Monday, April 30, 2012

We are still alive

This has been an interesting week in a lot of ways. I feel like every week I am learning something new about myself and who I want to become. 

Well, this was the first full week that Sister Gish and I have been together and she's not dead or injured so I assume that I am doing a good job :-) Kidding, of course. In all seriousness we are doing very good. So I suppose I should tell you about Sister Gish. She is from West Jordon, Utah. She is very positive and ready to work which is great. Before her mission she studied elementary education. She was in the MTC for 9 weeks so we are still working on the Russian.

I think that patience has been a constant theme throughout my entire mission. Every transfer I am learning some new aspect about patience. Sometimes it is patience with oneself and other times it is patience with someone's personality or their weaknesses. I'll been in a reflective mood today and ruminating about the lessons I have learned on my mission. 

This week we have done quite a bit of contacting. At least once a week we go contacting as a district where we sing hymns out on the street. In addition Sister Gish and I set a goal to contact for at least one hour everyday. Contacting is still to me the hardest. To quote our district leader, "it's not natural or a part of my personality but I promised God that I would do it." At least now I have learned that to me it is the approach with which I struggle. Once we move past the beginning then I can speak just fine. Thankfully, Sister Gish does not have that problem so we are able to balance each other out as we contact.

We did have something great happen to us on Sunday. First, a little backstory: about a week ago another sister in the mission gave me a contact that lived in our area. I called this lady and she said she wanted to come to church. That Sunday morning she called saying she would not be able to but said we could come by. Unfortunately, by the time I received the message we could not go to her and then throughout the week we were not able to meet. On Saturday I called her to ask if she would come to church the next day. She said she couldn't because her daughter had a fever but she invited us over! So after church we ate a quick lunch and went over to meet Yelena. We did not have a lot of time to meet but we became aquainted with her and answered her questions. Because of church and other things we did not have time to plan for her lesson. I surprised myself at how much I managed to explain in a short time and I think she was even more interested to come to church. I'll admit I was just happy to get to meet her so that now I am more than just a voice on the telephone.

After church we went contacting with some of the young single adults (YSA) from our ward. It was great and most of all they had fun and a few of them talked afterwards about coming contacting with us next week. Hopefully, we will get a trend started. One of our goals is to get the ward more involved with missionary work. The ward has come a long ways since I first arrived in October (hard to believe that I have been here already 6 months!). 

In other news I received an email from Anna today! She is having a good experience in Israel although the circumstances that brought her there are sad. But what made me the happiest was a brief comment: "I can't wait to tell you about my reading [The Book of Mormon] and my experiences." My heart soared. It appears that she has had some great spiritual experiences.

The weather has getting nicer and warmer. It is time to pull out the summer outfits and the umbrella. Yesterday, it rained in the morning and then it was hot and sunny by the time we went out contacting. Parks are becoming more crowded but people are not yet swimming in the fountains. Last night it started to get dark around 8pm. 

I apologize for such a short email this week. I think I spent so much time reflecting that I did not notice how fast the time flew! Rest assured that I am doing well and eating well. Slowly we are improving and getting better. I even started the Bible and it has been interesting to read and full of wonderful insights. I love you and am so grateful for your support and your prayers on my behalf. 

Love, Sister Daniel

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