Monday, June 22, 2015

Up Up And Away To The North!

June 22, 2015

Hello family!!!

I was so glad to see from the photos you sent that you guys had a great Father´s day! That breakfast looked just amazing! I almost forgot about waffles... and that´s just something that should never be forgotten. 
Lots of great stuff happened this week. Starting with.. CAMBIOS (transfers)! President called me the morning of cambios and I was released as a hermana lider (sister leader) for my last cambio. I knew it was coming because he´d told me at the last leadership meeting but I was still really sad. Only I got all awkward on the phone and when he told me that I was being released I responded, Que bueno! (ok good) ahhh I felt dumb. Lots of thoughts going through my head and I just wanted to be willing to accept whatever call or position so that was the first thing that came out of my mouth. Sometimes I can´t think really fast in Spanish haha.
But really I am so so so grateful for the time I had as a hermana lider. Obviously as a leader you´re not better than everyone else. You actually see all the weaknesses in yourself more than ever but I just loved being in a position to help and serve other missionaries. I got to meet so many more people than I would have and I got to form some really great friendships and I learned SO much. I learned how to break out of my comfort zone as there are so many situations where you feel awkward but you just got to be the best example so you make it happen. I´ve seen so many miracles. Days where there were literally no appointments and I´m on an intercambio (spend a day with another companion in another area) and we just find so many great people. I´ve got to see hermanas that are new and shy and how they change and develop so quickly and become powerful missionaries. 
The thing that I´m most grateful for is how I changed thanks to that calling. As a leader I found myself becoming more naturally concerned about what I was doing, saying, spending my time, thinking is this how Jesus Christ would do or say it?   When I was in a situation that I didn´t know how to handle, what would Christ do? What would He say? What counsel would He give? Does my example reflect His? Do my actions show the love I have for Him? Living with such questions in the front of my mind I have been able to strengthen my own testimony of Him and His character and I feel like I´ve been able to grow and progress not only as a missionary but as a person. I have a clearer vision of how I want to live forever. I want to be the first person to volunteer to take food to a house or to help someone clean. I always just want to be willing to do what the Savior would do. I´ve found so much happiness in the service. Also I´m grateful that I got to experience what it´s like to be released from a calling. I know that´s not going to be the last time in my life and while it´s hard, I´m grateful for the experience. 
So with cambios I packed up my bags and went to my last cambios meeting. So weird! It was also the last meeting of President and Hermana Kahnlein as they will leave the mission at the end of this month. We sang Called to Serve as the opening song. Called to Serve is better in Spanish because it has 4 verses not just 2 like in English. I realized halfway through the first verse that this was the last time I was going to get to sing Called to Serve in a large group of missionaries as a missionary. I just stopped singing and I just listened to the middle 2 verses. There is nothing like the sound of a room vibrating of the voices of a hundred missionaries, set apart to preach the true and pure gospel of Jesus Christ, with the power and authority to invite people to be baptized, singing Called to Serve at the top of their lungs with as much conviction as their testimony. If I didn´t already know the church was true, I did in that moment. Then I sang the last verse with as much love and force and energy as I could. I love being a missionary!
President Kahnlein talked about the last chapter of the Book of Mormon when Moroni was saying goodbye. The last invitation of the book is to come unto Christ. I am so grateful for President Kahnlein and how until the last moment He is always inviting us to come unto Christ and telling us if we just have the faith anything, literally anything is possible in missionary work. That the grace of Christ is sufficient to make up for any weakness or imperfection so we cannot have fear. We have the power and authority and we need to use it  every day, every moment possible. 
Then there were the cambios. So now I´m in a place called Coquimbo, in the NORTH! The best part of it all was Hermana Hansen had cambios too and she got changed to go up north too so we got to ride on the bus together! It was like a 5 or 6 hour ride up north. Looks like the president is sending us up to the boonies to die. But it was a fun ride. We were on it with other friends--one elder that is going home with us and another elder that arrived in the mission with us and also there was a Hermana who just got to the mission. She was really cute, she was asking us about miracles we´ve seen or what we´ve learned the most and what has changed the most and it was just so cool to hear and share stories. Even in the same mission everyone has had such distinct experiences and to hear them just strengthened my testimony and made me want to work even harder. I can honestly say that I´ve had SUCH A GOOD MISSION. SO GOOD. The mission is like a string of a lot of little things. Contacts, smiles, fallen appointments, stopping to offer service, scripture reading, silent prayers, worn out shoes, fasts, conjugated verbs, going to the wrong door, that weave together to form miracles. The spirit has never said to me so clearly in my ear go to that door, walk down that street, share this scripture, but I´ve seen that by just striving to do what is right and by being obedient, the things you naturally do as a consequence are guided by the spirit so everything always just works out. It was so cool to be able to reflect on that kind of stuff with other missionaries in the bus. This is really the Lord´s work. 
So like I said I'm now up north and it´s really pretty. I know that Heavenly Father loves me because I´m still next to the beach. I can see a little of it from our house and the church building that we go to for district meetings has one of the prettiest views. My companion is Hermana Carlson from Michigan. I was REALLY hoping to end with a Latina but God had different plans. I absolutely love my companion though. She´s 21 too and has  only been on her mission for 3 months but she studied Spanish before so she speaks amazing Spanish. I wish I could have spoken as well as she does when I had 3 months. I´m really grateful to be with her here.  I know that we´re going to see a lot of miracles. 
Our investigador Nicolas accepted to get baptized on July 4th on Saturday! He´s 10 and his sister got baptized with the Hermanas here a month ago. He´s so cute, he´s just so excited to learn about God and he´s really smart. He makes me laugh with some of his comments haha. But it´s awesome. Also, almost everyone we contacted this past week was strangely receptive so I have high hopes for this coming week! Yay for the North!
 I hope you all have a great week!!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón, 
Hermana Evans

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