Just real quick before I start my mass email, I read over my last email and holy cow that was just all over the place and I didn't really sound too happy. Just stressed or something. So appreciate that you thought it was a good one for some reason haha :) But anyway, I think I have just been SUPER stressed these past two weeks because of all the changes that have happened and because of all the over load of new responsibilities. I am praying to have my mission help me be a better wife and mother and I think Heavenly Father is helping me have those building up experience and so I just hope that because I am praying for them, I will take advantage of them and not complain about them or brush them off! I just wish I had a brain journal and everything I was thinking could be transferred to my journal. Because I explain things best through talking and thinking, not writing ha. And I want to remember many years down the road, all the wonderful things Heavenly Father helped me learn on my mission. I want to remember these building and shaping experiences because He is giving them to me and I am just praying to be able to realize them because if He is giving them to me and I am not realizing them, then He might just stop giving them to me if you know what I mean. Like when someone asks me "What did you learn on your mission?" or "What did you learn from your companions?" I want to be able to answer them sincerely and genuinely. I just sometimes have a hard time actually thinking about what I have learned even though of course I have learned SO much!
But anyway, I just wanted to tell you that if I sound stressed and all that...I probably am ha, but it is SO GOOD!! As you know, I have a new comp. Sis. Williams. Well I really hate to say this and I don't like to talk about her like this but I just wanted to tell you since you are my mother and so maybe you will understand a little more what has been going on. I mean this in the nicest way possible but she is more like a junior companion and against my desires, I have had to kinda play the senior comp. role. And it is so hard. When we plan for the next day and also for our investigators for the next day, she doesn't really do anything. She just waits for me to make the decisions. And that does not seem like a big deal, but holy cow it is ha. And I don't want to say all these things so doesn't do so I will stop but they are just other things like that where she is supposed to be doing something because she is senior comp but she has a hard time doing it so I will have to do it. but she is like me, she is indecisive. So two indecisive people together is not a good combo haha :) You know how you always told me that you hope I get a daughter like me? Haha! Well I think I did in a way with Sis. Williams haha :)
But even though this situation is really quite twisted and hard at times, I know that it is because Heavenly Father has a reason for it. This is teaching me so much. It is helping me rely on Jesus Christ and His atonement more. It is helping me see how much God's hands really are with us. It is helping me become more patient (I hope), and because I have this greater responsibility it is helping me see that with God's help I can do all things! And maybe her is preparing me for something that I will need to do in the future on my mission. Who knows. I do get frustrated at times but when I do I just have to remember that I am only in my perspective and that I need to have a more broad and eternal perceptive if I want to be happy. Because being spiritually minded is life eternal! I am also learning how hard it is going to be when I become a mother and have to do this type of thing (lots of responsibilities and things to remember) X how ever many kids I have! Mom you are just incredible. I think about that more and more everyday. About how charitable and Christ like you are. And it is so amazing. I am trying to be like Jesus but I want to be like you too. Because you are the closest person there is! And mom I sincerely mean that. I saw it before my mission, but I see it even more now and you are just incredible. I love you so much and I am so glad to hear that all is well back home. I know that God is watching over my family. You are all in my prayers and in my thoughts. I hope Devon is doing well. Tell his parents that I love them and I am praying for them and for sweet Devon. I hope Erik can find someone good enough for him soon. I can just picture him as a dad and oh my goodness what an awesome family he is going to have. He will be such an amazing father! I can't wait to see him with little kiddies :) How are the Bennett's? I hope things are working out for their family. I was thinking about them this morning when Sis. Williams and I sang "Go Forth with Faith." They really are going forth with faith during this hard time and they are such amazing examples to me. I actually talked about their family and how trusting in God they are to an investigator that was going through a hard time. They thought their story about being trusting and faithful during this time with their boys in Haiti was wonderful. And so do I!!
Well this was a lot longer than expected! I will try to get a mass one written. Love you so much mom!!! :)
My dear family and friends,
I failed to mention our 4th of July festivities last week! Our mission president wanted us to be in our homes my 7:00 pm that night just to stay safe and protected from the craziness of the holiday. We were asked to do weekly planning that night :) But we did get to have dinner with an awesome family! They are the Sortomme family and they live in the 1st ward. They have a set of twin boys that are 18 years old and they have been friends with a 17 year old young man named Thomas for a while. They grew up with him. Well Thomas had been to church with their family a few times and they told us to come over on the 4th and have a yummy dinner with them (which oh my stars it was good!) and meet Thomas Walker. They also told us that Thomas had read the Book of Mormon in one week during the summer and that he was an awesome young man. So of course we were super excited to meet him. So that night we met Thomas and talked to him a bit. We asked him if he was interested in this religion and to our surprise he said no. I was really confused! But we got to talking a little more and one of the Sortomme sons (not one of the twins) bore his testimony about the church and about how important it is to give missionaries a chance to teach because you will never know if you don't listen and find our for yourself. After that Thomas said he would think about it. It was a nice conversation and we were able to say a prayer with all of them before we left. Well Sunday comes around and Thomas was there! HE comes up to US after sacrament meeting and asks US when we can have a lesson!! It was one of the many miracles that we saw that week :) We set up a day to meet and taught the plan of salvation because he has already been taught the Restoration. And we asked him to be baptized. He said yes :) It was so amazing. He is so amazing. I have been praying so earnestly to find one of Heavenly Father's elect and to find someone who Heavenly Father has been preparing and Thomas showed up. He is prepared. We have him on date for the 3rd of August :) He is very excited because his birthday is on the 4th and his dad will be home! His dad is a truck driver and is not home very much. But I think it is pretty neat because he will be receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost on his birthday. What a special blessing and day that will be for him and for all of us! I know that Heavenly Father has prepared and is preparing many people to accept His gospel. They are hard to find but I know that through sincere prayer and fasting, it can and will be done. He wants us to find them. He knows they are precious. And because he wants us to find them he will provide a way for us to do so if we so desire.
Here is a little update on a few of our investigators:
Linda Trumble is on date for the 3rd of August as well! She has a smoking problem and is trying hard to quit. But if she wants to be baptized on the 3rd then she has to be clean for 2 weeks before that. And that is coming up. We have tried so many different things to help her but she is still having a hard time. We told her that if she really wants it, Heavenly Father will provide a way for her to do it. So prayers for her would be wonderful :)
Neshia Farag had three younger siblings that we are teaching and I can't remember if I mentioned them already. They are so wonderful and the fact that we are now teaching them is a blessing and miracle! The all came to her baptism and since then they have wanted to take the lessons! We haven't been able to meet with their dad yet though but we have a lesson with them tonight and he will be there! I cannot wait to teach all of them together! We have been praying to find a family and so yet another miracle has been given to us by our loving Heavenly Father!
Yesterday was a miracle day. I know that Heavenly Father puts us in the right places at the right times and that no situation is a coincidence. Yesterday was Sunday and so it was a very busy day for us. We went to three ward councils (1st, 3rd, and spanish branch in Quincy) and had some other meetings and then we went to part of one ward and all of another ward. So we didn't set our goals (numbers) very high that day because we had very little time to actually be working. But guess what? That was not Heavenly Father's plan ha. We had a wonderful evening and just day in general and we had many more things happen than we had planned. We received two referrals that day which doesn't seem high and maybe it's not but I was so excited about it ha. And we talked to 4 different people about who we were and what our message was. We didn't have actual lessons with all them though. One of those people was James Bacon. We were just walking down by some trailers and this guy yells to us hi. We didn't see him before he said anything. We go over to him and introduce ourselves and the whole time he just has a smile on his face. Then he asks us "Can I have one of your books?" WHAT?! I was so happy!! :) We told him of course he could!! I have been wanting something like that to happen my entire mission and now it did! I was so thankful to Heavenly Father for that experience. He really does hear us and he really does know the desires of our hearts. It is hard sometimes when we don't know His timing or how things will work out but it is just so amazing and sweet when things do. We talked to James a little more about the church and we came to find out that he might be a little handicap in some way. But that doesn't matter. We will have to be more patient with him because he likes to talk and get off subject but I still believe that he is prepared. He has a sweet spirit. I am actually out of time and have more things to say about James but I will finish next week! We have a lesson with him this week though! :)
I have seen so many miracles this past week. I know that these things are happening because this is God's work and glory. His children are learning how they can receive eternal life and it is a beautiful thing. His commandments are blessing. The mission rules are there to protect. Keep the commandments, keep the commandments, in this there is safety, in this there is peace. I love this song. It is very true. I want to be as obedient as I can so that this wonderful place can see miracles and can grow in the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know he died for us and I know that he lives for us. Yo se que la unica manera que podamos regresar a Dios y recibir la vida eterna es por medio de Jesucristo y su Evangelio. Esta es la orba del Padre. I love you all so much and I love being a missionary! It puts a smile on my face! :)
Thanks for everything family and friends!! I am so blessed and I love you all! GO FORTH WITH FAITH! And it doesn't hurt to add a smile :D
Hermana Katelyn Syphus