Monday, August 25, 2014

Exciting news!

Good Morning, Good Morning!

There's some exciting news here in Enid, Oklahoma! I'm gonna be a trainer to a new missionary! We have a meeting on Wednesday, on Sunday we'll find out where Hermana Chugg is going, and by next Wednesday I'll get to meet her! I'm a little nervous because I still don't know Enid very well, but I know that the spirit will guide us wherever we need to be, even if we have no idea where we are. :)

Things from this week that are notable:

We got to go to the temple! I haven't been since Salt Lake because our mission is so big that we only go once every six months. But it was such a blessing, and I am so grateful to be on a mission. The temple always helps me recognize how important and fragile our lives are. And how much responsibility we really do have here. It was beautiful. A tiny, tiny temple. But so special. Pictures attached. :)

Somebody had me take a quiz and I learned that my spirit animal is a butterfly. So weak.

We've been having so much fun talking to people lately. Everybody we see, I get this empty feeling in my stomach if we don't stop and talk to them. Which is a good way to spend time, especially because it's been hard to get into anybody's house this week, which has been frustrating. The English work and the Spanish work here in Enid are two different works. Those who teach in English see baptisms all the time, they always have a ton of progressing investigators, their investigators keep commitments, and when they make appointments with people, the people are actually home. Most of the people we teach work 18 hour days... And when they have a day off, it's not easy to track them down. They're usually with their families out doing things. So it's been a pretty tricky week, especially with school starting back up.

But we did have some crazy experiences this week.

We saw some people while we were on our bikes and pulled over to talk to them. They were sitting on lawn chairs watching traffic, like classic Okies, and we talked to them for 3 hours about the Gospel.

And we got invited into this house that ended up being 10 guys from Mexico, all about our age, sitting in the backyard drinking beer and using a car hood as a table. We spent about ten minutes trying to act like our Spanish was too bad to understand that they were hitting on us and get them to pray with us. Finally we gave up and had to sneak out the side gate...

And we taught a crazy-powerful Restoration to a man named Ernesto. Seating was limited so I preached the fine word sitting on a stack of tires. Pic. attached. ;)

Some of the things that have been on my mind the most are how faith always moves forward. How it restores, motivates, propels, encourages, and inspires. We are to trust that our Heavenly Father wants us to progress and will never give us any trials that would hold us back. Every experience is for our benefit, even if it seems terrible and insurmountable right now. I'm also learning that the best way to change our attitudes is by identifying the blessings and results of things we have to do in the moment. So if we HAVE to go to school, not just drudging through it with our degree as motivation, but actually finding joy in each class, utilizing the knowledge that we gain in various aspects of our lives, and living in the moment, enjoying in the moment.

I'm eager to meet my "daughter", the Hermana that I'm training, and try to help her understand missionary work. I'm praying for her and praying that I'll be able to comfort her the way my trainer comforted me. I was  a nutcase my first couple transfers. Definitely cried in the closet a couple times, hahah. But I know that this work is flawless and worth it, if we are only willing to humble ourselves and learn all that we can.

I love you all! I challenge you to sit down and actually TALK to God. Like he really is your heavenly father. One on one. That's something that I've been working on. Let me know how it goes for you!


Hermana Best

Monday, August 18, 2014

Another Dream Week in Enid, OK!

I seriously feel like eventually I'm going to have something to complain about, but I would really have to rack my brain to come up with something. Everything is just good. Life is just good.

Various things we learned this week, not terribly relative to the Gospel:

-When Hispanics trust you, they give you cans of coke as you leave their house. We have like ten cans just sitting in our fridge.
-Dora the Explorer is a television show for spanish-speaking kids as well! Except it's called Dora La Exploradora and she teaches them how to speak English. And we learned this because Jose and Timoteo, two middle-aged men who live in a trailer, had a Dora notebook on their kitchen counter. I will attach a photo to illustrate how wonderful this is.
-A 19-year-old girl who looks like Reese Whitherspoon bible bashed with us for about a half an hour. Then she asked my companion what her sign is, and then when she found out she was a Leo basically told her that she hated her. Then she told us she didn't believe in God... and we were really confused about her motivation to Bible bash with us.

Various things we learned this week, distinctly relative to the Gospel:
-Last week, we had a training that talked about the importance of our key indicators, or the numbers with which we use to mark our goals and progress. Most missionaries hate using them because it seems heartless to attach numbers to people. But ever since this training, our whole zone has been motivated to utilize them for their worth; the importance of bringing members to lessons, the importance of setting baptismal dates, all of these things... We have seen our numbers jump, which has increased our productivity, which has increased our success, which means that more and more people in the beloved city of Enid, Oklahoma are hearing the Gospel. And I am so excited to be a part of it. As a result of this week, we have 6 new people listening to us teach, we taught almost 20 lessons, and the Elders are having a Spanish baptism next week! Yeah!

-Every Friday we do service for the Enid downtown library, shelving and facing books and dusting the shelves. We spent two hours comparing the Hunger Games to the Gospel. It got pretty deep. And it actually opened my mind to help me realize that every book I've ever read, every scientific theory, every single thing is live is directly relative to the Gospel, and the Gospel can explain it. Any law of life, no matter what it may be concerning, ties back to how flawlessly the Lord's church has been prospering and the foundation it is based upon. Everything we know is vital and applicable in every aspect of life: agency, the atonement, and the laws of God never interfere with eternal happiness. In fact, it produces it.

Quote-able moments from church: "Your testimony is more than what you believe, it's who you are."
"The choices that we make will determine our outcome. If we expect results for having not deserved them, we do not understand how our Father in Heaven works." So true. We are given commandments, we keep the commandments, we receive the blessings. If we break the commandments, we are invited to keep on keeping them until we receive the blessings. Gah. So simple.

We get to go to the temple tomorrow!!! For my first time in 7 months! How exciting is that?

I love you guys. I hope everything at home is going well; everyone seems delightful. :)

Love you all!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Servin' in Enid. I'm running out of clever subject lines.


I feel like the days are whizzing by.One day I wake up and it's Sunday, the next think you know it's Thursday and we're weekly planning, then by the time I sit down to write this email, it's all such a blur that I can barely compile thoughts. And when we wake up in the morning, exercise, and study, by the time we head out the day feels like it's halfway over. We can't run fast enough to talk to everybody! Help everybody! Invite everybody to Christ! My trainer just went home, which blows my mind, and she called me the night before she left to vent about her feelings. Everybody, I declare, this is the best thing I have ever done. The people we have met have changed my life. The Lord is sanctifying me, just as he sanctifies each of us as we strive to be better.

I'll briefly relay a few experiences from this week:

We had a bible study with a Jehova's Witness. As we wrapped up, we asked if we could pray with her and she said no because that would be disrespectful to the male leaders of her church. I found myself getting a little bit choked up... I can barely comprehend what it means to feel like you don't have have the right to pray. It reminded me that not everybody believes God is our Heavenly Father, one of loving and nurturing qualities. If you have a chance to bare your testimony to anybody this week, let them know how loved they are. Everybody deserves to know that.

This came up again in a lesson we team-taught with the Spanish Elders on Saturday. He had been expressing doubt in modern-day revelation and prophets, and all of our answers didn't seem to satisfy him. Until finally I just stopped. And said, "Pasqual, su Padre Celestial le ama, y podemos sentir lo. Esta is porque estamos aqui." (Pasqual, your Heavenly Father loves you, and we can feel it. That is why we're here.) He told us he could feel that love for him, he told me that I had the love and light of Christ in my eyes. And it touched me.

As missionaries, we're not here to deliver information. We're not here to answer questions. That's what the scriptures are for. Church, the prophets. personal revelation, all of those are sources of knowledge. We are here to invite and to show our love. It just makes it more convenient that we happen to invite people through facts and stories. As children of God, we all have that same responsibility, to be an example, to love, to make sure people know they matter and that they have purpose. And if you know what that purpose is, you can help ANYBODY in ANY trial that they are facing.

Yesterday we had Spanish Sacrament! We have it every second Sunday of the month at 7 pm. And although the numbers in attendance were few, the spirit was the same. I had the opportunity to translate the meeting into English for those who were in attendance, and it was an interesting gauge of how far I've come. I'm grateful to have been given the gift to learn Spanish quickly. I really don't feel like I have studied enough to know all that I know, which is another manifestation that this is God's work. And if he wants it accomplished, he will prepare a way and provide the means.

The same stands for all of his children. Something I've been studying this week is identity. What defines us. How do we differentiate our nature from our personality? How do we know how to act as a missionary? And  I've come to the conclusion. We are first children of God. And as we work to do all that is required of us, our personality will follow. The defining characteristics that differentiate us from others will naturally flow when we stop worrying about them so much. Funny how that works.

I love you all. I know the effect that this Gospel can have on other people's lives is a sure declaration that it is true and ordained of God. If you have it, share it. If you know it, live it.

I love you all!!!!!!

Hermanita Mejor

Monday, August 4, 2014

Six Months of Joy!

Hi Beloved! This week has been so long/so good/so happy. Still. My trainer told me that if you still like your companion in the second week, and no immediate problems have occurred, it's going to be a good transfer. I still stand by that. This transfer is already really wonderful.

We have a lot of youth in our path, and almost everyone we're teaching is under the age of 18. It's been fun! It forces us to simplify topics, be more direct, and talk less like robots (which is kind of hard when you get into such a routine). But it has been fun. My companion and I are working hard to be effective with one another. And sometimes while we're in the car, I just look over and feel lucky that I get to be here with one of my best friends.

Tomorrow is Hermana Chugg and my 6 month mark, and so we've been trying to discuss our progress and the changes we have seen in each other, and it is surreal. Our desires and feelings are completely swapped. It's interesting to go from only seeing the bad in people, to struggling to see anything negative about them. I notice that with the people we meet on the street. At home, to be honest, I probably would have said "Your team!" or made some snide, sarcastic remark. And to me, I thought that was my personality. But it's not. That's an absence of Christlike love. That's overcompensating for what we lack by tearing down one of God's creations. That sounded really intense, but I'm just growing increasingly aware that the Lord does not have a high tolerance of us thinking ill toward anyone.

I've been focusing on studying for other people this week, and clarifying principles that have become a bit hazy in my mind. And I have learned so much. Studying the Atonement, although seemingly rudimentary, has caused my companion and I to have companionship studies where we spend the entire time talking about what we learned in our personal studies, and then blowing each others minds, and then shuffling to get out the door on time. I guess that's a good problem to have.

Yesterday, the first counselor in our ward stood up and told a story where somebody asked him, "are you happy?" and he had been having a difficult week, so he struggled to answer him straight. But then he reconsidered his circumstances and apologized to the Lord. He helped me realize... Of COURSE we're happy. We don't live in complete poverty. We are not abandoned and alone. We have the knowledge of the will of our Heavenly Father, his nature, and how involved he really is in our lives. Anything that is hard for us is not unconquerable.
D&C 105:14 "...I will fight your battles."

The more we are willing to sacrifice, the more we learn & earn. And that is true in all things in life. The more work we put in, the more we get out of it. Yet for some reason, when it comes to spirituality, we expect to just cruise by and see immediate, positive results when we're really not doing much to deserve it. And that's what's hard. It's really not that difficult to wake up and pray and study before we head out the door, but we put it off or drag our feet to do it. The Lord promises us peace and happiness in this life so long as we do what we're asked. He really has no intention of making our life difficult. He just wants us to come to him and ask him for help, then he blesses us unceasingly.

I know it's true! All of it! The Gospel of Jesus Christ, that the same principles, organization, and ordinances that Christ established have been reinstated for the happiness of mankind!

I love you all. Be good out there. Don't hesitate to write me. Our mailbox is getting cobwebs, but no pressure. ;)


Hermana Best


-The bugs here are disgusting. You should see my bug-bitten legs...
-Our booth for First Friday! It's kind of like the SLC ArtWalk, but her in Enid, of course!
-The Higby Van is just for one of the members who has a bunch of kids! Our entire district fits in it. So sweet!