Hello hello my lovelies!!!!!
Okay, so first off, today has been a super different p-day then any other!! I had a half p-day!!! Because............
1. I am going to the TEMPLE!!!!!!! Hermana Piggott and I have been trying to plan it for awhile now, so that we could go together, and it is finally happening!!!! It has taken quite awhile to get it arranged, might I add, with a few calls to the AP's for permission, etc. and originally the Orme's were going to take us but we weren't able to make it work with them for this week and then next week they are going to Utah!!! For the 4th of July. And we need to go before transfers which are the 6th. In case one of us gets transferred. The Orme's are pretty sad they can't make it, as are we, but it's okay. Also, Brother Orme wants to see you guys when they're in Utah!!! Are you going to Bear Lake for the 4th or anything?? I want you to meet them way bad!! Let me know and I am sure he will be calling you. So fun! Brother Orme is like my uncle. I love him so much. But back with the temple, President & Sister Lopez are going to come with us!! So it will be Hermana Piggott & her companion, Hermana Melchor, and then me and Sister Lewis. Hermana Hughes hasn't been out long enough to go unfortunately. Here in Yuba we can go every 6 months. But that's better than Gridley where we couldn't go at all!! So anyways... it is going to be wonderful, I am soo excited to go to the temple and it couldn't come sooner. I haven't been to the temple for about 9 months and I am craving it sooo bad. I seriously cannot wait. And to go with my favorite person ever & best friend, Hermana Piggott... It couldn't be more perfect!!! We used to dream about this day when we were companions!!! And it will be sooo cool to have my old Branch President and Sister Lopez with us as well. It will be so special. I feel so blessed. Also, I get to go to Sacramento!! Woot woot!! That will be pretty cool and the Sacramento Temple is gorgeous!!! Ahhh I am so excited. I will give an update of the experience next week!!!!!! Oh, and when you go to the temple you have to have a half p-day and so Sister Lewis and I had a little companion exchange and we visited a few people along with doing a ton of OYMing. We had some fun experiences with it!!!! So it has been a wonderful day!!!!!!
2. We found out during weekly planning from our Zone Leader's that we have a "special" Zone Training Meeting with President Weston!!!!! We'll be combing with the Gridley Zone in Gridley and ahhhhh I am soooo excited!!!!! I had a feeling Trainer/Trainee wasn't the last time we were going to see him... Because of how nonchalant him & Sister Weston were when they left the meeting. They had us all shake their hands but then he said to me, "I will see you soon!" and I assumed he meant Utah but little did I know he had something else up his sleeve. So anyways, I am beyond thrilled I get to see and hear from him again!!!!! Honestly he is the most incredible man and I couldn't love him more. Haha we were meeting with President Rivera, my Yuba City branch president, yesterday and he even talked about how much he loves and respects President Weston. He said meeting with him is like when an employee meets with their boss, having a negative attitude and complaining about the work and comes out of the meeting smiling, with more work to do! That's exactly how it is with President Weston. Even if I don't go into meeting with him or hearing from him with a bad attitude or complaining about the work, I leave feeling like the happiest & most blessed human alive and truly feel like I have sooo much more work to do. But I want to do it and do it the very best I can!!!! So anyways, that will be wonderful and officially the last time I see President & Sister Weston. They leave on July 1st and President & Sister Marston will be arriving on June 30th. Pretty crazy & exciting!!!!
3. We had the most incredible lesson with Beatriz Vargas this past week!!!!!! Her husband, Antonio, unfortunately had to work too so he was still in San Francisco when we were there night, but we got to really talk with her and we had the most incredible time. First off, coolest thing. So during companionship study we always practice teach. Well, this day I decided to practice teach for the lesson we had with Beatriz & Antonio that night. And more specifically, I decided to have us practice teach inviting them again to church. We invited them at our last lesson and they said they'd come and really sounded sincere about it, but they didn't. So I had been praying & thinking about them lots and I had a gut feeling the reason they didn't come was because their daughter Briana didn't want to. Briana is 15 but has some social/learning disorders and is super super shy. So anyways, during the practice teach I had us practice as if that were the reason. So we thought & practiced it out, what we felt we should say, etc. and when we first sat down for our lesson with Beatriz that night, the first thing she said to us was that she was so sad they weren't able to make it to church and that she was trying to go that morning but her daughter refused. Her daughter refused to leave and said she had no friends there, etc. So long story short.... the daughter has a hard time making friends and is super dependent on her mom, etc. so we need to find her little friends!!! They said she gets along best with little girls around the age of 8 too so we're trying to figure it out. When I was on exchanges with Hermana Briggs (the most darling Hermana ever.... love her soo much) we stopped by their house too and brought Giselle who's 12 to see if Briana would want to play with the girls their age but she didn't. So anyways, we have to find her a friend because once we do..... they will be soo solid. It's going to be tougher than normal though because she has some type of disabilities but we're trying our best. Also, we brought up night volleyball and it turns out Beatriz is a huuuuge volleyball player and wants to come play soooo bad!!!! So she is going to come and she cannot wait!!! Any & Maria will be there too, this week it's in Gridley, so we're so excited!!!! The members of ours & Gridley's branch looove night volleyball so it is going to be so fun for Beatriz. She will be able to get to know a ton of the members too and it is just perfect. Such a blessing!!! This family is progressing so much and I have such confidence they will be baptized. So as for the lesson, since Antonio wasn't there we decided to postpone the Plan of a Salvation and read with her. So we went over what she read in 3 Nephi 11, from our "tarea" ... "homework" haha and that was amazing. She learned so much from it, about baptism, authority, etc. and she herself brought up baptism and said she isn't sure yet if she will be baptized into our church but she loves reading from the Book of Mormon and knows that God knows if she will be baptized or not. So she is going to continue to read & pray and I have full confidence she will soon recognize her answer. She said she feels a "fire" enter into her when she reads from the Book of Mormon and prays to Heavenly Father, along with feeling super peaceful & warm..... PERFECT... so I tried to explain to her that this is the Holy Ghost giving her an answer right there and she understood but she wants to continue to read & pray & see. She also told us that she often has to read and pray in her bathroom so that her daughters don't see because she will sometimes just cry & cry while doing both. And it worries them whenever they see her cry. Oh, so sweet. We also then read with her Alma 41 about the resurrection & judgement, etc. and she looooved it so much. We had such a spiritual experience reading & talking about it all and I could feel the spirit sooo strongly throughout the entire lesson. The entire time we were at her house actually. She loved it all so much, understood it perfectly... truly had the most deep & inspiring comments and questions along with what we read. She got emotional when we talked about being resurrected too and when her sweet daughter Evelyn who is mentally & physically handicapped and in a wheelchair will receive her body in its perfect state. Absolutely flawless and with a perfect mind as well. Oh it is so special and touching to think about. I found tears come to my eyes as we were talking about it as well. And then we gave her more tarea, to read Alma 42, and then we briefly overviewed the Plan of Salvation which we will teach next week. She is so excited!!!!! She has sooo many questions about where we were, why we're here and where we're going. Especially where we're going..... So we cannot wait to answer them for her!!!!! It is going to be amazing!!!!!!!! I loooove Beatriz soooo much and care about her more than I can say. It truly is amazing how fast I fall in love with & care with those I teach. They are so amazing and such incredible examples to me. Which reminds me, Beatriz said people ask her all the time how she does it... taking care of her two daughters, who had disabilities, with a husband who is away for most of the week... and she said, "I could look at it all and think it is hard, or that I am alone, but I don't. God is with me always and is blessing me every day. He has blessed me with my "angelitas" and I am so lucky." Wow. Such an example to me. I love her!!! I wish I could give you every detail of that lesson, it was so amazing. But more updates to come next week!!!
4. So I had exchanges with Hermana Briggs this week, again... she is the most darling Sister Missionary and we both kept talking about how we had always wished we'd be companions haha. We get along sooo good and I know we will be friends after the mission. She lived in NYC for over a year before her mission, she seriously is the classiest, coolest and sweetest person - but is now applying to BYU, Provo so I am crossing my fingers!!! Hermana Piggott is applying to BYU Provo too so Hermana Briggs and I said we should all live together afterwards. Hermana Piggott, Hna. Richards, Hna. Briggs & I, Hna. Rodriguez... etc. We'll see but that would be sooo fun!!! And anyways, the day we were together we received 4 referrals!!! We've contacted one too so I will have to give more updates on that later. Also, Hermana Hughes and I tracked into a new family one night and had a wonderful first lesson with them!! The husband said they haven't attended church in awhile or really done anything actively to grow closer to Christ but then he very humbly & sincerely said, "pero, pienso que estamos listos" ... "but, I think we are ready." Sooo we were both very excited and although they work a ton, like every other Hispanic here, and are rarely home, like every other Hispanic here, hahaha we are going to try out best to find & teach them continually. They're amazing! It's Juan Carlos & Trinidad... and their darling little ones, Melissa & Carlos. More updates on them later!!!!!! But so we found lots of new people this week, including a few others... and we're hoping to see some more progression!!!!! Especially more progression leading to the amazing covenant of baptism!! The work is hastening here and I am loving every second of it!!!!!
Okay, and I studied knowledge all last week but I don't have enough time to go into any of my thoughts on it, I learned so much haha. So for today I want to simply share this incredible quote by Lawrence E. Corbridge from the most inspiring and life-changing talk for us missionaries called, "The Fourth Missionary" ........
"Just give it up. Surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. Turn it all over to Him; all of your desires, wishes, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him, who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins, and for your weaknesses as well. Trust Him that He will make of you, immeasurably more, than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God."
I love you all so much my family & friends!! You mean more to me than I can even express. I also could not be happier to be where I am doing what I am right now in my life. It almost, or often does, brings me to tears even thinking about my mission and I am still on it!!!! Everything is just becoming more tender to me and I never want this incredible life-changing, life-enhancing experience to end. I feel more and more blessed every single day and I can truly say I have never felt happier. I love my Savior and Father in Heaven more than I can ever, ever say and I am trying my hardest to give myself completely to Him. I want to give my heart, mind and will to Him and put them carefully into His loving hands.
Con mucho amor,
Ps. Mom & Dad, I am sooo excited to hear about you traveling to Germany, Austria & Switzerland in September!!!!! It is a complete dream over there and I am sooo happy for you both. I cannot wait to hear & talk about it more when the time comes. So amazing!!
I can't believe Ryan Scott "the fly!!!" is home!!!!!! So fun!!!!!!
An Elder spoke yesterday in our branch and he said he served in the San Antonio, Texas mission.... well turns out he knows Elder Chipmam, Brody, and was Hermana Egbert, Marissa's, first district leader!!!!!!!! Made me soo happy!!! His Spanish was beautiful and completely fluent too. All of our jaws were dropped. Hahaha humbled me quite a bit too. My Spanish is definitely nothing special but I am working on it every day!!! Haha also, sounds like Amanda Allred's is flawless too..... Haha gives me more motivation!!!! I am trying!!!! Still sound like a gringo, but I am studying & working on it!!
Also, Happy Happy Anniversary this weekend Mrs. Abigail & Mr. Ralph Gouchnour this weekend!!!!!! I seriously am in shock that it has already been an entire year. Feels like yesterday and my mission is flying by faster than I can say!!!!!! Ahhhhh.