|Joshua Trees--the Weird Wonders of the World|
|The weird wonder that is the Joshua tree|
|Exchanges!!! They're so cute!!! <3|
Temple Trip!!! (the Elder in the yellow tie isn't going home with us, but he went with us because he is leaving early, in the middle of next transfer. Also Sister Harmon was not there because she was sick..)
I love Starbucks double chocolate cream base frappuccino, thanks to Hna Zambrano :)
A gate without a fence...that will sure keep the robbers and missionaries out! ;)
|Departing Missionaries at the LA Temple|
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!
I went to the temple for the departing missionaries' temple trip. It still feels so unreal!!! But we met at with the other missionaries and Hna Weaver went with Hna Perry for the day to work, and Hna Badger and I went with the other missionaries in a van to the temple. We got Panera Bread bagels on the way down and when we got there we took pictures of all of us with President and Sister Layton :) Then we went in the temple. A member gave me a family name to take for them, so I took her to do her initiatory, then we met in the chapel in the temple. There, one of the councilors in the temple presidency at the LA temple spoke to us and I got to play the organ for the opening song!!! That was like the coolest thing ever! Playing the organ in the chapel in the temple!! (yes Mom, I am grateful for those piano lessons ;) )
It was SO good to talk to you all yesterday!!!!!! <3
There was so much I wanted to tell you all and I feel like I didn't adequately express my love for you all. But I truly love you all so much!! You have made me who I am today!! Thank you so much for all your constant support and love!! Thank you all for being there for the skype call and talking to me <3 It was so fun!!! You all look great!!! I can't wait to see you soon!!! (But I can wait 2.5 more weeks ;) )
Some things I forgot to ask about in the call:
>How was Grandpa's funeral? When was it? Who all spoke, etc? Did a lot of people come? How's Grandma Caroline doing with it all?
>When I get home, Mom and Dad, are you going to be working still those first 2 weeks, or will we have a day or two all together to go through pictures and stories and such?? :)
>Our branch is having a talent show my last Saturday here. What should I do? I've gained a LOT of confidence on my mission, but I don't know if I've gained enough to sing a solo... (Hna Weaver doesn't sing) What do you suggest? :)
>There was something else, but I don't remember... I'll get back to you on that :)
So this week we had exchanges with Hnas Latimer and Arceo!! The last one I will have with them.. :( I went with Hna Arceo!! It was like old times!! Her and I back in action!! She has grown SO much since I was last with her, it was awesome!!! She has gained so much confidence!! I just love them so much!!! I love all the Hnas so much!!! I am going to miss them all dearly!!! I only have one more exchange left, with Hna Badger... I will miss them so much!!!
It was a beautiful session, as always, and I felt so much peace there!! It was wonderful!! I wish I could go to the temple all the time and just sit in the Celestial room <3 I went in with the question of what career path I should take, or at least what direction I should go with studies in school...No answer about that specifically, but I did get an answer that I need to learn from everyone and everything around me. There is a part in "Jesus the Christ" where it talks about how Christ knew about all occupations, all the animals, foliage, He was very knowledgeable and in-tune with everything around Him. I feel like that's what I need to do, and then I will figure out what I need to do in life :)
So I have a little story that I wanted to tell you yesterday but the conversation never went that route :)
So before my mission when I would play piano in Sacrament Meeting, if I messed up a lot I would get SO embarrassed, I would run in the bathroom, hide and cry during church and it ruined my whole day, me thinking that I am a terrible person because I messed up the songs a bit.
Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting the intermediate hymn was "Amad a Otros" ("Love One Another"). I can play that song...in English...not in Spanish. The rhythm and notes are very different and it's hard because I'm not used to in that way!! SO... I messed up A LOT...
BUT, the difference this time was that I didn't have those thoughts this time!! This time when I messed up, I sat back down in my seat and chuckled to myself, wow, those notes and rhythms were way different!! haha!! That's weird!! Well, I did my best!!! And I didn't think any more of it!!!
I am SO GRATEFUL for the things that I have learned on my mission!!! It is awesome!! I feel like I have truly learned to master my thoughts and get rid of the negative thoughts immediately. It's really hard sometimes, but I have learned how to do it! It has made me such a more positive person!! I now realize that it doesn't change who I am if the members think I'm a bad piano player because of one rough song! It doesn't change my worth! I can truly say that I know that now! I know that I have worth in God's eyes! He knows the truth and I know the truth, and that is all that matters! I have learned that time and time again throughout my mission, and yesterday just confirmed how much I have changed because of that knowledge!! I still have a LOT more learning and growing to do, but I do know that I have grown a lot. I am not the person I was, but I am so grateful for that!! I thank Heavenly Father every day for changing me, because I needed it!!
I am amazed every day by the perfection of God's plan: the grand plan of salvation, but also His individual plans for each of us. I never planned on serving a mission, but Heavenly Father knew I needed to so I could learn this super important lesson, among many others. He truly knows what He is doing and does everything He does to help us out <3 I am so grateful for that!! <3
I love you all so much!!! I love my Father and Brother so so so much!!! I wouldn't be here without all of You :) I know the gospel is true. I know it because of the happiness that comes from it :)
Thank you for sharing that happiness with me <3
I LOVE YOU!!!!
Hermanita Martineau :)