I had to cut my last post shorter than usual last week because Elder Curtis was leaving and he is like our brother so we went to lunch with him and some other missionaries to say goodbye.
Last Monday we had exchanges. I was kind of nervous because the new STL is Sister Minyard, who was Sister Fisher's trainer and last companion. I was worried for no reason, of course, but I was nervous that she wouldn't like me. She is super cool and nice so I didn't need to worry about anything. I guess I was nervous with her coming back because it took so long for all the members and investigators to get over her leaving and I finally felt like I had established good relationships with all these people. It is all good. Sister Erington is just awesome. She is actually younger than me. She is 19 and literally came out right after the age change so she has less than a year left but she is already a STL which means she is a great missionary. On Tuesday, I went with Sister Erington and Sister Fisher went with Sister Minyard and I just had a blast. Her personality is a lot like mine and it was good cause I felt like I was 100% myself for the first time in a long time and we laughed the whole day. We got a lot of work done too and I just had an awesome day. Then they gave us some training and they talked to us about self-esteem. They told us that we need to believe in ourselves. They had us write down 10 things we wish we could change about ourselves or our past. After, they asked us how many things on the paper we could control. I only had two things on mine that I could control. Their point was to get us to see that we have to let go of the things we can't control. We can't control now what happened in our past. It's in the past but we can control what will happen right now in the present. We then ripped up the paper and threw it away. I realized how much I feel like I need to control everything in my life sometimes. Because it is so hard for me to trust people I feel that if I have more control, I can prevent getting hurt. But this puts so much stress on me that I am not able to have a positive outlook like I should. Once I let go of the things I cannot control, I am able to have a lot more fun with life. I am getting better (slowly) at just letting things roll off my back and I am trying to stop fighting everything and everyone. I am realizing that everyone is not out to hurt me or betray me. I had a huge wake up call with my lack of ability to trust and I realized that I need to keep trying to change that because it also reflects how much I trust my Heavenly Father.
The STLs ended up just staying another night, which was not planned, and coming to our district meeting the next day. I got asked to give my first training. I was SUPER nervous. But, it went really well and I felt good about the training I gave. I talked about finding investigators through faith and I shared that poem you sent me, Mom. The one about how God doesn't call the qualified but he qualifies the called. I explained that in order to find people, we must open our mouths and share the gospel with everyone we meet with everyday. In order to have the confidence to open our mouths we must believe in ourselves knowing that God called us for a reason. It was good.
Oh, and speaking of "Steak and Shake", if I eat at Steak and Shake again I am going to throw up. I am sick of it now cause we always go there for district lunch all the time. I know y'all love it so sorry to break your hearts but it gets gross after eating it three weeks in a row.
This week has been the hectic, busy week. We had so many teaching appointments it wasn't even funny. But, we also had to see Debbie every day that week because....guess what....Debbie got baptized this Saturday! Aaaaah! Can you believe it? It was the coolest experience ever. Sister Fisher and I had no idea what we were doing and it was really stressful. I did not know how much work goes into making a baptism possible but she made it and the baptism was perfect. We got to be there with her right after she came out of the font and she was just GLOWING! I wish you all could have been there because I can't even explain it. Debbie said it perfectly. She said it was simply amazing. I couldn't even cry cause I could not stop smiling! It was a good day to say the least.
|Me, Debbie, Debbie's husband, and Sister Fisher at Debbie's baptism|
Also, I just thought you should know that your email not going through was definitely the Lord's timing. I needed your letter the day it came. Honestly didn't think I could make it the rest of the day and I got your letter and I just bawled. Man, I am so emotional as a missionary! I hate it. But, I truly needed your letter the day it came. I have been crazy home sick this past week and I think it is just because the holiday season is coming and I have truly realized how amazing my family is. You guys are the absolute best. You always have the best advice in the world. I just thought you should know. I bet a lot of people say that about their family but honestly, yours is the best.
Now, to answer all of those questions in your letter. Sorry about the money. I bought a flannel shirt at Target and this is going to sound super little kid but I sleep with it at night and it makes me feel more at home. That sounds really stupid but it has helped with the home sickness. You asked if we ever get naps. No, unless we use our hour of lunch to take a nap which we have every once in a while. But, this week we didn't even have time for a lunch some days...until Saturday when I had to tell Sister Fisher that we had to take a nap or I couldn't keep going that day. Sister Fisher can literally run off of no sleep. I cannot do that. I can run off of no food fine though and she can't so we just have to help each other out sometimes. Don't worry about the GPS. I just have to have it when I am the senior companion or we are gonna be in trouble.
Sister Fisher and I love to quote Kid History. I hope you have seen it. Our favorite is the car one when that car in front of him won't go so he keeps yelling "It's green!" So, I always yell that at her when the light turns green and "You're gonna get kicked in the head" and (our favorite) "Do it Bendy. Do it!" Anyway, that's what we quote all the time.
Yes, the new scriptures are awesome. It is a pain transferring everything over though but I love them. It is hard hearing all the things that are going on at home and I feel frustrated that I literally can not do anything about it. It's hard hearing about friends and family that are struggling and being absolutely helpless.
Yes, we do have a bedroom but the heater and the AC are only in the living room so that's why we sleep on the floor in the living room because we would freeze to death in the bedroom. I don't know what weather you have been looking at but it has been in the 20's at night this week. It has been way, way cold. I hope I got all the questions answered.
We have a new investigator named R (Note from Jeri: she asked me to not put first names of investigators and members from now on per instructions from her mission president). The other day we had a lesson with her and she was talking about how she needed to move because there were too many bad memories in her home. She has a friend who is a member that is always there with us at lessons. She told us that after we left the other night, she was talking with him and that he looked like a different person. She said it was super weird like someone else was sitting where he was sitting. Of course, we asked her if it was a negative thing or a positive thing. She said no....it wasn't bad. Nothing happened. As she was sharing this I just had the scariest feeling ever come over me. I don't know what happened in her house and I don't want to know. But, there is definitely something not good about her home and what has happened in it. When we were about to leave, the feeling got even worse. When we left her home and she couldn't see us anymore, we ran as fast as we could to our car. I have not been that scared my entire mission. It was the weirdest feeling cause nothing happened but you couldn't deny that something was wrong. I don't really know how to explain it but Sister Fisher had the exact same feelings and thoughts. But, it is a good thing R is looking for a new home to move into so hopefully that happens soon cause I don't want to go back there. R is super cool and super nice and she is a solid investigator. I don't know. It was a crazy experience.
On a more happy note, we went to this Bosnian home for dinner. She is a member and she is this cute old lady that doesn't speak any English. I don't know if I told you but Bosnians are one of the biggest ethnicity's here. St. Louis is a melting pot. We have so many different cultures here it's not even funny. We knocked on the door and her little old husband came to the door. I was looking at the ground so when he opened the door I got an awesome look at the fact that he had no pants on.....hahaha. All he had on was a shirt and we did not look close enough to see if it was covering anything. But, he doesn't speak any English so it was super awkward. But, we were finally able to figure out that his wife was not home and we just busted up laughing when we got in the car. Good times.
Well, I think that is everything I wanted to share. We were going to go to Paint Louis (miles of street art on these huge walls--look it up---I heard it is way cool) but that got pushed to next P-day because today we are going out to lunch with the STLs and taking a relaxing day off!
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!