Let me tell you a little bit about how awesome this place is. So my mission president and his wife are amazing! It is President Briggs and Sister Briggs. They have 5 kids, 3 of which are here with them! I don't know how there are doing it all! They are the kindest people I have ever met and I can't wait to work with them. President Briggs is a prosecuting attorney, and he said that he is going to teach me how to be a amazing missionary and a amazing attorney at the same time. hahaha We will see how that pans out! But I am pretty sure everyone in this city has been to law school, is going to law school or has some type of business degree. For example....my Bishop is a lawyer and works as a lawyer for the national government, my ward missionary leader is a head accountant at one of the "Big 4" accounting firms here in downtown D.C. and a lot of the missionaries here are planning to go to law school when they get back from their mission. I think the Lord may be trying to tell me something.... :) But anyways the people are amazing. The way of life here is SO different than Utah. Because it is a huge city, life is SUPER fast paced, cars and people are everywhere and people dress in business slacks all day everyday.....so we as sister missionaries actually fit right in here with our skirts! It is WAY cool.
Example #1 that I knew that I wasn't in Utah anymore....
Ward council. It was exactly an hour and started right on time. Since I was in a room full of attorneys it was amazing to see how straightforward and blunt the entire meeting was. Our bishop essentially prosecuted the relief society president for not doing her job right (she took it like a champ), and we got through business fast--but it was all in love. I don't think I have ever understood "quick and to the point, but with love" as much as I do now. There was A LOT of logical thinking. A LOT. I was dying laughing because I have never seen a meeting like it! It was intense and fast-paced and everyone was friends again after the meeting was over.
Relief Society. Women lawyers are awesome. But, when one doesn't believe in the doctrinal point being taught....they stand up and give a speel on why it isn't right and the teacher has to defend her point. I love it. It is amazing how they are able to do it with such love and charity in their hearts. Because everyone is laughing by the end of the meeting. I was beaming in fascination by how much I learned from those women!
My companion is incredible. Her name is Hermana Allen and she has been out 8 months and is from American Fork, UT. But get this. WE PLAYED BASKETBALL AGAINST EACH OTHER IN HIGH SCHOOL. She played for American Fork, and we are almost positive that we guarded each other. She knows Bay-Bay really well, so her and I are already great friends. She likes green smoothies and so do I. She likes to go running and so do I. She likes to work till she drops and so do I. She loves being a
|Hermana Allen (American Fork, UT)|
Funny story. Yesterday we were out tracting some apartments and this woman was like screaming "MISSIONARIES, MISSIONARIES! I need your help!" We looked at each other in astonishment and ran over to see what we could do! We thought it was an emergency, but all the lady wanted us to do was feed the squirrels in a tree near her apartment. She gave us like a whole loaf of bread for one squirrel. So my companion and I literally were breaking up this huge loaf of bread to feed to one tiny squirrel...come to think of it now, we probably killed the thing by how much we fed it. So here we were feeding this squirrel and the woman started beckoning the squirrel to come down to eat its dinner. I could see the tiny squirrel in the tree, but it didn't ever come down. The lady was not happy. But she started to tell us that she had hurt her knee and that she couldn't feed the squirrel by herself. We asked her how she knew us and she said that she used to be Mormon. We asked her if we could pray with her and she let us in. She continued to tell us that she converted to the church around 20 years ago, but hasn't gone since. She said that she was scared to get baptized because of a sickness that she had, but because she went through and was baptized anyways, she was healed the day after her baptism! AMAZING STORY! We will be going back to help her reactivate. As we left, she pleaded with us to take food for the birds. Yes, we then also went out to feed the birds! My companion and I couldn't stop laughing as we fed more birds...and more squirrels. Which, by the way there are like 1209381098390283901829 squirrels everywhere.
I live in an apartment that is near the Potomac river. The apartment is literally called "Waverly Place" which is kinda funny. It is really humid here, but I LOVE IT. Also I love when we get home at night and we turn on the lights and have to smash all of the cockroaches that are running around everywhere. Yummy. My companion and I have made it into a game. This morning my companion and I went on a jog right along side the Potomac River---but we were on a trail covered in GREEN trees...so I didn't actually get to see the water! But THIS PLACE IS BEAUTIFUL!!! IT IS SO GREEN! SO HUMID! AND SO BEAUTIFUL. I
|Street in Virginia|
The members here are amazing. I am working in a Spanish WARD---for the first time ever! I have always been working with Spanish branches, but there are so many Hispanic people here that they have a ward! AMAZING! We have one lady in our ward who wants to be a missionary so she is always going with us to lessons and gives us like 10 referrals a week! We are teaching 3 different investigators right now, and they are all amazing. They are all set for baptism, but each has their individual doubts, so we will be working to resolve those doubts this week! I love my companion so much because we literally just work and work and work and laugh and laugh and smile and smile and talk to everyone! There are SOOOOOO many Hispanic people here it is insane! and they are from ALL over the world! Most are really well off and very well educated! It has been so fun to get to know the members and their stories! I have no idea how we will ever have time to knock all these doors and teach all these people, but ready or not! Here we go!
A lot of the people that we have been teaching know that we are representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ. But sometimes they just don't want to accept the Gospel. I don't really even know how that makes sense. But this one lady told us that she knows that we were sent to her house from God, but she didn't want to hear our message. Hopefully one day she will. I am not discouraged because I know she knows that there is a God. I know that these people will be baptized one day, but it will take time. Planting seeds. Our mission president has told us to focus on letting them know exactly what they are rejecting, and that has been really effective as more and more people want to know more about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can really change their lives and make them a better person.
This past week has been full of CHANGE--(that has NO reference to Obama's campaign slogan, I promise haahah). But I have learned to love change. Even though it is hard, you learn so much about yourself and the Gospel and I have especially had to rely upon my Savior Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. I know that our Heavenly Father has a specific plan for each one of us on this earth. And what I am finding out is that the plan that God has for us is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wayyyyy better than the plan we have for ourselves. I thought I was going to be serving in Argentina. But it looks like God had a better plan, and I will find that it is SO much better and happier.
|Everything is so GREEN!|
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY FATHERS DAY to the world's best dad! I love you so much daddy you are my hero and such a light in my life! I look up to you so much and pray that someday I will be just like you! You amaze me!! Hope you had the most wonderful day ever! :)
Remember to always..
I love you.