Monday, July 15, 2013

Letter 7

Oi!!!!! Oh my goodness I have so much to say I don't even know where to start!!!

Well- Hello from Oklahoma City! I have made it and settled in well. I have the BEST companions I could ever ask for! Sister Freeman is my trainer, she is from Virginia, DC area. She has an accent and is so sweet. She is a very hard worker and has an incredible testimony that just beams. Sister Leavitt is from South Jordan Utah. She is hands down awesome. She is extremely loving, open and  genuinely good at talking to people. She is hilarious. she doesn't go a day with out laughing and smiling. Her laugh is so contagious. I can't help but laugh with her, even if I don't know what is funny. 

Both of these Sisters are wonderful missionaries and I am learning sooo much from them. They are very patient and helpful. I am suppose to continue to learn Portuguese and even though they don't need to learn it they want to do everything they can to help me learn it. They study with me and quiz me and encourage me. I feel so blessed to be with these amazing missionaries and sincere and loving individuals. We all get along really well.
Okay- Oklahoma.... I love it! Besides the fact that the Lord helps you to love your mission, I really truly love it here! It is very flat, the sky is huge! The clouds are awesome and the sunsets are beautiful. The temperature is over 100 degrees before noon and until 9:00. It is humid!! But I prefer humid over dry, oddly.
We walk, bike and drive. Today it is pouring rain which is actually good because of the drought. It is really interesting how the drainage system works. There are not very many drains like in Oregon so the roads have a lot of water in them, but where there are drains, the water drains to giant canal where they collect all of the water. On the roads the don't have medians. It is just a double yellow line- everywhere. It makes turning little scary, but I'm not driving so I don't worry too much. They also have these bizzare white squiggly lines in random places in the roads. I still have yet to find out what those are all about. I'll let you know.
Oklahoma has more trees than I expected. Another mystery I have yet to discover the answer to is the noises in the trees! I am not sure if they are birds or bugs or snakes! It sounds like snakes hissing in the trees, but I haven't seen any creature yet. I really hope they are birds out of the 3 options I have come up with. 

{{ [Side note from Aunt Cadie]: Jeanette, tell Rachel the noise in the trees are cicadas.  They sound like high pitch electricity.....they start out with a slow noise and rise to high pitch and all of sudden they stop.  Then the cycle starts over.  It is very strange and they are scary looking but not dangerous.}}
You are probably wondering about the tornados. Yes, we have drills here and sirens that go off on Sautrdays to make sure they are working properly. Apparently the torando season is over, but you never know. They big one that you all saw on the news is in my mission. In fact it is really close to the mission home and office. It happened in Moore. I am serving in Oklahoma City North and South Edmund in a place called "The Village."  I am serving in a family ward (The village ward). Our ward is awesome!
We have some amazing members here! They love the missionaries! We are fed really well! Oklahoma is known for all the the restraunts and fastfood chains. Seriously, they are EVERYWHERE! The members like to take us out, yum yum! One place they are famous for is called Braums. It is an icecream/fastfood/lil organic grocercy store. The dairy farmer is local here and only send his icecream to places where is can be reached that same day to be fresh! It is good! Our district has a health goal so that we can attempt to stay in shape! haha
There are 6 missionaries serving in The Village ward, a sister trio (us) and an Elders Trio (Elder Anderson (DL) Elder Hoddy and Elder ) They are really outgoing and hard working Elders. We get along well with them. There are 3 other sisters in out district that are in a different area too, I don't know them as well yet. They serve in on campus and in student wards. Oklahoma is part of the Bible belt for sure!! Imagine Utah with all of the LDS churches on every block X2 but all different churches. There are soooo many! One thing we do to get others to at least try coming to our church is called a church exchange, where we go to service with them and they come with us to ours.
I have heard lots of stories from the missionaries here. I am looking forward to some new experiences! Over all the people her are VERY friendly. When we knock on doors we offer to pray with them and most people here really appreciate and like to pray with us. They are very faithful and God fearing and I am learning from their examples tremendously!
Okay, time to tell the tale of Sister Edwards First Dinner appointment! Holy Cow! SO, we went to this members home to be greeted at the door by a completely naked 2 year old boy covered is white... soap? The Sister was in the kitchen making food. She is vegan, and was making us vegan spaghetti. We helped her finish up the meal and she attempted to dress the boy but he apparently doesn't like clothes, so he remained undressed the whole time. She kept trying to cover him with a towel. It was.... funny, haha. She is a very sweet and hard working lady and isn't afraid to tell us anything! She told us all about how she just broke her tail bone and all the details that follow. She made us really delicious chocolate mouse made from avacados. I'll have to send the recipe. But yeah, it was really funny. We helped her out by scrubbing her floors and cleaning her house. It was a funny and humbling way to start the mission haha.
We were also fed by a member names Sister Phleps. Jeffrey her husbund works for Boeing-idk if that is how you spell it! She is a yoga instructor and apparently there is something called laughing yoga!!! Tresa we have to try this when I get back okay? Sounds super funny.
Emily Bishop I know you like Harry Potter and I think you would find it funny to know that there is a family here that has 8 boys and the enitire family is red headed and they remeind me so much of the Weasly's! Like not even kidding! I hope they dress up like that for Halloween :)
Teaching has been amazing! I love teaching and the spirit that is present when you promise someone something. We were tracting the other day and came across a lady who is incredible. She just moved her from Arizona. She had a strong community church group where she came from and is a very faithful lady. She came here to take care of her daughter and her new baby grandson. She speaks very openly about God's hand in her life. Since moving to Oklahoma she has been "Church Shopping." 
To back up, we knocked on her door and offered to pray with her. She really wanted to, but first offered us water and to come inside and cool off. (We were drenched in sweat from the sun and probably looked pretty pitiful). She got us water and we got talking and found all of this out. We ended up teaching her the entire first lesson and all about Joseph Smith and Preisthood and she committed to praying, reading the Book of Mormon and she set a baptisimal date for Aug 24 for when she come to know it is true! She invited herself to church before we even had the chance to spit out the words. It was amazing.
I know without a doubt that the Lord IS preparing his people to hear His word. We were inspired to be where we were to meet her. She told us we are an answer to her prayers and a sign from God and she is just so grateful and excited to meet us and make other friends thought Jesus Christ. I love her! She is amazing!
Since the day I got here we have found 7 new investigators and are working with several others from before I came. I am putting names to faces and loving this work. The people are so great!
There is one 17 year old boy that we has been coming to church with his grandma for 2 years and has been taught the lessons fromt he missionaries tons of times! My companions seemed very frustrated when explaining the situation to me. He hasn't been taught for two months, but yesterday we set up an appointment.
As the lesson went on I observed and listened the best I could to see if there was anything I could do an a new comer to this experience. Then, in a moment where he was going on and on about why he can't believe and and everything thing else his very logical and smart brain was spilling out, I interupted (first time I spoke the whole lesson haha) and simply asked, "Lenny, do you want to believe?" I was a little startled at myself for interupting, and the room went silent.
He looked at me and for the first time the whole lesson he didn't know how to respond. Eventually he came up with the answer "I don't know." After talking about every subject and gospel topic possible for the whole lesson it came to that.
Because he is a really smart kid and agrees completely with science I somehow got this idea (The spirit:) to challenge him to -want to believe- instead of taking the approach of studying the gospel only to test it. I even used the scientific method! (Thank you Mr. Rash for teaching me that in 7th grade!) He loved the idea. He got out paper and wrote his question and hypthoesis and plan and everything else. His question is to find out if he has a soul.
The entire experience was amazing. The spirit was very strong. I told him how I feel when I feel the Spirit testify to me. He "hypthosized" how he would feel IF he got an answer. I am praying that he truly and intently studies this out and tries believing because when he was telling us how sad he is to think that there is no life after death I wanted to cry. I felt that saddness he was explaining. I understood where he was coming from. I want him to be happy. I want everyone to know the joy that the Gospel brings when you believe and have faith in the knowlege we are given. I love this gospel and an so grateful for my testimony!
There is a lady in our ward here from Rainier Oregon!  Their last name is Britton! Does anyone know them? They know Ken Thomas.
There is another neat thing we do here is after eating with a member we do something called power hour where we asken them to pray for us that in the next hour combining our faith with theirs we will see a miracle. It works! It is amazing! We report to them after too! Try it with your missionaries!
Sorry I have to go! I love you all! Have a great week! Hope to hear from you soon! I'd love to hear about your missionary experiences:)

Love, Sister Edwards!

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