I just printed and read all your letters, and now I have a long time to write you! I like this system! First I want to respond to some things from your letters!
Nate, you should tell Candace about the plethora of Mormon Mommy Blogs out there. If she is a blogger, and is going to be a Mormon, it seems like an intersection of interests that could be cool for her! She could get into them or even become a Mormon Mommy Blogger. Just an idea.
Ben, I love your emails. They are SUCH a boost! You have such a powerful testimony and such insight and faith. I am so so so stoked about your mini mission next summer with Nate. Holy Hannah Montana that is going to rock. Sounds like you are tearing it up in marching band too!!
Dad, your Sunday afternoon curry tradition sounds like a winner. :) I loved your description of feeling the Spirit work through you, clarifying and helping you organize ideas. Such an articulate description of something I have felt so many times. Especially when I was teachin Gospel Doctrine in my singles ward. Beautiful.
Mom, I LOVE the moments of our family that you distill in your weekly letters. So fun to read. I feel like I was there for some of them. Also, your package arrived this week with the 2 shade shirts(they are perfect, I love them), thank you notes (how did you know I have been searching for those and unable to find them!?), dark chocolate sea salt caramels (heavenly), matching earrings for me and Sis Austin (we are wearing them right now), cool double clock necklace (also wearing right now), and pens. Talk about a treasure trove!! I know how expensive it is to send stuff -- I don't deserve such abundance, but thank you so so much! That was so fun. It arrived during weekly planning. Perfect. :)
Wayne, you should definitely send pictures. The ones Mom sends I can open. But not videos. Anyway. yeah. Or send hard copies in the mail. I will put them in my photo album. I sent a letter off to you this week. Should arrive soon!
Joe and Coby, you sound great. Congrats on all the race times and musical exploits.
Okay, on to the meat of the week!
Sister Austin's dad teaches history at Centennial. Ben, did you take from him? Cool huh? coby, you should find his classroom and tell him that his daughter is mission companions with your sister. Small world!
The weather changed this week! We got Autumn. It was exciting. Rain!! I didn't realize how much I like rain. I think Tuesday was the first day it really got rainy. Sister Austin says I am a water lily because I love to just stretch out my arms and let the wind and rain fall on my face. It helps a lot that it's not cold rain. :) Yesterday the sign by the mall said 100% humidity. Wooo! Wednesday we had a rain miracle -- it was downpouring, and we had an appointment with this family I LOVE even though we don't know them super well yet. Vitor, Joana, and Fatima (Dad and 2 daughers. We havent met the mom yet). Anyway, we have passed their house a LOT but never gotten in. But this day, we were SOAKED. Who is going to leave two soaked young ladies on the doorstep in a downpour? Not these people!! They invited us in and gave us towels and we taught them the first lesson and it was a little rocky but man I hope we can go back and teach the second because they are lovely, meek, kind people. They didn't come to church with us yesterday. But we are going to stop by tonight and visit them again. Another great side affect of the rain is that we get to wear our raincoats, which are both red. We are the redcoated Sister Missionaries of Ponta Delgada. Large and in charge. Woo!
Have I told you about our sandwich press? We bought ourselves one and have been making panini creations. It's pretty fantastic. It's the simple things in life you treasure. We also quoted pretty much all of "You've Got Mail" to each other last night as we walked around the city. So yeah, good things are going on in our lives.
Random fact your probably don't want to know: I am pretty sure my right armpit sweats more or at least smells worse than my left one. No clue why. But I noticed it a couple weeks ago when I changed into my PJ's at the end of the day, so then, naturally, I started checking, and sure enough, every night, the right armpit of the shirt I wore all day smells like I wore it all day, and the left one smells, like, fresh. WEIRD! Should I be worried? ;)
I am actually feeling extremely satisfied with the missionary work we are doing! There's the aforementioned Vitor and his daughters, as well as a cool lady named Elvira who we are teaching. She needs to have the courage to take the step of coming to church. It is a big deal for a lot of people here, like, a big statement. We also taught this family, a mom named Dina and her kids Erica and Bruno. Erica is sweet as can be and loves the Finding Faith in Christ movie we gave them and I want her to join primary and YW's so bad. Bruno is also sweet, but has some sort of disability. During our first lesson with them he literally almost killed the pet kitten about 5 times. It was horrifying. We are going to stop by their house tonight as well. :)
If my mission is a mini life, Lagos was definitely my blissful happy childhood, and Ponta Delgada is unmistakably my rocky moody teenagehood. :) But I am feeling and seeing God's love every day. We prayed and fasted this week to arrive at a vision for this area/transfer, and as we prayed about it, I felt to pray that we would see and recognize miracles every single day. And that has been true.
I am grateful for all of you! I love reading you each week. I sometimes get all wistful that my future husband doesn't get to read your emails each week, wherever he is, because I want him to get to know you through your writing! You all write so well.
I am so grateful for a God who knows me. Who knows what I need. I am gaining a love for these people and this place. It has a similar texture and color to the love I have for Livermore -- a sort of gritty, hard-earned, sorrow-twinged love. He knew I would need to learn to experience and enjoy the intensity and exquisiteness of that color, that type of love. There really is a singular beauty to it. And when I look back on Livermore, I see how hugely my soul expanded in that time. Yay for soul expansion!
I'm going to try to attach some fotos.
Love love LOVE love love love LOVE Love love love.
P.S. Guess what is in 5 days!? CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!
|I got to wear my boots this week! Wahoo! Also this jacket is the color I would choose if I had to choose a color to represent the color of sould expansion that I described in the email. :) It's pretty huh?|
I wish you could tell how wet we were in this picture