Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sometimes things are just HARD

Dear Family.
     Well, I'm not going to lie. This week was a hard week. 
     Still good on so many levels. Still amazing in so many ways. And there were still so many miracles. But sometimes life is just hard.   To start us off lets go back to last week.
     I want to ask you to keep my mission president, President McCune, in your prayers. Especially his son Daniel. Last week his son (who is 20) got in a long boarding accident right outside the mission home. He hit his head really hard and had to go into emergency brain surgery. To say this week has been hectic as a mission, is an understatement. Our whole mission had a fast for Daniel on Saturday and we have been praying for the McCune family constantly. It makes me so sad that such a righteous, devoted, inspired, and caring man, who works so hard in our mission had to have something like this happen to his family. When being the guardian of 260+ missionaries and having to deal with this on top of it all...It's hard. It just is. And all of us have been asking for a miracle in behalf of Daniel.
     This week has been good in the sense that we are increasing in lesson numbers and getting closer to the goals we've set! We've been working hard to find new people to teach. Here in Utah we run into the fact that people here believe that everyone here is Mormon and we are most often faced with the question "How do I do missionary work in Utah?" So Sis Wicker and I came up with an idea! So starting this next Saturday morning, we are starting a Preach My Gospel class for active members ages 12+. A few general conferences ago, Elder Ballard told everyone to study Preach My Gospel personally and as a Family, especially if you have a missionary out in the field. Some families have no clue how to approach it and others use it as their scripture study as a family. So we are starting this class to help people study it and become better member missionaries. So we are super stoked about that! 
     Wednesday we were out contacting because we didn't have any set lessons, and we came to a less active woman's house who we'd been trying to meet for weeks. She was finally home and we sat down and talked with her. Well....what we thought would be a short visit turned into 3 hours...and we hardly said a word. She began dumping everything from her past on us. May I remind you that I am not a bishop...nor a qualified psychiatrist or counselor....but often times people deem it necessary to tell a couple of 20ish year old kids who are just trying to share the gospel message all  the horrifying details of their life.  I didn't know what to say. I couldn't relate to her, I couldn't think of a single way to help. So we tried our hardest to bare testimony of the simple things that I do know help. Prayer and scripture study. We committed her to reading a chapter a day and we left her house, overwhelmed and promising to be back next week.
     Note from Mom:  I edited out some other HARD things that these two sweet sisters had to face because of the worldly choices of others in order to maintain their privacy.  Lets just say I'm praying constantly that  their spirits will be strengthened and not be harmed by the choices of others.
Sis. Wicker's first pumpkin carving-ever!  Good job!
Elder Gunthrie
It's good to know traditions live on even in the mission.
         Later that night we were both physically and emotionally drained and so we made a deal. That we would ride our bikes to our Coordination meeting that night, but we called a member that I was super close with last time I was here (The Wooly's!) to pick up our bikes in their truck and give us a ride home. So we were riding really fast to our meeting because we were just a little behind. We were right about to turn into the parking lot, when Sis Wicker turned too soon and hit the curb and went flying! It was like in slow motion and I instantly hopped off my bike and dropped it and ran to her! She was sprawled spread eagle on her stomach and had smacked her face on the pavement and grass. She was amazingly not bleeding at all, although she had felt her nose and teeth graze the pavement, and her nails were all scraped up from the contact. She was sore the next few days, but overall was unscathed. Divine intervention? Heck yes! We were inspired to arrange a ride for after the meeting. When we walked out of the meeting we were greeted by Mario and Princess Peach. Not even lying. Haha! So the Wooly's have a son named Tyler who served in Armenia with the Eyres in my home ward , he got back the first time I was in Orem. Well now he has a girl friend who is an RM from Russia, and she is super nice! And they showed up in costume to pick us up and it totally was a tender mercy to laugh with them when we saw them. That night we ate a cookie. just gotta eat a cookie. That's life. 
           What does the word "hard" mean anyways? Hard means difficult. Frustrating. Not easy. And so many people say life is too hard, or things are too hard and they can't do them. This week I've rediscovered that "Hard" can have an all new meaning. Grandma Merkley has a quote on her wall that says "I can do hard things." and Sharee has sent that quote to me more than once. It has given me a lot of strength...but also changed the way I look at the word "Hard" can also mean tough, unbreakable. Strong. I can do strong things. Sometimes being strong can be a very lonely thing. But I've learned that I can do hard things. And so can the people I help. We as Children of God are oddly resilient. We have seen through history as people have faced horrifying things, and yet still have faced them and come back to say that "despite everything, I truly believe that people are really good at heart." (Anne Frank.) I choose to believe that. And missionary work is my way of going out to prove that point and to share the joys and strengths of the gospel. I can do hard things. I love you all and miss you all! 
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

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