Every day we are supposed to share the gospel with random people on the street, in a store, at a bus stop etc. then we keep a tally of how many people we contact. We see so many cows here that I have officially started to keep a tally of how many cows I see each day.
I have officially accomplished 2 life goals in one week!! Being known as the ward candy bag lady and tissue lady. I was sick this week so I had a pretty nice supply of napkins in my back and now all the kids in the ward come to me when they want candy. I loved the tissue and candy bag lady growing up. I promise there is one in every ward! And I am her in ibarra plus I called myself a lady which just makes this all 10 x`s more gratifying.
New game I play before I go to bed at night! Instead of counting sheep I count my mosquito bites and I always fall asleep before I can finish counting them all.
My companion was attacked by a bee. I have chosen to use the word attack because I feel like it fits the situation. We were walking to our next appointment when my companion started waving her hands in the air and running across the street. I just watched her in awe like what is happening? Then I heard a buzzing by my ear. I then do the same thing as my companion we are both running and laughing until we think we have ran far enough from the bee when I look over and the bee is in my companion’s hair. She starts hitting herself on the head with her planner to try and get the bee off but it keeps running into her head and then stings her! We are both running again but the bee won't die and continues to come after us but really just my companion. She is screaming and waving her hands in the air when the bee stings her for the second time. Finally the bee falls to the ground so I crushed it with my shoe.
I would like to now turn this into a spiritual lesson. The bee was greedy and wanted to sting my companion not only once but twice. If she would have left it at one she would have continued on living her life and making honey for little children who prefer peanut butter and honey sandwiches instead of jelly and actually making a difference in the world. But no she had to sting her again which was her downfall and caused her to die because I crushed her with my shoe.
If someone asked me what is the number one thing I have learned from my mission so far what would it be? I would say that I have learned how to keep going. Every night before I got to bed I write down 3 miracles or tender mercies I saw that day. Sometimes it's as simple as "today the sun set perfectly over the mountains and the trees never looked so green." It's cheesy but moments like that help me remember that God is a part of our every day. Sometimes we set our happiness on a new car, new furniture, once we can afford a pool in our backyard, or once I graduate from high school or move out of Utah I will be happy. But that's not how God created us to live. We are literally designed to have joy! But it's up to us to find it. It's about finding joy in the journey. Which is easier said than done because sometimes you want nothing more than to be upset with the world and throw yourself a pity party with chocolate ice cream and a new season of your favorite TV show. The mission is like my favorite ride at lagoon "wicked." The anticipation of the mission is so exciting and wonderful and you are catching glimpses of the top then you hit the MTC and you go straight down just like the ride and think "what have I gotten myself into!" Then you start to level out until you hit the cork screw and your spinning around superfast and you wonder if you will ever stop spinning. Then you get to the part of the ride where you are pushed back to your seat the point if you spit it would just fly back and hit your face and you are laughing so hard and you think "THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME!" Then it drops again and you start to miss that spinning feeling because at least you were feeling something. Then you start to get sad because the ride is almost over and you don't want it end. Then you come to a complete spot and have about 3 seconds to think "what in the world just happened to me." But you turn to your friends and give each other that look like "let's do it again!" and then you wait in line for 3 hours to do it all over again.
That's how I feel about the mission. Its ups and downs, uncontrollably laughing at some points and moments of despair and pain, moments of fear and worry of what comes next, then you get to the end of a week, transfer, or some meaningful time point and you think "what just happened?" But you go to bed and wake up to do it all over again. In life we all have our own personal "wicked," and the point is to not jump off the ride but keep on riding.
So keep on keeping on.
You are never alone.
Love, Hermana Israelsen