Monday, June 3, 2013

My Sweet Family,

I am so blessed with so many people that love me. Thank you for your beautiful letters this week. I opened them up and read them yesterday morning (sometimes I save my letters for the morning, so I have something to look forward to while eating breakfast!). Yesterday was fast Sunday, but I feasted on your words. Thank you for your love and your support. Corey and Tyler, what artists you are! I loved your picture of the choir concert, CJ. And Tyler, what a neat drawing of 'evolution.' Quite the artistic talent! Austin and Jordan, when I read your letters I laughed so hard my companion came flying out of the other room to see what was going on. You both crack me up! And Mom, your words are always just what I need to hear. You just . . . GET me. Dad, thanks for your emails and the pictures you send--it's fun to see what you're seeing, too! Love you all. Lesamo mucho!

I've also received letters from friends and extended family over the past couple weeks--thanks to the Sanders, Grandma Reesa (she sent THE STUFF!), Amber Cosgrove, Davey, Justin&Anne&Fam, Faith, Jessica H. Love y'all!

God is Good. That's the theme for this week! He is good, loving. He knows us perfectly and he knows what we need.

Last Tuesday, just a few hours after I wrote you, Sister Young from Cedar Hills, UT, became my companion. She graduated from Lone Peak High, I was a Senior while she was a Sophomore. She is BOLD, artistic, outgoing. She went to MATC Hair School and is a fantastic stylist. Because of Sister Young's talent, we had a really sweet and tender moment of service on Saturday afternoon. One of our investigators has schizophrenia and some learning disabilities, as well as family struggles. She doesn't have a lot of confidence in herself. This particular investigator was frustrated one day and cut her own hair--it was a misshapen mess! I told Sister Young about this, and so she brought her shears and hair tools to our Saturday teaching appointment. Soon this sister we're teaching was sitting in a kitchen chair with a black cape draped around her neck, and Sister Young's dainty fingers and shears were clipping away. A stylish pixie cut was the result, and my heart lit up when Sister Young held a mirror in front of this girl's face--a smile erupted, and a quiet flurry of 'thank-yous.' We afterwards watched the Restoration DVD and had a quiet, brief lesson, before leaving to tract. God gives each of us gifts (D&C 46). Every good gift, every good thing we are able to do, can bless others. I know that when we use our talents to strive and bless others' lives, we  get even more talents. How special is that?

This Morning Sister Young cut my hair, too. I was a little nervous to let her let loose. She gave me a trim, and then started slithering away. Strands of hair began to fall to the ground. I was so nervous to look in the mirror. I was astonished! My curly hair was huge and wild as always, but it actually looked   pretty cool! It has more body, less snarls. Lots of layers. I'll send pictures soon. It might not seem drastic to anyone but me, but for once I loved my natural curl without reservations. What a neat gift my companion has, to help people see themselves as beautiful. Christ taught that we need to love others as we love ourselves. Sister Young is teaching me that it's important to love myself--meaning, a healthy dose of confidence, not pride--so I can better love others. We're hard on ourselves, as humans. We see so much wrong with us when we look in the mirror. But we're children of God! What a fantastic identity! Remembering that gives me strength.

You all have talents, you know that? Every one of you dear people reading this, my family and friends, you have talents. You've blessed my life and helped me better see myself as God sees me. I hope you can better see yourself like God does. Man, he sure loves us.

Some great moments from this week--

Outer Darkness. This is the name of the brownie treat Sister Young makes. It's Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix, half baked, fresh out of the oven. It's to die for. You know how in the family cookbook there's that recipe called 'Better Than____ Cake?' This is the missionary version of a title for trouble treats. Outer Darkness. Get some!

Accidentally tracting outside our area. The boundaries for our area are kind of foggy sometimes. We found two families eager to hear more about the gospel! We knocked into a member a few doors later. I didn't recognize him, and he informed us we were in the Gig Harbor Ward boundaries, not Wollochet . . . bummed out, we called the Elders and gave them two referrals. They were quite pleased!

We tracted into a man named Rodney the other night on Fox Island. He is suffering from a concussion, and recently got in a car wreck. In his words, he was 'touched by an angel.' He felt like he shouldn't have lived after that experience, and that God had intervened. He said to us, "It's actually kind of funny you're here right now. A few minutes ago I was praying, and I told God I was going to recommit to him." We told him everything happens for a reason.  We gave him a copy of the Family proclamation and shared a prayer with him on his front porch. Sister Young and I are hoping to start teaching him soon! His house was in a hidden neighborhood we almost missed, tucked behind the only gas station on Fox Island. God works in mysterious ways!

Sister Brown and I have regularly given service to an older couple, Evan and Dick, every Friday afternoon for about an hour. Evan has Parkinsons, and is really bitter towards God for this challenge in her life, but gladly welcomes missionaries to come do service. She grew up catholic, but isn't very religious anymore. I love her, she's a spitfire and a talented artist! About a year ago, Dick showed some interest in the Book of Mormon, but nothing ever took charge with that interest. After introducing Sister Young to Evan and Dick, Evan & Sister Young found a connection in textiles/fabric. Evan gave her an old textbook about textiles to be of use to her. Dick told Sister Young on the way out that if she read the first 20 pages of the textile book, he'd read the first 20 of the Book of Mormon. WOW! Again, God works in mysterious ways.

This week we were over for dinner at a part-member family's home. Quinn, their 10 year old who was baptized just last summer, was playing an uno-type game at the table by himself while the Mom prepared dinner. Sister Young struck up conversation with the Catholic Dad, so I sauntered over to Quinn. He is a shy, wonderful little boy. He hasn't been to church since he was confirmed last year. As I tried to gently talk to him, he invited me to play his game with him. We played for a while, and he began to open up a little and tell me about himself--playing games at recess, enjoying video games with his friends. Well, yesterday, he decided to come back to church again. I don't know if this had anything to do with our missionary visit only a few nights before, but it was precious to me to see him there.

There are miracles abounding in the Wollochet Ward, and I feel humbled and blessed to be a part of them. God is Good! He loves us, and he is mindful of us. I hope and pray for you, praying that you'll have similar experiences in your experiences at home!

Ask, and ye shall receive. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Seek, and ye shall find. The same goes for blessings in our lives. We have a God that delights to bless us when we serve him. He will bless us with things when we ask, as long as we give him our best. I know that to be true!

Hymn of the week: 108, the Lord is my Shepherd
Scripture: 2 Nephi 2:23: Children bring JOY!

Love, Love, Love,
Hermana Mikayla Renee Boren

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