Monday, November 4, 2013

Lenise is in Orem

Novemeber 4, 2013

Hello family!

     Greetings from the Cascade and Orchard Stakes in Orem Utah! :) My first area and I'm over two whole stakes! CRAZY! And guess what... I'm on a bike!!!! Thank heavens I didn't have to buy one this transfer because we already had one borrowed from a member, but still! Lets just say that by the end of these six weeks, I'm going to have the most bodacious muscular legs in the world! haha! It's definitely going to take some getting used to, but I can already feel my legs getting stronger, and it's getting a little easier. I have to go get bike shorts today...riding a bike in a dress/skirt is an art, let me tell you...haha But it's good! Except this weird thing has happened to my right leg, where from my knee to the middle of my thigh is just numb. I can't feel it, it's like its asleep and it's been that way for the past five days...It can't tell the difference between temperatures and I can't feel it when I tap it with my pen...but whatever. It doesn't bother me too much. If you wanna google it you can, but I can't. I'm calling the mission nurse later today about it, but my companion thinks it's just sore muscles or something and I'm not too worried.
     My companion is the best! Her name is Sis. Albrechtson and she is super chill and really nice. Her and her last companion were super good friends, so at first I thought she might be disappointed with me, because she loved Sis. Watson, but we are getting along really well.  She is an amazing trainer and she helps me out a lot! She's teaching me the ropes and I'm slowly learning more and more. The one thing I have the most trouble with is the streets here. They are in a grid system and I'm learning how to maneuver through them. Sis Albrechtson also wakes me up to work out every morning. She is really healthy and we go running (along with all the bike riding) and then we do floor workouts after. We have a routine down now, and I'm feeling really tired at the end of the days but really good too.

 I really miss my district from the MTC because we were such good friends and had class every day, and it's different being with just one other person instead of like 10, but I'm really learning to love it here.
     Everybody here is SO nice to the missionaries. We have breakfast and lunch at our little apartment, (which is really just the basement of one of the bishop's houses in our stake) and then we have dinner with the members every night. I love eating with the members, they are so awesome and really funny! My mission president was so right when he told us "Every member a mission president" hahaha. Everyone thinks they know best for the missionaries and their always sharing their own stories and giving advice on how we can do better. haha! I love it though, it's always funny and interesting!
      The first night out of the MTC we had dinner at the Mission Presidents house and learned all the "Do's and Don'ts" of the internet. So I can be on facebook, and I'm in the process of going through all my pictures and things right now, but I can't communicate with friends and family from back home unless it's fulfilling my mission purpose which means "helping others come unto Christ" So I'm sorry I can't message you and stuff, but you can still see and comment on my posts and hopefully I can post pictures soon. I'm not allowed to put up pictures of me unless it has to do with my purpose, and I have to be in missionary uniform, which means I'm not allowed to post pics of me in my p-day clothes. But yeah, that's basically it. My mission president said the coolest thing though when we were talking about why missionaries get to use the internet now. He told us that the prophecy that says the second coming won't happen until the gospel is spread to every nation, tongue, and people has been fulfilled. It doesn't mean we need missionaries in every country means we can spread the gospel and everyone has access to it through the internet. Amazing right?! I thought that was so cool! I love my mission president! He's kind of intense but super nice, and when I had my interview with him he told me a few people had mentioned to him that I could sing and he's planning on having me sing at a couple of zone conferences....greeeeaaatt.... way to make me feel nervous! Ah! haha! And my comp has also volunteered me already to sing at a multi-stake fireside about missionary work on November 20th. She heard me in the shower this morning, and I was done for.
      I saw Megan, Camry, and Kaylyn last Wednesday at transfers and it was so fun to hug them and see them again. They are all doing really well and it felt nice to see familiar faces.
Our little apartment is nice and I sleep on the top bunk. My family picture and my stick-on stars are up as always :) My companion (just like all the girls in my district at the MTC) like to look at the pictures I have and see you guys. I love getting pictures and letters, even though I can't write back as often as I want because I'm so busy. So no, they don't distract me, don't worry mom! If anything they help! I don't feel so far away and out of the loop and they keep me going. Hopefully I can write some letters today!...I got my watch but I haven't gotten any more letters from the mission home this week...I'm sure I have some and I want them, but I have to wait until they bring them all! Blah! :) haha
      We mostly study for three hours in the morning and I read a lot of conference talks on my spiffy new ipad mini. I've never been too good with technology and my Shrek hands don't help when it comes to touch screens. It's freezing here and it's been snowing the past two days which means all I wear are tons of tights, scarves, and big sweaters...and my coats....and gloves. It's just really cold. The first few days it was nice, but now it's yeah. YIPEE! :)
      In my district we are the only sisters, and we have a lot of fun with the elders even though we only see them at district meetings and stuff. The Spanish elders are hilarious, especially Elder Pineda, who sings the nacho libre song in his accent, which is soooo epic! haha he's from El Salvador. For Halloween we were locked up in a chapel and one of the ward mission leaders brought us a ton of pizza and crazy bread and cupcakes. We played soccer and then we set up the big projector and watched Ephraim's rescue, which is a really good movie! I suggest you all watch it! It's made by the same person who did 17 Miracles. Super good. But on the way home my bike chain broke, or something. My comp was really nice about it and she tried to fix it as much as possible and she let me ride her bike while she rode my broken one home. She is a sweetheart and really nice. She's 21 and she went to BYU Hawaii and has served service missions in Kenya. She is so amazing to me and she is like a big sister. But yeah, so my bike broke and I had to pay like $20 to fix it, but I didn't think that was very bad because I got to borrow the bike for free and didn't have buy a new one, so I was okay with it.
     I love the people we teach here so much! Everybody, less-active, nonmembers, and members, all of them. They fascinate me, and I just feel so honored to get to know them no matter their mistakes and flaws and setbacks. If anything, on my mission I've realized how beautiful people are in general. I have this deep love for them that surprises me so much because I feel it so quickly and so intensely. The more flawed, the better, because I love them and want to help them even more. The gospel is so healing. Watching it change the lives of those around me is such a humbling experience. We are teaching a new investigator named Cody who is applying for BYU law school, and he went to Berkeley and he's super smart. We taught him and his dad about the restoration at a member’s house and it was so powerful. When Sis. A recited the Joseph's account of the first vision, she was looking right into his eyes and it just seemed to click. The spirit was so strong and you could see it making sense in his mind. It was the best feeling ever. The same thing happened with a less active name Klint who is trying to get the priesthood. Watching the happiness in his eyes as he realized that he could repent and be made whole was the most gratifying experience ever! I love people and I love teaching them, and it's making me wonder if maybe I want to do something in the future that involves a lot of interaction with people...who knows. I still love to sing and write, but I'm realizing this overwhelming need inside me to help people and to bring the gospel to them. We are also teaching a guy named Bryan from Ghana who is getting baptized at the end of this month. He has a lot of hard questions, but he knows that Joseph smith is a prophet. He likes to Bible bash a little bit because he is still wondering why we need a book of Mormon (he kind of struggles with reading it) but because he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, he knows that the BOM must be true. We're working with him and he's such a nice guy. He just has a bunch of questions. We also put another investigator named Mariem on date for baptism in December, but idk if I'll still be here... sad. I want to be here when she gets baptized because she is really beginning to love the scriptures and it's been cool to see her testimony, even though I've only spoken with her once. The other day we ran across a lady who was unloading boxes from her car and crying. We stopped and helped her and asked her what was wrong. She just started sobbing and told us that we had been an answer to her prayer. She said she and her husband were separating and she just really needed some comfort. It was amazing and humbling to be a tool in God's hands to help his children. Though it's hard and I miss you guys sometimes like crazy, I know that this is where I'm meant to be. Is it crazy that I feel so much like I've met everyone here before? All the missionaries I meet, all the members, all the people we're teaching it's like I know them. It's so crazy. But I feel like I really do, like I've seen them all before, and they are all so familiar to me. I'm just trying my best to serve them. I'm trying my best to serve my father in heaven. I hope someday when he introduces me to others he'll add "In whom I am well pleased." I just want to please my father in heaven.
     I love hearing from you all! sorry I can't write back to everyone, but I'm catching up today for p-day so hopefully I'll be able to write Sharee back after her cute cards and I hope I can send another letter home to everyone! Hope Halloween was fun and I loved your costumes! I love you all so much, it's ridiculous! You know how I said I love random strangers now? Well I love you more and I miss you all. Don't change too much...and if you do send pics. hahaha! But yeah, hopefully I can send pics now that I have a new computer to work with! Email me if I left some answers to questions out.
Love love love Your missionary,
Sis. Volmer
(Lenise/Spunk/Niser/whatever else you call me behind my back. haha)

sorry this is so scattered!

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