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Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 20, Happy Father's Day!

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This is what we did today. A little sightseeing.

Happy Father's Day Dad!!! lately I have been sooooooooo grateful for our family. To my siblings: you have no idea how blessed we've been to have such awesome parents that taught us the Gospel. It has been amazing to me how many missionaries are learning the stories of the Book of Mormon and things like that really for the first time. I have never been more grateful for our family scripture study and all the things we do together. Thanks Dad for presiding and taking care of us:) I love you!  

Seriously I cannot believe that today is the 20th of JUNE. Every few days I look at the calendar and hyperventilate for a second. This coming Friday is my ONE YEAR mark. At the beginning of your mission you think ahead and it feels like it will never end. Not that you'll never make it there, just that your mission will never end. And now, I'm on the downhill and I don't know what to do with myself. There's a pretty good chance that I stay in St Paul for the rest of my time here, which is only four and a half transfers from now. Anyway, like I said every few days I freak out for a second and then I'm fine. I'm just trying to make the most of it and enjoy every moment. Nathan Hughes sent me a really good email this week about just enjoying my mission. I think he's having a hard time adjusting. I appreciated his input.

This week has been really good and I think one of the first weeks where I just want to go out and work hard and that's it. I finally feel like I've learned how to teach in a way that connects with people and the productivity of our lessons has really improved. I still have a lot to learn and I'll never be a perfect teacher but I really like this new drive that I've been feeling lately. We had exchanges this week, which is the first exchange I've been on where I've had to kind of conduct and be the one "inspecting" or whatever you want to call it. I went with Hna Leavitt in the West St Paul area. Hna Leavitt is still in training and I really enjoyed working with her. I think it helped her and boosted her confidence to have to take over her area for a day and it really helped me to realize that I really do know how to be a missionary haha. We also met this cool guy named Ted. We were looking for an apartment building and our GPS took us to an old Orthodox church and Ted was sitting outside. His parents were Serbian? immigrants and he speaks Serbian and Russian. He sits outside this church all day every day as a volunteer curator and gives tours to anyone passing by. He gave us this picture Inline image 1  . So it's hanging in our apartment now, framed and everything. He said we could come back for a tour anytime:)

A couple of things I have been focusing on in the last week are 1. using the Book of Mormon and 2. asking inspired questions. In conjunction with that Hna Chavez and I were asked to give a training in District meeting this week about using the Book of Mormon and a multi-zone training tomorrow on asking inspired questions. It's like Heavenly Father knows what I need or something. Our training at district meeting went really well. It was really powerful and made me want to use the Book of Mormon more. When the doctrine of the Book of Mormon is applied and practiced, that is what changes our lives. That's where the power comes from. So we have to teach our investigators to understand and apply the doctrine, not just read the book. The training we gave wasn't powerful because of anything we did. We just asked the right questions and the other missionaries answers are what made it so impactful. We used the model of inspired questions from our MLC training the week before. It works!:)

I've been trying to apply inspired questions and the Book of Mormon more in our lessons. I especially saw results when I was on exchanges. People I had never met before were opening up about their lives and what their concerns were. I had never seen it happen that fast before. I know that we couldn't have done it without the Spirit. It's been so cool!

I met a member this week who is less-active but not for lack of testimony, she's just had a streak of bad luck lately. She hasn't been able to get to church because her car broke down, and then her phone stopped working and then she lost her job because she was late because she had to ride the bus, and it just never ended. Her oldest son has been in jail for multiple years because he was wrongfully accused of murder in Honduras and he just got released this week. She is a single mom with 7 boys. Only one of them lives here with her, the rest are on missions or in Honduras. She has 3 sons on missions right now and one about to put his papers in! Her faith has really impressed me. She never gives up even though everything it seems is going wrong. She had to have done something right to have so many missionaries in her family. 

We also had a ward activity for Father's Day on Saturday. We cooked carne asada and had tacos and hung out with the ward for a bit. We (the sister missionaries) actually ended up preparing and cooking the meat haha. As usual it was chaos. The hermana RS president that was in charge let her counselor know last minute that she wasn't going to be there, and so the counselor was basically solo. When we got to the pavilion there was an English ward there that was doing a lunch after their temple trip so we ended up sharing the space. It was really hot too. I got sunburned. It was fun though and I got to meet some new people. I think the counselor really appreciated our help too. 

Also totally random side note, my favorite summer treat is cold watermelon with tajin. I don't know if you still have the tajin I sent you at Christmas, but try it with watermelon. My favorite. It's so good. 
It's been good, I love being a missionary! Keep being my favorite family!

Love, Emily   

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