(comments inserted in italics are from Mom) Also, here's a blip that she included with an email last week that contained photos: Yep. People love food here, but not vegetables! Lots of biscuits, gravy, rice, potatoes, and more biscuits...yum! I love it here though! It's fun! :)
Geez, mom, forget surviving the storm I survived your e-mail!! haha jk I loved reading yours and dads emails! Ok, getting right into all the questions and stuff to say. Crazy that you have snow already! I bought a black winter coat with the $37, so everyone can calm down. I might use some more money today too to buy some stuff for some people ;) I have a support card but it's for food. We get fed so much here- lunch and dinner. I think instead of feeding the missionaries it should be like how much can we feed them til they explode! I feel like no one here likes veggies that much either! ugh...it's hard but I'm trying, but I know I've gained some weight :/ Stupid! Thanks for all the feedback on the pictures. Glad I still look ok! That's great about the Oliver's (neighbor who had twins)- nate and kate- not a tongue twister at all. Tell her congrats..i like morning cookies too...and pear fruit leathers. :p I will try to write bro. coats sometime and will pray for him; tell shea aldana I'm so excited for her if you see her, and finally BYU wins a game! Also, I'm not surprised that the response time is slower for making mission calls. They're getting slammed and there's only 2 apostles! Yes, I got both packages and thanks so much!! I loved the belvitas, and I will be wearing the scarf! We had our primary program yesterday and it was good, but definitely not like the one at home. Not very many kids. Ha dad- that backing up picture is so ugly! Sis. Little took it when I was changing faces and about peed her pants - er skirt! Glad I entertain her all the time! Mom- I still have vitamin c that I brought but no vitamin d. If you want you can send some or I can buy some here. I don't really care. That's interesting about the meeting with Elder Holland and Nelson (they visited with leaders in the Mapleton area). I'm not jealous or anything- I never got to see an apostle at the MTC and I'm a missionary for goodness sake! haha Times are definintely going to get worse, so it's cool to see everything just being like prepare yourself for everything! Conference just seemed urgent this year. haha I laughed about the name of Frankenstorm!! (Nickname for Hurricane Sandy and cold front collision) Right now there's just rain. It started last night and rained all night I think. Now it's just cold, windy (supposed to get up to 50-60 mph winds), and drizzly. People are preparing for the apocolypse here though. No school, get tons of food/gas/water etc., basically just sitting inside waiting for the power to go out. Maybe it will get worse later on but right now it doesn't seem that bad. I'll be fine mom- I've got extra protection ;) I don't want you having a heart attack about me being safe. Just pray and we'll make good decisions here! Emry sounds so cute, and I laughed out loud in the library about her legs shaking like a seizure in the crib.(She is just learning to stand up and doesn't know how to get back down). I miss those kids! How's Isaac surviving? Also, I would love to see Brandi!! Yeah, if Tammy is in Roanoke it's not that far away. That stuff I accidently left at the MTC had her # though, so could you get it from her again? Just send it with your letter you write tomorrow if you can. I may need to clear it with Pres. Pitt but it's non members so I'm assuming it would be ok. I'll see what's up and get a hold of her and we'll get together soon hopefully! Ok, sorry for being so random and just spewing out words!
This week has seemed to be an emotional roller coaster for me. I forget to mention that last sunday I had to say the closing prayer in sacrament and I had to teach gospel principles. I was so nervous and didn't want to do it especially when I saw that we had like 14 people there! It seemed to go well though and people participated. It was on family responsibilities. People said that I did a really good job, and that I'm an amazing teacher. Um, ok ;) Also, I have to give a talk on Nov. 25 on Humility...help please!! Any good talks, thoughts, anything about it? We had a mission tour (meeting) with the southern half of the mission on wednesday with Elder Whiting and it was amazing!! I gave myself tendonitis from writing so much- I think it was like 12 pages overall! He just has a way with words and answered so many questions and concerns that I was having. Whether by what he said or a thought that I had it made me feel comforted and learn so much more about teaching, and becoming a better missionary. He had asked everyone to write a 5 minute talk on the doctrine of christ (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, enduring to the end), and to prepare with your companion how to invite someone to church in a role play. He talked for a while then had 4 missionaries come up and give their talk. President didn't have anyone specifically in mind, so Elder Whiting just 'randomly' (yeah right) chose missionaries to speak. And what do you know...with my luck I was one of the 4 missionaries picked to speak. I was looking down and writing actual things, but he was like 'this sister in the yellow sweater. Looking down and trying to avoid eye contact is not going to help you cause you're still coming up here!' Hah! Everyone laughed at that, but I really was having to write something and I may or may not have also tried to be just avoiding eye contact with him as well! I was the only sister up there and was the 3rd to speak, so I had about 10 minutes to pretty much die of heart failure! I was soooo nervous because I had to speak in front of half the mission, President and Sister Pitt, and a seventy!!! Ahhhh!! What was I going to say? What would they think of it? I don't want to do this. Breathe. Are they going to judge me? What in the heck do I even say in front of a seventy? Breathe. That's basically what I was thinking, and the talk I had prepared did not feel right at all. So, my heart was pounding so much, and I had the overwhelming sense that I needed to change my talk and it was a powerful feeling. With both of those things happening I thought I was going to literally pass out. So, I was just praying for help and was frantically trying to find scriptures that seemed right. I got up there and of course right off the bat I started crying! (Thanks mom! :P) And, then what happened next was amazing because I just talked. There were things I wanted to say that I said and I read my scriptures, but I don't know. It was like words were just coming and I was just able to speak non stop for my allotted time. I actually went over a few minutes because I was just talking. And even though I was crying I was able to get my words out audibly I think! That experience was just so neat because a lot of those words I wasn't thinking and they weren't my words, but I needed to say them. After I sat down, I saw Elder Whitning lean over to President Pitt and ask something and President responded. Then Elder Whiting glanced back at me and just made that 'woah face.' When he got back to the pulpit He said that He hadn't realized that he had called on such young missionaries. It was awesome! So many people said that my talk was so good, so I guess it was good! :) Elder Whiting said that happened to him on his mission and he didn't want to be called on, but in reality it was exactly what he needed. That statement is true, because I learned so much from just going up there and talking. The Lord works in crazy and wonderful ways! Also, Elder Whiting had a grandma who was born and raised in Mapleton, but I didn't get to ask who it was. He shook all of our hands.
Yesterday, Sister Little and I both received blessings from President Pitt because we both really needed them. We need help here in Covington to find the 'elect' the people that are ready for the gospel because right now it's not going to well. And especially me, I need some help with me and some guidance about some struggles I'm having. So with Sister Pitt there as well we received our blessings one after the other and it was wonderful. His blessing was just...I don't know how to explain it..powerful. I wrote down everything that I could remember from it when we got back into the car and have been looking at that list ever since. At the same time though he said things that made me just question some things about myself and really take a step back. I'm trying to do a self evaluation thing now and really figure out how I can change some things because that part in the blessing troubled me. I'm sure I'll figure it out in time though and learn from it, but yeah. Question though- What does conversion mean to you? How are you converted? Is it just one specific time? I thought it was a process? If you find any talks or quotes on that too let me know what they are :) Sorry, if I was just babbling that whole time. Sometimes writing it out helps me figure things out for myself. Missions are definitely tough and really test you and push you at some points, but they are also wonderful because they build you and strengthen you. You can learn so much from them if you are open to it and submissive to being in the Lord's hands and letting Him shape you! I'm definitely in one of those times right now and it is no fun, but I'm learning, trusting, studying, pondering, and trying to see how I can become better from this. It also helps too when you just let it all out- frustrations, words, thoughts, tears to a companion who will listen and try to make you laugh and give you advice. Keep praying for me please. I can feel them!
Also, we went tracting saturday and at one house noone was home, and the next four we got rejected royally! One man had a long driveway and even before we were half way down it he came out and yelled 'I saw you coming and we already go to our own church, so we don't need anything.' His back was already turned away from us as he was finishing yelling. Then the next house we hadn't even gotten on the driveway and a man yelled 'we're not interested, thanks.' Ouch! But it's ok. We just have to keep our heads up and keep going. I know what I stand for, what I believe in, what I know to be true, and why I am doing this for a year and a half of my life! They can't change that or take that away from me because it's mine. Anyways, sorry if this email seemed more depressing than most or too deep. I don't know. That's just what's on my mind right now and the happenings here in Covington. Don't worry about me cause I'll get through all this and know more about myself and the gospel! I love you all and hope that life is treating all of you well! You're in my prayers!