Monday, July 20, 2015

Homies and Humidity

This week has been incredible. 
Is that how I start my emails every week? 
I don't know man, it's always the truth though. I have been having a pretty dang good mission these past 12 months. But this one really takes the cake. It just gets better and better every day. 

So honestly I was really scared when Hermana Tolman left because I felt like I'd never be able to have that much fun with another companion. But I was wrong. Hermana Davis is literally the best, funniest person on this entire planet. She is so awesome. We're going to have a lot of fun together. 
The only problem is that she is SUPER intimidating! Not only is she the nicest, funnest person you will ever meet - she always has a smile on her face and she is not afraid to talk to every single person and she has the ability to make them feel so loved and needed - but she is also the hardest working missionary I think I have ever seen. She is so focused on her purpose. All of the time. Like companionship studies with Hermana Davis are some of the best things that I have ever experienced. We get so much done. We stayed completely focused during weekly planning. And yet somehow we're still laughing and happy and having a good time. 
Also she is literally the most beautiful person you will ever meet. Ever. And she like doesn't even try!! Her outfits are always professional and adorable. Her face is perfect. 
So the problem here is that I will never be able to measure up to Hermana Davis. But I am just blessed to serve with her. 
What a blessing. 

Can we just talk about Tuesday

At first it wasn't a blessing because Hermana Tolman left me and I was really sad about that. But it was her time, you know? It was her time... 
But then! The greatest thing happened! 
I got to go work in Lebanon for the entire day! 
I got to see so many people that I miss and love and that I haven't heard from in quite a while and it was really amazing. And Hermana Tolman and I spent Monday night in the Lebanon apartment and it was just like old times. 
Well, except for the fact that we weren't sleeping in beds. But whateva. 
ALSO! Anyone remember the Christmas tree that Hermana Landa and I purchased in December? IT WAS STILL UP! I have never been so happy! Hahaha it was so rad. 

But anyway. One of the best experiences was with Sister Dourte. She is a recently reactivated member that I love SO much. Like she seriously means so much to me!! And I want to share this story not because I want to boast or anything but I just want whoever is reading this to know that YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES even if you don't realize it. 
So when I was serving in Lebanon, we used to visit Sister Dourte pretty regularly. She was someone that I felt a real connection with, so even though she didn't exactly show signs of progression, I still wanted to go and visit with her. Honestly she reminded me a lot of my grandma Johnson. Her husband wasn't a member and I was always really interested in teaching him the lessons, but he always seemed pretty weary whenever we asked. So we didn't push it super hard. 
When I left the area, I thought about them a lot but I never found time to write them or anything. When I heard that Brother Dourte had passed away, I was really torn up about it. I was super worried about Sister Dourte. I wrote her a letter to let her know how much I cared and I bore my testimony of the Plan of Salvation, but I never heard from her. 
When I found out that I was spending the day in Lebanon, I knew that Sister Dourte was at the very top of people that I wanted to visit. So we got to go over there and that conversation changed my life.
I've never really felt like I've had anyone on my mission that I was sent specifically to teach them. You know how like you hear stories all the time about people who have "their missionary" who like none of the other missionaries seemed to be able to connect with them until that one missionary comes along and says something that just like changes their mind or finally clicks with them or whatever? Well I'd never really felt like I'd had any of those people on my mission. I just felt like all of the people I taught were so prepared and that the Lord had just helped them along so much. And honestly, that's really what it all comes down to. But the Lord loves to use us in His work to touch the lives of people. We literally are His hands. And as I sat there and listened to Sister Dourte explain how much of an impact I had on her and her husband, and that he had started to think about joining the church, and they talked about how much they missed me when I left, and I was just so shocked! Because honestly I had no idea! 
I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that we have on people's lives. We know how much other people mean to us, but we forget that we are important in the lives of other people as well. I know that I have a tendency to forget about that. But we are SO important to the Lord and to the people in our lives. If any one of you ever forgets how important you are to me, I just want you to remember that YOU ARE AMAZING! And you mean so much to me! 

This week I got a couple of letters in the mail from the young women back home and they made me cry because they were so sweet and wonderful! I wanted to just hug each of those girls and tell them how much those letters meant to me and how much I needed them! I also got one from my sweet Mamma! I felt so loved!! You guys are seriously the most amazing people! 

This week has been hard but SO good! Hermana Davis (like I already said) is the hardest worker ever! At the beginning of the week I started to feel really sick, and I couldn't seem to shake it throughout the week, so we haven't been going to the track in the morning to work out this week. But on Friday we had weekly planning and comp inventory and I set me goal to go to the track and run EVERY day this week! Because I was just tired of feeling sick and icky! 
So this morning we got up and headed out the door and the Lord was able to bless us with the miracle of running into this awesome lady named Kathy. We invited her to walk with us and she just talked with us about her faith and some of the miracles that the Lord has given her in her life and we got to share our testimonies of how Christ loves us and we even talked about the Book of Mormon and she thought it was so awesome! Ugh! I love people! 
She said that she is usually out walking near the track in the morning, so hopefully we get to run into her again! I'm going to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon with me every morning to work out! Haha #missionprobs

Also! This morning we saw a bunch of Amish people at Walmart while we were shopping and ever since we did service on that Amish farm I feel like all of them are my best friends so we were smiling and waving and talking to all of them and it was so fun. 

Being a missionary in Lancaster is the best. 
I seriously feel like our apartment complex just sums up what it's like to serve in this area... on the far side of the complex it's like... pretty sketchy and a lot of questionable people live there, and then there's us in the middle with our asian neighbors who sit on their porch and play the guitar and bbq every night and just are all around really good people, and then on the other side is this giant glorious Amish corn field in full bloom and I just seriously love living here. 

Just... gah.
I love it.

(except for the humidity) 

Hermana Bills

Skype-ing Correlation meetings
Our District