Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 15th, 2012 Letter

Hello! I am so happy when I get to talk to you!! :) (or I guess write at you would be the technical thing to say)

I am here to tell you that there are multiple ways to cook frozen buffalo wings. I didn't know it was possible. In fact, I would have just looked at the back of the package and cooked the buffalo wings as it said in the instructions. I guess I am one of those people that don't think outside the box.

The other day Sister Lee and I had pizza and buffalo wings at a member's house. I don't know why, but we LOVED it! It tasted so good to us. So good, that on our last P-day Sister Lee bought a package of buffalo wings and as soon as we got home, she ripped open the package and shoved them in the oven. The instructions asked for Aluminum foil, but since we didn't have any, we just cooked them without the foil. They came out and made a really bad mess on the pan that was difficult to scrub off. Well, that was no good! So the next time she decided to fry them. They burned SO fast! So we took them out and scrapped off the outer black parts and started eating them. I tried to be optimistic, but when bit into the chicken and came up with raw meat, I instantly lost my appetite. Undeterred, she stuck the buffalo wings in the microwave. The kitchen ended up smelling like burning bone (not so pleasant, by the way), so she went to bed. The very next day, she found the perfected way to make buffalo wings. She got some tupperware and filled the bottom with water, then stuck it in the microwave. That way, they are boiled to perfection, all the calorie-ridden sauce came off, and the skin and oil was essentially boiled off. All you have to do is drain! Sister Lee is going to have to put those directions on the package now that she has perfected the recipe. Haha, oh man, she is awesome :) I think calling her perseverant is an understatement.

On monday nights Sister Lee and I slept over in Kirtland since we work at sites Mondays and Tuesdays. We woke up to the other sisters in the home (there are two sets of missionaries that live there regularly) telling us that our site director's wife (Sister Edman) had a heart attack at 4am that morning, was in the hospital and no one knew how she was doing. Everyone was so sad! She is so nice, and for many of the sisters here, she has become their 'mom away from their mom.' One of this sisters prayed and initiated our fast for her, and then we were off to the training meeting. This time it was held in the School of the Prophets in the upstairs of the Whitney Store. Everyone was sad and anxious for Sister Edman, and it seemed to bring us closer together. We had a testimony meeting and I think all of us were crying, and these sisters have such amazing testimonies! I can really see God's image in their countenances. Then the training sisters got a call, and we heard that Sister Edman was alright, so we all cried some more! :) Girls are wired so weird! I think we all realized how ridiculous it was that we were all crying all morning, so we were laughing and crying at the same time, and just basking in the spirit of the place. Can I tell you how amazing it is to be here in Ohio? I LOVE IT HERE! Sister Edman is OK for now. They say that one of the first things she asked when she came out of the anesthesia was- Are the sisters OK? You didn't freak them out with the news, did you?!' Haha! She had 4 stints put into her arterteries, and we are waiting to hear if there are any long lasting effects of the heart attack. You wouldn't believe how many cookies, candies, and pink things we received yesterday from all the sisters, and senior couples. I am coming back 30 pounds heavier- there is no way to avoid it at this point! ;)

Something else that Sister Lee and I have been discussing a lot lately is Satan. It is amazing how subtle he is. He knows what he can to do make you stumble. To fear. To have pride. I felt like I have really felt the power of Satan in these first few weeks of my mission. I didn't realize what it was at the time. Things were just so hard and I didn't feel like I could be happy or even smile. I learned that Satan is powerful, and you have to be careful. But mostly what I learned is how much MORE powerful Heavenly Father and Christ are! Satan can only enter our lives if we allow him to, and everytime we hesitate to do what is right, or our thoughts aren't where they should be, he sees the chink in the armor and attacks you like crazy! I know that talking to everyone out on the street can be super awkward (my inner dialogue the entire time we would talk to someone about the gospel in the parking lot I would be thinking, 'awkward, awkward is AWKWARD!) but I am coming to understand that people come into our path for a reason. If the Lord is blessing us with people who are open to learning about Christ, and we are avoiding those people, how can He trust us? I have been trying to stop thinking about what Kimber is thinking about the situation and instead see them through His eyes. Life is so much easier that way! You love everyone, you aren't annoyed by other's weaknesses, and you see Christ EVERYWHERE! Fear is so stupid! What are we afraid of anyway? I am still working on it, but I have been seeing a little success, and I can't wait until I am successful in completely giving up my wants and desires and aligning them with my Heavenly Fathers wants and desires for me and those around me.

Oh wow, I almost forgot to tell you- one of the people I have been teaching was just baptized! His name is Nick, and he is 20 years old. He is so cool, because at first he was meeting with the missionaries simply because he was curious (his grandmother who he is living with is Mormon, but his Mom and immediate family are very anti-Mormon). That curiousity turned into a desire to follow Christ. And I was able to witness it! The lesson where he accepted the invitation to be baptized was my first lesson here on my mission :) It has been neat to see how even his behavior has changed during the lessons. He used to make a lot of jokes and try to interject humor into the lessons all the time. Now he is really good at listening, is calm, and has even asked us some deep and inspiring questions! :) He quit smoking soon after we told him about the word of Wisdom, and the all the commandments we have taught him recently he has accepted readily by saying, "Ok, that is easy. God said to do it, so of course I am going to do it." What faith! He is such an example to me, especially with his family situation. Even his aunt (who is actually 15... it is complicated) has seen a lot of change in him. She says he is happier and nicer. She was baptized into the church, but is currently inactive. We talked to her about why she thinks there has been such a change, and she didn't give an answer readily, but she eventually admitted it COULD have something to do with meeting with the missionaries and living the gospel :) She is funny. Oh, that is another thing. Something else I have really noticed is agency. We have the freedom to choose, but we cannot choose the consequences. It has been amazing to me to see how much the choices one person makes isn't just affecting our own consequences. Our choices have such an impact on those around us! I am also teaching a mother and her daughter. The mother is having a difficult time accepting the commitments of reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, but the daughter seems very teachable. However, since they are so close with one another, the daughter seems hesitant to really get into our lessons because it is no secret that her mother can't stand it when we bear our testimonies. The decisions we make are so important, because our examples to others are more far reaching than I think we realize.

I love missionary work. I love the ability to bring happiness to other 24/7, and to have the opportunity to see His hand working in the lives of others, even when they can't see it. I love you all!!!

Sister Kimber Mahrt

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