Hello everybody! How are you all doing?? I have heard about the crazy weather goin on in Utah so I hope you are all doing well. I have a couple shout-outs I need to do now before I forget. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my (future) brother-in-law Chris. I love Chris because of the amazing dad that he is, and also because he is just happy..and sometimes funny. :) Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my cousin Josh. He turned the big 16 and is now a licensed driver. Josh, just make sure you don't drive like me. Haha, it's not worth it! Be good! Hopefully there are no other birthdays. These were the ones I heard about, but if there are any more... HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Also, I never gave a shout out to my sweet cousin Alexis. She was baptized a couple weeks ago and is one of the sweetest girls I know. Lex, I love you and I am so proud of you! Please remember how you felt that day and know that I was thinking about you constantly. Make sure you tell your mom to send me some pics, okay? :) Alright last shout-out goes to the Transtrum clan. They all had a camping trip last weekend I think and all wrote me cute little notes of encouragement. THANK YOU! Lets just say that I may have cried reading them all. You guys are all the best and those notes meant more than you know!
Alright, I decided that with my weekly email (because I don't have a ton of time), I started writing down key things from each day and then I will just go through each day and tell you something awesome that happened. I figured it will just make life a little bit easier. So here we go!
Monday: Mt. Pisgah! The Forbes from our ward took us and it was just incredible! There was no one there and it was just so peaceful. They taught us how to Water-witch. Haha Everybody go and google it cause it is quite interesting. Basically, you hold two iron rods (no pun intended...) in front of you and they will tell you where a well or a grave is. Kind of cool...and creepy, but mostly cool! Also, there has been a lot of talk here about the four missionaries who died while serving in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. Well, that story actually means a lot to me. On Heritage Tours last summer, they talked about that story and it was a very spiritual experience for me. Basically they asked us, "If you knew you weren't going to be coming home, would you still decide to serve your mission?" It was at that moment that I put my faith on the line and said yes. A plaque honoring those 4 missionaries is at Mt. Pisgah. I could not believe it. Such an incredible experience!
Tuesday: Every Tuesday, we get the opportunity to serve at the assisted living home in Winterset. It is my favorite! We go and play bingo or a game with them for an hour and they just love it! We kind of were being punks on Tuesday though and decided to play a game with them. The Memory Game.Haha It's the game where you flip the pictures over and you have to match them all. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. It was hilarious! They would always pick up the same tiles! Luckily, they are just all joksters and laughed at themselves when we told them. So basically, our only form of entertainment in Iowa is playing memory with the elderly. Life is good! :)
Wednesday: Incredible day! We had zone conference from 9-4 and it was just awesome. Elder Gay of the seventy came and spoke to us all day. It was incredible to hear stories of his mission to Spain and then when he served as a mission president in Ghana. He taught purely by the Spirit and everything he said just touched my heart. My notes from that day are words I refer back to frequently. It was also just fun to see all the other missionaries. Because our mission is so big though, it was only about half so I didn't see everyone but it was great. Then, because it was just such an amazing day, we decided to celebrate. Panda Express baby. With our budget, it was deluxe.Haha
Thursday: Very chill day! We went to a new area that we have the opportunity to open. Earlham, Iowa. Beautiful town, and so much work to be done in it! We had a great experience with a devout Lutheran family. We are excited to go back because they were very interested in the things we compared. Especially the Book of Mormon. I'll keep you updated on them. We also had a great night with a family in our ward! They took us to the park and we just played and ate pizza. We probably played a little to hard but it was fun! They are one of the families in our ward with a darling 7 month old baby girl. I don't think the whole, "You can't hold children" thing will get any easier with time for me...
Friday: Such a spiritually draining day, but in a good way! Thursday night I had gotten letters from the Brown family (Thank you!) and my dad. In my dad's letter, he wrote, "You can have one more good cry and then it is time to not be homesick anymore and enjoy your mission." I read that and realized that he was right. (Yes dad.. I just admitted you were right!) I prayed so hard at that moment to have an experience that would help me understand why I was here. I figured if I knew that, I wouldn't feel as homesick. Well, that experience came. We had planned on teaching a lesson with one of our investigators that night, but when we got there decided that we needed to just ask inspired questions instead. It was the greatest lesson I have had on my mission so far. We were teaching purely by the spirit, and we all felt that presence immensely. Well, at the end of our lesson, our investigator looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Why are you here?" And the words that I proclaimed were not my own. The Holy Ghost spoke through me to not only testify to our investigator, but to me as well. I finally understood why I was here. Since then, my homesickness has been better. I still miss it, but not to the point where I make myself sad. So dad, thank you for your tough words of encouragement. Keep em comin!
Saturday: CLICK DAY! WOOO! Basically, your click day is the day that you became a missionary. So because I went into the MTC on august 14th, the 14th of every month will be my click day. Can you believe I have been gone for a month?? It just baffles me. I feel like I have been gone for forever and about a week all at the same time. Time in the mission field really is a weird thing! Anyways, click days are great! My sweet companion wrote me a hilarious note, we went out for lunch, and we had a ward party that night! We had dutch oven dinners and cobbler. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! SOO good! And then, we played kickball. In our skirts. Haha We are still working on the whole, maintain your dignity thing. But boy was it worth it! Such a fun ward!
Sunday: Sundays are always good. Sacrament is just great of course. It is fun because now that I am a missionary, church means so much more. My testimony of the importance of it has grown immensely! We had one investigator come to church which was great! Sunday night, we had dinner with the Tunneys. I told you last week that Sister Tunney is my mission mom so it was just great. It was here birthday too so we kind of partied. As much as missionaries can. Haha Just a good day!
Well, that's my week people. Hope I didn't bore you too much. Haha As our work picks up, I will have more to write, but that is it for now. I love you all and miss you! I can feel your prayers and am so grateful for them! And remember, letters are my favorite. ;) I LOVE YOU ALL!!
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
|Beautiful Mt. Pisgah|
|Celebratory Click day lunch at Frostees! :)|
|Brother and Sister Forbes are the darling couple who took us to Mt. Pisgah. They have been members for about 3 years and are just incredible!|