March 17, 2015

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Same good news as Jillian, it’s warm enough to get a sunburn!!!!!!

Woo for Tansy making it to BPA nationals!!! I wasn’t ever smart enough to do that. Also she probably works harder than me haha.

This week had a lot of sunshine and funner times. So I’m gonna talk about myself instead of people I teach for a minute. Today is P-day because yesterday was Zone Training…afterwards it was so beautiful outside and we got to play Ultimate Frisbee with the zone and a few of us went to Dairy Queen and I got a georgia mud fudge blizzard!! (haven’t had one of those since last summer) and it just was so warm and nice to be with people my age, and it felt like last summer in Provo when all I did was play ultimate frisbee and go biking and hiking and running and swimming and rollerblading and DQ and Swig and rock climbing and any fun thing whenever I wasn’t at work. So nice to not have to worry about life and just have fun. So I was kinda missing all that but then I remembered how eager I was back then to come out here and start worrying about other people instead of just myself. SO I am glad I get to have fun occasionally but I’m more glad that I’m able to be here and be with so many people who really need the help and hope of the gospel, or even just someone to talk to. I’m glad I have to focus on others more than myself for a while.

Basically I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was last year and where I am right now. I am so grateful that during the times I’ve had huge questions and doubts with the church and my testimony that I’ve had good people and friends around me. I am also grateful for the decision I made to keep doing good things, even when I doubted the Church and God. During the time I thought the Church was completely false and even doubted God’s existence, I had some choices to make. No true church meant a lot of things….it meant I had been making a lot of choices and living by guidelines that I no longer considered to be “divinely inspired,” which meant I had a ton of new options and choices to make. Soon I learned that I still wanted the many of the same things regardless of my religious beliefs or lack thereof….I want to be good, I want to do good, I want to improve myself and find new worthy goals outside of the church since I couldn’t see myself staying in it. I am so grateful for those decisions I made because I think they really led me back to where I needed to be.

Just a thought on my missionary work and service. Many of our investigators are just not progressing, even the ones with the dates. I have a bigger determination to get them up and going though, I think I figured out what it means to have a “vision to baptize”….I used to think that meant I should want lots of people to get baptized, but I didn’t care about that a whole lot, as long as I was doing my best my mission would be a success. But now I think of all the work I’ve done the past 8 months, and yeah it’s awesome that I’m growing and changing, but I want that work to impact people. So lately I’ve been thinking about being at a baptism, at specific investigators’ baptisms, and how good they feel, and how good I feel, and what the change means for them, and I want to be there so bad. It makes me tear up a little when I have that vision because I want that so bad for the Mendiolas, for Kay Hebert, for so many who just need to take the last step. That’s what I have been thinking about when I extend baptismal dates or bear my testimony lately with the hope that my efforts will be worthwhile and effect change in people’s lives.

I’ve been reading the reader’s edition of the Book of Mormon by Grant Hardy….didn’t realize he lived within my mission in Asheville! I have read another book by him. Maybe if I ever serve in Asheville I will hunt him and his wife down and try to have lunch with them so I can thank him. It’s been cool to start on that book, it’s the book of mormon not in verse form and with subnotes of journal entries, stories, and testimonies of people who took part in the translation process. (approved by the mission btw). I am excited to get into it deeper.

OK hope y’all have a wonderful day. Love you!!!!

– Sister Victoria Hale

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