Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
"Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." -Julius Cesar
This week I had a quater-life crisis. Meaning that I, at the age of 21 (only 4 years till 25 where your spirituality begins to drop if you aren't married), realized that ALMOST a QUARTER of my life is over. What?! And then I realized that I, at the age of 21, am not married like my sister, and not going to be married. And then I realized that I needed to do something drastic. And so..... I cut my hair. Yep! Just chopped it off. Søster Hilton and I were sitting in companionship study talking about our week and I just kept starring at her hair. Both or our hair was pretty damaged and gross and I just kept starring at her dead ends thinking about my dead ends, and she said to me "Do you want me to cut your hair?" It was like a marriage proposal, or at least the closest thing I will get to one any time soon. I took a moment to think it over and weigh my options and then said "Yes, just do it." So during lunch, we grabbed some scissors from the kitchen and she chopped it. It was so much hair! I am sure that you all remember why I was growing it out... marriage.... cough cough. But I said GOODBYE to my old life, and chopped like 4 inches off. SEE YA! And then later that night Søster Hilton cut off 4 inches of her hair too. Now, my past, and dreams of the future are gone. #wontmissyou
Thank you for all those that told me about Daniel writing on my wall for my birthday. I mean I cannot imagine how hard it was for him to write on my wall. I mean the amount of energy it must have took! And "Happy Birthday" is just so well written. Man, some people have skills for writing. I have decided that being broken up with/ forgotten on the mission is the best thing because you don't really care that much until pday comes around and you have time to think about it. I thought it would be hard before the mish, but honestly I'm just glad I am where I am now. I can't imagine having stayed home. I'm so glad that the Lord knows what I need better than me. #gotmeoutofsomestickysituations
My last email was a pretty sad one. I had a lot of heart break and sadness after a week of low numbers and losing some investigators, but this week was a great one. It is always interesting when you start to see what happens in the scriptures is happening to you. Time after time in we see that Either 12:6 is so true. We are tried and tried and things are hard, but if we endure well, we are blessed from on high. This happened to Nephi, Joseph Smith, and many others throughout history. I have seen it many times in my own life as well. I saw it especially while I was on treatment. It was the hardest time of my life physically, but I chose to endure with faith. The blessings that I saw were overwhelming. I grew so much and learned so much about myself. I endured my trials and I received a witness of my faith. This last week was another example of that. Søster Hilton and I really focused on accountability. We made several goals to make sure that we were accounting to the Lord in all things. We really saw miracles from it. We made contact with Sassy again, and he is willing to work towards being baptized. He felt that he was unworthy to be developing faith because of his past. By a complete miracle the door to the apartment building happened to be open and we were able to get in and knock on his door. We taught him about God's love and how through the Atonement we are never turned away. We all gave very powerful testimonies about the Savior, and then we let silence follow. The Spirit was so strong. He looked at us and said "I accept. I'm ready to be baptized." It was an amazing feeling. Seeing him accept to be baptized. We have many things to work through with Sassy. I don't know when he will be baptized or if we will be able to come to that point. It seems like it is far off in the future, but I am trusting in the Lord that he is working with Sassy to prepare him. This is a huge commitment for him, and we have a lot to cover and a lot of faith we have to work on, but as long as our faith is set in correct principles we can see the effects we desire.
We also happened upon a great investigator this week. Elder Jones and Elder Ashton called us Wednesday night and asked us to be on a teach with them at the church. We came in a little late because we were on another teach, but as soon as we stepped into the room we felt an immediate familiarity. Maria greeted us and her attention quickly turned from the Elders to us. It was a bit awkward because it wasn't our teach and we were just there for background, but Maria wanted to know everything about us. The Elders were so great and so patient. I heard so many horror stories of what the relationships was like between elders and sisters in the field and it can't be more off than what it is here in Norway. More of that later though. Some crazy things went down during the lesson. A member from France, visiting, came in and needed a blessing. The Elders had to leave the teach several times. We didn't know what to do! It wasn't even our teach. But the elders had started talking about the Book of Mormon, so we just decided to read the first chapter together. We went through the chapter and explained EVERYTHING to Maria. She would just close her eyes and listen to us tell her the stories. My testimony was burning. I felt like I was the one reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. In the middle of it the Elders came back, grabbed their stuff, and said they had to go. Maria hardly noticed. Elder Jones on the way out mouthed to me "You guys can take her", I was worried. I don't want to be that sister that is an investigator stealer, but I couldn't do much about it because we had just been left. The lesson was great and Maria commited to meet with us the next day. We felt great, but it only got better when we saw Elder Jones and Ashton later that night.
They came in from contacting and had huge smiles on their faces. They told us that they had run into Maria on the way here and she couldn't stop talking about us and how much she loved reading the Book of Mormon with us. She told the Elders that we were the smartest and prettiest girls ever. This was a miracle. Maria has met with the missionaries off and on for a long time and has never been interested in reading the Book of Mormon. For the first time ever she has a desire to read and to know more. She loves it. I was still worried so I asked the Elders what exactly happened. Elder Jones and Elder Ashton explained to me that in the middle of the lesson they felt like they needed to get up and go check the front. There they found a member and that member needed a blessing. They were able to give him a blessing, and then came back to the lesson. Once they came back they sat there and they felt that they should leave and allow us to teach. They didn't have much to go off of, but they decided to just follow the prompting, and because they did we now have this amazing investigator. The Elders were way pumped. They were so excited that were able to give Maria exactly what she needed to have the desire to investigate the church. It is cool to see how the Lord provides for his lost sheep.
I really have felt so blessed to work with the Elders that I have. Each of them have helped me in so many different ways, and crazily enough they are each what I need at the time. Elder Ashton is back in my district. We were in the MTC together, and he lights up my day. He is so funny and so down to earth. At the Friday night activity we happened to be on a team together with a bunch of people that were either way young, or way nonathletic. We just split the court in two and tried to get every ball so we could win. Maybe we got a little too competitive. #neversaynever Elder Jones is also new to this area. Honestly, this elder is on fire. First off his language skills are incredible. He is one of the best I have heard and that is also comparing him to elders that have been here much longer. Second of all, we all know he has lost 60 POUNDS on his mission, and has only been in the land for 6 months. Basically I want to be him in every sense. #toohighofdreams He is our district leader and he calls in for numbers each week. Last week after our terrible week he called in and we were just pretty down. We had planned so much, but fell so short. Pretty much by direct revelation he started talking to us about accountability. He explained that we can't blame our circumstances on other people and that we have to look at our lives and decide what we can change. It is kinda funny because when he called in this week for numbers and we just #blewthemup he asked what changed. We told him that after he had talked to us about accountability we really worked hard to make sure that we were worthy to be accountable to the Lord. He told us that he didn't really remember anything that he said. I find it crazy that we can say things to people and have no idea the effect it takes. I hope that in the field I am a missionary that does this, that I challenge and testify with love, but in a way that makes people really look at their lives and have a desire to be better. Thats what I look for in other missionaries I work with and my leaders. Do they inspire me to be better? I am lucky! I have tons of missionaries that really make me want to be better every day. Norway has amazing missionaries. How did I get so lucky?
Last miracle I will talk about. Getting people to come to church is probably one of the hardest steps here in the Norge. It just seems that so many people tell us they can come to something and then just don't. Sundays are hard and stressful and I am usually in a bad mood because my investigators don't show up. I was feeling that way yesterday when I realized that Maria and Sassy both could not come to church. Btw, investigators have to come 3 weeks to church before they can be baptized, so you can imagine how hard Satan works on them to not come. Stupid. Anyways we decided to give this contact we had in our phone a call and ask them if they would like to come to church. Her name is Shanit and her husbands names is Him. They are from Napal and moved here about 1 year ago. We met them on the street and got their number, but weren't able to teach them because they were busy. We called and they said they would like to come, so we left church and walked down the street to their house and knocked on the door. They opened it up and we see two children. All the sudden our married couple becomes a family of 4. Wow. We waited in their living room while they got ready and then were able to walk with them to church. They have a little boy who is 5 and a little girl who is 1. When we got to church we looked like super stars. No one ever comes to church and all the sudden we have a family with us! It was amazing. We were able to introduce them to many people and sit with them for sacrament meeting. Afterwards we were able to teach them. We have a huge language barrier because we don't have the Book of Mormon in Napalese, but we are trying to figure out how to overcome that. I know the Lord will provide.
This week was an amazing week full of so many miracles. I love this quote by President Monson, My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.
I think that we can change out dear sisters to any of our names. As missionaries we are lucky. We get to see miracles everyday. We get to be someone's angels, and many times they tell us, but there are many more unseen angels here. You are all the angels I think about when I read quotes like that. You have helped me and shaped me in so many ways. I am here doing this work because of you. I am grateful for the angels in my life every single day. I am thankful for you guys. I love you all so much. Mom, you asked if it makes me sad when you tell me that you miss me. I kinda laughed because I remember being worried about that when Dan was on the mish. It doesn't make me sad. I should be missed. Hello! I am everyone's favorite in the family. Honestly, I don't know how life is going on while I am gone. I am glad to see that Jade is up to par though. Obviously she is the only one that remembers I'm gone! :) I love all the stories you all send. I really thought that this was the week I was going to open my email and see that Little Bradley Copper Hodgkiss was born. Hahaha. #Stellername. Mom, can't believe that you are back on trek duty! I would so go with you if I was there. How is it already time for trek again? Seems just like yesterday when it was me going!!!
I was so proud and excited to hear about Jordan! This is just so awesome! Thank you for the pictures. I love pictures and videos from you guys! Its like I am just sitting there talking. The kids are all getting so big! I can't get over Jades hair! So much! I love that she is wearing the Russian hat! I knew she would love it one day. I will never ever ever get over the pictures from Millie's birthday. Dang was that cute! And Mills and Gav are just presh. So great! I hope that everyone is doing well! I think about you guys often. I know I say that a lot, but its true. I love my mission, but I love you guys. The great thing about a mission is that one day, it will end. I only have to leave my family for just a short time and then I get to come back and be with you guys forever. Well... until I go teach in Thailand....we can talk about that later though.... hahahah. Anywho, I really am so glad that I came from such an amazing family. I am really lucky to have the background I do. It has blessed me so much. I hope all of you are doing well!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Love ya like a fat kid loves chocolate,
P.S. As of next Sunday, it will have been 7 years since I was diagnosed. Can you guys believe it? Where does the time