General It is pretty funny because I have been worried lately about overspending. For the first month I spent nearly $40 on transportation of my own money (without reimbursement), and accidentally spent $50 of groceries on my personal card as well. And then I bought two skirts for Christmas and realized I didn't want them but they wouldn't give me a refund. However, this past week nearly every investigator has been feeding us, or giving us tons of food for no reason at all. So I spent 50 cents on groceries this week and our fridge is super full. Small miracles. I was also pretty sad because I threw out my aloe before getting on the plane because my bag was too heavy (I love my aloe), and today when I was asking an investigator about what I should do to help my skin, she gave me two bottles of aloe. The Lord doesn't just reach out to others through us; he allows others to look out for us as we do His work :)
This week has been so nice because my hair is now permanently straight for a year. I wake up and it has dried perfectly and I spend no time or effort on it whatsoever. These computers cannot upload pictures, so I apologize once again. I think some people sent me pictures to my email though, so I will forward them.
Can someone please send me facebook pics to this email? I would like a couple cheer pictures (stunts and a group picture) a couple Austria pictures a couple Bolivia pictures and a couple pictures from BYU and a couple family ones. I will print them here and show them to investigators. They love pictures and I brought like 4. Thank you!
Jessica- I hear audition music all the time here. Some of it is apparently popular. It is weird but also fun.
Food... some of the food has been really hard for me to handle here. One investigator wanted to give us breakfast and it was a huge bowl of ramen noodles and weird beef. I have a really hard time stomaching what they serve us. But it is out of love, and I have been blessed to handle it with dignity. Another investigator served us rice with chopped up purple octopus tentacles. And she had us make a salad with a whole tub of mayonnaise (kind of defeats the purpose of salad/ I didn't know their were people who ate more mayo then my family, lol). She has a garden though and lets us try some of her home grown vegetables and fruits. One is green with pink alfalfa looking stuff in the middle and is very sweet.
I think the idea of a Mentor is so interesting. You choose who is in your life and how they will shape it. If you want to be successful, you spend your time with successful people. All of the most successful people in life had mentors. The most successful people now have them. I have been blessed with companions who have been great "spiritual" mentors.
We met a potential investigator this week whose Dad owns a huge company and she is a millionaire. She is super sweet and loves serving people. Everyone needs the gospel, and it is so interesting to meet people in different circumstances because they all have great individual personalities and their own challenges as well. She brought us to an expensive restaurant (I accidently got sticky chicken on a white fancy tablecloth because my chopstick eating skills are not perfected yet; and I was served an orange sea sponge looking thing and a long purple octopus tentacle) and bought us desert (squishy warm sesame balls, and durian/ whipcream with ice cream or something... never tried anything like it before but it was really good). Then she took us to a beautiful place in the mountains that had wild monkeys that attacked us at one point. This was against the rules however (she didn't know) so we had her take us back home (it was way out of our area). She gave us real jade bracelets, and wanted to buy us Dior earrings (she was wearing them in pink; when she looked up the exact name of the pair, there were several celebrities pictures wearing them, including Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence while on red carpet)... But my ears aren't pierced so she is getting us more expensive Hermes bracelets... Oh she also wants to set me up with her rich asian friend. I said "chyundouh jihauh" (after the mission). Lol it was mostly a joke though. Oh, and she also wanted to give us one of her four cars!!
Spiritual "I did not still the wind; I simply gave you strength to overcome." Basically my life. This week has been very interesting. At first I think Satan was trying very hard to hinder our missionary work. I was feeling exhausted and sick and negative for a while. I really tried hard to pray for a positive attitude . I later found that changing the way I say my prayers (always thinking of others and asking for their blessings through my positive attitude). This really helped. I also read the "How to be a consecrated missionary." This week I have been trying my hardest to put 100% into studies and in service (to companionship and to investigators and members). I have tried to sacrifice my own will and "things of importance" to the Lord, asking for His help and strength to do so. I have felt an increase in effectiveness and love for others, as I have tried to focus more on His work, and He has helped me tremendously in doing so.
I really like the Powers of Heaven paper. I enjoy reading it everyday, and applying it to my life. I love Moroni 7:26. The promise is so real, and it is so easy to recognize while on the mission. Often, we will pray for an investigator to have the desire to be baptized, or to call us, and it will happen (sometimes they will call in the very moment). I have sincerely prayed for strength on the days when I have no energy, and He has given it. I have been able to more effectively love, serve, and teach. ALL things that you ask for in faith, which are good, will be given you. What a promise. It has been very interesting to ponder and reflect on all the miracles we have encountered each day. It seems that even when things don't go as planned, they work out in a way that was necessary. We have 4 baptism dates in a ward that hasn't had baptisms for 2 years and is losing hope. Now we must simply pray for these individuals to keep their commitments and be given their own strength. They all truly desire to be baptized, which is amazing. We cannot lose hope in them (they all seem to be getting sick and losing the big perspective), because Heavenly Father has never and will never lose hope in us. I can think of times in my life when I probably wasn't following His ideal plan, but He had patience and never gave up on me. And now I am here serving.
This is His work. Of course He will help us with it. We simply must ask in faith. Miracles happen right before our eyes daily. What a blessing to reach out to His children in love and do His work.
Also: Remember to tell the Savior your plan each morning and to think of your blessing at the end of each day. People love serving missionaries because they feel the love that the Savior has for them through us.
Pictures of me and my companion and the sweet friend who took us to the mountains with the wild monkeys everywhere. Can you read my nametag? No pictures of the monkeys attacking us.