Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been very interesting. I can’t believe it is already 2016 and a year ago I was living in Payson. A year ago I did not think I would be serving my mission in Utah. We had a missionary preparation fireside last night, and so many of the youth said, “I will go wherever the Lord sends me.” Sister Tonga leaned over and said, “That’s what you said, and you got called to Utah.” She thought that was the funniest thing. I love it here, it does not matter where you serve, but how you serve. That is the lesson we have been learning this week.
Tuesday – We shoveled a lot of snow today. Neither Sister Tonga nor I are really good at shoveling snow, so we are not sure how much we helped, but the sidewalks looked better 🙂 Underneath all the new snow is a very thick layer of ice, which provided for some epic, almost falling experiences this week. We taught Marie, a less active lady, who rushed us through our lesson so she could tell us about the newest book she was reading. She loves to read about aliens, so she was explaining to us
Wednesday – After one of our correlation meetings, we went out to visit some names. There is an apartment complex, that is full of potentials. We stopped by one lady and her brother. We did not know that her brother lived with her and her family. They are from Iraq, and are the nicest people. Because they are from Iraq, and it is part of their culture, we can’t say no to things they offer us. So, she got us some cake and water. While we were eating, she turns to her brother and says, “Mormon missionaries have to eat whatever you put in front of them.” Her brother starts to laugh and says, “So, if we put coffee in front of them they have to drink it.” It was so funny in the moment, we both started laughing, which caused the bite I had just taken to go down the wrong pipe. So there was Sister Andrus, laughing and choking at the same time. Oh well… The brother told us a story about how he met Elder Ballard’s wife at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert. He was so touched by the experience, he said we can come back anytime. “Our house is your house.”
Thursday – New Years Eve was full of adventures. We were walking down the road, when this Tongan family drove past. They jumped out of their car, and insisted we come over to their house to eat with them. We thought they were non members since we had not seen them at church, but they go to the Tongan ward. The food was so good, I have a new love for Tongan food. We also went to the wrong person’s house for dinner. So embarrassing! But the family didn’t even let us know we were at the wrong house. They warmed up leftovers and all sat and watched us eat. We left their house, and stopped by another ladies house. When we left there, we got a text from our actual dinner wondering where we were. We were so embarrassed, and we spent a couple minutes just laughing at ourselves in the parking lot of the church before we could call her back. We spent New Years with Shelley, the sweetest less active lady. She always has a wonderful spirit with her, no matter what she is going through.
Friday – Our district meeting today was exactly what we needed. Our discussion was on faith, and how works without faith is dead. It all goes back to how we serve as missionaries and not where we serve. It was very cold, and so the zone leaders brought Sister Tonga some woolen socks since she get so cold. That made the night better because we didn’t have to stop to warm up as much. We were walking and felt like we should stop by Shelley’s again. We did and she was having a rough day. She likes to sing, and so we were singing with her. The spirit was so strong although we were just singing. We did not realize that we actually needed that spirit with us more than she did because we ended up having a rough night. Another less active lady spent the time we were with her, just being negative and rude to Sister Tonga. If we had not stopped by Shelley’s we would not have been in the right mindset, or had the Spirit with us. Oh the tender mercies of the Lord.
Sunday – After a rough couple days (yes I know I skipped Saturday but I do not want to relive that day) Sunday was a welcome day. Partaking of the Sacrament is one of the best things we can do. To be able to spend that 15 minutes just thinking about Christ and all He has done for me was the highlight of this week. We had a HUGE miracle this week. but before that, let me give a little backstory. We teach this less active man named Cody. We had not been able to meet with him formally for the past month or so. We do however, go by his house and catch him when he is in the yard. Sister Tonga is very straight to the point and she told him he needed to come to church. He was joking around and said he might come. He says that a lot. Anyways, we were up at another ward when we get a text from one of the ward missionaries in Cody’s ward. He had Cody at church!!!!! We rushed back to the ward, and got there two minutes after Cody had left. It was amazing, and he said he would come back next week. During the sacrament, he was mouthing the words of the prayer, and he texted us to tell us he was glad he went. We stopped by his house, and he told us he was so impressed that no one told him to put on a tie, or made a comment about his hair. It was awesome, a good ending to a rough week.
I love you all,