Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Visiting Teachers!

Finally!!! For the first time in 2 years, I HAVE VISITING TEACHERS!!!! Wahoo!!!
They came and visited my roommate and I today.  It was just fun to sit down and chat for a little bit, to know that these girls care enough to stop by and say hi.

It reminded me of my mission, where we are like 100% visiting teachers 100% of the time.  Sometimes the members would joke around with us and say "well, you guys (meaning the missionaries) haven't visited me for a long time, so I'm gonna go inactive."  I would always respond with "Well, none of you have come to visit us, so we're gonna go inactive!"  As in, you should have people visiting you.  It's great for the missionaries to visit you, but you are not their primary responsibility.  They kind of chuckled a little, but didn't really say more.  But I am pleased to say that I still feel active in the Gospel after 2 years of not having visiting teachers.  (Granted, 18 months of that time was spent on the mission :)  

I am really excited to have visiting teachers though and to be a visiting teacher.  They are so important to helping the sisters in the church.  It definitely is an inspired program, and I love it.

Small and Simple Things

I still have tiny little habits from the mission I don't think I've gotten rid of yet.  For example, yesterday I used my big red backpack that I used on my mission.  Oftentimes I would just sling it over my right shoulder, and then when I got tired, I would put it around my left arm, carrying as a backpack should be carried.  While I was on my mission though, when I would do that, the backpack strap would always get put over my name tag.  So I just got used to adjusting my name tag so people could see that I was actually "Hermana Williams" and not just "Hermana Willi."

So yesterday, as I put my backpack on, without thinking, I went to adjust my name tag.  But it wasn't there!  And then I remembered that I don't wear a missionary name tag anymore.  Sad day!

Even though it's been almost 2 months since I've been home, I still have little habits.  They make me miss my mission.  I miss Peru.  I miss Spanish.  I miss all of my wonderful friends.  But one day I'll see them again.  And it will be maravilloso.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Okay, we were really only seperated for a little bit.  So turns out, Ilarene is having a baby!  Which means, BABY SHOWER!!!  Amberly was so good to put it all together, make yummy food (thanks to pinterest!) and be an amazing hostess.  It was so nice too, because our friend Aimee was able to come.  She's been in law school in Chicago for the past year, and I hadn't seen her since my mission farewell. So it was so fun to catch up on life (and be grateful that I'm not going into law school.)  Of course, it was great seeing Ilarene, all cute and pregnant.  She'll be popping soon! It was just so interesting how each one of our lives have kind of taken different paths, but they are all what has been just perfect for us.  We definitely missed other friends too, like Michelle and Erin, but they were certainly there in spirit!

P.S.-so I chopped my hair for the first time since I got back from my mission.  Actually (and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this), I hadn't cut my hair since I was in the MTC.  So my hair had gone like 18 months without a good haircut (I didn't really trust anyone with my hair in Peru).  So anywho, here you can kind of see it.  It's not as short as it was when I chopped it in the MTC, but it definitely is a lot shorter than I'm used to!  I quite like it.  

Funny-ish story.  So there's a huge fire that has been burning in Eagle Mountain/Saratoga Springs for the past 3-4 days I think...  (people target practicing with exploding  The unfunny part is that they've had to evacuate a lot of people from SS/EM (thankfully my family/neighborhood is safe).  So I went to Great Clips to get my hair cut, but they were closed because of the evacuation, even though they weren't in the evacuation zone.  So I went down to Fantastics Sams in SS, and found another guy that had done the same thing!  Okay, like I said, not really that funny.  Just interesting.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Other Side

For the last 18 months, I have had the opportunity to talk to people about the Gospel, about my beliefs, about the Church, along with helping people to improve their relationship with God.  Throughout the course of my mission we taught several hundreds of investigators.  But this week, it was my turn to be the investigator.

Tuesday, there was a knock on our door.  The Jehovah's Witnesses had come to visit us.  They were two really cute girls from San Diego, probably about 21 years old.  I had had several encounters with Jehovah's Witnesses on my mission, so I was somewhat intrigued by what they had to say.  They quickly shared a scripture from Psalms with us and then left us a book called What the Bible Really Teaches.  I had seen/skimmed through it in Spanish in Peru.  It's the same in English.  While I really appreciate what these young women were trying to do in helping other people, my heart ached for them, because they are missing parts of the Gospel (parts that are essential for every child of God, aka everyone!)  But I was nice and listened like a good investigator, because, hey, I've been there.

The next day, I was on the receiving end again. But this time, the missionaries were at Temple Square.  We had our weekly temple trip and this week we headed up to the Salt Lake Temple, which was AMAZING!!!! You could really feel the Spirit in the temple.  Afterwards, we wandered around City Creek (because I hadn't been there since I got back from my mission), and then headed back to Temple Square to look around.  As we entered into the South Visitor's Center, a sister missionary from Mongolia approached us.  We introduced ourselves, told her that we had just come to the temple, and then just looking around.  She talked to us a little bit about our missions as well, about some of the awesome things about the mission but some of the hard things as well.  She then told me that she felt like she wanted to share a scripture from The Book of Mormon with me.  As I read the scripture in Moroni 10:10-12, I really felt like those words were speaking to me.  I knew it was talking about gifts of the Spirit, but I had never really felt that any of those particular ones applied to me.  But as I read, I could feel the Spirit, and I realized that the Lord was answering one of my prayers.  She also told me that she was sure that I touched the lives of many people on my mission (which is something that Satan tries to make me doubt a lot). She left each of us with an individual commitment (like an awesome missionary does!), and we said goodbye.   But I was so grateful for this sister missionary, who the Lord sent all the way over to the states from Mongolia, and for her inspired words meant for me.  Just talking to her for those 10 minutes on Wednesday made my week, and she probably has no idea.  That left me pondering on my own mission, and made me think about how many people I may have touched that I have no idea about.  I hope to one day see the fruits of my labors.

Missionary work is awesome.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pony Express Days

So each year Eagle Mountain has it's "Pony Express Days."  It has everything from a demolition derby to a carnival to a movie in the park...pretty much everything.  Including a parade.  It was held last Saturday, and I went with my family.  I obviously missed last year's parade due to the fact that I was being a missionary down in Peru!  But the year before, I had an interesting experience at the parade, which I though about quite a bit this year.

Pony Express Days parade-first weekend in June 2010.  About 2 weeks earlier I had made the decision to serve a mission, and had started up my papers.  I honestly had no idea where I was going to go.  But I knew I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do, and that made me happy.

As we're at the parade, we see lots of things pass by, floats, princesses, marching bands, cub scouts, everything.  I'm just sitting there, innocently watching the parade when the Latino ward here in Eagle Mountain walks by.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I feel this overwhelming love for these people.  It was enough to make me start to tear up (and I don't cry easily).  In that moment, I felt like the Lord was preparing me to go and serve these people.  I felt I was going to go on a Spanish speaking mission.  I didn't tell anyone at the time about my feeling though, just in case I got called to Russia or something, and it turned out I was wrong.  But I wasn't! :)

When I opened my call about a month and a half later, and read the words "...assigned to labor in the PerĂº Piura mission," those feelings came back.  I felt so good about my mission call, even though I had no idea where it was (no worries though-shortly thereafter I started freaking out about learning Spanish, going to another country, etc.).  I felt that the Lord was helping me to love these people.  And I do.  I think the thing I miss most about being a missionary is the people.  I love them.  And I have since even before my mission :)