Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Highs and Lows

Dear Family,
8 months.
Today marks 8 months solid.
     Can you believe it? I can't... It is so weird to think it's been that long. In some ways it doesn't seem that long at all. It's weird to think that exactly 8 months ago from right now I had just gotten off my flight, had just made it to Aunt Mindy's house, and was trying really hard to take a quick nap before being taken to the MTC in two hours. (The whole nap thing didn't really work... I was mostly trying not to hyperventilate...) and yet, here I am! 8 months down, Sitting behind a computer screen in a tiny family history center in the middle of nowhere Roosevelt Utah. I think the weirdest thing to think about is how much I feel like I've changed in that amount of time. I'm still me. But I feel better about myself, more positive, I feel more whole,  more solid,  more happy, and I feel more me. I also feel more stressed, more overwhelmed, and more desperate to just do more. It's a vicious cycle really...haha.
     This week has been insanity. I've hit some lows and I've hit some highs and I've been all over in between.
     I had another one of those awkward days where two different people made us dinner on the same day...and I felt so sick... That was an adventure... At one of the dinners there was a little boy who had a pet bunny that he carried around everywhere with him in a laundry basket... He even arranged for it to have a place to sit at the dinner table! Afterwards he was flinging the basket around the floor making race car noises...poor bunny...haha!
 Wednesday night was a rough night for me... You know how in my last email I told you about a couple we were teaching and how they got in a major fight and guns became involved...well the thing is... I love that couple. I've written to you about J and T before. I was the first one to start teaching them and I've always had a close relationship to T. I've always felt the spirit really strong while teaching her and I always felt like she was one of those people I was meant to meet. Well she has been struggling really badly with the whole thing... Obviously. After I heard what happened she wouldn't talk to us or contact us so I had no idea what was really going on or if I would ever be able to see them again. Then Wednesday night she texted us and said "I need a blessing. It's time." So we called her bishop and brother B the ward mission leader. After coordination that night we headed straight over to  Parkside Old Folks home where she works, and went into one of elderly lady's rooms that we all knew really well for the blessing. When I gave T a big hug she just started crying.  I just hugged her. She was saying the saddest things about how being around a violent abusive person for so long had turned her into one and she didn't want to be. I was so so sad for her listening to the things she said and how hurt and lost she was. Bro B gave her a blessing and it helped but she is still struggling to figure everything out. So I had another one of those times when I couldn't help it, I felt so useless because I felt like there was nothing I could do to fix it.
     I've lived a good life. With a loving family and nice home and a lot of love. I didn't know how much so many people really just hurt all the time until I came out on my mission. So I ended up crying the whole way home even though I really didn't want to. Sis Nomo was a good sport and didn't make me talk about it or even acknowledged it. Because honestly, who really wants to talk and cry at the same time.  I've only cried a handful of times on my mission, and it's amazing to me that most of them have been for the pain of others...I cried because of my back but I was in pain...so yeah. There are just so many other things I could do to fix problems than cry...But mostly now I feel like I don't have a right to whine and cry in self-pity anymore, because so many people have it so much worse than me...
       As a missionary, a lot of people treat you like a super hero, but sometimes I really don't feel like one because I can't force people to accept the gospel and let me help save their lives. And even if they do accept I can't stop Satan from throwing everything he's got at them. But I had to remember what Kayla wrote me about last time I got upset about this same thing. I can't help everyone. That's Gods job. I can't take the pain away no matter how much I wish I could just feel it for them so they don't have to. That's the Savior's job. I can just do my best to do what I can and trust that God will make up the rest.
     But T said something that night that struck me really hard. When I was giving her a hug goodbye, she is a lot shorter than me, so I had to lean down. She laughed and said "it's like you're my big little sister!" I know she meant it like "you are younger than me but a lot taller!" But the spirit hit me over the head. I am her big sister...really truly. I might be in a younger body. But I was sent here to help lead and guide her...spiritually speaking I feel as if the spirit was telling me I was older and needed to fulfill my duty and help bring her home. It was a strange experience. But impacted me a lot.
     This week I was able to get to know Sis Nomo better :) we talked a lot and got to know each other better. I think she still isn't used to Roosevelt and doesn't like it very much here...which is sad for me because I LOVE Roosevelt! She is super spunky, and has her own views on everything. She's interesting to talk to because she is super smart and well...about 5 years older than me. A lot of the time I forget she's closer to Sharee and Kayla's age than to me. But the age gap is there haha. This week she discovered the fact that I am blonde...and sometimes say stupid things without thinking. She laughs at me a lot now, which I'm okay with, as long as she is happy! :) if you don't remember... I say stupid stuff a lot and I’m Really gullible...and Sis Nomo has this quote book that she keeps of funny things her companions or people she is teaching say... Yep I've made it into the book 3 times in the last 48 hours... Simply because I asked her how long it takes her to get a sunburn (she's black...) and I also said I had portable sunscreen (apparently all sunscreen is portable...go figure)
      Thanks for sending me that back healing book! I’ve started using the stretches. Thanks Kayla for sending me Cardio too! I loved the chain letter when everyone wrote two lines! I about died laughing and I think my companion thought I was a weirdo because I kept cracking up reading it! Sharee telling me funny quotes about Hannah, Kayla talking about her birthday, Leisha trying to arrange my future marriage, Kelsy telling me about planning her own future marriage, Carl talking about basketball (always), Riley telling me the family keeps beating her up, moms own comments on everyone, and lastly Steve telling me about a burrito that changed his life... Classic. Loved it and it made miss you all a lot!
     This week Dallin Foote was baptized which was a great blessing! I've been working with him since I first got here. He is a sweet little boy and smart as a whip! His mom is super supportive but his dad... not so much...we want to work on his dad. So hopefully that works! This next week is going to be crazy busy and stressful. We have exchanges this week and also the twins I told you about are getting baptized next Saturday! So we will continue to teach them as fast as we can! They are cute little boys too! We also went and saw one of my favorite families, who we are also working with. Bro. F is trying to quit chewing and he has finally started to stop!!!!! He says he's done! And he seems pretty resolved! They want to go to the temple in August, which I'm so stoked about! It will be amazing for him to reach this goal! We've been working with him forever!  To see him really start progressing is sooooo amazing! 
     So today after emails we are going hiking as a district with DUSTY!!! I love Dusty he is hilarious! I've told you about him, he's the funny one who used to be a rocker and stuff? I'll send you guys pictures next week!
     I'm sorry this email is obnoxiously long... I've come to realize how long winded I am... gosh. But I hope all is going well! Tell Carl he's a boss hippy freak for being great at basketball! I can't wait to watch you play when I get home, Carly-puff! I hope all is going well at home with all the family! I loved the little video you sent of Hannah talking to me! I've loved seeing the cute pictures on Facebook of all the baby cousins together! They are the CUTEST! I love you all lots and miss you a ton! I love hearing from you guys! Thank you all for your support and love! 
Love love love you guys!
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer


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