So, Tuesday I knew when she was leaving and of course I tracked her flight from Mexico City to LAX and then on the SLC. The next day I received an email from her mission saying she had arrived safely along with a picture of all the new missionaries with the mission president and his wife.
It was so wonderful to see that beautiful smile! She was the only Spanish speaking missionary to arrive on that day.
Saturday and Sunday were General Conference for the church. We knew she would be watching it and wondered if she would be able to attend the conference. Joshua kept pointing to the tv screen saying "There's Emily!" and I would catch my breath before I realized he was teasing. After one of the sessions I checked Facebook and up pops a picture of Emily with one of her cousins! They were both at conference! It was so wonderful to again see her smiling face.
Here is Week 7 email ( I can't believe she's been out 7 weeks already!!)
"We Thank Thee For Sending The Gospel!
Hey famileeeey! Guess what, I'm in UTAH! Can't believe it, but also can't believe I've only been here for a week. It feels like a long time. Everyday is filled with lots of really awesome things.
I can't believe I ran into Suzanna and Aubrey. It was crazy. Part of me really wanted to see Hermana Thiriot and Sister Odell, but that didn't happen. We brought a recent convert, C, and her daughter, who hadn't shown any interested until then. Wow, to be in the same (very large) room with the prophet was such an amazing experience. He is the one who will, under the direction of Jesus Christ, guide this Church to the Second Coming and the end of this mortal life. 2 Nephi 21:9-10 is one of my favorite scriptures, but after that witness of the Holy Ghost in the conference center, it is very special to me.
I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk, and one thing that really stuck out to me from him is that we need to be obedient, not so that we can live a righteous life, but so that we can show our love and gratitude to our Heavenly Father. The blessings of the atonement, and the law of mercy are always around us. Look up the talk by President Uchtdorf from last General Women's meeting, called, "Living the Gospel Joyfully" and I love love love the part where he talks about the blessings of heaven raining down, but we are holding up an umbrella that prevents us from feeling them.
I loved how conference ended. With the question: What has changed in your life since you listened to conference?" And really, take this question seriously! If you guys took notes, review them every day this week and find out ways you can apply them to your life. The things that have changed my life is I will study the Book of Mormon and seek to have personal experiences in those pages, this is from the talk that was about learning the gospel with new eyes. I wish I had my notebook with me, but maybe I can send another email a little later – from my iPAD :D I love that thing, it helps out a ton. Thanks so much for getting it for me.
So *drumroll* I'm in the Logan Mission! A bit anticlimactic, but this area is so pretty. Also this means that if you guys want to go to the Ogden temple this summer – go for it! I just want to see the pictures. It's so pretty. But the Logan temple is also pretty gorgeous. I'm writing this in the Tabernacle right next to it. We get to go to the Temple once a month (at least that's the goal) we try to take new members, members who have recently been less active to the temple once a month.
Most missionaries in this mission cover stakes in a certain area, but Hermana Ferguson and I cover a single ward. But it's a Spanish Ward! There are some really awesome people here. We have two progressing investigators, and three or four less active members that we work with pretty regularly. Both of our progressing investigators have started progressing just this week! It has been so sweet to see how the gospel is touching and changing their lives – and how the Lord has prepared them for this time to be the time that they accept the gospel. During one of our lessons, we had a member with us, and this lady was telling us about how she was going through a really difficult time, and the sister said, "Heavenly Father is aware of you in this circumstance, and that's why He sent you these Sisters". Wow! It's amazing to see how the Lord really does work through us. He is sending the gospel into people's lives through us, and the Gospel is really just a way of saying sending the Savior into their lives. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way we let Him in and allow His love and mercy and light to change us and bless us.
Our zone has a goal of 21 baptisms this month. Our goal for our companionship is 1, but if these two ladies continue to let the influence of the Holy Ghost change them we could see both of them baptised this month. Leaving a lesson with one of them is just the happiest feeling, when they have accepted what we've taught and agreed to live the commitment. The days are long and we are so tired at the end of every day, but I really just feel so happy to be a missionary.
I saw Jake (Emily's cousin is in the same mission!) twice, the first day I was here, and then at a Musical Missionary Fireside practice thing. We are singing on Sunday for that which should be fun.
Oh! Random weird fact that I never ever expected. I am the only one in the entire Ward who knows how to play the piano. Like, what?? I'm in Utah and I'm the only one?? Weird. But I get to play for Relief Society this Sunday. cool.
For Easter we went to have dinner with this amazing family. We got there and her kids were making an "easter bunny gingerbread house" out of graham crackers and frosting. To make it eastery we put peep bunnys all over it xD i'll send a picture a little later. But we also had an easter egg hunt, which I totally wasn't expecting, but it was so fun. Her kids are so cute. We are trying to help them come back into activity in the Church and I love them so much because they just know it's true and want to come back so badly. It's amazing how the spirit directs our words to say what they need to hear – or to listen when we need to hear.
So I have to admit, apparently I got pretty cocky with my ability to speak Spanish. That moment that I was so nervous for before I left for the CCM, of sitting in a living room and not knowing a single thing that is being said, has happened. And happened again, and again and again. So in the CCM when I could understand everything and didn't really know how to respond...yeah it's flipped out here. But I am learning to be humble and rely on the Savior and His love for me and for the people I am teaching.
Hermana Ferguson is great, she's been out for 6 months. I rely on her so much, especially in lessons, because I can understand her and from what she says kind of figure out what I need to say. She's from Texas and plays the ukelele. Shes a master at coordinating rides and members and lessons and I'm learning a ton from her!
We really are so well taken care of here. When members don't have time to eat with us they buy us food and bring it to our apartment. We had some random people pay for Chinese food for us one day. Members come with us to lessons and really care about our investigators.We watched conference with a couple who speak english on Sunday and they just opened their homes to us. And then another couple were soo willing to drive us all the way back to Logan from SLC. What a blessing.
OH YEAH! We had some photographers come who are making a book about the United States and they wanted some pictures of the LDS Community. So of all the missionaries the Missionary Department sent them to us! We were knocking some doors and sharing the Because He lives videos and I think they really were blown away by the church and what we do. They were so nice.
I love you all! There's probably a billion things I haven't told you, but I can't think of anything else right now. I'll have to bring my journal next time or something.
Read the Book of Mormon, it's true!
So there you have it--Hermana Ogden is no longer in the Ogden Mission--but the Logan Mission! I'll have to change the name of her blog!
Until next week.
As Emily says--Read the Book of Mormon! It's true!