Hey family (and friends)!!!
How are you all this fantastic Monday morning? I hope you all have a great day. By the way, there is a really good new Mormon message about not bullying. I highly suggest everyone watch it. Maybe even watch it at the beginning of seminary as you wait for students (mom). I really love Mormon messages. They are a lot of fun. I wish I knew about them pre-mish. (http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3267475157001&cid=HPWE030514340&im=true)
Well, this past week has been interesting. White-washing is an interesting business. White washing means that both missionaries in the companionship are new to the area. It's hard because neither of you know the area, the members, the investigators, places to go inviting, anything. You know, new adventures are always fun. Right? Sure. Yesterday and this morning I was thinking (a dangerous pastime. i know.) and reflecting. At first I thought that I hadn't really changed much on my mission and was slightly worried. Obviously, I can always improve more but I then realized that Heavenly Father has blessed me with many new or improved traits on my mission: I am more patient, more loving, more hoping, more joyful in trials. This past week has been actually pretty hard. Sister Yim and I have been so super obedient and have gone contacting for more than two hours a day (the minimum) and yet still haven't really seen any success yet. At transfers, everyone was saying that Udon was booming and then we come up and can't really see it. I knew it wasn't our fault because we literally were doing everything we were supposed to be doing and yet still it's hard not to doubt yourself when you can't see any success in your efforts. Also, a lot of new members baptized right before we got here haven't come to church in a couple of weeks. And we saw an LA [less active](that we helped come back to church) praying to a monk. Discouraging to say the least. But. Heavenly Father has never abandoned His children, especially when they are serving Him. Every day there was something to smile about. Heavenly Father gave me so much hope even though nothing was going right. He gave me so much peace in the work. The members here are so amazing. There are some amazing new members. They basically live at the church because they love helping teach. They want to help us find LAs. They love this gospel so much. They give me hope. We found a great place to eat...finally. We also find a great place to get smoothies and shakes. Delicious and cheap. :) Yup little miracles. And definitely there were some self doubting thoughts but those have all been overcome too. This morning we four sisters went over to the Browns to help plan an FHE activity and at the end, Elder Brown made us promise that we would tell our families that we were amazing missionaries. And then after President Senior's email this morning (he tries to respond every week to our 'reports') made me feel a lot better as well. "You are an amazing missionary and I am so impressed with your attitude, about white-washing, and a new area, and everything in your positive attitude....Have a great week." I wanted to cry when I got that email. It's nice knowing that even though I make a ton of mistakes literally all the time, I do some things right too.
Haha right now I'm listening to that Mormon message video for like the fourth time. Why? Because the internet cafe we are at is playing lots of rap music with curse words in it. So yeah. Mormon message to cancel out the sounds. Good times. :)
Hm... I actually don't know what else to write about. um...
Dad, thanks for the dinner play-by-play. It's actually really nice. I'm glad to know that the teasing is still going on. Yay Stu! =D The Browns have taken over as our Udon parents. It's very very nice. :)
Mom, I am so sorry about all the snow. It is sooo hot here. Hot season has started and it is really humid. Next month is going to be even hotter. High 90s or low 100s all this week. It's hot even at night. Bright side, my watch and shoe tan is great. You will all need sunglasses when you see it. Everyone here calls me really white but then I look at my wrist and remember how white I used to be. Haha. :)
Delsa, thank you soooooo much for Rachel's testimony. You can tell that I'm a missionary when I want to cry at everything spiritual. I love it. I love it so much. I just wish everyone could know what Rachel knows. Heavenly Father is always with us. He loves us sooooooo much, more than we can ever know. He gives everything to us and only wants to help us have true joy and yet people curse Him, hate Him, and don't believe in Him. How? He is our Father. His work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. How could anyone not love Him? I just don't understand. The only reason I can think of is that they don't understand Him. If they understood who God and Jesus Christ were, they would love Them as well. Prayer. Prayer is how we learn about Heavenly Father and develop a relationship with Him. Prayer is so vitally important. Honest, sincerely prayer is needed for daily life.
So yeah. In closing, keep on doing what you do. I love you all soooooooo very much. So very much. I want to give you all hugs. Never forget that Heavenly Father is always there. When we want to talk to Him, we pray. When we want Him to talk to us, we read the scriptures, the ensign (or church magazines), go to church, etc.
MUCH LOVE!!!!!!! =D
Sister Slaugh, the very happy and peaceful and joyful =D