Friday, February 3, 2012

a letter from sister baylon...

Hey everyone,
How's everyone doing?  Let's just all take a second and breathe.  A second is about how long we get to catch our breath out here.  Not a whole lot of time to ponder life or sit still.  It can be very taxing.  I thought last week was the hardest week of my mission.  No.  This past week was.  I won't even get into it.  Some things can only be understood by missionaries and those that have served missions.  Let's just say that missions are HARD.
Thank you to whoever sent me the DearElder package with all those treats!  There wasn't a note mentioning who it was from so I thought I would acknowledge the gesture!  I am trying to cut back the treats so I shared most of it with the elders.  But I have to admit that the night I opened the box I ate the skittles and hundred grand bar for dinner.  Also...sis Brazier! Thank you for writing me!  My zone leaders forgot to give me the letter that you sent when they picked up mail from the mission office.  It has been sitting in their apt since Christmas!  I was reading it and wondering why you were going to get a Christmas tree.  I will have to write you back as soon as I get a chance.  Go Bev, make those cute swimsuits!
We have been teaching this way prepared lady named Peggy.  We found her tracting last Sunday night.  It was raining, no surprise there.  I had forgotten my umbrella. It was 6:50.  Not going to lie, I was very tempted to end our tracting and cut it short by ten minutes.  Sis Welch encouraged me onward.  It was a good thing that we did because within the next 5 minutes we knocked into Peggy.  Rather she stood at her door waiting for us.  We walked into these rickety old apartment buildings that missionaries and locals refer to as the "easter eggs."  Just the worst looking pastel colored apartments.  Back in the day they were housing for the officers in the Navy.  Now they are kinda cool/vintage apartments that Bremerton's finest are free to rent.  Anyway, we knock on a couple doors on the bottom of the first 4apt building.  The first one didn't answer and the next person only talked to us through the door and told us that they were not interested.  We proceed upstairs and are greeted by Peggy standing in her doorway with the door open. (Have I already told this story?)  She leaves her door ajar so that her cats can come in and out as they please throughout the day.  Just so happens that while the door was left cracked, she heard us talk to her downstairs neighbor about the church and that we were missionaries inviting people to come unto Christ.  This intrigued Peggy.  At 58 years old, Peggy is divorced and has no friends or family in the area.  No job.  Nothing to do. Flash forward to now, she has come to church had 3 lessons and tonight we are having a lesson with her in a member's home.  God has prepared her to receive us and it is obvious.  She is very inquisitive yet she doesn't fight us on the doctrine or what we teach.  She says that it just "makes sense."  She tried reading the BOM on her own and got very discouraged and frustrated.  When your investigator actually does their reading assignment, you definitely do not shrug it off and move on to the lesson and pat them on the back real quick.  You check for their understanding you ask them questions.  You act like it is a big deal.  Because IT IS.  So luckily, we didn't just move on to teach the lesson that we had prepared but we took the entire hour we had scheduled to read 1 Nephi 1 with her.  She LOVED it.  We were able to pause and break down each of the verses and teach her so many basic principles of the gospel with her.  So neat.  I feel way priviliged to teach her.
Second highlight of the week, so on Friday was this leadership training meeting that was held in the Tacoma stake center.  Brethren from Salt Lake were coming and it was not going to be open to the whole mission.  Brother Drubet, the Director of Media for the church was coming along with Brother Donaldsen who was the former president of the California San Diego mission.  Brother Drubet not only is in charge of the media campaigns, wrote Preach My Gospel with the help of the prophet and the apostles, but he produced the District training DVDs that the missionaries from the past 5 years or so have been using as key study and training guides in the mission.  Brother Donaldsen was the mission president of the 8 missionaries that are featured in the District 2 DVDs.  (Moms, ask your sons if they used them.  Then tell them that I met famous people. Haha) So anyway.  It was way cool that of all the sister missionaries, President Weaver invited only four sisters and Sister Welch and I were 2 of them.  The other two sisters weren't even from the same companionship, they came on splits.  So the fact that Welch and I both got to come was a pretty big deal.  All the ZL's were invited but then only a select few DL's were invited.  The meeting was all day from 9-4 and they went over some really cool trainings.  President Weaver announced some pretty radical changes that will shake up the mission for sure.  We'll see how receptive and obedient the missionaries will be towards them.
The health resolution is coming along.  It's way hard.  We eat waaaayy too much sugar.  Everyday.  That is by far the hardest hurdle.  We went running this morning.  Just a mile outside but with two pretty substantial hills.  Sister Welch was having some trouble breathing.  She hates running.  After studying we met the whole zone down in Port Orchard for some Frolf.  Aka Frisbee golf.  There are some people that have their own 18-hole course out in their giant acreage of land of a yard.  It was the first time I had ever played. WAY fun.  We had 3 groups of five players and we had fun navigating the course.  It was huge!  We were throwing discs through the forest.  Up hills, through dense trees, over ravines.  It was so cool.  Washington is the coolest place.  Yes, if you have some recipes for healthy, not too expensive, yummy meals, send them my way.  I told myself that I wasn't going to eat out today with the zone.  Sure enough they wanted to go to Wendy's after frisbee.  I compromised and went and got a small cup of chili and a plain baked potato.  Under 500 calories.  Oh the sacrifice of being healthy.
Mom, Longview is in southern Washington.  Closer to Portland.  It's in the Kennewick mission.  That stinks about members not helping out!  But you'll find that somewhere anywhere you go.  And yes, Sis Welch loves scarves, too.  I helped introduce her to the notion of looking like someone that lives in 2012.  She thought that Sister missionaries were just supposed to look ugly and frumpy.  Her style was way more Utah when I first met her and know it's calmed down quite a bit.
Quote of the week: "The chains of habit are too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."  If you have a bad habit, kick it.  And if you want to start a good habit, stick with it!
Sis Baylon

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