Dear family and friends,
For those of you who don't know, missionaries are given a special missionary planner that's made just for us by the church, and we get a new one every transfer (they only hold enough pages for six weeks). I usually tend to write the month/date on the top of each page a few days in advance. Well... I was flipping through writing the dates a couple days ago and all the sudden the pages ran out! ...?!?!! It really freaked me out for a second. :) Ha. Can't believe transfers are just about here again--as in next week!
This was a pretty crazy week as we experienced the tragedy of losing our most valuable possession: Sister Burden finished her mission on Saturday and flew home! You never realize how much you love someone til they're not around anymore... or how much you depend on them! Sister Burden had been in the area for 3 months longer than Sister Ortez and I, so she was like our superhero and we were her sidekicks. It's almost amusing how scrambled and lost we are without her. :P The good news is that the members of our branch still love us and help us and are looking out for us. WE HAVE THE MOST AMAZING SINGLES BRANCH IN THE WHOLE CHURCH. (Okay, besides the EB3 ward when it existed.) So even though it takes us 30 minutes to read the map and get to a house that's only around the corner (I LOATHE street names--why can't the whole world just use numbers like Provo?), we're still breathing and surviving and doing our best. ;) We sure miss her though! She's so loving and funny and fun to be around... it's not nearly as great of a party without her! I love her to death!
I had my first zone conference this week. Zone conferences are 6 hours long. :) Sounds like fun, right? Ha. It was actually really great. President Clayton gave us an awesome lesson about evidences that scholars have found in the Book of Mormon that proves its true origin, and how there's NO WAY Joseph Smith could have written it. It was crazy!! I wish I could tell you all the awesome things they've discovered about it and studies they've done. But the funny thing was what he said at the end... He told us specifically not to share these things with our investigators. Why? Because a testimony of the Book of Mormon does not come from scholarly evidence. Facts and things can help assure someone of its truthfulness, but the root of someone's knowledge of its divine origin has to come by the spirit. Thank heavens, too! We don't have to prove ourselves to anyone! The spirit does it for us. :) Missionary work is SO COOL!
Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is learning how to love people. (Maybe I've mentioned this before, I don't remember.) Missionaries HAVE to learn to love people right off the bat! People are so much more willing to listen if you're speaking out of love, and not just doing it because it's your job. Not only that, but it becomes much more enjoyable for the missionary too--when we do things out of pure love for others, it's desirable! The thing is, I'm not very good at this yet. (I mean, I love people, but it's hard to love complete strangers right away.) I'm praying a lot for the ability to see people how God sees them. I want others to feel like I really love them and want the best for them. After all, if we have not charity, we are nothing.
LILY IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY! My very first baptism. :) So excited. And, miracle of all miracles, we had another lesson with Moises and Reuben yesterday, and they said that if they get an answer that it's true, they'll be baptized on September 29th. We actually committed them to a date! On our second meeting! PLEASE, please pray for their hearts to be softened enough to receive an answer.
I love you all. Thank you so much for your love and prayers for me!
Until next week,