FYI: There was a 5.0 earthquake in Costa Rica almost exactly in Santa Ana where Aleena is- she was sad to report that although there was much violent swaying reported that she slept through all of it. (The earthquake occurred at 2:40 AM) We are just glad that no one was killed. Also this is Week 11 (she might not know but her mom is keeping track :)
My Most Darling Family and Friends,
Oh what a week!! There’s so much to say and so little time to say it, I’m going to try to squish more then a little into this little, but just know that this week was a week of miracles!
First of all, all my thanks to this little blender and the recipes! This week I think I made a smoothie once a day at least... food never made a girl so happy! I made fruit ones, peanut butter and chocolate ones and I even tried a green one (that one didn’t make me as happy as the chocolate one to be honest). This baby blender has brought my companion and I closer then ever before haha.
To start off the week I had my check of the month! I told you all about it last week I believe.. Brief recap had a talk with pres., ate some food, ate some cake, and that was pretty much our whole p day. It was delicious no doubt! but it was super stressful because by the time we got back to Santa Anna p day was over and we had no time to get the house, kitchen or food in order. right away we knew we'd have a problem because we were ready to start a new week. But all was well for a few days. Unfortunately our enthusiasm from check of the month was lost pretty soon. Appointments started to fall, investigators stopped progressing, our food ran out and everybody knows what happens when there’s no food in the house... Hermana Kugath gets cranky. ha-ha, but really.. We hit a point where things just were not working. We were in the streets for hours with nowhere to go and no body to teach. Our numbers were the lowest they’ve ever been and it literally felt like the world was against our work. After about the 3rd day of this Hermana Bojorque and I sat down and had a serious talk. It was hard because we really felt like we were doing everything we could, opening our mouth, saying prayer upon prayer, but the Lord requires a little more from us then just faith and hard work. What he needs are smart organized workers. We sat down and completely reorganized our schedule. we were on the phone for a good couple of hours organizing, scheduling and rescheduling visits and appointments with auxiliary leaders, less actives and investigators. We made plans to be everywhere on time and to consolidate lessons and teach faster. You would not believe how much planning, organizing and inventing ideas goes into missionary work. Unfortunately its not just walking up and down streets and talking to everyone you see, its so so much more then that.
Well, after we organized ourselves and the next few days of appointments we started to see the miracles. We started having all kinds of lessons, planned and impromptu. We hit all of our goals. we taught some lessons that were really powerful and helped some investigators to make and keep more commitments. After 1 of these days of immense success we had some experiences to reinforce what we learned.. we were on our way to an appointment when we ran into our branch president. We chatted for a minute and as we were leaving he told us that he had been the zone leader for 18 sister missionaries. he knew the kind of results that hermanas were capable of and he was expecting great things from us. He told us that all the strongest families and converts in our branch were the product of sister missionaries. Immediately following this we had a lesson with a less active family, when we got down the father of the family told us that he loved to have us in his home, he didn’t know what it was but they were always more comfortable with the hermanas then with the elders. 2 times within an hour we were told how important we are to this work, to these people, in this area.
Obviously we became even more motivated. The next day was literally the best teaching day we’ve ever had. We placed 2 books of Mormon in the homes of families, received 5 new investigators, taught an investigator in the home of a member and taught 2 other lessons. I have never felt so achieved!
But wait, my miracles don’t stop there.. This Sunday was incredible for me. I walked in the Chapel and could name everyone in the room. I could go up to them and chat, ask about their family, their week, and something that was important to them.... and understand!! I could talk! Obviously not perfectly and I didn’t understand everything, but I could share a thought in relief society or set up an appointment without the help of my companion, tell a joke to a kid or answer a question! I was like a little kid in a candy store! During sacrament one of the elders gave a talk, I’m not positive, but I can almost guarantee that I understood every word he said.
Its an odd experience being able to watch yourself change, but I truly have seen changes in myself that I've been trying to do for years in a matter of weeks in the mission. I love to read the scriptures, I do it for fun! I love to get up early, I love to put my hair in a pony tail and not care at all if I’m the prettiest girl or not. I love to talk to strangers and share my testimony in the street. I love to pray, to talk to my heavenly father and sincerely express every tiny little thing I’m grateful for, to tell him every problem I have and to ask for his help, to sincerely repent 6 or 7 or 8 times in a single hour. I love to see myself speaking a language that a few weeks ago I couldn’t understand. A few weeks ago I was scared half to death to say hola... quick little story here, everyday we do something called and LPE. a lesson para encontrar (lesson to find, like street contacting.) we teach a true principle, extend a commitment and ask for a reference. the president has asked us to do 20 as a companionship every day. One day this week the Lord did not let me close my mouth, I did 28 in one day by myself! it was incredible!!!! As a district we have a contest to who can do the most LPE's in a week, and this week we won! The prize is a little ugly chicken trophy that says "no soy gallina" I’m not a chicken.... haha and we won!!! I’m not a chicken :) .... anyways, obviously I still have many many weaknesses, faults and downfalls (part of the mission is that it really amplifies all your best and worst traits) But now I know that I really can change. That these people I’m teaching have hope, have hope to BE something different. And to stay different. I know that it is only through my relationship with my Savior that this is possible. Only in his mercy and grace can I become a better Version of the Aleena I was and come home, to all of you, with the countenance of Christ within me. I am so excited to become something different! How powerful it is to change.
Anyways, sorry for my little self empowerment spill there, I just feel that it’s so important to know that Christ is our only hope for being more then our natural selves. Like it says in Mosiah 3:19... put off your natural self and become a saint. BECOME. its a process. A glorious, difficult, sweet, patience trying process. But through the atonement of Christ we will be perfected.
One other thing... I sincerely do love to pray. I pray for everyone back home, most of you by name specifically. I do my best to pray for your needs and wants, but id love to know if there’s anything in specific that you need... tell me! The Lord answers my personal prayers, I know it. Help me to help you help me:) its an honor and a privilege to have everyone of you in my life, the least I can do is send up a plea to the Father on your behalf.
Thank you everyone for everything you have done, do and continue to do for me. But mostly, thank you for loving me... I know I often make that difficult to do. I love you all!!
All my love,