Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 21: "Everyone Looks so Normal, Living Such Normal Lives." "Well, We're Living in NORMAL."

 5 Questions:
1) What are some details about your new companion?  You gave us a name, but nary another clue.
2) Did the post card make it to you?
3) What size do you want me to order your boots?  I like two styles, they both come in black too. : A) Kamik Women's Baltimore Boot
Kamik Women's Baltimore Boot Kamik Women's Baltimore Boot: Shoes

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4)  Did the whitening recipe make it through to you?  I hope that was the one you wanted.  There are so many.
5)  Can you wear polka dot tights? I picked up some cute ones (black with white and grey spots) at Target and apparently I bought the wrong size. I didn't have my glasses on at the store. I got them to go with my gray "sister missionary" skirt.  I'll send them if you can use them.
1. Okay, so Hermana Grant is from British Colombia, a town called Kamloops. She's 21 (I think). She's a mixture between a llama and a raptor. We like the same foods (we made chili mac n cheese w/hot dogs and it was scrumptious). She's decided to say, when asked about experience with Spanish before the mission, that she took a couple episodes of Dora the Explorer. She knew French before the mish but can't remember much now (since it's so close to Spanish) except the word for trash.
2. No.....Nevermind, just got it today. Thanks.
3. I wear a 7.5 usually, but I'm thinking it might be better to get a size 8 so I can wear more than one pair of socks....maybe. I'm not sure. 7.5 should be good. I don't even like socks. And regarding style, I'm not sure. That first pair looks more hard-core which would be great, but I think the tall ones would be good because the snow kind of really piles up here...but I don't want them to leak or I dunno. And I vote black, over brown.
4. Yes. Thank you!
5. I believe so...I'm definitely not opposed. Also, if you're going to send a package, do you think you could make a copy of that CD by the Nashville Tribute Band, it's a grey case, I can't recall exactly what the title is. Also, did you ever find that The Lamb of God CD? Just curious. No worries if not. If you've got questions, I bet Hermana Israelsen could tell you more. haha

(So I'm typing at the moment while at GreatClips b/c Hermana Grant is getting her hair cut; one of the hairdressers has a tattoo of the dark mark....probably shouldn't compliment people's tattoos, especially as a missionary.....haha. Thought you might appreciate that.)

Also, in RS yesterday, they talked about how saying family prayer in the morning is like equipping their kids with armor before heading out into the world. The teacher said she likes to think of it like she's giving them the invisibility cloak. (: haha. Then I took it one step further: in the tale of the three brothers, the one with the cloak, at the end, he "greets death like an old friend". So as we say family prayers every day, at the end of our lives, we will be able to greet Heavenly Father like an old friend. (: Love fun parallels.

Here's another one: in the testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith, in the front of the Book of Mormon, page x, second full paragraph, he says near the end, "...I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God...otherwise I could not get them." Well, what does that sound like to you? Uh, yeah, Mirror of Erised and the Philosopher's Stone of course.

We ate dinner at the Babbitt family's home yesterday. They have two dogs, and I think one is a Shi Tzu. His name is Bandit. And he looks just like an Ewok from Star Wars! It was fantastic.... Love it.
Alright. Well, let's just say this week has been rough for me. Luckily I've got a father who is either a mind reader, across however-many-miles or is in tune with the Spirit. Got a nice scriptural slap upside the head today. Plus, I've been doing some serious sincere prayer. I decided to get into the habit of praying (out loud) while my companion is in the shower. It's seriously a miracle worker habit. I've come to realize, also thank to zone conference, that I am (lamentably) missionary A. And I need (and want) to be missionary B. So I've made a short list (long mental list) of what I need to do in order to get to that point. And I'm beginning with my prayers. That's like square one anyway, right? So yeah. That's happening.

I also decided that I need to be better with my scriptures; I've decided to work more on memorizing scriptures. I wouldn't say it's to help me focus from distracting worldly things to missionary-minded things, but it is to help me feel closer to the Spirit. And I'm beginning with my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 4. And I'm going to do it in Spanish. So far, I've got verse 28 and almost 29 done (I'm beginning with verses 28-35 for now...) After I think I'm going to memorize My Commission, and then hopefully the Living Christ. I'm excited for the challenge; I feel like this is something that's going to help my mental and emotional health more than anything else--except maybe praying.
Mary Hilding met with Bishop Eames yesterday; sounds like he's never dealt with this situation before, so he's not sure what will happen. He's going to write a letter to the First Presidency and I guess we'll go from there. I just hope everything works out well. Mary just seems to have such a sincere desire to come back to the fold of God. And I want to do everything I can to help her. We met with her yesterday and she brought up a concern she has with Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon from gold plates. I'm not sure if her concern comes from the fact that they were written on gold plates or that Joseph was uneducated so how could he translate anything...I dunno. But she was willing to keep reading and praying and coming to church. I think she'll figure it out, and that she won't allow her baptism to happen while she still has questions and concerns like that.
Angelina came to church again yesterday, and she brought Jimmy this time! We were so thrilled. I can't remember how much I've told you about him, but he was a referral from Angelina (because he's old and she thinks he needs help) and when we first met him he was almost contentious. And now he's reading the Book of Mormon (the chapter headings for now) and coming to church. And every time we have a lesson with him, he has oodles of questions. But they're such good questions! We're going to get him a Bible in English because he wanted a copy of the Chronology and I think the Harmony of the Gospels; for now we gave him a printed copy from I'm so excited for him. And Angelina is still doing well. Unfortunately she hadn't read between our previous visit and Saturday, so she's not progressing in that sense. But she still loves coming to church and the members are so good at fellowshipping her--even though she goes to a ward in which she doesn't live. It's awesome. The RS invited her to an activity on valentine's day and she said she'll come. So that's great. I think it would be perfect if she were baptized on 14 Feb because she's so loving, but she seems set on waiting until her daughters can be baptized the same day. I just wish she would see that it's more important for her to set the example. But that's probably just me being selfish because I want to see her be baptized before I leave. Ah well. It'll happen eventually.
Unfortunately, as far as investigators go, that's about it. This week has felt so unproductive. I'm not sure I really like having a car all the time, because now we don't really have any walking time, or time on the bus. I shouldn't complain, because it is such a blessing and I really am grateful, but there are pros and cons to both.
Also, we've been trying to figure out how to work with our wards better. We found out there was some drama in the Bloomington First ward about a year ago, about the meal calendar. So Bishop G has been reluctant to put us (the hermanas) on the calendar because in the past they've just done their own thing and he doesn't feel like he has any stewardship over them. (That's my understanding anyway.) And I see where he's coming from, and I don't want to step on his keys, but I would like to get to know the members. And the best way to do that is to be in their homes. So instead we'll just go visit them on our own time. Brother A (our ward mission leader) did say that Bishop told him he would like us to visit every sister in the ward every month. I'm not sure if we can do that (since we have three wards) but I think we should at least give it a shot. We kind of need to buy some love with him--earn his trust I mean. So we'll see what happens there.
Zone conference was inspired. It was just amazing. I can't even explain it. The assistants' presentation was seriously divine intervention for me. It was like Heavenly Father was giving me a pep talk. Loved it. And of course, there were some laughs which is always nice. I wish everyone could listen to our zone conferences. They're spectacular.
On Saturday, we were talking to a less active to try to get him to church and in the middle of his sentence, he stops and looks at me, then says "you have great eyes!" Uh...........SO AWKWARD. Please, just, no. So that was awkward.
Did I tell you Hermana Grant electrocuted herself the other day? yeah, that was a little funny...

I wish I could remember more fun/good things from this week, but that's about it.
OH! Okay, so President gave us a new marking challenge at zone conference last week. Y'all ready for this? (I'll explain more after this for all of you who haven't served under the blessed direction of President Fenn.)
Red: grace, mercy, love of God, His love for us
Yellow: the pattern of revelation (scripture study, prayer, receiving revelation)
Blue: what the Book of Mormon says about the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, and Joseph Smith
Hermana Israelsen: the deadline he gave us was April 6. Think you can make that? (:
Rest of my family: President Fenn is a genius, and has given his missionaries various Book of Mormon marking challenges to do. The first one (which I received 14 October 2014 was R: the Atonement, Y: the Doctrine of Christ, B: Missionary Work; it was supposed to be completed before the Christmas devotional--that didn't happen, nor has it happened yet....but it will.) There's a second one as well, and then this third one we received last week. On 6 April we'll have a mission-wide conference (the date is significant; brownie points to anyone who knows why) and we'll talk about what we've learned from this round of marking. I'm so excited. So, I want to invite all of my family members--Mom, you'll probably be the only one to do this in our immediate family.....ah well--to obtain a new copy of the Book of Mormon (just one of the ones that the missionaries give out) and to mark it as you read it, according to the newest challenge I've just described. Now, I don't expect anyone to complete it before 6 April, but if you'd like to, feel free. At least before the end of the year. Okay? Will all of you reading this commit to doing that? I'll follow up periodically with you all. That's a promise. Sweet. I look forward to hearing your insights.

To begin, here's something I've liked so far:
In Nephi's vision, the reason he has it is this, as he says: "...after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord."
So the first aspects of receiving revelation, as Nephi did, are these: desire, belief (faith), and pondering. Then, in the succeeding chapters, every time Nephi says "I beheld" or "I saw", I marked that.

Another thing I've learned from Nephi's vision is that revelation comes after EXACT obedience. I marked every time "the angel said Look! and I looked" because every time, Nephi receives revelation. It just goes to show how important our own obedience is. If we want to receive revelation, first we must desire, believe, and ponder, and then we must be obedient to the revelation we do receive if we want to receive more. Mm. I love the Book of Mormon.
Well, that's about it for me this week. I love you all. I am so grateful for all of the support and the prayers. Thank you also for your testimonies. I am so blessed to have family and friends that "know in whom [they] have trusted".
Con Todo Mi Amor, Hermana DeBuck
Photos: Hermana Grant has a fetish with graveyards, and we live right by one (and a corn field) so we went. Here's a picture.
Our "new" apartment. I can't decide if it still smells like Elders or not....we're probably just used to it now.

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