How are you? Mom thank you so much for your letter this week. I loved reading about the crazy summer schedule! It sounds like the transition from Nevada to Utah is not hard at all. It's so fun you get to spend time with all the cousins and grandparents again. I bet they just love that. On that note, have you talked to Uncle Craig lately? I really want him to come out and visit my mission if he can. President Bulloch would just love it. And I know us missionaries would be uplifted and edified by him. Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the seventy came last October and the mission held an "All mission conference." The missionaries are always referencing to something he said and applying it to the work. Hopefully Uncle Craig and Aunt Jan can send in a word of reccommendation to the first presidency and set something up.
Matt, BYU tennis camp was the best. That and EFY were the highlights of my summer. I hope you have fun this week! And Ash, you leave tomorrow for your trip! Don't forget to journal at every church history site you visit. On heritage tours I had some of the most testimony building experiences, with the exception of my mission. I refer to them often and share them with people here. It's a great opportunity to feel the spirit and get answers to your prayers. I am so excited for you! You'll have to write me on it, if you can. I'll be thinking about you out here. We'll be in such close proximity for a few weeks:)
Well, my companion and the departing missionaries go to the Palmyra temple and some church history sites tomorrow. I don't know if I've told you, but President and Sister Bulloch take the missionaries who are leaving to the temple to do an endowment session a few days before they leave. It's the only time in our mission we are able to leave the mission boundaries, to go to the temple. She's really looking forward to it. Tonight we're traveling to Syracuse to spend the night with Sister Stewart and Sister Batchi. Then in the morning Sister Batchi and Sister Johnston will leave to meet the other departing missionaries and President and Sister Bulloch in Utica. From there that group goes to Palmyra for the day. I will be spending the day on "exchange" serving in Syracuse with my former companion, Sister Stewart. It'll be fun. I wish she could come to Ithaca because I hate leaving my area for a day or more. It puts a damper on the week, but syracuse is on the way to Utica so it works best that way.
I'm not sure I like seeing missionaries have to go home! It's so sad! I hated seeing Sister Hacking leave and it will be sad to see Sister Johnston go too. The mission becomes your life and it just seems sad to leave it all behind. It makes me really grateful that I still have a year left, and it has made me appreciate each day and each opportunity to bear testimony to the people here.
We have had a wonderful week! Yesterday Xun Dai (who I wrote home to you about) came to church. He is the literature professor from China, who loves the Bible and believes in God. Hard to find Chinese immigrants with that testimony. His wife and son are coming in a few weeks and he asked if they can learn too. He loves it. I love watching it click with him as he repeats back to us in his own words what we teach him. He loved church and has a chinese fellowshipper, who comes teaching with us. They've become really good friends. Xun's english is pretty good but if he ever needs more clarification, Brother Shum explains it in Chinese.
We've taught people from Burma and China. Two countries that have not been open to missionaries yet. It's been amazing to see how prepared people are in these countries. Just wanting to learn more. June See (a recent convert from Burma) has expressed to us quite a few times how she knows God led her family to America so that she could learn about the church. As I've met and taught these foreigners, it's been a testimony to me that God does lead and guide our lives if we let him. I feel like we've taught people from every country. It's so neat. I know God has led them to us to teach them the gospel. We are teaching a woman named Amanda (a visiting scholar from China, too) who wants to meet with us EVERY DAY. She has been to temple square and met missionaries there. She loves us and every time we meet she says, "I AM SO LUCKY TO MEET WITH YOU." It's really cool that God still finds ways for his children to find the gospel, even if it's not being taught to them in their home country.
Well, I have to go. I miss and love you all. It sounds like Rach's wedding was fun. I thought about you all there Saturday evening. Congratulations Rachael and Jon! Also, thanks so much for attending Sister Hacking's homecoming. It's so weird you got to meet and hug a girl I spent months with and was just with a few weeks ago! I love her and miss her. I'm doing well and I'll be emailing you on Tuesday next week instead of Monday. It's transfer week :) President said I get to stay in Ithaca!! I'm so happy!
Well, have a good week! Travel safe to and from Nevada and Utah!
"After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." -Joseph Smith
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Sister Christina Zwick New York Utica Mission PO Box 149 Whitesboro, NY 13492-0149
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"We have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work" Alma 26:3
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Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.
"Young men and women who serve missions are never the same. They return home with qualities and strengths that seem to come from no other experience. They know, as they never knew before, that this work is true and that it is the most important work on the face of the earth. They return home with a desire to continue to serve. They have established a foundation on which to grow in future responsibilities."--President Gordon B. Hinckley, Dec. 1986
“The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and dependent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah will say, ‘The work is done.”
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Thomas S. Monson- 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." Margaret D. Nadauld (General Conference Address ~ October 7, 2000)