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Monday, February 1, 2016

Moving to Lakeville

This is the Michilots; they're the cutest.

Hi family,
This week was all pretty routine. We did a TON of finding. Our coolest story from this week is from finding. We knocked on the door of a lady that Hna R helped with a box or something a few weeks ago. She was really nice and invited us in right away. Her name is Marina from El Salvador. She told us that she had heard missionaries teaching her husbands family one time but that she didn't really remember anything that they said. She remembered that there was a new prophet, but not his name. So we taught her the Restoration. When we said the name Joseph Smith, she pointed at us and her eyes got really big, and she was really excited. She said "that's him! I remember hearing this, but not the ending!" We continued, and after the First Vision she said "en serio?!" Like... "Are you serious?!" But not a you're crazy are you serious, more of a how-have-I-never-heard this-before are you serious. So we asked her what she thought it meant. She said that first God and Christ are two people, and second that Joseph Smith didn't start his own church, he really did restore the church of Christ. We were shocked. Like...Yes. That's exactly what it means. Haha. Almost every time we teach the Restoration, the people just don't get it. They think "oh that's a nice story", or "eh that's cool I guess", but Marina got it. She understood, and it was the coolest thing to see her get excited about it. We have another appointment with her tonight. It's lessons like that that make being a missionary totally worth it. It's awesome. 

The rest of our week was pretty slow. We had a lesson with Vivian, our one other investigator, and she is prepping to be baptized the 20th. She has been investigating a while, she's 20, has been married for three years, and has two kids. She is really cute. Our lesson with her was really good, but then she didn't come to church on Sunday! We were sad. But shes really excited to get baptized, so hopefully she will put in the effort.
You would not believe some of the stories people have. We heard a few stories this week about when people would try and cross the border. It's incredible. Crazy things happen. There are people who smuggle others across the border called "coyotes." And they charge thousands of dollars and sometimes they are really bad people. Sometimes getting separated from your coyote is really bad. They talk about snakes, and bugs, and patrol, and running from dogs, hiding for hours in rivers, crazy stuff. I can't even imagine. These people work so incredibly hard.
Ay! Hna Warmbier was in the hospital this week! Remember how two weeks ago she was sick on Pday, well it hasn't really gone away, and it turns out they might need to remove her gallbladder! Scary. She was in the hospital for a bit, but then they couldn't find anything conclusive and so they didn't operate, but its pretty for sure that shell have to have surgery at some point. She'll be ok, but it made me sad. Also fun fact, Hna Scholl sprained her arm last week. People keep joking that Hna R is next. Its not my fault I promise! 
Hna Rowland and I get along well. I feel like the biggest problem we run into is that we're both so independent that we forget to coordinate our agendas sometimes, which can be frustrating, but that's an easy fix. It's definitely both our faults. We enjoy each other though. 

Missionary life is just a steady stream of awkward. Seriously, before my mission I considered myself as pretty coordinated, never awkward, take it as it comes type of person, and when embarrassing or awkward things would happen it was a rarity. But when you're with someone 24/7 and doing things like trying to get into apartment buildings or knocking on trailer doors, I swear my entire existence has become recovering from awkwardness. Like nothing is even awkward any more because its such a regular occurrence. For example, we were knocking in a trailer park, and we're trying to be relatively picky and trying to find Hispanics, which can be hard. We walk up to this trailer, and I partially open the screen door, see that they're white, and instead of playing it cool and knocking anyway, I just closed the door and walk away hoping that they didn't notice. which of course they did, and the guy came out and said ..uh..can I help you?.. and I just said, sorry we had the wrong house number... my bad... and he said ok and left. Awkward. My recoveries aren't even smooth any more. 

I have been thinking a lot this week about priesthood authority and following our priesthood leaders. There's a family in our branch that is pretty critical of our mission president, and most of the missionaries in the mission know them or have had contact with them. They talk a lot about how President Forbes doesn't know what he's doing, that he has terrible people skills, doesn't do anything for himself, doesn't care about the missionaries enough etc etc And so I was thinking about this. And basically I decided that 1st-I will never be found criticizing our priesthood leaders, because I really don't like it when others do, and 2nd-the only way I was going to be able to do that is if I knew for sure that President Forbes has been called and is inspired to lead this mission. So I had been praying about it for a couple of days, and during personal study, "coincidentally" all of the reading I did, just reading from where I left off in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament, was about authority and when Paul and Alma were establishing the church in their respective places. And then just flipping through my scriptures, I saw a quote I had written in the margin, which is actually something Josh said in one of his letters. He said "One of the greatest fronts of attack Satan has right now is sustaining, supporting, and following our priesthood leaders." Seriously coincidences don't exist. It was an answer to prayer. Cool right? Long story short, President Forbes is called to lead this mission, and even if it is different than the way that others do it.

I also wanted to ask about temple sealings. We were teaching a less-active member about the temples, and I realized that I don't know what it actually means to be "sealed." What does the sealing do for us?

It sounds like everyone is doing really well, especially Mom and Dad prepping to go to Maui. It supposed to drop back to single digits this week. I would LOVE a video of Morgan jump-serving. And by love, I mean I demand one:) I'm excited for Josh to go to a church school, that will be awesome for him. I appreciate your example to me of being generous and willing to give. I want to be like that too. Let me know how things go with Vicky Scott!

Love, Emily

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