I had some awesome classes one on one with my VC teachers and learned SO much. I loved it! I had to be at the travel office at 4 am on Wednesday, traveling went well! I GOT TO CALL HOME IN THE AIRPORT! Oh my gosh I was sobbing haha I got to talk to my sweetest angel Momma, my BEST FRIEND Daddie, and my two favorite sisters in the world. It was so happy. We got to talk for about an hour (I think, I really dont know it went by so fast) and I seriously just cried and cried I was so happy. Made me pretty homesick!!
I got to California safe and sound! My Mission President, President Frandsen was there to greet us with his wife. I walked right up to him (he is so tall), introduced myself, looked right into his eyes and said, "Hi President. Put me to work! I am ready and I am going to be obedient, you dont have to worry about me." He kind of giggled and smiled and said something like you got it! He is wonderful and his wife is SOOO cool. She is so down to earth and jokes about stuff, so awesome. I love them already!!!!
We did a bunch of paper work stuff and whatever. Then we got to go the temple. Oh. my. I'm sorry but there are no words. It is literally the most beautiful grouds/building/view I have ever seen in my life. I was speechless. It is STUNNING!!!! Seriously unreal. We took pictures then got assigned our companions! I was the only sister left so everyone was like hhmm I wonder who your companion will be haha. Her name is Sister Harper from Highland Utah. She is the oldest of 8. She has MERMAID eyes, they are like bright blue/sea foam green. She just finished training herself--so awesome. When my Mission President was giving me a quick interview before I met her, he teared up as he talked about her. He just said how amazing she was. AND SHE IS! She is wonderful. We get along so well and have a hard time finding things that we dont have in common. So we are 1/2 Visitors' Center, 1/2 proselyting. Our VC shifts are 9-3 or 3-9 just depending on the schedule that week. We are in San Leandro when we arent at the VC and thats where we live. It is pretty poor! One thing that has been soo cool about the 1/2 day thing is the difference in the Spirit!! We still have the Spirit as we teach and proselyte and study, but there is something about being on temple grounds and in the VC that is so incredibly peaceful and the Spirit is so strong there. You can see it on people's faces as they walk in. Its almost tangible.
We had chili and apple pie for dinner that night, so perfect for a good homey meal and it felt like Fall! LOVE.
So the VC is awesome! We give tours and walk the grounds and answer questions and play movies and answers calls/online chats. We have a lot of free time to study and read the scriptures! I just started the Book of Mormon over, so that's wonderful I LOVE IT. The view from the VC...... One side is the temple then the other overlooks THE ENTIRE bay and over to San Francisco. Seriously unreal. I just stare and stare and stare. It doesnt even look real. We get all kinds of people in the VC. This one lady from mexico, could barely speak Engish came up to me after a movie and was like "God is calling me. I can feel it. This feels right. God is calling me." I got to bear my testimony, "Yes. Yes He is and He loves you." She said, "I know I can see it in your eyes." AAAHHHH I know that seems so simple, but its so awesome to see these people wanting to change. And that I get to be His instrument is an HONOR.
One thing that we play, which many of you have probably seen, is the movie/interactive tour called God's Plan For His Family. We watched it as a family in the Salt Lake VC the weekend before my fare well as a family and SOBBED our eyes out. It was so hard for me to watch and bear my testimony about families and talk about my family because I would just cry and cry and cry (I'm crying right now haha) because I was homesick and I missed them!! But I turned it around. I started letting this love for my family to motivate me to share the gospel and share the message that WE CAN BE WITH OUR FAMILIES FOREVER to these poor sad broken families. My family is safe and happy. They will be there when I return home. Some of these people dont even know there is a God. So I am okay now haha but wow. I am so lucky. I love all of you so much.
We run to the sunrise in the morning. It's killer. The weather COULD NOT BE BETTER. It is perfect. Palm trees EVERYWHERE. Millions of different color/shapes/size of houses. I love it. I love love love it. So as we started planning to teach people that Sister Harper has already been teaching, she kind of updated me about their background/progress. It was SO beautiful to watch how I would learn a little bit about them, then just PRAY my heart out and study study study, then to see the revelation I would receive for them, specific to them, someone I had never met. That is NOT me. That is the Spirit working through me. I dont know these people but GOD DOES. And he loves them. We have had some awesome lessons with people from ALL OVER THE WORLD. Seriously right now we are teaching 7/8 people from SRI LANKA, CHINA, VIETNAM, MEXICO, PERU, NORWAY, and FRANCE. And its not like their parents are from there or something. They are literally from there, accents, culture, and all. It is the coolest, most beautiful thing. One other thing I love to see is how much I can love a stranger. I walk out of a lesson and I am just like I LOVE HIM or her haha its so beautiful!! We have two baptisms planned and we had three investigators come to church!! Sister Harper said that is the most they have ever had. I was so happy. It was so nice to be at church and everyone was so kind and welcoming. It is the most diverse ward I have ever seen haha. Name a race or age and we had it. One thing I LOVE is, The Bishop gets up there and goes "Good Morning Brothers and Sisters!" and no one answered. So he goes, "GOOD MORNING BROTHERS AND SISTERS." And everyone was like "Good morning!!" hahaha then every single person that stood up to bear their testimony did that. Everyone says good morning back, the whole congregation haha I was cracking up.
This week I will hit my one month mark, on October 16! CRAZY!
I am so happy. I love it here. It is so beautiful. I love how much we pray: we pray when we wake up, over our food, before we leave the house, before we leave the car, before we study, during study, after study.. you get the picture haha.
One morning I was way sad and homesick and lonely, because I was thinking about myself. I said a prayer to Heavenly Father and I was just like please comfort me. The lyrics automatically came to my head: "I know He lives. I will follow faithfully. My heart I give to Him, I know that my Savior loves me." I was overcome.
I know He lives. I know He answers our prayers. He loves us. Everything is possible through Jesus Christ. TURN TO HIM, he is there listening, just DYING for you to talk to Him. He knows how you feel. He knows how to comfort you. I have already seen these people's lives change because of the gospel. I love being a representative of the Savior and I often catch myself thinking, what would the Savior do, what would the Savior say. I love Him.
I LOVE ALL OF YOU to the moon & back and MISS YOU!! I can feel your prayers. Thank you. One of my best friends, Sister Higgins, serving in the North Adriatic Mission, said Wake up and realize how many people are praying for you. You guys keep me going! I am happy happy and its when I think of other and serve that I feel the most JOY.
Love. Love. Love.
|THE BEST MTC visitors' center teacher, Sister Peterson|
|Sister Donakey - MY other AMAZING VC teacher|
|The best devotional with Sister Burton|
|Sister Lewis - I seriously love all of my VC teachers|
|Thanks Dave and Camille for the Halloween socks! I love them!|
|Calling home in the airport on Wednesday was SO BITTERSWEET AHHHH|
|The Oakland temple is literally BREATH TAKING|
|Selfie with my new favorite temple!|
|All the new missionaries!!|
|Me and my AMAZING Mission President and his wife in the mission home. The Frandsen's. I LOVE THEM|
|My trainer/mom/companion Sister Harper|
|The most beautiful dog/timberwolf named Phoenix who didnt bark but literally howled like a wolf.|
In love. My companion had to drag me away from it. I was covered in dog/wolf hair.
|My wall...i love.|
|Our HUMBLE abode|
|pray for us|
|Selfie with the sunset|
|Blue hot chocolate...dont ask.|
|OH MY GOSH I CANT BELIEVE I LIVE HERE|