Monday, July 20, 2015

First Area: Cranberry Township #blessed

(Excerpts from her email this week.)
I'm now in my first area. It's called Cranberry Township😄 My
trainer is from California and her name is Sister Hokafonu. She has been here for three months. It's soooo beautiful here, there are fireflies at night that I love!!! 

The beautiful cornfields in Cranberry
So a lot of the work out here is doing service and working with less active members. I'm really excited to work with the less actives though, because I think they are just as important as a new investigator. Our purpose as missionaries is to help people to get baptized, but it is also to help people endure to the end. When people leave the church we need to try our hardest to get them back on the path and help them endure, or we aren't doing our purpose as missionaries. 

Some of the service that we do here is really cool though. On Thursday we went to the senior center which is right by the library and we went and helped dish up their lunch and hand it out. We do this every Thursday. The old people there are really funny though. There is this old man who always tries to get us to give him more food and he always flirts with the older ladies, it's really funny! Then they give us some of the food so we can eat with them, but the food is NASTY!!! It's food that is super watered down and has NO taste 😷! After, we do the dishes and leave.

With her new companion Sis. Hokafonu!

On Saturday we went to this really cool ranch. It's still a work in progress but it's going to be a youth ranch where kids can come who are going through hard things. Like if their parents have a terminal illness or they are bullied etc. It's really cool and the lady who is one of the owners is amazing. She's a super Christian lady and has soooo much faith. She is the hardest working woman I've ever met. She loves helping people and invested her whole life in making this ranch work. They have all of these really amazing horses there, and they are beautiful!! She showed us each of the horses and told us a little about each one of them and how they got them. Heavenly Father has really blessed them in so many ways to make this whole thing work! It's so cool how she recognizes that and she is so grateful. 

That day, after meeting all of the horses we went and scooped some poop while the two other elders that were with us hooked up a picture printer... dinguses! haha jk, Elder Hunsaker, my district leader actually broke his scapula (wing bone in the back) when he was in the MTC. But he didn't know it until almost two years later... when he was serving in Pittsburgh in the ghettos there was this crazy high guy that assaulted them and punched him in his broken scapula. So now they are serving in our area because it's super safe here. Anyway, after scooping poop we went and pulled all off these wooden panels that were from a fence and we put them in a pile and it took forever. they were so heavy and I was so scared there was going to be a snake or something. Plus, there were termites all over the wood and it was so gross. There are soo many bugs here, it's nasty!!!  We were sweating so bad and there were bugs all over us😲😲😲 But once we got them all in a pile we got a blow torch and lit them on fire! It was a huge fire and it was sooooo hot already that it made it like 300 degrees hotter. Then the fire started going up the grass so we had to run and get water to get all of the dead grasses wet so it wouldn't burn everything. It was kinda scary at first but we got it totally under control. But it was funny because they just told us four missionaries to go do all that while everyone else was working in the barn with the horses and the stalls. That is what I call trust!!! 

It was pretty fun though and it's really nice to be busy because then I don't get sad about being away from you guys. 

At the fireside in Plum.
Then on Sunday we went to church and like I said, my ward is amazing. Every time they pray they pray for us four missionaries who are serving in the ward. It's incredible to think of how many people are praying for us out here and it truly does make a difference😁! We also had a unique opportunity to go to a fireside that was all they way in Plum which is about an hour away from where we live. It so happened to be in the area where sister Schofield is serving!!!! #blessed!!! It was such an amazing fireside and there was about 40 missionaries there and we sang at the beginning Did You Think to Pray and then they showed some really powerful Mormon messages throughout it. One that I loved was, Because of Him. The whole topic was Why I Believe and it was perfect. Some of the missionaries brought investigators and there were some members there too. The bishop of the ward was Bishop Hoke and he spoke as well. He was a football player for the Steelers so that was really cool. Our Mission president and his wife also spoke a little and like I said they are just so amazing. Throughout it they had musical numbers by some of the missionaries and let me tell ya, Pittsburgh missionaries got talent! It was amazing to be able to listen to their testimonies through song. I LOVED IT!! I can't tell you how much I needed that! It was a rough week and it was so nice to be able to feel the spirit so strong! At the end, all of the missionaries sang the As Sisters in Zion and Armies of Helamen EFY medley. The spirit was so strong and I had to try my hardest not to just start crying. When we sang the part that says, "and we will be the Lords missionaries, to bring the the world the truth" It was so amazing to actually be part of that army that is fighting against Satan's army to  help people come unto Christ! WOW honestly mom, I love being a missionary! It doesn't really feel like I even am, but it is such a blessing to be here right now and I am one lucky girl!!! 

Love Raquel aka: Sister Douglas!

Look who she found in Plum!!! Sis. Schofield! First comp-Forever Friends!

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