I want to make it known that our Zone Leaders, Elder Dyer and Elder Warren, are the best Zone Leaders out there. They brought Chick-fil-A catering to our Zone Development Meeting. All of the trainings were good too! A lot of them revolved around ministering to other missionaries; how we need to be aware of all those around us and offer a helping hand if we see a fellow missionary struggling with their emotions, with obedience, with anything. A lot of it was just a reminder that none of us is alone. It's easy to fall into the rut of self-pity. It is so much easier to be sad and despondent, but to be happy is so much more fulfilling. Every day I'm choosing to be happy and it's helping! I can't say I'm at 100% yet, but I'm at an 85 or 90%. #positivethinking Also, the Zone portraits are beautiful. Everyone took theirs home after the meeting, but I still have the originals, so I'll probably make more copies and make a collage for my non-existent scrapbook.
Wednesday was one of the best days of my mission. I went on exchanges with... My ma! Sister Cozzens! It was a wonderful reunion and she pointed out all of the ways that I have grown in our six months apart. It was soooo good just to talk to her and tell her all of my sad feelings and to get feedback. Her heart is so full of compassion and good advice. But the real fun started when we got to work! We just picked right up where we left off as if we'd never been apart. We knew how we taught together, we knew how we contacted together. It was so amazing! It was so amazing, a miracle happened!
Sister Cozzens and I were walking and we saw a woman sweeping her front porch. We start talking to her, and we have this wonderful conversation about how wonderful our Savior is and how He's our rock. We invited her to watch the Hallelujah video, and she said to come by in a few minutes. We walk around the corner and then swiftly head right back to her house. She finishes up sweeping and says, "Would you two like to come inside?" She invites us in and we sit down in her front room. We get to know one another, and we start with a prayer. As she's watching the video, I could feel the Spirit. She testified to us that she knows Christ lives. And then she said, "I know that the Lord guided me to be outside at the same time you walked down my street. I know that He wanted me to hear your message." The Spirit testified to me that what she said was true. We sat there in awe for a few moments and then set a return appointment with her. Her name is Regina and I love her.
Have you ever had Chinese burritos? I can say I have! The Miao family (one of the Mandarin speaking families in the ward) had us over for dinner and made us a traditional Chinese burrito! Tofu, green beans cooked in vinegar with rice noodles, eggs and carrots, cilantro, peanut powder and sugar mix all wrapped together on a flour tortilla... With beef jerky soda to wash it down??? The burrito was delicious, but I opted for orange juice after my first sip of the soda.
English class was super fun! My friends, Marine and Joanna came and they brought their husbands! Joanna even brought her 8 year old son, Kevin. Kevin is my favorite, and apparently I'm his favorite so it's all good. English class is my favorite because when I walk in, all my friends are so excited to see me. This last class, however, had a little bit of a different dynamic. Joanna and Marine were sitting at the intermediate table with their husbands because they're not ready for advanced English. I hung out with a 16 year old and a 30 year old and had very interesting conversation. I explained what's polite in the US (saying please and thank you, using a blinker...) and that morphed into why it isn't appropriate to test drive women like you would test drive a car. The Law of Chastity is a thing for so many reasons. But then I taught the 16 year old how to get an American girlfriend. I told him just to offer to buy her frozen yogurt and it'd work.
This has been a really tough week for Sister da Silva. She's had a chronic migraine for over 2 weeks!!! Everything hurts her all the time. So after a week of pushing through and taking various pain killers on top of laying in dark rooms with a cold cloth over her head and drinking nothing but water, we were at the Urgent Care again. We spent a few hours waiting for the doctor to come in and say, "You have a migraine." Thank you. For now, she's taking Excedrin and taking it slow. I just want her to be happy and healthy! I can't do much, but I can be very quiet and remind her that it's okay to take a break.
During a Blitz, I went contacting with Sister Nai, a Sister from Australia! (She knows Elder Bartlett!!! How cool is that??) But it was super windy so our legs were being exfoliated by the sand and dust and it hurt to open our eyes and breathing was a chore. But we found some really interesting people and have some stories to tell from the experience!
The work is going. We're taking it one step at a time. Unfortunately, we're having to put a lot of our investigators on pause. It's really hard, because you see their potential and they don't. Sometimes all you can do is wait. I know the Lord is mindful of not only us as missionaries, but of those we teach. It all will work out.
I love you all, and I know that each and every one of you has a very special place in the heart of our Father in Heaven!
Though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievements...those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing. - Neal A Maxwell
p.s. There's a first for everything! It took almost 8 months, but finally someone told me that I was going to hell! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But it happened several days ago and I'm very aggravated.