Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring is Here!


How was everyone's Easter? I couldn't believe I forgot to mention Easter in my last letter! Ahh oh man some days come up so quickly and I sometimes forget which week it is. :)

It's finally looking and feeling like spring here in Plymouth. :) The weather has had its spurts of being chilly every now and then, but it's finally warming up here. :) 

Last Monday, Sister Nielson and I went to explore Plymouth Plantation. It was a very windy day and I discovered it wasn't the most exciting place, but hey it was alright for the discount we got as residents and we decided to have our own fun. We still spoke with "pilgrims" and "Indians" and found broomsticks that look like the ones in Harry Potter so we took pictures on them. Ha oh was great. :) The rest of the day as some members took us out to eat at a Brazilian Steakhouse (there's not a Brazilian of them around here) which you may know is one of my all-time favorite places to go. Oh be still my soul it was divine! I also didn't dare look at the cost but we gave the members our load of thanks. 

Plimoth Plantation

Be prapuh
Do I look anything like Harry Potter playing Quiddich?


There's been quite a few members moving out, (and yet there's been more moving in. :)) Last week Sister Nielson and I bade a tough goodbye to Brother and Sister Hopkins. 

Saying goodbye to the Hopkins
Although I've only met with them a few times, they are one couple I'll never forget. They are in their 60s-70s and were baptized about 2 1/2 years ago, so we have been helping them with temple prep lessons, and then Sister Hopkins would take us out to eat. There have been people I've met on my mission who are very vocal about their opinions on everything--other people and what they dislike about them, what they dislike about their lives and what's happening in the community. However, although the Hopkins face many challenges, including how Brother Hopkins is paralyzed from the chest down as he is also blind and nearly deaf, they are vocal about the good things happening, the love they have for guests when they arrive, and their love for each other. Brother Hopkins still keeps a sense of humor as I've often seen him smiling (and he really is funny.) Sister Hopkins stays positive as she does everything she possibly can to make sure Brother Hopkins knows she's there for him. I could go on about how she orders him his favorite meals, how she always says "*Brother Hopkins* and I," makes sure he hears what others say and includes him in everything. During all this, they strive to learn more about the gospel and live it. The Hopkins are one strong example of a couple who surely demonstrates pure Christlike love. I've admired their positive outlook and example, as they are an example of how awesome the members are here. 

On Saturday we stopped by the McGill's for dinner. It turned out they also boiled eggs for us to dye Easter eggs, so we joined their family for the event. After we ate quesuhdiluh's for dinner (as in "Come on, Napoleon, just make yourself a dang quesuhdiluh!") we had to hurry so I could get home for treatment (I had an even greater motivation to get home for it after one of their sons spilled the news that their close friend with CF has been in a terrible condition to the point where he's been in a coma for 2 months. It was a little upsetting to hear and made me wonder how two CF patients' lives can contrast so greatly, but it made me more grateful for all the Lord has allowed me to do thus far. I don't know his names but prayers his way would be helpful.) We prepared an Easter message based off of Joseph B. Wirthlin's "Sunday will come" talk on how we "all have our Fridays" but we can look forward to "our glorious Sunday" as we have times where we may feel in our absolute lowest state, but that Christ is "the light that is endless, that can never be darkened." (Mosiah 16:7-9)  The McGill's have been awesome with sharing the gospel, too, so we invited them to think of how they could allow the Atonement to transform their lives, as well as the lives of those they love. Sister McGill then gave Sister Nielson and I a bag of surprises to open on Easter Morning. Sister Nielson and I felt a little extra spoiled. :) We have felt loved and welcomed in their home countless times, and they continue to serve not only us but those they know and meet.

"Now that's what I call red-eye!" - Brother McGill
Church on Easter Morning was wonderful, and Beth and Amy were finally confirmed! Seriously, it was the greatest. The spirit was strong and the blessings given to them were beautiful. At the end of Sacrament Meeting, Beth told us that she and Amy came to church for the first time eight years ago on Easter Sunday. She pointed her finger at us and said, "Even though it took us this long, the seed was planted then, so don't give up as you're planting seeds!" (close words). It was exactly what I needed to hear! Beth and Amy have come a long way since then as they've gained desire at one point, which led to a course of miracles. After church yesterday, Beth approached our Branch President and asked for a temple recommend interview. Last that we heard, she was planning on going today with one of the members (Amy has a couple of months before she can go.) Truly incredible.

To be honest, it's been a little bit of a slower week and Sister Nielson and I have been struggling a little bit to figure out how to best use the time we have. I really don't like not having many teaching appointments set or let along many investigators to teach, but I'm still trying to see things with a new perspective and as we visit media referrals, following up with members, and more. We're still seeking those who are ready. We know that there are many ways in which we can improve, but we are taking things one step at a time and are doing our best. I'm just having to remember to keep a broader outlook on how to hasten the Work of Salvation here. I also won't forget Beth's advice that she gave us yesterday. 

I hope you can all feel the spirit of the Easter season and remember how it all came to be. Being out on the mission has allowed me to ponder and reflect more about our Savior's life and Atonement. Perhaps it's been the progressing years that has allowed me to realize more how precious life is as I hear others' stories (i.e. the McGill's friend in a coma), or it could be my eyes have been opened a little more as a missionary, but either way I've been able to reflect even more this year how precious the Atonement is as it allows us all to live forever and to be forgiven. It can heal our wounds and we do not have to do anything alone. I know that my Redeemer, Savior, and Advocate lives! And I am so grateful for it. :)

With Love, 
Sister Roy 

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