Letter # 1:
Dear Mom and Dad,
Meet the Mormons was awesome!! We watched it with half the mission on Wednesday and the Missionaries roared with laughter at the beginning movie clips. Particularly the South Park and the Simpsons clips :) Hahahaha... I thought the coach guy and the boxer were really cool, and the candy bomber and the missionary mom made me cry SO MUCH!!
Speaking of crying, remember that closing prayer at the first session of conference? The one that asked for a blessing upon the parents of missionaries. I started crying. It was beautiful.
B***** is so amazing!! He thinks he wants to be baptized (he is still deciding for sure) but he is on parole for a long time and you can only be baptized on parole if you have direct permission from the First Presidency.
I got Emma's letter!!!! It was great!!!! I particularly enjoyed the "My life was about to end" Ha! I am SOOOO happy for her!!! Yayyyyy!!! 100 lines??! That's insane for a freshman! I think I had like 14 lines in The Crucible. I can't wait to hear about the Homecoming week/skit experience! Did she get to go to the dance? [NO – she did not!! We are mean!!] I hope she feels better soon!!
My favorite thing to eat at Backyard Taco is the Crazy Potato. I will have to take you and Dad there someday :)
I HAVE to read the love poem!!!! And Dad I LOVED your pictures!!!!!!
I love that you gave bread to all the neighbors and gave them an opportunity to serve!!
Is Powell Butte having a Halloween Party? You should invite a family or two to that! Those are great opportunities to invite friends of other faiths because it is not as intimidating as inviting them to a church service or to meet with the missionaries :) Baby steps.
OH, President J******told us that statistically if we want to have 1 baptism each month, we need to have 16 new investigators each month because that is the ratio of new Investigators to baptisms. That means we have to have 4 new investigators each week. In my area, we haven't had new investigators in over a month. We depend SO much on the members (especially because we are not allowed to tract). So it's super important that you are always doing your part to be a member missionary. And the best way to be a member missionary is to simply invite everyone!
What church things are happening from now until the end of the year that you can invite people to? Halloween Party, Meet the Mormons! Christmas Activity, Relief Society nights, Mutual (every week emma!), Elders Quorum actives (is that a thing? I really don't know.), The Christmas Devotional/sing-a-long), The Portland Visitors Center, and other ward activities!! PLUS you don't just have to invite people to church events! You can invite people over for a game night. Or you can invite them over for a dinner. Seriously, just be their friends!!
Really, missionary work is just loving people.
AND missionary work isn't always necessarily working with nonmembers. It is working with less-active members! Because EVERYONE needs to feel needed and loved!!!
I love what happened with your friend, mom!! That is fantastic!! Go missionary work!!!
Tell me about the western themed dinner and the prize, Dad!!!
Bahahahahaha you, Susan, Dulsanna, and Angie crack me up!! I keep meaning to write my VonTrapp kids!! I love them so!!!
I remember that drama field trip!! I saw the musical Sunset Boulevard and after Noodles we walked over to Powell's Bookstore. that was fun :) I really only have fond memories of High School now.... I'm not even sure why I left in the first place.... Guys, I'm serious.... I'm loosing my mind.... Every bad memory of High School is completely erased. Now I remember High School to be this awesome blaze of friendship and laughter... like that time we played games at the Theater Lock-IN... and how FUN auditions were.... And I loved the Drama competitions... and being in my sophomore homecoming skit.... and being in C-notes and A-Capella Choir.... and my awesome teachers... and winning prom Queen.... and being Student Body President.... wait, no I definitely made up those last two..... Yeah, all my bad memories are gone.
Alright, I have a few challenges I am going to give you and the rest of the family, so I am going to write another quick email in just a moment.
I love you so much Mom and Dad!!!!!! You are the BEST!!!! And your both my favorites, but don't tell the other. :)
Letter # 2:
Okay family!! I have a challenge for you!!!!
My mission president has given this challenge/requirement for all the missionaries in the mission.
I want to extend this invitation/challenge for you AND your husbands/Kara to do!!
Obviously, because my entire life is centered around Preach My Gospel right now, it will be easier for me to do the 6 week reading of it. But I totally understand that everyone has different schedules and I don't want to stress anyone out or upset anyone because they feel like it's too much,
SO if 5 pages seems like too much to read every day, you are welcome to extend it to Christmas, or New Years Day, or whatever date seems achievable for you!
Really, I just think it would be awesome for the whole family to read it together.
Just let me know what you each come to decide!! Or if you all talk about it together and decide on a family goal, like reading 2 or 3 pages each day (which I think would be AWESOME!) I will gladly join you and read with you after I finish the 6 week challenge from my mission president!
I love you family!!!!
Email me or write me your testimony! I would love to hear from you all :)
Letter #3 (to Kevin):
I had this dream that I was home from my mission. I was driving with you in the passenger seat (I think we driving around our old Franklin neighborhood).
As we were driving, I kept stopping the car and reversing because I had just returned home and I was super psyched that I could just reverse without needing another person to back me up.
You were just chilling in the seat next to me.
I was super pumped to be home and seeing everyone and I was just going on and on about how fantastic my mission was, and how great life was.
*Side note: Keep in mind I have only one companion so far on my mission (Sister T******)*
And then you turned to me with the most evilest grin and you said "Tell me about all your companions..."
So I was like, "Well... There was Sister T********, she was awesome... and.... well.... um..........."
I didn't HAVE any more companions because it had all been a dream!!!!!!
And then I abruptly "awoke" from my dream (I had a dream within a dream, so really I just dreamed that I woke up and in my new dream sister T****** was like, "Hey what's going on" and I was like, "My brother's a but*")
And then I really woke up and Sister T***** and I had a good laugh :)
Hope the wedding plans are going well :)
p.s. I don't really think you're a but* :)
p.p.s. I included mom in the email because I fell like this dream needs to be passed on to an even bigger audience. :)
[Shelly here - This letter is in response to a request to Erica to share acts of service with me for a talk I was giving at a youth conference.]
1. When I was sick this weekend, a member brought over Gatorade and V8 Juice to help me get better quickly! That was awesome because it was a Saturday and we weren't going to get to the store until Monday.
2. We have been doing "Pumpkin Attacking" which is kind of like "Valentine Heart Attacking" except we decorate the doors with Paper pumpkins and fall leafs. Only our Relief Society Presidents have figured out that it was Sister T***** and I that decorated their door and they both told us thank you. But we have had so much fun writing words of love and encouragement and scriptures on each pumpkin, quickly taping them to the door, and then running away from the door, even though we aren't doing a ding-dong-ditch type thing, haha we just run away for the thrill of it!
3. Service is what Missionary Work is all about (Well, that and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ). It's what Christ did when He was here on the earth. He taught the gospel and He served others. As we serve others, we put ourselves in Christ shoes (we can certainly never fill His shoes, but we can follow His examples and strive to be like Him), and we come closer to Him. Also: as missionaries, we help others come unto Christ through service :) Serving others is a great way to let people know that they are loved by you and by their Heavenly Father.