Monday, November 11, 2013

The Diet is Over, Flowers for Babushkas

November 11, 2013
 Preaching By the Sea

okay this is gonna be short one because my dear trainer sister erekson is writing a book (isn't she the coolest) about sister missionaries and asked me to write something for it. i guess i'll share it with you, but it's nothing i haven't already told you i think. anyways here it is:

"Everyone told me that my mission would be hard, and I believed them. I didn't expect a walk in the park, or even to love every day of my mission, but in all honesty I have. I have actually woken up every day of my mission happy to be here. And that doesn't mean that life is easy or that there aren't hard days, but I have chosen to be happy and that's really all it takes.

When I asked my mom what was harder, serving a mission or raising 4 small kids she said, "Oh no question, raising four small kids. But I couldn't have done it without my mission because the most valuable lesson I learned on my mission is that I can do hard things." Every day on my mission I do things that are hard. Even things that I couldn't have imagined myself doing a year ago. Yes, serving a mission is the hardest thing that I have done so far in my life, but I know that it will not be the hardest.

When I was asked to train in my third transfer I was more than surprised. I was overwhelmed and did not believe in myself. I didn't have very strong language skills, I had very little experience as a missionary (12 weeks in country) but the biggest problem was that I didn't believe in my own capacity to be a successful missionary. I knew that the Lord trusted me, but I did not trust myself. Of course I kept working hard and doing what I guessed I was supposed to do, but I was not confident. So I did what all good missionaries do, and I turned to the scriptures. I studied confidence. I looked up every single verse that mentions or refers to confidence. I looked for patterns and I noticed somthing. I learned that there are 2 kinds of confidence taught in the scriptures. There is confidence in the Lord, which means having faith in Him, knowing who He is and believing that He will keep His promises, and there is confidence in front of the Lord, which means being able to stand in front of Him, confident in one's worthiness to receive the blessings He has promised. I realized that as long as I lived worthily, obeying the rules 100%, and continued to study more about my Father in Heaven and grow closer to Him, I had every reason to be confident. My confidence is not in myself, it is in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

I have learned firsthand that the Atonement doesn't just undo mistakes or take away the pain, but it stretches us and makes us more than we are. It makes us better, stronger, and more like our Savior. On my mission I have learned how to rely on the Lord, which doesn't mean sitting back and letting Him do all the work, it means working my very hardest and trusting in Him to do the rest. I have learned that the more I know who Heavenly Father is, the easier it becomes to trust Him and do His will rather than my own."

I think i quoted you wrong, i couldn't really remember what you said but i think that was the gist of it. anyways this was a really good week. we got transfer calls and sister welch is!! also, guess who's training again? this guy! yep, apparently i didn't quite get it right the first time because i'm doing it again! just kidding i'm way excited though. i hope she's cool and likes cereal because now that sister welch is leaving the diet is officially over! it was worth it though because we ended up teaching her doctor and he committed to read the Book of Mormon (the whole thing...he's a super genius) and meet with us again! new investigator waddup.

This week I learned the hilariously ironic fact that Ukrainians are TERRIBLE at the mafia game. like literally the worst. every saturday night we have game night and we usually just play ping pong and uno but we decided to play mafia because we had a really good turnout and it was hilarous. i won't go into details but it just took forever and i don't think they understood the point of it at all. i actually told everyone that i was the mafia so they would kill me so that i could get out of there. it was pretty bad.

this week we bought a bouquet (i don't know how to spell anymore and i want to cry) of flowers to take to a sick babushka in the ward but she didn't answer the door, so we just walked down the street and handed a flower to each babushka we passed. some of them loved it and some of them asked why and we said "because you're beautiful" or 'because God loves you" or whatever. anyways they loved it. actually one old lady came up to us and was like "i saw a bunch of ladies with flowers and wondered what was going on...can i have one?" haha it was so much fun.

this week we thought we had such a good plan for english. we talked about gifts and then at the end sister welch taught a spiritual thought about the Book of Mormon and then said, today we talked about gifts and we have a gift for each of you. there's a table by the door with a stack of Books of Mormon on it, and you can take one on your way out. well, it was a good idea in theory, but nobody actually took one so we were pretty bummed. but then after english we had an awesome lesson that i don't even know how it happened. we were just going to teach these 2 guys, but sister welch just kept inviting people to join the lesson, so it ended up being us, 4 investigators (2 old 2 new) and a less active! haha it was crazy and kind of went all over the place, but we got 2 new invesitgators out of it, so it definitely made up for our fail of a spiritual thought.

yesterday we had district conference (stake conference minus the stake) which i think was good, but i don't really know since i didn't hear any of it. there wasn't any room for the missionaries in the actual chapel (that's good because it means it was a good turnout) so we all sat in this random classroom upstairs and the audio playing in the room was such bad quality we couldn't understand anything (also it was in russian, so that didn't really help), but the good news is we had 2 investigators come! we had to leave Mariupol at 7am to get there on time, and they still came. that's impressive.

okay sorry i don't have any more time to write, i was busy writing a book! i want to end with a recipe for an authetic ukrainian salad. you should try making it this week! also you can get a sense for how ukrainians speak english, i'm going to write it out exactly as we got it. our branch president's mom told him the recipe and he wrote it down for us in english. this is what the paper says:

let's go

"Far East Salad"

a half of a small cabbage
one middle size carrot
one small beet
one or two pepper_bells
two cucumbers
one lemon (to get a lemon juice)
5 teaspoon of oil

Shred the cabbage and the carrot, oh, and the beet also. Then you make like small "mountains" of each ingredient. Then put some salt, pepper, and garlic on each of the "mountain." Then put one teaspoon of lemon juice on each of the "mountain." Heat the oil on a frying pan and then put a teaspoon of this oil on those mountain (each one). Add some "soy sauce." When you are ready to eat mix everything and enjoy!"

Oh this week i got packages from the Walkers and Lex's and a letter from Sister Walker! Thank you!!!!! I don't want to say I ate all the candy in a 24 hour period, but I also don't want to we'll leave it at that. yes i got the last missionary mom letters and the recipes! thank you!!! love you and miss you! have a great week! didn't hear from this sibs this week, better luck next week?

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