Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Battle is not Yours, but God's

Sooo... A whole bundle of a lot happened this week (and every week for the last eight months). BUT GUESS WHAT?

I got a speeding ticket for the first time in my entire life. For going 35 MPH...in a little town called Kingfisher. It was such a sad, sad thing. That ticket was a hefty 150 bucks! I'll be paying that forthwith... I just wanted to complain because I'm too embarrassed to tell the rest of the missionaries, hahah. One of the other sisters got a speeding ticket a couple weeks ago (for going 80 in a 65...) and nobody will let her live it down. Especially because when you get pulled over on the mission, the President "grounds you" for thirty days and your companion has to drive. But when I sulked up to president and admitted that the reason we were late to the new missionary meeting was because I got pulled over for going 35 mph, he just looked at me and laughed and said, "Well I'm not going to take away your driving privileges for that. Just be careful".

So yeah! What else?

The General Women's Meeting was..uhm...off the hook, if you will. It was so good. The whole thing was on the importance of the temple, which was a little bit interesting seeing as we had an investigator there and we hadn't quite gotten to the temple yet, but on a very selfish level, it was wonderful. It talked all about the importance of keeping covenants and the light that we can be to those around us. It's not a burden to have to live the commandments, or, "the strict standards of the church", it is a blessing to know what we can do in this life to make our lives easier, happier, and better. Commandments are given to relieve us from temptation and trials... Yet we're so darn prideful. Sometimes we just don't wanna do it! Hahaha. In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Do we really need to obey ALL of God's commandments?" then he chuckled and said, "I think he knows something we don't know..." Then he goes on to rebuke women who define themselves by their Pinterest boards and their Instagram posts instead of their divine potential. If you didn't watch it, run now. You get to hear his heavy German accent say the word, "Pinterest" and it's the best.

Sunday was... SO DISAPPOINTING. You have this expectation as a missionary that you're basically marketing gold for free, so people should probably just jump right in and do what you invite them to do. And they promise you they're on board. But then you get to church. And there are people who tell you, "yeah, we'll be there!" Or even, "I'm on my way!" And they never show up... It is heartbreaking. Because you know the words that are being said, the spirit that is being felt, is exactly what that person needed. Uggh. We have five meetings on Sunday. All three hours of church and then ward council and correlation before and after. So by the fifth hour, usually we're exhausted, but we gather as missionaries in the kitchen and make sandwiches. This week I couldn't do it. I asked my companion if we could go home and take a nap instead of eat lunch, hahah. She was totally on board. On the way home, I had Hermana Hirschi dial president and the conversation went as follows,

"President, we think you should know that we are working our little tail ends off in every way, and there is not enough Spanish work to sustain both areas in Enid. We have one progressing investigator and he is on probation..."

President Walkenhorst: "Well you keep working your little tail ends off for the next two weeks and then we'll close your area."

And for some reason, that was not the response I was expecting... Hahah. I love this area. I love Enid. And I definitely don't want to leave yet. The ward, our one progressing investigator-Jesus Jr.-, my companion, I love them all so dearly. And this will now successfully be the second area I leave and it immediately gets shut down afterwards. Ugghh... Que triste. Pero vamos a perseverar! We'll keep going until they shut down this area. As for my companion, she may or may not stick around in the mission. She's still praying about it and studying it out. If she leaves, she'll go at the end of the transfer. That was the deal she made with president. I hope she chooses to stay. There are, no doubt, things you learn on your mission that you could not learn any other way. It is a progress of transformation that takes time and will bless her life so much... The transfer ends on October 16th. Her decision will be made by the tenth. And seeing as we'll both leave at the end of the transfer, I'll be celebrating my birthday with a bunch of strangers! Woot! ;)

There's been a lot of spiritual insight this week. We had Zone Conference, and a new missionary meeting, and church, and the General Women's Broadcast. So I'll just going to leave you with a few quotes, do with them what you will.

"If you don't feel inadequate, you're not trying hard enough." <--Thank goodness...

"We don't need to BE the best, we just need to GIVE our best."

"Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed bu reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's." -2 Chronicles 20:15
"...I will fight your battles." D+C 105:14

"Heaven will be full of those who have forgiven and those who have been forgiven."

"Your life should reflect your love of the savior...Rejoice in the Lord and be glad in it."

That's all, folks. I love you. God loves you.


My companion and I did Weekly Planning with cartons of Braums ice cream...Which seemed like a way good idea, but I am apparently super lactose intolerant. And ended up really quite ill. So that was fun.

Hermana Hirschi and I getting stood up by Jesus Jr. We're going to print out this picture and leave it at his door next time he's not home. It seems like a really good idea.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What a wonderful week to be alive!!!

There were a lot of things that happened this week, but I'm going to go ahead and focus on those of greater importance... Oh but first, you should know, we spent three and a half hours mowing grass that was UP TO MY WAIST. Insanity. In the hot, humid Oklahoma sun. And grasshoppers and spiders and beetles kept getting all up in our bid'ness. So I just wanted to mention that... for sympathy? I don't know. Maybe just to humble you if you think your life is hard.

I received so much stinking revelation at church yesterday that it would shock you. I felt like every prayer I had ever had, every question I had ever asked, was answered. But all of this started on Saturday. Woah, forgive the sporadic nature of this email.

On Saturday my companion and I had the amazing opportunity to drive up to the city with Hannah and Rylan Richter, a couple of girls who joined the church with their family last year. And we got to watch them be sealed to their family. I feel so powerfully overwhelmed with the spirit that was felt at this sealing. I cannot honestly state that I had a testimony of Eternal families until that day. Being able to spend the entire morning with Hannah and Rylan felt reminiscent of my own sisters, specifically Katie (sorry others) and the idea that being with them for eternity was so incomprehensible, but it was an overwhelming feeling of joy. The spirit in the room as their family all kneeled together just turned your heart upside down. I wound up afterwards in the dressing room with the Bishop's wife just trying to compose ourselves because the spirit was all-consuming. This is what life is about. This is the purpose of all that we do. Our eternal goal is to become families, sealed together, living with God. nobody in that room could have denied the divinity of the priesthood power that was present. Nobody.   

So on Sunday, the whole ward was re-energized. Because I swear that spirit carried over from the sealing to fill the entire ward. Or maybe it was just me. But one of the speakers in church talked about how the Book of Mormon is a record of a fallen people who had fallen because of their pride. And it was focused on how the more we are humbled, the happier and better we will become. But humility is hard. It takes a lot of work. You have to actually make those changes you don't want to make in order to feel that joy you are trying to implement. A lot of times the things that we THINK are hard, aren't actually hard at all. Satan just has a way of making us think they are insurmountable until we actually do them and acknowledge that we are more capable than we think we are. I sought revelation about obedience in Spanish Gospel principles, and then in Relief Society, we talked more about the sealing power. I just know this is God's plan. I have no doubt. It is so refreshing.

On Sunday night, I gave a talk in Spanish Sacrament Meeting on something that has been weighing on my mind pretty heavily lately. 2 Nephi 4: 17-24. How because of our flesh, we feel so weak, we feel a slave to our worldly habits. And sometimes we want to overcome them, to be made better, but we feel physically incapable. But I love what Nephi says. "I know is whom I have trusted..." He says he offered up his voice in prayer and continuously counseled with the Lord to make sure what he was doing was fine, and the Lord constantly reminded him about his strengths, and verified that he was doing enough. Those aren't direct quotes, but they might as well be. If you have good intentions, if you know you're doing what's right, you're doing enough. You don't need to be perfect, nobody expects you to be translated, our flesh is weak, sometimes unconquerable, but through God, we truly can do all things which are expedient in him.

I love you. Especially my family, mostly because the Lord has confirmed to me that we will be together for time and all eternity. Hopefully life is wonderful in Utah/Washington/California/New York/Canada/ wherever else you may be reading this...

Love you.
With all my heart.
GAH! So much.
Okay, love you.

Sister Best

Monday, September 15, 2014


Good morning sweet family of mine! They kicked us out of the library today and so we're at the church and I don't have my journal or my camera. So please forgive the lack of pizzaz that will be this letter home, but I'm thrilled to be here with you all! Hopefully all is well wherever you are.

This week has been fall-like weather, which made for a little more time to break out the bikes without risk of dying. And we just worked our tail ends off. I wasn't quite sure what else to do. My companion still feels positive she is not supposed to be here. And being the kind of person who does not quite know how to succor those who are going through tumultuous times, I decided that the best cure for apathy is hard work. So I made sure we always had appointments, lessons, members to come with us, with very little down time. We had back up plans for our back up plans. And it felt so good. The joy in missionary work really does come from the amount of work we put in. We taught over twenty lessons this week, found a member who hadn't been to church in years, visited several members who were struggling, and found a bundle of new investigators. And my companion, as much as she's struggling, still has not let that effect her work ethic. She gives it her all. She's obedient to the rules, she teaches with her heart, and her spanish is progressing leaps and bounds. The Lord has definitely blessed me with the language so that our investigators can understand us collectively. It's such a special sight to see others in tears from the spirit they have felt by the words you have said, directed by the Lord, in their language. It's definitely something I thought I was incapable.  But this is hard. It's not fun to see somebody that you work with so well, that you love so much, feel like she's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Especially because I know how much a mission changes you, prepares you, and I still feel pretty darn green myself. But I will let her make her decision. She has her agency as much as anyone else does.

Our investigator pool is still fluctuating a bit... But we're working on it. We had to drop a couple of investigators because of their romantic intentions... and one of our investigators is moving back to El Salvador, and our most progressing investigator is on probation... I guess you could say we spend a lot of time on our knees trying to figure out how we could help these men, how we can better prepare for them to meet their needs. It's tricky. But it's still so worth it just to see them get on their knees and say their first prayer out loud... ever. Or to see grown men cry because they have felt the Lord's love in their lives. I always thought the phrase "It's the hardest work you'll ever love" was pretty cheesy, but it is pretty darn accurate. It's emotionally draining. But you get to see how special each one of God's children is to him. That he knows them and knows how to use us to best help them, no matter what the age difference, no matter how inadequate we may feel.

Something I studied this morning had to do with Christlike Attributes, I study it a lot because I believe it is the key to missionary work, but it said that becoming like Christ is a lifelong process. And it all starts with the little steps and decisions that we take and make every day. It's so common for us as human beings to see how far we are from perfection and give up, or break down, or feel inadequate. But we're only as inadequate as we convince ourselves we are. Because when it comes down to it, we have the potential to be like Jesus Christ, and our imperfections are just little rocks to help us get even closer to him (and to help us avoid pride ;) ). Another point I studied said that "You have to become a Christlike missionary, not just to missionary things." I think that's an easy trap to get caught in, but it applies so much outside of missionary work. You have to be a Christlike disciple, not just go to church. You have to have Christlike charity, not just doing something charitable once and pride yourself for it. It's an ongoing process of falling and getting back up. Man oh man is it a struggle, but you become so blessed for that which you conquer.

I love you guys. This email is probably horrendously stoic, and I apologize for that. I guess it's just been kind of crazy this week trying to stay focused so that my companion doesn't get depressed. But you all have my heart!

Adios! Que Dios les bendiga!

Hermana Mejor

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trust in the Lord with All Thine Heart...

Good morning, all!

I know it's Tuesday, but I promise we're not being disobedient. This week we had mission conference so we swapped our P-day yet again. Yesterday we got to hear from Elder Foster of the Quorum of the 70, and he spoke to us about prayer and the importance of relying on our Heavenly Father in all things. AND IT BLEW MY MIND. You would think this would be a pretty simple concept to grasp for a missionary, but sometimes we get so caught up in always making sure we're on time and have enough people to see and are talking to everyone and are doing service and coordinating schedules that... sometimes we forget to involve the Lord. Forget to be sincere in our prayers and specific and ask him for the things that we need, to guide us and direct us to the people that are ready.  I have recognized that I was not counseling with the Lord nearly enough. But this counsel to be sure to pray sincerely about everything we're concerned about came in handy this week with my new companion!

My "daughter" is amazing. I love her. Her name is Hermana Hirschi and she's from Idaho. She's especially darling because for some reason she doesn't think Idaho is just northern Utah... No, I'm kidding. I really like messing with her because she's Idaho proud. She even works for Spud Harvest in the summers. ;) I love her. She's training me, to be honest. She works so hard, she is catching on so quickly, and she already loves the people she teaches and is a bomb-tastic teacher. So it has been an easy transition. I keep double checking with her to make sure she's okay because I feel like she's doing too well to be a new missionary, hahah.

However, yesterday, she did give me some pretty tough news. She said she has had this overwhelming feeling that she's not supposed to be here on her mission. She's struggling because she wants to be here and she's scared to go home but she feels sure that she is not supposed to be here... So she's been praying about it, and we're going to talk to our district leader today. The Lord also told me to encourage her to request a priesthood blessing from one of the elders, so we are planning on doing that when we are done emailing. I've been praying and praying and inviting her to receive a blessing is all I am sure of. It's interesting because while we were in trainer's meeting, President said something, and while I don't quite remember what his words were, I remember having a feeling that my companion would be likely to go home early. And something told me to have peace about that. This is one of the strangest things I've yet to experience, because I can tell she's being sincere in her desire to be here. Pray for her. :)

So this morning I was wrapped into my studies about putting trust in the Lord and found several scriptures that really helped me a lot. I know the Lord loves me. I can feel it for me. I definitely never felt that way 7 months ago. So now it's just trusting that BECAUSE he loves me, He can do miracles through us. The scriptures I found are some of my favorites. The obvious, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Alma 36:3. I just know that we need to recognize WHO we put our trust in. Trusting in ourselves will fail us every time, trusting in others will fail us even worse.

I love my family and those who have supported me all my life. I reflect back on those who have always helped me, cared for me, and strengthened me, and I am endlessly grateful. I know how special families are, and how much we as people are all connected in some broad way. We have this obligation to take care of one another. To uphold one another. We are responsible for answering each others prayers and being the flesh that God can work with to do so. And so I stand fully aware of how much the people in my life have done that for me. And I know you all are home doing the same thing for others.


We found this toad and I thought it would be a good idea to bring it into our apartment while I grabbed my camera... And then it hopped out of my hands and we had to scramble to try and catch it... I guess we have rules for a reason or whatever.

Here's a picture of myself and Hermana Hirschi with Sister Chugg and her new companion!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last week with Hna. Chugg. :(

Good Morning!

Pardon the labor day delay, but hopefully all is well. I'll do this email by way of day by day updating:

Monday: We got permission to go to the carnival with a less active member who didn't want to go alone. It was awesome. But super weird to be in that kind of environment. It's disorienting as a missionary, hahah.

Tuesday: We taught a lesson with an atheist and her newly-christian brother. She has already asked us not to visit with her, but he requested that we return and answer some questions. The questions he has are all deep doctrine, super deep doctrine, but at the end of the lesson, he told his sister she should pray. She refused because she didn't believe she was talking to anyone, and so he prayed for her to the universe. And it was probably one of the most powerful prayers I've ever heard. He prayed somewhat satirically, in her honor, trying not to address God while still directly conversing with him, thanking Him for the science that has made the creation of the world possible, and all the elements that combine to give us this life. It was amazing. And then her couldn't help but close "In the mighty name of Christ who saves us". It was powerful. Because it indicated to me that God listens to us, that the spirit can be felt no matter what your beliefs are, the Lord will confirm when we are trying to learn of his nature.

Wednesday was a whirlwind. We drove into the city for trainer's meeting and President Walkenhorst BLEW MY MIND as he slowly answered every prayer I've been offering for weeks. How to be a better missionary, how to love the people we serve, how to be patient, how to find joy in the work. He offered so many suggestions, so much insight, so many words of encouragement. It pumped me up and made me excited to have the opportunity to help another missionary feel the joys of missionary work! So to answer everyones' questions, YES I'm nervous, but I'm excited and eager to be given an opportunity to help somebody, and  to improve as a missionary.

Thursday was a long day. We taught four million people. I remembered the significance and relevance to my life that Mosiah 5:2 has had. And how it applies to me even still as a missionary. I am a different person, with a different level of tolerance, with different desires, with a different heart. But the same quirky, weird personality. So that's what happened on Thursday. And I got into the shower with my glasses on.

Fridays are usually pretty similar to one another, Studies, District Meeting, Service, Dinner, but in the evening we got to watch Saturday's Warrior at a ward party. It was ridiculous(ly awesome). And so 80's. I'm shocked I've never seen it before. This morning in my studies, I was studying pre-earth life and I learned how inaccurate it is. But it doesn't discredit its awesomeness. I'll stop saying awesome now. Oh, and an investigator texted us, he thinks our companionship phone  is just my phone for some reason, and asked me if I'd like to go to dinner and a movie. Which has actually been a huge problem for us this transfer... We keep finding Hispanic men to teach that are our age, and they have a hard time recognizing our purpose so they offer us beer and then we quickly take off. Language barrier problems... We've starting just stating, "Tiene interest en aprendiendo mas de Jesucristo, o no?" "Are you interested in learning more about Jesus Christ or not?"... Woah... It sounds way more harsh in English.

Saturday. Okay. So Saturday. Have you heard of the movie "The Purge"? This movie is apparently Satan at its finest. If you don't know what it is, look it up. August 30 was the day set aside for the "Oklahoma Purge" so because of this movie, our mission president would not let us go out and do work in the evening, which had us panicked that there would be havoc wrought in Enid, OK, but we accomplished plenty in the day. We were able to set dates for baptism with three guys who are so sincere! Jesus Jr., Hugo, and Mauricio. We've taught them several lessons sitting on chairs shaped like footballs in their garage and every time the spirit is intense. I'm so grateful for their faith and preparedness. We taught them the Doctrine of Christ and they felt confident that it was true. The Spanish elders has a baptism on Saturday of a man named Jesus who basically walked up to them and said, "I know your church is true and I want to be baptized." And he hasn't missed a week of church since. He is the first Spanish baptism in this area since October! It was very cool to see. Hugo, Mauricio, and Jesus Jr. all came to the baptism and it was so wonderful to see them there!

On Sunday there was a re-occurring theme at church that when we put in any effort, no matter how small, we are blessed. Our Heavenly Father will give us grand results even when we use the smallest degree of our faith to act. I am a firm believer that obedience to the commandments is the only way we will ever reach our full potential. Sometimes we think, "why is my life so hard?" and it's almost always because there's more we could be doing to strengthen our relationship with God... Because when it comes down to it, that is the only reason we are here at all. To prove to our Heavenly Father that we trust him that He can make us happy.

It's been a busy week, lots of preparing for next week and trying to make sure everything is in order for the new missionary, but I'm excited to meet her! I love you all and I hope you had a great day off for Labor Day! The church is true! Keep the commandments and see blessings!


-I don't think I like cats... because this is constantly my body language when they crawl on me...
-Jesus' Baptism!!