father... in spanish. I told them I don't speak spanish very well, but that if we get their phone number, we could give it to missionaries that speak better spanish than us and they can come and share the message. They agreed. They wanted them to come. They gave me their number, wished us luck, told us goodnight, and we left. IT WAS SO COOL. I haven't spoken in spanish to somebody in a while so I was SO happy that God was helping me out. Because that was not all me. That was the spirit. It was cool.
Something I've learned is that God will bless us with miracles when we're faithful and busy working hard. I've also learned that these miracles and blessings often come when we're at our lowest, when we've been WAITING for a long time for things to get better. Learning how to stay faithful, positive and diligent during these times is the hard part, but the most rewarding and faith-building part. I'm glad for the work, and I'm grateful for all that I've learned. I love hearing from all of you and would like to hear from you. I've been studying a lot about faith, hope and charity. To y'all, what is the difference between faith and hope? How are they complimentary? How do they go hand in hand yet how are they distinguished? Send me your thoughts!
Love you all!
Some of the sisters in our zone. me, Sister Stein, Naitoko, Tauti, Kolo, and Jarvis.
Me being an ice walrus with a huge bank of snow.
Me and sis Stein
Icicles scare me. Frozen knives hanging from buildings