Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Salt Lake City East is the best ever! I love my Mission!

I have to start this weeks email out with a picture of the view that I get to see every single day!

Okaaaay, so this week was a little slow in terms of appointments.  Actually it was really slow.  Never the less, there were still miracles popping up left and right.

Last night we had a lesson with Maggie. She was the girl that was just recently baptized, we met at the Vincents (senior missionaries) and watched the Restoration DVD. I love that video by the way, the music and the actors, basically everything just reeks of inspiration.  Anyways, after the video we asked Maggie what she thought about it.  She LOVED it, because she said she really felt like she could relate to Joseph.  Maggie had been praying for a church that believed in Christ and practiced things that would help her become more like Christ and then SHABAAAM the missionaries showed up!  Maggie is such a sweet person and genuinely just wants to help people, hence her constant visits to Haiti where she looks to give service where ever she can.  I can already tell with her big heart, and big personality she is going to be a big influence in her ward.

We had Zone Conference this past week and it was the BEEZZ NEEZZZ! 
The main thing that i got out of it all was obedience, and the important roll obedience has in the lives of us missionaries.  Sister Eberhardt had an Elder who is serving in Wyoming right now, come up and talk about his experiences regarding obedience. this kids story was I N T E N S E..
Long story short, this kid fell off the deep end.  He wasn't being obedient at all, and one day he realized what he was doing.  He realized all the time he was wasting.  With tears in his eyes he told us about all the time he wasted that he can never get back.  It made me wake and realize that I might not be deliberately trying to be disobedient, but that every moment i have here is precious. The minutes i waste in one day don't get transferred to the next day like a bank account.  That time is gone.  Things like waking up on time and going to bed on time don't seem silly or unimportant to me anymore.  I don't want to come home with regrets.  I will come home knowing i did the best i could from beginning to end.

 Here are a couple pictures of the map they had up at Zone conference to show us where we all came from.  I loved seeing how many missionaries we have here in Salt Lake from Arizona!

Our Zone leaders taught in part of the zone conference, because they were last, and zone conference started at 10am and ended around 4pm.... they wanted to do something that would keep everyone awake.  You know those minute to win it games?  Well in between slides about how we can become better missionaries they would have two people (an elder and sister) come up in front and have them do a minute to win it challenge. They had asked me before hand if i would be in one of them because they knew i wouldn't get embarrassed.  I had to do the cookie challenge, how fitting haha... this is where you stick the cookie on your forehead and without using your hands you have to get the cookie in your mouth..pretty sure everyone got some really amusing pictures in that one minute.  Of course i creamed the elder, had to represent the family name.
  **Mom insert...  (That's my GIRL!)...
I shook L. Tom Perry's hand.  Boy he really does have the grip of a marine, and he's so tall! Needless to say it was a really powerful talk on the importance of strong companionship's. I didn't take a ton of notes because i didn't want to keep looking down, i couldn't believe i was sitting two pews away from him. 
(He is a really big, strong looking man)

 I also found my MTC companion!  So nice to see her again!
Then the very next day i attended a devotional with Maggie.  SISTER OAKS! BABAMMMM!  She spoke on service, gratitude, and happiness.  Sister Oaks told a story of a woman she visited in Brazil. The 70 year old woman had very little, concrete floors, a few plastic chairs, and she was blind. Sister Oaks told of this woman's heart full of gratitude.  We all would see her as someone lacking, but this woman felt as though she had everything because she had the knowledge that Christ lives and her Heavenly Father loves her.  Made me think about all the things i am grateful for. I remember when one of my YW leaders gave a lesson on prayer.  She put it into perspective when she asked us " what if you woke up and you only had the things you thanked heavenly father for the night before in your prayer?".  I find myself in more sincere prayer, on my knees a lot more than i had ever been.

This past Sunday was the best. I've had RMs tell me they hated Sundays but i LOVE EM!  We were busy busy from 9am till 9pm.  We're at a different meeting, different building, different classroom every hour or 30 min haha, but i love it!  Being busy and being productive is the best feeling.  I really love the members in this area, they are trying so hard. Constantly coming up with new ideas so they can help find us people to teach or help us get into houses of inactive members. I really don't want to leave this area anytime soon, transfers are in about two weeks, but sister v says she thinks im going to be in this area for a long time.  I hope her Filipino self is right! hahaha

Today when we went out to get some more groceries i tried to make better choices with my food even though i knew it would cost more. I'm trying to be "healthy" whatever that means haha anyways, when me and sister Villoso went up to pay a lady swiped her card for not only mine but for my companions groceries as well.  What a blessing, and i thought it was even cooler that the guy at the register got to see that happen.  I could tell he hadn't seen something like that before.  We said thank you over and over at the register and when we saw the lady in the parking lot we yelled thank you one last time to the giving sister we were privileged to meet. 
Then at the car wash (we are told to keep our car clean) the guy who runs it let us go in for free and gave us the highest priced wash. 
 My little companion with a big knife!  Cracks me up how small she is, but I love her!  Our can opener doesn't work by the way...
This is a dress that a member gave me so I thought Id just throw that picture in as well... I wear my Nauvoo boots EVERYWHERE!  Yes, they are falling apart, but that's what super glue is for!  Good as new!  **Mom insert...(She has expensive good shoes and boots and refuses to wear them!)
Funny story..
I have a lot of funny stories but some of them would just sound plain stupid to type out haha here is a quick one, so yesterday we went to these apartments to see a guy we had been told to contact through the mission office, anyways..as we are going in this guy is coming out of the apartments (clearly middle eastern decent) and my companion goes "holla! como esta?" I was dead hahahhahahahaha i couldn't stop laughing after he said in plain English "uhh i don't speak Spanish" after i was literally in tears the guy started laughing too, and we told him to have a nice day.  I've seen him at the apartments a couple times so next time we'll have to strike up a conversation about the gospel.  It made my day.
A couple pictures...
 My Uncle Sam lives really close to my mission home... He is to good to me, and always drops off care packages and $$... Uncle!  I love you, but I will do good even if I just have an email from you! 
**Mom insert (Love you Sam!)

I really love this work, and i love the people around me. Sometimes i love people a little less than others haha but im working on it through constant prayer.  I think i love Utah..Oh SNAP! never thought id say that hahaha  On to another week!  I love you all so much, and i love the Lord.  Being a missionary is waaaay better than what i imagined.  I hope all of you have a great week, and for those of you who actually read all this stuff, THANK YOU!

Sister Dodie (STEPH)
**Mom insert (Thank you so much for all the love and support Steph has been getting from you all... She loves the letters!  A couple things... Steph is getting to teach hula!!  She is so excited to get to work with some YW.  So we were able to send her some music this past week.  And lastly... Her Mission address is:   Stephanie Michelle Efnor
                                                                       Utah Salt Lake City East Mission
                                                                       3487 S. 1300 E. West Entrance
                                                                       Salt Lake City, UT 84106
She can get written mail more often than her once a week email.  If you include your address then she will write you back.  She has more time to do that then email.)