Monday, July 7, 2014

Birthday on the Mission

June 30, 2014

My birthday weekend was the best ever! Let me tell it from my side of things. So I knew I had a package coming in the mail but it hadn't shown up yet and I was getting really sad. So I prayed, I know it was kind of selfish, to be able to get my package before or on my birthday or at least be able to feel love. Wow! It was certainly a day where I felt loved. I didn't expect too much to happen on my birthday, because there are other things to focus on here, but I was not forgotten. Quite the opposite. I woke up to the Sisters singing Happy Birthday to me :)  Then I got up to go to the bathroom and there were signs and notes allllll over the house, wishing me happy birthday. Even on the toilet lid! I found notes ALL over for the rest of the day in random spots. The sisters had been busy. Then we left to go to our Zone Meeting in Laramie. We took the scenic route through the wonderful mountains! What a great present for me! The mountains! Then got to Zone Meeting right on time. It was a wonderful meeting with exactly what I needed to hear. Involving the Spirit more, and Finding ways to use my talents as a missionary. Then we all went to Pizza Hut for lunch and the Sisters had made me a cake and the whole zone sang to me. Then we ate cake and shared with some random people in Pizza Hut:) Along with a man who we ended up giving a Restoration pamphlet. Then we did some quick shopping and headed back to Rawlins. When we got back to Rawlins, I was sad to see that my package hadn't come from my family. But it was ok. Then I walked into the house and on the table was a huge German Chocolate Cake with lime green on it, flowers, ice cream, soda, lime green plates and cups. Then I went to my bedroom and it was covered with balloons and streamers and a huge happy b-day sign. With a bag of rice sitting on my bed. Haha. Sister Welch, lady in Rawlins, went all out!! Oh my goodness! Then we went about the rest of our day, teaching, and serving and I thought my surprises were over. Then we got home and had planned to party with the other sisters. Then Sister W showed up with a huge package!! That was the best thing ever! So, I asked Heavenly Father for something so simple as to get my package by my birthday and I ended up getting a whole day full of love. It just shows that even with the small little things that we ask for, the Lord can make even more than what we ever could imagine. Then, on Sunday, yesterday, Sister B, also a lady in Rawlins who traveled to St. G this week, brought me a cooler full of KOREAN FOOD from St. G!! I went crazy with joy! Holy cow, that was amazing! My family never ceases to amaze me. Thank you so much for all that you did for me this week. I just felt your love all week long. And even through all these hard times in your week, you all still made my birthday wonderful. Thank you so much! I am so blessed. 

 I learned a neat lesson this week while watching a Mormon Message with President Monson. "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Always remember to love.
The work in Rawlins has been slow during the summer because people don't stick around. But this week we tried a new finding activity. Every week here they have what they call Music in the Park, where they have a musician and booths set up all over a park. We signed up for a booth spot and the members helped us get a canopy, a table, and everything we needed. We couldn't approach anyone but we sat at our booth and talked to people about the gospel. We ended up giving away 6 copies of the Book of Mormon, a restoration DVD, some pamphlets, getting contact information for a few people, and talking to all kinds of people. It was very successful!! There was one guy who came up to us and started saying how he didn't believe in Joseph Smith but he wanted a copy of the Bible. So we gave him one and started talking. We tried to give him a card and he wouldn't take it. Then he came back a bit later and got the pamphlet on Joseph Smith for his wife. Then he came back and said that he wanted a card with our number because he might be interested. It is just neat to see hearts soften. It was an interesting experience because at events like this, in Wyoming, there is always drinking and smoking. We joked that we were the light in the middle of  Sodom and Gomorrah:). We were tempted to put up a CTR sign. haha. But we also saw many members there and told them to invite their friends to the booth. We might try it again every other week because it was so successful. We love just getting out in the community and seeing the people. It is such a small place that it is good to have people see our faces and see the church's name. 

Another story I want to share from this week is about a lady who we met while searching for less-actives. We knocked on her door and she invited us in. She is this 68 year old lady and is super sweet. A bit standoffish at first, so she appears, haha, but really the sweetest lady. But her story is one of the saddest stories I have heard on my mission so far. It really hit me hard and taught me an important lesson. When this lady was 17, she had been super active in the church and made some mistakes and she got pregnant. She got married shortly after to the dad. But after she was married, she had her Young Women President come over and tell her to never come back to church because she was a bad influence on the other girls. This girl really took that to heart and did not come back. Even to this day, at age 68 she remembers that experience and has not been active since. While I know it is our responsibility to choose not to be offended, it is also our responsibility to be aware of the things that we say and how they can affect other people, even for decades and generations to come. I felt the pain that this women felt and still feels from that experience and it makes me hurt for her. All that pain could have, and still can, be taken away by understanding the atonement Instead of telling someone that they have failed we need to be showing Christlike love to those who are struggling and let them know about the power that the atonement can bring into their lives. It is vital that people know that they can change and they don't have to be weighed down by their mistakes. If that Young Women leader would have understood the atonement, this women might be active now in the church and not have had so many awful struggles through the years. That pain would be lifted from her heart. I realized the importance of watching what I say to others, it can affect generations. 

An interesting experience I am having here in Rawlins is working with so many women of difference cultures and who speak very little English. There is a women we are teaching who speaks Farsi and a women who speaks Chinese, and people who speak Spanish. It is a challenge at times to be able to communicate simply. But this gospel is so simple! So it is good practice for me to be able to make things as simple as possible. 
Well. as always, my letter is a novel. But that's ok. This week we are striving to find more people to teach who are ready for this gospel. We want to have things speed up more but we need to trust in the Lord. 
Thank you again for a wonderful week! Thanks for all the Birthday e-mails and letters. I really am soooo blessed! I love you all!
Sister Young

One of my birthday cakes

This is a neat family in the ward, the parents are converts as of a couple years. They were sealed in the temple, and now their little girl just turned 8. We got to go over to just help her feel ready for baptism. They are such a neat family!! 

Birthday notes from Sisters!

Happy Birthday!!

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