Ughhh. It’s been 7 months

19 January 2016

Hi mom!

Things out this way are epic as ever. Transfers are coming up. And I am slightly worried about it all since there is still so much I don’t know about the area.  I’ve had such a short time to learn the ropes, but I’m praying, and I know whatever happens will be for the best.

Other than that, life is good. Still trying to adjust to the differences in climate, spiritual and temporal, over here in Kaneohe. It seems to me like everything is heightened a little bit. The good is better, the evil is worse. Over in Waipahu everything was strangely lighthearted. It was a super sketch place, but I never felt like I was in danger, you know? I’m thankful though because it’s helped me a lot to identify happy spiritual homes, and not so happy ones. Let me tell you, I was always so spoiled!

There’s a sweet sweet LA lady that Sister Smith has grown to love a lot. She has some mental illness, but she’s really good about taking her medication. The first time I met her it was completely lovely. We had a nice visit and at the end I prayed in Samoan and even though she’s not Samoan she got a little teary. Really humbling to me to see how tender she truly was. When a week or so later we went back, she told us things hadn’t been going well, hearing voices and what not. It was apparent she wasn’t in a good place, but she was still willing to hear us out. We shared scriptures of comfort. I always love when the things you study and plan to share end up fitting perfectly into the situations you encounter throughout the day. God is aware. We left on good terms, but Sister Smith was pretty worried about her.

Saturday we went to check up on her again and took a member who lives nearby so that they could fellowship her, hopefully give her a ride to church and what not. But when we went, things just weren’t right. She was so silently angry at me, specifically me, for no known reason, that I was afraid even to say anything. She’d look at Sister Smith completely kindly and then two seconds later turn her head to stare me down. I could hardly think clearly enough to pray. It was the scariest thing I think I’ve experienced. No comparison. I moved my pen off of the table because I was afraid she’d use it as a weapon against me. She was so hostile. She wouldn’t let us pray. She tried to make us take her copy of the Book of Mormon. The strangest things. Later we found out that her sisters don’t think she’s been taking her medication. But then even later, Sunday night, we found out that she probably is.

Apparently she has experienced this sort before and it rocked me all weekend. You know already: I’ve always been a very visual, imaginative person. My mind is always working to build pictures and stories. Once an idea is present it dwells and dwells and dwells. Depending on the idea, it can be good, but it’s also scary, because once an idea of this kind has been placed in my head it’s like it keeps developing through no conscious efforts of my own. But the tender mercies are thick, and in Gospel Principles (Sunday School class) earlier Sunday afternoon, I’d written in my planner for Monday “More righteousness equals more devil–My testimony is both my shield and my weapon.” When I opened it to plan? Timing. It’s all in God’s hands. I love how it always seems to fall into place. I know God knows me. Sister Smith and I stayed up some playing from our book of oldie ukulele songs. Probably shouldn’t admit it, but it’s not like it’s new news to Heavenly Father, and I really do trust that He wanted us to take that opportunity to help each other to unwind, to move our minds to lighter things, and to feel safe again.

Also, I’ve never been happier than I was then to sleep with that giant picture of Jesus hanging over my bed (pretty sure I’m going to need one of those when I get home). And those twinkly lights the elders gave us a few days ago? The brightness didn’t bug me so much that night.

It’s so easy for me to see the ways that God is helping me out, every day. I only wish that I could see how He’s using me to help every one else out, you know? It could be nice to know every now and again that this mission is for more people other than myself.

Mooooving on. Minutes before we’d been visiting a potential investigator, Ellen. It was our first time really seeing her and I don’t know that I’ll ever forget it. She’s a kind one. Been going through some health issues lately and for understandable reasons, some that we are aware of, others we’re hoping to find out about, she’s feeling pretty beat down. We talked, friend kine and shared with her a scripture (Mosiah 14:3-5)

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 

 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

and everything was perfect. Wet eye type. I wish I could adequately describe it all, but it just doesn’t seem to translate well. I know some greater force was there in control though because even though our sweet member friend was insistent on, like, instagramming the entire visit, (taking Shaka pictures with us and Ellen’s new Book of Mormon), Ellen remained open to every bit. I guess miracles happen after all 🙂 .

Our car is in the shop by the way. An old timing 4 foot scratch-dent thing needed to be fixed up. So we took it in last Monday and were planning on walking until it was finished but the Elders made some calls and surprised us with their keys Tuesday before District meeting. Spoiled. If I’d known that was a possibility in Waipahu? Shoots I would’ve been begging my elder friends!

We knocked a door that smelled weird a few days ago so my mind went off the handle creeping myself out and then some lady cracked open the door with wide eyes and was all, “yeeeees?” I’m obviously not doing her any justice, but I swear it was spooky. My heart was already pounding from self-inflicted anxiety and after that hello my words were completely stuck in my mouth. Keeping it exciting, that’s for sure.

Other things:

  1. In an answer to your question about the sweaters… They’re multi purpose;) Ha, nah. I would love a carefully selected everyday all-purpose sweater; I do wear them practically daily. So cold here… (Hint, grey is always good).
  1. I told Sister Whipple on Exchanges that God speaks to me through dogs. And I meant it, too. Maybe not so much speaks through dogs, but maybe more like guides me to people who are ready for Him by placing their cute dog in my path. It’s a real thing.IMG_0411
  1. I had a dream I came home from my mission and then a few weeks later left on another. I was happy about it too, but I think I was a really weird person because I didn’t even watch any TV in the allotted in between time. I don’t even know what is happening to me.
  1. Sister Smith and I . . .no doubt the kindredness of our spirits. I hate transfers.
  1. I had a dream (a different dream) about the Prophet writing the things of our day as scripture. That was pretty awesome. So anxiously awaiting the records from the isles of the sea, by the way… Taking much too long!
  1. The phone miracle. The elders came by to pick up their car Saturday afternoon and while we were shining it up for them we left the phone on (not in) the trunk. Then they drove away. Then a few minutes later we realized what had happened. Then we walked to the end of the street and found our phone at the corner in the middle of the road, fully intact. From this I gain testimony and am forever thankful, that God is merciful even in some (though not all) of our moments of stupidity.

Anyway, sorry for my scattered brain. I’ve got a new kick of energy and motivation this week. I don’t know what’s changed, but I like it. Imana teach everyone and never take no for an answer.

Unless they say it like four times in a row. Then I’ll probably just tell them to have a blessed day. Probably if y’all have any advice for me, that’d be nice.

Love you much,

Aubrey

p.s. Did I mention Elder Holland is coming on the 30th? Ah.

Ughhhhh can’t believe it’s been 7 months.

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