Before I forget… transfer calls are THIS SATURDAY… ahhh! I could be transferred from Iowa City or stay here so next Monday I’ll let y’all know. Just be careful sending mail because if you send it to Iowa City and I’m not here, I’ll probably never get it and that would just be sad.
Last Monday night I learned a humbling/eye opening lesson (we kinda get those all the time on missions. it’s exhaustingly awesome). Sister Bevan & I had a lesson with two of our investigators E and K- we even had a member from the branch with us! We planned on meeting at 8 pm but by 8:20 rolled around, E & K had not shown up. We called their phones and both were turned off. Needless to say Sister Bevan and I went into panic mode. We drove to their apartment (we didn’t know their apartment # at the time) so we went door to door (5 floors mind you) to find these two rascals. I have never been on more of an emotional roller coaster than what I experienced Monday night. I felt like we were racing against the clock… thankfully we ran into their cousin who agreed to pass the message along that we were looking for them. As we drove back to the church building I had the thought that we weren’t suppose to meet with E & K… maybe instead God needed us to meet with the branch member. We talked with her, said a prayer, and shared a tender, spiritual experience.
Sister Bevan and I drove back to the apartment exhausted. We talked about how we were hoping and praying that E & K were alright… that they still wanted to be baptized and they still had faith. At one point Sister Bevan said, "Satan has a hold on too many! He can’t take E & K away as well!!" Well she said that and I started crying.
As a missionary it’s hard to not get down on yourself. We try to do everything we can but people still have agency. On Monday night I felt responsible for E & K’s safety and well being. As I cried I had this overwhelming, gentle "rebuke" from Heavenly Father… "Satan has a hold on too many! He can’t take away more of my children and yet he has a hold on you."
I’m learning more and more about the nature of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through serving a mission. I know that when I’m a parent I’ll feel it more strongly but driving in the car Monday night I truly got a glimpse of the sorrow our Heavenly Father goes through whenever we disobey, disregard, or desensitize ourselves to His council. (Hebrews 12:9-11)
Geez I’m exhausted just writing this e-mail! haha I know that God loves me and I know I am His servant. I’m not perfect and I’ve got a lot of things I need to improve on but I’m trying… I’m trying to turn my heart over to Him completely. It’s a process and one day I’ll get there. I’m just grateful for the gentle rebukes, words of encouragement, and peace I receive along the way. God is truly a God of mercy.
Now onto some happy/hilarious/random things because this work is truly a work… of joy!! #herewego
-Congratulations to Alex & Wendy for being the first wedding announcement received on my mission!!! #scrapbookmoment
-I built a home two weeks ago with Habitat for Humanity. IT WAS AWESOME.
-My district got an Elder who is a visa waiter! Wahoo!! Another Portuguese speaker!
-seeing a squirrel walk (not run across the street like they usually do) is hilarious. Don’t believe me? serve a mission and I’m sure if you saw it you’d think it was hilarious as well.
-we drove on the freeway for the first time… 55 MPH has never seemed scarier (considering the fastest we go is 35 in our little area of Iowa City)… speaking of which I’m driving the car this week as "senior companion" (part of training) #haventdrivenintenweeks #watchout
-I’ve never seen so many little critters before living in Iowa City. Birds, bunnies, and squirrels are EVERYWHERE. Every morning I feel like Snow White because we come out of our apartment and they scurry. Ok, kinda opposite of Snow White but you get the idea.
Ok children: this has some "adult content" so prepare yourselves…
-4th of July in Iowa City is one of the funniest things I’ve ever experienced. No one was out down town so we walked down some streets where college kids live. Oh boy….
A group of people were playing a game (two beer bottles on poles at opposite ends of the yard & the teams try to throw a Frisbee to knock the other bottle down). They were nice and drunk and started talking with us. We said we were good at frisbee and they should have us on their team! They laughed but as we passed one of the poles, the beer bottle fell off with out anyone touching or hitting it. The look on their faces was PRICELESS. They just stared at us and using my Obi Wan Kanobi (forgive my spelling dad) skills I swiped my fingers across and said something along the lines of using my mind games on them. It was fantastic.
About 5 minutes later we walked passed a group of people who were as high as clouds. We gave the usual missionary, "Hey, how are y’all doing" and they just stared off into space. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life and I just couldn’t help but bust up laughing. They had ZERO response time… maybe because most of their brain cells are dead. Oh Iowa City I love you and your people so much!!! (Legitimately- this place is the best) Right after we passed a guy riding a bike… with a beer can in his hand. We were impressed with his ability to drive straight under the influence so we called out and told him that. He laughed, said thanks and then swerved into a parked car… We looked back once we got to the end of the street and couldn’t see him. We’re assuming he passed out in the flower beds.
Sorry this is so long! Geez-lou-eeze… It’s fine, you have agency not to read it 🙂 but I just have ONE MORE STORY….. ready?
I SAW ASHTON KUTCHER. Yup. Sister Bevan and I were walking downtown, saw a group of people, and did the usual missionary thing ("Hey, how are y’all doing?")… Ashton (#weareonafirstnamebasis #duh) said, "Good." and we kept walking. I had NO IDEA it was him until afterwards. Sister Bevan and I freaked out, took a picture of the spot where we passed him #scrapbookmoment, and are totally claiming that we’re going to be the missionaries to convert him. Ha I’m ust kidding about that last part… although hey, I saw a famous person on my mission! Wahoo!!!
Ok I’m done now. Phew!
I love y’all!!!! Keep reading the scriptures and praying. Don’t let Satan get a hold of you!!
Have a wonderful summer full of swimming, watermelon and Popsicle eating, and barbequing!
"Sometimes our plan B is God’s way of making His plan A a reality."
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