It is so good to hear from you! I love hearing how things are going with all of you. I only have a few minutes today to email. We got to the computers late and someone is signed up after us. I have to say this week has been a "hoot and a half" as Sara would say:)
We had exchanges this week. The first day I went with Sister Kennington to her area, El Cajon. We did service for an older lady who is curious about Mormons. She had us wash all the baseboards and doors and frames in the upstairs. I never thought I would miss cleaning while on the mission, but I have to say having a bucket and rag washing the doors brought back good memories of Saturday chores with mom and Sara! (Mom, do you remember when you tried to get Aara to want to do chores and so we played that "Rats" game and whoever won got to pick the job they wanted to do?)
The hard part was that this woman chain smoked so bad — not even kidding! I felt like I was getting lung cancer just breathing in there! By the time we left, we smelled SO bad! We had to take off our layers and sweaters so that other people we met that day wouldn't think that Mormons Smoke! It was pretty funny.
The next day, I had exchanges with Sister Kearsley. I was in El Cajon again. We had a dinner at a member's house — cream of carrot soup and stuffed green peppers (yep mom and dad, I can see you laughing right now: you know how picky I am!). Well, thank goodness for Finland's not so delicious Mammy and nasty fish stuff, that broke me in. I ate it with flying colors and a smile on my face. One thing I hate about being a missionary is everyone feeds you SOOOOO much! If they have to roll me off the plane when I get home, I am NOT going to be a happy camper! (Don't worry mom, I am eating my vegetables!)
The week doesn't stop there. Just yesterday, we were walking back to our car after an appointment and there were two men in the garage. I said hello to them, but they had a big mean dog and it looked like they had been drinking, so I kept walking. Sister Nelson decided to walk up to them and try to give them a Mormon Battalion card and a mormon.org card, even while the dog was barking and showing its teeth at us! You know my luck, the dog starts chasing after me! I squealed like a little girl! I said the fastest prayer I have ever said in my life and fortunately, the dog stopped before it got me, but you can imagine I was not very happy with my companero!
I have learned the difference between Elders and Sisters- When Elders see a dog with fangs, a mean bark and drool hanging from its mouth, they run! When sisters see a dog- they try to give handouts?!?!?
On a spiritual note, I have been thinking a lot about my mission call. I have shared with some of you that I have always felt like I promised Heavenly Father that I would serve a mission, and being here I know I am keeping my promise. I was reading my patriarchal blessing yesterday, and it stuck out to me that one of the promises I have made is to gather Israel, to share the Gospel with all the world. My patriarchal blessing says that I will have the opportunity to bear testimony to many people, people of other lands.
I have been pondering that this week. In the past two months I have been able to bear my testimony to people from England, China, Germany, Spain, Austria, France, Switzerland, Mexico, Australia and many other places around the world. What an amazing opportunity this has been for me. I want you all to know the testimony I have that we are all God's children. I see all kinds of people here in San Diego — so many with different circumstances and outlooks on life.
Many of them don't even know who they are. I do. You and they are sons and daughters of a King! You are Royal. You are worth something. God loves you and He numbers you individually. I know He cares. I have seen His hand in my life and the lives of others every single day. This is God's work. He has restored his Gospel on the earth today. The hail, the storms, the shafts in the whirlwhind cannot change the Truth. Satan can try as he might, but he will not win. Lies, tricks, and deceivings never win in the end. The truth will conquer —He lives! I know He lives!
I love you all so much. Please don't hold back — don't you dare hold back what you know! God's children are looking for something and they don't know where to find it. It is in each of you. You have the light of Christ. You have a testimony. You matter in God's plan! He needs you! You are his missionaries whether you have a black name tag or not — you have been called to this earth at this time for a specific reason. What trust He has in each of you!
Go out and do good in this world like I know you are already doing. I love hearing how you are all doing. Thank you so much for loving me!
Sara: I LOVED the pictures of the glasses- You are STYLIN! and the snuggie is pretty awesome too. I am so excited to hear you like clinicals! I am going to have to hand write you a note to answer your questions because I am low on time, but know you have a letter coming!
Nick and Juli: So where did you move to? I need your address! I love you all, please tell the girlies hello for me! Thank you both so much for writing me, it means so much!
Chris and Hannah: Brother, I am due for another letter. It has been three months, wasn't that our deal?! How are things going for you? Hannah, I hope you are doing well, sure do love you both!
Mom and Dad: Thanks for the updates. I laughed out loud when I heard both of you were using the sound dictation system at the same time in different rooms of the house to write to me! Thanks for the BYU update. WOW! I am SOOOOO glad the Central Florida game was so good! Keep me updated please!
Uncle David: I don't know if you read these blogs, but I was thinking about you the other day and all of the fun memories me and my family have had with you: ice cream and brownies on Sundays, visiting you at Modern Display, lots of fun stuff. I just wanted to say hello and that I love ya. Please tell Natalie, Jason and Brandon hello for me, I hope they are doing well!