Week 1 in the Provo Utah Mission

Hermana Kathleen Billings gets a feel for the cooler weather in Provo.

Hermana Kathleen Billings gets a feel for the cooler weather in Provo.

Semana 1 en el Campo (Utah Provo)!

October 6, 2014

Wow, I really like the world map [that Elizabeth put together] with the push pins representing the places where temples have been built. It shows how the work of the Lord is progressing and continues to hasten. Go Elizabeth!! 🙂

During Conference Weekend, Elizabeth put map pins for every temple in the world (as of October 2014).

During Conference Weekend, Elizabeth put map pins for every temple in the world (as of October 2014).

My new companion’s name is Hermana Martinez. She was born in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish, and she is helping and encouraging me in my efforts to contribute to our lessons, listen to the conversations, and strive to understand what is said and express my feelings from my heart. She is the sweetest person ever!

Kathleen with her new companion, Hermana Martinez, who has been in the mission field 15 months.

Kathleen with her new companion, Hermana Martinez, who has been in the mission field 15 months.

General Conference was AMAZING! ​We watched the Saturday sessions in English, and on Sunday we watched Conference in Espanol. Despues seis horas de puro Espanol, mi mente fue frito. (After four hours of Spanish, my mind was fried.) It almost hurt, but I was amazed at how much I understood! I couldn’t understand all of it, but I received impressions of the Spirit throughout the sessions. That is what it is all about — recording those most precious things, especially the impressions of the Spirit as we listen — what the Spirit tells us as we listen is more important that what is being said. We also need to study the words of conference in the Ensign and Liahona after the talks are printed out (Mosiah 2).

​I must admit, it really hurts my heart when people say that they are not interested in the Gospel, especially since we love them so much and know how much the Gospel could bless their family. But one thing I have learned even after only a few days here is to never give up on them — perhaps the time just isn’t right yet and they’ll be ready later. We are all in this work together. Some are planters, some are sowers and nourishers, and others are the harvesters. But it is all the same work – a work of love. ​

​

Respuestas a su Preguntas [Answers to your questions]:​

​1. I’m in a walking area, so I don’t need a bike right now.

2. We’re assigned to a stake with many wards but only one Spanish ward.

​3. The interview with my mission president on the first night after arriving in Provo went well. And is it weird that it feels like I’ve met the McCunes before?

4. It was EXTREMELY hard being separated from my district Hermanas and Elders from the CCM. We were a family, and it hurt. I cried, but I know they are going where the Lord needs them.

5. We are being fed well by the members. I just let them know I can’t handle milk (usually say lactose intolerant), and they are fine with it.

By the way, we live in the basement of a member family, and I think I might be related to them! Her grandparents are Orean Ashcraft and Elva Billings Ashcraft — could you look them up? 🙂

[Kathleen is indeed related to this sister: Kathleen’s great-grandfather, Gerald Oraian Billings, is the brother of Elva Billings’ father. That makes Kathleen 2nd cousins 1 removed (Kathleen’s father is the 2nd cousin) to the member sister who owns the apartment. She is also related as 6th cousins 1 removed (Kathleen’s father is the 6th cousin) on the Ashcraft side from brothers Daniel B. Ashcraft and William Ashcraft–sons of Ichabod  Ashcraft.] WHAT A SMALL WORLD!

Pictures above Kathleen's desk in her apartment.

Pictures above Kathleen’s desk in her apartment.

So much has happened these past weeks, but I don’t have time to write them here in this email. We’re going shopping today, so I’ll get some stamps and write you this afternoon, sharing those spiritual impressions and experiences I had.

Te Amo!

[Kathleen’s response to her sister Elizabeth’s concern of getting ever closer to the big 18.]
Haha, you will be fine. Everyone has to grow up. Just take it one day at a time. I didn’t feel much older when I turned 18 or 19, but the experiences I had those years helped me understand and adjust to it. It’s crazy to think that after my mission I could get married and be a mom. A MOM! Just like Mommy. If you think turning 18 is crazy, just think about kneeling across the altar, holding a little one in your arms that is yours, having your own home and car! But you will like college. Yes, it’s very new and different, but you have people around you that can help you out. Get to know your professors [at BYU-Idaho] — you’ll love them to death.
Su Misionera,
Hermana Billings
Hermanas Billings and Martinez

Hermanas Billings and Martinez

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