Monday, August 10, 2015

#BLESSED
Hola! Buenas dias!

Okay so that’s enough Spanish for now. haha

ALSO GOOD NEWS LEWIS AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER ANOTHER TRANSFER HERE IN RUSSELLVILLE!!!! #BLESSED.  We've been told plenty of times lately to "get out of your first area you greenies" hahah  Man we could stay here forever. We love it so much. We are so happy to be together for another. This morning was another typical transfer morning, phone calls and texts like crazy, everyone trying to figure out where everyone is going. Also #blessed that we don't have to pack because I would have had to leave half of my belongings behind. (Unless President decides last minute to switch us, which he definitely can do. Nothing is final until Wednesday, but as of right now this is what we know)
This week has been super different. On Tuesday night we went to Little Rock where we met up with Sister Wakolo and Jasmine (her daughter). They took us out to dinner and we stayed the night in the mission home. Jasmine had a sleepover with us! Normally, as missionaries, we only get to spend time in the mission home twice, once on our way in, and once on our way out. So it was pretty unique to get some more time with President and his family and get to stay there! (funny side note, I was in the kitchen the next morning writing in my journal, and President comes walking down the stairs in biker shorts. haha So awkward. He was a little surprised to see me in his kitchen. haha I love the "President behind the scenes" stuff. He also wore this wrap/skirt thing to workout in #Fijians)
SLEEPOVER IN THE MISSION HOME WITH JAZ (PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER)
Wednesday morning we took the "mommy car" AKA Sister Wakolo's van and made our way towards the Memphis side to see the Hermanas in Horn Lake, which is actually in Mississippi! It's an all Spanish area. We blitzed the area with Hermana Ponce, HUdson, and Madsen! We had a blast with them. The Hermanas in this mission rock. I love them all to death. Also we found out as STL's both of us can drive, we didn't get that memo, but Lewis was shocked because she is so sick of driving, so my first 5 minutes in the car I almost backed into a fire hydrant, IN THE MOMMY CAR. hahaha I stopped literally not even an inch before hitting it. Church is true.
video
How fun is it that I got to serve in Mississippi? We had a good first day. I walked around knocking on doors in the rain with Hermana Ponce and the rest of the Hermanas set a date for Saturday! (this baptism followed through, she is dunked!)
DANVILLE'S SISTER BAPTISM. SO, SO PRETTY!
Some other randoms about blitz- that night Hermana Ponce and I went to visit a recent convert, we finished the lesson and we were waiting for the others to get out of their lesson so we started walking around visiting some gators. It was almost 9:00 at this point. Then Hermana Ponce starts telling me how this area is the sketchiest neighborhood in Horn Lake and they've had cops on 3 different occasions come tell them to not be in this neighborhood. I wish I had a picture of my face as I heard all of this. I'm from Russellville! I'm not used to sketchy! haha I was a little freaked out. God protects his missionaries though so don't worry I survived.
WE SEE THESE PARADES (PROTESTS) ALL THE TIME!
Thursday morning we left early to drive to Bartlett Tennessee to pick up some sisters who needed a ride to Arkansas for a doctor appointment. Since we had the mommy car we had to do all these errands. After dropping them off we went all the way back to Horn Lake, taught for a couple hours, and then turned around and went back to pick up the sisters back up in Arkansas, drop the, off in Bartlett and then back to Mississippi. WE DROVE SO MUCH THIS WEEK. I don't even want to admit how many times I took the wrong exits. How they trusted us to take the mission car and drive all over the mission is beyond me. We also took a little trip (aka we got lost) and saw downtown Memphis a little bit. We passed by Beale Street! Looked fun!

Friday we served in West Memphis, Arkansas with some English sisters that have been struggling. I served with Sister Brunt from Samoa! We knocked a lot of doors and got some solid new gators. We had a lesson with Montez, non member, first time meeting him and before we left he wanted all of us to pray. We both prayed and then he did, it was the most southern/baptist prayer I've ever heard. He just kept saying "Father God" and the deeper he got into the prayer the louder he got and more enthusiastic he got. It got all sorts of crazy real quick. haha the south is so great.
OUR BEDS ON EXCHANGES
By Saturday we couldn't wait to get back home! We were exhausted and so tired of driving. We missed Russellville so much.  Saturday it was hard to get back into things. We had had so much distance from gators all week it was hard to get back into control. We tried seeing everyone and the only one we saw dropped us -_- This was also marked the hottest day of the summer. I couldn't tell you exactly how hot it was all I know is I was having a hard time breathing and it was miserable. So yea it was pretty hot and humid. Sunday we spent a lot of time with members. AMBER IS GETTING MARRIED IN 19 DAYS AND WE ARE GOING TO BE HERE FOR THE WEDDING. Amber is the biggest reason I wanted to stay in Russellville. I love her. Ans she just bought a new house so we went and saw it and helped her move some stuff around. It overlooks the lake here and it's up on a hill, it's gorgeous. She's perfect. She is like our big sister. If I did nothing more than bring the gospel to her life, than I've done enough. Y'all will have to meet her one day.
THE VIEW FROM AMBER'S HOUSE
We also spent time at Bishop's house. We feel at home with Bishop's family, it's always a treat to be there. Have I mentioned that I love Russellville?

Okay the things I learned this week:
-“Wera Loca” means "crazy white girl" in Spanish -Little reassurances this week that reminded me that I'm where I need to be, I'm doing my job out here.
-The mission’s new focus for the next 2 months is "Master Teacher." We have been asked to make our studies more effective and truly understand the doctrine we are teaching. The more we know the less we will say. Simple and powerful is the best teaching method for sure. And we can teach simply the better we understand what we teach.
-small things bring about great things.
- Another testimony builder of the Holy Ghost. having to give advice to the hermanas and watching the spirit work through us is so so cool.
-The importance of sacrifice. Reminded that it’s not about me. Forget myself and get to work.

Oh I have to tell y’all about this. So on the mommy car the check oil light comes on, claro. So we call the office elders and asked them what to do and got it taken care of, but before we did this, Lewis AKA sister Einstein thinks that she knows how to check the oil. So here we are in a gas station in Horn Lake, and after a good couple minutes we figure out how to pop the lid. Then Lewis starts playing with things, I'm looking around to make sure no one is getting a good laugh out of 2 girls in skirts trying to fix the car. And finally after 5 minutes of this nonsense Lewis looks at me and says "yea I have no idea" so we put the hood back down and called the elders. haha Ahh she's a good mom, A for effort. hahaha

I hope y’all are still with me, I know this week is a long one.

So I had a cool experience in Horn Lake that I want to share. This time I was with Ponce and Hudson. We went to visit Rayna, who has been a gator for a little while but hasn't really been progressing. I really didn't know anything about her so I asked her if she had a Book of Mormon, she said she did. We asked her if she read it and she said no. We asked why and she gave me some random excuse. We committed her to read a chapter of the BOM this week and she said she doesn't have time to do that. The words just started coming to me. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has become so strong and I testified of the importance that this Book has and how it will change her life and why she needs to make time to read. It was like I was just pleading with her to read because I know how much power it brings, I know of its truthfulness and I want EVERYONE to know about it gosh dang it!

Finally before leaving we were able to commit her to 2 verses a day! Better than nada. I walked away just so happy. It was one of those moments where you don't even remember all that you said but I just had an overwhelming sense of joy that I was able to defend the Book of Mormon and this church. Alma 46:15 I will GLADLY fight for Christ's church. I'm reminded daily of how blessed I am to wear his name on my heart and go out and defend my Savior. Alma 46 is such a pump up chapter. Moroni is rallying his people together preparing them for battle. That's how it is out here. We really are just so pumped for this work. Some days are better than others obviously but now that we have a new transfer we are so excited to set new goals, have a fresh start and see more success in the ALRM mission. We already have some good ideas to make this next transfer the best one yet! Go. Fight. Win. =)

Welp for those of you who are still reading, thank you for enduring to the end.

Love Y’all

#LongLiveRussellville

PURPLE COW IN LITTLE ROCK WITH SAM SMITH. (HER NAME IS SAM SMITH, IS THAT SWEET OR WHAT?)
DANIELA AND JAMIE
KOKO

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