Well, as usual, it is a fantastic day to be a Mormon Missionary. I am just so excited to be a servant of the Lord.
I loved the questions you asked in your email, about thinking back to day one in the CFM. I have been thinking a lot about how I have changed these past few months. Next week I will reach 7 months as a missionary... only 11 tiny months left!!!!! I have been talking to Sister VanWie about how, as I have changed and noticed changes I've made, that has made me realize who I was before. And let me tell you, it was NOT pretty. I realized how much patience I have gained and how much softer I have become, and that made me realize how bitter and tough and impatient I had been before. I'm really glad that at the time I didn't know who I was, because if I had to be that person again I would be horrified. I have learned how to work with leadership, how to let other people be in charge and to trust them. I've learned to reach out to the one. I have gained more and more confidence in my ability to do hard things.
This transfer, Sister VanWie and I have talked a lot about who we are. Well, mostly who she is because she didn't really know who she was and it bothered her. Last night we had a long talk about it. I felt the Spirit speak through me to her, and I said a lot of things that I could never have thought of that were teaching me at the same time. We came down to the conclusion that if we only think we know who we are once we've seen the finished product, we will never know and we will only feel a sense of in-completion. That's the point. I told her that the only thing she needs to know about who she is is that she is exactly obedient and will do anything that Heavenly Father asks of us. In essence, she is whoever Heavenly Father needs her to be. That is really the only way we can truly find peace in who we are. Too often we try to categorize ourselves and other people into where they "belong", like "jocks", or "nerds", or the "popular crowd". We may take pride in certain personality traits or talents that we have. But I have seen God take away some of mine to teach me a lesson, and also freely give me others that I did not deserve, nor work nearly hard enough for. None of those things really matter. All that matters is that we know that because we love our Father so much, we will do literally whatever it is that He asks. Until we can say that with conviction, we will never truly be happy with who we are because we know we are holding back somewhere, or we will wish that we had some other thing more. This knowledge truly brings peace. It was a really amazing experience to share with my companion. I watched a huge burden be lifted from her shoulders as I said these words, and she already is so much happier. They were all things that I needed to hear as well. I love learning from the Holy Ghost.
This week was a little rough on progressing investigators. We're really trying to find "the ones". However, Brother Bontrager is progressing really well!!! He's starting on the Word of Wisdom, he's already cut down from 3-4 cups of coffee to one, and he committed to come to church every Sunday he doesn't work at the fire station or have to be out of town for family! That is a really big deal! His original date was set for this Sunday, which he isn't ready for, but it will be soon!
Also we have made leaps and bounds with ward members coming out with us. So excited about that. They are awesome!
Pretty nervous about transfer calls... I don't want to leave Kerman yet, but at the same time I've been here a long time and part of me is ready for something new and more hispanic!
Speaking of Hispanic.... today we had a five zone activity in Selma. We weren't sure we were going to go, because it's an all sports day and I'm still not allowed to run. But we were promised there would be volley ball, which I'm allowed to play at 50%. Well we get there... and there's no volley ball. And it was a lot of miles we used up. So we couldn't just go home. So what did I do? I played soccer at 100% for like 2 hours in the hot HOT sun. It felt so good. Although my body is angry with me, it was a pretty stupid choice. But I made at least 3 goals, I was one of two sisters to score anything at all. We played with a lot of Hispanic elders who live breathe and eat soccer, and we were all yelling in Spanish (like just things you would normally say, like I'm open, and What are you doing, and Elder, she's a girl!) it was so fun! I felt so Mexican!
and I'm tanning like crazy, I've gotten at least five shades darker in just the past few days, my watch tan is AMAZING.
And yep. Zone conference Wednesday. Transfer calls Saturday. If I move or get someone else that will happen next Tuesday. Yikes!
Love you all! The bathroom looks so good!