Monday, August 29, 2011

Can I just say... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD LOVE TO SHOW YOU AROUND! That would be SOOOOOOOOOOO awesome! You can use all your great Spanish skills Mom :) Wait are you serious?! That would be too cool. Are you talking about like picking me up here while I'm still a missionary (like January 25th)? Or coming back later in the year to visit?

Hey speaking of Brother Van Leishout! One of our ward members here served with him in Korea! We were talking at the dinner table and he was telling stories of his mission and he said "...and Elder VanLeishout" and I was like "wait a second that is not a very common name..." and we found out it was him! So ask Brother Van Leishout if he knows an Elder Merwinn from his mission :)

Those Costco mats are heavenly! That is what we used when we handed out samples :) So I bet they are super nice for your feet. Hey can you believe it is September already?!?! How crazy is that.

This week was ANOTHER WEEK OF MIRACLES. God is just pouring them down here in Edinburg. Can I just say... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel so happy everyday... no matter how exhausted... or how much I feel like I could sleep for a whole year without waking up... I know that I have the privilege to do the Lord's work 24/7.

This week we had a three day training about the missionary program - how to help people recognize the Holy Ghost, how to help them gain their own testimonies... etc. Everything I learn here I know is just going to help me so much more the rest of my life. There really is no better use for my time right now then what I am doing here. The mom and her 5 kids are doing awesome. Her boyfriend right now doesn't want to get married. She said she is willing to move out so she can get baptized. THAT TAKES COURAGE AND FAITH IN GOD. She started crying though because she feels alone in this decision :( Her family doesn't really support her and she doesn't really have many friends here. We are doing our best to help the ward become her family - as it should be. Hermana Acosta invited her over to her house this week for a lesson and you should have seen the look on her face of surprised and excited and "really you invited ME?" We told her that we have been praying for her every day and she told us "Ya se Hermanas... yo siento sus oraciones." That was such a testimony builder for me that she already knew we were praying for her and she FELT it. One of the Elders told us "wow she looks soooooooooo much happier from the first day we met her." Yay for the changing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

We are teaching some other really great people too that came to church out of nowhere. We are also riding bikes and hitching rides all the time because we have NO MILES. I just bought new tubes (because...everything is bigger in Texas... including the spikey plants haha) and within the first day they were flat AGAIN haha... so I just need some tires of STEEL or something. I don't know how the Elders do it. I love biking is my time to think/meditate.


Monday, August 22, 2011


WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!! AYANA IS GOING ON A MISSION!!!!!!!!!! I thought she was already married haha. That is super cool - England?! I can totally see her going there. She is so positive and upbeat, she will work miracles there. Wow I can't believe all their kids are on missions right now... blessings for them :)

Yay!!!!!! A reunion that I'll actually be there for! That is super exciting. I'm really excited because I've always wanted to see the Hill Cumorah Pagent. AND one of my old companions lives over there - Sister Carlos :) AND it will be cool to see some of where Jon served on his mission. I wish you could come and meet all the people down here. You would love them. All of our investigators right now are a HOOT. That is really cool that "I" visited church with you. Hopefully she can continue up in Auburn. My mouth watered a little bit when you said that the fruit is in :) My jaw dropped a little bit when you said they played hockey in the garage haha.

OKAY SO LET ME JUST TELL YOU RIGHT NOW... THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME AND SUPER MILAGROSO!!!!!!!!!!!!! LLENA DE MILAGROS!!!!!!!!!!!! We were meditating and thinking about who God has ready for baptism in September in our area... and we felt three. No matter where you are as a missionary, nothing is going to happen without miracles from God. I have tried many days to do this work on my own in my own way and it doesn't work. Me, my companion and my district fasted so that we could have the faith necessary to bring those three people to the waters of baptism. It was rough because we were on bikes that day in 100 degree weather (don't worry we drank plenty of water! and put on sunscreen!) but this week has been the BEST. I know that it was from our sacrifice, faith and diligence that we were able to see miracles.

The mom and five kids all came to church as a family. Luckily the Deerwesters trained me on what to do when you have a million kids. We reserved a whole bench for them towards the back. We brought lots of coloring books :) Somehow during sacrament meeting I had four kids crawling all over me trying to do this and that - it was like my own personal zoo but I loved it because I looked over and the mom was just listening contently to the speakers. It was on how families can be together forever :) I think she liked it! The kids loved it and said afterwards "do we have to wait all the way until next Sunday to go to church?!" YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Other miracle! (fyi I need like FIVE HOURS TO EMAIL YOU BECAUSE THERE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH TO SAY! BE PREPARED FOR CHATTER BOX SISTER BRICKER WHEN I SEE YOU SOMEDAYYYYYYY) Saturday night I felt like we should go contacting... we had kind of a disagreement about it but... ahhhhhhhh okay time is up! Miracle = finding R____. He wants to be baptized - came to church the next day and loved it '\


Monday, August 15, 2011

When I invited him to be baptized he TOTALLY FAINTED

Edinburg is a super rich area but I love our apartment. The wards ARE AWESOME HERE... they were all soooo excited to have sister missionaries and we have a lot of people that want to come on splits YAY

We met with the Leinweber family for dinner. After the lesson we asked if they knew anyone that would be blessed by this message and they said "yeah our next door neighbor, we were thinking about inviting them over for dinner." yayyyyyyyy! Missionary work is so much better with members.

We met this kid named Jacob and had a lesson with him... and when I invited him to get baptized he TOTALLY FAINTED right there in front of us... haha I would like to say that he felt the spirit, but I'm pretty sure he must have been on drugs or something.

The work still moves on :) God is good and He is teaching me how to be humble continually. He is teaching me how to be TEACHABLE. I am learning a lot from Sister Reese. I know that I am here so that one day I can say that I did my best to help every brother and sister here to be able to make it back to God. I want us all to be there. This life is too short to make wrong choices and spend eternity thinking about it... I know it is through Christ we truly are changed and can change. Sometimes life feels like you are running up hill against the wind... but you just have to keep going... like the train " I think I can I think I can."

Life is good my dear family!!!!!!!!!!1


Monday, August 8, 2011

It was great to see the reality of this message... from tears/stress/anxiety to smiles/peace in 30 minutes.

This week was CRAZY. Well on Monday Sister Feito and I found out some surprising news. President Trayner called us after planning and told us that BOTH OF US ARE LEAVING MCALLEN CENTRAL AREA. Sister Feito is going to Laredo North (my first area) and I am going to Edinburg to "whitewash" with Sister Reese. I was SHOCKED. Haha I thought for sure I was staying... I don't know what it is with me staying only a transfer in one area? "Whitewash" is when they change BOTH of the missionaries at the same time. So I will be new and Sister Reese will be new to the area. My heart was beating super hard when he told me the news. I couldn't sleep that night because I was nervous/anxious. It is funny because I was just telling the sisters the other day that I never wanted to whitewash... and here we are :) haha. It is going to be hard but I am excited. I know the members in that ward have always wanted sister missionaries so it will be good.

We saw some really big MILAGROS this week. I went on exchanges with the other sisters. We were just leaving from a lesson with a part member family and the wife pulls us aside and says "I really want you to go visit my friend, do you have time to go right now?" We said "Of course!!" Her son took us down the street and she let us in right away. She sat down and immediately started crying. She began to tell us the stress and hurt she had in her heart... we said a prayer and started to talk about the Atonement and that for the Atonement to take effect in our lives, we need to follow Him through living His gospel. She and all of her three daughters accepted to be baptized in September. After they all prayed about the date, she was smiling. She said she felt "paz, tranquilidad" and she was smiling again. It was great to see the reality of this message... from tears/stress/anxiety to smiles/peace in 30 minutes. Truly only the power of God can bring that lasting peace. Yo se esto es verdadero con todo mi corazon.

Thank you for all of the pictures! It was soooooooooooooo good to see what you have been up to! I especially liked Anna and the goat... and the one of you and Dad together at Rainier is sooooooooo pretty! What a beautiful mother I have :) :)

Hey Nicki is going to WA!!!!! She said if they have time that she is going to see if you want to go to Olympic with them :) You should gooooooooooo if you can! Her family is super nice.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Now I am able to turn to the Lord fully and say "just tell me what to do and I'll do it."

Mom that is the sweetest poem I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was really good. I love the picture of the vine in the background. I'm sure Dad loved it, along with his re-arranged tools :) When I heard you were both in the hot tub... I was like "wait what hot tub?!" but then I remembered Dad's emails that he sent. That is cool! Congrats to my favorite parents ever for making it 34 years and raising some CRAZY CHILDREN!!!!!!!!! You are both such a good example of enduring even when things get hard - so I know it can be done :)

My sprinting is going well!!!! The days when I remember to pray for diligence are the best. It all starts with the prayer. This week has been ONE OF THE MOST HUMBLING WEEKS OF MY MISSION! Things were going so well. I thought for sure four people were going to be baptized from our area this month. We had a lesson with one that was going really well... but then went really bad because of something that was said by a member. She didn't come to church and we don't know how she is feeling about continuing towards baptism. We taught the law of chastity to another investigator this week and she was fine because her and her boyfriend are going to get married next week. She called 30 minutes before church saying that she wants a break from the lessons and wants to pause everything to do her own thing. It was so sad. She has gone to church twice and wanted to get baptized ASAP... it is amazing how quickly Satan works on people. I feel like everything crashed here in the matter of a week. I cried through sacrament meeting - and you know me, I don't cry easy! I just love them so much and I wanted their kids to have the peace that comes from the gospel.

BUT I know that there is something to be learned from every trial. I think it was a great humbling moment. Now I am able to turn to the Lord fully and say "just tell me what to do and I'll do it...I don't care what it is, I'll do it." That is when I can truely be a efficient servant.

BUT GOOD NEWS!!!!!! I met someone that just moved from Monterrey with her hijito . La conocimos mientras estabamos caminando. Ella estaba sacando la basura. Ella quiere acercarse otra vez con Dios y ha asistido iglesia con Pentacostes y Bautista... y ella vino ayer a nuestra iglesia. Ella le gusto mucho!!!! Ella dijo "wow cada cosa es bien orginizada, me gusta." Y tambien vendra hoy para una noche de hogar (fhe in spanish) en la capilla esta noche! She is awesome!

So we went on exchanges for the first time in FOREVER!

Never in my life would I think that at 9:00 pm it would be hot enough outside to make sweat drip down my back. The heat is crazy but we only have ONE month left! Yay!!!!! God is helping me a lot. Saturday we were eaten super bad by mosquitos... I think I had probably 30 on each leg haha.

Mosiah 4:11 is how I feel :)


Have a good week!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your summer! haha and tomatoes mom

p.s. We went home teaching with the Stake President Wilson and it was really cool! He reminded me of grandpa Palmer :) :)