Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Easter

Mi familia amado,
Ahhh Ben is moving to a new area! He had a feeling it would be Vancouver and he was so right! Oh moses smell the roses I love him.

This morning on the way to the temple I saw the Miners. I didn't know if they would remember me, but they did and said that they had just visited with Dad on Monday. I love running into people I know. The hardest part about being at the MTC is being in Provo and knowing that I could just walk home. But it is also a blessing that I see friends all the time.

Then on the way to lunch just now we ran into my friend Ilse who reported today. So I saw her from aways away and said, "Hey there is Ilse!" While I was saying this Hermana Atkin flew by me to go give her a hug. I was like what!?! So Hermana Atkin knows her from SUU, where they served in the Relief Society presidency together! Craziness! Ilse was really surprised to see both of us and even more surprised to find out that we are companions!

I left MTC grounds yesterday! Hermana Atkin hurt her wrist playing volleyball last week and the doctor sent us to the BYU student health center to get it x-rayed. So we only got to walk a block away, but hey it was the outside world for the first time in four weeks! Pretty exciting. I was constantly looking at the cars to see someone I know. No such luck though. Hermana Atkin's wrist is sprained bad, but not broken. She is wearing a brace for the next couple weeks and the worst part is she can't play volleyball, basketball, or four square during gym. We will find something for her to do! Maybe I will ease her into my three mile runs!

Have I told you how much I love Hermana Atkin? She is a cowgirl! How cool is that? Yesterday her mom sent pictures of her rodeo competition days. She lives on a ranch just outside of St. George and they have 45 horses at any given time. Besides the fact that she is a country girl and I am a city girl we have so much in common. We both started with no Spanish experience and I think we are doing pretty well considering. We have learned a lot about the spirit together and I feel like our teaching is pretty unified. Lots of people say that there is a good chance that we will have the opportunity later in our missions to be companions again. I really hope that will happen. It would be so awesome to see how far we have come since day one.

I had a "reminder of why I am here" experience this week. On Mondays we go to the referral center and take chats. This week I chatted with a lady named Cynthia who has been investigating the church a little bit. That meaning that she requested a free Book of Mormon and has read bits and pieces of it. She had a friend at her community college that is a member and he died two years ago. She has been feeling really concerned about him lately and wanted to know that he was ok and how he knew his religion was true. I shared some scriptures, did some testifying and asked if she wanted to meet with the missionaries. She very forcefully and bluntly said no. I could really feel that she was looking for the gospel and that I needed to persist. I spent some time getting to know her background, her mother has had MS since she was little, she is a disabled war veteran, and she told me she was sitting in a coffee shop about to start crying. She told me that she has felt confused and without direction and for the last few years she has been looking for something to fill her spiritual emptiness. She lives only four miles from Kirtland, Ohio and has been to our visitors' center once. I told her that I had been there and it was a beautiful place and shared the story about our ancestor giving up her china plates for the temple. She thought it was very cool that I knew about my ancestors. She has been going to school for quite awhile and is graduating with a lot of degrees, I told her that I thought it was amazing that she was so dedicated to learning. I then explained to her a little bit about missionaries and how they could simply provide her with answers like I had done and that they wouldn't force her into anything. Then I invited her again to have the missionaries over. Guess what? She said yes and quickly gave me all of her information. I pray every night for her and the missionaries who will teach her. She is a good lady and she is ready to find the peace, comfort, and direction that the gospel will give to her. She thanked me for my help and said that she loved that I was so certain in my testimony. I will admit I was very bold and just laid out for her exactly what I believe. I told her that I know her Heavenly Father loves her and that she will be able to see her friend again. I am here to help people like this. Spreading happiness is the best thing I could be doing right now and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do it.

Wow! Time flies. I haven't even said anything about conference. It was so good! Did I ever tell you that Elder Andersen's talk last conference was my favorite? You should read it! I was pleasantly surprised when he was called to be the new apostle.

I love my family so much! Ciao pescao!
I miss my mom,

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