Sunday, October 28, 2012

I received letters from Laura this weekend (dated September 17, 24 and October 1).  A few excerpts are:

Happy P-day! (For me, at least it's P-day (preparation day, the day they have to do laundry, shop, clean, write home, and in general do their chores/errands).  I laughed when I read that Hannah (our 11 month old granddaughter) turned off the computer on you.  I hope all goes well for Paula and Jay with their bid on the house in North Pole. 

Congrats to Austin on his mission call, that is so cool.  Every mission call is inspired.  People have investigators waiting for them.  I like to think that even the people who don't accept the Gospel message we teach might someday accept it because we tried to help them.  But I've learned that there is divine guidance in where you serve, who you serve with and when. 

It's been fun reading about Hannah and the changes and growth that she is making.  Does she make noise or talk yet?  I never know what ages these developments start at.  Can she eat anything yet or .....? 

One Sister here is the only member in her family and her family doesn't understand or support her serving a mission.  I am so grateful for the love and support that you all provide.  But I have a great admiration for this Sister - she has faith and trust in the Lord that things will work out.  And I know that all missionaries are blessed with protection from the Lord that our families will be watched over.

I only wrote a little in my email about our Conference with Elder Godoy, but it was really good.  It was all in Portuguese .  I feel like I understood most of it.  It started at 9 am (but we had to be there at 8) and it lasted until about 2 pm.  We heard testimonies from all the missionaries who arrived and will be leaving this transfer, President and Sister Tavares and from Sister and Elder Godoy.  Hearing everyone's testimonies was really cool.  Especially seeing the difference between those arriving and those leaving.  There's one Elder leaving whose testimony was really touching.  He was offered a job before his mission where he could make lots of money (I don't know but not an offer that comes often) and he might not get the same offer again, but he bore a touching testimony.  He wouldn't trade the experiences he has had here with anything else.  It was very cool.  He has had a successful mission and is known for good success with baptisms.  But it was really neat feeling the Spirit with so many missionaries and I enjoyed the talks. 

Time is moving fast.  I can't believe it's October now and we're starting a new transfer.  Sister P. and I are happy our companionship/area hasn't changed.  I'm happy and we're open with each other.  I'm learning a lot about patience, agency, and letting things go.  (It's funny how God knows what we need to learn.)   :)   Our purpose is to give people the best knowledge, situations, ect. to make the right choices.  We can't do a single thing for them.  Our Gospel is rooted in the fact that people have agency and can pray to God to know the truth for themselves.  It makes me laugh to think of people thinking of missionaries as "pushy".  We don't see it too much here, but in the U.S. everybody has this image of "the Mormon Missionaries".  And while we may be persistant, we can't force anyone to do anything.  We're truly concerned about the people we teach and have a love for them.  But why are missionaries persistant?  Because the adversary is real, and change is hard.  We want to make sure everyone is given a real chance to accept the Gospel.  To honestly say yes or no.

In my email last week I talked a little about an investigator.  She has a testimony of the Gospel, but doesn't feel ready for baptism.  We had a really good lesson, it was really spiritual and explained our purpose as missionaries.  She is just a great example, that missionaries are guides.  We can only show people the path.  We can try to help them and encourage them, but they have to make the steps.  Haha, but enough of that.  It really is going great and I love this work.

I always love reading your stories about Hannah, Sariah and Kayla  (our 3 granddaughters, Paula and Jay's Hannah is 11 months; and Susanna and Kevin's Sariah and Kayla are 4 and 2 years old - I tend Hannah while Paula works).  It's always cute.

Time is almost gone, but I love you all!!!

Sister Bullen

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