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Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5th, 2013

Hello Everyone!!!!

i am full to bursting! CAPS CAN'T EVEN EXPRESS HOW HAPPY I AM!!!
My God is a God of MIRACLES.
this week has been crazy. so much has happened! biggest things: tuesday we got in contact with a referral from some other elders, jo. we also met his girlfriend kat, and we PUT THEM ON DATE FOR BAPTISM ONAUGUST 31!!  it was a great lesson! we had a church tour with them thursday and it was kinda rough cause there was a lot of competing to talk, but we ended it in the chapel and the Spirit was SO strong. we sang "I am a child of God," talked about Jesus Christ and how this is His gospel, and how through Him we can get through anything. Kat cried and jo said he almost did. it was so amazing to SEE them EXPERIENCE the gospel and the Spirit!

yesterday was seriously the best day of my life. shannon (another investigator), kat, and jo all came to church! and to smorrow's and my shock and wonder, JO GOT UP AND BORE HIS TESTIMONY. HE SAID THAT HE KNOWS THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH AND THAT HE IS COMMITTED. WE didn't even know all of that! he made people cry with his testimony! luckily he didn't swear over the pulpit, haha. but seriously, it was amazing. i'm still in shock. i mean, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? is this real life? sure doesn't feel like it! OUR INVESTIGATOR BORE HIS TESTIMONY. we taught the lesson in relief society about missionary work and in the middle of it, kat raised her hand and thanked us for being her friends, for sharing the truth with her, and for helping her feel so happy. jaw dropped, it's fine. i just can't believe it. i feel SO BLESSED to be witness and a part of this miracle. and it'll only get better!! they know it's true! we have to work on the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, but i KNOW it's possible, and the Lord will help them do anything they need to in order to get baptized, as long as they put in the effort to know that it's true for themselves and trust in Jesus Christ. it is INSANE how prepared they are - kat stopped drugs and alcohol ON HER OWN 2 weeks before we met her - one of many examples. they've been through so much but they are really looking for the truth, and THEY KNOW THEY'VE FOUND IT!
this tuesday we also did exchanges, and i got to be with sister barlow from my MTC district! oh it was great, and i've come to love her so much more now - REALLY love her. we met this AMAZING girl, elizabeth, 17 years old, and we put her ON DATE FOR AUGUST 31!! she was so prepared too! 2 of her grandparents died last summer, and since then she's had a much closer relationship with God. and it was such a miracle we found her home, not busy, right then - she lives with her mom in another city and was just visiting! i'm still sad that i'll probably never see her again, cause we made a real connection and i really love her! but i just had the thought: we'll hug in heaven. :D AH this is the best joy - gospel joy!

i think the biggest miracle of my mission overall is how many people i love. i never knew my heart could be this big. and it keeps growing!
we also finally made contact with another referral, marsel! we had an awesome church tour with him friday, although he didn't come to our church (we really hope he went to 9 o'clock church with his aunt, who's a member, like he said he would). he got the chills when i recited joseph smith's account of the first vision. we put him on date for baptism for AUGUST 24!! 

shannon has been investigating the church for 8 years, on and off, and we still haven't had an actual lesson with her but we will tomorrow, actually. she considers herself an "honorary member" cause she's been taught so much, haha. she's really awesome though - super nice, outgoing, everything. she really loves the people and the social aspect of it, but she's working on trying to feel the Spirit more. she felt it SUPER strongly at a YSA activity about a month ago, (made her cry) and she wants to feel it again. and she's found the more sure-fire way
 to feel the Spirit! read the Book of Mormon :)
i LOVE "the psalm of nephi" : 2 Ne 4. please read it, everyone? thanks :) 
oh how i love you. every single one of you. yes, that sounds cheesy, but IT'S TRUE! there is NO LIMIT to how many people we can love! i am determined to love as many people as humanly possible in this life. 
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Hehl

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello Everyone,

it will have been 2 months next week - CRAZY. 2 months already trumps 2 years with personal growth. i am so grateful to be serving a mission. i try to appreciate it more and more every day. i am privileged to directly be a part of this work, to get to spread the gospel to my brothers and sisters for 18 months straight! and i know i'll miss it when i'm home, so i'm trying to enjoy every moment! and don't worry, sister morrow and i laugh at least once every five minutes, it's fine :) one of my joys is really making other people laugh!

SURPRISE! sister morrow and i got transferred together out of our complete zone into the federal way stake mirror lake YSA branch! so we cover the whole stake! ha yes, it's super different (being surrounded by peers, being a YSA but not being there to be a YSA...), but boy is it great! we came and got to work right on tuesday, and the members and especially the leaders are SO supportive! we thought the anomaly of an out of zone transfer together meant the ward wasn't liking us or something...but we're finding out that the members here have been hoping and praying for sisters for a long time! we feel very appreciated and almost popular,'s weird. after church yesterday, people (both brothers and sisters) were waiting to talk to us, some to sign up to come out and visit with us. and all the activities during the week (FHE mondays, ultimate frisbee tuesdays and wednesdays, stake activities thursdays, and game nights fridays-sundays) really promote members bringing their friends in a non-threatening environment, so it's perfect for missionary work! we can feel the work practically TINGLING here, ready to explode! it's so so exciting!

i'm so glad i've stayed with sister morrow - surrounded by new things, it's so nice to have something (someone) familiar. and we already have our rhythm and personalities down, so we don't have to spend time figuring those things out with a new companion. my relationship with her is so close, even just for 2 months. ha i guess that's what happens when you're with each other 24/7! but we have the same goals for missionary work, (although we have slightly different ways of going about it, which is good) we have basically the same humor and temperament - we're just best friends! i didn't think it could happen so quickly but it did! even when we have disagreements or we're mad or annoyed with each other, we eventually talk it out and we come out stronger friends. we've come to accept each other completely in all our flaws and quirks, it's great. i'm learning how real relationships with other people work - how openness is SO much better than keeping things in! it sometimes just makes us angry, but it engenders such openness and acceptance that we can really work together, unified, in this work.

some favorite quotes:
"it is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul - he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness. those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel (see 3 ne 11:15, 3 ne 18:25." -Elder Holland

"contentment comes not from great wealth, but from few wants."

"true conversion is more than a fleeting emotional response to a spiritual experience. it is a spiritual response even after experiences have passed and emotions have faded. it is not temporary, but permanent. it is not accidental, but intentional. it is not intermittent, but continuous. and continuous conversion is possible only as we apply the continuous Atonement of Jesus Christ." -brad wilcox

also, look up the stories of john turner (his leg was healed miraculously and he gave TONS of money to the church, helping them stay afloat!) and brother moyle (was a stonecutter called to work on the salt lake temple, walked from alpine to salt lake every week to do it) (i hope those are their names...they're on the doctrine and covenants videos used for seminary...i hope you can find them! if not, i'll try to narrow it down for you next week)

how was pioneer day for everyone back in utah? haha surprise surprise no one celebrates it was weird to realize during the day that it was july 24 but nothing out of the ordinary was going on...we did have talks on pioneers this sunday (yesterday) though! that plus watching church history videos has helped me appreciate pioneers and early saints SO much more. they gave everything to give us a foundation, and now we can build a superstructure - but only because of them.

this past saturday, i had a POWERFUL self-conversion experience. in sister morrow's words, "this is the best kind of missionary work - when we become more converted." i can say confidently that i'm more converted. i know more fully how weak i am - no matter how hard i try, i WILL fail, and fail, and fail! i am imperfect. i'm prideful, i know SO little, i keep stumbling. but i FINALLY realized i need to stop trying to do this alone. i CANNOT do it! i CAN'T have faith like john turner and brother moyle overnight. i CAN'T learn the whole Bible, understand fully and recite the stories in the Book of Mormon like i want to, overnight. I CAN'T teach perfectly, be led by the Spirit 24/7. I CAN'T love perfectly. and so many more things...i realized i raised my expectations of myself way too high - higher even than what the Lord expects of me. and i've been getting so frustrated at myself and my inability to rid myself of my imperfections. i want to be rid of them now! i will forever be grateful to sister morrow - she suggested i look at how much i've already progressed by reading my journal 2 months ago. i flipped to my setting apart blessing, where i summarized, "the Lord will help me be exactly who i need to be, when i need to be...the Lord will be satisfied with me and i will be satisfied." wow. THE LORD KNEW I WOULD NEED THOSE WORDS RIGHT AT THAT TIME! i'm blown away by how He knows and loves and provides for me. now i'm starting to see how weak i am, and how much i need my Savior. i am determined to stop trying to perfect myself alone, because i can't. i will now rely more fully on Him every hour of every day, and trust that as i obey Him and follow Him, He WILL make me into the person i want to be - and more.

I love you all!!

Sister A. Hehl