Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting Close To The End

Well, this is it. My last real email. Next week I'm going to send my testimony. I might send you an update of the week, but we'll just see how time goes.

Cha is in the hospital and they plan to keep her there until she delivers.... which means most likely no baby shower this weekend which I'm so sad about because she's been planning it for months!!! She was so excited! But we're going to get permission to go see her and I'm going to take her the gift. The baby isn't really doing well and so they're trying to keep Cha not stressed so it doesn't affect the baby. So keep her in your prayers and we'll see how everything goes.

I love talking to new people. The awkward part about me returning to Utah is that I'm probably going to be trying to share the gospel with every person I meet and most will already be members. Hey, it never hurts to share more!

We haven't gotten to see Matt and Amber this week. They are in Florida.

We did have rain every day this week... but now we have 70's too! Yesterday was 77 degrees and today was 74 when we left this morning. It's glorious!!! NO MORE TIGHTS!!! Freedom!!

It really sounds like you had a really good birthday! The pictures of you two are SO cute!!!! I really do have the best parents ever. Thank you for loving each other and loving God too. It's been the best example for me in my life.

So, about this week:

We went to Nashville with the Hulls and had a blast with them! It was fun to wear my boots and they didn't even hurt my feet. You'll be able to recognize me as your missionary because I'm wearing those off the plane.

The boot store

In the recording studio - I'm a country star

We had to drive to Brentwood for MLC. I asked Sister Gustaveson if she wanted me to drive and she said no, and I was kind of like "Alriiggghhhttyy then...." Because she always says how much she hates city driving and we were going right into the heart of  Nashville. Well... She almost got squished by a semi. She was ok, but I knew something would happen and that's why I offered to drive.

When we got home we ate dinner and then we were walking to the bus. We tried to contact someone but he had no apartment number, and that's no help at all. So we tried talking to a man outside and he wasn't interested. But all of that was for a reason. We were walking and a lady pulled up and asked if we needed a ride. We said sure and hopped in. If we wouldn't have contacted those people we wouldn't have been in the path for Carolyn to see us and pick us up! She's met missionaries before and she just loves them! She took us to Sonic to get us drinks and food because we were pretty hungry. We talked for a while and then she took us to our appointment. She is religious but not really interested. She has a few false answers from other sources about our church and so we asked if we could help answer those questions and she said yes. She was so amazing! So pray that when we contact her, she'll start to progress.

We had a great day! We saw Aijalon and we set a baptism date with her for April 18th!!!! She will need to get married to her boyfriend, or he'll have to move out, but I don't see the latter one happening. She's still actively seeking answers to her prayers. I think a big thing that's going to help is getting her to church. It's just a real stumbling block though trying to get her there.

We also saw Darrell briefly, but mostly to have him and Caitlyn sign my memory book.... we're dropping them. They seem more excited to convert us. They never really listen to us and our lessons... So we'll remain friends, but we're not going to try to teach them for now.

We had dinner with a member named Jo. She has 2 kids and her husband was at work. She is hilarious!!! It was such a blast! We had tears rolling down our cheeks!!! I love the members here because we didn't even really know Jo but we had so much fun. The members just take us in and make us laugh and are SO willing to help with whatever we need.

Lastly we saw Debbie F. She had a bad fall last week and she now needs to have a hip replacement which means she needs to withdraw from school. It's such a huge bummer!!! I feel so bad for her. But I'm hoping it will help. She says the surgery will most likely get her out of her wheel chair and get her walking again. So exciting to hear! Her surgery will be sometime next month. For now, it's lots of physical therapy. She needs to go outside to walk with a walker and she said she needs someone to drive her wheelchair next to her just in case and I told her I would gladly help out with that. I remember one visit with her and Sister West and I rode her chair around her apartment. Haha it was so much fun! Debbie always has such a positive outlook on everything.

We had Zone meeting and I gave my last ever training! I trained on the Atonement and how it enables us to change. The gospel is all about change!!!! It's a way for us to learn how to change to become better!! So let's change!! I feel like it was actually a pretty decent training. Then Sister Gustaveson followed up and talked about using our time wisely. We role-played nightly planning and we came in and plopped ourselves on the floor and pretended to waste 15 minutes getting snacks and blankets and going to the bathroom. I was dying of laughter because of course, I think I'm hilarious!

We helped everyone get their new iPad's after and I just still don't get the point of giving everyone new iPads..... What's wrong with the old ones we have? Anyways...

We met a really nice Spanish lady on the bus! Sister Gustaveson taught using the lady's translating app. It was awesome! We also met a Spanish man and we were trying to teach him... but it was such a fail! Haha imagine this:
We're walking down the street and say hi and he stops and says "Hola" so we happily say "Hola!!!" We try to communicate in terrible Spanish that we're missionaries and elders could teach him. Sister Gustaveson went to get something out of her bag and she handed me her sweaty tights that she had just taken off because it was too hot. So I'm holding a wadded up pair of wet tights and she's trying to find something. I tell her to call the elders and she says "How do you say what's your name?" I told her I didn't know, so she tells him "Te quiero". He looks so confused!!! Haha she told him she loved him!!! It's "I love you" in a soft and general way, like "Luy ya."He shook his head and said "no....." Hahahahaha We finally called the elders and they told him about English class and gave him all the info and then he left and I finally gave the sweaty tights back. It was so funny! Sister Gustaveson told an old Spanish guy that she loved him!!!! Oh we definitely don't have the gift of tongues!!

We went home for dinner and then did splits with members. I went with Sister Johnson and Sister Gustaveson went with Sister Ridings. Sister Johnson and I went and contacted Less-Active members. We had some pretty good success and it was fun too! It's different though because I felt like we weren't using every minute as wisely as we could! I was antsy when we stopped for gas and a bathroom and cookies at her house. But it was still a lot of fun. I'm glad we have members for us to work with. They're great!

TEMPLE DAY!!!!! The Pennington's took 8 of us sisters down to the temple. It was so nice to be there! Very needed. I sat in the Celestial room with my eyes closed and just prayed and I didn't have anything specific I was praying about... but I just felt God's love for me.
I love being at the temple

When we got back, we tried a couple people we had met this week and we had no success. We did meet some new people though. We met Jordin and Talia. They are not married, but have a little 3 month old. They seemed pretty interested. We only had a few minutes to talk to them and we tried again but they weren't home. So hopefully we'll get to see them again and start teaching them more!

We also had dinner at the Sims and I just love them! They make me laugh so much! It's been a huge blessing to have a ward mission leader that cares and who knows our people and works with us and desires to see success too. He has such a missionary minded heart. After dinner either him or his wife will come with us. They also gave us a referral to try their next door neighbor.

We saw Aijalon that night with Brother Sims and she told us that the main reason that she isn't coming to church yet is because her boyfriend doesn't want her out by herself with the kids because a gang has contacted him and threatened to kill his sons. No one in the ward really thinks it's real, but you never know out here. Gangs still exist.

I went to Lebanon with Sister Woods. She is really nice. We mostly knocked doors.... but we had fun talking and laughing and walking in the rain. I think they just do a lot of Less-Active work in that area. We didn't get to teach any lessons at all. The only person we sat down and talked with was a 92 year old former Stake president in a nursing home... and we had to yell our entire conversation. haha But I had fun!

I was so happy to be at church today with my friends here in Goodlettsville. I love it here! The people make me so happy!

That night we decided to go clear out to Old Hickory to contact the Sim's neighbor. We got muffins from the Sims and they gave us some to give to their neighbor. We went over and knocked and got the typical "Who is it?" We told her it was the missionaries and told her we had a gift for her. She opened the door and just stared at us as we tried to stutter out asking if she liked muffins. She was so confused! Then she looked at me and said "Do you know who you are?" She explained that I knew her. That I had met her outside her aunt's house in Hendersonville. I remembered all of a sudden! I was on an exchange with Hermana Dansie and we were knocking doors and she was smoking and crying because she was being abused. She is still being abused and she just doesn't know how to walk away. She was crying and hugging us saying this was definitely a sign from God that He loved her and that He knew she was there. It was a pure miracle! We're going to keep close contact with her and hoping she can come to the Relief Society activity on Thursday to have some laughs and be with other good women. She smiled at the muffins and said she'd eat one as soon as we left. It was the biggest miracle ever! Her boyfriend pulled in about 20 minutes after we left.... I sure hope she was ok last night. He looked scary.

Anyways. that's about it for the week. Still trying to stay focused and work hard.

Have a great week and I'll email y'all next Monday! I love y'all so much and I'm so thankful for your support throughout this huge journey I've gone on. I can't wait to see y'all.

~Sister Amber Rokovitz~

Big ol' hot dog topped with onion rings

Fried Twinkie