Family and Friends!
Yes, people. It is May. Can you believe it? Nope? Good. Neither can I. Well, wow it has been quite a week! For those of you who haven't heard: we got our reassignments! (Don't worry, our VISAS are still on their way... hopefully) **Drumroll please...**
Manchester, New Hampshire: Elder Robison, Elder Palmer, and Sister Anderson
Rochester, New York: Sister Jeanfreu and Sister Morgan
Pittsburgh Pensylvania: Elder Mantle and Elder Brady
San Francisco, California: Sister Smith
PORTLAND, OREGON: Sister Sciammarella and Sister Seal.
WAHOOO!! Yep, Portland, OR. It is perfect! I am so excited- we all are! Plus.... rumor has it (Sister Jeanfreu used to live in Portland) that there may or may not be a very real chance I could be assigned Spanish speaking. Who is to say this couldn't just be the best thing that every happened to me? Ok. But really, we are all SO happy. I love the point this whole process illustrates: that God can get it right twice, because He gets it right every time. Oh, and Sister Mitchell, the other sister in our district, got her VISA.
Travel Plans: We all leave Monday, except Sister Smith (who leaves Wednesday). I am so excited to be going with Sister Sciammarella- she is one of my favorite girls in my district. She is from Draper, and we have plans to room together when we get back to Provo, so this is perfect. We are so excited to be in the field! I promise to send lots of pictures... and speaking of pictures... yes I'm sorry. I didn't take any this week either. This should make you happy though, because it means I'm working hard, right?? Haha but next week I promise to have a few, at least.
Yesterday we had "in-field orientation" and our teachers really stressed two ideas: 1) No mission is impossible- do not listen to those who say, "Well, that will be a cool mission, but I'm sorry you won't baptize many people." Your mission will be what you make of it. If you lower your expectations, you will be less successful. However, if you raise your expectations, you will be more successful. Do not let others determine the amount of success you will have. 2) People in every area of your mission are prepared for YOU. This was a really cool thought, given our recent re-assignments. I love the idea that God is preparing people for me in Brazil. But He is also preparing people for me in Oregon. SO COOL! Mission work is SO cool, just in case you didn't know already ;)
Devotionals last week: One was about Agency, and its role in conversion. The other was about Family History (Papa- you would have loved it!) What I loved most about the latter was realizing- yet again- how much I love my family. Every day I appreciate the Plan of Salvation even more. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation, and the knowledge that we have that we will be with our families forever. This brings more peace and joy than anything else I've ever known in this world. If I came home today, I'd like to believe I'd be a changed person. I'd like to think I wouldn't take my family for granted- the way I once did... because they are the ONLY thing that matter to me now. I don't miss my phone, I don't miss my car (but Dad- please don't sell it ;) ) I don't miss my laptop or my bed; my clothes or my room. And I sure as anything don't miss my pets. :P And aside from the pets, I really thought I'd miss it all. And I do... to some small degree, but it is NOTHING like I thought I would. And it is NOTHING compared to the ache I feel for the people- not things- I left behind. So here is my challenge for each of you this week: Find a new way to show your family you love them- because the sadest thing is we don't ever realize just how much we love them until they are gone.
To my family: I love you. I love you so much. I miss you everyday. But I also realize and appreciate, more than any of you will ever know, the support you have been to me while I've been gone. Your letters, packages, thoughts and testimonies help me every day to want to be a better missionary- in part because I want so badly to make you proud. You are so special to me, and I pray for each of you ever day. I am so happy because I know I can be with you forever... but some people don't understand that yet. And that is one of many reasons that I am going to Oregon... that I'm going to Brazil, to share the joy I have in already knowing that there is an Eternal plan for my family and for their families too; to be together again someday through the Atonement of the Savior.
I'm sorry this letter is short- we have a lot to do to pack and prepare to leave next week. Thanks for all of the letters this week- it is always so great to hear from you. I love you all so much! Thanks for your support. I hope you have a wonderful week, and that this letter finds all of you in good health and happiness.