People–Part 1

Monday August 8, 2016 10 p.m.

Dear Mom,

I totally love your emails! Zachary and the weed sprayer . . . hey. I say put him to work while he still enjoys that thing! I’m grateful for all of the other little notes and updates you include, if I don’t comment, it doesn’t at all mean I did not read or comprehend. Every week I soak up every word, better believe it. Email days are always especially filled with a roller coaster of emotions, usually good. This week was only good and I found it quite relieving. Me telling you this is by no means meant to be understood as, “Stop telling sister stuff that goes on in Pocatello if it’s not 100% sunshine and rainbows.” Every bit of news is important and even when it’s not all sunshine kind, it reminds me that we all are alive. Mortal, yes, but alive. And I love that. ANYWAY . . . . . . my apologies for the odd tangent. Obviously more specific things going on in my head, but my hand is too slow for all of that. Nothing new, but missionary life also, is quite the emotional (also, physical, spiritual . . . . etc) rollercoaster on the daily, or rather minutely.

Hoi, we had such an amazing week. While I was studying in Preach My Gospel I read a little too far into one recommended scripture passage and came across something that really struck a chord with me. It’s in 3 Nephi 7:17 and it reads,

“And he did minister many things unto them; and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice, therefore, they are not written in this book.” 

So many wonderful things. Happy things, spiritual things, sad things, goofy things, more heavenly and blessed things have happened. As they always do. And always, since day one, I have wanted to save it all up. Bind it all up. But I cannot. I think the hardest part about my mission, is knowing that I won’t remember it all. At least, not until we each are returned to our Father and become perfected, all things restored to us. I don’t know how in depth the restoration is, (food for thought: Do you think we’ll remember all the thoughts and memories and lessons learned and experienced in infancy and in childhood?) But I like to hope (*look up the real definition in “True to the Faith”). It is complete in every way. God doesn’t do things halfway after all, yeah? My point? Everything I could say or write is inarguably inadequate, and most of the days I stare at the blank page of my journal wondering what to write, or rather, how to begin. And, many of those days are still waiting with sloppy lists at the top of empty lines waiting to be filled. Still a procrastinator at heart. Man, I really don’t know what to tell. Lists are often no good, but they keep me somewhat sane, so that’s why I always start that way. You know.

MONDAY we met Aunty June. The most hilarious conversations! Uncle is a member and she’s come to church plenty times over the years. Concerning a certain sacrament meeting that hit her heart, “Her testimony was terrible! People were crying all over the place!” Aunty . . . let’s try re-describing this now . . . She has literally helped more of her relatives than I can count on my two hands to join the church. Just hasn’t gotten wet herself!

TUESDAY we kept busy. It was good. Met Alex from the Netherlands. Lived here some good years. Got the four Maui to-do’s. Three though since no scuba! Then we got a member referral and Sister Upfold made me excited to be a mom when I watched her teaching Austin about the scriptures. Still, NO rush! Just saying.

WEDNESDAY was the fullest of days. No time to remember I am tired, and it is easily one of my favorite feelings! We had an appointment with a dear investigator whom the sisters had been teaching about a month or so prior to my arrival in Makawao. He has been really open and always has the best questions, best ever with the great understanding  (on the surface) he was building of the gospel. There were still several hiccups needing to be over come before he could be baptized. We showed up ready to try conquer one only to find out that God had taken the other hiccup into His own hands already. He sat outside waiting for us with a cup of herbal tea and a cinnamon stick in hand. We, of course contained our extremely grateful surprise best we could as he explained to us how this terrible respiratory infection has led him to make some lifestyle changes. God is so good! We went on with our lesson as planned and shared with him the importance of families and the blessing of temples. I love being a missionary because it is so amazing to be able to feel and see the relevance of the gospel to so many lives and how urgently they truly need it. I felt the power and truth of the principles we taught and the swell that was in my chest as I spoke, “The Lord visits his temples,” was unspeakable and also undeniable. I know he felt it too. It was a very enlightening visit. Then came too soon, the end. And another thing too soon: a break up. “I have loved every bit of these past 6-weeks. I have learned so much that I wouldn’t have known without you two. But I feel at this time in my life I associate more closely with Buddhism.” Okay. That’s what he might see, but really God is already making a Mormon out of him. It broke my heart. We left him with an invitation to read over (again) the Word of Wisdom pamphlet and a commitment to call us when he’s ready for us again. It was a peaceful exit. But even though I’ve only known him for two appointments, I barely kept my eyes from brimming over. God was trying so hard. We were trying so hard, only between Agency and the influence of the world many people are held back. I learned much from our teaching appointments with Matt and am grateful God gave me this opportunity. More so I’m grateful God will give Matt another opportunity, too.img_1423

Later we met one guy who, with all the energy of his soul exhorted us to google and study about the newest discoveries regarding ancient aliens. Sounds pretty interesting. We also saw Jada and Aunty June again. Here’s what she says about baptism. “I’ll just wait until I get to the other side, or actually maybe then it’ll be too late . . . .” Oh Sister Ganialongo. She knows.

Jada is set for the end of August. Goals. Praying she’s confident by then. They gave me grapes and my favorite chips before we left. #tendermercies.

At dinner we shared the Restoration. Uncle is not a member but he fully supports Sister Fujimoto, and he makes really good spaghetti. Sister Medeiros was also there and I was just so very grateful to share the message in an environment where the people are receptive to the feelings that come when we talk about these sorts of things. If people reciprocate interest and excitement, the Spirit is multiplied. It’s such a wonderful thing! Usually when we teach the First Vision has ended up in Sister Modolon’s ball court, but this time it was me and I was feeling so lucky. It is such a powerful story. The heart says it must be real every time. . . .

*The word HOPE is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend. In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active.

Editor’s note: This is a handwritten letter that was mailed in August around Aubrey’s birthday, six pages front and back with very tiny writing. It is presented in two parts. Apologies for any misspelled names. Obviously my vision is not as acute as it was 20 years ago.

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