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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 21

Meet Angela

Emily with Deb Zollinger and Sister Warmbier

Ok so I'm really dumb. I just deleted like almost a half hours worth of email. So here's round two of trying to write. Dangit. So this week's email is a bunch of stuff that I've learned and a couple of funny stories, so it's going to be pretty random. The first, and I think most important, thing I've learned this week is about the enabling power of the Atonement. I read a talk by Elder Bednar called "In the Strength of the Lord" and he really clarified for me what the enabling power is. He said "As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who 'act' instead of objects who are 'acted
upon.'" He gave the example of Nephi who when his brothers tied him up to leave him in the wilderness prayed for the strength to loose the bands instead of his brothers changing or being magically released. I think that Nephi understood the power of the Atonement. Another example he ave was of some pioneers who got stuck without food. They tried eating the rawhide they had by making it into like a jelly. Disgusting right? Ew. Their stomachs literally couldn't handle it. But instead of praying for food to come or for help to bail them out, they
prayed that their stomachs would adapt. And they lived off of it for six weeks until help came. The enabling power helps us to be stronger, better, and more able to serve than we could ever be on our own. It gives us the strength we need to overcome our circumstances instead of our circumstances overcoming us. I think that's pretty amazing. I never understood it like that before. Next, at Zone Conference we talked about two things. 1: The new
Christmas video comes out on the 29th. As missionaries we are already planning on how to use  and share it. My challenge to you is to think of ways as a family that you can share it, and Facebook doesn't count. I'm talking face-to-face action. Start role-playing  and thinking of ways now! I'm extending an old-fashioned missionary invitation:) And the video is awesome. It is especially focused on youth. So Ryan, Sara, Lauren, Morgan, think of ways you can show your friends. It doesn't have to be hard. 2: the Handbook change. President Forbes invited us to watch the interview by Elder Christofferson about it and he says it way better than I ever could.
Here's the link:
and the page that clarifies:
I know that sometimes we don't understand the policies that are given at first, but I have faith that light will be shed in the near future. Especially Ryan, Sara, Lauren, Morgan: just know that these men are called of God. The laws of God will never change. He will never yield. It's such a blessing to know exactly where we stand with Him. We never have to wonder if what we are doing is right or wrong. In a letter a month or two ago, Josh said "Satan's greatest front of attack right now is on the leader's of the church." Satan will do everything he can to make us doubt the leadership of the church and to stray from the path because it's not of the world. Don't let him do it! These men are called of God and will show us the way in a continuously darkening world. I saw about the attacks in Paris on one of the TV screens at Timberlodge when we went out with Debbie. Scary. Case in point. We need guidance.

We went to Stake Conference yesterday in Crystal, and the theme here was member missionary work. It's hard not to cheer and applaud when awesome members get up and talk about their experiences and invite others to do the same. It was a really good experience and the messages were really good. The Stake President talked about how we can be obedient now, we just have to decide. He also spoke on the power of the scriptures. I don't know if I told you, but last week I finished the Book of Mormon again and started reading it in Spanish. The power
of the scriptures is real. IT acts as an umbrella of protection for us. When we read on a regular basis we will be more guarded from temptation. It's true! It's real! If you don't believe me, try! It's awesome. The power of prayer is real! We have had a hard time getting member meals and so we have been praying how to know to get more food basically haha but we had three meals this week, plus two or three members gave us food to take home. It seems so silly but we really are taken care of.

So that's all some pretty heavy stuff, so here's some funny stories. Hno Benjamin, a semi-less-active that we teach was giving us marriage advice this week, which is funny because he is 50 something and has never been close to being married. He is hilarious, I really want you to meet him someday even though he doesn't speak any English.
Last week we were out trying to get into an apartment building in the dark, and I walked into a tree. I actually do that quite a bit, but this time the tree got stuck in my headband! I had a twig stuck to my head for a couple of minutes before I noticed. Good thing it was dark:)
Me with a twig stuck to my head

On Wednesday we went out to Eden Prairie to meet a family we didn't know. It was raining cats and dogs so Hna Warmbier had an umbrella that she had grabbed from the apartment closet. This umbrella is psycho, it opens randomly and scares the dalyights out of anyone within arms reach, which is always me. But anyway we get to the
apartment building and Hna W puts the umbrella in her pocket. We reach the door, and Mariela opens. All of the sudden theres this huge POP like a big balloon and the umbrella handle hits the ceiling and lands at Mariela's feet. Remember we haven't met her yet. Hna Warmbier has a long spring hanging out of her pocket and is just as surprised as I was. Mariela was confused, we were surprised, and so she invites us in and we give a short thought, sing a hymn, the entire time gritting our teeth so we don't bust up laughing, and when as soon as the door closed behind us we DIED. We seriously laughed all the way down the hallway, into the car, out of the parking lot, and basically every time we have thought about it since then. Embarrassing doesn't even really exist anymore.

So that was basically our week. We had a lot more success with investigator lessons than we've had in a while. Saturday was the worst day we've had. Literally nothing happened. Que sad. But it's ok because overall the week turned out well. I appreciate your emails. Dad I kind of want to hear more about the evil spirit thing in Brazil. Do you have cool stories? And I love that the lady that spoke about the Sabbath day. That is such a hard thing.
Hispanics are such hard workers. So many of them work twelve hours a day or all night or three jobs just to make ends meet. It's so hard when we have to tell a single mom that she needs to keep the Sabbath Day holy even when it doesn't seem like she'll be able to make ends meet if she takes Sundays off. It takes a lot of faith, but I know there are blessings. Mom I really like getting pictures. Thanks for the one from the concert. I expect lots from Magic Mountain:) One of my favorite things ever would be if you and Dad come with me to visit Minnesota again and your Spanish was good enough so that I could really introduce you to some of my new friends! I would love it. Hna W says my Spanish is really good, but I'm not overly convinced. Some days are really hard and I understand nothing and can't string sentences together, And then other days my accent is good, I don't have to think too much, and I can get by. I love having a fluent companion, my accent has gotten a lot better, but one of the most frustrating things is when the people we're talking to won't listen to me because I'm not clear enough or as clear as Hna W. So frustrating
Lauren, I loved your email about normal life, it's easy to forget that life still goes on as a missionary! I kind of miss cutting wood, crazy right? I also love Sweeney Todd, but volleyball is so fun too. That's a really hard decision. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm freezing yet, but it has been SO nice here. Like low sixties upper fifties. It's supposed to drop to like the thirties this week, but as of now, I'm still not a popsicle! Dinner with Debbie was fun. I loved the Minnesota themed restaurant haha I had walleye and wild rice soup. Yummm. It was fun hearing about
how much fun she had with you guys. Today we had zone PDay and we did like a Thanksgiving dinner and played volleyball! I was so happy. I had a lot of fun. There are always one or two elders that get a little too into it but it was still really fun. Hna W and I mad pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Delicious. SPeaking of which I have done so much better at eating healthy this week. Still not perfect, but wayyy better. Hna W's sister sent her this workout that we've been doing and it's been awesome. I feel way better when I'm eating well.

Welp. That's about all I've got. Pictures to come in a few! I love you all, be missionaries!

Love, Emily

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