Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Two letters received today:

November 26, 2012

Mom, Dad and Family,

Today's email was shorter than normal.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  I know I always say this (or feel that I do) but thank you for your continual love and support.  Sister G. is my 2nd companion to not receive emails from their Mom/family for several weeks.  I'm always grateful to get an email from my Momma!  Probably it shouldn't be as important as it is for us, but it helps us remember our family still loves us.  I've seen how my companions feel.  Technically 3 companions, but Sister M. was only companions with us for 4 weeks.  I'm really grateful for all the support and prayers for us and this work.

I am excited to see what ornaments and gifts you sent.  Mom, I know Sister M. and Sister P. will be ecstatic to see and to know you sent them presents.  Seriously, you have a special place in their hearts.  My heart, too, in case you didn't know.

It was fun to read that Erik says "hi".  Tell him "Oi" and "Ev te Amo" for me.  I hope all goes well with his blazer and court.  (He had a 19 yr. old turn in front of him and both vehicles were totalled, Erik was subpoenaed to court as the other driver was cited for "failure to yield."  When people see the picture Susanna sent of me and him it's always a funny reaction.  People here think I'm tall.  So they just kind of gawk, imagining how tall he is (Erik is 6' 3" and Brian 6' 2 1/2" where Laura is about 5' 5").  But I hope Brian  and Erik are both doing good and know I love my brothers!

It sounds like Thanksgiving was a success and very good for you all.  It was really neat to have a simple version of Thanksgiving here.  We ate our potatoes and gravy and pie about 9:30 pm, after our day/work finished and before bed.  But it was special to celebrate with these sisters here.  Sister G. was bummed because she found out her brother and his girlfriend/fiance will be married this January, before she returns home.  I tried to help her and distract her.  He/they will be married civilly (required by law - LDS marriage in temples isn't accepted legally) and then afterwards, they will be sealed in the temple.  She's pretty sad she won't get to be there, because she knows marriage is a big deal.  But the way I see it, if she wasn't on her mission, she probably couldn't enter the temple to see the marriage anyways and it's a good thing that will happen.

I gave Sister G. a Recommend Holder for her 9 month mark.  She chose the Young Women Theme (the same Sister M. chose).  So that was a popular choice.  But she loved it too.

This week I read a talk by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr. who said, "People do good and important things because they have testimonies.  While this is true, we also gain testimonies because of what we do."  I really liked that, when we choose to do good things to build our faith we can.

Love you all,

Sister Bullen

P.S.   Transfers will happen December 17.  They moved them 1 week earlier because of Christmas.  But most likely I'll be here.

November 19, 2012

Mom, Dad and Family,

It's always great reading your emails/letters.  I'm writing to you from Ibipora - my first P-day here.  We are going to internet in a little while - so trying to think of things that I won't write there.  Our apartment here is nice, only 1 floor, but I think it's actually a little bigger than our last apt.  Sister G. has been great to work with.  She's from the same state in the north as Sister M. - Ceara.  She's beautiful, fun, hardworking and we both want to see this area grow.

We have a branch here for the whole city and close-by area.  So the work hasn't grown much for a while.  It's a beautiful area and the people are great.  I'm really learning how to teach differently.  The people here are nice, but a little bit more "closed."  In Riviera the people were always very welcoming.  But here we teach a lot of our first lessons on the sidewalk in front of their home.

Our Branch President is really nice and I love his wife.  They and the Branch were very welcoming.  We had dinner Sunday night at a family home - they were only baptized a few months ago.  The President and his wife were there too.  He shared a thought that I really liked.  He talked about how all need to think less of how other people see us and more how the Lord sees us.  For example, sometimes I know it's difficult to talk or say certain things because of the language.  But, when you forget about how people may be thinking of you and focus on how the Lord sees you and your efforts you are working for the right reasons.  But for this dinner we also helped make Pastels.  It's fried dough - with hamburger, cheese and seasoning inside - sooo good.  We had several sauces to use on top.  It was a special activity with some really neat members.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  Will it be at our home?  Since S. Gee and I are 2 Americans in the house, we're thinking about doing something, but we don't have much time or recipes.  Ha.  So it'll be interesting.  But thank you so much for all that you have done for me and all of the support and love.  I am so happy serving here, during this time, with these people.  I am so greatful for this Gospel.

Love you all,

Sister Laura Bullen

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't given it much thought, but how sad for those native sisters and elders that get little to no email from their family!