Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And I'm Staying

The title of this email tells you that I'm not being transferred.  On the other hand, my companion is. The address for the new apartment we moved to last week is:

6708 North 73rd Ave
Glendale, AZ  85303

I realized his week how long it has been since I have had homemade cinnamon rolls.  It has been like 2 years.   As much as I want those cinnamon rolls, I also realized how long it has been since I've had Mom’s carrot cake.  Can you send me the recipe?   I have decided I'm going to make one around my birthday.  It won’t be on my birthday as I just found out we have interviews that day.  I will have to do it before because I want some carrot cake.  Please include the recipe for the frosting too.  Thank you Mom!

I finished the Book of Mormon!!!  I finished it this morning!  I had to read it for most of my personal and all of my language study time for a couple of weeks but I did it!  It never ceases to amaze me how sad Ether is.  It's so graphic, real and depressing.   Still... I do love the book.  I cannot deny how peaceful and happy and guided I feel as I read it. It's true!

This week I had the awesome opportunity to teach Fanny.  Fanny is from Peru but lives in Madrid. I honestly have no idea why anyone would want to Skype about religion at 1 o'clock in the morning (her time).  She is awesome! She is friends with Hermana Palomino’s friend.   The point of THIS story is... your friends need the gospel.   Sometimes it takes a lot of work for them to admit or see it but they so need it.  As missionaries, we are the angels that will bring it to them.  Putting this into practice on my end, I have been messaging friends on Facebook when I felt inspired around their birthdays. It has been really fun!  The message I send goes something like this, "Happy Birthday! I don't know if you even remember who I am but I still hope you have a Happy Birthday".   A lot of times, the message will start a conversation.  When they ask, "What are you up to?"   It’s pretty easy for me to let me know!  Unfortunately after I answer, they frequently never respond.   The point of this story is...you can do it too!  When they ask you what you are up to, is it easy to include something about the church because... the Gospel is a big deal in your life!   Being a good friend is missionary work. :)  It’s scary sometimes but... it's worth it.

Because our washer is not working, we returned to the Davis house to email and wash. I don't know if I will get to finish this letter.  The advantage of being at the Davis's is that we have internet again!  And… I'm eating a piece of Mexican cheesecake.  This is impressive because I have not wanted to even think about food since last night. (Yes...here comes my food and health rant.)  I don't know about weight because I don't own a scale, but I have been feeling sooooooo much better!  As a result of better food choices, junk food just isn't as appealing.  I literally don't feel good after I eat it.  Last night we had THE BEST DINNER EVER…enchiladas and a salad, cheesecake and ice cream! I ate 5 enchiladas, yikes.  I was starving.  We followed that with three FHEs (Family Home Evenings) back to back.  We had treats at each one.  Blah!  At the third, the treat was a donut and milk.  I just couldn't.  I ended up breaking up the donut and giving it to some of the kids.

My thought this week comes from our zone meeting on Friday.  I am amazed by the heroes in the Book of Mormon and how they never fail to give.  They give to God in obedience and to others in charity.  I have noticed in my own life that when solely focus on others, I feel He, Jesus Christ, focuses on me.  Christ completed the atonement because he was focused on us, constantly.  It really is all about me! Haha, I am kidding but I think you know what I mean.  

This Sunday in church the missionaries sang my translated version of the new song "Come Unto Christ".  (Remind me to never again work with 5 elders to sing in church.)  Most of my district is changing which is probably a good thing since this last transfer was really....dramatic.  We are still moving in at the new house.  It echoes because it's so empty.  It's weird but it's also nice to again have time to myself at night and in the morning.

Oh, to answer the question about the dedication of the Phoenix Temple.  They told me when I first got here it would be finished the spring or summer of 2014.  Unfortunately that is not so.  I'll just have to come back.  It's small but beautiful like the valley is sits in. There is a hike you can take that enables you to look out over it.  Very cool! :)

Love, Hermana Pickett

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