Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Lord has something grand in mind.

Working in Windsor and Healdsburg is fun. They remind me of Wolfeboro and old towns like that. They are beautiful towns. I love working there.

At transfers everyone meets at the Peterson Lane chapel. Even though we weren't being transferred we went to see everyone there. And I saw Elder Kent!!! It was like seeing family! He’s doing well and having fun. He said he got an email from Hermano Penailillo with an announcement of the baby being born.

Han Christensen reminded me I have to memorize all 42 principles (the things we teach in the 5 lessons). I'm so nervous because apparently at zone conference, Wednesday, I will be called upon to recite them all in front of everyone. And because I’m a Spanish missionary I’ll have to do them in Spanish! My stomach is turning at the thought. I hope I survive. :)

We had our last week with Nathalie. She left this morning for college. This week was especially fun because we went to find someone and we found that the driveway was one way, up hill, and dirt. As we drove up Nathalie commented dryly, "This is going to be epic backing." it was hilarious! Knowing we had to back down it was enough to make us want to park at the bottom and walk up the hill, but we continued on and made it to the top. It was good we had the car because after knocking the door we were turning the car around (both myself and Nathalie were out of the car helping Hna C, funny to see!) anyway, just after we got in the car two big, scary and unfriendly dogs came running around the corner. It was a moment to remember. The view from the top was beautiful! They live right in a vineyard and there are vineyards all around. Very pretty.

Last night a member prepared dinner for the missionaries. It was take out. :) So we met up with the elders at their apartment so we could take some home, but it was a little trickier than we thought. Thankfully, Elder Van Gilder and Elder Hansen (the new missionary from Arizona) live right next door to the Neuenschwanders. So we knocked on their door to see if we could eat at their table. Sister N said it was the easiest meal she's ever had to prepare! We brought the food, plates, utensils and the elders even brought over a couple chairs. It was great to eat together and at the Neuenschwanders. They are amazing. They work in the office with another couple, Elder and Sister Adamson. They take care of us. I feel better having them around.

Yesterday at church I turned around and saw President Bunker walking down the hall. It was SO good to see him. He’s very loving and cares about us. He remembers things about you. Like he asked about me getting more sleep. I told him it was a little better, but we were still working on it.

Oh... I can't add Andrea to Facebook. Rules. No friends or family from home. There are some special situations, but you have to ask president if it's okay. You can check my blog... when I start it :) I’m trying to figure out what to call it. When it's up you can put a link on my NH blog to mine in CA. We’re still working on fitting online time in every day. It’s hard when there are only a few select places and times to work.

We had a great lesson with a man, Gustavo, in a park in Healdsburg right by the river. He’s been in the USA for 10 years. But in Mexico he was studying with missionaries for 4 years. He remembers most of the teachings. We met him at our service project helping a member move. He called us and we set up an appointment. As we taught him his friend, Beto, came over and asked if he could join us. It was great. We had a great discussion about how we can have a personal relationship with Heavenly Father. Beto was really surprised that was possible. I guess I’ve just taken for granted that we have the opportunity to know God personally. We’re excited to teach both of them more. It’ll be great to see their testimonies grow.

In my studies this week I was studying 1 Nephi 16-17 about how Laman and Lemuel are tired of traveling and want to return to Jerusalem. It reminded me of having a vision of our future. They couldn't see where they were going. They new where they had been was comfortable and they wanted to go back. But they already had come so far. My thought was that I have come so far already. Do I want to return home just because it's hard now and home is comfortable? Or do I have a vision of the future and faith enough that I can take one more step forward and continue progressing and growing? The Lord has something grand in mind. I just need to trust Him enough to continue pressing forward and holding fast to the rod and the truth.

Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend!
Hermana Whitney Stephenson
over and out :)

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