2) Have you ever had to use your medical insurance while you were away from home? Did you have any problems trying to use it?
3) How cold has it been there lately? Any big storms?
4) How are your investigators progressing? Baptisms still on target?
- Um, I think the most sick I've been is honestly just a cold...just got over one this week (thank you, Airborne) and I got one last winter when I was with my trainer. But I really think that's it...probably because Heavenly Father knows I'm a baby and can't handle anything more than that. As for at USU, I think probably the same. I suppose I don't really get sick all that often... Usually though what happens when I get sick is I have a stuffy nose for weeks on end and I just can't seem to get over it. Somehow this week though I managed to get rid of all symptoms basically in about a week. Probably because I drank so much orange juice and took Airborne. Hallelujah.
- I don't think so, actually. So no, no problems. haha
- It's actually been really nice and fresh here. Yesterday it was about 70 degrees. Today it's a bit rainy so it's a little cooler, but I haven't even had to wear my big coat yet, let alone the snow boots. We heard once upon a time that we weren't going to get snow until after Christmas, but we've since heard that we'll have snow in December most likely. But I honestly don't know. So far it's been really nice. Supposedly it's supposed to be a somewhat mild winter. We'll see how long that lasts though. Just looked at the weather (approved app) and it's supposed to be in the 50s for a few days then in the 30s so I guess the cold is on its way. Brr. I never did like the cold, but at least there's no snow still. (I had to think SO hard to come up with the word "still"; it's been replaced by the Spanish equivalent in my brain...)
- Well, Jose and Ida are just the most fantastic people of all time. For real. I mean, where do I even begin? So last week they came to church for Sacrament Meeting and then had to go. We were able to teach them on Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. It was awesome. They have such a sincere desire to do God's will and they're beginning to believe in and feel the power of prayer. We did find out about a few obstacles to get over but we have faith and we know they have faith. Ida keeps all of her commitments and then does some extra studying on the side. Jose is beginning to understand how to pray in order to receive answers and then be able to recognize them. I feel like they're my children, but at the same time I feel like they're my parents. It's so great. So we had invited them to come to a baptism this Saturday and Ida told us she had a vendor fair and they weren't sure they'd be able to make it. We gave them the address anyway and told them we'd pray really hard--and then asked about ten of the members and some missionaries to also pray--that 1) Ida would sell all her Tupperware, 2) the vendor fair would end a little early [or that they'd be able to close up a little early] and 3) that she would find someone to go in her place on Sunday [that way she could go to church]. Well, let me tell you something: PRAYER WORKS. I know Heavenly Father answers prayers, even if it's not exactly how we think He will. Because Ida actually didn't sell very much at all; she said it was pretty slow all day. However, the fair ended up being done at 3 instead of at 4 (the baptism was at 4:30 and the fair was in Rockford, about a 30 minute drive away), and she found someone to take her place Sunday! So they came to the baptism (oh, and there were technical difficulties with the font so the service was delayed for about half an hour) and then afterwards we taught them the Word of Wisdom because they have to be living that for two weeks before they're baptized and last Saturday was exactly two weeks before their baptism and then they came to church yesterday and stayed for all three hours. Oh, and yesterday was the Primary program and they loved it! Oh man. I just love this couple. Also, at the baptism, we had some food afterwards and we'd just about run out of plates so Jose and Ida shared one and Hermana Henricksen and I shared one. When the two of us sat down with Jose and Ida, Jose passed me a napkin and I said "Oh thanks, I didn't even think of that!" And he goes "Well, I always take care of my daughters." Aww.... (: I think a tear may have welled up in my eye. I just love these two SO MUCH. There really aren't words to describe it. They're just amazing. I know we can overcome these obstacles because we have faith, they have faith, and our God is mighty to save (Alma 34:18; 2 Nephi 31:19).
So that's basically the main highlight of this week. I'm not sure what else to say. Good news is that I've stayed committed to writing in my journal nightly so I WILL keep up and then everything I forget to tell you will at least be written down so that we may all profit thereby. (haha) But anywho, here's a brief summary of this week:
Monday: We went by a less active family who live out in the boonies, and it was in the evening and mind you, it gets dark at about 5:30. But so we went by and when we pulled up there was someone (we think) in the truck in the driveway but we went up to the door anyway. We could hear the kids yelling inside but no one ever answered. So we went back to the driveway (on the side of the house) and the lights on the truck were off now. So we wrote a note by the light of the lamp on the side of the house and the whole time we could hear them talking, looking through the windows in the garage door (or something like that) and I distinctly heard them say "They're still here..!" I don't know who they thought we were but boy was it funny. haha Maybe it's just me but I'd much rather have the missionaries knocking at my door at 7:30 than anyone else....haha but yeah. I guess we're really intimidating or something.
Tuesday: We were driving up Lincoln Hwy and I was watching people walking outside (since I am the official co-driver) and I saw a lady that I thought was our investigator so I stared until we'd past and then I stared some more and finally I was convinced it was her so we turned and parked on a street, prayed and started walking towards this woman. And it was her! Her name is Irma and she is so great. She's had a lot of bad experiences with people that have left her without much trust in the general population but she likes us (now). We walked with her back to her house, just listening to her really. She commented about how much we laugh. Let me tell you, it's because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only true things like that make you as happy as us. Anyway, we get to her house and she tells us she's going to finish raking leaves and we practically beg her to let us help her and she concedes. Well, I hardly ever got to rake leaves growing up because there aren't many trees at my house so it was lots of fun! However, in the process I managed to step in some poop. Yes, poop. I believe of the cat variety. Well, we then had to walk quickly back to our car because we had an appointment with an investigator. But I had poop on my boot! I couldn't just track poop into her home! (It's always immaculate, plus that's just not cool period.) So we get to the car and it's about dusk (5 pm, you know) and I can't see very well what I'm doing, but I"m trying to scrape it off with dried leaves. Well, the problem with dried leaves is that aren't very sturdy so it basically just crumbles and now it's on my hand! Well, we begin driving and it begins to smell. So I roll the window down and stick my arm out. By the time we've arrived my arm is FROZEN I tell you. But hey, at least it doesn't smell in the car. While Hna ran up to a member's home to pick something up to take to our investigator with whom we have an appointment, I sat in the car with the door open, trying to get poop off. What did I use? Well I happened to have eaten a banana earlier that day and had nowhere to put the peel so I was using that, plus some napkins we had in the car (for when we check oil levels on Mondays) and some water in a water bottle. Well it sort of worked and it was mostly off. When we got to our appointment finally I asked to use the bathroom and I wiped off a bit more with hand sanitizer. So now at this point my boot smells like a combination of cat poop, banana, and cherry blossom. Our investigator's dog sniffed at my shoe for a little longer than normal. But hey, it was good. haha all in a days work, right?
Wednesday: We visited a sister in the ward who has been having a bit of a rough time lately. We weren't planning on being fed but she fed us anyway. (We had pork chops--in the oven, they were more delicious that I remember pork chops being--and mashed potatoes--she used that Mesquite steak seasoning in the potatoes and it was also delicious--and Brussel sprouts. Oh boy do I love Brussel sprouts. I don't know why but boy are they tasty. Just saying. Also, she had a poster on the wall and it was intriguing. I knew it must have something to do with a video game but didn't know what so I asked her about it. Come to find out it was something with League of Legends. Wow.... I haven't heard that phrase for eons! Just kidding, more like slightly over a year. But it feels like eons. It was just so weird to contemplate that again because I haven't even thought about video games for months. Wow. It made me realize just how much a person can change simply by putting one's mind to it. I know I've had the Lord's help in becoming as focused as I am, and I am truly grateful for that.
Thursday: We had zone conference! Wow. It was awesome. And if I'm being completely honest, the first reason for that is because our zone leaders brought us cake and we ate it. It was divine. haha. But it was also awesome because we learned a lot. Plus, I finally had another interview with President. Man, I love President Griffin. He truly is inspired. I know he is so in tune with the Spirit because he was reading between the lines of my asked question and helped me know what I needed to know. I know he is a man called of God to preside over this mission. He receives revelation for all people residing in these geographic boundaries, as far as missionary work is concerned. And just as we are blessed for following the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, I know we are blessed by following the counsel of Gilbert M. Griffin. I love him and his wife and I am so so grateful for what they teach and what they have taught already.
Friday: So we were doing our plans and no one was letting us in so we had about 30 mins left until the next hour with nothing to do. So we prayed and both felt we should go by Ida and Jose. So we drive across town (takes about 8 minutes) to the neighboring "village" and drop by. And of course they let us in because they're only two of the greatest people on earth. And we had a fantastic lesson. We found out a bit more of Ida's concerns and helped them to gain a little more confidence in themselves and in the Gospel. I know these two are searching for what we are trying to give them, and they are so so so close. They're amazing. And I know Heavenly Father will guide us if we will only ask.
Saturday: we had breakfast with a member and when we got there she tells us she invited our investigator! (they're basically best friends) so that was super cool! Both of these two sweet sisters are going through almost unbearable trials and I think it's not by coincidence that they've met and become good friends. Although they have such different circumstances, I know they will be able to support and lift one another as they continue to seek the Lord first. I am so grateful for the stability of my own family and the health of my loved ones. It's not something you always realize that you're grateful for until it no longer exists or you get up close and personal with someone else's situation. I know I am blessed beyond measure and surely I do not merit the great blessings that I've been given. But I know I will continue to work to be worthy of the blessings I already have and to help others receive the same joy and happiness that my family and I enjoy. I am so blessed to have been born to parents who made sacred covenants between themselves and the Lord and who have worked to keep those covenants throughout their lives. I am so grateful for their example. I hope you both know how much I love you and admire you, even if I don't always express it. I'm still not perfect so I'm working on that part.
Sunday: Well about three months ago our ward mission leader gave us a referral (Tony) of a friend of his who was reading the Book of Mormon of his own volition. We went by with this member to try to find him and got no answer. We went by later and met the brother of this referral who told us Tony didn't live there anymore. Our member then directed us to Tony's other brother to look for more information. We went by and met a woman who was previously meeting with the missionaries (I'd met her once before actually) and she told us to try a house on the corner of a street named Irene, with a poodle almost always on the car in the living room window. So we did. We probably tried that house about 3 times and no one ever answered. And we never ever saw a poodle. So we went back to this woman and she told us it was the second door down in the apartment building on the corner. So we tried the second door and met a man whose name wasn't Tony and he didn't know of anyone named Tony. We tried the first door and they had a giant dog--not Tony. Well, Saturday we went back and decided to try all the other doors on that corner because we just wanted to find Tony. And the very first door we knocked was answered by a young woman who said her dad was Tony. Uh, what?! However, he was asleep so she said to come back the next day before 2. So we did. And we found Tony! Oh my goodness! It was harder that finding Waldo but we finally did it. And he's awesome! He asked us where the church building was and said he'd come and also let us set up an appointment to come teach him. Oh boy. I'm excited. He told us he began reading the Book of Mormon out of curiosity and he just wants to finish it so he can know everything. haha by all means, keep reading! It was truly a miracle. (Also, it did turn out to be a second door, just coming from the direction not of the corner...)
I had plenty of time today so this should be long enough for the next month or so right? haha (maybe I'm kidding.)
I know the Gospel is true and I know there is nothing that could make a person happier than the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I learned at zone conference from a Hindu-converted-Mormon, Elder Murchison: Hinduism is based on the experience of the four blind men (in the story of the 4 Blind Men and the Elephant) but the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is based on the experience of the man who saw the whole elephant. There is nothing truer on the earth, that I know. How do I know? Because I read the Book of Mormon and I prayed and I fasted and I asked God, with the intent to act according to the answer. I invite you all to find out for yourselves if this truly is true. If it isn't, well then you've knocked one more religion out of the running. But if it is, then you know what you need to do. I promise you that if you will ask with a sincere heart and real intent, having faith in Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost you too can come to know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, reestablished on the earth once more so that all of the children of God may be benefited and one day inherit eternal life.
Love, Hermana DeBuck
1. #thatawkwardmoment when auto-correct turns your name into something two times longer and actually more complicated.
2. Some of my favorite hermanas at zone conference (from left to right: Hermana Taylor, H. Dahle, H. Neff, H. LaBonte, H. Griffin, H. Henricksen, and yours truly.)