Monday, April 8, 2013

P-Day #2!

Hola Familia!
Well, it's officially P-Day #2!  I have SO much to say to you...but first things first.
THERE'S GOING TO BE A CEDAR CITY TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I TOLD YOU SO! YOU THOUGHT I WAS CRAZY. BUT I'M NOT!!!!!!! I'M SO INSANELY HAPPY.  As I've been here, I've still felt sure that SUU is where I belong after my mission.  I know that a lot could still change, but for now I'm so incredibly happy to say that Cedar will be getting a Temple at some point.
The announcement was awesome! All week, I had been telling my District how badly I wanted a Cedar City Temple to be announced.  On a side note, I'm the only Sister in the District that hasn't had a complete emotional breakdown during class, so the Elders have been waiting to see tears come from my eyes.  We were sitting in a huge Auditorium watching conference with all the missionaries.  When President Monson started talking about Temples, I was literally on the edge of my seat.  As soon as he announced the Cedar City Temple, I threw my fist high in the air and cheered.  Then, I froze.  I put my head in my hands and sobbed like a baby.  Excited for me and thrilled to see me crying for the first time, the Elders and Sisters in my District stared at me in shock.  A few took pictures.  It was insane.  Someone asked me if I was going to be married there if it got done on time and I threw my hands up and yelled "HECK YES I AM!!!!!"  Then, I paused and said, "WAIT!!! No, no I'm not! I'm getting married in the St. George Temple!!!!!  I just got carried away for a second! I'm getting married in the St. George Temple!!!!!"  They all thought it was hilarious.
Conference was amazing! It was such a neat experience to sit in a room filled with missionaries.  I always use on side of my journal for promptings I receive, and one for typical note taking.  I used the majority of the Sessions writing down promptings.  I had some AMAZING answers to my questions.  It seemed like the focus was on two things: Missionary Work and Families.  I LOVED that!  Those two things are my biggest focus.  We had a fireside this week and it was ALL about starting your own family.  He talked about how having a family is the greatest work we'll ever do.  He then said, "So, why on earth are you all here?  Why aren't you out starting families?"  He then went on and pointed out the Nephi and his brothers went to get the Plates BEFORE they went to get wives--they couldn't start a solid family without that solid foundation.  He talked about how much our missions will bless our future families. That has been one of my biggest motivations to learn all that I can while I'm here.
Well, I've continued to earn my title of the "Baby Sister."  I keep digging myself a bigger hole and earning the nickname. 

For future reference, if you're trying to prove yourself as mature and capable, don't tell people that the scrapes on your hands are from a rollerblading accident, don't put a Batman sticker on your "zippy," don't wear superhero T-shirts to gym time, don't let yourself forget that your playing Indoor Volleyball, not Wallyball, and try to pass a ball after it hits the wall, and, for the love of all the good in this world, DO NOT TELL THEM THAT YOU THINK THE REASON THE UCHTDORFS ARE SUCH A CUTE COUPLE IS BECAUSE THEY'RE SUPER AWKWARD AND YOU THINK AWKWARDNESS IS ADORABLE AND PLAN TO MARRY SOMEONE AWKWARD. Trust me, you'll NEVER hear the end of that one.  It's funny that I get teased so much for being the youngest Sister, because several of the Elders are even younger than me.  Oh well!  At least it's funny.
We've continued to teach our "Investigator" Fabian.  We had a really special experience with him this week!  My Spanish is good, but not amazing.  Needless to say, my lesson on Temple work did not go very well...he "thinks" we take dead bodies into the Temple and Baptize them.  Oops.  We decided that, from that point forward, we would avoid any Temple talk and open-ended questions that could lead him to Temple talk.  Well, two lessons later, I felt prompted to ignore that plan.  As we "prepared Fabian for Baptism," I asked if he had any questions at all about the Church.  Sister Price looked at me with a horrified look.  Of course, he asked about the Temple.  He said that he heard some people say that the Mormon Temples were good, but most said that they were of "El Diablo."  I still couldn't find the right Spanish words to describe Temple work, so I let the Spirit do the talking.  I asked him if we could take a short walk.  We walked to the Temple and I asked him how he felt when he looked at it.  He described "light" and "peace."  I read him a scripture that popped into my head, and then explained that those feelings could not come from the Devil. He told us he wanted to do whatever he could do to prepare to enter.  It was awesome!
The next day, I was sitting in class and Hermano Wells, the man who acts as Fabian, came into the room and asked if he could talk to me--in English.  He took me outside of the room to the "Interview Seats" and said, "I just want you to know that I have been 'Fabian' for three years now, and my lessons with you and your companion have been the highlight of the experience.  I've never seen anyone be so in tune with the Spirit and the language so early on.  I really do feel the love you have for 'Fabian'.   No one has EVER had the idea to walk me to the Temple--that was special.  Your Spirit is amazing and you're going to be an awesome missionary."  That meant A TON to me.  But, as I reflected on it as I wrote a letter about it that night, I realized something amazing.  Yes, I was the first person that had ever connected so deeply with Fabian--I'm also the first and only 19 year old girl that he had ever worked with. WOW.  That was an awesome realization. Yes, I am the "Baby Sister."  I get my head patted, I get jokes about "Oh, did you learn that in high school...last year?", I do love Batman, and I do have rollerblading scabs.  But, Hermano Wells helped me realize that I am EVERY bit is prepared, worthy, and able to be here as anyone else.  That's the most beautiful part of the age change.  Heavenly Father isn't just calling some dumb little 18-19 year old boys and girls to do His work.  He has called people that he has been preparing for years.  He has blessed us to be as capable as the older Missionaries.  It's amazing.  By myself, I am just a nerdy little 19 year old, but I know that, with God, I can become a great missionary.  That is the biggest desire of my heart right now.
Well, an awesome 'family-creating' experience and an awesome 'missionary' experience.  Like I said, those are the two things I think about the most.  But, I worried that if I think too much about my future family, it will take away from the work.  That's one thing I really needed to get from Conference--and I did.  I had the most incredible impression that right now, my number one focus is to learn all that I can and prepare to find some Fabians out there, but that there would be a period of time after my mission where I could practice applying these things to my daily life before I start my family.  WOW!
So, my take-home message from this week was this.  YES, my family WILL be blessed for my service one day and I will be a better wife and mother because of it.  But, my focus for being here isn't my family--it's Christ and the people seeking to know Him.  After I come home, I'll be able to start using the experiences from my mission to apply to daily life and THEN my family will be my focus...and it will be better because of my mission.  That's SO awesome to know!!!!!!
I love this Gospel so much and am so excited to take it to the people of Peru.  I love you all and I miss you like crazy!!!
Hermana Simonson

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