Hey Family!

I AM SERVING WITH MY COUSIN. SISTER MAUGHAN. I think we are third cousins. Crazy!! We checked our family trees.
Serving with Sister Maughan has been a huge blessing. She is sanguine, a lot like Carly, but she knows how to work and knows her purpose. We are just having the time of our lives out here, working hard, sweating hard, and serving hard. We LOVE Bridgeland. Every day has been a good day. I feel alive and I’m grateful that her spirit and spunk helps to make it fun. There is no slow, down, sad, or dull moment with Sister Maughan!
I think you are right, when it comes to ‘applying enough pressure’ to help people (in our case, investigators) to make the right decisions, it’s hard! It’s a delicate balance and I have found that it’s hard to let them make choices and learn things themselves. We truly are beings created to act and not be acted upon. It is through our individual actions and experiences that we learn and progress and grow. Us as missionaries can’t force it upon anyone, no matter how eloquent we speak or how loving we are, or bold. We are to be their guide, the one who provides the way and environment (presents the doctrine and principles) to learn, apply, and become. Agency is our right to act. We need to be conscious and concentrated on how we do so.
I’m glad that I have those principles and skills from the business, as well as from studying education at BYUI, now. It’s making a big difference on how I see/handle things.
Transfers were scary! Let me tell you, I had butterflies like all weekend. I was so scared to see where Sister Heaps was going and who I was going to be paired up with! It was weird too. Millions of missionaries were gathered at the office that day. I guess it was one of the biggest transfers. Many of the sisters from the huge announcement are going home. So from now until February, huge chunks of sister missionaries will be coming home. Our numbers are supposed to decrease pretty significantly.
So. It was hard but so amazing to be in charge of everything for a while. I felt more involved in the work and it really tested my memory and scheduling and planning abilities because I was the only one who knew people to put things together. I’m so not perfect but I knew the area a lot more than I thought I did. I feel a lot more confident in the basics of being a missionary.
The first two days together were super awkward though. I have no idea why, either. Perhaps I was just super nervous that everything seemed awkward, but everyone we visited, our encounter was so awkward! I can’t even explain how awkward but it was so bad and thick I could feel it all around me. We had called a member one day to schedule an appointment with them and suddenly Sister Maughan just started laughing, at nothing! So I started laughing, and the poor member was super confused. We couldn’t stop laughing. I have no idea what happened and we don’t speak of it any more…. haha.
Everything is okay now, though. We are working well together (we are both pretty dominant and bold, so we are learning how to balance with one another, but it is all out of love and purpose to help the investigator learn so its easy to find a common ground). Before being out here serving, I probably would not have gotten a long with Sister Maughan and would have felt contentious with her desire to take the lead or speak or her boldness, but I have found this strange characteristic within myself called patience. I have no idea where it came from, but I feel very calm and patient as I work with her to help these people. Just kidding, I have been working on being patient and had Sister Heaps as a great example to look to for that, and have found that I am applying much of what I learned now with Sister Maughan.
The fireside was wonderful. Only two investigators showed up, out of like 15, but it was so worth it. One of them we did not expect to come. The ones we expected to come didn’t. But even if none of the investigators came, it would have been a success because as a ward, it really built a unity and strengthened many peoples desires to be more involved in the work.
Porte’s are doing wonderfully. We are going to do family history with them tomorrow.
The O’s are amazing. We had a very successful lesson on baptism. We explained that baptism is done by immersion and helped clear up some confusion. Two of the boys and Sister O accepted to be baptized. The other two don’t want to at this time. But I think that’s all they will need; time.
Richard is awesome. We ran into him at the store and got a picture with him. I hope I will get that sent to you from Sister M’s camera. He almost came to the ward pool party but cuz of weather, didn’t.
Jennifer. GOLDEN. She is intelligent and feels. The best combination ever. She has many inspired questions and has felt the spirit and love of the Lord very predominately in her life.
Phyllis…. Drum Roll…… CAME TO CHURCH! SHE IS BACK! And the ward just overwhelmed her with love.
Joshua is amazing as usual. He is busy and involved in so much at school! It’s hard to find time to meet with him anymore!
One cool lesson we had discovered this week is on BoM reading. We must read every day. When we do we gain an extra strength that will not come from anything else. Reading sparatically or in chunks will not bring that same strength. In order for people to visualize that strength, and even test it, we layered two book of mormons together, page by page. With that said, we passed the book around the Crawford family and O family, which we had a dinner with, and NO ONE could pull them apart. Not even buff old Bishop Crawford. Try it, make sure to layer it page by page and see if anyone can pull it apart. If you layer it right, or if you read the scriptures everyday, you will not be able to break the strength of the scriptures and you will have an amazing added power in your life that come through reading the word of God.
Everything is awesome here. I love this ward. I love these people.
Sister ‘Jay’ (as Sister Jamaican “Mon” calls me)

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