Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas is no time to diet!


Dear Family, friends, loyal subjects, slaves, and fans....
    Haha welcome to another segment of Sister Volmer's crazy adventure in Utah; land of the Christmas pageants, potatoes and gravy, and the ongoing conspiracy to make every missionary in the state of Utah obese!
     So, good news!!! I wasn't transferred! My address hasn't been changed and Sis Albrechtsen and I are still together! However we did switch districts, so our district leader is different, (He is the sweetest guy ever!) but not much else has changed. We also got a new Zone Leader named Elder Kartchner...he's Elder Harpole's new companion...the both of them teamed up....Oh my goodness, it's like TWO Elder Harpoles!!! They are hilarious and keep us entertained for a long time! But they are also super spiritual and powerful when they teach! We are so lucky to have the zone leaders we do!
You wouldn't believe how relieved a few of our investigators and mission moms were about us not getting transferred! Sis Woolley was texting us all morning saying "Have they called yet? Have they called yet?" haha. Mom and dad, you might need to look out, I've had three different offers of families wanting to adopt me...I don't know why...hahahaha! But we have lots of different ladies who have designated themselves as our mothers and make sure we have rides everywhere in the snow and that we don't go unfed and that we are warm... everyone makes sure we don't go unfed....I'm super grateful and it saves me a lot of grocery money...but when you have thanksgiving every night for dinner, I've gotta say on the meals we don't get fed, I just don't eat because I'm dreading the feeling of being stuffed later...I used to love food...I still kind of do...but when I'm super full and can't be rude....oh man I dread it...especially on the terrible days when we have two dinners lined up...I dread those days! All I eat at my apartment are apples and bagels...
    So the Riley Family made me Rice-a-roni on Tuesday!!! When she told me she emailed you about it I laughed really hard! It was so great! But because it was so cold on Tuesday that power cut out for an hour and a half so we ate dinner by candle light. What's even funnier is last night, the family we had dinner with made Rice-a-roni too!! I was like "Did you email my mom too!?" and the lady was like "" hahaha
     We've been going to Dragon House (The best Asian restaurant in the world! The owner promised me a job there if I come back to go to BYU) And we are teaching the owner's wife Terry. She is the sweetest nicest woman ever! She is this short Asian girl who has the biggest heart and she loves the missionaries. She loves the positive influence of the Mormons in her neighborhood on her family and she goes to church all the time. We just need to teach her the lessons! She has made pets of all the missionaries in our zone and we leave her little notes and tips whenever she serves us! She's always begging for us to come and visit her and we love her to death! We sing for her too and everyone in the restaurant gives us funny looks but it's great! 

    We've been going to a million ward Christmas parties and meeting so many members that I can't keep them all straight...When you're over 14 wards it's a little difficult to memorize names so I just smile and wave at people and talk to them. We speak in church a lot and teach Relief Society every now and then...we even taught part of the lesson for the High Priests...that was fun! We've had so many invites for Christmas that we don't know who to say yes to. It will be a busy day but it will be fun! I know I'll really miss being home for Christmas but everyone has been so kind to us here and helpful in making sure we have a great Christmas
     Our investigator who is on date for this Saturday, G, got really sick this past week with a fever and his mind is still healing from craving drugs constantly. We had Bro. W and his son T (The one who just came back from Armenia and served with the Eyres. No I didn't get to see the Eyres but we sent them a pic!) Both of them gave G a blessing. We don't know if we will be able to squeeze the rest of the lessons in by Saturday so we might need to push his date to the 28th :( sad! We're going to see him tonight and see what we can do!
    I'm not going to lie, this week was a little crazy for me. I remember right before I left on my mission I couldn't feel anything...I just felt numb. I didn't feel homesick, sad, excited, nervous, anything. It lasted all through the MTC and into the mission field. I was so surprised that I wasn't homesick as much as I thought I would be and that I hadn't was weird. But this last week I think my emotional teenage girl kicked in for no flippin reason! Maybe it's the fact that it's natural for missionaries to feel some stress and tension, but my body didn't know how to release stress...My usual ways are singing at the top of my lungs in the kitchen for two hours or more, reading a book that I can get lost in, writing, or taking a quick nap....I can't do any of those things on the mission...but I felt emotional for some crazy reason and didn't know how to release it.  Sis Albrechtsen is so in tune with the spirit she just took one look at me and said "Sis Volmer, are you okay?"  I kept telling her I was fine, but she kept asking and asking as if she just KNEW that I wasn't... My tear-ducts rebelled and I started crying for no reason.  We had a good long talk, it was a good stress release, and I feel we are much closer.
     For the millionth time I must say I love being a missionary. I've been working on Christ-like attributes from Preach My Gospel and this week has been a growing one for me. We always share Christmas messages with member families and instead of saying "Remember to give on Christmas" and "The true meaning of Christmas is to remember Christ's birth” we instead tie it back to the atonement and the reason Christ came to this earth in the first place. We've been teaching the atonement a lot this last week and the more I learn about it the more it blows my mind what Christ did for us. The most perfect, pure, kindest, sincerest person on the face of this planet had to feel everything in order make it possible for us to return to the Lord's presence someday. Not just the hurt and pain that comes from sadness and mistakes and disappointment. He had to feel what it was like inflict that pain on others. He had to feel what it was like to rob, molest, murder, and destroy. Our most pure older brother had to feel what it was like to commit even the vilest of sins. The more I think of it the more it overwhelms me and makes me so eternally grateful for what he did not just for me, but for every single hurt and lost person I meet out here on my mission. He heals them. I'm so grateful for His sacrifice when I see the healing power of His atonement wash over those who accept this gospel in their life.
    I hope this Christmas season you remember Christ in every aspect of His life and in yours. What role has he played in everything you've ever done or experienced? I miss you all and pray for you every single day. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and remember that the Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ. I love you!
Love,  Sister Lenise Volmer
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

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