Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 43: There are 87 slides--So Endure!

5 Questions--
1) Will you please measure your hips?  Take the measurement about 8-9" below your waist.  The sizing in garments has changed AGAIN.
2) Have you thought any more about anything you'd like for you birthday?
3) Have you had any luck finding new investigators this week?
4) Will the Hermanas in your last apartment forward you the paper/snail mail that went to your mailbox there?  (It will just be from me and Grandma Cheryl.)  Also, cna you at least tell me what city you are living in now?  It your apartment in Rochelle?
5) What has been your favorite service activity since being on the mission?  Any favorites from before the mission?

1. 40 inches

2. Uh.....I feel like I think of things during the week and then I don't write them down and now I have no idea.... I mean, I could always just use money in my account, but where's the fun in that? I'll keep thinking. Just so you know, the only meetings (where I could get a package) in July are on the 7th and the 21st. Plan accordingly.

Oh, idea: if you could find a mid-calf length white or cream skirt, that is the one thing I could think of....if you're able to contact Kate's mom, you could ask her where she got the blue skirt they gave me because I LOVE that skirt, but I don't know where it's from. Plus, now that I think about it, I don't know where you'd find long skirts now because it's summer and they're probably all Maxi skirts or mini skirts....neither of which I want. So....I still got nothing.

Actually, if you could send me a USB stick, that would be great! I'm running out of room on my 16 GB one (I didn't think it was possible but it is). But now, that is actually all I can think of. I'll try to pay attention this week and write something down if it comes to mind and let you know next week. Sorry and thanks.  Actually, I just thought of something! I'm interested in obtaining a tiny pocketknife... There were some options at Walmart, but I think it's a better idea for my birthday, haha. One of the sisters in the branch has a tiny one that's about the length of my thumb, maybe something like that...I don't know much about pocketknives though so, who knows. (Not me...) Anyway, there's an idea. I'll try to brainstorm this week, but no promises.

3. Yes! We found one new investigator and she is awesome! Her name is Gloria. She's the wife of the potential we were looking for and she is so prepared. We're teaching her again this evening so I'll have more to report next week.

4. I got the mail from the last apartment already. Thanks to transfers. And yes, we are living in Rochelle. haha and our branch president is our landlord so that's pretty cool. I think we live in the house that he grew up in or where they lived just after getting married. Or something like that. But it's such a cute house! I'll send a picture (if I remember).

5. To be honest, I haven't personally been able to do a lot of service projects. In Bloomingdale there was basically none, and we only had one in Bloomington, but we only did that once or twice (unloading trucks and then translating documents). Here we clean the church as service and help some of the sisters in the ward with cleaning their houses--we did get to help out when various  basements flooded, but that wasn't a ton. We're looking into volunteering at the nursing home, but no word yet on if they can use us or not (we need to ask first though). Favorite from before the mission? I don't know. For me, I just liked service projects where I had friends there too....sorry, not much help.

Alright, well this week was good. I already told you about our one new investigator so now we've got a whopping total of two investigators! haha but that's okay. We're seeing miracles on a regular basis which is fantastic. This coming week will be great too, I mean, of course.

On Saturday, one of the people I taught in Bloomingdale was baptized and we got to go! I also got to  take pictures with a bunch of the members (since I didn't get to before I left...) Man I love these people. I will definitely be back in a year and introduce them all to my family. They're so great.

Last Friday was our all mission conference--the last one with President Fenn. President and Sister Griffin get here tomorrow and then we'll officially have a new mission president. It's super scary but I know it's what needs to happen and it's also kind of exciting. I know I learned an exceeding amount from President Fenn and I will forever treasure that knowledge and that relationship. I love President and Sister Fenn. But I know I'll love President and Sister Griffin too. haha at the conference President told us that we have to forget about him as soon as President Griffin walks off the plane on Tuesday--at least until we get off the plan when we go home. Then he wants us to remember him.  haha as if there were any other option!

The whole conference lasted about five hours (and then an hour each for lunch and dinner) and President taught us in more detail about the organization of the Church, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. We truly are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives; so much was sacrificed by the early Saints. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I know, if it weren't for Joseph Smith, it wouldn't be in my life. Nor would any of the associated  blessings (which are so many that I don't even know where to start). The Gospel is true and it is the  single greatest thing in my life--and I know it will bless the lives of all those who will open their  hearts and minds enough to ask God the Eternal Father if it is not true (Moroni 10:4). And I know  that He answers every one of our prayers, no matter who we are or who we were, or what we've done. Each of us is a child of a loving Heavenly Father. And He will never, ever give up on us.

I love the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. If there's one thing I want to do on my  mission it is to be true to the Prophet Joseph so that when I meet him in the spirit world after death, I can look him in the eye and know that I did what I was called of God to do. If you haven't asked God in the last month if Joseph Smith is His chosen prophet to open this last dispensation, I invite you to do so. Because I know you'll get an answer, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I think that's all for this week. We're going to go play nine holes of golf, so that's all I've got time for.  But I'll write more next week (maybe) and I'll send some pictures this week (definitely).

Con Todo Mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck

I got a hug from President Fenn!! Changed my life.... (: (Even if he did hug all of the missionaries. Still life changing)


1. Me and hna Fabiola. She went out with us a lot. She was baptized in
Colombia and is seriously a Gospel scholar! She knows SO much about
the Gospel.... She's basically a missionary.

2. Me with the corn. We're taking a picture every Monday to measure
the corn--I didn't send last week's, sorry. Isn't it so cute?

3. Me with Berenice, one of the youth in Bloomingdale. She's so sweet.

4. Hna Hunsaker, Hna Lunt, and me - best trio ever! I miss these two
so much...we were ALWAYS laughing. (Well, basically. haha)

 5. Me with Elder and Sister Hall - they're office missionaries. Sister
Hall is the sweetest lady ever and Elder Hall writes the greatest
sassy emails ever (I look forward to them every week) and provides
some comic relief--as well as beneficial instruction--at zone
meetings. Love them! They go home in August.

6. Me with President and Sister Fenn. They're basically my second set
of parents.

7. Four of the five hermanas that taught Carlos (the left of the two
men) and Hermano Avila (who baptized Carlos).

8. Me with Hermano Flores. He's in the branch presidency there. One
time, at an activity on a Saturday night, I said to him, "Hno, me
gusta su camisa" and he looked a little taken aback (surprised) but
then laughed. The next day, at church, he comes in and when he shakes
my hand, he says, "Hna, me gusta su blusa" haha we laughed about that
for a while...

9. Hna Alejandra and I. She's a convert of about a year and is
preparing to go through the temple soon! (She may have already been
actually....) She also co-owns a hair salon in town so we would get
our hair cut there for free. She's so stylish too! I'm gonna have to
call her up after the mission and have her help me out...

 10. Me and the Torres family. We had dinner with them every week and
they're so missionary-minded! Also, Hno Torres is one of the funniest
people I've ever met. Man, every time we were laughing so
hard...sometimes I even cried.

11. Me and Hna LaBonte--and the corn, of course. 

12. We live right by this historic train station something or other so
we get stuck behind trains more frequently than we'd like. Like this
morning for example.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 42: Conversation Including Aliens, Disney and Random Bible Facts

Mom Note: In my letter this week, I didn't ask Hermana DeBuck my usual "5 Questions" as I was just getting back fro a long road trip and frankly, couldn't think of any more...After her responses this week, I guess I better start asking more questions. PS--I have no idea what her title means either.

Well, I'm doing great. I'm staying in Rochelle for at least six weeks with Hermana LaBonte. We literally have one investigator right now, but he is superb. I love knocking doors and talking to everyone. And yesterday we discovered that as we come unto Christ, it's easier to see our weaknesses--that's why missions are so hard and so refining!  (See Ether 12:27)

I love you all! "The Gospel's true and the Book is blue!"

- Hermana DeBuck

P.S. This is our church! It used to be a bank. So cute.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 41: 5 Seconds Outside & We Were Drenched!! No Exageration!

Mom Note: Cam and I were on a road trip when this letter came, and I didn't have access to her blog from my phone--so this is from last week, and I expect another letter tomorrow sometime.  Sorry for the delay.

5 Questions:
1) Do you recognize these good people?
2) Have you checked your mailbox lately?
3) Did my postcards make it to you?
4) Anything you want me to pass on the grandma & grandpa in California?

1. Of course! Man I love the Albrechtsen's... (haha I think it must be getting harder and harder to come up with questions....)
2. Sort of. More on this later.
3. No. Again, see below.
4. As in, by word of mouth...? Just tell them I love them. (:

So this week was really good. But you'll literally never guess what happened...

So Thursday we were doing weekly planning, like any other week. And about an hour into it or so, we get a call from the assistants. Elder Anderson says, "So we have a situation." (uh oh...that's what they said when we got the transfer call about being put in a trio) "So there's an hermana that's going home due to medical issues and Hermana DeBuck is being transferred." Yeah, I'm pretty sure my heart stopped. No joke. I could not believe my ears. He continued, "You're going to meet at the mission office at 11 in the morning tomorrow so that Hermana DeBuck can go with Hermana LaBonte to Rochelle." Uh, okay. Great. haha so I managed to pack mostly everything that night after 9 and then finished in the morning before studies. And so now I'm writing from Rochelle, IL. I got sent back to the cornfields! Woohoo! haha man I love it here. It's just the northern version of Peoria. Except Rochelle is smaller than Bloomington-Normal. By quite a bit actually. But man it's so great here.

So Hermana LaBonte: she's great. She's very happy and bubbly which is helpful for me because we all know how positive Hermana DeBuck is....haha but really. We've only been together about four days and I feel like I've already changed so much, learned so much. It's amazing. I love teaching with Hermana LaBonte; she's so spiritual and follows the Spirit so well. We've already seen miracles (we taught Jose yesterday for the third time and he almost accepted a baptismal date and then asked us "where will my baptism be?" Oh man. SO COOL.) Also, every single finding lesson we've had has been so spiritually powerful. It's almost insane. haha but it's so fantastic. (You could even ask the elders; they walked in as we were getting to the good part.)

Oh hey, that's something else kinda funny: one of the elders in the branch here served in Bloomington when I was in Peoria. So the "hasta la taco" and "buenos nachos" jokes continue...haha) Also, this is the area that got hit by the tornado so....I'm still kind of holding out hope that I'll get to experience that natural disaster, even though everyone tells me that I don't want to experience that natural disaster.

As far as the work goes, numerically, we have about two investigators so we're going to be doing a lot of finding. I'm so exciting. There's nothing quite like knocking doors to make you feel unstoppable. haha (I never thought I would say that...) Oh right, back to my new companion: she's from Texas and has been out ten months this week. She's a native speaker and so she went to the Provo MTC for ten days. She'll go home the same transfer as me--I'm not sure how the math works out but it does. haha. She went to BYU and is a pyscholinguistics (?) major. She also was/is a dancer. Man I love her. We have so much fun together and get a lot of work done. It's fantastic.

This week...well I don't really know what's happening. Other than the regular stuff. The week after next is our mission wide conference. We found out it's just in Naperville--not nearly as fun as Nauvoo or Carthage--but I'm excited. It's going to be amazing. We're all going to miss President Fenn so much, but I am so eternally grateful for everything I've learned from him. This mission is truly the  greatest mission on the face of the planet, because we have President and Sister Fenn. [No worries; I'm excited to meet President and Sister Griffin too though.]

Oh, and because it's actually a rule that we're not supposed to give our apartment/home address to anyone, I won't be telling you what it is. In case I ever get emergency transferred again. So you'll just
have to go through the mission office address. It's better that way.

Anyway. The Gospel is true. It's the single most important thing in my life because every single one of the blessings which God has given me has come because of my obedience to the principles and  ordinances of the restored Gospel. I love Joseph Smith, and I love the Book of Mormon. No matter who you are: Read it, and then ask God if it's true. I know without a doubt that He will answer you.

Todo Mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck

 1. Us with Carlos. He's going to be baptized on the 27th of this month. On Tuesday, when we taught him, I got the very distinct impression that the reason I was called to Bloomingdale was for Carlos. And then two days later, I find out I'm leaving. Coincidence? I think not. haha and then when we told him that I was leaving, he legitimately almost cried. Oh man. haha but I'll be back for his baptism in a couple weeks. So we're good. haha

 2. Us with Karina, who is a recent convert. She's 9. And SO hilarious. Every time we taught them I 1)learned something new and 2)laughed so hard my face hurt. So great. We had a couple nice smiling photos too, but this one is so much better.

 3. Me with Hermana Martinez. We Skyped from her apartment on Mother's Day. She's so great. haha (:

 4. The phone call that changed my life....haha (ignore the bottom two messages. Those aren't what changed my life.)
 5. Our front door to the apartment in Bloomingdale. How appropriate, no? haha

6. Hermana LaBonte and I went running this morning. And we got five minutes and then saw lightning and had to turn around. We were soaked (for the second time in four days) haha of course...

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 40: If I Were More Enlightened, I'd Glow!

5 Questions:
1) Any word yet on the field trip potential to Carthage the end of the month?  I wrote to Sister Brytni Butler and told her to watch for you in case you got to go there.
2) Do you need us to put more money in your UCCU account for you?  Looks like you've had several overdrafts to cover your expenses this past month.  I did put $50 in last week, but maybe I need to do that regularly for you?
3) Did I tell you Brittany Wolferts got married two weeks ago?  I'll try to attach Wen-Di Adair's photos I saw were shared on Facebook for you.
4) Has it turned summer there yet?  Man it got hot this week!  But then we also got heavy downpours mixed in.  Like Spring wasn't ready to let go completely yet.
5) Any other advice you can give me to help Cameron mentally and spiritually prepare for a mission?

1. Nope, not yet.

2. Well I don't really need more money....I should just stop spending money is the thing. Except we just found this little mall that's basically like mini Mexico. But how about this: will you tell me what my account balances are for all the accounts I have? Because I don't want to be a financial burden for you, family. Because you're already paying every month. So will you tell me what my balances are for all the accounts and then next week I may ask you to put some of my savings in checking. We'll see.

3. When I first saw the pictures, I couldn't figure out who they were of....Brittney is lovely! I mean,  she's always been lovely but in the pictures she seriously looks like a model. Wow. And she looks so
happy. Man that's so great. (:

4. Yes, I think. The weather here is even more bipolar than Utah and so it'll be maybe 50 degrees and rainy one next and then blazing hot the next. Today the car told us its 90 degrees. Man, I always thought summer was my favorite season, but now I think I prefer winter.....gah! I'm going to die of the heat and June just barely started...

5. Decide now to go and not go home. No matter what.

Well, this week has been quite the learning experience. But I'm definitely the better for it. I know I've said it before but the mission is so hard. Not to dissuade anyone from going on a mission because it's also the single greatest thing that I've ever done and probably will ever do. And I know that it'll be something that affects my entire existence. I am so grateful for everything I've learned and everything I will learn because I served a mission. President Fenn has taught me so much, as well as each of my companions. And I know everything I'm learning is preparing me for something else. For which I am very grateful. Most recently, I learned that we are sanctified through suffering. It's not enough to be  righteous; we must be sanctified in the end. And the trials through which we pass are customized for each of us individually, in order to gain the most experience and knowledge we possibly can from this mortal life. Our loving Heavenly Father knows us personally and He won't give us something we can't handle, but we must face it head on in order to overcome. Much like a ship on the waves, we much face the headwind or capsize. It's our choice.

I love the Gospel, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share it with everyone I see.

Love, Hermana DeBuck

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 39: This Is The Best Mission Ever

 5 Questions:
1) I hope you aren't disappointed that we didn't send a "hump day" package or anything.  But I'm putting $30 dollars in your account today to go to dinner or lunch with your companions to celebrate on Wednesday.  We love you!  I guess that wasn't much of a question, but these are:
2) What do you feel is the best thing you've learned on the mission thus far?
3) What is the best thing you did to prepare to serve a full time mission?
4) Are you finally feeling completely confident about the language, now that you're half thru?
5) What do you remember about the summer after graduation before you left for school--as far as things we should have/could have done differently as parents of a  young adult?  I'm having concern about this with your brother.

1. Not at all disappointed. I can't think of anything I direly need anyway so I'm good.

2. The BEST things...? Well.....there's lots of things. I don't know that I can pick just one.... I'll think on that as I type this email/do P-day things and write some more later on.

3. Best thing to prepare to serve.....I would have to say daily scripture reading. Even if I wasn't always super studying them, I was at least in the pages of the words of God. I was familiar(ish) with the scriptures beforehand and now so much more so. Or maybe just being committed to do whatever is asked of me. Because I don't think there's one thing that really prepares you for a mission. There's just no way to prepare for all the stress and excitement and disappointment and just plain hard work. It's a combination of all the things I did/was taught I think. Going to church every week and being mentally present there as well. Having time away from electronics (especially a phone) every day. Fulfilling church callings. Going to the temple. Reading the scriptures. Praying daily (or at least trying, in my case). Actually, of all the things I did to prepare, I think the one that had the least effect was the mission prep class. But that's just me. I was raised right and taught the principles of the Gospel in my home and in Church, and I tried to live those principles.

4. Well I think I feel pretty good at Spanish. I mean, I can have an entire Gospel discussion no problem, and non-Gospel topics are getting easier to converse about. But I don't know that I've ever feel COMPLETELY confident simply because it's not my native language. There are still things in English that I don't know, so I personally don't believe I will ever totally master Spanish. But I certainly feel more comfortable now that I did nine months ago. Es una lucha cada dia, pero continuamos pues. haha

5. I'm not sure on this one either. I think the best thing for me was that you gave me my space and my freedom to do what I wanted. Of course you still wanted me to tell you where I was going, who I was with, and when I'd be back. But you didn't demand that information from me. You simply stated that it would courteous of me to tell you those sorts of things. Also, I think it was good that I had a job and I wasn't receiving allowance anymore. What I wish I would have done is made a planned budget of sorts for the school year. I did just fine of course, but I wish I would have been more conscious of the amount of money I started with and then what I did with it. But I don't know what you could do to instill that desire in Cameron. That's all I can think of...sorry. I hope that helps a bit. haha

Well, first off: sorry last week's email was pretty short. I put off writing emails all day and then had hardly any time left to do so. This week I figured I should make it more of a priority. And I'm going to try going through my gratitude journal to remember what happened so that I actually have some thing to tell you all about.

We had dinner with the Kitch family. Oh man. They are hysterical. It's almost like I'm at home again. (I can't remember what I've told you so I'll start at square one.) Hermana Kitch is from Uruguay and Hermano Kitch served his mission there. He met her after the mission when he was working there for a member (I think that's how it was). They have three children: Zoe who is 14, Bella who is 11 (?) (today in fact is her birthday), and Austin who is 6. And they tell the best stories and just have a good time as a family. It's awesome. They tell us we aren't allowed to eat unless we can say what the food is called. Last week we had empanadas and Hna Hunsaker got it wrong at first so Hna K said she  couldn't eat. haha (of course she let her eat though, no worries) It was one of the funniest dinners with them, but not number one. I just love this family.

After dinner we had MCM. But that was about the same as it always is. I learned how to say "fireside" in Spanish: charla fogonera. (I think. Not sure if I remember perfectly)

We had a mini zone meeting for 30 minutes before district meeting. We were chastised for not utilizing President's revelation, but we have repented and changed and we will do better now. After I felt super invigorated to get out there and do my best, which I think was the point. haha then in district meeting we talked about chapter 13 in Preach My Gospel: how to work with ward and stake leaders. It was a really good meeting After we ate something, we drove with the other Hnas to Schaumburg for their exchange to start, and came back to Bloomingdale. We visited with Karla, a recent convert, first. Man she's amazing. She has MS (?) like Aunt Tammy and she is the sweetest spirit I have ever met. She's dealing with the effects of her own illness, and then her daughter and grandson also have health concerns, and that day her suegra (mother in law?) just found out she has cancer, and they're having financial problems and all this other stuff. Oh my goodness. I can't even imagine. Before we'd knocked on her door I was complaining about bug bites I had and then after the lesson I was just in awe of her fortaleza. I realized I really don't have any problems in my life. It's crazy how blessed I am.

We also did some knocking doors and the first door that opened was a lady named Ofelia. We told her a bit about the Book of Mormon and the Church and she asked us how much a Book of Mormon costs. haha it's free! So we gave her one of course, and I really think she'll read it. I'm so excited to go back and teach her this weekend. People like that just make my day. (:

We went to Juan and Jovita's to talk with Claudia but she was asleep. And somehow Jovita ended up making food for us. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love la comida mexicana. SO MUCH. She made beans and eggs of some kind and it was so delicious. I don't understand how something so simple can be so mouthwatering but man, it's true! It is my goal to make a recipe book of la comida mexicana antes de que regrese yo.

Well, weekly planning. I still am not a huge fan but today was alright. I've been exerting myself to be happy about planning. Because it's necessary--and when it goes well I am so grateful for it later on. But something about planning just makes me grumpy. But this week we did good. Well, I did good. haha we were going to plan out on the balcony but then we found some tiny red bugs (Hna Hunsaker said they were ticks) so we decided to go inside. A little bit later, one of those little red bugs showed up on my Preach My Gospel so of course we had to kill it! But I really dislike killing bugs with my bare hands (bacteria I can deal with in many shapes and forms but bugs? No thanks.) but it was going to get away if I didn't so I smashed it with my finger and ended up smearing it. Its blood was orange! haha so Hna Hunsaker wrote in my PMG the date and "blood of a tick!" so I'll always remember. haha good times...

We'd left the bikes at the church last night so we took the bus over there (you can only take two bikes on the bus) and then rode for about 45 minutes to Hna Casado's for our dinner appointment. (We found out later it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit. WHAT?! I think I'm going to die this summer....I've gained a new found appreciation of spring. I think it's my new favorite season now....haha) Hna Casado is from the Dominican Republic and she is so hard to understand. She drops the "s" at the end of words and I don't know what else but her accent takes some getting used to. She's so super nice though. Man she's great. And such a missionary! We've been esforzandonos to ask for referrals at every opportunity and haven't seen much luck. But before we even asked her she gave us two! haha "ask and ye shall receive" even if it's unexpected. Also, she cooked something similar to chile rellenos and man it was so delicious. She said it was Hna Avila's recipe I think. I LOVE chile rellenos. Next time you go to a Mexican restaurante, family, try them. They're delicious....anyway. So we ate really good food. (Oh, and the horchata was also Hna Avila's recipe. I simply cannot live without that recipe.....haha SO  DELICIOUS. Also, get horchata next time you go to a Mexican restaurante. All of you. Do it.)

Afterwards we went by a less active's home and talked with an antiguo investigador that lives there too. He ended up inviting us to La Rosita, a grocery store here, to get helado because they've got a ton of flavors apparently. So we're doing that this coming Friday. haha alright cool.

We helped Hna Martinez make cheesecake--Hna Hunsaker learned a super easy super delicious recipe from one of our investigators so we taught Hna Martinez. (In case you're wondering, the recipe is as follows: 3 eggs, 1 cap of vanilla, 1 block of cream cheese, 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Blend all together. Pour into a pie crust. Bake at 350 until cooked, about 30 minutes. Enjoy.)

I also packed for exchanges. First time leaving my area! haha fun fun fun. Before I left though, we taught a lady named Tomasa. She kept asking questions that would've been answered if she'd just let us teach the Restoration....but I had the opportunity, once again, to bear testimony of what I know, without a doubt, to be true. Man I love feeling the Spirit, especially when it testifies through me. And I know she felt the Spirit, even if she didn't accept what we had to say. She wouldn't take a Book of Mormon at the end because she's content to study with the religion she's currently studying. Alright,
we respect that. It's always a little sad when someone won't open their heart even if a little bit, but I left knowing I'd done everything I could've. And that's all I can ask of myself. Met up with the Hermana Training Leaders at our church. I went with Hna Akina to Arlington Heights and Hna Miller stayed with Hna Hunsaker and Hna Lunt here in Bloomingdale. So I know I'm an awkward person, and it's always a bit weird when the exchange first starts because I'm just not a fan of people and getting to know someone new is always a bit odd for me. But man, Hna Akina is amazing. She said things I needed to hear and it was really fun to get to know her. She told me she also wants to work for the FBI and her dad does/did so I'll going to have to keep in touch after the mission so I'll have an in. (; haha anyway. Up in Arlington Heights we met with the YW Presidenta. She and all the leaders are concerned about the youth because they're getting into things they shouldn't and so they want the hermanas help. So we talked about that. It made me think about what it was in YW that we did/that happened that made me want to be active throughout my life. What helped me gain a testimony? And I don't think I could place it on just one thing. But, good thought provoking stuff. haha and it made me wonder too: Mom, when you were in the presidency did you and the other sisters worry that much about ALL the girls? I guess I was pretty oblivious all growing up to what  was going on, but I think you must've been. I think that's one reason why the Church programs are so successful; the leaders are so genuinely concerned about the participants. Plus, the Church is led by  Jesus Christ so, you know, that's quite the advantage.

We had a few appointments with potentials that Hna Akina hadn't met because they were found on exchanges when she wasn't there, haha but we went by anyway. One thing led to another and we ended up talking with a guy out in the parking lot and he let us teach the Restoration! It was so cool. For about 20 minutes I think we were all standing out in the parking lot, as it rained, (we were all kind of underneath the trunk of the car, but mostly I wasn't. Ah well) and he was so ready! haha his name is Abel and he committed to all four invitations (reading, praying, church, baptism). I'm going to ask Hna Akina if he came to church when I see her on Friday. I love people like that. And it was like a nudge from the spirit to get back in the habit of talking to everyone and to teach when you find. Because if we hadn't done those two simple things, we wouldn't have even talked to him, let alone taught him. Alright. I'll do better at that. (: Plus, right before getting out of the car I saw a Libro de Mormon on the ground (of the car) and so I grabbed it and put it in my bag. I hardly ever carry them because it makes your bag so much heavier. But! Good thing I did so I could give it to Abel! haha that was from the spirit, I tell you what.

Basically, Saturday was a really good day and the overall feeling I had was: I love being a missionary. Of course it's hard and uncomfortable and difficult, but it is oh so rewarding in more ways than I could possibly say. Exchanges are such a great inspired thing. (:

Also, I found out that the daughter of our recent converts told Hna Hunsaker Saturday morning that she does want to be baptized! WOOHOO!!! Oh man. We were SO super duper excited. haha she wanted to be baptized 13 June but her parents will be out of town. So we said the 20th. Her brother may be out of town with his mom for his birthday so we're waiting to hear about that. If so, we may have the baptism on the 19th. We are so excited though. Man. AH! I love being a missionary. (:

We went to Primary again to help with the music. Oh man. I am SO not ready to have kids! (In case anyone was worried). I mean, they're cute and all, but man: they're crazy! haha I'm working on loving them more because that's what Christ would do, but it's a long process haha. One day I will love them without question. Some day....

The last lesson we had was with Carlos. He's on date to be baptized on the 26th or 27th of June. And he's been having some struggles with the Word of Wisdom but he's all clean now! haha his "deadline" was June 1st and he did it! SO happy! haha we had an interesting lesson too because it didn't go exactly according to plan. We ended up talking a lot about repentance and I said things that I didn't know what I was saying. I don't think that made sense but whatever I was saying was definitely from the Spirit because they weren't my words. But afterwards he was like "wow." So it must've been right. haha and then, after we said the prayer, he offered us some rice and of course we said yes so we had some arroz con leche. It was the second time I've had it and either the first time wasn't a very good recipe or it was too cold or something because it was DELICIOUS this time. Man. So warm and it just made me so happy. haha my companions were a little weirded out I think. But it was delicious. haha made me warm on the inside. Plus, we had some pan dulce with it too and boy was that tasty. haha Carlos is so nice. He's basically a member too, he just needs to make it official. haha we're excited for his baptism too. (:

Well, that's it for what happened. I hope you appreciate all that because man, that was a  HUMONGOUS email. haha as for this coming week,  we've got zone conference on Friday so that'll be good. I'm hoping we get to have our interviews with Presidente Fenn. (: We also found out that on the 26th there's supposed to be some sort of mission thing that could be from 6 am to 9 pm, according to Hna Miller. Hm.....okay. Hna Hunsaker and I are secretly (not so secretly) hoping that we're going to go to Carthage as a mission because the 27th is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Jose Smith. I mean, apparently Presidente took everyone to a baseball game his first year so Carthage is totally viable. haha. (: But anyway. Next week, I probably won't write this much, but there you have it: a week in the life of Hermana DeBuck.

And back to the best thing I've learned on my mission so far: well, I think it would have to be what most missionaries under President Jerry Fenn would tell you--that I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true; it is a record of the ancient inhabitant of the Americas and through it we can come closer to God than through any other means. It was translated by the gift and power of God, by the Prophet Jose Smith. He was called as a young man to be the mouth piece of God on the earth today, and through Him we know more about the Savior Jesus Christ and His Gospel than through any other man who has walked or will walk the earth. The Church that was restored through Joseph is the kingdom of God on the earth today, and through it we can obtain the ordinances of salvation, in order to secure for ourselves exaltation in the life to come. I now know exactly what I need to do every day of my life to gain eternal life--life with my family in the presence of God. That life is only possible through the Priesthood power of God, and through my own obedience to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm not perfect, nor is anyone on the earth today, but it is possible to be a little better today than I was yesterday. And that is possible every day.

Con Todo Mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck

P.S. Look at this cool picture! It's the only actual photograph of Joseph Smith. How legit, right? haha (literally)