How is everyone doing? Wow! I cannot believe that another week has come and gone. First of all, I just want you all to know how much I love each and every single one of you. I am amazed at the love that I feel from you and from my Savior. I am one lucky sister. I feel your prayers and I am so beyond grateful for them. Please keep them coming, I need them! Funny story dad, we decided to go to Indian Land today which is a town a little bit far away from home, but there were some places that we wanted to go to and when we stopped for lunch, we had wifi and I was able to read your email! The spirit was definitely speaking to you last night because I checked my email WAY earlier than we usually do, and of course, it was SO nice to see a letter from both you & mom. THANK YOU! Let's see, Mom & Dad, thank you so much for the packages. They were lifesavers! They came at the perfect time! Mom, I literally opened up that package and saw new clothes and just about freaked out. It was better than Christmas morning! They all fit perfectly and oh how grateful I am for you and your sense of style. Thank you thank you!! This past week has been really good for me and I have been reflecting on a lot of things lately. June 6th rolled around and I couldn't help but find myself thinking about Kaiden, and how 3 years ago on that very day he embarked on his mission. I can't believe that it's already been 3 years! Ah! I also couldn't help but remember my sweet Corrie Beth.. Happy Birthday darling!! What a wonderful week it's truly been. Aren't we all so blessed?
Waxhaw is just improving every single week. This past one was extremely good and I was able to witness many miracles! Now that Sister Ekstrom just has a brace on, we have been able to go and exercise outside and that has been so fun! It's literally like freedom. I have loved being able to run again and start my day off with some energy! That definitely makes personal study time a lot better as well! It's been raining a lot lately and so that has put some delays in our plans... but I've enjoyed a switch up in the weather and am glad that it's been cooling down. The rain here is literally nuts! It pours buckets, literally. We like had to pull over on the side of the road because you can't see.. it rains so bad. No wonder everything is so green here! It's beautiful! I just don't like the humidity after it rains though... I could definitely go without that. It's also hard to find new investigators and teach lessons when it's raining because no one is outside.. and there is no where to go inside besides fast food restaurants.. so we are still trying to come up with some more ideas! Let's see, this past week we had a zone meeting in Charlotte and that was really fun! I always love those! It's so nice to see other missionaries and learn from them. Sometimes I feel like Sister Ekstrom & I are the only ones out serving a mission.. and then I get reminded that I'm not, and everything is all better! I learned a lot and was truly edified. I also play the piano at every meeting, so that's been good to freshen up on my hymns! I actually just got asked to accompany an elder and sister while they sing at the last mission conference with president Craven and I am really excited for that. I just got the music yesterday and have to play on Thursday... so we will see how this goes. I am playing a really pretty version of "Savior Redeemer of my Soul" and it looked pretty easy until I got to page 5.. and then it was 7 flats. So... I definitely have been praying and fasting for the gift of music. Since I don't really have access to a piano.. it's been quite difficult, and kind of stressing me out. I was able to go over last night at a church building.. and was really surprised at how good it sounded. I know with everything in me that the Lord was helping me. We had a mission home fireside last night in Charlotte and after hearing President Craven speak, I just knew that anything was possible. It's going to be a really good musical number and I am so grateful that I accepted the challenge. Bring it!! On our drive home last night, one of our members took us a different way and I got to see all of uptown Charlotte and I was in heaven!! AHH! it was so beautiful! Oh my goodness! It was like postcard worthy. The buildings are absolutely insane! Mom & Dad, I cannot wait to bring you back to my mission! It is incredible! We also passed a theme park called Carowinds and I was dying.. we will definitely have to hit up that as well! The rollarcoasters are insane! It's in my area and I am trying to convince Sister Ekstom to come with me on a preparation day.. yeah it's not working so far haha. Anyways, last night was amazing! We also had dinner over at the bishops house and we had a Chilian feast!! A bunch of families in the ward who served missions in Chilie or Argentina missions came over and brought the food! It was sooo good. best meal I have had thus far on my mission. I don't know if it was just cause it was fast Sunday or what... but dang, it was good! So fun. Brought back lots of memories. After the dinner Sister Ekstrom and I just couldn't stop talking. We are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives. I kept looking at all of these families and just desire so much to have a family like that of my own. It was literally heaven. Ward family is the best! The Gospel is the best! And when families have the Gospel... it's just an amazing sight! I was able to step back and really reflect on how blessed I truly am.
This past week we were out finding one day and we were just not having any luck. It was like 3:00 in the afternoon and we hadn't found any new investigators or hadn't taught any lessons yet. It was killing me! I was starting to get down on myself and began getting a little bit discouraged. I decided to say a little prayer in my heart. I asked my Heavenly Father to just lead and guide me to someone who would listen. I didn't care if they were going to accept the Gospel or anything, I just wanted someone to actually listen to us. We started walking up to this house and I finished my prayer. We knocked on the door and this sweet 17 year old answered. She was really nice and we taught her a lesson right there on the doorstep. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was really excited. She invited us back the next day and we were super excited! I walked away from her door and just felt an overwhelming feeling of love and joy. It was one of the simplest prayers I have ever said, but yet right then and there, I knew that my Heavenly father heard and answered my simple prayer. We went over the next day and to my surprise, taught a family of 7. Mom, Dad, and 5 kids. It was beyond beautiful. They had recently moved from Virginia and were actually looking for a church. It was so neat to be able to be in a clean, healthy, family oriented home. Those are really rare around here. It brought back so many memories of my family and my home. I bore my strongest testimonies on families and how I know with all of my heart that the Gospel will bless their family. The father of the home gladly accepted our message and invited us over for dinner this upcoming week. It's rare to eat with investigators as well so we are really looking forward to that! That was just one of the miracles that I witnessed this week. I want you all to know that I know with all of my heart that Heavenly Father hears our prayers. He may not answer them right away, like he did mine, but I know that they will be answered. Be patient. Believe. and have faith. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. I always took prayer for granted before my mission. Oh how I have definitely repented for that! There is not a greater feeling than getting down on my knees and talking to my Heavenly Father. I want to remind all of you to continue to pray, or to re-emphasize your personal prayers They are so crucial, and I promise they will get you through anything and everything. Trust me. We were also able to visit a former investigator this past week and he accepted a baptism date! AH! Oh my goodness he is so elect. He had been meeting with sisters for 18 months and then lost contact some how.. but we found him and oh I know that he was just waiting for me and Sister Ekstrom to come change his life! He is seeking for truth and just kept saying over and over again how he is thirsting for the truth! We have 4 people on date to be baptized right now and it's killing me... Transfers are in 2 weeks and if I leave this place I am going to cry. Literally. Waxhaw has turned completely around since Sister Ekstrom and I have been here. It's on fire! I am excited to see what President Craven has been thinking and if he's going to let me see the fruits of my labors.. or if he is going to throw me somewhere else to start over and change the place around! I have a lesson that I've got to run to right now.. but I just want you to all know how much I love and adore each and every one of you. I have added 2 quotes to my wall that I would like to share with you. The one above my bed says, "Be the missionary that wakes up and Satan says, "Oh no, she's up." I encourage you to change that quote to "Be the girl/boy that wakes up and Satan says, "oh no, he/she is up." Satan is out to get us but as we stay on the Lords side... he will have no power over us!! The other quote is "only with love". Just remember that one. Anything and EVERYTHING that we go through can be accomplished only through LOVE!! I love you all so much. I am happier than ever. I am grateful for all of your prayers and support. I love you all so much. Sending all my hugs & kisses your way. Xo