"Me with the super fun washer (and yes it has been fixed)" Who knew she was so excited about laundry? - Mom
Hello hello family and friends! How has your week been? Hopefully you have all been obedient in keep the commandments and following the direction given to us by church leaders. This week I definitely learned the importance of obedience and how it can effect our attitude, the attitude of the people around us, and just how many blessings we want to receive. Let me expound:
I am not going to lie, it has been really hard to adjust to Brewer and being in a trio. I've missed Manch, the ward members I loved down there, Sister Banda, and basically it felt like the beginning of the mission again when I felt homesick. Plus I had to learn how to navigate living with two companions in a new area so the initial adjustment was not easy for me. Then Wednesday morning we got a call from the Zone Leaders (who had just come from training by President Stoker) saying that we are to no longer have paper planners and we were quitting them "cold turkey" come next transfer. What we needed to do was take all of our extra planners we had in our apartments and give them to the leadership in the district so that we couldn't have them when the next transfer rolled around.
I was frustrated to say the least. I couldn't believe that on top of my trial of adjusting to Brewer I also had to give up one of my favorite, most helpful tools so it could be replaced by a more expensive, less-effective resource. When it snows do I really want to take my iPad out to set up a return appointment? Plus what was I going to decorate every transfer? These and many other negative thoughts swirled in my head and I was not happy with this change.
I figured I knew better than the mission president and snuck three paper planners in my suitcase. Since that time my mind constantly wandered to thinking about those planners. "I will still use those, it's not like my companion would sell me out next transfer for using these". All of Wednesday was really hard. We walked more than I think I have in my life (ok, maybe besides Trek and marching band). A handful of appointments fell through. It started raining in the middle of the day while we were out (luckily we grabbed our umbrellas). The exterminator came so we couldn't return to our apartment for four hours. Left and right, things weren't working out and I just felt more and more frustrated and helpless.
The next day after we did service we set out to find some more people by walking and after walking for what felt like an eternity (but was really an hour) we were down this long, two-lane road with no side walk and trying to get to a pretty distant house. As we were walking a dog from a house across the street decided to come and join us the Brewer Crew which was fun. Until he decided to cross the road RIGHT AS A CAR GOING BY! I don't think I've felt so terrified in my life. The car was not stopping and neither was the dog. Three girls stood helpless and terrified as we saw the dog run back across the street, just to stop nearly two inches from the car that had its brakes screeching. The dog made it across the street and the owner and us were unbelievably relieved. (The annoyed lady driving the near-assault vehicle stopped and yelled back at us to "HOLD ON TO YOUR DOG!" Really? We are three girls in dresses walking on the side of the road and you think that is our dog? Anyway.) After witnessing that and realizing we are not going to make it to the distant house we decided to head back to where the streets we safer and we could avoid near-dog-death experiences. Silly me thought that'd be the end of my pet rescue saga.
On our way back we saw a cat who melted my heart and joined us on our walk. I don't know how, but this cat also had problems with believing staying outside the middle of the road was a good idea. Twice I walked out to the middle of the road, scooped up the cat, and walked it back to it's home (that was revealed to us by a neighbor who didn't want to see the cat smashed). Sister Castillo thought I was crazy for holding on to the cat and trying to keep it safe but after watching a dog nearly die I was going to make sure I did the right thing, starting with saying that cat.
Where I am going with this is just saying that when God gives us a commandment (like removing our paper planners) and we ignore that commandment (like stashing three in your suitcase), He knows when you disobey and you will be, for lack of a better word, punished for that. I love pets and Heavenly Father made sure to speak to me in a way that most effect me so I could learn to be obedient. As soon as we got back to the apartment after we played pet-patrol I came clean to my companions, removed the three planners from the apartment, and learned a great lesson. Because when we are obedient we are blessed, many awesome things happened after that. We had a lesson that went really well! We got the van back! I met a member of the ward who's daughter served in the Arizona Tempe mission! And I think the biggest blessing was suddenly my heart was softened and I suddenly didn't feel worried about adjusting to Brewer. I had a new love for the area and my companions. Obedience brings blessings. I can testify to that, and so can a cat and a dog.
Besides that, Brewer has been pretty uneventful. The weather has definitely hit cold. Yesterday evening when we were waiting for a member sister to pick us up for dinner it was slightly snowing/baby hailing. I'm terrified but it will all work out. It will always work out when we trust in the Lord and do what He asks of us. May we all remember to be obedient!
"New study area *cough* corner *cough*"
"New study wall complete with paintings of the Palmyra temple (painted and signed by Sister Wheeler) and the Boston temple (from the dedication)
"My four pairs of boots (left to right: Walmart heavy duty, Thrift Store, Manch found, and Walmart Sunday)"