Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hey! Thanks for your letters and support always. It means the world to me. 
This week was like a roller coaster emotionally with my companionship. We have been trying to make it work since the beginning of the companionship but we are all very different. A day would start off good then one of us would have a bad attitude and it would weigh down on all of us. There were many days that ended in a catastrophe of sorts. We all have known that it has to work out or this huge miracle that is being expected of us in really being the missionaries to start up the YSA Spanish branch would be impossible. It is required of us to move a mountain and that requires the faith of all of us. We've tried to get it to work... comp inventories for hours discussing the problem and trying to come up with a solution that could work, trying service, trying to delegate responsibilities more and more etc. Nothing has been working and there have been times this past month where each of us has felt depressed and like our insides are in pain. It is was funny at first, then it got annoying and ridiculous, and then we were getting angry at it. There were days that were better and days that were worse. It is the hardest because it has been draining on faith and hope. The worst is when I would try and only get coldness returned at me. We would work, but it was always work out of duty because we have to not out of faith and excitement. 
Yesterday for some reason I woke up with such hope. The thought came into my mind of "why can't today be the absolute best day of my mission yet?" It may take work, but I don't see why not. 
Then the circumstance was just right. Hermana Evans has been in several car accidents and so she has back problems that sometimes is worse sometimes is better. She has bulging discs so the pressure of the cerebral spinal fluid pushes on her nerves of her lumbar spine and when it does that it causes pain which, when it is bad, radiates out to her legs or even arms. This pressure yesterday was the worst it has been for a while so she just needed to take the day after church to rest her back. From this I was able to have a conversation with her and talk about things that were super important to her (Hermana O'Hara was taking a nap) then I was later able to talk with Hermana O'Hara about lots of things. We really began open up and tell stories about ourselves and by the end of the night she was telling stories of all the people she's kissed. It is getting so much better! We are working together better than ever. We are excited to be more creative with the branch and to even just get to know each other better. 
You all know how communication has always been somewhat difficult for me. When there is something to do I just have to go and do and do it no matter whether I want to or not. And I am extremely independent. In fact, it is easier to do it myself because if there is ever a conflict, I just shut down. I hate people disapproving of me or thinking I haven't done everything I could have because I am my own worst critic and I have already thought of and analyzed all the problems and am doing the best I can. That is the perfectionist side of me. To different extents those, communication and perfectionist problems have happened in every companionship I've had. Luckily, we've always been able to find a medium where we are all very happy. But I hate that I have this problem because I want to get married someday and I don't want to have these problems then. So I guess that is one of the reasons why Heavenly Father knew I needed to be on a mission, so I could work through this and hopefully master it so that I can have an amazing marriage in the future. The mission brings out the absolute best and the absolute worst in yourself. Never have your strengths looked so good and never have your weaknesses been so apparent and annoying. Just know I'm still working on it! 
As for a few things about this week...we had exchanges and they went so much better than last time. Hermana Vila came to me and my companions went with Hermana Arguello in North Hollywood. Hermana Vila inspired me by her positive attitude in every little thing. I felt like being around her was like taking an injection of faith and that I can accomplish miracles if that is the Lord's will. We brain stormed through more ideas of what we can do with the rama to find and help and teach et cetera. We also happened to go to California State University (CSUN) and walk around talking to everyone while trying to find the English YSA hermanas because they said they were set up a booth. I felt so inspired by that experience because we've been like "where are we supposed to go to find YSA's?! We can't just knock around for them!" So we want to go and do more of that. Well we're thinking more of trying the community colleges because that is where we're more likely to find the YSAs who prefer Spanish. 
We also found some people this week like Hilda who is super spiritualistic but after we explained the restoration and the Book of Mormon she really wants to read and learn out more. One thing that I love is that people in this age group actually have reading comprehension!!! It's been like a breath of fresh air to get that because so many people that we had been working with would read something and say that it sounded so beautiful but you could tell that they didn't understand at all. But in our lesson with Mirna this week she had read 4 chapters of 1 Nephi even though we just assigned her 1. And she understood it! She was talking in great detail about all the thoughts she was having as she was working through it like how she thinks she is more like Nephi than like Laman and Lemuel. So great! And working with the YSAs is fun because we have more activities like this past week a volleyball/ping pong night! 
Anyways, that was pretty much this week. I am so excited because this week will be so amazing and my companions have like the greatest stories ever. We all feel like in a way we've been experiencing the refiner's fire but that is good because it gets hot, but then you get better and more pure in the end. But there really has been an increase in love and we're all committed to being happy and making this work! 
Tenga el espiritu consigo siempre! 
~Hermana Whetten

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