Monday, August 17, 2009

email of 17 August 2009

My dearest family,

Hello!!! Here I am, another week in. I've made it almost a whole transfer (Wednesday is the mark) now! I'm realizing how much I've changed, even in just the last 6 weeks; last week we were talking about it in companionship inventory, and my companion mentioned how much she's seen me change and grow. As I thought about it, I realized how true it is. I'm still very much me, but I HAVE already grown a lot. I'm not as scared anymore, and I'm really learning to focus outward and "lose myself." I know, I know, I've talked a lot about that ever since coming out, but I feel like I'm finally getting it...but still have a long ways to go. It's all a process, but a really good one. :)

Mom, to answer your questions (including those from last week - sorry I totally missed them),

(Valerie's Questions: "How in the world are you? What are you up to for P-day? Do you have enough money for food? Are you eating well? Any more/other weird food?")

I'm doing great! P-day always entails exercise and study as usual, laundry, some sort of zone activity (today was a birthday party for one of the hermanas), email, grocery (and other) shopping, washing the car, cleaning the house, and, if we have time, writing letters.

I have plenty of money for food, and am eating very well. It's nice to have a little more control over that again! As for that little money blip my first month, I just didn't realize that they didn't put the full amount on my account because I wasn't there the full month (I came in on the 8th). So I just had everything calculated wrong. So sorry about that, but everything's under control now. No other really weird food as of's all been pretty normal.

I've learned something though: (you probably shouldn't include this in the mass email/posting) . . . missionaries LIE. No, really, they do! At dinner appointments, even if they hate the food, most missionaries will tell a boldfaced lie, and say that it's great. But if the food IS great, we'll usually tell you that too. Now you know. I try not to completely lie...I'm always grateful that members open their homes to us, and I make sure to tell them that; and if I don't like the food, I'll usually just leave it at "thank you." Most of the food we eat really IS good though.

(Valerie's Questions: "How is the missionary today? How was your Sunday? What's new?? Are you receiving many letters? Who from? Do you still hear from Durk?")

Today I'm doing great! Yesterday was really good too! Actually, bitter sweet (as I'm learning that missionary life often is). Freddy's baptism was the really sweet part. Everythign went really smoothly and great. It was cool to see some of the "fruits" of our labors as he was baptized. No one from his family came, but the Fonseca family (his member girlfriend's family) were all there, as well as other ward members, and we were so grateful for the support, as was Freddy.

The more "bitter" part was expecting 11 investigators at sacrament meeting, and being almost completely sure that all of them would be there, but then only having 1 show. It was a little discouraging, to say the least. The 1 who did come was Freddy, and if he hadn't come, well, that would have made for a REALLY crummy Sunday.

What's new? Well, transfers are this week, so I'm killing my companion tomorrow. In cheesy mission lingo, that means that she's going home. That means that I get a new companion, which will be exciting. It's really weird and kind of sad to see Sister Foutz leave, but she's served well, and I'm grateful to have had her as a companion.

I actually got quite a few letters this week, which was so fun, and mostly unexpected! I've heard from Ginger Leaf twice, which was so fun! I'm thrilled for her to be a ward missionary! I never realized how important that calling is until now! I also hear from Melanie, Grandma Wilson, random roommates and other friends, and yes, Durk. I also heard from one of my dear BYU-Idaho friends, Mike Smyth. Will you please make sure that he gets this message (you can facebook him)? "THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!! I loved getting your little package (a Spanish book and a letter), and your letter was one of the most missionary-motivating letters I've gotten. It was so great to hear from you!"

Will you also see if someone will write and tell me where Megan and Josh Dustin are going on their missions?! Thanks!

I really am sending my camera card this week! I know I told you a few weeks ago, but time just always runs out.

I'm glad life and everything is going so well at home! Just keep chugging through the hard stuff - there's a lesson and lots of blessings in all of it!

Mom, I'm SO glad, grateful, and excited for your decision to be more missionary-focused! Something I've realized since being out here is how hard it can be to be a new member. It can be difficult to investigate, and join the church, and often people (especially new members) are lonely, and really need the ward members to love and take care of them! Also, just make your home and life as open to the missionaries and missionary work as possible! You personally (and the whole fam) will receive so many blessing by doing this, the work will progress so much better, and the missionaries will really love and be grateful for you! So even if just for me, your missionary daughter in L.A., do all you can to support this work. It really is the greatest work to do, AND it's all true!!!
Well, 1 minute left. I love and miss you all, but I'm doing well, and loving life here. The church is true, the Lord is real, and He loves ALL of His children.

I love you, and I love being a missionary!!!

Hurrah for Israel!!!!!

Hermana Sallie :)

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