holy cow! so much to write!!!
quote compliments of brock herbst, the 2-yr old in the fam we live with who says that to me every time i come in because he's anxiously awaiting sis soza coming around the corner.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI
so...that gives 2 things away. 1) i'm serving with sis soza. woohoo! so much stinkin fun. i was comps w/ her for one week in the MTC. she's amazing. super just kind and hard-working. she loves being obedient adn working hard. she's thousands of miles ahead of me in her Christlike attributes. she has such an apparent love for the Savior and for others. they kept us nauvoo sisters together for the most part, which was a surprise to us.
we're serving in Bettendorf, Iowa. It's in the quad cities, by Davenport, home of Palmer Chiropractic and John Deere. It's crazy cause we're right on the mississippi again but this time it's the other side (for as easy as mississippi is to spell, it's pretty tricky to type). We're a little less than 2 hours north of Nauvoo so theoretically i could just float down the river. we're sharing the area with 2 other Peoria sisters-- Sis. Mower and Montgomery. they're both a lot of fun. we go on exchanges sometime in the day.
so we live with a member family, the Herbst. that's the first time i've had that, though they're trying to get it going all around the US. it's really neat though. they're a young fam with 4 kids who LOVE the missionaries. the biggest challenge is just trying to get them not to sneak downstairs and try to hang out while we're studying. the fam's amazing and takes such good care of us. and they have 2 big dogs. so while the little boy is in love with sis soza, the Boxer is in love with me. i'll take it, i guess. :) also convenient, bro herbst is the ward mission leader. yay!
The Mid-west, while still very religious and full of fried food, is decidedly different from the South. I think in the South there was a lot more polarity. More people were willing to listen, yet more were whole-heartedly against the Church. Here it's harder to get in and teach people but I've found we get yelled at less too. Interesting. And instead of Baptists, it's Lutheran. Still some similar grammar and sentence structure, but different accent. Fascinating. I'm in a "small town" apparently but compared to Nauvoo it seems huge. I still try to wave to every car that goes by, just out of habit. I guess the Lord wanted me to try to break that before I suffered over-stimulation in San Diego. :)
So here's one of my favorite miracles so far. We get here and there are little to no people to teach so we really have to start working from the ground up. We went out on Sunday and really wanted to go hard all day. It was getting later and we were running out of options of places to go to find people. It was about 8:40pm and we don't go in before 9 but it was getting too late to be knocking on people's doors. We were on a random street trying to find a Spanish fam for Sis. Soza but no luck. As we were walking down the street debating our options, we saw a girl walking to her car. We really wanted to go talk to her but she beat us to her car and we didn't want to go knocking on her window in the dark. Creepy. So we were bummed. A couple seconds later she rolled down the window and called out to us (of course, freaking ME out cause i'm so jumpy). She wanted to know if we'd just doorbell ditched candy to her house. No...(although that's not a bad idea. Bribe people to listen to our message...). But we ended up talking for a long time. Turns out her g-parents are LDS but haven't gone in yrs. She's 21 and single and having a baby any day. she's so stinkin cute! she's looking for a church and is really close to the Lord, you can tell. It was so fun talking to her and SO obvious how the Lord's hand was in all of that. Yay for 8:40 miracles! We went back last night and taught her. She's excited to read from the BOM and pray about it and her g-pa sat in on the lesson and you could just see him soften as she was learning all of this. He even piped in when she asked, "Who's Joseph Smith" and said, "He's a prophet." Thank you. Yay! I loved every minute of it. Her name's Kimber and we're praying everything will keep moving forward and that we can teach her a couple more times before she has her baby.
At a member's house last night we went to teach and FHE and she really ended up teaching US. (happens often). She brought up the Brother of Jared from the BOM. She said God knows our capacity. With the Bro of Jared, she knew he needed to be told directly how to build the barges and how to get air in them, but then when the Bro of Jared asked how to get light, God said, "well, what do you think?" He asked him to figure it out. she reminded us that revelation is proceeded by work. We can't just expect to have the Lord tell us everything at the exact moment we want it. Joseph Smith didn't get his answer of what church to join just by wondering and praying once. It was after much pondering, studying, and searching. Such a balance to make sure we're not DEPENDING on the Lord for where to go and what to do but we're planning our lives with the knowledge and gifts He's giving us and then we're LISTENING as we go forward and being aware of His answers and promptings.
We've only got one transfer left and we want to work our guts out. Like a race and going as hard as you possibly can at the end---for those who've gone running with me, you know that's my favorite part. :) I'm excited and love it here already!