Jan 15, 2012

I have wrongly chosen to use my time emailing President Evans and sending little emails and so now I only have a little time before we're going to zip off to Boston (my companion is getting her ears pierced!!).

This week was really hard, but pretty rewarding. We had a lot more lessons than we usually do. We got 4 new investigators and taught 13 lessons or something. Apparently Hermana Hales was teaching 20 something lessons a week during the summer, but for right now...13-15 seems pretty cool to me :)

We got to go on exchanges last Tuesday. Apparently it's super rare for the Sisters (and especially rare for the Hermanas) to go on exchanges or "tours" as some of the Elders call it. Hermana Jardine came and spent a day in Revere and Hermana Hales went and spent the day with Hermana Hildenbrand in Swampscott and their surrounding area. I had SO much fun!! Hermana Jardine really knows how to make missionary work fun and effective all at the same time. She just loves talking to people so much and it really opens people right up. We taught a lesson to a guy who was just painting an apartment in one of the buildings we were tracting. The fact that we can just waltz into people's lives and talk about Heavenly Father, Joseph Smith, the Restoration and bear our testimonies just has not lost it's excitement for me yet.

Interesting tid-bit for the week: Hermana Hales and I both don't really like calling people on the phone in Spanish. We love all of our investigators and the members dearly, but sometimes it is just SO hard to understand a 2nd language when someone's mumbling or speaking really quiet or fast and we have bad service in our apartment and there's other noises in the background. It's hard because we want to understand EVERYTHING that they're saying so we know how to best help them. I'm getting a whole lot better at phone conversations but sometimes I honestly have to just kind of guess what they're saying based on the 2 or 3 words I can discern. Then I just ask, "So, you want to do..." or "So it's still okay if..." and clarify what the action from there needs to be. The Spirit sure is helping me to pick up the language, but I'm still just me - trying to do the best I can with what I've got. I actually got a letter from Sister McPhie a couple weeks ago that said something similar. She asked something like, "So do you feel like you've changed since you've been on the mission? I sure don't! I thought I'd automatically have some incredible spiritual power but mostly I'm just me." I feel exactly the same way. I'm just me. The difference is that I am much closer to the Spirit and to trying to do Heavenly Father's will for me than I ever have in my life.

We had a zone meeting last Friday and President Evans was there. He said something that really has been helping me for the last few days. We were talking about how he receives revelation in order to know what to do when transfers come up (next transfer, btw, is the 26th...I have no clue if either of us are going to leave or not). So we got into discussing when he feels it's appropriate to split up a companionship that are at each other's throats. He feels like if there are problems in a companionship that it's a shame to just split them up and deprive them the learning opportunity. And then, this is what impressed me, he said something like, "Even if we didn't have a single baptism directly from the fruits of the missionaries in this mission, it would still be a wonderful and worth-while work." His reasoning being that we learn SO much while we are here on our missions that have the power to change our whole lives. We have this time to be immersed in the gospel, to learn how to live with other people's faults, to learn to recognize our own faults and hopefully try to fix them, and to build the type of character that can help us have lives focused on the things that truly matter. So even if I don't help a single person get closer to baptism, my time here is still worth it. It's so true. The biggest blessing of this mission experience so far has been the ability to recognize my own faults and humbly work toward fixing them.

I love this Gospel! I love YOU!!

-Hermana Palmer

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