Monday, November 11, 2013

Well...I have been transferred. I am now in Kearns Central Stake. I live across the street from the Olympic Oval. Its pretty cool. Apparently it's the "ghetto" of Utah. In contrast to my last area it is the ghetto. But I love it. It was hard to leave my last area, but as soon as I got the call to come here, 1st I was shocked that I was coming here, because this is where everyone wants to come on their mission, because it's the highest baptizing area in the whole mission. 2nd I am white washing the area (when they take both of the previous missionaries out and put new ones in) 3rd i'm training! Yup, I am training. It is fun, because I really love my companion. Her name is Sister Hinkle she is 19 and she is from West Virginia. She has so much enthusiasm and is excited to work. It is really hard though because this was maybe one of the longest weeks so far. Because I had to find a ride to my new area and get to my home before I went to pick up my new companion. Well the finding a ride was easy, but when I got to my area, there was no one at the house! So then my ride had to take me to the mission office with all of my stuff. I left it there and then we had to find a ride back to the house (which we still didn't have a key for) We then found out that the sisters that left had the key in their new area. So we went to their area, they weren't there! And they didn't have the key. We went back to the house and the landlady wasn't there, then I thought that I should just try to open the door. And the door was open the whole time!!! Crazy. Anything everything worked out and I'm here now :)
The work
So its kinda different here in Kearns. I only cover 2 wards and my area is super small! I swear the other day we walked past the same house like 4 times! And we walk everywhere. We could use our bikes, but if we use our bikes we would have to lock them up and its really annoying to lock them up after we go to every house so we just walk. The ward members are great and their really sweet, but the wards are really small. In one of my wards there are supposed to be 600 members and only about 100 are active! So we have a lot of work to do. In another ward it's really challenging to keep an up to date list of members because we have apartments and people are always moving in and out of the area. In my short number of days being here I have learned how important it is to know and love our neighbors. We need to serve one another and let others serve us. When we do things like that connections between one another grows and we can better invite them to know more about the love the Savior has for them.
The sisters that were here previously left some good trails for us to follow, were just trying to find those trails. We are teaching two 9 year old girls. And they are amazing little girls. Their parents are less active members who don't want much to do with the church, but they don't care if their daughters get baptized, but we are starting from scratch with these little girls, we are teaching them how to pray, read and who Jesus Christ is. And hopefully we can get into more homes this week and find more people to teach :) It's just hard because most of the people we talk to speak spanish... so I guess I really need to learn spanish. 

A miracle
There has been lots of miracles this week! First of all I got here. And the fact that the Lord is trusting me enough to teach His children and train a brand new missionary is a miracle! Another miracle is that we were knocking on some houses that people told us to knock on and the houses that we knocked on either the people we not interested or weren't home. My companion felt that we should knock on one more door, I just said whatever. We knocked on the door a woman answered and she would not come out of her house. She told us that she was very upset with the church because of something that happened about a year ago. This woman has not been active since she was 14 and she was about to shut the door on us, and then I started talking to her about her dogs and how cute they were and then I told her that her wedding ring was beautiful. Then she came outside and she talked to us. She told us her troubles and how much she missed her mom who passed away and how things were hard. She was very upset with the members of the church, but we didn't correct her we just let her talk. She began crying and then my companion began to cry with her and then she allowed me to sing her a song, so I did. And you just saw this womans heart soften. She said that we could come back another time and we never know what will happen in the future :)

Something I learned
This week I learned that the Lord is going to shape us into what HE wants us to be. He is going to test us and give us callings to make us better. I am learning to lean on the Lord, because I cannot do this on my own. This is His work and His children and I need to do His work His way. I was reading this talk called Becoming a consecrated missionary and Tad Callister was talking about how this Elder didn't want to be obedient and he told his mission president that all these rules were changing his nature and his mission president told him that that is what it is supposed to do. When we allow the Lord to change our nature we become patient, submissive, meek, humble and full of love.

I hope this e-mail makes sense this week. It's been a crazy week! But I am so glad to be here! I'm love being a missionary.

Aloha wau ia 'oukou!

-Sister Swain

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