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!