Tuesday, July 5, 2016

June 27- One Year in the Lord's Service!

Mi Querida Familia,
It was a great week! We had some really awesome experiences and blessings- I love being a missionary! When I got here to this new area 4 weeks ago I was told that it was 'dead' and that they normally don't have a lot of success here, but we have been able to turn that around! We have found so many great people and are having so much fun!
We had this really cool activity for a lesson on the plan of salvation. We put signs for each stage for the plan of salvation around the yard and everyone had to move from one to the other as we explained each part:) Their scarves were what they got for their 'bodies' :) We had a lot of fun with it!
They had to pass through this magical hula-hoop we made for the Resurrection:) 
It rains a lot here and I LOVE THE RAIN!:) It is so fun. When it is raining I just slip on my plastic croc shoes and play in the rain. I was splashing through all these puddles and letting the water from the road run all and through my feet when my companion said ''you're going to get a disease or something'' I replied ''Why? Its just water!'' and then we kept walking up-hill and passed these chicken guts strewn out into the street and running in the water. 
We went on divisions this week with the Sister Training Leaders and I went with Sister Dent, who is actually from my generation and studied at USU but we met in the CCM :) 
This week was our Ward Mission Leader's birthday, his name is Hermano Jorge and he's really great. He is always willing to help us and give us food, so we bought him some inexpensive baby cupcakes for his birthday. We asked him if his family had sang to him in the morning and he said no one had told him anything. We assured him that it was probably because they were planning a surprise party for him that night... but we called later in the night to check and when he said they still hadnt said anything about his birthday I told him to hand the phone to his wife, haha. She flipped when I reminded her it was his birthday, it was so funny. At least we didnt forget;) 
This random dog followed us for like 15-20 minutes one day while we were walking. It was pretty weird because he was just walking in front of us and would keep looking and coming back to walk with us. We didnt touch him or give him food or anything, he  just wanted to chill with the missionaries I guess;)
We helped one of the recent converts of the Branch move houses this week and I have never seen a more well-played game of tetris getting her whole life to fill this tiny truck, haha. 
Hermana Jasmine in our ward fed us one afternoon and we had a lot of fun with her daughter, Atleni :) 

We helped teach Primary yesterday and afterwards we were just #beat
Also, this week marked a pretty special day.. I COMPLETED A YEAR IN THE MISSION! My sweet companion made these cute decorations:) 

We also bought some baby chocolate cakes:) 
And took some selfies;)

One year ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it has been an amazing adventure:) When I remember preparing to leave its all a blur... I remember the morning and day I left, though. I got up and all my luggage was ready and my parents were waiting for me. I said goodbye to my baby brother and my parents and little sister and I made our way to the airport. We had extra time so we sat together waiting till I would need to pass through security. When it was finally time to separate one from another we passed hugs all around and I was still not thinking too hard about things, just trying to be tough. I eventually made it through security and when I got my shoes back on it felt like my stomach dropped like a rock... WHAT ON EARTH WAS I DOING?! I whirled around and frantically looking for my family .. were they watching me? had they already left? DID THEY ALREADY FORGET THEIR DAUGHTER??.. I finally found them watching me from the other side of security with thumbs up and smiles. I think my mom made a waving-motion telling me to keep going ''Keep walking, you've got to keep walking.'' So I waved one more time and tried to keep walking. Every step was like lead as I made my way to the terminal and one tear turned into a thousand. When I got to the terminal there were about 50 other missionaries waiting to board the same flight for the Mexican MTC and everyone was just laughing and having a good time meeting each other. I just sat down and kept crying while eye-balling the pay-phones and wondering how far away my family would be. I just kept thinking ''I can go back, I can go back. Its not too late....'' but the minutes kept ticking and i never used the quarters that were in my hand. I got on the plane and have kept walking forward ever since:) I have learned so much and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. The best decision of my life wasnt deciding to serve a mission, that wasnt even a hard decision. The best decision has been to keep walking forward that day and ever since then, especially when its tough. 

I love you all so much!
Hermana Swallow

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