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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

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