Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Don't drink the water. Again.

Hey all you people.
   This week we were at an investigator's house one night when we got a text saying the water was bad again. So we asked the investigator about it and she said, "yeah usually when something falls into the river you can't drink it. Someone was on the frozen river and then they disappeared, so there is probably a dead body in the river." (...) Haha ok, that is good. But luckily, I asked around some more and it most likely wasn't a dead body. So even though sometimes I forgot and still drank the bad water, at least I wasn't drinking dead bodies.
   To answer some questions: Dad-Sorry I haven't been answering all of the questions, I did better this time. Usually I don't answer your questions because I forget. I take notes in my planner and whatnot, but due to lack of time and lack of memory, I forget. That's on me, I will do better. Don't worry Dad I still love you. Mo- We have a washer and dryer at our apartment. That reminds me, I forgot to switch my clothes. We also have our district meetings on Thursdays at 11. We sometimes go to other district meetings to see how effective they are. We usually just email at the church. Why my emails haven't been as good lately is because we have been trying harder to be obedient and stick to the time schedule, so we get off sooner and don't get back on. Sometimes we have if we had something important to address. But most of the time it's a one and done kind of deal. Jerm- I got the package!! Thanks so so so much! More to you personally l8r. 
   Ok so this week was crazy and pretty good to say the least. We had two exchanges, found a bunch of people and had stake council which is the best usually. We have the coolest ward and stake and I am so thankful to be here. But our ward mission leader got released and that was a mega bummer because he was mega sweet. We are still waiting for the new one. I guess technically he isn't released yet, but he got called as the Elder's Quorum president, so he will probably be released soon. Jerm- His wife loved the bag! Result! Remember that African lady named Bintou that I wrote about? Well she is awesome and we still teach her and her son and they are so amazing I just love them. We call her Mama Bintou and she loves it. She said that we should go to Birkina Fassou one time and visit her family with her. We said we would. She told us how to avoid malaria, so it'll all be good. 
   I wanted to tell you about something that really changed my perspective out here. It was a talk I read by Elder Holland, he gave it to some educators at one point in history (that's a better way of saying "I don't remember when he gave this talk/lecture"). One line stood out to me, he tells the educators, "If you can leave your students with one principal commitment in response to the Savior's incomparable sacrifice for them, His payment for their transgressions, His sorrow for their sins, leave them with the necessity to obey-to yield their own difficult domain and hours of decision to 'the will of the Father,' whatever the cost. They won't always do that, any better than you and I have been able to do it, but that ought to be their goal; that ought to be their aim. The thing Christ seems most anxious to stress about His mission-beyond the personal virtues, beyond the magnificent sermons, and even beyond the healing-is that He submitted His will to the will of the Father." Throughout the very real struggle to be a consecrated missionary now, in hopes that I will become a consecrated person for life, I have cherished these words from Elder Holland. If there was one thing that our Savior wanted us to get, to understand about him, was that he, despite anything else, was always obedient to his father. What a phenomenal example. And what incredible importance that means then for us, children of the same father, to be exactly obedient. If we could only just fully understand how much light, how much truth, how much love, and quite simply just how many blessings will come from our obedience to the commandments we have been given and covenants we have made, then the decision to be loyal and true wouldn't be hard at all. We're always better off if we do what's right. Always always always. I know because I see it. Because I live it. Please remember the covenants you made at baptism and/or in the temple. The reason I believe my companion and I have been able to get over our petty little struggles is because we are starting to understand that the promises we made as we covenanted are much more important then our selfish desires. I am glad that we have been able to learn all that we have. Remember, Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end are all apart of the plan our loving Heavenly Father has given us so that we can return to him one day, if we will just obey.
Hope you all had a good week! I love you!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Duke's mixture

Hello Framily,
   Dude(s), sorry for my email last week. I just forgot that I was even writing and I just like sent it or something. I really don't even know what happened, it just got all weird like last week and my brain felt like oatmeal or maybe couscous because oatmeal is soggy and my face has been dryer lately. Kenneyways...
   It's been about -butt degrees around here lately, but it's all good and I like it because that's just how Cranada is, eh? Say that last line in a Canadian voice for the full effect. The cold can't stop us though because we still went out and contacted and just did our thang. So I don't know if everyone got to read Marshall's wedding advice to his brother and sister in law, but ho boy did that just like wake me up. Yup, turns out I got married here and haven't been a good wife. No, but mission companions I suppose are like our spouses, and I learned again this week that I will not marry a girl, but I also learned that really it is time that I myself "straighten up and fly right." I don't know if it is obvious but my companion and I struggle and it is ridiculous. What frustrates me the most is that we both know better and we both usually get along with others super well, but for some reason, us together is a serious Duke's Mixture. Like holy cow! But, thank goodness for the Atonement. And a talk that I read called Lord, Is It I? I would recommend that you all read it. After reading Marshall's letter thing and some serious pondering and self evaluation, I am learning that it absolutely does not matter who the problem is, whose fault something is or who is to blame, we are agents unto ourselves and we are free to choose "liberty and eternal life through the great mediator of all men or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil, [and oh boy is it true that] he seeketh to make all men miserable like unto himself." Therefore, the "problems" we seem to have, can be solved or at least just overcome if we will only choose to do what is right. And in this situation here, what is right is not to be right, it is to be selfless and love regardless of how annoying, how wrong, how whatever you may think your companion is. Mission or real life wise. Today I read in Doctrine and Covenants about the Word of Wisdom, before I had asked Heavenly Father a question through prayer, and I found out the response through the introduction of D&C 89. I was wondering about a problem I have been having lately, and I didn't know how to go about solving it, and in reading the summary thing, I just realized that like Joseph Smith, I just have to ponder about it, and inquire of the Lord. That is what Joseph always seemed to do, and because he had faith, he was answered, just like all of us can be. I think this email is going a little bit all over the place, but I just want you all to know that it is true that Heavenly Father answers our questions through the scriptures. Believe me, I did not think that I was going to find the answer to my question in the section of the scriptures that talks about the Word of Wisdom, but what do you know! Found it. I just know without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that if we humbly abide by it's precepts we will be blessed and SAVED. Sorry, sometimes I just think we over look that last part.
   Anyway, things are going well here or at least they are going to go better (somehow I became a turd again and need to change... it's probably because I have been hanging out in -turd degrees all the time.) If you need to repent and change, just do it, it makes life waaay easier. Love you all so much, until next time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Hello Family!
Sorry, we don't have much time this time. But I'll try to say some cool things or something to make up for it. 
Ummm I honestly feel like my brain is fried. I am probably going to die before I make it home. Sorry guys, but I am just pure pooped. Maybe I will just send some pictures. 
We had a bunch of miracles this week, some exchanges and I ate a lot because that is kind of becoming a thing now. It is terrible. I studied something super cool this morning though. It was something that Elder Holland wrote in like 2003. It was called Teaching, Preaching, Healing like the Master or something like that. But he is so sweet. He just says it like it is and that is something I like. Even though sometimes I don't always do that. Anyway, he quoted the Nat King Cole song, that's the "straighten up and fly right" bit. It has been snowing here and that is pretty sweet.
Thanks for the Christmas packages!!
Who doesn't love EOS lip stuff?
My companions and I
Our car was frozen! It took 30+ minutes to scrape.
It has been snowing here and that is pretty sweet.
Cool sunset while we waited for a lesson.
Our investigator Michael and his mom and us (when we were 3 sisters working together).
My Comp.
A Little Debbie and I (I love them! Thanks for the package).
This is Alvaro! This is one of the guys we taught while we were in Victoria. And Herman Espitia, one of the grooviest ward mission leaders evah!
La famille Breton! Et la famille Gonzalez. Ils sont le meilleure! Je les aime plus que je peux dire. Oh la la. (The Breton family and the Gonzalez family. They are the best! I love them more than I can say.)
English class. I love these guys.
Meeeeeelk (milk). It is still just too weird.
We do this a lot. Make calls. Especially when it is colder than my heart outside (mega cold).
Woo Haa! Pepsi.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lilttle Debbies

Dude, family. What's up?

Pretty much, my life is complete. You want to know why? Because I spent a full week of not being a huge butt and I opened my eyes and realized how much the Lord's hand has been and always will be in my life and I am just pure blown away. Tooooo maaaaannnyy bleeeesssiiiinnggss! Nah, but forreal, life is sooo good. 

Pretty much (whoops said that twice..) I can't really explain how miraculous this week was. I just cannot believe the power of the Atonement and what the knowledge of the gospel and the hope and pure joy that it brings can do to change a person's life. I am so thankful and blessed to know that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. And that thanks to our Savior's grace there is nothing that can stop me or anyone from changing for the better.

I think I am going to tell one story: 
So I don't know if I have ever mentioned the old man, Frere Marchand that we have been visiting a few times a month ever since I have been here. Well, turns out that a little while before I got here his wife got Alzheimers, or she had already had it but it just got to the point where she had to go live in a home because he was no longer able to take care of her. They are in their 70's or something and it has been super hard for him. He was so active in missionary work before all of this and they always did so much for the missionaries and were always super strong and loving members who were willing to befriend anyone and everyone. After his wife started getting sick though his world just fell apart. He lost a ton of weight and just had no more joy in his life. Towards the beginning of my time here he had picked up again his hobby for painting, and he is actually really good. But that didn't keep him happy for long. He sort of would flip flop from being really happy and joking around when we'd come and visit, then two weeks later he would be so sad and just doubt everything and never talk. We always tried to bring messages that would encourage him, and members that would show him love. And he started doing better, but it was still really hard for him. He would come to church from time to time, but not too often. After one lesson we had with him, the member that we brought said, "he just needs to accept his trial, then he will stop doubting. Then he will recognizee the help he has recevied for this trial and he will be able to get through it." I thought that was true, but just didn't really know how to tell him that. This poor old man whose wife calls him 7-15 times everday asking him when he will come to see her again when he really had just been there to visit. During lessons with him she would call and he'd let the call go to voice mail and we'd just sit and listen to her sweet voice asking him where he was and why he wasn't coming to get her. It is so so heartbreaking! The last lesson we had with him he just poured out all of his questions and all of the doubts he had. he said he didn't think Heavenly Father could hear him because there are too many people on the earth. But I knew he didn't really believe that. He just kind of broke down. The member with us (she's incredible. holy cow these people) just told him he needed to accept his trial and ask for help to get through it. It was a really powerful lesson. Then Yesterday, which was fast Sunday, and everyone had the opportunity to share their testimony, Frere Marchand came to church and got up to share what he knew. So remember, he's a little old bald man. he stands up in front of the pulpit and says something like, "I am really blessed today. And I have to thank Heavely Father for that. I walked into the bathroom this morning at the church, and I found this!" Then he pulled out from his pocket a little pink comb and started to pretend to brush the hair he doesn't have. He went on to say, "whatever man left this in this in the bathroom is very blessed. I know that I am so blessed despite the trials that I have. You all know my sweet wife. She has a sickness called Alzheimers. That means she is still very intelligent, but sometimes she just forgets." He then started to cry and express how hard it had been for her and him. Then he explained how hard it was for him because she called all of the time. I then he asked them members to call her, to say hellp and see how she is doing. He said, "Just remind her who you are, Frere so and so or Soeur what have you,"and then he went on to say her number, and everyone scrambled to make sure they got it done. It was so moving. I can't even explain the feeling that was there. Then he finished by thanking everyone and saying, "I know Heavenly Father is there for me, sometimes I just forget." 
Family and friends, this is what I am talking about. This is the Atonement. This knowledge is what changes people. I am a first hand witness. I saw this man overcome one of the most challenging things life can bring. The knowledge of who we are, where we are going, and who we can be come is life changing. The Atonement is real. It's power to heal is real. Please accept it. Let it take you to a higher plane. I know you, like Frere Marchand, will realize just how blessed you are, and that Heavenly Father never forgets you, and that he has never left you alone. I know it's hard, but our Savior knows that sometimes we just forget.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you so much.
Soeur Kinghorn