Ok, I'm sure there's one big question on your mind: how many times have I eaten potatoes since I've gotten here? Just twice. In fact, the first dinner I had at a member's house was Filipino food! Interesting, no? But yes, we get fed every night except Mondays (Family Home Evening).
My first area.... get this.... the Idaho Falls Central Stake area.... in the Idaho Falls temple Visitors' Center!!! Shoutout to my Palmyra Sisters!!
We spend about half our time here in the Visitors Center. Sooo cool! We chat online (the "ask a mormon" function on mormon.org--we're part of that!), talk to people over the phone (we give lessons as if they were here in person), take people through kiosks and our Arnold Friburg painting exhibit, and other things. There's a Christus statue here with the same exact recording as in the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center! Throwback. Some of the videos we show are also in the Hill CumorahVisitors Center. It's really interesting coming FROM a Visitors Center mission and ending up in one, even though I wasn't called to it! There is amazing work going on here! There was this group of four women--two moms, two daughters--that came in a few days ago. One of the mother/daughters were from Idaho, and the other girl was a Swedish foreign exchange student, and her mom had come to visit. The moms had been skyping and getting to know each other, and the Idahoan (a member of the church) told her all about the Church and the Book of Mormon. We showed her a video and took her to the Christus (which we played in Swedish) and gave her a Swedish Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong. I knew she felt it too. So we asked her if we could get her information for when she goes back to Stockholm, Sweden so we can give her a call and tell her more. She said she would! We're going to call her some time this week! One of the Sisters here said something I really liked: "Our area is now the world. There is no one we can't reach." The Visitors Center is a way to reach anyone who wants to know more about the Gospel! What an amazing resource!
My companion. AMAZING. Her name is Sister Kuhns and she is an answer to my prayers (to have the best trainer for me). She's originally from Wisconsin and now lives in Seattle. She loves outdoorsy things, running, playing piano, and she's way funny, chill, kind, hard-working, knowledgeable about the Gospel.... she's just so great! She's really easy to get along with, AND she wants to run in the mornings! I'm so grateful! We're not gaining weight these next two transfers! Nah.
We've met so many interesting people here! We're currently teaching a man from Sri Lanka (Hindu), and man of the Asatru faith (believes in the Norse gods... super interesting, cool guy!), a mom, a part-member family, and several others. They all come from several different backgrounds and are all so different, yet I love them all SO much! Even though I've only been here a few days! It's amazing how when you align your will with God's how much he fills you with love for others. And He has blessed us so incredibly much! I'm seeing miracles daily! Receiving revelation before, during, and after lessons, people coming up randomly to us with names of people that might be interested in our message, charitable ward members giving us rides, food, shining our shoes, cutting our hair (well, not mine).... so many blessings just pouring out on us!
I've come to realize even more that as you strive to increase your faith and remain exactly obedient, the Lord will bless you. So much. I've been seeing it in my life more and more. The Lord is just waiting, WANTING to bless us; we only need to do our part and boom. Blessings. I can testify of that. He loves us; he is our Father, and as such, He wants us to be happy. We can be happy through faith in Him, repentance, accepting the true, restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and remaining faithful to the end of our lives. It's so simple! It's so easy! God's way is the happy way. I know that because as I've remained faithful to His commandments, I've become so much happier and more joyful than I ever have been before!
Sorry for those that haven't gotten letters back! I'll try my best to get back to you as soon as I can! I'll talk more about the people we're teaching next week.
Oh, I almost forgot the greatest news of all: two of our investigators are being baptized on saturday!!
In the words of one of our Stake High Councilmen: The sky is blue, the Gospel is true, and I love you.
I love you all. Thanks so much for your love and support. God loves you even more than I do. And that's a lot.