Monday, September 9, 2013

8 September 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JONNIE! NATHAN,  LIZ,  and SUSAN. I love you all and am soooo grateful for all of you in my life!!
   OK, here are my answers haha: Batchmate means we came into the field at the same time. Sister Sousa and I were in the MTC, same batch, same district. We were not companions but we are NOW!! AND I LOVE HER!
   Just forget the Chinese thing.. you had to be there to get it haha. I should have known. My coconut monkey you will see when I get back, It's a monkey carved from a coconut. Talaga is an expression here to add emphasis... sorry about that haha. Sister Pike is just a sister in my zone, she is from Utah.
    Ok I love my new area. Its suuuper different. Its more industrious than my last area. More fields, less trees. And the people don't stare at me quite the same. They touch me a lot and ask me what my height is and they stare but it's not QUITE the same as before. Because unlike my last area there have been foreign sisters here before.  I love it though. Our struggle is that our ward leaders are all inactive and we have no help in fellowshipping those we bring to church, but we are working through it. I love my life. Seriously... my companion and I just want to serve and work hard all day every day. We want to improve and progress and grow and struggle and communicate and uplift and it's just the best feeling. We are both in need of language help but it's ok. The spirit is there when we teach. I can feel it and so can those we teach- I know it. I have felt the gift of tongues at times...definitely not consistent, but still. Progress is progress.

   I don't really know what to say I am just sooo happy. I love the challenges, I love the growth, I love the work. I love missionary work!! I actually feel like a missionary. We (two Americans) walking and talking to people in a foreign language and every single person we talk to we have to choose to be courageous and open our mouths. And we are.... And I LOVE IT! Right now our only real investigator is Luzviminda and she is getting baptized on Sept 21st! We really enjoy teaching her and she is excited to be baptized. We have been focusing on teaching leaders and LA's so hopefully this week our investigator pool will increase. I'm sorry I don't have a ton of detail. I just love everything. The food, the weather, my apt., my companion, my ward!

   Oh! Ok.... this I am proud of... so my Bishop has apparently offended most of the ward but when I met him you could just see this weight hanging over him. He is tired and needs support. And so Sister Sousa and I have made it a point to just compliment and encourage and help him. This last week he was shaking my hand and said he is always happy when he sees us and he has been smiling more and just .... ahh! Just makes me so happy! We are hoping the ward will progress quicker with him in a warm cheerful mood. Love him!!
This is my bishop on the back of my pedicab hahha

   Something that I have really learned this week is just that the Lords plan really is a plan. There is order and timing for everything. Right now we are supposed to focus on finding professionals. And at first I was kind of like... uhhh not sure how I feel about that. But now as I have experienced teaching many people who have little to no understanding or background of what we teach it's just.... it just makes sense. We need to find those who can support themselves and be strong in order to help those around them. We need a foundation. It's kind of hard to explain but seeing it in action. Ah! I have sooo much faith that the professionals ARE out there! And we are going to find them!
   I'm reading in Ether right now. And in, I think its Ether 3:2 or somewhere near,... The brother of Jared is speaking to God and saying "please do not be upset with all my faults; you have given a commandment and we are obeying. We know we are nothing." And then soon after God says he has such great faith that he cannot be held inside the veil. .... To me... I don't know where I came off thinking that we pretty much needed to be close to perfect in order to have faith. I assumed all the prophets were these perfect people since they were born (other than the obvious exceptions like Alma the Younger etc.) but they just seemed so perfect. But the more I study the more I am finding that life is really all about trusting in the atonement, rather than being perfect. We HAVE to have a repentant attitude. But... man it's so hard to explain my thoughts. Just know that we just need to believe in our Savior. Believe Him when he says He will forgive us. Believe Him when He says He can save us. I love our Savior Jesus Christ so much. I am so excited to get to know Him more and truly come to rely on Him
   I love you all! Thank you for all your support and love!!

    Love Always,
  Sister Sarah Ralph

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