Mail again, mail again, jiggity jig :)
Mom, I skimmed over your letter, and just had to smile that Durk has called you a couple times. He would ;) If you talk to him again soon, tell him I'm glad to hear that he's doing so well, and that there should be a letter coming his way sometime later this week. Hopefully he's still in Beryl and gets it before he leaves!
Ok, so on to your questions!
1) Are you being affected by the wild fires? (It's all over Fox News)
Not really, except for the terrible heat. It's hit over 100 degrees everyday since at least Thursday; apparently the fires affect that. Besides that though, no. Life and missionary work continues right along just as always! Actually, the only reason we even know about the fires is because a member mentioned it, and because of the huge smoke clouds. Things like this make it a little weird to be so "disconnected." I know what's going on, and yet I really have no idea...any other light you'd like to shed on the fire situation? And I guess that there's a hurricane or something headed our way too? I didn't know they get hurricanes here.
2) Do you see the smoke?
Oh yeah. We actually took some pictures today, so the next time I send my picture card home (there's one on the way right now...it should be at least halfway to SC by now), you can see what we see here. There's a giant mushroom cloud in the sky, with a rising gray haze all across our horizon. It's weird, but kinda cool to see. I guess maybe it should be a little scary too, but it's not.
3) Have you received your driving record from Dad yet?
Yep! It came last week, so I'm all clear, which is good, because I've been driving since the beginning of the transfer (my companion lost her license a while back, so she's not a driver anymore)!
4) Have you been back to that house you cleaned last week?
Actually, yes. And while it's still not the cleanest place you'll ever be, the sisters that work in that area say that it's cleaner every time they go over!
5) Is the woman doing any better? Is she going to join the church?
Andrea is doing much better, but here's something funny: she's not really interested in the church, but her son (who was pretty bad news in the beginning - using the money to buy drugs, etc) is! In fact he's probably getting baptized soon! We just talked to those sisters today, and they said he's at the point where he knows it's true, and he knows that he needs to get baptized, he just hasn't set a date yet. It's really funny to see the way that things play out on a mission, and how lives can really change.
6) Dad wants to know the name of your apartments. He has google mapped you, but
wants to be sure.
I'm not sure the name, but I think the address is 8105. It probably looks kinda like an "H" from above, with a swimming pool and garden area opposite the street.
Let's see, what to share about my life in the last almost week...
Well, for starters, Freddy (who was baptized two sundays ago)got confirmed yesterday! That was really good.
We're teaching an awesome 10 year old right now named Miguel. His mom and older sister are less-actives, and he's not a member yet. The first time we went over there though, his mom (who isn't really interested in coming back to church) mentioned that he wants to go to church. He came running over to the door and said "Yeah! Can you guys help me go to church? I haven't ever been baptized either, but I really want to! Can I?" Why yes, yes you can :) So we're teaching him right now, and it's so fun! When he found out that their ride to church would be there at 930 on Sunday morning, he said, "Oh sweet! I'm getting up at 7 so I can be ready!" Then he started making assignments to his mom and sister, telling them to get up at "6, no 5!!!" so that they'd all have time to get ready and go. It was awesome! Yesterday was his first Sunday, and I think he really enjoyed it. He and his sister came with some of the members, and he was happier than a kid in a candy store... because he was a kid in church! I've never seen a 10 year old so excited about church! He's getting baptized on Sept. 20th
We're teaching another lady right now - Linda - who also has a baptismal date for 20 Sept., and she's great. She has a lot of home and family problems, but she's doing pretty well. We're really working on faith with her. She really wants to follow the Lord and do the right thing, but life is so hard, and she's just so afraid of doing the wrong thing. I relate well to that... So we've talked to her about not just having, but exercising faith (it is SUCH a principle of action), and promised that the Lord will answer her as she moves forward with her decision. We also promised that we wouldn't let her get baptized if she wasn't ready, but she will be. :)
I'm reading an amazing talk right now called "The Fourth Missionary." It was given in 2003 (ish?) by a mission president to his missionaries, and is a real missionary life-changer. I'm only about part way through it, but it's really incredible. He talks about the 4 kinds of missionaries, and how to be the 4th - the best. This missionary is not only obedient and successful, but much deeper, and is personally blessed and changed by their mission. I really want to make copies and send it to everyone I know because it's really so much more than just about missionaries - it really applies to life and how to allow the Savior to bless and change you. I'm studying it 1) because it's an awesome talk, and I want to, but also 2) in preparation for my "40-day fast", and I'm really excited about it. And no Dad, this is not a missionary weight-loss program :) It's an idea I got from my companion, and we're doing it together. This is a fast from the things that are keeping me from being the best missionary I can be. It begins with a fast, and ends with a fast, and in between (those 40 days), you "fast" from things that are maybe standing between you being good and being great. I'm finding that there are so many blessings that come from stretching just a little further, trying just a littler harder, and exercising your faith in making sacrifices for the Lord, especially when uniting as a companionship (or spouses, I'm sure) and doing those things together. So I'm really trying to prayerfully take an extra close look at myself this week and see what things - little or big - I need to change in order to be a more profitable servant, sharper tool, more in-tune instrument for the Lord. That's my ultimate goal out here, you know - to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. My inspiration for that came in the MTC, from Mosiah 23:10, and Alma 17:9. Sometimes when I'm struggling, as we all do - even the very best of missionaries - that helps to keep me focused and remember why I'm here. Like that picture on Grandma's wall (remember Sam? The one you thought was a scripture and almost quoted in your mission acceptance letter? :) says, it's not easy, but totally worth it.
Well, that's about it for this week, my wonderful family! I sure do love you!!! I hope everything back home is going well, and that you see the tender mercies from the Lord everyday!!!!
I love you!!!
I Love Being A Missionary!!!
Hermana Sallie Wilson
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!