Oh my goodness, what a crazy few days I've had! It never slows down but seems to be picking up in speed! When the heck did it get to be Oct. 23?! You really do lose track of time out here when you're not focusing on it. So, I opened up my email today and was soo happy and surprised cause I had 5 emails from you guys!! It was so great to hear from all of you and to hear about what's happening with you all! And, as I said in my subject "the Lord is in the details," He really is. Each one of you said something that really stuck out to me today and helped/comforted me because I've been struggling these past few days. It's interesting to see how the Lord takes care of you though because answers are coming slowly, surely, simplify that are helping me, but it's such a learning process that is hard to go through. Lately I've been feeling like I'm not as in tune with the Spirit as I need/want to be and it's frustrating me because I want to have that constant guidance. In the MTC, the Spirit is there all the time and I think I was expecting something like that out here, but here you really have to work for it and be working hard because there are so many distractions here in the 'real world.' Saturday Sis. Little was just like 'I want you to assign where we need to go and who we need to talk to because you have a lot of inspiration and faith.' ...What?! I freaked out, but she sent me to our room for 15 minutes and I've never prayed that hard in my whole life! I put everything out on the line-every feeling, thought, intent out there and just said 'ok, Heavenly Father- Help me!' I've been really trying hard to pray harder, listen!, ponder, and know what we need to do. Faith doesn't just come. We have to have action and put in our work before we start seeing the rewards. In my journal, it has quotes on it each day and the past few pages have been like 'trust in the Lord and His power, don't be afraid, listen to the Spirit,...just exact things I need to hear. So even though I'm still far from perfect (none of us are anyways) I can tell I'm learning to really have more faith in the Lord and go with what He wants and what He will tell me. He knows what we need, when we need it, and will help us overcome every single obstacle that we have placed in front of us. Lindsey- I'm extending a committment to you right now- read Faith in the Bible Dictionary, Alma 5 (good chapter on faith), and when you have the time Ether (especially ch. 12). Ether is an amazing book with lots of faith in it. The Lord gives us what we need not what we want, and will help make our weaknesses become strong, but you just have to trust in Him. Be the clay in His hands that is moldable, so He can shape you into something even more amazing than you already are. *He's in the Details!*
We had President Interviews yesterday and it was awesome! He is truely inspired by the Lord even though sometimes He says things that I do not want to hear. He was talking to all of us and said right now I think there are about 57,000 missionaries worldwide. It is projected that in the next year or two there will be an influx of missionaries numbering at 100,000!! Crazy!!! Then after the initial influx it will level off to around 80,000-90,000 missionaries. How exciting and amazing is that?? The work is truely moving forward whether we're ready for it or not. He said that no matter how 'young' we are on our missions right now, we are now old! We are the pioneers of missionary work at this time because never before has there been a time as great as this to be a missionary. We are setting the standard, the example for all the incoming missionaries and need to be spreading the Lord's gospel as much as we can. Many people are jealous and wish they could be a part of this movement right now because it is so important that it happens right now! AHHH! Do you know how exciting, awesome, scary, nerve racking, inspiring, and pressured I am feeling!! I'm so happy but so nervous for what is going to happen! We have around 160 or 170 right now and should be prepared to get up to 250 in the coming times- mainly sisters though!! We all have to be prepared to train even though it will be hard. We have 18 sisters right now in the whole mission, but could get up to 20 new ones! He was saying one time a sister had to train 3 other sisters at one time- that's not stressful to think about at all! We will most likely be starting to see growth in late December, but more of January. One sister here, who is polynesian, has a really big family and 43 family members who are all girls are working on their papers! Amazing! Someone said that the missionary department usually has 600 applications a week, but were having like 1,700 a week. And that only the 1st Presidency and 12 Apostles knew about the announcement (you can find that in the deseret news) along with the MTC needed to hire more people. Pres Pitt said 8 weeks goes to 6 weeks, 4 to 3, etc. They still want everyone to have the experience of the MTC, but they have to move people through faster. When I met with him individually it was great, but when he said the opening prayer he said something to the affect of 'please help her as she goes through this time, and as she trains so much.' Something like that. I knew I would train on my mission, but I didn't think it would be so soon, and it sounds like so many, but it's in the Lord's hands. Also, another fun fact...I may be losing my mom 6 weeks earlier than we both expected! Pres. Pitt told Sis. Little 'you know, you can't stay in Covington forever, and something about the November transfer, but it wasn't confirmed with the Lord yet.' Sooo, what that means is that she may be getting transferred mid-November and I will be the senior missionary in this area. I will either have another sister with me here or I will start training a sister............. She said that doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes a missionary will be trained for only 6 weeks, so with my luck that will happen to me. That tried my faith yesterday, but again the Lord put quotes, scriptures, and words in people's mouths that comforted me. I just have to remember that with the Lord I can do all things, and I can do it no matter if they are hard, take me out of my comfort zone, or really try who I am and what I know. He knows what is best. We'll just see what happens, but please keep praying for me!! :)
Also, could you please pray for Brittany and Isabell? Brittany just got baptized on the 30th, and is 15. She loves the gospel, but her family is really giving her a hard time, but she really wants them to have the gospel as well. We're teaching her and trying to keep her strong, and find ways to soften her parents hearts. Isabell who is 50ish was baptized in June, I think, and has been really sick. She's getting better, but her family is really mean to her and just ignore her or dump things on her. They both need strength! Thanks!
What else...Oh I started driving the car yesterday and it took a bit to get used to since I haven't driven in over a month!
But it was exciting though and I love driving. We drive everywhere, but then just park and go tracting down different streets. I really wish we could walk everywhere cause I feel so lazy and blah, but things are just so spread out here. Lots of hills and gnats! The whole time that I've been here it really has not been humid at all which has surprised me, but I love it!! I'm slowly dying of the second hand smoke that is here because so many people smoke! And my clothes smell like smoke a lot, but oh well! The computers here have card readers, but are tempermental, so I'm going to try to send some pictures to you, but I forgot paper, so I may not be able to remember all the ones that I include. So you may have to figure out what it is by yourselves! Sorry!
I hope you all are doing well and survivinglife!! I'm doing well! :) Good luck to you Isaac with everything you have to do! You are strong though and can do it! Just take it one step at a time and keep pushing through. You and Lindsey are especially in my prayers during this time of craziness! I'll try to channel my missionary blessings and send them your way!! :) Nice job of the door prizes mom and dad! And Kellie, good luck with work and trying to figure everything out with school! Hope the Apple Crisp was good! I love you all so very much and miss you!!
P.S. What's happening in the world? I heard some girl was shot in the head in Pakistan, and everyone knows Romney is a Mormon and are always talking about the debates. Pretty much everyone loves him here and wants him to win. Oh, and we got off someone's list of being a cult! Yay! haha Love you guys!
First ApartmentMakeshift drying rack
WV on the left, VA on the right! At Goothrite Dam