Saturday, March 1, 2014

God Our Strength Will Be, Press Forward. . .

February 24, 2014


Well, there is a riot outside of the Internet building right now, so my letter will probably be funny since I am a little distracted.

Woah, not kidding something just blew up. Okay never mind it was just a firecracker. This is fun! Gotta love Iquitos.

Well, I think my theme of being "Infinitely More" last week will be the same this week.  As promised, I'll be completely honest about everything.

I was making a lot of progress and things had gotten a lot better, but anxiety showed its ugly face yet again this week. Things were going great until one night when a night panic kept me from sleeping. . .then the next night, and the next night. I was feeling awful and finally had to reach out, yet again, for help.  

I am so incredibly blessed! Normally a District Leader gets changed out every transfer, but I've been with the same one for almost six months now. Yes, remember Elder Muñoz, the one from Chile that was super mean and made me cry every week while I was with Hermana Dickey? But then he ended
up being the one that got worried enough about me to talk to me about the possibility of anxiety and made me talk to the President and all that and then ended up being a huge help for me? Yup, he's still here and I am so thankful!

When I called asking for a blessing, he already knew what was up. He didn't even need to ask me to remind him what my full name was or if I want to do the oil and who I want to do the sealing, he already knew the drill since this is like the 4th time I've been "sick or afflicted" in the last five or six months.

The blessing was incredibly powerful. It was so specific and I was promised so many good things.
When I was just getting ready to sleep that night, he called to ask how I was and promised me that I would be able to sleep that night because those exact words were in the blessing. I felt very well taken
care of.

But even with that, I didn't sleep that night, or the next night. I was confused. I remember thinking "why isn't it working?" They have the Priesthood and I have faith, everything should work out as it was said in the blessing. That's when I realized something. The promises in the blessing didn't come with a timeline. Everything is the Lord's time and I am being blessed with the opportunity to learn patience
and keep forward even when it is hard. I am so grateful for the help of my leaders, the power of the Priesthood, and the Holy Ghost, all of which make this a lot easier.

Despite the problems of last week, last night as the Zone was leaving a meeting in the Stake Center, the Zone Leaders stopped us all to make a few announcements. P-Day, goals, the normal stuff. Then, they said "Her District Leader asked us to wait a bit longer to tell her, but we've decided to do it anyway! We talked to the Assistants last week, and Hermana Simonson has exceeded the Mission Standard of Excellence for Familias Baptized!"

Yes, I know that this work isn't mine and that the Spirit does everything, but it was still a good feeling to
know that I really do have a purpose here, help families! After everything, I was reminded, yet again, that "We are Infinitely More than Our Afflictions and Limitations!"

My companion, Hermana Ventura, continues to amaze me. It doesn't seem like we are from different parts of the world, we have been able to work SO well together. She told me that when she got here, she was praying that her Companion would be a Gringa or a Sister Leader, and she got both! I don't know what is good about either of those things, but it's what she wanted.

In other news, this week made me realize how proud I am to be from St. George! The other day at lunch, Elder Scott, Elder Muñoz's companion from Salt Lake, told me that he misses St. George more than his own house and Elder Muñoz, who wants to live in the States after his mission, asked what's so great about it. So we explained everything and he said "Oh, that's why you're so crazy? You grew up climbing rocks and playing in rivers and stuff?" It made me laugh. He absolutely loved the pictures and even though it's all a blur, I love my home!

But enough about home. I am here now. And I love it here! I love this work so much. We met a new family this week and when we knelt down to pray with them at the end, the father went off in his prayer about how much he just wants to be forgiven for his sins. That's really the point of the Gospel, isn't it?

I am so incredibly thankful for a Savior and Redeemer that can help me through anything...absolutely ANYTHING!  I love him so much and am so thankful to be part of His work.  Love it, love it, LOVE IT! It doesn't matter how hard it is, the mission is the best experience in the world.

Love you!

Hermana Simonson

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