Dear Mom and Dad,
This week was...not very great but not bad either. I don't know if that makes sense. But it was difficult in a lot of ways but not in other ways. I don't really know how to explain it other than to tell you that I'm okay.
On Monday, we went to see the Wilcox family. They are this super awesome family who is super missionary minded and they have a ginormous house. They love missionaries and they love helping us whenever we need it. We went over when they were getting ready to make dinner and they invited us for dinner. I hadn't really eaten all day and they were having tacos which I was craving so we took them up on the offer. It was really good. They had a friend over from Hawaii. i can't remember her name because it was Hawaiian and it was hard to pronounce but she gave us a referral for a friend of hers who lives in another ward but she thought it would be better for sisters to go over there. I hope we will be able to help her. We haven't gotten the chance to go over yet but we definitely will.
On Tuesday, we had district meeting. We also had our zone leadership meeting. I love that meeting because it is always a testimony to me that some of the best missionaries are in this mission. I find it really amazing that 18, 19, 20 year old young adults are sitting around a table, discussing how to help other people come unto Christ and how to help their stewardships be better missionaries. It's crazy that we do that...and it's crazy that I get to be a part of it. We had a wonderful district meeting in which Elder Judy, our awesome district leader, trained us on teaching missionaries are happy missionaries and he talked about teaching the members. When missionaries come visit you, you should ask them to teach you the lessons we teach investigators. We have had some really powerful experience with that. I love it. We ate lunch with the assistants because they owed me for my birthday. We went to The Habit. You all would love it. I love it. It has really yummy burgers and really yummy salads and they sell tri-tip too. Have you ever had tri-tip? It's a really expensive specific cut of a cow, I think. I'm not sure what kind of cut though. We did some service for old people. We played Bingo with them and this fun card game called Kings in a Corner, which you would enjoy. Then we did some arts and crafts with them. You know how artistic I am...which is to say, not artistic at all. We ate dinner with the Bellistons. He is our new ward mission leader. They have crazy kids but they are cute. They're younger boy says some crazy things. We took Ashley Olsen out with us to see M. But M wouldn't sit down long enough for us to teach her so we taught Sister Robinson. It was kind of sad. Ashley is really sweet. She is thinking about serving a mission but she's not sure yet.
Wednesday was kind of unproductive. We had a long day but didn't do a ton. We did see the Adams for dinner. They are super nice and fed us yummy burgers. then we went to see our investigator, E, with a laurel named who is super sweet. She is probably going to go to BYU-I. Our lesson with E was kind of all over the place but he was talking through everything on his own! It was really cool. He was talking through his problems and concerns on his own and it is our goal to just be there and let him do that. We decided we are only there to teach him and extend commitments that are going to continue to help him talk himself through his concerns. He will get baptized eventually and I think he knows that. He just needs time.
Thursday, we had weekly planning. I was struggling a lot that day for some reason and I told Sister Russell. She thought I should call Sister Clark, who is in charge of emotional health issues so I did. Sister Clark really helped me. She committed me to do the breathing exercises Leslie taught me when I was seeing her and to pick something from the Adjusting to Missionary Life handbook to work on daily. So we are doing that for a week. I will account to her at our Mission Leadership Council on Friday. It has helped a little and I'm sure it will continue to help if I just focus on what I need to do. We are painting this woman's fence for her so we did that for about an hour. We are going back this week to continue working on it. We had dinner with the Hutchasons. I love them so much. they are about the sweetest people ever. They made chicken cordon bleu (I'm not sure how to spell it). It was so good. I haven't had that for the longest time! I remember when Brit would make it. We took Marissa Olsen out with us to see the Echeverrias. They are moving so we were goign to see if they needed any help. They didn't but they had books that we looked through...you may be getting a package with some books in it, just so ya know.
Friday was leadership training for all the district leaders, zone leaders, and sister training leaders. It was really good for me because when I had called Sister Clark she asked if I wanted to be released from my calling and I told her no because I knew that would only add to my anxiety--I'd feel like a failure. But Friday morning I was questioning that decision so I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me to know what to do--if I should, in fact, ask to be released. It was amazing to me how often President and Sister Clark said in that meeting that "you are called to be a leader at this time for a reason." They had every confidence in me, and I know that this is just a bump in the road. I know I can make it through as long as I rely on my Heavenly Father. We got some training on how to help our stewardships so that was really nice. I actually contributed to the conversation which I am learning isn't as hard as I originally thought. It is really great to see that my comments do actually help people. Sister Russell came away with a lot of things to work on and she has six weeks to do it before she goes back to Nauvoo (did I tell you I have another visitor center sister?? Apparently, God just likes me to be with them). I want to do everything I can to help her improve but I can't do that if I'm struggling. I decided that I was going to do my best to be happy through everything and then I could help her become the best missionary she can be. I hope I can help her. We stopped by to see the woman's whose fence we're painting, because she had a birthday present for me! She gave me some CDs that she recorded herself. They are cover songs and we can listen to a few of them but not a ton of them. It's okay though. It was sweet. We got to see a recent convert, too. She's so sweet. She is so wise and great. We are trying to get her to church but she hasn't been coming.
Saturday was a day filled with service activities. We started at D's house and weeded for her. Then we went to the church to help A set up for her baby shower. It was fun! Then we actually got to go to the baby shower. That was a blast. We got to decorate onesies and Sister Russell and I made a missionary! We put a tie on it and then next to the tie, a name tag that said "Elder Baby." We ate dinner with the Hardens and Sister Harden's parents and the elders from her parents ward--Elder Dale and Elder Shillabeer. The latter is from England and he's hilarious! He was making me laugh through the whole dinner. He has only been out a transfer so he's pretty new. We had a movie night after dinner. We got to watch Passage to Zarahemla. It was so good but the ending was so sad! I cried. It's okay though.
Sunday was pretty good. I was trying to be strong all day for my companion and I think I did a pretty good job. We ate dinner with Sister Robinson. She's such a sweetheart. She's working on going to the temple. I'm proud of her. We saw the Echeverrias again. they are looking at a house within the ward boundaries! I'm so excited! We then saw the Robertsons. they are so great. I love that couple.
This week was rough and I'm feeling a tad homesick and my companion is struggling too but I know I can get through just about anything if I put my mind to it. I love her and I want to help her so I hope I'll be able to.
I got my birthday presents! I appreciated it all.
I love you all so much and I'm so grateful to be here even when it's hard. I pray for you daily and I hope you can feel that!
Sister Abigail Reese