15 September 2013

Semana 34 Biking the hills of TN

Hola Familia!
Yesterday I gave my first talk in Spanish since I've been in the mission field! I bore my testimony last week in Spanish but yesterday 5 minutes before sacrament started the branch president here came up to me and asked "Are you ready to give a talk?" ha. He was serious. 
We set a baptismal date last week and they still haven't been to church yet. I love setting baptismal dates, but it is so hard to see the fruits of those labors. I think a lot of the time a person will go through several dates before they actually commit.
There will be lots of new English sisters coming into the mission this month so they have been getting more and more strict. It's been fun getting to know our district out here a lot better. We are the only sisters in the district, so my campanion and I have really been feeling the need to lead out of example.
We went to the temple on friday. It was so nice to go! I can't believe it has been 6 months since I went last. In a lot of ways I can see how I have changed, but I also feel like I'm definitely not where I want to be yet... so I'm grateful I have 10 more months to get to where I want to be.
We have been doing a lot of fairs out here in my mission where we have people take these surveys and then we go out and contact them. This last weekend we went to help some missionaries in Crossville, TN contact their referrals. Man, I love the South. Every house but one we contacted was a trailer... haha. Also, we met this guy named Si who looked like he was straight up out of Duck Dynasty. Duck Dynasty is a huge thing out here, too. It's crazy. I think I'll be pretty in to it when I get home from my mission, haha.
This week we didn't have a car so we were biking and walking a lot. This has been my first area where I have really had to bike but I'm really grateful for the opportunity. At the end of the day we are so gross and disgusting, but I'm grateful for the sense of fulfillment that we feel when we come home. PLUS we had some really cool finding opportunities come out of it. 11 new investigators! That is a big deal for us! But seriously, these hills are pretty brutal. Hopkinsville was really flat but McMinnville is suuuuupper hilly.
A couple of cool stories:
Last week we did some service for a member by helping train his German Shepard. We put protective gear on our arm and had the dog come and attack us. Pretty crazy.
Mom! When I went to the temple I met an Elder Jorge Jimenez that went to Provo high school. He is fresh into the mission field but he completely remembers you! He asked for your email. I will have to forward you a picture next week.
MIRACLE: Remember how I'm serving in an area right next to where I started my mission? WELL technically we are the Spanish Branch for the stake so yesterday the sisters in Manchester said that they were going to bring a family of 5 to our branch here in McMinnville. When they brought the family guess who it was?! MY FIRST INVESTIGATOR EVER ON MY MISSION: AURA?! Do you remember me writing yall about her? She is from Guatemala and has a million kids. It was amazing to see her at church. I remember when I first met her I had so much greenie fire, but then we kind of lost contact with her and I was eventually transferred. What do you know though, she came to church yesterday and said the lesson in sunday school was an answer to her prayer. AMAZING. The Lord is in the details and I'm so grateful I was able to see her come to church. I love McMinnville a lot, but if the only reason I were to come to this area was so I could see Aura at church... it might just be worth it.
The Lord takes care of His children. I know that. I haven't been able to see the entire process of meeting and investigator to when they are baptized, but I still know that I've been able to fulfill some kind of purpose in each of the areas I've been able to serve in.
 I'm going to try and work on writing things down during the week to write to you, sorry this email is so spacey.
I love you! Keep praying for me and for the people I'm able to meet out here and teach. Missionary work is such a roller coaster ride of emotions all the time... I can't even describe it. I think this will mentally be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life especially as I'm becoming more and more aware of my weaknesses. Thank goodness that we can repent with rejoicing and rely on the Atonement in our lives!
I love you all! Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks for all the personal emails, sorry I can't write to you each individually more.
Con Amor,
Hermana Rich

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