Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Six months in the Mission!

Good morning, mom!!!
Los Angeles Temple P-Day with Michelle's zone

Hermana Wright - "I love her!
She is like my sister"
How are you doing today? I am doing wonderful because we just got out of the temple!!!  We saw the new movie and I think I died.  I loved it so much, you have no idea.  It was so sweet and beautiful.  

I have soooo much to tell you!!  First off, do you remember me telling you about Kinoah??  I am really hoping I did because.... he got baptized on Saturday!!!  He was in my Samoan ward and he is 15 years old.   I taught him for about two transfers but the last two weeks of the transfer he went MIA so I didn't say much.  His dad is less active but his uncle is in the bishopric and he had been coming to church for a few months.  We started teaching him and he was the sweetest boy ever.  He had some of the sweetest answers I had ever heard.  He has already been through a lot in his life, so being able to go to church was so good for him.  When we asked how baptism was going to help him he answered and said, "It's going to give me a new start." If that doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will.  So I hadn't heard much about him until last week when they called and told me he was getting baptized!  The service was so sweet.  I wish you could have seen his face when he came up from the water. He looked like all of his worries had left when he came up.  I felt so warm and peaceful.  I just sat there and was so grateful I was here and that Heavenly Father helped us to help him.  So you could say it was a great week for me :)

Kinoah's Baptism, in my old Samoan Ward.  I miss that ward!  Here I am with my sweet companion who served with me in that ward, Hermana Rudd.

We have had some amazing people that we are working with.  Whether it be less active, members, or investigators.  I have had so many tender mercies this week.  We had a lesson with Jackie and Joseph and they are doing well :)
We have been working with a less active, Hermana Chicas. She is the sweetest thing in the world. The first time that we met with her, I just had such a strong love for her. We are pretty much best friends and I ask her why she doesn't go to church every time we go over, haha.  But she has the sweetest, strongest testimony.  She grew up a member but married a non-member.  
We have been working on showing her how strong her testimony is and how special it is. We went over yesterday and made empanadas, and everyone loved them but me (I'm still a picky eater!)

Yesterday this week, a girl in the ward came out with us. She rode a bike from 2-9 p.m. in the blistering heat!  And it was probably the worst day for her to come.  Every door got shut on us, our appointments got cancelled, and someone dropped us.  My heart felt so sad that she had been with us on that day, I just wanted her to see the amazing and happy parts of missionary work!  She came with us to coordination, and the ward mission leader had her stand up and bear her testimony.  She stood up and tears started rolling down her face and she said that after today she knew that she was supposed to go on a mission.  That she loved what we had done and wanted to do it on her own.  I can't even tell you how happy that made me.
That someone could see the hard sides of missionary work, and still see the beauty of it.  That was a lesson learned for me, is that literally every part of missionary work can be beautiful.  I have gotten used to the hard parts and it doesn't affect me, but I am incredibly thankful that it has made me stronger in my testimony.  That when people do share their doubts with me, I still have my knowledge and my testimony.
Best part of my week:  Kinoah got baptized!  And it was the sweetest thing.  It brought the spirit so strong and I was able to leave with such a peace that I shared with others that day.  Greatest challenge... well, probably that it was 800 degrees every single day this week and it was humid.  I am surprised I didn't die.  I wear the same thing like every day... it's gross, but I don't have other clothes to ride a bike in.  I am going to try and get some today.  I haven't gotten your package with the skirts yet, it has to get here by Wednesday, but I'll get it this week.  
This is how sister missionaries load their bikes on the car!

We walked into the chapel last night for a PMG class and an Hermano told us to stop so that he could take a picture of us.  We were so sweaty and looked exhausted, but he loved it!  I love riding a bike!  I love that it is so weird.  I feel like a real missionary doing it, ha ha.  Even though I think I am going to die in this heat!  It is soooo worth it!
I will try and send a letter FOR SURE this week!  I am sorry I am so bad, I will tell you more stories :)  Thank you for everything my dear!  I hope things are going well at home!  I love you so much xoxoxox
Michelle is still just Michelle !
Oh daddy, thank you for the email.  Sometimes out here, I think of how I didn't do enough.  I wish I would have helped you and mom more while I had the chance to.  I have thought about you a lot this week!  We helped someone paint this week and it reminded me of when we (you) painted my room and I watched, haha.  I will help as much as I can when I am home, but for now this is my help :)  And I love it.  I absolutely love being here and wouldn't trade it for anything. It was an awesome, awesome week!  I had so much fun this week!  I hope everything is going well for you, I love you so much!

Beautiful Los Angeles skyline at dusk
The 'City of Angels'

Letter Home:
Dear Family,
Ah, it has been so long since I wrote you, I am so sorry!  This letter is going to be all over the place, heads up!  First off, mom, I am so happy! We have Korea town, Thai town, little Armenia, and Mexico here.  There are sooo many languages spoken everywhere!  I see some pretty crazy things here! But I LOVE my area!  I am in the coolest mission in the world.  I'm like in seven different countries.  We started keeping tract of how many people say 'hi' back to us - the ratio is definitely uneven.  But here is the coolest thing, it really does not affect me!  It's just life here. I've really realized that it's okay if we get ignored, as long as I show these people the happiness that we hold.  This mission is so incredibly different than Bryan's mission, it's crazy! But it is PERFECT for me.  
Sooo, this Hollywood project, it's really cool! The AP's are working more full field.  They are in my zone right now.  There were like 700 less-actives in the Hollywood ward.  We are working with a part-member family.  The day before we got here, the dad (who isn't a member) got up in Sacrament meeting and said it was his time to get baptized. His sweet wife has been a member for 15 years. We helped them paint the other day. It was a great opportunity to get to know him. He is soo sweet. We have been working with a hermana named Hma D.  She is from Honduras and is SO cute.  I am going to take a pic and send it to you!  She has gone to church the last two weeks.  It is the best feeling when I see her walk in.  She went to Relief Society last night, and I have never seen her so happy!  It has been so neat to work with her.  She has so much desire.
Do you remember our convert, Jose?!  He mentioned that he wants to serve a mission!  I am literally crying.  He is the best person ever!
It is hilarious seeing me on a bike all day but I love it! I always feel exhausted at the end of the day, it's a good feeling.  I never thought a mission would make me so happy. This church is the most precious thing, share it.  Tell and show others how special it is to you.  By doing this, my life has changed.  I know without a single doubt in my mind that I am supposed to be here.  I feel pure JOY!  A joy I will not feel anywhere else.  It's worth the sweat and migraines!  Thank you for always loving and helping me.  Especially on my mission, you have no idea how much it means - every letter and every package.  I hope you can feel and see the blessings of my mission in your life.  You are always in my prayers!  I love you so much.... Hermana Warner

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