Monday, June 2, 2014

Diligence, Miracle of the Miles and Rainy Days on Bikes

Hi everyone!

This last week a Member of the Seventy came and spoke to us! His name is Elder Martino. It was an all day conference and it was so, so good. Beforehand, we had been asked to study diligence and when we got there that day we were told by the APs that a Sister and an Elder would be called on by President Samuelian to give short three minute talks on the spot on that topic. This was a group of about 100 people so I thought for SURE I'd be safe. I should've known better. I was very grateful for the opportunity but I'll just say it is more than a little intimidating to give an impromptu talk in front of a Member of the Seventy. It was fine, though. I talked about how, in reality, our role in missionary work as a missionary is very small. Heavenly Father prepares the people, the Spirit witnesses of the truth, and the investigator uses their agency whether or not to accept and act upon the truth. All we do as missionaries is be in the right place at the right time and open our mouths. We don't even have to come up with the words to say because the Spirit takes care of that as well. Our part is really very, very small so we should be diligent in that very small part we play. I also talked about how Heavenly Father didn't have to call me on a mission and how, for most of my life, I didn't even want Him to but how so very happy I am that He did. My diligence is a way of expressing gratitude for this opportunity.

I really loved what Elder Martino had to say, though. He talked a lot about how members are absolutely essential in this work. He talked about Alma and Amulek. Amulek was the member that Alma brought with him to teach. He related Alma 11:46 and pointed out that it wasn't Alma who astonished Zeezrom even though he was a seasoned missionary. It was Amulek. He said that it is the same in our work today; the member is the one who will be able to astonish people. He related several stories where this was the case and stressed the importance of prayerfully selecting that Amulek member or family.

We kind of had a miracle this week with our miles. This might sound silly but it was actually incredible. With all the meetings and transfers and exchanges that we had this month, we were running incredibly short on miles. We're only allotted a certain number every month. That's a big part of the reason I had to buy a bike. We literally had enough miles to take us straight to Newberg and back for the conference with Elder Martino. On the day of the conference, we had a lot of unexpected things happen like getting lost, having to stop by the mission office, etc. We got out of the meeting so late that, by the time we got back to Cornelius, we had to immediately go to dinner and then straight to the English class. We weren't sure whether to bring the car back to the apartment and bike to dinner and the class which would make us extremely late for both or whether to just drive. We ended up deciding to drive because there was no way to make it to both on bikes in any reasonable amount of time. At the end of the night when we finally pulled back into our parking spot at the apartment, we had used 999.1 of our allotted 1000 miles! It sounds so silly but, after all the unexpected detours and trips that day that we hadn't budgeted for, it was a miracle to us that we had still stayed within our budget.

I can't remember if I already told you this but one of the APs was actually in my freshman ward at BYU. He came up to me at the Zone Conference and said, "You do know I was your Sunday School teacher freshman year, right?" I'll be honest, I have no recollection of that but still cool. He's a good guy and an amazing Elder.

We were rained on pretty bad on our bikes this week. Like, pounding rain the whole time we were riding. After reading Dallin's letter, though, I don't feel bad for myself one little bit. I actually laughed out loud at the story of the cat birth, too, and how he was so "Dallin" about it. We actually teach a less active who can't stop herself from feeding everything and everybody so she leaves cat food outside and has SO MANY cats that just live outside her house. One of those cats just had kittens as well so we play with the only surviving one left all the time.

Mom, can you send me the recipe for pepperoni bread? I've been craving it so bad lately. Also, thanks for emailing me every week. Believe it or not, most of the other girls' parents don't email them every week. I really appreciate it. But I miss hearing from you too, Dad!

I got Sister Hawkins' package and it was AMAZING. It was all healthy food (which is exactly what I wanted) in the cutest bag ever.

Have so much fun with Hudson! Love you guys so much!


Note from Mom:  Saved this email from last week hoping for related photos but didn't get any. (sigh)  She sent these this week.  Apparently, they like to take a lot of selfies.  I'm not going to complain; just happy she's so happy!

Dallin's family and ours are very close.  He is serving as a missionary in the Marshall Islands and serves in much more tropical, primitive, and difficult circumstances.  I shared his weekly email with Hayley.  With permission, here is an excerpt from his email with the story she was referring to:

"Before I talk about anything that happened this week, I must tell a terrifying story. Our cat, Ginger, who lives in our house is a wonderful cat. She's super nice and always likes to be petted. However, we thought she was getting super fat. Turns out, she was pregnant!  Sunday, she had two baby cats. They were super gross. Thankfully, she had her babies in a random box, so they were safe.  HOWEVER, this morning, we woke up to Ginger making all kinds of evil hissing noises, and it was really loud so we looked over at her box. There were four crabs inside our house all making war trying to get into Ginger's box to eat the baby cats! It was terrifying! So we jumped out of bed and tried to kill the crabs, but then they started attacking us! They were big, and had big claws. So we took sticks off of our walls (since our house and the walls are made of sticks) and started trying to beat them. Ginger continued to make evil noises, and the crabs are going everywhere. The worst, most scary, thing was that one climbed straight up the wall, like up to eye level, and then climbed out the window. It was terrifying. In the end, if you hit them once hard on the head, they kind of go limp for a second, so we would have to hit them and then flick them towards the door and then hit them again until they were outside of our house. At which point, we smashed them. It was really scary because the sun wasn't quite up at 5:45, so we weren't sure if we got them all. Crabs are definitely evil animals. They're like armored and weaponized spiders, and apparently the ones that live here can climb walls. So I have a new phobia." 

I'm glad Hayley realizes how easy she has it in comparison to others and that she can endure rainy days on a bike with a good attitude.

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