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Monday, March 16, 2015

crazy days

Before I post Ashley's letter below, I thought I'd share funny story she shared with me this week.  In answer to one of my questions about her health, this was her response...

"Don´t worry about my health, I've actually never had a serious problem. I did have to adjust to the food when I got here but I adjusted pretty quickly. Every once in a while my stomach is upset, but nothing serious. Although there was one time when my stomach got really inflamed from the food I ate and was really hurting me and I said to my trainer, ¨I´m sick of Mexican food!¨ And she just laughed and reminded me that I had 13 months left in the mission."

NOW HERE IS HER LETTER:
Hey Family!

Thanks so much for all of the emails! It sounds like this week was crazy (but every week´s crazy in our house) :) but so good! Jenna, Lindsey, and Sabrina, I am so proud of you all! 3rd in the nation, Jenna?? And a scholarship! That´s incredible! I´ve been able to tell over the past nine months how hard you´ve worked and you totally deserve it. I know that Heavenly Father is blessing you for your diligence. And Lindsey and Brina, great job on your talk/lesson! I know it can be scary, but you learn so much from preparing to teach. I have learned so much about things that I thought I already knew really well as I´ve studied to teach investigators every day. There´s a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that I like that talks about how when we teach, the grace of Christ accompanies us so that both the teacher and the student are taught by the Spirit. It´s true, and we receive that blessing when we are prepared. Mom and Dad, happy engagement anniversary. I actually thought of you guys on Friday when I noticed the date. And then I realized that Mom was only one year older than me when she got engaged and freaked out a little bit. You got married so young! I definitely can´t imagine being engaged a year from now. But luckily I don't have to worry about that for a while :) And the pictures that Grandma sent me blew me away! I never imagined seeing Grandma and Grandpa down in Antarctica. Ever. But that is so cool!

So it´s been a crazy day for me, too. I was transferred again today...I´m back in Durango! My new area is actually not too far from Guadalupe. It´s called Industrial 1 and it´s in a different zone/stake than I was in in Guadalupe. I never thought I would be transferred back to Durango so soon, and even less in this area. I know I´ll be here for a while--like 5 or 6 months--because I was assigned to be the new Sister Training Leader here in Durango. It´s an assignment like a Zone Leader assignment, but for the sister missionaries. I kind of feel like a new missionary all over again because I have a very small idea of what all of our responsabilities are, but I´ll get the hang of it. We basically do everything the Zone Leaders and District Leaders do with the elders: we go on companion exchanges with all of the companionships of sisters here in Durango, conduct inventory of their houses, have a weekly call-in session with each companionship, and conduct/teach at Zone Training meetings. I´m super excited (even if I don´t exactly know all that we´re doing) because it´s a big opportunity to learn from and support the sister missionaries here in Durango. I keep thinking of the scripture in 1 Nephi 4 that says, ¨And I was led forth by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I would do.¨ When they told me about this new assignment I felt like the Lord had more confidence in me than I had in myself. But I know that the Lord knows why He´s put me here, and I´m going to do my best to serve Him, the sister missionaries, and the investigators. It´ll be an interesting week of adjustment :)

In other news, we had a baptism on Saturday! Our new convert´s name is Eva Maria, and she is so, so happy that she was finally able to be baptized. She´s the investigator that I told you about a couple of weeks ago who got really sick and we had to postpone her baptismal date. She was devastated that she would have to wait even one more week to be baptized, but the day finally arrived! On Sunday, we went and taught her a lesson on enduring to the end and then she accompanied us for a couple of hours. After being in the rain and teaching lots of people who weren´t interested she said to me, ¨I was pretty easy, huh?¨ Her comment made me laugh super hard because it´s so true- she was definitely a golden investigator who accepted everything as soon as we taught it to her. She´s the only one in her family who is a member of the Church, but her testimony is strong, and I hope that her kids will soon accept the Gospel too. I also found out today that another investigator that I taught here in Guadadlupe was baptized about a month ago, and another is preparing to be baptized soon. It made me so happy hearing about them. The scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18 that talks about the joy we feel in helping others repent and come unto Christ is so true. So, so true. 

Like I mentioned, I loved receiving your emails. I am going to print all of them off and read them well tonight. I have pictures of the baptism I wanted to send you, but this computer isn´t reading my memory. Sorry. I´ll try to send some next week of the baptism and with my new companion, Hermana Martinez. She's from Puebla and is the first companion that I knew before we were companions. I´ll have to tell you more about the area and my companion next week....I can´t think of much more to say, just that I love you all so, so much. Thanks for your support and love always. 

Love,

Hermana Southard