Monday, May 26, 2014

Wichy-Wichita. Week four of the transfer! Already!

Hiiii! It's mighty fine to see you all today. Yes, you! And you!

As you might be able to tell, things are going much better than they were last week. Last week was the pits, man. But we're back to seeing miracles here in "Texoma," as they call it. I'm pretty sure they call Wichita Falls "Texoma" because neither Texas nor Oklahoma want to claim it. But I'll claim it. It's quaint and the people are getting friendlier, I believe.

Alright, good news. We're finally teaching some Spanish investigators! Carmen and Victor. They had been previously taught by my companion and her former companions but they dropped them. However, we had an inkling to stop by and we've been back several times since. Carmen makes a mean tamale and Victor mumbles enough that I really don't think I'd be able to understand him in English, but it has been humbling to be back to teaching lessons in Spanish. I'm back to hitting the books to learn the language... The other day we taught about the Book of Mormon, and my companion refused to speak even when my face turned bright red and I almost chucked my Book of Mormon across the room-- an impulse I was pretty sure wasn't prompted by the holy spirit. Oddly enough.

We've been feeling pretty bad because our area is doing really well and the rest of our district is having a tough time. Not that we're doing well, but we've definitely been blessed finding people to teach. So we've been doing a lot to try to find people to teach for the Spanish-speaking Elders, but we always wind up finding more people to teach ourselves. It's actually getting a little overwhelming... but I guess that's a good problem to have? I don't know. I'm annoying myself so I'll just stop talking about this and provide points (trying to avoid the word bullet, it's still a touchy subject over here...) about what's going on!

-Still teaching Robin and Carla and their kids! Robin's family is having some medical problems so we've been giving them a little bit of space but we'll try to figure all of that out in due time.

-We miraculously ran into the Mom of the boy who got killed in front of the elders. I was backing the car like it was a horse and I was a cowboy and she approached us. So that was embarrassing/pretty typical. But we were able to go to her house and talk to her and comfort her and we have plans to return this upcoming week.

-We met a lady named Theresa in our search for investigators for the East elders. We've started teaching her because she doesn't allow men into her home... She goes to a non-denominational church but was raised baptist. She said, "I was told never to listen to a Mormon because their beliefs are different." To which we said, "You're right! They are different!" And they we laid all of our beliefs on the table. Well, a good portion of them, and she said that it made a lot of sense and invited us back. 

-A really drunk lady named Tina approached us and told us that she felt inspired to tell us that God lives and then she reminded us that if we look really hard our veins look like rivers and then she started to dance. I would love to go into detail, but it was all very traumatizing.

Oh, Duh, I should mention that we have met SEVERAL of our investigators at Taco Bell... 1) Wanda works there and her husband doesn't approve of us meeting with her in their home. So we teach her AT Taco Bell. Which is only a little bit distracting, hahah. She's amazing. She's planning on getting baptized on the 21st of June. Hooray! But this week she forgot about a meeting we had with her so we decided to get some churros, naturally, and as we were waiting, a man named 2) Lacy came up to us and just started talking to us. He explained that he was a retired marine and that he was feeling really guilty because of the people he killed in the marines. He said he felt like God had abandoned him. So we've been teaching him. He's really having a hard time. Taco Bell is also where we met 3) Theresa, the lady who won't allow the Elders into her home. As we were wrapping up our lesson with Lacy, she came up to us and told us that she had been eavesdropping and she wanted to learn more. I'm telling you, we've been blessed finding people to teach. We find them when we're not looking. Because, more accurately, they find us! Taco Bell is the promised land, apparently.

I would love to mention more of the joy going on in this area, but there's a lot. And this email is already obnoxiously long. People keep telling me the longer you're on your mission, the shorter your emails get. I really don't doubt that. So I might as well start now! ;)

I love you all. It sounds like everyone is doing really, really well back at home and I'm happy to hear that! I'm actually a little bit concerned that nobody has been sending me bad news... So don't hold it back! I could always use more things to pray for.

In conclusion, I want to share something we learned in church this Sunday. A member gave a talk on the importance of the Sabbath day and he said that a lot of reason people don't go to church is because they claim they don't get anything out of it. He reminded us that while it is a place for us to receive personal revelation, it is more a place to offer up "oblations" as it's referred to in D and C. Which is defined as being time, talents, and efforts. We go to church to serve, to uplift, to share and encourage. It really helped me be reminded what's important and how much we owe to God. It's not "What can I get out of this?" it's "What can I give?".

God loves you. God is in the details of YOUR life.


Hermana Mejor

Photos! Don't ask me how I sent them. It was a process...

-Nerf Gun War. Obviously a mission-appropriate activity.
-Somebody told us to go check out a referral and when we got there, this is what we saw... Call me crazy, but they're probably not interested...
-The sunsets here are unreal! And our rear view mirror is dirty!

Monday, May 19, 2014



Yep. That about sums up this week. It wasn't good. It wan't bad. It was... ASDFGHJKL:"

Okay, I'll expound. But I need you to prepare yourself because Hermana Gonzalez and I look back on it and say, "did that really just happen...?"

WE GOT DROPPED. Over and over and over again. Which, I mean, what else is new? I've come to terms with the fact that the stressful part of missionary work isn't having appointments cancel on you, or having the door slammed in your face, or people telling you you're going to Hell, in fact all of that stuff just kind of serves as the source of humor, believe it or not. (Either that or singing along to Christian music with your head out of the window like a dog because there's really very limited options for recreation here in Wichita Falls.), Annnyway. The stressful part of missionary work is having something so valuable, so pertinent to each individual on the earth, and having them tell you to never come back again. Even though they're having a really rough time in their life. And you KNOW that you can help them! You know that God can help them! So, anyway, that's my schpeel. People dropped appointments like flies all week and it was super devastating for a myriad of reasons. But Wednesday.... Oh, Wednesday.

I was sick. I woke up with a fierce stomach ache that made it hard for me to even move. Heaven knows why. It might be the stubborn part of me that drinks milk even though I'm pretty positive I'm lactose intolerent. Or it might have been God. Because I sat in bed all day. And when it was time to take the Elders to their dinner appointment, we did so and the other Elders were there. And they said to us, "How mad would you be if we taught somebody in your area?" And I'm sure any other day we would have fought it, but I was sick, so we just shrugged it off and let them go. So then, we went to dinner and came back to drop off the Elder and the other Elders pulled up in a cop car. They then proceeded to tell us that the referral they went to go see got shot and killed by a cop...right in front of them! In our area. In fact, in the very part of the area we had planned to be in that day. It was terrifying to say the least... We had to drive them to the crime scene so they could get their bikes and while we were waiting for the elders to convince the cops to take their bikes from the investigation, we saw the body, still there, still covered in blood. So our whole district has been... a little shaken up. But we're safe. God is watching us. It's been very easy to see his hand in our lives this week.

I probably shouldn't have written about that. Mom, Dad, stop worrying. I'm fine. There are messed up things happening all over the world. I'm just as safe here as I would be at home. Well, debatable, because at home I'm not knocking on the most broken down houses in town, but it's all good. You get the point. I'm fine, I promise.

I did, however, have wonderful revelation this week! Guess what?! I'm in the South. And if I were anywhere else, I would have to go around explaining who God is and trying to explain the atonement of Jesus Christ from the very beginning, but we have yet to meet or teach one person who isn't a Christian. It shows me how much the Lord sends us on very specific missions. I know that if the Lord had sent me somewhere where no one knew who God was, I would be spending a lot of time bearing testimony of something I was already very firm on: that there is a God and he loves us. But instead, I have to teach people that this is Christ's church, which is forcing me to strengthen my testimony in ways I didn't realize I was struggling with. But I'm learning so much about the order, justice, and mercy of God. And it's all relative to the organization, justice, and structure of the church. I'm not saying we should worship the church, but we must give credit to all of the programming and organization that goes into it because there is no doubt in my mind that THIS church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the progressive restoration of the church the Jesus Christ started when he was on the earth. It is burned into my heart, my brain, I know it.

And that's as much as I will say for this week. But just know, GOD LIVES. He loves us. He is in every detail of our lives.

I love you all,

Sister Best

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!!!

HOLA MI FAMILIA (y amigos) !

There's a lot going on at home! I'm happy to hear that!

Hey, guess what!? Ms. Kate Berry, one of my very oldest and dearest friends, is serving in Hong Kong in the ward that Ms Angeline (Driggs) Lapray, another one of my very best friends, lives in. Isn't this a small world!? I just found that out and thought everyone should know!

It was absolutely delightful to speak with some of you yesterday. I waited a long time before I started to write this email so it might be a bit shorter that usual, but you aren't missing much. If y'all want more information, drop me a letter and I'll respond in heavy detail. We had a few miracles finding people while we knocked some doors in the projects and just randomly behind a Taco Bell. It was good because we were kind of running out of investigators to teach... This week has been good, better than last for sure. We had a really intense training in District Meeting about charity and love and the importance of it. I then had a few studies on it and it has really helped me appreciate and love the people I work with and serve. Every thing we face contains a certain element of our own input. Meaning, we have to decide how we're going to accept a challenge and we can literally choose the outcome of something based on our own attitude. I'm a firm believer of that. It's our choice to get offended if someone doesn't return that love. By choosing to love, we're basically choosing to have a happier life.

Here's something else I've been thinking about... The Lord is never just going to give up on us. I think sometimes we live in fear that he will. But he never has before and he always keeps his promises. Which means that as long as we do all that we can he will bless us. And maybe the hold up is that "all that we can" means something different to each of us. But all we have to do is try. Try with sincere intentions. It doesn't have to be hard. The hardest part sometimes is just swallowing our pride and committing to that ONE change that's going to help us come closer to Christ. After we do that, after we trust that we are not alone, the Lord will direct our paths. NOW GO READ PROVERBS 3. He will direct our paths!!! That means he will provide for us, help us make decisions, keep us safe, make sure that every detail we worry about will be taken care of. If we, as imperfect human beings, could truly comprehend that, we would give our yokes to the Lord and stop worrying so much! This doesn't mean our lives would be perfect, but it would be more peaceful, for sure. It goes back to choosing to be happy. We will be given the strength to overcome weakness and use them to our benefit.

Man oh man does God love us. He gives us so much for us to be happy, all we have to do is ask and try. I hope everyone understands that fearing God is just having a desire to please him and not caring what man thinks about that. We should never be afraid of our heavenly father.

This may have been the least entertaining email I've sent so far, and if you're anything like me you probably just skimmed it, but I feel very grateful to have this knowledge and I hope it helps at least one of you.

I love all of you. God does too. Way more than me.

Hermana Best

Monday, May 5, 2014

asdfghjkll; TEXAS

Oh my word. This week. Has been. Rough.

And if you fail to read the rest of this email after giving it such an enticing introduction, I understand, but it is the truth.

We met person after person with these heart-wrenching stories about Meth, Rape, Abuse, Alcoholism, Homelessness, Infidelity, the list goes on and on and on. We met a girl in a horrendous living condition who has nothing but good intentions and horrible circumstances. But it's hard to tell if we can trust the people who act so sincere. And I'll be honest, it kind of takes it right out of you.

But I have taken to locking myself in my closet at night and praying out loud. Because I was reading the Sermon on the Mount and Christ says, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to the father which is in secret; and thy Father shall seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." So there. I took it literally, and I did it. And I pray for strength and humility and discernment and patience and understanding and miracles. Hahaha. It's a long list, but I have a lot to be grateful for too, so it eventually evens out. And let me tell you the powerful witness I received, God watches us all day. And when we pray and we vocalize the feelings in our heart, he explains them to us. He tells us why we feel the way we do and what we're supposed to learn from it. It's humbling.

And even though this week has sucked, I keep thinking back to advice that a gentleman on the airplane gave me on the way to Mexico. (And i gave him a lot of credibility because he looked like Dad). He said, "Yeah, it may be hard, but hard is such a realtive term... hard compared to what?" He then pointed out to me that anything that we endure that we count as hard just means that we are growing. That we are overcoming things that are outside of our comfort zone, and by doing such we are having experiences that we can now relate back to that have made us stronger. This sounds super corny, like it did to me when he said it, but he could not be any more right. I'm able to look back and think, thank goodness I'm still here with more motivation and a stronger testimony than before.

People have been asking about the weather here. It hit 112 this week. And it's not Utah hot, it's humid hot. Oh, Texas. You might be the death of me.

We have been teaching this incredible family, the family of 8 that I mentioned last week, and they are very, very sweet. They had us over for lunch yesterday and then took us out to iHop this morning. We found them by knocking doors, which hasn't proven to be terribly effective yet, but when we were knocking in their neighborhood, we turned to leave and then both felt really drawn to knock one more house. So we did, and when we got there, we met this family. The gal who opened the door mentioned that they had been kicked out of churches and they were worried that their kids were starting to lose faith in Christ. The more we teach them, the more learn how inspired it was that we knocked their door. She later told us that she had been battling with cancer and had thought of taking her own life the very day we arrived. The Lord watches all of his children all day. He has no concept of time, therefore he has the incredible ability to do so, and he is actively utilizing all of us to help each other in times of need. I am overwhlemed with his love and with the desire I have to be his servant, somebody he can use to help others out of their trials.

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be true, to be the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. I see it every time an investigator tries to disprove us and can't. The more I learn, the more true it is. And the more obsolete doubt becomes. Not many people can say that. What other church could trust thousands of teenagers to hit the streets in cars and with apartments and trust that we would be doing what we were supposed to be doing? It's not hard to be devoted to a gospel that is flawless, despite being run by imperfect human beings. It offers too many blessings to deny. Forgive my preachiness. But holy moly am I blessed.

I love you all. I can't wait to talk to some of y'all on Sunday!

Hermana Best