Friday, September 19, 2014

Changes for Abby

I was struggling last week. I'll be honest about that. But I didn't want you to worry. Apparently you know me better than that because you worried anyway. But I know your fasting and prayers helped me so much because I'm doing awesome now. Thank you for that. I am doing a lot better and I know that I will be okay.
I love Sister Henderson and Sister Jensen. They are both so great! I know that they are wonderful women who love me and are probably praying for me too. I am grateful for them. Please let them know that.
I don't really remember what I emailed last week. I was struggling and I didn't want to worry you. I guess it didn't matter. You know me much better than that. But I promise you that I am okay and I am never going to give up. This opportunity, this chance, has been the best thing in my life to this point, and I know that will be the best version of me when I come home in fourteen months. Know that I think of you often, but not too often because I need to focus. I love you and it gives me strength thinking of you. I know that your fasting and prayers helped me a lot. I could feel them and they have given me the strength I need. I hope that you know that.
I look for the blessings God has given me everyday. He has given me so much. I know that to be true. It's not easy, but I know it's worth it. Like you said, we both knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize how hard it would be. It's harder than I ever imagined but worth more than I ever thought. It's crazy how much I've changed and much strength I have gained from this experience. I have wonderful elders and sisters and wonderful leaders and a wonderful mission president who are on my side and cheering me on just like you and everyone else at home. I know that I will be able to do anything simply because I have all these people in my corner.
The Lord has placed His trust in me through President Clark. Sister Ard and I got a call from President Clark on Friday night. He told us that he was surprised when Sister Ard and I stayed together this transfer but he knew the Lord would provide. And He did. There is a Temple Square sister up in Modesto who is gong back to Temple Square on Wednesday and her companion is going home on Wednesday as well. They need missionaries there for the rest of the transfer and two new Temple Square sisters are coming on Wednesday. Sister Ard is now in Modesto and I am staying here in Fresno over Alluvial and Woodward Park. I will be getting my new companion on Wednesday--a temple Square sister from Denmark. Sister Ard is getting the other one, from the Philippines. I will be leading the area--the two areas--with this Temple Square sister and I will also be training her in the way we do missionary work. this is a huge task that I have been asked to do but I am so grateful for it. I know the Lord has given me this opportunity because He knows I can do it. Out of all the sisters in this mission, He chose me and I know that I will make Him proud if I rely on Him. I hope you are proud of me too. I'm scared and excited and nervous but I know it's the right thing. I know He has been preparing me for this. I know I will do great. I have so many people on my side and I will be able to do anything with that.
The investigator we had with a baptismal date no longer has a date. But he knows he needs to be baptized. During the lesson we had with him on Saturday--I was with Sister Monson and Sister Bennion, who I came out with--there were some concerns that came out, and that needed to come out, because of questions I asked him. It was intense and scary and I was praying the whole time that the Lord would be with us. But he hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon so I promised him if he would, his concerns would be resolved. I know they will be if he does what we asked. Please pray for him. His name is Alan.
I am with Sister Bennion and Sister Monson in Shepherd! I love these sisters! I came out with them and President told me that we needed to get work done when he called (he knew we would).. I love being here. I love being a missionary even though it's hard. It has taught me so much and helped me grow so much.
I love you, Mom. You have been an amazing influence on my life. I am so grateful for that. Please know that I know you are praying for me and I know you want me to be my best. I'm trying to make you proud.
Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese
I wasn't going to send you a letter, but I thought it might help me to get it all out to someone at home. And it did. I am doing a lot better today than I was last week. I tell myself everyday that I am doing the work the Lord expects of me. It is hard being homesick, but I know that it really is something that Satan is using against me. It makes me so angry that he is using my family against me, but I know that I can withstand it. I got an email from Ty last week who told me that I needed to stay. I know that. I have already grown so much and I know that growth would just go to waste if I went home. I have so much support here and so many elders and sisters who love me and care about me and want to help me. I also had the privilege of meeting with President Clark on Saturday. He asked me how I was doing and asked how the family was. He gave me a blessing of strength and comfort and diligence and lots of other things. Ever since then I have been very...calm. I love hearing stories about a child's faith because their faith is so much stronger than we know. I am trying everyday to have the faith of a child. I'm working on it and I know the Lord will help me overcome everything if I rely on Him as you've said I should.
So...crazy things happened this week. The Lord and President Clark have placed their trust and faith in me. on Friday night, Sister Ard and I got a call from President. He talked to us about how the two Temple Square sisters we have are going back to Temple Square on Wednesday. One of the Temple Square sisters here is with a sister who is going home on Wednesday. At that point, I knew that one of us would be leaving. Sister Ard was assigned to go to Modesto where the Temple Square sister and the sister going home are at. She will be with one of the new Temple Square sisters coming in on Wednesday and I will be with the other one. On top of covering two areas, I am now leading that area and sort of training a new sister who doesn't know missionary work the way we do. I'm excited and scared and nervous and grateful all at the same time. It blows my mind that the Lord has put so much trust in me and I am so excited to grow and to prove that I can do it.
So we had an investigator with a baptismal date. However, we met with him on Saturday--I had the Shepherd sisters with me--and there were some concerns that came up. He needs to resolve those concerns before he is baptized. I promised him that if he would read the Book of Mormon (because he's not) his concerns would be resolved. And I know they will be if only he will read the Book of Mormon. I have all the faith in the world that he will be baptized because he knows it is what is right. He wants to join the church, but he needs to get past this block that is stopping him. I know it is Satan just trying to stop him. So will y'all pray for him? His name is Alan.
I loved the picture of the pig and the fridge! The pig is so cute. What happened to it? Did you keep it? It's cute. (Our neighbor apparently has a pot-bellied pig for a pet and it got out and was wandering around in front of our house.  Bill to a picture of it and sent it to Abby)
Dad, I love you. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. You're such an amazing man and I am so proud to be your daughter. You have helped me through so much in my life. I hope you know how much I love you and how much you have impacted my life. I pray for you every night. Love you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

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