Tuesday, May 28

# 72

It has been a fantastic week!  Cathy was baptized on Saturday, and she is doing marvelously.  She recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, and after sacrament meeting, she leaned over and whispered that she had felt it--running from the top of her head down to her toes the minute the Bishop had placed his hands on her head.  She is so happy with her decision.  :)  She is already anxious and excited to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead! 
And we press onward.  :) 
Sister Lybbert and I are really focusing on finding now.  We've been doing a lot of biking and tracting and trying to contact people the Elders had worked with before we came.  It is exhausting and sometimes discouraging, but everytime someone lets us come back we are charged up to keep going another few weeks.  :) 
It is strange to me that even now (and with greater frequency) there are things being brought to my attention that I need to do much better as a missionary.  I feel like every day I have a variety of epiphanies that only serve to remind me that I am imperfect, and that I still haven't "got it" as a missionary.  Sometimes you get so burdened down you just cannot feel successful and you cannot feel the same drive that you used to.  Lucky us, we have friends and family (or missionary companions) who remind us of our successes and our gifts.  :) 
I am so grateful for Sister Lybbert.  She keeps me on track--both in accepting my weakness and expecting better every day.  I guess the Lord didn't send us here to feel "good about ourselves" all the time, but to learn to have the courage to accept and seek correction while still finding joy and excitement in life. 
In fact... I guess all of life is like that.  
I read a cool talk this week about the veil that seperates us from God.  :)  We are teaching a sweet lady about the Gospel, and her greatest struggle is to understand why God would keep us from fully remembering him.  This talk really clarified it for me, and hopefully it will help her understand as well.   
I know God's plan for us is perfect.  And I love when we are prepared enough to recieve a little further understanding on exactly how it's perfect.  :)  Hopefully someday I can understand perfectly why it is perfect.  Until then, I love having prophets, teachers and families to help me understand in quiet and unexplainable ways. 
1. Zone Conference two weeks ago.  :)  My last one!! :(
2. Cathy was baptized!  :D 
3. Our backyard.  :)  We live on such a beautiful property.  Don't be too jealous of the green...

Have a good week!
-Sister B.

Monday, May 27

# 71

Another good week.  :)  We've been biking as much as possible, and at first I was SO SO sore, but now I've adjusted and we've become a spectacle in our skirts.  :)  It's a good way to start a conversation with the people we see.  We pull up and it usually goes like this:
"Hey!  How is your day going?"
"Pretty good, yours?"
(We brake to a stop.)
"It's wonderful!  Good weather for biking.  Can we share a message with you?"
"About what?"
(We get of our bikes.  I probably get tangled because of my skirt and fall off, which is a good start because people feel a lot more comfortable with me once I've made a fool of myself.)
"Sorry about that.  Haven't got the hang of riding in a skirt.  We are sharing the Book of Mormon today.  Have you heard of it?"
"No, can't say I have..."
And we go from there.  :)  It's lovely!
Kathy is getting baptized this week, so keep her in your prayers if you can!  She is such a wonderful lady with so much faith.  :) 
Helping her get ready has occupied a lot of our time, but we are still working on finding new people to teach.  The weather's been lovely, but we had 78% humidity the other day and I was pretty sure I was going to die. 
Speaking of humidity, today we caught a frog.  Pictured below.  We'll release him after we show him to our Ward Mission Leader's kids.  :) 
1. Frog.  We named him Blibby (after us.)
2. I like this sign. 
3. This fawn was found under the Elders car a few mornings ago.  The mum came that evening to pick it up.  It just sat and looked at us with it's big brown eyes.  Didn't mind if we got close.  :)  

-Sister B.

Monday, May 13

# 70

Another lovely week.  I got to talk to mum and Em on Skype, which is always such a sweet experience.  :)  It helped me to realize how much I love them, but also how much I will miss being here.  Strange things. 
For church yesterday, the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric took it upon himself to write all the missionaries from their ward and ask them to write a letter to him to read in church about how their mums have prepared them for missionary work.  It was a pretty sweet idea!  One of the Elders spoke of how he had been taught the importance of obedience, and that without being obedient, he would be "more useless than Jar-Jar Binks."

But the Spirit was strong as they spoke of the powerful influence their mothers had had on them.  It caused me to reflect on the effect I hope to have on my children someday... the preparation I hope they receive under the influence of me, my husband, and (most importantly) the guidance of the Spirit.  But most of all, it brought me to reflect again upon how my own mother has prepared me-for a mission, but also for life in general!  I hope you'll all consider the same and let her know.  :)  I'd like to speak of two things that come to mind today.
My mum has taught me a great deal about obedience to the commandments of God.  Of all the examples she has set for me, this is the one that stands out.  I can testify honestly and easily of the blessings of obedience because I have seen them in my life, and I have seen them in my family.  No matter what tests and trials have come, mum is faithful to her callings, to her scripture reading, to her prayers, and to the commandments of God.  In church attendance, tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and countless others, I have seen the blessings of God pour out upon our little home.  She loves her Savior, and has given everything for her children to come unto him.  I cannot deny that.  And as a missionary, there have been more rules and opportunities for such blessings than I can possibly count.  I haven't been perfect, but the desire to be obedient has never left me. 
She has also shown me the sweet joy that comes of appreciating small and simple things.  Whether it's the little sparrows scattering seeds all over our porch or the vivid green of our mountains when it rains, I still stand in awe of the multitude of details that God has put into our lives.  She admires and speaks often of these things.  And I hope I can do the same for my children.  Sometimes these little things are the only evidence we can see of God's love-especially when we feel overcome with shadow and doubt.  As a missionary, it is easy to be distracted and discouraged.  It is easy to complain and to long for better times.  But I have learned to seek out the details of each day, and relish the evidence they are of our Heavenly Father.  He is in each of these details.  :)
I know she is not perfect.  But she is striving to be perfect each day.  I can see evidence of that, and I hope she knows it.  I love her dearly.  I thank my Heavenly Father for such a blessing in my life, and I still cannot imagine what I have done to deserve her.  :) 
Anyways, it's been another great week!  Sister Lybbert and I have borrowed bikes from a member, and we have been out and about.  (Never mind that I can barely make it up a hill.)  So fun.  :) 
Transfers are this week, but we are staying put, so it looks like I will finish here.  Crazy! 
Love ya'all.  :)
Emma was gracious enough to point out that I've acquired some messed up vowels since I came here.  Maybe I shouldn't go back to Utah.  ;)
1. Zone Conference!  Sister Lybbert, Sister Me, Sister Campbell (going home this week!) and Sister Kleiner.  (She is from Germany.)  
2. Our fleet.  (When we leave the church, all in a line, it is hilarious.)
3. Some average Wisconsin for ya.

-Sister B.

Wednesday, May 8

# 69

Crazy week!  It has finally warmed up.  We jumped up to the 80s and I realized suddenly that I did NOT actually want winter to end.  (haha.)
I feel like I begin each of these entries with a weather update.  Sorry about that!  I guess you can see where my social interaction and personality has deteriorated to.  ;)  Be sure to come see me when I'm back.  I'll probably talk about the weather. 
I'm just going to say up front: this week was goodly boring.  We've been helping a member clean our her basement, and my high kicks came in handy, killing the spiders along the walls.  Every time I close my eyes I still see spiders and feel them creepin on my legs.  What do they call that, the Heeby Jeebies? 
We've had a lot of appointments cancel, but Heather, Ian, and Kathy are still set on their baptism dates.  :)  They are loving church.  It is so fun to go each week and see them there. 
It's getting hard to really stay on track.  I am trying my hardest to focus and pray for help to be a "finisher", but my thoughts keep drifting about and turning towards home. 
The remedy?  WORK. 
“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he willtouch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work,work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
-Pres. Ezra T. Benson
Thank Heavens Heavenly Father knew me well enough to send me Sister Lybbert.  She is so motivating and has such a sincere desire!  She's all about working and being diligent, and it is enough to keep pushing me onward.  :)
Anyways, I hope your week goes well! 

1. Sister Lybbert and I.  We are dignified.
2. District photo.  (We were supposed to be serious, but apparently the only two who went through with it was Sister Lybbert and our district leader, who is to her left.)
3. A bit ago I took a picture on top of a snow mountain.  This is me standing in the same location.  :)
-Sister B.