1) How are your shoes holding up? Boots still keeping your feet warm and dry?
2) Did I tell you Aubrie B. (from the 3rd ward) was getting married in June? Do you remember her from camp?
3) In case I never told you, THANK YOU for doing all the hard work on scholarships without me! I just sat down with Cameron to do the essay for one. Yikes! You'd think I was burning him with hot coals. I guess that one wasn't really a question. Oh well.
4) I found two new undershirts. Do you want me to send them now, or wait a few more weeks. They are short sleeved.5) How are things going with your newest Companion, now that you've been together couple of weeks?
1. The new boots are great! haha unfortunately the snow is practically melted and it feels like spring time, but they're awesome! I will be very glad for them next winter, I promise you that. [I am so glad this winter wasn't a polar vortex like last winter....that was my biggest/most prominent fear with this mission call.]
2. No you didn't tell me. But yes I remember her. She's into Harry Potter, therefore I like her. haha but if I remember correctly, wasn't she Bellatrix or Prof. Trelawney for Halloween one year? Tell her congratulations for me please! Thanks (:
3. You're welcome. Basically I just didn't want to have to have a job during school....at least for the first year.
4. If you could send them, that would be great. And if it's not too much trouble, can I bother you to send a few of the shirts I have? I'm realizing that I have a lot of long sleeved shirts and now that it's getting warmer....I think I'll want some short sleeved shirts too. But I don't want you to have to send me a package every transfer mom. It's expensive! No rush, really. Also, haha you don't need to send me candy every time. Like, don't. Please. [DO send: I know I have a black/white striped shirt, light blue shirt, and i think a purple shirt that are all short sleeves. Could you send those? It'd be much appreciated.]
5. It's going well! Hermana Araujo is like the sister I never had in that we don't get along super well sometimes but we still always love each other. We're learning to communicate because we communicate in different ways--not bad, just different. Well, I probably communicate badly. haha but it's a work in progress. It's good though, overall.
First off: I am so grateful that EVERYONE in the Illinois Chicago West mission is/strives to be exactly obedient. Just saying.
Second: Wow. I'm tired. I don't even know what happened this week.... So let's make a list:
1. In a study room of the Bloomington library, we taught a four-fingered man who LOVES the Bible.
2. A woman we taught was kinda sort of deaf and I was sitting just too far away from her (I guess) so I basically yelled anything I wanted to say during the lesson.
3. Hermana Araujo kind of told me I sound like a Mexican. Woohoo!
4. We're going to teach Julia how to read. She was so excited that she was almost sweating. I'm so excited too.
5. We ate at a place called Windy City Weiners today and got chili cheese dogs. I think I still prefer Weinerschnitzel but it was good.
6. It's finally spring time! I mean, it was 51 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend! it was amazing. Like, I don't even need to wear a coat nor leggings. Glorious I tell you. (:
7. I still think talking to drunk people is one of the funniest things we get to do as missionaries. Sometimes it's weird, but sometimes it's funny.
8. Sister Goodman in Bloomington 1st ward, is my new role model. She's so happy and positive and kind all the time. She told us about this process she does of mental self evaluation basically anytime she has a mean thought. "Is this thought harming me and my spiritual growth? Is it bringing me closer to the Savior or taking me further from Him?" It's brilliant. She ought to write a book. (: haha she's lovely. Plus, she's from Louisiana and has a cute accent.
9. I finished my first chapstick and my first pen this week. The next pen I used is basically an exact replica of the first so no problems there. But the new chapstick I was using made my lips feel swollen. Oh man. No bueno.
10. I guess I could update you on my own personal pride cycle. Okay. So, let's face it: I'm a prideful human being. But I have accomplished the first step of repentance: recognition. And now I'm working on doing the actual changing. But I think I'm getting better at noticing right away that I need to change my behavior. The hard part is making the change right then and forgetting about whatever happened. Luckily, mi companera is very patient with me, and also forgiving. She's amazing I tell you. Of course we have our differences but at the end of the day, those don't matter. We're both here to work, we're both daughters of a Heavenly Father, and we're sisters. So the biggest thing I'm working on is just forgetting the things that bother me or irritate me or anger me and focusing on what's most important: saving souls. And that's what I've been told all along but I was so prideful that I didn't even recognize that I had a problem and the truth hurts (1 Nephi 16:2) but now I am very intent to keep Satan out of my head and stop letting him control me. I am in control of my own thoughts and my emotions and my body, not him. And as I learn to rely on the Savior, I know I can overcome any temptation that comes my way.
One thing I learned this morning: while I was studying obedience, I read 1 Nephi 3:7. I know you know it:"for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth" [or something like that]
What I learned this morning is that God will "prepare a way" in two different manners:
1. You are able to be obedient to the commandment
2. You try to be obedient put give in to temptation and do not, accept and use the Atonement, repent, and try again. You repeat this process until you are able to keep the commandment.
And that was just beautiful to me! I know God wants me to be humble so that I may be a better instrument in His hands. And although I may not succeed the first time, I know that He will provide a way for me to be humble in the end. All I have to do is give it my all, and I know he will provide a way.
Unfortunately, I am about 50 pages behind in my Book of Mormon reading challenge. ....oops. But you know what, I think it's because I've been trying to study more for my investigators. And of course I always learn things from the Book of Mormon and usually something for them, but I think it might be better this way. I'll just have to read like 100 pages today. haha (I wish I could just read the Book of Mormon all day. That's going on the bucket list.) (:
I know the Gospel's true. This is the restored Church of Jesus Christ and He is at the head. He works through living prophets and apostles and I am so excited for General Conference. I know we will hear the voice of the Lord as we listen to His chosen servants. I know that Joseph Smith was foreordained to be the prophet of this dispensation. Through him, Jesus Christ restored His Gospel to the earth once more, never to be taken again. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God because it has changed my life. It truly is the tool to gather scattered Israel in these latter days. I know that through the Atonement of my Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ, my weaknesses can be made strengths (Ether 12:27) so that I am able to fulfill every command that He gives me (1 Nephi 3:7).
Todo Mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,Hermana DeBuck