Monday, July 15, 2013

"Everything is color-coded, mapped out, organized into different notebooks, etc." 7/15/13

Bonjour Ma Famille,
Another great week here, like always.  The work is picking up and it's wonderful.  We were actually able to have quite a few member visits this week, which is always the greatest.  It's so important for us to be working through members, especially since it's summer and everyone here is on vacation and most of the people on the street are tourists.  Every time we meet with different members, I'm blown away.  They are all so strong.  Nearly everyone here is a convert and, for many, they are the only members in their family.  They travel long distances for all service in the church and have so much less support around them than I am used to.  There are a lot of awesome recent converts in our ward that we have been working with.  For example, we had a rendez-vous with this amazing young couple in our ward this week.  She served a misison at temple square and came back to marry a nonmember.  Two years later, he took lessons from the missionaries, went to temple square and felt the Spirit, came back and got baptized last May, was ordained an elder in January, and they were sealed this last May.  They are extremely strong even though lots of their family members are struggling.  Haha, we actually had a barbeque at their house.  They absolutely love the missionaries and said that they liked to feed us stuff that we miss from home.  It was the greatest.  That's just one example, literally everyone here has stories like that.  I have so much to learn.
Random cool miracle... We were walking home one day and this guy sitting at a pizza shop with his family stopped us.  He asked us if we were the mormons.  After explaining who we were, he said that he had been invited to his friend's mormon wedding and he had questions for us.  It was awesome to get to explain things.  He seemed pretty interested and we may be able to start working with him.  Haha, and he bought us a huge thing of water because he could tell that we were hot from being outside all day.  It's fun to see how there are little miracles everywhere and the Lord often hands them to you at times when you least expect it.
I read a cool scripture this week that I really like.  PS-- I'm obsessed with my studies on my mission.  Literally, I'm getting the reputation (from exchanges and different companions) as the missionary that people get advice from to improve their studies.  I am getting through so much material and am learning tons.  Haha, I take my studies very seriously.  I literally have them tentatively planned out until the end of my mission so that I can cover everything that I want to.  Everything is color-coded, mapped out, organized into different notebooks, etc.  Love it.  Anyways, Doctrine et Alliances 95:1 "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you."  I think right here the Lord is showing us two things.  One, that he is a just God.  He has given us the law (the commandments) and if we choose to not keep it, there will be concequences.  But, this is because he wants us to learn and to improve because He loves us.  Two, I think it's an awesome example of how we should help and strengthen others in our lives.  If critique or correcting is necessary, do it in a loving way.  It is often as missionaries that we have to "call people to repentance".  We should be following the example of the Savior in the way that we do it.  Because, in all reality, repentance is a great thing.  We are asking people to simply make change that will relieve them of guilt, bring them closer to Christ, and improve their lives.
So, that about wraps it up.  Lots of work...contacting, doing service, visiting members, teaching lessons.  We're still working on building up our area book with amis, but it's getting there.  I hope you all have another great week.  It was fun to hear about all of your church youth activities this summer...EFY, girls camp, trek, etc.  I always felt so spiritually uplifted and ready for the next school year after a summer full of those awesome experiences.  I hope you feel the same.  I love you so much, thanks for everything!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

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