Nov 14, 2011

I'm still not really sure that I know what I'm doing with this whole mission thing. After the one week honey moon phase I'm feeling like this is the MTC times 20!! Missions are hard!! If it's not being uncomfortable with my inability to speak Spanish it's that I'm having to meet tons of people and remember their names and show them that I love them because I do! It's a lot of pressure. Some days are just better than others though and I've learned to try and do the things that help me have an easier time of things - like following the schedule and all that jabber.
I very sincerely wish that we could do missionary work without worry of world problems. I have been looking for some boots that are dressy and water proof - You would think that in Boston that isn't really too much to ask, but it totally is. In my area there are only two or three places to find boots and none of them have anything that fits, actually feels comfortable, and is somewhat weather resistant. It makes me a little bit frusterated because I feel like if I put it off to try and find some next week, it will be too late and we'll have a snow storm. I just hope it holds off long enough for me to find some boots.
Enough of those worldly problems. So, this week has been interesting with it's ups and downs. We had zone conference last Thursday which was really good - it was like a general conference especially for us missionaries. We learned about how we can work smarter and use all the tools we've been given as missionaries. Then we got to do some cool role plays and eat lunch and all that good stuff. After lunch and before the large session began we were calling one of our investigators out in the hall. Some Elder walks by and says hi politely, so I do the same. But as he's walking away, I looked at his nametag and then had time to glance at his face once more before he ducked into the chapel. His name was Elder Smith! Elder Ethan Smith!! I caught up with him and got to talk to him for a minute - he is from Vernal and we were in band together! Small world! He's on his last or second to last transfer before he goes home. He had gotten called to the Conneticut/Rhode Island mission but is now up in Massachusetts. Crazy world!
Speaking of a small world - some guy that has been inactive forever but is good friends with the missionaries (his name is Doug and his wife's name is Maralee but I don't know last names) knows Lee Gibbons! Apparently they worked together or skiied together at some ski resort a lot of years ago. Interesting!
I love my roommates!! Hermana Jardin is the sweetest most thoughtful, funny, and kind person I've met! I just love being around her! She always makes me smile when I get home after a rough day. Mom, you asked for a clarification on where our roommates cover. They cover the exact same space that our ward does geographically but they serve in Revere 2nd ward which just means that it's the English-speaking ward. Our ward (Revere 1st - Spanish speaking) is split with a set of Elders so we don't cover as much geographic area as the other sisters do. Hopefully that makes more sense. It's nice that we cover the same area because then we can live in the same apartment with them. I think I would go absolutely bonkers if I was stuck with just one companion with no other people to converse with. 
So, I was reading in Moses this week. It's really interesting to read stuff about Enoch and my favorite part was in chapter six I think. Enoch is saying that he doesn't feel up to the task and the Lord reassures that "your words will I justify" and that he will give Enoch power to do all the things that He has asked of him if Enoch will "walk with [him]" I thought it was a rather beautiful way to put it so each day I try to more fully walk with the Lord and do what He would have me do so that He will justify my words. I need that right now because the whole language barrier thing for me is still rather tough.
The members in our ward are AWESOME!! Just last night we had a delightful chat with Hna. P who is a newlywed and had lots to say about that. It's a really special thing for me to be able to hear all these conversion stories of these people and to see and feel their unshakable faith that they have.
Speaking of our ward, we had our primary program last week and it's official - no matter where you go, kids will be kids. You've got the jokesters, the painfully shy, and the spectrum inbetween. I LOVED the primary program because they all gave their parts simply and clearly so I could understand everything that was being said the whole time! It was great!
Now for some interesting lesson experiences:
Just last night we had a lesson with a part-member family. We hadn't known it was part-member until we got there which was a fun surprise. I feel like of all our lessons since I've been here, it was the most meaningful and I think that the mom and 8-year old daughter really wanted to read and find out for themselves if what we were saying was true. The super-inactive father and his mom wanted to do the same I hope - hopefully they are willing to rediscover their faith. I'm really excited for them!
Marriage situations are tough. This one woman that we're working with was married in El Salvador, got divorced, moved here, met someone new and got married here but under the El Salvadorian law because he doesn't have papers. So, in the past she has wanted to get baptized but never could figure out if she was allowed or not. We finally went to our leaders and found out that she can be baptized but it's been a year since she's had the lessons so we get to teach her which is super fun because I just feel like she's teaching me. She has amazing faith and such great experiences. It really builds me up to go over to her house. Her brother has kind of gotten interested as well. He is super smart and has lots of really intelligent but kind of difficult questions which makes our lessons very exciting.
I've had enough tracting to last me a life-time, but each day we just do more and more because we're trying really hard to find new investigators. I hope our efforts will pay off. Even if they don't pay off directly back to us, I hope that we're making differences in at least some people's lives.
Well, I bid thee farewell until next week. I love you!!!
Hna. Palmer

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