Monday, September 12, 2016

This is Halloween!

Hello again!

I'm so excited that I get a moment to email y'all and let you know what's up in the Greatest Mission in the World (insert trademark sign).  Let me tell you the best thing ever about Arizona.  They start putting up Halloween decorations at the beginning of September.  I am in love with this state!  (Side note for anyone who doesn't already know: Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday.  I may have a problem).  Only downside of this state is that no one understands just how amazing the state of Utah is.  That's okay.  I have enough love for Utah to make up for everyone else in the state.

This week was my fourth birthday, which is crazy!  I celebrated by eating my favorite food for breakfast: Corn Flakes.  Not like I have that every day for breakfast . . . anyways, speaking of holidays, I must tell y'all about my favorite quote of the week.  I have recently found out that the lovely Hermana Anderson does not like Halloween.  I was left in dismay.  Apparently she also doesn't like the Fourth of July because of fireworks, watermelon, and meat.  I don't understand, but that's quite besides the point.  When she announced that, the entire zone was low-key shocked, when Elder Carais from El Salvador says, "I'm not even from this country and I love it!"  Best response ever.

We got to go to the temple again this week!  The temple trips always seem to line up just when I need them and they are beyond perfect.  I learned that God is definitely watching out for me at the temple because He always puts in my path just that little extra thing that makes my day.  Guess who else I saw at the temple.  My old zone of DESERT RIDGE!  After the temple, we all go to Kneader's, and so I got to talk to all my friends there.  Sister Sprouse is doing great, and it was a good old time just talking.  I was talking to my old zone leaders, Elder Merrit and Elder Wilcox.  Somewhere while we were talking, Elder Merritt's greenie pipes up that he's heard a lot about me.  Hopefully all good things. :)

We had Stake Conference yesterday, and it was amazing.  I really liked one talk where the speaker talked about seven things you learn on your mission:

1. to pray more
2. to study the scriptures more
3. to plan more
4. to speak of Gospel principles more
5. to bear testimony more
6. to work harder
7. to be more selfless

I just really liked that and I'm still working on most of those.  Missions are super exciting, and I'm glad I get this chance to sit down and learn all this.

I got to see lots of little miracles this week that taught me big lessons this week.  We met a man named Gilbert who all we had to say is that we have a message about Jesus Christ, and he was very clear about how much he wants us to come back and talk to him! We also had a recent convert's non-member husband come to Stake Conference, which was amazing.  My favorite thing, though, is what I learned about . . . (wait for it) . . . the Book of Mormon.  Sorry, not sorry.  That book is amazing.

First lesson I learned about it was during talking to our investigator Shaye.  We had asked her to read a pamphlet we gave her about the Restoration and the Introduction and Testimonies at the beginning of the Book of Mormon.  As amazing as the introduction and everything is, it isn't the same as reading the Book of Mormon (although it is important to have people understand what is in the introduction and testimonies).  It was a little frustrating being in the lesson because it seemed like there was something different between this time and the last time--something was missing. I realized after that this was the difference: she had noticed the difference between just reading in Enos the week prior and what she had read this week.  Want to know which she found a lot more application in? The Book of Enos, which is a record within the actual Book of Mormon.

I've been reading in Alma recently, and I've been loving everything I'm learning in it.  There's so many different lessons in it (not to mention that Captain Moroni is beyond incredible).  But I had a really cool moment listening to a song based on a story from the Book of Mormon.  If you haven't seen the Liken videos of scripture stories, I'm sorry that you have not lived.  In the movie about Nephi and his brothers, there is a song between Sariah (Nephi's mom), who was convinced her sons had been killed and she desperately needed to feel the Lord's comfort, and Nephi who was in the midst of a trial but he knew the Lord was with him every step of the way.  I've heard that song a million or so times, but I never really thought of those who contrasting attitudes when I've read that story.  I loved that even though Nephi had that courage and his mother was still trying to find that faith, the Lord took care of both of them.  I can't describe it adequately, so do me a favor and just go read the Book of Mormon.

Last big lesson that I've learned is that I need a lot of help listening to the Holy Ghost.  I'm realizing just how many promptings I receive, as do all of us, every single day, and I realized that I'm flat out ignoring most of them.  It was a really humbling experience because God is straight out telling me, "Here, Emily.  This is what you need to do," but how often am I actually listening to it?  I'm working this week to do what Elder Green (my current zone leader) said and act on every prompting no matter how small.  I'm excited to see what happens.

That's it for this week! I love you so much!

Sister Emily

Zone selfie featuring almost no one except for Elder Loder

Sister Hendrick and I at the temple

 I got to see the Jones family again!! 

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