Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 7, 2012

It seems like it has been so long since I have been able to read your emails and write back to you! Ray, thanks for the emails, and Mom, those pictures are great! Thank you so much! I miss you all a ton!
First of all, let me say HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEXY-POO!!! How was your birthday?! I am so sorry I didn't say it last email- I really was thinking about you all day on March 1st. Are you excited to be 15? What did you do for your birthday?
This week has been really crazy! It seems like we have been running every minute of each day. It has been good. But first thing is first- I have my new companion! Her name is Sister Hatch, and she is from Tremonton, UT. This transfer meeting was super exciting, because there were so many companionships changed around, especially last minute and quite a few unexpected things happened. We didn't realize that Sister Hatch and Sister Tating would be at the transfer meeting because they were out 'full pros.' Sister Hatch is a Kirtland sister, but she had been out for 4 transfers (or six months- that is a long time to be out full proselyting for a Kirtland sister!) and her companion, Sister Tating, was called to begin training (she is a full pros sister who only has two transfers left- just enough time to train a new sister :) ). All the companionships got switched around, new areas are opened up, andonly one companionship out of the 15 companionships is the same as it was last transfer! (Sister Christian's companionship is the same. Sister Goodman is now in a triple up with the sister who is getting gall bladder surgery). It was really fun to be at transfer meeting though! Sister Lee was crying like crazy by the end :( She will be great full pros though. Someone needs her out there :)
Sister Hatch is so awesome! I feel like Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing when He had Sister Lee and I together at the beginning, and now Sister Hatch and I. They have so many different strengths, that I feel like I am so spoiled- I get to learn from two different trainers! I have already learned so much from Sister Hatch. She is very positive, extremely organized and a great teacher. We probably laugh too much together, so we are going to have to work on that :) A great perk that came with Sister Hatch is that she has a GPS! Whoo! She is now the designated driver, and we have made significantly less U turns with the GPS (Jill) yelling at us to turn at the correct road.
I am still doing the 90 day challenge of reading the Book of Mormon and finding Christlike Attributes. It is incredible what you can find! One day I feel like I learn so much about how to be a good leader, and other days I get excited to become a parent, because learning what a loving Father He is just makes you want to share your love with your own kids. Other insights: He is so bold! I love how straightforward and plain He is. Also, he is not shy about asking questions- He asks for what He wants/needs, but what He asks for is ALWAYS unselfish, and He is always so grateful for everything He receives. (Mom, this insight reminded me of when you told me I need to ask. Remember that? Haha, I will learn eventually that you are always right! ;) )
Something else that I think is particular to a mission is that your feelings are elevated. When you are magnifying your calling and doing the best you can, you feel SO happy! Even days that I didn't necessarily have anything exciting happen, but I was able to teach someone something I had planned well and sought inspiration, I am HAPPY! But then when I don't do my best, I am not using my time the most effectively, or I shirk from talking to the scary looking man in the street about how Christ's church is on the Earth today, I feel AWFUL! You know that feeling when you kind of waste a day not doing anything in particular, and then you feel kind of gross at the end of the day? It is like that feeling is intensified and you feel like you have no worth and you really aren't making a difference. It is as if when you are not being exactly obedient, Satan just slams you and it makes life so difficult! Life is so much easier if we can just do what He asks us!
On a side note-- check out my turtle! (He should be attached as a picture)
Isn't he awesome?! The senior missionaries who work at the John Johnson Farm (The Giffords) are awesome, and have been working with a local Rotary club. This club put on a Family Fun Week, where they emphasized spending time with family, and on Saturday they had a bunch of bouncy houses (is that what those big balloon things are called?) and actitivies for families to enjoy together. The Giffords signed us up to do service at the card table (the families could write Get Well cards to hospitals or just fun cards to family members). It was a fun atmosphere, and it was neat to see the community come together to support families. There was a family who were making these balloons, and they were amazing! I wish I could show you some of the animals/hats they made! They were telling everyone how they found they enjoyed making balloon animals together as a family, so they asked God for the talent of making them, and they promised they would devote their talent to lifting the spirits of others. So neat! And isn't my little turtle adorable?! It was nice to be able to do service. I love working with the senior couples! They are so amazing- you walk in the doors of the visitors center and they all get up and welcome you as if you are some celebrity! You give everyone hugs and hand shakes every time you pass through the lobby, and they all are so happy and build people up around them :) They are such great examples of Christlike love.
I had my first experience of feeling like a momma bear today! You know our Vietnamese investigator? He has been progressing so much in English and in the gospel, and Sister Hatch and I even set a baptisimal date with him to be baptized. I don't know how I feel about the baptisimal date at this point... it has been a debate so far. But we have been told that he may be a waste of our time at this point, that we should consider dropping him and moving on to use our time more effectively. When I heard that, I was speechless. Then I rose to the defense. I probably sounded like a maniac, trying to explain how much he has done, how much progress he has made and how much desire He has to follow Christ. He is probably the most thoughtful, kind and gentle man you have ever met. He has gone to church every Sunday, read the Book of Mormon through once and is half way through it again, and has worked so hard at learning English so that he can communicate better with the people at church. I don't want to drop him!!! It does make total sense that he can't speak English well, we aren't entirely sure if he fully understands each principle we have taught him, and his drive to go to church could be more social at this point. We only have so much time and we need to spend it where it will be the most effective. But against these logical road blocks, I don't know if I can just let him go! I want him to have the gospel so much in his life. The gospel is something he would thrive in, and I am frustrated that he has all these barriers that are keeping him from fully embracing it :( We will see how things go.
OK, I really did miss talking to you, as you can tell :) I just want to tell you EVERYTHING, and this is barely anything :) Still need to work on just giving you the important parts so you don't have to read a novel ;) But don't forget I love you!!!
Sister Kimber Mahrt

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