Week 12 in the Utah Orem Mission

Sister Ritchell, Sister Duigiud, Hermana Segle, Hermana Peterson, and me at the side of the Mount Timpanogos Temple.

Sister Ritchell, Sister Duigiud, Hermana Segle, Hermana Peterson, and me at the side of the Mount Timpanogos Temple.

My new companion, Hermana Peterson, is laid back, doesn’t worry about things (which is one reason why we feel like we are companions — because I worry a lot and she doesn’t, so we can learn from each other), listens and follows the spirit in what to say, sarcastic (in a good way), caring, funny, etc. she has been serving for 10 months. Her Spanish is going well. Hermana Peterson helps me have fun by helping me to calm down and open up when I am stressed. She listens and reminds me that me not being perfect is okay. I’m not here to be a perfect missionary — I’m here to serve the best I can, but my best doesn’t mean being perfect. Exact obedience is difference from perfect obedience, and we live the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as those we teach.

I spy with my little eye..... Can you find me and my companions?

I spy with my little eye….. Can you find me and my companions?

I have found that every companionship I have had has addressed different aspects of my character. Each time I am growing in a new way, and I am so grateful for Hermana Martinez, Hermana Lopez, Hermana Flores, and Hermana Bonilla. They are my sisters, and I will forever love them. We have grown and served together, and they will forever be in my heart.

We had to move houses again because the sister where we were living before had put down an offer to buy a new home and was going to sell her current home, so we couldn’t be there during all of that. The mission knew it would only be a temporary stay. We are happy where we are now. Sister Westenskow has two cats, so I’m a happy kitty!

Tuesday morning we went to the temple. We woke up early and arrived at the temple. It was a beautiful experience. During my time there, I felt at peace. The stress I had felt the day before melted away, and I know I am meant to be here at this time in my life.

We found out this week that the sisters from the Orem and Provo missions are going to be involved in the Provo City Center Temple Open House. It’s going to run from January to February — during my last transfer in the mission. In the temple I was thinking about that, remembering what some families at home said about me going to Temple Square for my mission, remembering the stress I had felt early in 2013 about why my papers weren’t getting sent in earlier like I had “planned,” all the fasting and prayer that went into the decision to stay at BYU-Idaho for an additional semester, thinking about what the Lord says to me in my patriarchal blessing, and my experience in the temple the day I received my endowment.

This is Casper, one of the two cats at our new residence.

This is Casper, one of the two cats at our new residence.

And now, I can see a little part of that plan the Lord has for me. If I would have left on my mission earlier, I would not have had the opportunity to serve both in the Payson and the Provo City Temple open houses. I might not have gone to Provo. The families I needed to help may not have been here yet or prepared yet. I may not have had the companions I have had. I was needed in Provo for seven months before the mission split. And now I am needed here in Orem. It’s incredible that I have been serving for 13 months. Lots of blessings, tears, and joy. That is the mission.

One evening as we we’re visiting A and her family, it started pouring rain. After we finished the lesson, we all looked at each other, said a prayer, and headed out. We were SINGING in the rain. Literally. “I Like to Look for Rainbows Whenever There is Rain” and “Cuantas bendiciones que Jesus tendrá” were two of the songs we sang as we rode. We just laughed. We were soaking wet, but we were happy. When we arrived at the home of M and D, we all just laughed and they kindly offered us towels to dry us off. We asked them why they feel prophets are important, and they said that they would help right now in this life. We shared the video “Unidad en la fe” and testified of the role of prophets and apostles in keeping the doctrine pure and clean (like a filter). We talked about the General Conference coming up in October and invited them to watch it. They seemed very interested in listening to the words of the apostles and prophets. We invited them to keep reading and praying to know that there are living prophets and apostles in the earth today.

Thursday morning we had two appointments with some families, but when we went to go visit them, neither was home. I had been thinking about the C family, so we dropped by? When we got there, they told us that just that morning they had been thinking about us, and they invited us for lunch later that afternoon. We had left in a hurry that morning and didn’t have plans for eating lunch (since it’s a trip to go home and come back to our area), so it was an answer to prayer. Meanwhile, we went to visit another sister, Alma. She invited us in, and during the course of our conversation, she shared with us her conversion story and her journey to this point with her family. She has a testimony of the power of prayer and how the gospel is blessing her family. We shared Alma 34:32 and testified of the purpose of this life on earth, of the power of the small and simple things, and of the blessings that she will receive when they go to the temple. We invited them to continue praying every morning as a family and to read and go to church. Afterwards we went and ate lunch with the Cornish family. She made homemade bread with freshly ground flour. I thought of my, Mom and her bread. 🙂

We met up with one of our earlier friends, Jacqulyn Larsen.

We met up with one of our earlier friends, Jacqulyn Larsen.

Another afternoon we had an appointment with a young mother, but when we arrived she was sleeping. A gentleman answered the door. He was a friend of the people who live in the basement. He was very nice and open to listening to us. We ended up teaching him the entire Restoration. We felt the spirit guiding us in the questions to ask and the doctrine of which to testify. He shared with us about how he read the bible while he was in jail for a few days and had a great spiritual experience. We invited him to do the same with the Book of Mormon and we invited him to pray. He believes that God listens to and answers prayers and that God talks to everyone.

Before church on Sunday, one of the counselors in the bishopric asked my companion, Hermana Peterson, if she would share her testimony in Sacrament Meeting. She looked startled, so I told her that I would do it with her if she would like. The councilor thought that was a great idea. So I volunteered myself to share my testimony. Beforehand, I didn’t know what I should say. We walked up to the stand and Hermana Peterson gave her testimony first. I was praying in my heart, trusting in the Lord that He would put in my mouth the words to say. I walked up to the pulpit, still not knowing exactly what I would say. And then the words came. I felt the spirit very strongly during my testimony. I just stated truth and what I felt flowing from my heart, and I didn’t realize until afterword that I was sharing those feelings in Spanish. I know it wasn’t me speaking those words. The Lord had His hand in that. …

I’m still learning more every day and am grateful for this time I have to grow within these 18 months of training to be a missionary for the rest of my life.

¡Yo sé que Jesucristo es mi Salvador y es su Salvador!

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