Here's to the end of my first transfer! Crazy. We got our "transfer doctrine" on Saturday and my whole district is staying - no changes :)
I've been a little lower in spirits, but that's ok! Things are still good and I had a really good personal study on faith this morning. I was reading through the Bible Dictionary entries for all the doctrine of Christ elements, but the one on faith really stood out. Faith comes by obedience and righteousness, and Christ has revealed Himself in His perfect character, so I just need to work harder to be more obedient and to put my full confidence in Him, and then I will receive the blessings of power to be able to fulfill my calling - as a missionary and in life! We had LOTS of appointments fall through this past week which was a little discouraging, but we'll work harder this week. The one investigator lesson we did teach didn't go very well and we didn't really feel like we taught with the Spirit, so that was very humbling and we just felt really bad because we weren't as prepared as we should have been, so we've been working harder at being prepared...but it's hard when we role play and prepare to teach and then every time we do that, the lesson falls through! But I'm glad I'm not leaving Dubuque yet because I want to leave feeling like I've made a difference, and I don't feel like that yet.
On a good note, I have had members comment on how I smile a lot or how we're really cheerful, so that made me feel great :) And, I'm studying the Book of Mormon with a focus on the Spirit because I don't feel like I have a whole lot of confidence in my ability to the follow the Spirit and that stresses me out so I am studying about and working on that!
The Ensign article I mentioned last week about the Marshallese is April 2011, pg. 32. And the story about the couple who didn't want to get married is VERY common for that culture - it's much more normal to just live together and have a family for many years before getting married, so we have to help them see why it's important. Funny thing about them too - they trade kids around so much! Like legitimately...one super great Marshallese family we know has this cute little baby, except it's actually another family's baby, but they decided they had enough kids so they gave that baby to their sister's cousin or whatever the relationship is haha! We have two elders from the Ciribis (no idea how to spell) Islands, and Sister Call asked one of them if they trade babies around in the Ciribis Islands too, and he said yes as if it's not even a big deal! Anyways, we laugh about that. Oh but we visited the Saito's one day (a Marshallese family), and they gave each of us a pair of Marshallese earrings and a flower for our hair! They are so sweet! And Br. Saito is part Japanese (from what I understood) so he was excited when I said I was born in Japan!
You asked what we eat for breakfast/lunch. For breakfast, we have cold cereal, biscuits and gravy, eggs, yogurt and granola, and/or fruit. For lunch, we eat a lot of wraps, sandwiches, apples, salads, or leftovers. The Beytien's are awesome and give us leftovers from Sunday dinner with them! And it's always amazing food.
We talked to two Catholic couples about family history the other day, and that was awesome! They seemed really interested, especially one of them. It was a good experience for me because as we were walking past the house where one of the couples was sitting outside, I knew I should talk to them but had NO idea what to say, so I just asked something like, "we're missionaries and are offering tours of our church building, would you be interested in one?" (they like us to utilize church tours). Haha it was SO awkward! I felt so dumb at first - but then, it was like a little miracle because the lady asked what church we were part of, etc., and then recognized the Church's name from some family history records she had found, and was really interested in that! So, yes I was awkward and jumbled in how I initially started the conversation, but I felt like I was blessed for at least doing SOMETHING, and Heavenly Father allowed that tender mercy to happen because I had just tried, even if I was awkward in my trying - if that makes sense :)
Sister Thomas, our senior missionary, has been getting rid of a bunch of her clothes before she goes home pretty soon, so she gave a whole bag to Sister Call and me! Most of them fit/looked better on Sister Call, especially since I don't have the knack of making "grandma" clothes suddenly really fashionable, but I got some cute things, especially a white skirt that's so light and comfy and cute! It was fun and made me think of "fashion shows" with KJ and Jenessa - Sister call and I had fun with that. :)
|Here is a picture of Sister Monroe and Sister Whipple|
at the Mississippi River.
Sis Call and I were laughing about how we need to take some pics at the BEGINNING of the day, before our hair's pulled back and we're hot and sweaty and gross :)
I think that's about it for now, I forgot to bring letters with me (again) so I'm sorry if I missed anyone or anything! We have a ward party on Friday so hopefully lots of people will bring friends because that's the emphasis! Oh and I played piano at a baptism (1st ward elders) on Friday for a Marshallese lady, so that was really neat.
Oh and on Labor Day the libraries are closed, so I'll write Tuesday! I know it'll be hard for you to wait one more day but I'll pray that you'll be ok! ;) love you all so much. Thanks for being my family, and for loving me despite all my weaknesses! I realize more and more how blessed I am to have you! And to have the gospel - it is so true and so so wonderful!