It was cool to talk to you all yesterday. I wish I could have talked with Becca and Jeremy. I trust you are all doing well. I was surprised that I wasn't too emotional. I only cried a little, but I think it's because I prayed for 2 weeks before that I would be able to be okay after I talked with my family. Sometimes it's weird to hold our cell phone and know that I could just dial my mom's number and talk to her. I won't, obviously, but you really gotta know why you go out on your mission, or it's pretty much pointless. I learn daily why I'm here, and I know I need to be here. That makes me happy. When I share with others about the importance of having a loving family, I love to be able to speak from experience about the blessings it brings.
The weeks are flying by. There are only 3 more weeks left in the transfer. Both Sister Gladden and I are crossing our fingers that we won't be transfered. I feel pretty confident that neither one of us will, because they usually keep sisters in areas longer than they do the elders. I love my area. It is quite beautiful and green. They have Lake Hamilton and golf courses and pretty country side as you drive out to Glenwood. It's also really touristy. On Central Ave., there are lots of little shops, a gangster museum, a wax museum, and bath houses. Why you would want to walk around naked and have people bathe you, I have no idea. NOT my cup of tea. I wouldn't have a problem saying no if someone asked me to do that. Which brings me to a problem I am having. The funny thing about my companionship with Sister Gladden is that we are way too similar. Both very sensitive and loving- and as a result, we have a very difficult time saying no. People are offering us stuff all the day long. Mostly food. We don't want to hurt their feelings, so we usually accept and then pay the consequences later when we feel like throwing up. One of our investigators, Joy, knows about this little problem, so she started speaking up for us. Last night we had just come from dinner and then saw Joy and her friend Jamie. Jamie offered us dinner, and we said, "Oh, we just ate dinner, but thank you!" She was disappointed, so we were about to give in and eat, even though we really had just barely eaten. Then Joy said, "I'll speak for them-sometimes they get fed too much and they are worried about gaining weight." It was funny. Why we can't fix our own problems, I don't know, but we're glad for people who can.
Lots of great things are happening here. We taught the first lesson to this lady named Tiffany the other day. We were talking about Christ and the prophets testifying of Him in the Bible. She started talking about how her daughter was half Native American and then said, "Ya know, I always wondered, what about the Native Americans?" Well, we'll tell you about the Native Americans!! We taught her about the Book of Mormon. Man, it really does make sense that God loves all His children, not just the ones in Jerusalem. That's why He wants everybody to know about Jesus Christ and how He is the Savior of the world. It's powerful. Last week, we did an activity with our whole mission called Atonement week. Each day of the week was attributed to a different part of the atonement. We would study and apply those principles each day. The last day was called Born Again day. studied the topic of conversion. Through my study, I learned that when we make our baptismal covenants, we are covenanting to be converted through the atoning blood of Christ. Look up Mosiah 4:2 and Mosiah 3:19. As we repent and seek forgiveness, sacrifice, and serve, we learn to develop the qualities we need to be converted, namely, to become as a child-meek, submissive, humble, full of love.. When we do this, we realize how much we need Christ and our own carnal natures. The awesome part is found in Alma 5:33. God's hand is stretched out still. He will forgive when we repent.
Well, our 89 year old investigator is gonna get baptized. He says he wants to wait til he's 90. Whatever floats his boat I guess, but I want to be there! Hopefully I'll stay here til July.
I love you all. Thanks for the ways you serve and help those around you. It means a lot to me and I know you will be strengthend and blessed as you do so.
sister annalisa wilde
Arkansas is a great place. Sister Gladden and I enjoy eating cadburry eggs and listening to christmas music in May. I got my first tick yesterday! On my leg! Sister Gladden ran a match over my leg and then pulled it out with tweezers. It was very eventful. Also, we got sunburnt on Saturday and then ate Thanksgiving Dinner. It's super weird. All out of order. But we enjoy it.
It seems like something awesome happens to us every day. I think this can be true for everybody. Because God blesses us so much-we just have to recognize it. We go to appointments and we always come out loving them more. The other day we watched Finding Faith in Christ with some of our investigators and had a really great experience with them. I felt my faith in Christ grow- mostly I realized how amazing it is that God sent His son to make the Plan of Salvation work. As we've listened to the Christmas album in our car, one of the lines from a song sticks in my mind. "Wise men still follow Him each day of their lives". I love that. It's a daily thing. We can follow Him each day and continually become closer to Him. We can make small changes each day that will eventually bring to pass great things.
One of our investigators just had a baby! That's cool. We know so many cool people. It's great to have so many people to teach and so many members who support us.
Well, I love you all. God lives and loves us. He watches over us and can be in the details of our lives if we pray for that guidance.
Love Sister Wilde
I hope you are all doing well. People tell me that they read my blog and I feel pretty special. I was telling Sister Gladden last night that I feel like P-day is an assignment day because when I write my letter to the family, I really want it to be good. I want to help you see the picture of what things are really like for me. I want you to know the cool things that happen and how I feel as a missionary. I know I shouldn't think of it as an assignment, but I don't want it to be a crappy letter. So just so you all know, I try really hard. haha.
This past week, we took one of our investigators named Valerie to the church for a tour. We explained what the meetings are like and the purpose of each one. The last place we took her was the chapel. We talked about the priesthood and the sacrament. She asked to see our hymn book. It ended up being a really sweet experience because I got to play some hymns for her and Sister Gladden and I sang them. Valerie's mother is deaf so she knows ASL. She signed the words while we played and sang Nearer My God to Thee. The spirit was there.
Okay, this one goes out to Emily, Becca, Jeremy, Elliot, Valerie..well pretty much everyone in the fam. Yesterday we went to Glenwood. Sister Burnett was with us to drive us around. They just got a "new" car. Guess what kind of car it is. Astro Van. I got to ride in it yesterday and I felt so nostalgic. Did I use that word right? It was so awesome though! Everything on the inside looked exactly the same as our old astro van! All the little comparments and the window that you have to pop out. I was freaking out about it and they thought I was kinda crazy. I just really wanted to tell you all that because it made me really excited.
So this less active girl we work with got bit in the shoulder by a brown recluse spider a couple weeks ago. NOT funny. There was this huge hole in her shoulder..so gross. She says its the most pain she's ever been in. I'm not sure Arkansas is such a good place....:/ I hope I can stay away from that stuff. I haven't had anymore ticks. I really shouldn't be complaining because at least I have a bed and food and clothes to wear. There's really nothing wrong. The bugs aren't that bad yet, and the humidity hasn't even really settled in yet either.
One thing I've noticed about the way people talk. They tell their story (which is the longest part of the conversation). It only takes a couple of phrases like "yeah" "oh really?" or "wow" from me to feed the conversation. After I respond with what I think, they will then repeat what they just said. I then respond with the same thing I said the first time. They will agree with me in their sweet way, and then say, "well, like I said..." and say their whole story again. hahaha. I love it. It takes forever, but it's so funny. It happens all the time. These people are the best.
Well, I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Remember that Heavenly Father loves you.
love sister annalisa wilde