As I was kind of feeling bad for myself, this morning I was reading in Alma 17 for my personal study. In this part of the Book of Mormon Ammon, Alma and the sons of Mosiah are reunited for a brief amount of time. While together they express the joy they have found in missionary work and in serving others. I was sitting there, relating to them and thinking back to last week in Oregon City and the joy that I felt there, with Sister Stone and with the ward members and with the people we had taught and I could completely relate to their experience. With the baptisms of Yahir and Jennifer last week - I have never felt SO happy as I did then. I was feeling a little frustrated that I wasn't feeling that way about here yet, that I wasn't as excited and motivated as I had been in Oregon City. I wanted to feel the way I did before! I continued reading and it then began to tell about how each of them then went their separate ways, all alone to continue on in the work. Ammon went, all on his own to the people of King Lamoni to begin preaching to them. He didn't know a soul (neither do I), he had no idea where he was (me neither!), and he knew where to start (now I do as well). He started by LOVING THE PEOPLE. He went to the king and asked him how he could serve him. He went out and defended the people he had just barely met and put his life on the line for them. Something that REALLY stood out to me, not sure why, but Ammon referred to these people as his brethren, after he had only known them for a few days. It really put it into perspective for me. These people in Aloha are my brothers and sisters, regardless of how long I have known them. They are God's children and I am here to love and serve them. NO MORE SELF PITY, SISTER KERR. And what an answer to a pray this was! I have been praying and pleading that I will quickly adjust to this transfer and this chapter this morning was a total wake-up call.
So last monday was our first day in Aloha. I already talked about it last week I think, but I wanted to add in one thing. My first dinner was clam chowder, if that is not a good omen, I don't know what is!
Also, we are the second set of missionaries in Aloha 2nd ward. We met the elders, they are E. Allred (been out 9 months, in Aloha 4.5 months) and E. Freshour (got here today!).
So today we took our pday and some exciting, mission drama happened! So, we did all of our regular pday stuff - nap, email, shop, write. We ended the day by meeting with our ward mission leader. His name is Brother Jenson! He is super awesome and was just called on Sunday. Woohoo, exciting stuff. He is very sweet and willing to help. We show up to this meeting and the elders were meeting us there. Elder Allred comes in on crutches. As you all are pretty well aware, elders love to go play basketball on their pdays. So, our elders were out playing and E. Allred broke his ankle. And now he has to go home for surgery...He was the only one who knew a thing about Aloha 2nd ward and the things going on here! Now there are four completely oblivious missionaries and a brand new mission leader in this ward. This is going to be incredibly interesting and a whole lot of fun!
We had our first district meeting today. We are in the Beaverton West Zone and there are a lot more sister missionaries in this zone than Oregon City! We have a good zone and I am sure they are going to be a lot of fun with time.
Later that night we had dinner with the Levenseller's, she is the Young Women's president and I have kind of volunteered them to be my Aloha parents now that the Spravzoff's are gone! They are wonderful and a whole ton of fun.
We had training with all of the new missionaries and trainers in Portland, with President and Sister Morby. It was so fun and I got to spend quite a bit of time with Sister Bloxham (MTC companion) and Sister Stone. I also got to spend some good quality time with President and Sister Morby. I feel so stinkin' lucky that I have had so many opportunities to spend time with them and get to know them more personally than a lot of missionaries do. They just make me so, so happy!
We received a referral from mormon.org this week and we had scheduled to go and contact her tonight. I was freaking out excited! We were so blessed to receive this referral! She has been prepared and it almost seems too good to be true! Her name is Heidi and she is just soaking up the things we were able to talk about. She has an 18yr old daughter, who has 2 daughters, and an 11yr old son. She was basically begging to come to church on Sunday, which has never happened! And she said, "I've been going to other churches, but an hour just doesn't do it for me. I need more!" Holy hannah, someone who will truly appreciate the 3 hr meetings :)
Today we got to meet with our zone leaders and new elder. Now in our ward is Elder Pugmire, who will train Elder Freshour. We were able to coordinate together and decide how we wanted to all work in the ward together. It was extremely helpful and a bit overwhelming.
The elders gave us one of the investigators from the area. Her name is Claudia and she is 17! She is waiting until she is 18 to be baptized because of her dad. She reminds me of miss Morgan, SO much. She LOVES learning about the church and asks so many wonderful questions. She keeps a little notebook of questions that she finds while reading the Book of Mormon and then asks them at the beginning of our lesson. She is so sweet and very excited to be baptized, besides that she will have to stand up in front of everyone at church after she is baptized to be confirmed! She doesn't want attention from everybody. I am really excited for her.
We had another lesson with Heidi today and taught the restoration. She loved it and it just really stuck with her. It was a wonderful experience! We had a member there with us as well. It has been incredibly difficult to find people to go out with us, since we don't know anybody. I had a really strong feeling that we should try and bring Sister Brown with us, the bishop's wife. We called and she said she would come and they ended up connecting perfectly. Sister Brown shared her testimony in the EXACT way that Heidi needed to hear it. It was really humbling to see again that this truly is HIS work.
The best thing about sunday was getting to put a face to the names I had heard all week! So many people came up and said, "Oh hey, we talked on the phone on this day." I completely forgot how many people I had called and talked to! This week was very strange feeling to say the least.
Favorite quote today was from Sister Levenseller : Mi bano es su bano.
Our apartment is like legitimately 20 mins away! We don't have enough time or miles to go back during the day. So I called her and asked if I could please come use her restroom! Hahah, oh the joys of mission life! And that is what she said to me on the way back out the door. She is so funny.
All in all, I survived this week and it was a pretty good one. I am beginning to love this area and these people. And God gave me a reassuring kick in the pants this morning that I need to put more into it! So here I go, putting my ALL into it. I love each of you so very much and appreciate all the emails and notes I get from you. Please keep it up, you are ALWAYS in my prayers and thoughts. Love, love, love, love, love you.