Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All That Is Asked is to Do Your Best

This week was really good. We got to visit a lot of people that I hadn't met still. Robert is doing great. He is excited to keep learning and takes notes in church and when we teach him (haha its the best) He got confirmed this week in sacrament and a member gave him a new quad which was really nice. 
Our other investigators are doing good but not really progressing. Hopefully we can get them going because they like being taught but don't keep commitments. 
We picked up a great new investigator this week. A member in my last ward referred us to her friend. We went by and she is one of those people where if you didn't know she was Mormon you would think she was Mormon. She's christian and she has family members who are Mormon but didn't really know anything about what we believe. She had lots of questions and the first lesson about the restoration answered them all. You can tell she has felt the spirit before and this church would just give her the added truth that is missing. We really hope that she keeps learning cause she was eager to read the pamphlet and Book of Mormon we gave her. Hopefully she doesn't get anti-ed or anything.
This week we had our ward picnic which was awesome because i feel like I'm starting to get down who is who in the ward. We had a young women come out with us who just turned 16 so that was super fun.
This week we have a mini missionary!!!! Her name is Sister Lavea and she just graduated high school and she is from Compton and she is Samoan. Our mission has the mini missionary program where youth over 16 in the stake can come live with the missionaries for a week or 2 and see how mission life is. So she is with us for the week seeing how mission life really is. Today we went to the temple which was awesome as usual. Also I saw my old bishop from the Fountain Valley ward which was cool. There were a couple of boys going through the temple for the first time and it reminded me of when I went through for the first time. 
This week was a lot better mentally/emotionally. Sometimes I think that I think too much. I got to go on exchanges with Sister Perry who I have pretty much served with my whole mission so it was just really fun and I learned some good teaching tips from her. We ended up going with her and Sister Bauer and Sister George to get Yogurtland. It was really fun we were singing Newsies and High School Musical and Annie. Ya I know they weren't hymns but sometimes you just have to have fun too!! 
This week in church there was a great talk by one of the sisters in the ward. She talked about how in life there are lots of different doors that could lead us different ways. We might open one door and see that God wants us to scale a huge cliff. Some of us might just start recklessly climbing others might not try to climb at all thinking they are inadequate. But if we rely on the Lord he will help us make it to the top. I also like that she talked about stripling warriors and how they weren't stripling they were young boys who didn't know how to fight and they were weak but the trusted God and had unshakable faith and that made up all the difference. Then she also told a story of this baseball player who was the last hitter of the game and they were going to loose. His first two hits he didn't really even try. Then he found out that his son was watching in the crowd. He wanted to be a good example so on the last hit he really tried but he missed and they still lost of the game. Afterwards he didn't really care that he hadn't hit the ball he just felt bad that he hadn't tried his best the first two swings. I think that this totally applies to a lot of things in life. Sometimes we are too focused on hitting the ball that we feel like a failure if we didn't hit it when all that matters is that we tried our best. Sometimes we hold back and don't give our all thinking "what's the point" when in reality as the long as we try we have already succeeded. I just really liked this because I think that it is easy to hold back sometimes from reaching our full potential. Whether we are too scared of failure or we think we aren't good enough to try, or our expectations are too high, or we aren't confident in ourselves. I love that all God asks of us is to try our best. He doesn't demand perfection and he understanding of our weaknesses. Someone told me not too long ago that the best missionaries they know aren't afraid to mess up. I love that. I think sometimes we hold ourselves back because we think that we will look dumb, or we won't accomplish what we want, or we want things to go a certain way and they don't. We just have to be willing to do what we should and not be afraid to mess up as long as we are trying our best. 
Well I hope you all have a good week.

Sister Washburn
With Sister George at the temple

Nina (the member that took us, she is going on her mission to Houston Texas in a month) sister George, Sister Lavea (mini missionary), me

Knottsberry Farm- we drive by every day

Monday, July 7, 2014


This week was pretty awesome because we had our BAPTISM!!!!!! It was so good. Robert was so excited the whole day. He was like "I feel like it's my birthday or something." He was just really at peace and ready to be able to follow Christ more closely. He even got up and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. Man it was the best! Sister George and I felt like proud parents (even though Robert is way older than us). The baptism went really well. There was a ton of support from the ward and 2 of Robert's cousins came. I was so nervous the whole time for some reason, Robert wasn't even that nervous. I guess I just knew how important this day was and I really wanted everything to go well. After the ordinance I was finally able to just enjoy the service. He was just so happy the whole time and that just made me so grateful to be a part of it all.
The fourth of july was fun. We did some service walking Libby who is the dog of this awesome lady in our ward who has leg problems and can't really walk. Then she took us out to eat at Farrells which is a really cool restaurant. It is like an old ice cream parlor and they have hamburgers and sandwhiches too. The waiters and waitresses sing for you if you are eating there for your birthday/anniversary/ect. or if you order one of the crazy things on the menu. It was Sister Matsen's birthday this week so they came and sang for us. The food and the ice cream was so good. You guys should go there if you end up going to Knottsberry farm. Then we had a practice teach with our district leader and our zone leaders. After that we went to our dinner appointment. It was a barbeque with a couple families in the ward. Then we went and visited this old man in the ward named Brother Murdock. He plays the harmonica and the ukelele and loves to sing. Good thing Sister George is a good singer so she sang for him (dodged that bullet). Afterwards the fireworks started and things got crazy so we just went home and visited with Sister Roper (the widow we live with). There were tons of fireworks the rest of the night. People go to Mexico to buy the illegal ones that you can launch in the air. There were so many fireworks going on around where we live that we didn't even really see the ones Knottsberry Farm does. All in all it was a good day.
On Monday night we had a really fun FHE with our investigator Jesse and his semi active girlfriend Ellie and her 7 year old son. There was 3 other families too. The Mapas are the family that hosted the FHE and the dad is from Tonga and made these super good teriyaki chicken burgers. Seriously thought they were so good! Then we had an activity where all of the kids had to find these letters we hid that spelled the word happiness. We taught a lesson about how obeying the commandments brings happiness. Then we talked a little about how being kind is following the commandment to love one another. We showed the mormon message about the 2 little boys who hide silver dollars in the poor farmers shoes. Love that one. It was a fun FHE and helped our investigator and his family to have some good fellowship. 
Then we also got to visit with Brother Collings. He has had a crazy life. He is paraplegic because he hurt his spine when he was younger because he and his friends were jumping of the roof into the pool and someone pushed him in and he landed wrong. So ya but he was less active for 20 years and the sisters were able to reactivate him just before I came. It was good to visit him, we practiced the first lesson on him and it got him thinking because it has been a long time since he has heard these things. We will probably teach him the rest of the lessons too. 
We also saw Sister Eves. I just love visiting her. This time when we came over she was making these fruit juice drinks and dancing to Guatemalan music that she got when she went on a trip there. She does weaving and spinning (like using a spinning wheel to make yarn) so she has traveled around to learn about it. We had a good lesson with her on the Book of Mormon. She also says the best prayers like "God you're fantastic!" or "Thank you for letting me visit with these godly women and please help some of it to rub off on me." It's the best.  
Sister George and I are getting a lot better at teaching together. Also we are being a lot more honest with each other. Communication is really key in a companionship and if one or both of the companions are keeping things in that bug them or that they wish would change then nothing will ever get better. I think it has been really good because we have been able to support each other more and help each other with our challenges. 
This week I have been thinking a lot about the atonement. For some reason I was just getting really bugged about things that happened to me earlier in my mission. I guess I was just comparing myself to Sister George. She had a really good trainer and started in a good area and I was just like "Why didn't that happen to me?" I guess I just felt like if things had been different I would be a better missionary by now. I was reading the talk by Elder Bednar from conference about "Bearing our Burdens with Ease." On my mission I have really realized how to use the atonement and how faithful members of the church who are striving their best can really use the atonement just as much as the people with "big sins." The part I really love says "Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us."  

I realized that on my mission I have literally experienced every single one of these things and I have been able to use the atonement to help me overcome them. I am grateful that my mission has been hard and that things have happened not that way that I would have planned. Because of the things I have experienced I have been able to use and understand the atonement in a way that I wouldn't be able to otherwise. I know that the Lord truly has been leading me along. He has been able to allow me to learn in grow by overcoming specific challenges. I am so grateful for the atonement. I am grateful that Christ loved us enough to literally experience and thoroughly understand everything we go through. I am grateful for the sacrament that allows us each week to be cleansed of our mistakes and burdens and that gives us the strength to try harder the next week.  
I am so excited to work hard this week. I know that the Lord has great things in store for us. I love being a missionary!!!

Love you all!!
-Sister Washburn
With Robert on his baptism day!

Robert got these cookies for us during our last lesson and then one of the members brought a bunch to the baptism

                                                       This is us in red white and blue for the 4th of july.