March 1, 2013
Man, does it feel like it's been a while since my last P-day! I know it has only been one extra day than normal, but for some reason it feels like it's been long! I feel like I can't even remember anything about last week! I've been in vistor center training for since Wednesday and it has been really good, but it has felt so so so long! I can't believe I'm leaving in less than a week now! CRAZY! I'm so ready to go though (well, I mean I know I'm no where near where I would like to be, but I am ready to be in the field teaching and talking to real people). Last Friday, the church announced that they are opening 58 new missions!!!! I'm sure you guys have heard! One mission that they are adding is in Kansas, which is a part of my mission, so I'm pretty sure they will be splitting my mission in July when that mission opens. It would make sense if they do split it because there are seriously so so so many missionaries going to Independence right now! There are 38 in my group alone this Wednesday and I met some girls that went six weeks ago and they said their group was over 25! OH MY GOODNESS! My poor mission president! I just met one other Elder today that is going to Independence spanish speaking. I'm pretty sure we are the only two that are going on Wednesday that are speaking spanish.
Well, let's see, Hermana Miner and I finished up our last few lessons with our investigators, Raquel and Jose. It was such a neat experience! Both of them are getting baptized:) YAY! It's incredible how much your investigators motivate you to want to become better and try harder. I can't even imagine how that is going to be when I actually get to the field. So, a funny story about our lesson with Raquel..... we were inviting her to go to church and I felt like she needed a friend there, so I told her that there was a girl in our ward that wanted to sit by her at church and such and for some reason I could not think of a spanish name, and all of the sudden Lupe just came out! hahah So tell Lupe that she made it into one of our lessons as a member friend! ;) When we told Jose that we were being transferred he was devastated. Seriously, for half of the lesson he just kept telling us how sad he was. It broke my heart! I'm sure this is going to happen in the field. Oh, I can't even imagine! But, I do know that that's why it's so important to help our investigators find friends within their own ward and help them to truly be converted to the gospel, so that when we leave, they can stay strong.
So, for this week of training, I have a new companion, Hermana Howell. She's from my old district so I've known her this whole time. She's going to the L.A. temple visitors center speaking spanish. It has been so great to be her companion. We get along so well and have been able to have really deep and spiritual conversations. On Wednesday morning we headed into temple square. We are also going there tomorrow, but on Wednesday, we were just suppose to be the visitors. Tomorrow we are actually going to paired up with one of the sisters that is serving there and we are going to help them give tours for about for hours. Oh, goodness! If there is something I learned from the tour that they gave us, it is that I need to be myself. I guess I haven't ever really had incredible experiences with sister missionaries at visitors centers because I have always felt like they were talking in the happy fake sister missionary voice and not truly being them. That is one thing I want to try hard to do. I know that Heavenly Father has called me to Independence because He needs my personality and experiences. I hope that I do not try to fit the mold and that I can be personal with those that I meet. Another no duh moment that I've had this week, is that as I give tours I should never discount members. Member or not, every person that walks into our center can have their faith increased and draw closer to the Savior. I have learned that we are not simply tour guides, although that's what about everyone thinks, but we must be personal and get to know those that we are with, not just to be friendly, but to be able to identify what it is that the spirit wants us to talk to them about. Of course, the history of our sites do not change, but the way that we can apply doctrine to our visitors will ALWAYS CHANGE dependent on what they are truly needing spiritually at the time. Our teachers explained that it isn't enough to get up there and just hope that something we say will help them, but we need to give life changing tours, where there is a CLIMATE OF CONVERSION. We need to help our visitors to be able to walk away and thinkg, "Wow, I want to change and draw closer to my Savior." I have truly loved everything I have learned this week. Too often I think that people in the church have this idea that missionaries that go to visitors centers, aren't really doing real missionary work, and I know I have thought this sometimes, but these past few days have truly helped me to see a greater vision of my call.
These past few days have also been some of the hardest days have had in a while. I'm not so sure why. I think part of it is because I am now in a room full of 18 sisters and there are just a lot of attitudes and emotions. There are 6 sisters that are coming with me to Independence.
Well, I love you guys mucho! I am so excited to get to call you on Wednesday! Get ready for it to be quick though maybe :( Dad, I'll try to call you as early as possible. Then I'll call Mama and the kids, and then you Ashyboy! I just want you guys to know that I know that this church is true. I know this because the spirit has born witness to me that it is! I know that God is in the details of our lives! Right down to the day that we enter the MTC! As I have reflected the long wait that I had to be here, if all it was for is so that I could have the district, teachers, and experiences that I have had here at the MTC, I understand why now! I have truly loved this experience and I know that I came right when I was suppose to! Les AMO MUCHO MUCHO MUCHO!
Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Lexi Annmarie
There's a story behind this picture but I'm sure it won't be that funny to you guys. There are random pics around the MTC and this is one of our absolute favs. If you zoom in you can see that one of the ladies is making this face that my companion and Hermano Harris are making. Oh, and this is my teacher Hermano Harris. He was the best! He seriously made me laugh every day and always lifted our spirits. I have had incredible incredible incredible teachers!
GOODBYE Elder Martinez! He left for Sacramento this past Monday. It is so weird to have him gone! I sure love our Elders!
This is our district with Hermano Talitaina. He was our investigator "JOSE". Oh, I love him. He seriously has inspired me to want to have a passion and love for missionary work and life like he has.
My companion and I will soon be going to two very different places on the map.
This is our district at the famous MTC map. You can see all the different places we will be heading to.
Mi y mi companera!
The Group of Sisters I was with during visitor's center training. Here we are at the Tabernacle on Temple Square, in Salt Lake City.