This week seemed to be the loooongest week ever. There was so much that happened, but at the same time, I feel like I was just emailing you all. Time is so weird here.
I learned so much this week. So much. I can't believe how much Heavenly Father teaches me every single day. It truly is amazing. One of the biggest things I've learned this week is from Helaman 5. "Remember." It's something that Helaman tells his sons over and over again in that chapter. They already know everything that they need to, they just need to remember. How often does that happen in our lives? I feel like there are so many times that I keep making the same mistake over and over again, and then Heavenly Father does something that makes me realize that I've already been taught this lesson. I've been taught so many things, I just need to REMEMBER.
One experience I had this week turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. Last Monday, I had do all this stuff for visa paperwork. I wasn't able to get my fingerprints done because I had to have another paper. Anyway, it was annoying, but I was able to go get it done on Wednesday. I was so frustrated that I couldn't just get it done on Monday, but there really wasn't much I could have done. So, Wednesday afternoon, we went into the jail (yes, can you imagine, two little sister missionaries walking into the county jail? That was a sight) so that I could get my fingerprints done. We started talking to this lady, who was waiting for her son to get out of jail after 18 months. We talked to her for a while about how her son really can change with God in his life. About 10 minutes later, her son walked out, just bawling. They just hugged and bawled. I was bawling. It was such an amazing experience.
I kept remembering the time that we went to get one of my cousins out of jail a little while ago. There were so many of us there to support her, and when she came out, she just bawled. She saw that we all loved her so much, no matter what mistakes she made. We were all there to support her. We were all there to do all we could to help her get back on the right path. That cute cousin wrote me an email this week and told me that she has been going to church almost every Sunday, and I am SO beyond proud of her for those choices that she is making. Heavenly Father blessed me so much with that experience. Because of that and because of the experience I had this week, I realized the amazing support group I have back home. One thing that I really love about my family is that it doesn't just consist of my brothers and my parents. It also consists of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. We are all so close. My family means the world to me. I want all you family members to know how much I love you and how much I appreciate every single one of you. I have the most amazing family in the world, and I thank my Heavenly Father every single day for you.
There are so many amazing things happening in Prattville, Alabama. President Hanks called Sister Jensen and I this morning and told us some amazing news. I hope that none of this sounds braggy, but we are very excited about the things that are taking place here. He called us and told us that he got an email from the Stake President, telling him about all the miracles taking place here. He said that there has been so much success here because of the Sisters, that they are requesting sister missionaries to always be in Prattville. President Hanks is the sweetest person in the world, and he kept telling us how proud he is of us and the work we are doing. He also said he's praying for our visas not to come, so we can stay here forever. It seems to be working! I guess if you have a mission president, a lot of missionaries and an entire ward praying for you to stay, you'll probably stay. Haha. I can honestly say that the success we are having is not because of us. It's the Lord. He's doing it all. Sister Jensen and I talk about it all the time. We aren't doing anything. He's doing it all. We're just standing proxy. It's amazing to see His hand in everything we do.
We are so excited for another week here. We have a lot of new investigators that we met that we are thrilled to begin teaching. They are such wonderful people. I love this work. Even though days are long, and sometimes hard, I am so grateful for every day of my mission. One of my good friends wrote me an email this week and told me what his mission president said to them: "We shouldn't view the mission as hard, we should view it as a challenge. Everything that happens to us on our mission prepares us for the rest of our lives." How cool is that?! I am so beyond grateful for this person that I am becoming. I really am being prepared for the rest of my life. I'm finally becoming this person I want to become. The Lord is working miracles in me.
I can't believe this summer is already over. Prattville kids started school today, and I SWEAR they just got out. Time has flown by. I am excited to hear all about how school goes this week for all of y'all! I can't believe my cute little baby brother Jackson MOVES OUT this week. Jack, do work in Salt Lake. Isn't he awesome? I'm so proud of him. And Zac and Eli, both going to Lone Peak. I can't believe they are old enough for that. But I am so proud of my brothers and the men they are becoming. I got a few emails this week, actually, from people in the ward, telling me about how amazing my family is. You guys ARE amazing. But, I hope all you kiddos have a great time starting school this week.
Anyway, I'm rambling. I love you guys so much. I miss you all like crazy. I have the best support group in the world. Thank you for your constant letters and your love and your support and your packages with all sorts of goodies in them (Kennedy and Dana, you are my two favorite people in the world!). The church is true. I am so grateful for it. I'm grateful for the knowledge that my family can be together forever. I am grateful to know that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me and cares for me more than I can even imagine. I am so grateful for my Savior. I love this work. I love being a missionary. I love being in Alabama. Thank you all for everything. I love you!
PS - I've been memorizing lots and lots of scriptures. Here's a few amazing ones from this week that kept me going:
Joshua 24:15 (for Dana)
2 Nephi 10:23
Look them up. They're solid. Love y'all.
Our new investigator Billie Jean.
She's like the most gorgeous grandma ever. I love her so much!
Kennedy and Dana sent me some of the cutest things
in the world this week. I'm spoiled. I love you guys!
It was Sister Bush's birthday on Friday,
so we all surprised her at Ihop for breakfast!
I've come to the realization that Ihop
really isn't that great, unless it's midnight.