Monday, December 30, 2013

Trust in the Lord

It's unreal to me that I actually talked to you just 6 days ago... it's just not real.

Christmas was good! Kardo came to the dinner and it was so yummy! We had fun laughing with our Young Single Adults and the Elders and just living up Christmas! President Andersen had a real fire going inside and it was decorated all cute. Christmas was fast and... fast. Like a blink of an eye. I didn't like that part. It's still weird to me that it happened. I miss all of you so much.
                                  Half of the table at the Andersen's for Christmas dinner

Cha is still on for the 4th! Some number texted her and gave her scriptures about the Lamanites mark of dark skin. The text said "seriously, you should know" and we don't know who it is!! And we looked in our 583 contacts in our phone and we don't have the number. WHO IS IT? But the good thing is that Cha's testimony isn't shaken by that. She knows we're not racist and she loves coming to church. THANK GOODNESS! I honestly think Satan got a cell phone though.... Blasted Satan.

This week has been hard, I'm not going to lie. Adjusting to the new companionship has been hard and also finding out who I really am and what I am doing out here. It's been a long process and I'm still not done. I've done a lot of deep study and praying and pondering this week. My theme seems to be "trust in the Lord". That keeps coming up and so that's what I'm focusing on.

We've had to walk a lot this week because of miles and walking is not my favorite thing. My legs hurt, my knees, my back, it was cold, my nose was running, my fingers were numb, no blood in my toes.... You get the point. One night I had such a sour attitude. It really bothered me, yet I had little desire and motivation to change it. That also bothered me. I wanted to be happy and be ok with doing hard work... because so far I've been spoiled on my mission, but I also wanted to be sad and sulk and just kinda be miserable. The following night, we were out walking a ton in the rain again, but I promised myself to only have a good attitude. Hardest thing ever.. especially for me. All of a sudden my backpack wasn't heavy anymore, my legs and feet didn't hurt, it wasn't cold, and I was happy. It was such a wake up call to me. Well, it was more like a slap in the face. Attitude plays a huge part in everything! Trusting that the Lord will help too makes a big difference. As a result we met 2 wonderful neighbors and talked to each of them for 45 minutes! Mind blowing! I know that the Lord was just waiting to bless us as a companionship, but it couldn't happen until I put all my effort in.

Yesterday we were with a member on our way to visit another member, and Sister Jarvis mentioned how she's noticed that every single missionary in this mission has fought to be here and has done everything in their power to work hard. I felt like that did not describe me at all. If you remember, I fought the answer to go on a mission, I did not want to leave, I did not want to work hard. I still have a hard time telling myself that I want to only work hard. So I'm going to incorporate that into my New Years goals somehow. I kinda determined last night to be a hard working missionary: to be up on time, study hard, be happy and excited to work no matter what the plans are.

We talked to K. a bit last night over text and it just got me down again. I was on the verge of tears all morning. I read a good talk though.. It was the one from conference by Edward Dube. I need to look ahead and believe. Tomorrow night we have to be in early, and we're are supposed to pray about goals and I plan to stick to my goals all year. I'm not giving up a month or two in. This is the time to perfect myself with the Lord! I'm going to be the best team mate with the Lord. THIS IS IT!!

When you're in a "high" moment, you think "I'm never coming down! I'll never have a bad moment again!" Well... that's not true. And then when you're down you think "I'm not good enough. I will never be happy again" and you forget what the wonderful moments feel like. It's hard to push through them and trust in the Lord and that everything will work out. Patience is the hardest test I have had to learn out here. But I know that I am becoming better and stronger. Alma went through the same things I'm going through. I read about that today in Alma 29. Verses 1, 3-4, 6-7, 9,10, and 13-14 were the ones that stuck out to me and applied to me. I'm just in the stage of pressing forward right now. And that's that. I'm in a trial of my faith and I can't give up.

I love you so much and I couldn't do this without you. I miss you more than you can imagine! Talk to you next week. I LOVE YOU!

~Sister Rokovitz~

My missionary Christmas stocking

Christmas morning with our Christmas gifts...and the tiny tree in the middle - Sister Jarvis and Sister Mickelsen

Christmas tradition - Cinnamon rolls

Now I can do some workouts

Sister Rokovitz

My gift to myself with Christmas money from Grandma and Grandpa

Christmas reindeer

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Trio is the Best

Oh man... the trio is the best!!!! Sister Jarvis is a theater major and she just makes us laugh so much!! She has given me abs from laughing so much! Last night it was hard to drive because we were all just wheezing!! She's truly amazing! She also realizes how important it is to take a break when we're stressed. We've just laid on the floor before for 5 minutes and she tells us "Breath in, breath out. Wiggle your toes and your fingers and feel life coming back into your body" She's awesome! Sister Mickelsen is amazing too! She’s an easy going kind of girl and is just sweet! She's great at listening and makes us laugh a ton too! We work really well together. It's cozy in our closet... I mean apartment. We also had Green Hills Sisters over for 2 nights again because their apartment got broken into by the ex-husband of who they live with and so we had 5 sisters in our apartment!!!! It was so tight!! We got a bed and a desk for Sister Mickelsen and so we just have a lot of stuff. We started buying our food together and they honestly feed me so well. I have no food ideas. Sister Jarvis will just come up with an idea and she'll just go for it! I write everything down for future food ideas - Haha. We all teach well together and it's just fantastic! They are so outgoing and happy and it just helps me to be happy too. The first few days I kept thinking "I'm super stressed right now... I should be crying... but I'm not!" They are just the best! I can't complain, the trio is awesome!

 I've been spiritually stuck for a little bit and I've just studied so much in the conference Ensign and the Christlike attribute section of Preach My Gospel. All the answers I keep getting is trust in the Lord. Trust in Christ. Trust in the Holy Ghost. So, I'm trying to. I don't know exactly how I can best do that, but it's worth a shot. I'm really trying to imagine Christ walking with me in the work. I have a picture above my desk of Him walking so determined and with a peaceful look on His face. I imagine Him walking with us as we work. Sitting by me and listening with the Father as I pray. It's cool. I'm trying to be able to picture that too when I pray out loud with my companions. Also something that I found in a hymn ( I don't know which one) Is that angels watch over us. I know that angels are really watching over me. What a blessing!!

So Wanna hear about Cha this week?? I just can't hold it in..... CHA IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON JANUARY 4TH!!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! She's totally ready! She is reading the book of Mormon more often and praying and coming to institute and church and wow I can't even put all this in separate sentences! So basically this is what happened. We went to visit her on Wednesday. We had our lesson and at the right time when we all felt the spirit we asked if she wanted to be baptized. She said yes and that she was ready. We said when? She said... JANUARY 4TH! There is something so different about Cha. She has a light in her and a real testimony! She came to institute and took notes and had her Book of Mormon open the whole time. She also went salsa dancing with some members after! And she went on her own and actually danced and had so much fun! She came to church... in a dress! And she took notes and loved talking to people! She also cried in Relief Society. The lesson was totally for her! The lesson was about those who have so little and others help them. She cried to us about how she has so little and she wants her siblings to have a good Christmas. We told her that this gospel will help her be an example to her mom and her siblings and it will help her raise her future children in a totally different way. Not alone, but with a husband who is sealed to her  in the temple. Cha is amazing!! I hope you get to meet her one day. I love her so much and I am so excited for her. January 4th is going to be the best day there ever was known to man.

Kardo came to a music concert last night and met President and Sister Andersen. He's coming to their house for dinner on Christmas day. He loved the concert and I really hope he puts some more thought into wanting a religion. We just can't quite figure out what he needs. We're really focusing on feeling the spirit during the lessons but there's just something he needs that we can't pinpoint yet.

This week we had a crazy storm. Oh man it was nuts! It was so warm outside and a cold front was coming in so that was just bad. We were outside on Dad's birthday without coats or anything! We had the AC on!! Yeah! We blasted the AC on December 21st! Then, that evening as soon as we got in it started to rain and the tornado warnings went off. First time I've ever heard them. I was freaking out so much! Oh and that day we were infested with cockroaches. Great combinations RIGHT?! WRONG! Anyways... by the time we were done planning.. 25 minutes.. the outside of our apartment was flooded. I believe in flash floods now. The moat was flooded. Our neighbor was sticking her head out and she said she had about 2 inches till she would start to flood. We ran around and put everything up and the sirens were still going off. We wrote in our journals in the closet for an hour! They went off and the rain stopped. and we went to bed finally! Then yesterday we fumigated our apartment to kill the bugs... that didn't really do much. They just multiplied!! They are everywhere! There was one on my desk this morning and we found 6 at dinner and they’re just everywhere! We think the fumes are killing them though because normally they run wicked fast but... they don't. So that was just a fun 2 days!!

On Saturday I woke up and just thought "Happy Birthday Dad" I love you so much. I cannot wait to Skype you!! I know I'm going to be a crying mess... good thing I'm going to the mission home after that for dinner. Sister Andersen will comfort me - Haha

Other than that.. it's just been a stressful week, yet full of laughs! I love my companions and we are just having a blast! I can't wait to see you on Skype in 2 DAYS!! I love you so much! Have a merry Christmas eve!

~Sister Rokovitz~

                        The new trio - Sister Jarvis, Sister Mickelsen and Sister Rokovitz                                                    

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transfers and a Trio

We got transfer calls on Saturday.... Normally the call comes at night, unless you're training. Well we were in line at Chipotle for lunch with a member and President Andersen called and talked to Sister Giles. She's leaving. She's opening a new area and training and being a sister training leader!!! I'm glad that she doesn't get stressed easily.. because that would kill me. I'm staying and getting 2 companions. A trio. This is 100% NOT what I wanted. It was a long rest of the day. I prayed about it and peace came over me. And I was calm. I told Heavenly Father I would trust in Him. I also decided to be happy like you would expect any sister missionary to be about everything. It changed my attitude. I know one of my companions, Sister Jarvis. She came out with me and she is HILARIOUS!!! We're also getting Sister Michelsen who is a visa waiter. I know I can do it and I'm going to have the best attitude about transfers tomorrow!! I'm actually excited now.

We went singing to the mission office on Saturday. We wanted to sing to President Andersen because we knew he'd be stressed with transfers. He was the only one at the mission office and we snuck in and waited quietly till he hung up the phone. Then we started singing. He came out of the office with the biggest smile on his face!! He called Sister Andersen to hear us and then filmed us. He said he had just talked to Sister Andersen and said he was having a freak out moment. We showed up at just the right time! He loved it so much that he came up to us and laughed and said “I'm going to break the rules and gave you all a hug!” Haha best moment ever! We later went to the mission home, hoping Sister Andersen would be home. She wasn't. We prayed in the mission home driveway before singing to the neighbors, who Green Hills sisters are teaching, and then when we said amen, Sister Andersen was in the driveway. She had a car loaded with food for transfers and we helped her carry it in. When we told her that president hugged us she said "Oh no!!.... Was it like a father’s hug?" We all said yes. And she said "well then merry Christmas" haha it was so sweet.

Cha shocked us this week. We were teaching her lesson 3 and she stopped us and said "I forgot, I have something to tell you. I'm ready to stop smoking and drinking." WHAAAA???????? MIRACLE!!! She had the light back in her! She also came to the Messiah ( a professional multi faith music program held at the church by the temple) and she wanted a picture in front of the temple. She looks so happy! She's progressing so much!

Kardo is amazing. He hasn't read the Book of Mormon yet but wants to!! He's coming to Family Home Evening tonight and will get some good fellowship there.

We haven't seen Linda yet. We went back last Thursday but she said it wasn't a good time. It was a good night for us though to run around in the rain and get soaking wet. I kept protecting my bag rather than me because I didn't want my scriptures ruined. I think I'm going to keep a Walmart bag in the car though so if it rains I can put my scriptures and hymn book and camera in it inside by bag.

I have found that I just love praying!! One day I went to pray and afterwards Sister Giles just kind of looked at me funny. It was a random time of the day to pray. I looked at her and said "What? I just wanted to talk to my Father in Heaven. Its been a while!" Haha We've also prayed out loud the past 2 nights. It was awkward at first but it has gotten comfortable. In one of my friend’s letters they said that Heavenly Father wants to hear our voices. That stood out to me. I think it helps me focus and makes my prayers more meaningful.

This week has been so good. Lots of trying not to stress. As I've trusted in the Lord I've been happier and less stressed. This week study wise was amazing. Lately my focus has been on discovering my Father in Heaven and Christ and their love for me. I switched though because I felt like I had found their love. I am now focusing on a couple things. (1.) Trusting in Heavenly Father. When I was on an exchange... last week I think, Sister Johnson was telling me what I could improve on. She said I need to trust in the Lord more. Interesting. Like trust that He will put someone in our path or people will be home or they will feel the spirit. So I've been working on that. (2.) Learning about Christ. I've been learning about His life and who He is and what He did and His love. It's amazing!!! The third one ties into it (3.) Emulate Charity. I'm learning about how much charity Christ had and so I'm trying to do the same. Me and Sister Giles both focused on that on Wednesday and our day was incredible!! Only smiles! Every single one of our plans fell through... but we thought "What would Christ do?" "What would He say to our investigators?" Oh my goodness it made the biggest difference ever!! So that's some things I've been learning and working on.

Well... I think that’s all. I've really learned a lot this week! I'm excited for this new week ahead and I'll let you know how it goes. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  I'm so excited to talk to you on Christmas!! I can't wait!

I love you!!

~Sister Rokovitz~

Sister Rokovitz with Sister Tenny caroling through the neighborhood (Sister Hulme and Sister Giles in the background) 

More Christmas presents than the Christmas tree can handle

Keeping dry on a mail run

It's, really, it is.

Music Monday. Do I look like I know what I'm doing? Ha, I've never touched one of these in my life.

Late for studies....T-shirt and skirt.

Mr. O'Mally, world's best tracting cat....he follows us around.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Amazing and Difficult

This week has been crazy. Crazy.

We started something fun this week. It was the Assistants idea. We were all sitting in Branch counsel and they told us they just called people in their phones who they didn't know. They didn't know if they were members or less actives or investigators.. they just called! They would say "Hey buddy what's up it's the missionaries! We want to come see you!" They got 6 appointments out of it. So we tried it. It's hilarious!!! We found a less active that we're hopefully going to meet with soon. We have had some really good laughs out of this finding idea!                            

We're being patient with Cha. We had a very cool lesson with her this week. We had her come to the church where we had hot cocoa and a TV with Christmas lights around it. We watched Finding Faith in Christ (which I LOVE) And we talked about how much her Heavenly Father loves her and how to show respect in prayers. It was very special. We talked about Jan 5th as a baptism date. She's going to work towards that goal but she didn't promise anything. I'm also working on trying to see the vision for her. Meaning I'm trying to see her as a Relief Society president, a Primary teacher, a faithful visiting teacher. Her next major step to gain a strong testimony is just to read the Book of Mormon. But she hasn't. We even got her a picture book to make it easier. We're going to start just reading with her soon.

I saw Sister White yesterday at the Christmas devotional. She loved seeing me! We talked for a long time and she thanked both of us for the sweet letter. Her son Michael found a new home and she made a copy of the letter and gave it to his caretaker! She is so sweet! She is doing so much better too. She asked me to come see her soon and since we're going caroling with the sisters next week I told her we'd stop by. I love her so much!! She totally made my night!

We got a new investigator this week! Kardo!! He was born in California in 89 and lived there till 2000. He went back to his country Iraq (where his parents are from) and went to school. 9/11 happened and he couldn't get out of the country. (To go to school he had to forfeit his US citizenship) He couldn't get out and so he tried to join the US army. He did and fought for 4 years. Then he came back here and now is going to criminal justice school. He's so cool! We gave him a Book of Mormon and we met with him on Friday at the church with a member, Chelsea. He said he looks at the book everyday and wants to read it, but he just doesn't have time. We encouraged him to read it and he said he would try to for at least an hour each day!! He also told us how hard it is to see his friends die and wonder where they are, and he fears dying. We knew right then that we're teaching him Plan of Salvation next time. We invited him to the Christmas Devotional last night and he came! We could only go if we had investigators coming. He originally told us he could, then couldn't because he had to show his house, and then he finished and could! So we all made it in time for the last talk.. PERFECT FOR HIM!! Elder Nelson talked about military people finding peace in the gospel and that missionaries have that message. So perfect!! Me and Sister Giles were sitting there both silently praying that something would apply to him. That totally did!! Then during the last song I prayed to see Layne in the choir, a piece of home. I didn't see him but the last shot was of the First Presidency.... a piece of home. I started to tear up. Heavenly Father knew what I needed to have a little bit of peace in my heart. I needed to see my prophet. A piece of home. That was such a good evening. That is one thing that I have learned this week is that the Lord does hear and answer my prayers.

You should have seen the place where we had stake conference. THE MUSIC CITY CENTER IN THE GRAND BALLROOM. It was so cool!! That building is beautiful and I could see the city.. or most of it through the fog.. from the top.

 And the stake is so musically talented! They had a children's choir do the prelude and one little girl looked exactly and sang just like my little Haley Parker. And another girl looked and sang exactly like my little Mia! They were precious and I miss my little buddy so much!!

Something very terrible happened this week. K... left the church. K... is 23 and was baptized about 2 years ago. He has the strongest testimony ever!! When he testified about Joseph Smith to one of our investigators, my own testimony of Joseph Smith grew. He studied doctrine and the scriptures regularly. He read lots of books. Bruce R McConkie was his hero and he quoted him all the time. I cried. I cried so hard!! As we left the library, spiritually smooshed, I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to let it affect the work. I went on trying to be as happy as I could. It was hard. SO HARD. But because of my decision, we had a miracle!! We met a lady named Linda. We passed a lady walking her dog who smiled and waved. I thought "What a nice lady. That's the kind of person missionaries pull up to, teach a whole lesson and they're baptized. That never happens." Well we prayed and got out and the dog was practically in Sister Giles lap! We talked to Linda and found out she had lost her husband and mom and that she is Catholic. Sister Giles was looking for a scripture at the same time as trying to explain Joseph Smith. She was struggling and I saw that as my opportunity. I taught Linda the restoration. After, Sister Giles commented and said that when I spoke, she couldn't see any doubt in what I was saying, and she knew that I didn't doubt Linda would listen. I was confident she'd be interested and I just spoke. The spirit truly worked through me for that and it was an awesome experience. Back to the sad story of K... The Assistants texted us and asked if we could go visit him. We gladly accepted. We texted Juliet (an RM in our ward who is K's close friend) and asked her to come. It was almost 8 pm and we knew it would take her at least an hour. Miracle though! Juliet was at the church for choir practice! We picked her up and went - 30 minute drive and K... wasn't home. Juliet texted him and asked to come see him. no response. We headed home. We got off the exit to go back to the church and K... TEXTED!!! He said we could come! We turned around, called president to tell him we'd be late getting home (he knew all about the situation) and we went back. We pulled in the same time as K... He walked up to us very happy and invited us into his apartment. He sat down with a big smile and said "Ok go!" I looked at him very sternly and said "You go" He asked what we wanted to know and Sister Giles asked why. K... put together a bunch of little things. There's a bigger problem but he just wont tell us. Sister Giles bore a powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon. I then looked at him very sternly and bore my testimony with the most boldness and the most love I have ever done. I told him that I had doubts when I came out, and about my struggle to know, and about the work it took. Growing up in the church means nothing. It helped me immensely but that is not how I gained my full testimony. It's been through trial. I told him that the Book of Mormon was absolutely true. He knew it. I knew it. And when I was finished, he quietly whispered "I have nothing else to say on that subject." We asked if we could leave with a kneeling prayer. He asked me to say it. I was freaking out. I held back tears, and prayed. I prayed for his family, for him and........ I had a very strong prompting. I thought of Mom's story, where her mission president blessed her to put aside her selfish desires. I felt very prompted to pray for him to do the same thing. I didn't want to say that because I was scared. But the prompting was so strong. I said it. We left, and I bawled the whole way home. We called President when we got home and told him everything. President was calm. He said "I've heard his testimony.  He'll be okay." He will be. It's amazing how calm I felt.

I have never understood what it meant to love the members until then. I love them so much and to see them go astray hurts me. Then I thought... that's how Heavenly Father and Christ feel. They RUN to us when we go astray and they work their hardest on us! They never forget about us and all they want to do is help. I know this church is true. I know it. I know. I woke up Wednesday morning and felt that my testimony is solid and unshakable because of K... Amazing and difficult experience. My testimony will still grow, but as for now, it cannot be shaken or dimmed. The spirit is real. It tells me exactly what to do. It guides me and comforts me and mourns with me. I am so thankful that I have been extremely blessed to grow up in the church. I can't imagine how much faith a convert must have to remain faithful.

It was a hard week, but as I have relied on the Lord and kept my focus, it's worked out. I'm doing great. And I realized something this week... I've been out for 3 months! Actually I looked at it from the opposite end. I don't have 18 or 17 months left anymore. I only have 15. It's hard to soak up every minute.. but I try and I thank Heavenly Father so much for sending me out here. Thank you for your love and support.

Well.. That's about it. Only 2 more weeks until I get to call home for Christmas. It's going to be the best Christmas ever!! I love you all and I couldn't do it without you. Thank you for the huge amount of support. I hope you all enjoy Christmas... and the snow... I love you!!!

~Sister Rokovitz~

Got my flu shot this hurt!!

My decorated Christmas desk.

It rained for 37 hours straight last week.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Know I Can, I Know I Can ~ And Thanksgiving

Mom and Dad,

Oh boy.. it's been quite a week! I made a life motto for myself. Drum roll please dududududududududududu: I KNOW I CAN! That's my motto! I know I can! Just like the story of The Little Engine That Could. I love that story. And someone said in a meeting that when I doubt myself, I doubt the Lord. So I just don't doubt myself, because I know I can! I made a cool sign of it with cool typography (all hand done ) and put it on my wall above my desk. I know I can.

It has felt very cold a few days here. It's only been down to 30 but the humidity makes it so cold!! It's like Rexburg but without the snow and harsh wind! And it snowed Monday!!... and turned into slush. It's just slightly condensed rain and it just sounds a little heavier than rain and it builds up and freezes... it's awful! But the past few days have been warm so I haven't used a jacket at all! Yesterday my body was just cold though. I was freezing all through church! I had my coat on and Sister Giles' coat over my legs and during studies I put on 3 pairs of socks and my sock monkey slippers and a blanket and a hoodie and then when we went out to work I just put on my boots with my 3 pairs of socks. I was FREEZING!!!

Want to hear something funny? We passed a bowling center Saturday and we were both saying how much we love bowling. Sister Giles mentioned that we can go on P-day and I was like "well how come we haven't gone yet?!" It's expensive.. that's why. I forget that I don't have free coupons for bowling for life.  But then yesterday in church guess what they announced the Family Home Evening activity is tonight... BOWLING!! WHOO HOO! I'm super stoked!! And Cha is coming. When they announced it, Sister Giles looked at me like "what did you finagle?" haha I swear I didn't tell them to go bowling! It just happened.

Mom and Dad, I'm doing great. This week we taught... 5 lessons. That's it. We got really sick Wednesday.. but still tried to push through, and we were miraculously healed for Thanksgiving.. (I'm not kidding.. It was a true miracle!!) And then... we were sick on Friday and stayed in. I didn't want to admit that I needed to stay in because I thought it was frowned upon... But Friday we were trying to do weekly planning  and I just couldn't do it. We decided we needed to stay in and rest. Much needed!

This week I really grew to love the scriptures. Right now I'm reading the Book of Mormon just for my studies. We went over Mosiah in  institute a few weeks ago and the teacher mapped out the book for us! It's so easy to understand!! I drew the map and I've referred to it several times each day  in studies. I love the book of Mosiah so much! It's so much easier to read and get caught up in it like a regular book when I understand it. And I love Gideon!! He's like this chill, laid back guy who just goes and suggests marvelous ideas to the king like it's no big deal! Haha he's hilarious! I've never had a love for the scriptures like this before!! It's incredible and I just can't wait to finish the Book of Mormon and start over with the study manual!

The things that have been sticking out to me in my studies this week is the love of God. How much he is always there and He does what He promises He'll do. It's incredible. That's what I've needed to learn right now and that's what Heavenly Father is teaching me. He's there! In fact, in Mosiah today I read about how the Lord was slow to answer the people's prayer's because of their iniquities, but he still heard them. I'm not just talking in my mind. Heavenly Father hears me! And I'll improve by degrees like the people in Mosiah did. Cool Huh? I'm learning SO much!! I just love studying the scriptures!

Monday was a good day. We went and saw the Howes in the hospital. Little Hyrum is 3 and he is just in and out of there. He had surgery and his mom was there. We talked to her for about an hour! Sister Howes was telling us about how Hyrum loves to be pushed around in his special needs wheelchair by his cousins and how he laughs and how she is learning to play the Ukulele and she puts him on her lap and he holds her thumb while she strums. So sweet!!

After that, we went to Sweet Cece's  for frozen yogurt and said to each other that we had to contact people there before we left. So..... I got brave. BRAVE!! I normally don't do this.. but I went up to the workers who were chilling and asked how old they were (all Young Single Adult) and I told them we play volleyball and we'd love to have them come! They all were super pumped and I gave all three of them a card with our number on it :) WHOO HOO!! I was brave! This week I've tried to be the brave, fearless, all knowing missionary that I pictured myself being. That's what I always saw in other missionaries at home so I'm trying to be brave.

Tuesday... is a day where I had the most terrifying experience of my life. Don't freak out. I'm fine. We were going to talk to Titi who we haven't seen in a while. We were on an exchange with a member named Rosemary and she knew Titi. We were pretty much just going to leave the ball in her court... telling her that when she wanted to have a scripture study, to call us. We got there and she was just heading out to the hair store down the street and asked if we wanted to go. We said yes and took about 14 steps on our cold journey and then a cop across the street started yelling and booking it down the street. I froze. I was just waiting to hear gun shots. Two cop cars came around the corner and they were driving around the block while the other cop ran in between homes and stuff. Titi thought nothing of it, and neither did all the elementary kids heading home... Rosemary offered to take Titi to the store in her car and we all got in. I still don't know what was going on but that was a reality check. I was kinda fearless in those areas because I've never seen what could happen and I knew I needed to be careful but I feel like it was a gentle warning from Heavenly Father saying "hey... these areas are dangerous. You  need to be REALLY careful!" Oh man... yeah I was shaking. It's just sad though that it's what those people are used to. It's their life....... I love the Utah bubble.

I really missed Thanksgiving at home.. but we stayed busy so that helped. My sweet potatoes were golden! They were fantastic (and still are - Yay for leftovers!)

Sister Giles cutting up the sweet potatoes

Waiting for those sweet potatoes to boil

Mashing up the Creamy Sweet Potatoes - a Rokovitz traditional dish

We went to dinner #1 at Shantel's. She's not Young Single Adult but she invites all 'homeless' YSA over for a dinner. We invited Cha and she came and enjoyed talking to everyone! The food was traditional... except.. a very southern thing I am finding out is that nobody makes rolls. They love store bought rolls. There is one brand they love and they just buy that and put them in a bowl. Crazy..

Thanksgiving dinner #1 at Shantel's home.

When we went around the table to say what we're thankful for at dinner, I said I'm thankful for my family. I've been praying for Chad like crazy and fasting and his name is in the Nashville temple... I don't think I've ever felt so much love for him before.  As I've been out here and have missed you all, I've realized how grateful I am for eternal families. I also said I was thankful for my trials.. surprise surprise.. Yep. I am thankful for my trials. The hardest trials in my life in the past 2 1/2 months have made me stronger than I could have ever imagined!!!!! The Lord knows I'll be OK. After we ate, we made popcorn balls.  Everyone was telling me to help, so I did! The first one I tried to put in a bag fell on my skirt... So I moved to the twisty tie crew.
Making popcorn balls after Thanksgiving dinner

Transferring myself to the twisty-tie crew.

Sister Giles, Cha and Sister Rokovitz

 *Side story... Saturday.. I spilled fruit juice and corn juice on me. I changed my skirt 3 times that day! So that's 4 total skirts I made a mess of this week! I will never give up my title of the messiest eater in the world! And the fruit and corn juice... were full-on spills. Both times I was tipping my cup to get the last bits and all the juice... I mean ALL the juice came flooding out and soaked through every layer on me.. Gross* OK, resume. We stayed too long so we had to rush home to get our food (and to change my skirt) and then we went to dinner #2 at Zoe's house. Her brother moved in with her and her boyfriend was visiting. For all 5 of us it was our first Thanksgiving away from home. It was cool. They did so good cooking the turkey and everything!  Zoe also got the cutest dog this week! His name is Colt and he is the first dog EVER that I have loved!
Thanksgiving dinner #2 at Zoe's house (she was the one taking the picture)

Me and Sister Giles with Zoe, her brother and boyfriend and Colt-the-dog, of course.

Surprisingly I wasn't too full after those two dinners. Zoe sent us off with pie and we rushed to our member visits that we set up. We had to cancel 3 other visits because we were so rushed and busy!! We never thought we'd be too busy! It was a good Thanksgiving.

Well.. that's about all. It's just been another great week of personal growth. I feel like so far my mission is just for me. To grow and become strong. It's cool how I've grown. I will never be the same again! I was once scared of that but now I embrace it. I love you and I am so thankful for all your support and advice. I'm grateful for your knowledge that lifts me up and strengthens my testimony. I love you.

~Sister Freaking Fantastic Rokovitz~

A couple extra pictures:

Biscuits that didn't quite look like much, other than blobs.

The great city of Nashville Tennessee!