Friday, November 30, 2012

That’s what I will miss the most about my mission. The people. [From 15 OCT 2012]

This week was great! Sister Liston's root canal went well. We had a Spanish Conference Wednesday and then went to the temple Thursday. It was cold and windy but so nice! Then bass derby this weekend was eventful. We helped a sister paint her fence. Saw fireworks Saturday night. Yesterday was my last day in Rio Vista because next week is Stake Conference. We taught Relief Society. It went really well. We taught chapter 19 in Teachings of Presidents of the Church.

We taught Javier the Word of Wisdom. He explained he drinks a cup of coffee every day. I just kind of continued teaching about the blessings of following the Word of Wisdom. He then said he would try not drinking it. We’re excited to see how it goes! He really wants to understand the doctrine and have a firm testimony. He understands that baptism is not something small. He knows it is something you must be prepared for. I’m so grateful he understands that.

We also taught Guadalupe and Juana. They are amazing! We taught once again about prayer and the importance of teaching their children about Christ. They really want to help their two children know Christ, to know that it's only through Him we receive a remission of our sins. They are very good people. When they found out I leave next week they said, "Well, you could just stay here and become our oldest daughter!" I thought that was very sweet of them. They might be teaching us how to cook this week!!!

So it still hasn't sunk in yet that I will be going home. Every once in a while I will get that glimpse but then I just continue working. Packing some boxes is weird. Knowing I won't be out knocking doors in just over a week seems weird. Not that I’m not excited to return home to you. :) I can't wait! It will be a difference, a change. My life has been missionary life and soon I will be returning to "normal life."
But I will continue to enjoy every moment and every person. That’s what I will miss the most about my mission. The people. The area is beautiful, the life we live is great and challenging, but I will miss the people I associate with daily. Thankfully technology has made it a little easier to continue those relationships across the country. I hope you will all get the chance to meet those I have come to know and love so much.

I realized this past week the great importance of parents, that both of them are there and are united and the home is filled with love and gospel learning. Too often I see children lead astray and exposed to the world in unnecessary ways because the home has been broken, because that central family unit is not in place, a father and mother who love one another and love their children. Things that are not even a temptation or even cross my mind are continually bombarded on those families that have been broken. I am so grateful for a family that is close and united. For parents whom love and respect and serve each other. I am so grateful for siblings that have high standards and help me become and do better.

I have also learned the importance of surrounding yourself with good friends. Too many times our standards are lowered or bent because of those we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. We become like those with whom we associate. We are affected by everyone we meet.

Now that I think about it this might be my last email. I don’t' really know. I haven't received any information about my last few days in the field. The extent of what I know is that Monday night I have dinner with the Alba’s and all the other missionaries who go home the following day. I’m excited for that! I love being with the Alba's!

So a few boxes will be sent home today. You can go through them. There are a couple neat things in them. I was going to tell you but you'll just have to see for yourself!

If it's possible I would like to go to the temple before I am released. I don't know if you have talked with President Anderson yet, but if we could work it out so we go the 24th and then I am released that afternoon/evening. If not it's fine. I just want to get to the temple as soon as possible. I’ve been dreaming about being in the Boston Temple again. :)

Also, no sweets or goodies of any kind, I am looking forward to good clean food that will help my body heal and become strong again.

But I’ll tell you soon enough all about everything else. :)
I love you!!!!

You're not trunky at all! [From 8 OCT 2012]

HI! It took me longer to email President Alba today. I did it in Spanish again. Apparently my Spanish is already getting rusty. :(

We had a good week. We saw the couple I told you about, again Saturday. It was a really good visit. They were very happy to see us. We taught them about prayer. They liked the thought that songs can be a prayer. So they had us sing. :) Sister Liston doesn't enjoy singing. So there was a lot of giggling and laughing. We began teaching them again. They talked about helping their two kids becoming better and good people.

We’re emailing at Heather’s today. The library is closed.

This week will be very eventful.
Tuesday: District Meeting and Sister Liston has a root canal
Wednesday: Spanish Conference
Thursday: temple
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Rio Vista Bass Derby

Yup, a root canal :) she was shocked when she came out of the dentist the other day. I’ve been laughing and prepping to help her on that day.

My mind is filled with what I learned at conference. It was a really neat experience!!! So I went to conference with a couple questions and within the first hour they were answered. So I asked if there was anything more the Lord wanted me to learn/know. It was neat as the spirit worked in me and taught me. One question was what I should do when I return home. I gained a vision of what He wants for me. What He wants me to become. More of what He wants me to do. It was pretty neat! As the speakers spoke I had images of my life, as it could be if I continue to follow the Savior and serve others. I’m excited to apply what I learned and continue progressing.

Hey! Anything you all want from California?!!

I got a cool compliment this morning from a brother in the branch. He had no idea I was going home in two weeks. He turned to me and said, "You're not trunky at all! I’m impressed!" I’ve had a couple other people say something similar. President Chandler had no idea.

It seems weird that I will be coming home in two weeks. It seems unreal. I haven't really thought about it. Well, I have in terms of being far away with lots to do still. Which of course there is. That probably makes no sense at all. Oh well!

So my mind is pretty jumbled right now. There’s a lot running through it and I need to organize it all.

I love you forever!!!

Heather says hi. So does Sister Liston and a few other people from the branch.

Hermana Stephenson

Heather is doing so well. She loved conference. We warned her about anti stuff and she told us about she was beginning to read something and realized it wasn't good so she stopped. She’s amazing!
Love you!