Monday, September 30, 2013

Just Incredible

Time is flying by. Yesterday was my 4-month mark. It's crazy how fast those months have gone by. In some ways I feel like I've learned so much and changed so much, and in other ways I still feel like a brand new missionary who has no idea what's going on. Talking with missionaries that have been out longer than me, I don't think that feeling--having no idea what's going on--is ever going to go away. A mission is just so unpredictable. I'm just amazed at how much God guides us and protects us. Every once in awhile, as we're out during the day, I'll just stop and look around and think "How in the world am I doing all this?" I'm a 19 year old girl from Provo, Utah. I'm out in the middle of South Carolina. And yet we find our way around this huge area we have, and we talk with perfect strangers all the time. It's just incredible. 

We just found out on Saturday that we're going to be having a Sisters' Conference, where all the sister missionaries in the mission meet for a day, on my birthday. So I'm excited about that; it will be a good day. 

We went on an exchange with the sister training leaders this week. It was the first time that I've left my area to go on an exchange. I went with Sister McNeely to Goose Creek, which is right south of our area. It was fun. It was interesting to see how their area has a lot of the same problems our area has; they don't really have any progressing investigators either. But their area is the exact opposite of my area in terms of size, it's tiny! Like, they could cover their entire area in a day if they wanted to. Which is such a foreign concept to me, since I haven't even been to half of my area. It just showed me that each area is challenging in its own way; missionary work is hard no matter where you're serving. 

I was really kind of nervous about leaving Sister Bell during the exchange. I knew that it was going to be a good experience for her and that she needed it, but I kept finding myself thinking about her, thinking about what she'd be doing at this specific time and how everything was going. She was very nervous about the exchange and didn't think she would be able to handle being the only one who knew the area and the people. I knew that Sister Prior would help her and she'd be fine, but it was still really nice to see her the next day and have her tell me that everything went really well. She did a great job, and I think that exchange gave her a lot more confidence because she's been talking more and participating more in decision making, which makes me really happy. 

We haven't had a whole lot of luck with investigators this week, but one of the members is still really progressing. She came to scripture study and church again, and would have come to the Relief Society Broadcast, but she was out of town. So we'll still be working with her to keep her coming and help her build her testimony. 

Today for P-Day we've had a lot of fun. We went over to a member's house and spent the morning baking cakes- one for their family, and one for another that always lets us do our laundry at their house. This member is so awesome. I love her. She's one of those people who can just talk for hours, and she has such a solid testimony, she's such a good member of the church. We had a very good time together, and we all ate way too much cake and frosting. It was so good though. Sister Bell is a great baker. 

I'm very excited for general conference this weekend. We watch it at the church, they broadcast it, although most of the members don't come to the church; they just watch it at home online or on BYUtv, which a lot of members have. 

There's just so much that happens in a week that I can't possibly tell you all about everything. But we're doing well, we're working hard, and I'm growing and learning so much. My mission really isn't about me, and I don't want it to be about me, but I have already seen so many blessing from my mission. My testimony has been strengthened, I've met so many incredible people, and I have learned so much about how to be a better person- how to manage time and money, how to set priorities, how to work hard, and especially how to overcome obstacles and discouragement. There's still so much ahead of me, and I'm so excited to learn more and serve more. I love you all, thank you for all your prayers and letters. 

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