August 25, 2014

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I’ve loved reading yalls emails and letters, Gretchen made me laugh a lot and I even had time to read Mom’s and Grandma’s all the way through today!!

I don’t really know how to write missionary emails I realized, I’ve mostly been writing little stories so I hope that’s okay. BUT today I’ll try to go day by day a little bit to mix things up.

Monday last week we went on a hike….there are so many weird bugs here, I’m starting a weird bug picture collection. The trees and ground and everything were super muggy and wet and the humidity still weirds me out but it isn’t that bad. And MIRACLE OF MIRACLES my hair is somehow less frizzy over here!!

On Tuesdays we volunteer at a food pantry for 3 hours. We are pumped because we’ve made friends with a devout Catholic man, Judge Charles Herman, and he’s been inviting us into his home. His wife is dying of cancer….he told Sis G about how bad it was a couple months ago and she asked if he wanted some Elders to go to the hospital and give her a blessing. He was hesitant but then agreed to it, and it was a really good experience for them. Ever since then he asks us to come over and visit every week.

Wednesday was prayer circle and it was awesome!! I called out Mr. British Guy on his rudeness, in a nice way of course. It was us missionaries and leaders of Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, etc churches. They were having a conversation about how each of their religious parties have different strengths and different weaknesses, it was pretty surprising to listen to them openly acknowledge they don’t have complete truth. I Spoke up and said "You can pretty much destroy any religion if you look at the weaknesses and the pieces of history that are misunderstood or don’t make sense… and Cormac (British Catholic guy), forgive me for being upset at you the other day, but that’s why I was upset, I felt like you were targeting all the weaknesses of my church." That sounds like it could have gone over bad but it didn’t, he nodded along and everyone nodded along and continued to talk about different church’s histories, how the Methodists were the first holy rollers but now they’re quite calm and generally don’t acknowledge that part of their history. There was greater love and respect and understanding in the meeting that day, and I think they respect us 4 young missionaries a lot more. They asked about our missions, how we’re called, what it is that sets us apart from other Christian faiths.

I’ve been thinkin how weird religion in general is. Prayers, covenants, ordinances, church, scriptures….it’s just kinda interesting. I’ve been thinking what the point of religion is…maybe the main reason is because of the natural man. The more I do to be more religious, the better I am, becauseI have less time to do bad and more desire to be good. Being religious is really weird especially looking in from the outside, and it even gets annoying sometimes on the inside, haha, but it probably really is God’s best way of setting us straight and keeping us straight.

Ok I super am out of time. Yesterday I got really sick and blacked out at a member’s house, but I feel a lot better today! I’ve gotten a couple blessings this week and I am grateful for the ups after the downs.

I love you all, have a great week!! Drive safe please!!!

– Sister Victoria Hale

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