Monday, October 1, 2012

Woodstock is the PROMISED LAND!

Dear Family,
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I wrote several dumb things in that email- like I said, it was crazy trying to get a computer, you only got one for about 45 minutes. The worst! But we learned and got here plenty early today. And Sister DeRuvo is from Italy. Dunno where Spain came from.

Cleaning the apartment is going slowly, but some awesome discoveries have been found. We found a checker board with no checkers, and were about to chuck it away when some of the elders told us they also had a checker board but had only had half the pieces and found the other half and the missing board for their battleship in our apartment. Looks like some of the elders played checkers and battleship over the phone once upon a time, so on Wednesday we are reclaiming our half of the games and starting that up again.

Woodstock is the PROMISED LAND! This last week has been incredible. We're teaching 5 investigators now, our district leader called in disgust after we texted in our numbers for the week to ask how we had members at so many of our appointments. Sorry Sisters are more awesome Elders. Just jokes, the real secret is find members who have nonmembers living with them and it's easy to have members there. lol. The most exciting is Jody, he came to church last Sunday with a friend and we started teaching him this week. He has a baptismal date for October 21st and loves the gospel, he even got up yesterday in testimony meeting and bore his testimony. John, the man we met in the library last week, also came and is incredible. After church a member told us he has a masters degree in theology-he did NOT tell us that! But teaching him has made me I might be a little too excited when I teach because every time I speak he grins and gives me that "well aren't you passionate about this look", so I feel a little silly. But he seems really touched by everything we share so I guess I can't complain. We also had a former investigator BJ come to the Relief Society Broadcast with us, which was really cool. We haven't started teaching her yet but she told us to call her after the weekend and she'd love to come again, so I'm pretty stoked about that.

We had exchanges this week with the Sisters in London, that was fun. I stayed in Woodstock and Sister DeRuvo went to London. I always enjoy when my babies go on exchanges because they realize they can function on their own, which is good, and they also come back loving me even more. When I said goodbye to Sister Demill, my exchange comp, and got in the car Sister DeRuvo got in and look at me all offended and said "I'm still your favorite right? You missed me? You don't love her more than me?" I died laughing.

The Relief Society Broadcast was AMAZING, if we hadn't had someone there with us I probably would have bawled but I kept it in somehow. The first speaker just struck on everything I've been thinking recently. See, my mission has made me realize something and also grown a huge fear in me. First of all, I've realized that I am in fact AWESOME. Seriously. Not that I didn't know that before my mission, but since coming out here I've really felt like I am who I'm supposed to be and thus am pretty much . (And humble, I promise.) But this has also made me a little terrified of when I get home. I'm worried everything I'm passionate about will fade and I'll slip back into old habits I don't like and I'll lose the person I am. So I've been praying for about 6 months that the Lord would really change me permanently, and that the things I'm learning would be engraven on my heart (that's been my phrase of the year). So then sister Burton gets up and talks about how we need to and can engrave the Atonement on my heart, and it was like wham! Answer! It all comes down to the Atonement. When we're regularly applying and developing our faith in the Atonement, everything else follows suit. The prophets and scriptures have taught that the more our understanding of the Atonement grows, the more we want to share the gospel with others, so as long as I'm continuously relying on the Atonement my missionary fire isn't going to go out. As long as I keep developing my faith, I'm not going to reverse any changes I've experience over the last 10 months. I had such peace and the Spirit was SO STRONG, it just set up for the rest of the broadcast to just swamp me in the Spirit. Loved it!

Mom, i got you letter this week- thank you! Dunno when I'll respond because I owe about 10 people letters and have to scrub a ceiling fan today, but I will eventually. And I love that picture you sent of Joe's EQPresidency, what exactly is that for? Cards? And Elder Roberts definitely sounds really familiar but I'd probably need a face to go with it.  Glad to hear everyone is doing well, I'll keep my fingers crossed for dad! I should be getting my packages on Wednesday Mom so thanks in advance for that.
Love you all!!

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