Monday, May 15, 2017

Hola Otra Vez!

I loved being able to talk to all of you yesterday!! I feel so blessed to live in this day and age and be able to do a FOUR WAY Skype and see each and every member of my family while out here on my mission!  

So I know I already told you some of this yesterday, but I'm going to write a bit about the transfer and my new area anyway (for the blog, too). I'm now serving in the Queen Creek Ward! Hna Hanson and I are still together. It's been a little weird it just being the two of us without Sister Anderson, but we're also enjoying ourselves and looking forward to the rest of the transfer together!  We're both COMPLETELY new to this area - I've only ever served in the branch, and so has she since this is just her second transfer in the field. So we've had some fun and adventures trying to get to know people and trying to find our way around. 

We've already seen a lot of miracles, too, which is amazing. But there's been a LOT of getting lost in the process! I have some funny videos to send you in a bit :)

We've had to build our own area book from information from the other missionaries, since we're opening a new area, and it's been interesting. We were given a ward list, but it was old, so not everything was right. On Friday, we drove thirty minutes to the family's house where we were supposed to have dinner only to discover that it was their OLD address, and that their NEW address was literally right by where we had been before. The Relief Society president is awesome. She's the one who had us over last night to Skype and she also gave us dinner afterwards. She's super sweet and has already been really helpful in helping us get started in this new area.
The RS President is Sister Allred, Br Allred is Hermana Garner's 6th cousin
Generally, the ward has been very welcoming, and I look forward to getting to know them!  Not much else to say, really - it's been a crazy week just trying to settle in and figure out how to get around, but also a great week to set up for a great transfer!

We're living with Hna Showalter and Hna Shaffer in a BIG house in Queen Creek, it's super nice. They're both awesome people, and Hna Shaffer is a talented singer, she's actually on one of the For the Strength of Youth albums produced by the church.

Lost with Hermana Hanson

One funny story that I almost forgot about - we were knocking doors on Thursday and ran into a family that goes to the English ward in the area. I looked inside and saw a 3D model of Hogwarts on their piano and commented on it (of course). The sister invited us inside and was super excited to show us the rest of her Harry Potter things (they'd just gone to Harry Potter World for the 3rd time and she had a Harry Potter themed party a few days before). She even had "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened - Enemies of the heir, beware," written on her bathroom mirror and letters hanging from the ceiling as if they were flying around the room. It was awesome. She's also a teacher, and she's married to a Spaniard, and they have these cute little kids all running around. I was standing there thinking, "This is literally me in five years." hahaha

Just a few things from my studies!  Hosea 13:14, footnote f - in this footnote, the word "Repentance" is translated from Hebrew into "Compassion." I've been thinking a lot about what a gift and blessing repentance is from a merciful, compassionate, loving God!  

I've been studying the Old Testament a lot as I focus on trying to finish reading all the standard works before I get home from my mission. As I've been studying it, I wrote down this thought: "The Old Testament teaches us the law of Justice and the desperate need for a Redeemer." I've had this thought from many of the stories in the Old Testament, but particularly from the story of the children of Israel who were worshiping the golden calf. They were given one chance to choose to repent, and then anyone who didn't was immediately slain. One mistake, that was all they were allowed. We know now that we always have the chance to repent, and though the Lord has always been merciful, it wasn't until Christ's atoning sacrifice that we truly had the ability and opportunity to be forgiven and given time to prepare ourselves and turn back to him, because Christ paid for our sins. 

Along with all these thoughts goes Helaman 14:17-18, which talks about the beautiful gift of repentance that we have.

Love you all!

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