So my last mission companion’s grandfather had a motto that said, “Fish and company stink after three days.” She later told me that his motto only applied to family, not friends. If you were a friend, you could stay as long as you liked. However, if you were family, you were out of luck. 3 days was all you got for a visit.
Since I’ve come home from my mission, I’ve adopted that motto a little bit. I have a ton of family coming for Thanksgiving. And when I say a ton, I mean it. I’ve got about 10 people coming to visit. That means that there’s going to be 13 of us packed into the house. My parent’s house is a decent size, but the kitchen is pretty small, and once you pack a ton of people into a house it seems to shrink.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. But I have a problem with a lot of loud noise, so that’s what is going to bother me the most. Loud noise in enclosed spaces makes me get a little panicky. I have no idea why, it just does. I would absolutely love to just play with my nieces and nephews all day, but I can’t because: 1) I have a crap ton of homework to do 2) loud noises scare and irritate me.
I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this week all month. I think I should be ok. I tend to make a big deal out of things in my brain, so it probably won’t be near as bad as what I’m imagining.
So I’ve also been trying to balance out cleaning the house, doing homework, toddler proofing the house, and getting over the stomach flu this week (I find it a little ironic that I got the stomach flu right before Thanksgiving). I hope everything goes well. Just pray for my sanity this week. I’m going to need it.
I know that this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but here’s a video of Rhett and Link eating ghost peppers. I watched this earlier today, and it really helped to boost my mood. Enjoy!
This week, Priel says, was probably the hardest of her mission. She’s only got six weeks left now, which alarms her, but I’M SO HaAaAaAaAaAaApPyYyYyY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They spent the week prepping for Sister T’s return home, saying goodbyes and stuff. Sister T waited til last minute to pack, though, haha. Friday, she left, which was really hard on Priel. She says, “Even though she sometimes drove me crazy I really grew to love her a lot and we got super close. I’ve honestly gotten closer to her than any other companion I’ve had. She and I were bawling and hugging in the mission office, and I didn’t want to send her off! We took one picture before we left and it’s probably the saddest picture I’ve ever seen. Our faces are red from crying.”
Priel was then paired up with Sister Leavitt for the weekend since both their companions had left, who is her “mission twin” because people say they look alike, but Priel doesn’t see it. They do fangirl together, though.
Saturday, the two of them helped an old lady move out, and Priel says she nearly died because of the heat and humidity in Idaho this past weekend. Which I too can attest to, being at BYU-Idaho right now. Then they got transfer calls, and Priel is being moved finally out of the area, which led to an emotional breakdown that evening. She really loves the ward she’s been in and the people there. She wrote, “I locked myself in the bathroom and cried for about an hour straight. I had a complete mental breakdown, and called Sister Lomu and Petersen and kept telling them that I couldn’t handle getting my heart broken anymore and that I wanted to go home. I’d lost my companion that I loved very much and then I was getting transferred from an area that I’ve loved from the instant that I got transferred there. They tried to calm me down with encouraging words, but I just got mad at them and hung up. The Elders ended up calling me, and Elder Szendre was really good at calming me down. He said exactly what I needed to hear. He’s also getting transferred to Meridian East, so I’m glad I’ll have a friend here. Sister Leavitt was a big help too. She cancelled all of the appointments she had in her area, and let me go to my area to start saying goodbye to everyone. She also bought me a shake from Dairy Queen, which also helped a lot.”
Milkshakes win the world.
I’m super happy and relieved to be able to say Priel’s doing better this week! A lot of her issues with Sister T seem to be related to an anxiety spike as well as the usual issues of human pride, but she’s working it out. Prayer has helped her. In a direct quote: “I was praying to Heavenly Father about how frustrated I was with myself and with Sister T, and that I didn’t want to deal with anything anymore. Then Matthew 7:3-5 came to mind, and I read it. Then I was inspired to reread Mosiah 3-4. The part where the people cried out loud asking God for forgiveness really hit me hard. I realized that I was being selfish and judgmental, and that I needed to ask for forgiveness for how I was treating Sister T. So I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me, and to help me to love her and see her in a more positive light. He answered my prayer and I now feel that I love Sister T. Because of that, we were able to have a much better week, and were able to teach in unity because I had cast aside all of those feelings of irritation and anger.”
It also helped that Sister T cleaned up the basement a bit, haha.
Monday, they went to the Capitol building downtown and also to Freak Alley, which she recommends you look up because it’s too hard to describe. Pictures are included at the end of this post. Tuesday and Wednesday, they tried to do service for a part-member family, but basically the family just wanted them to keep cleaning up after them, and Priel says that they’re “missionaries, not maids,” so obviously that’s not the most conducive use of their time. Also, it was gross. They also spent time visiting people, and had a meeting with one of the mission leaders.
Thursday they had a zone meeting discussing Easter and such. Priel says the video at this link made her cry, which is rare, and she recommends it a lot. #BecauseHeLives On Friday, they had exchanges, which weren’t so great this time around. The sister she was working with is very naggy and judgmental and makes it hard on her. So Priel decided to park the car and insist they walk the seven miles they needed to, and got a sunburn for her troubles. Another little reminder not to lose her temper and to be forgiving, she says. They did find an investigator, at least!
Okay, so, the LDS mail server recently got changed which means that Priel’s emails from last week never went through! We’ve all been panicking, like, “Did she get eaten by a moose? Did her new companion sacrifice her to a band of cats?” But today, which was this week’s (late) P-Day for her, her emails went through again so now we can rest assured that she’s alive and at least pretty well.
I’m going to copy last week’s email, which she re-sent to me, underneath and then I’ll tell you about this week’s email. Go.
Last Week (Summarizing Jan 26 — Feb 1)
So this week has had it’s ups and downs. Mostly ups though! I’ve been taking Sister Palmer around to meet all of the ward auxiliaries and ward members. Sister Palmer is so awesome! She’s an amazing missionary and has the best sense of humor.
On Monday we played dart wars. As usual it was super fun! I’m so glad the Elders in our district would rather do that than play basketball (well with the exception of one elder, but no one cares about what he wants to do hahaha). We got Sister Palmer all moved in and then I introduced her to the Bishop and Relief Society President.
On Tuesday we had district meeting and went to Garbanzo’s for lunch. Garbanzo’s is a pizza place that has all you can eat lunch and they give missionaries discounts, so the Elders love it, of course. Then we helped the Elders with a service project. We cleared huge weeds out of someone’s property. Afterwards I took Sister Palmer to meet some of our investigators and members of the ward.
On Wednesday we helped out the Elders some more because we’d only cleared out about a tenth of the weeds and garbage. But we got a lot done. Afterwards I introduced her to some more members. That night we taught the Finelli’s the Plan of Salvation. Bro. Finelli is a recent convert of a few months, but we haven’t been able to set up a time to teach him the new member lessons because he’s been so busy. Fortunately he has an amazing home teacher and he set it all up for us!
Sorry, I’m trying to catch up here, and I’ve got a fair bit of homework, so I’m just gonna copy and paste the past two e-mails from Priel. Thanks!
To start off, we got transfer calls on Saturday, and Sister Pitkin and I are both staying in the area! I am super excited. It’s weird to think that by the end of this transfer I will have been in this area for 6 months. I remember when I first came into this area I was so freaked out and I didn’t want to be here at all. Now I love it and I don’t ever want to leave it!
On Monday, Sister Pitkin and I both got haircuts! One the members of the bishopric in one of our wards owns a hair school, and he is very good at cutting hair, and he cuts missionary’s hair for free! My hair actually looks good now, which makes me happy. We weren’t able to get any lessons in on Monday because no one was home. Or they were, but they were just hiding from us.
On Tuesday, we visited Sister Slay. She was in a really good mood because things are finally starting to work out in her and her son’s lives. We shared a scripture with her about the power of prayer, which she enjoyed. We also visited the Higgs, who are in the Married Student Ward. They are less-active. I’ve never seen them at church the whole time I’ve been here, and we’ve never been able to catch them at home. We were finally able to meet both of them, and we got to know them better. It was a good visit, and I hope that we’ll be able to talk to them more often, and hopefully get them to come back to church.
On Wednesday, we had the Sister’s Training Conference, which was super amazing! President Winder talked to us about the priesthood and I feel like I understand the priesthood better now. It was a really good meeting, and I really feel spiritually uplifted because of it.
We also visited the Workman’s in the Married Student Ward. We had a really good visit with them. They’ve started to come to church more often, which is amazing! We’ve been able to establish a good friendship with them this past transfer.
Once again doing a direct paste-in, because I am EXHAUSTED. See you next week!
This week was an interesting one. I had a scary moment this week, which I will tell you about later in this email.
On Monday, we went to the old Idaho State Penitentiary, which was pretty cool. I got to learn a lot about the history of Idaho! It is supposedly “haunted” but Sister Pitkin and I didn’t see any ghosts. Darn 🙂 I’ll attach a picture of our “Oh no, we just saw a ghost!” faces.
We also visited Tiffany on Monday. She didn’t feel like having a lesson that day because it had been a particularly bad day for her, so we just talked to her about it and then left her with a prayer. We also visited Catie and Jayla that night. We played games with them. Catie is slowly warming up to us. I know that doing this will help plant a seed. Eventually she’ll want to learn more about the gospel.
On Tuesday we had a lesson with Mikalai. We taught her the Law of Chastity. She understands it really well. She is really strong in the gospel! She is a super strong person in general. She has already gone through so much in her life, so she has had to learn to be strong.
We also visited the Swanson’s. We stopped by a couple of times this week because they’ve been struggling with having sick pets and such, so we were just making sure that they were doing ok. We shared scriptures with them each visit and prayed with them.
On Wednesday, we spent pretty much the whole day helping this non member lady, Mary, move. She lived next to a bishop in her old place, and he called us and told us that she would need help moving into her new place. So we called her and volunteered to help her, and she gladly accepted the help. A lot of members of the ward got involved to help out, which was good. We’re going to stop by again some time and see if she is interested in learning more about the church.
Thursday was a bit of a slow day, but we were still able to keep ourselves fairly busy. We volunteered at the Food Bank. It was super fun helping out there, and the people there are super friendly towards us. It always feels good to help others out! We also went to the Addiction Recovery meeting since some less actives from our ward go to that. The spirit is always super strong at those meetings! The people at the meetings rely entirely on the Lord to help them overcome their addictions, and it’s amazing to hear their stories. It is very strengthening to me.
Priel’s been feeling more down since her transfer to Boise North, which is a lot poorer and rougher of an area than her last place. (It’s so sad to see cuz she was so upbeat before. But everyone has their down times, of course.) She’s glad to have a lot of contacts there to work with, and she and her companion are getting along all right, but it’s a very different experience.
She has gotten some unique opportunities, of course, like going to a 12-step program run by the church for people struggling with addiction. She found that really interesting. It’s just an adjustment, especially when the entire area feels that much more threatening. She’s been having lots of anxiety attacks.
But, I think it’s also going to be very rewarding, being in any area so different from what we’re used to. I think she can do a lot of good work. =) Let’s just remember to pray for her, everyone, to have less anxiety attacks and to be able to feel happier, because it’s hard to see her so sad.
Also, this week, she got bitten by a chihuahua hard enough to draw blood. That is not a very nice dog.
I pray God protect her as she continues her work!