Hello Family and Friends!
I can't believe another week has already passed! Time just flies when you lose yourself in the Lords work:) How is everyone doing? I have loved letters and emails from everyone! I love to know what everyone is up to! Being a missionary is so weird because you literally don't know what is happening in the world, and it is a weird feeling, but I am slowly getting used to it. The weird thing is that I don't even miss my phone or TV, or anything that I thought I would miss! I thought having a mission phone, I would be tempted to call or text home, but I'm not! I just miss my family and my friends which are the most important things in life, of course after the Gospel:)
So this week was AWESOME! Way better than last week when we literally had no idea what we were doing. Also the first week was super hard because it was just overwhelming and I felt like I had no idea what to do and I wasn't getting the hang of things, but that is when I talk to my Heavenly Father and he makes it all better. I love Twin Falls! The people here are so great and the ward members take such great care of us. I feel like I have a second family here which is really comforting. This week we actually know people and we had a lot of return appointments so it gets better everyday! I'll tell you about some of our investigators.
So last week, we met a less active lady named Jolene. She has recently started coming back to church and wants her 8 year old daughter to be baptized. She is amazing. I know that she is someone I was supposed to meet. When I first met her, I was overcome with this feeling of love and feeling like we met for a reason. We visit her every few days and I just love her. She doesn't have a lot, but she gives us so much. She feeds us all the time and sneaks us Mountain Dew. Hehe. Her daughter is so cute and we have been teaching her the discussions so that she can be ready to get baptized. She tells us all the time how grateful she is for Sisters. We heart attacked her on Valentines day as well. You can just see her desire to change and to come back and to get to the temple. I know she is someone I will keep in contact with forever. Meeting her and visiting her just confirms why I am here and it is truly amazing.
Okay drum roll please..... I invited someone to be baptized and they accepted!!!!!! Literally the best feeling in the world and I can't even describe it. This was a referral from someone in the ward. Her name is Kellie. She just moved here from Sacramento and just got her kids back after being in jail. So we contacted her and she was super interested so we set up a lesson. We taught her the first discussion and she loved it. We weren't planning on inviting her to be baptized, but I felt inspired so I did and she said yes!!!! We are planning on having her baptism the first or second week of March and I can't wait! She cried and we cried and it was one of the neatest experiences I have ever had. That is why I am here, and I couldn't be happier.
We are also teaching a few part member families. In the Loder family, Amanda who is the fiance is taking the discussions. She is really excited and loves learning. In my last email I talked about Nancy who has a lot of anxiety about coming to church. We gave her a church tour, but she still didn't come to church, so hopefully next week. But this week at church we had 4 investigators at Sacrament meeting! In my last email I also told you about Rene Bravo who lives with his girlfriend and daughter. We are working on a marriage date for them so he can get baptized, but he finally quite smoking which is awesome! We visit so many less actives and I will keep you all updated as things happen. There is a lot of work to do here and I am so grateful for that. I know that it was inspired to put Sisters in this area because there are so many single Sisters who need us and I can see the Lords hand in all of this.
So anyways, it was a great week! Like I said, I love the people so so much. We get fed most every night, but Holy cow, people feed us so much. I already feel my skirts getting tighter haha. It is terrible! I feel sick almost every night just from how much members feed us. I almost feel like I should just fast lunch and dinner everyday haha. But it is a blessing for sure:) This area is still getting so much rain and snow, so I am definitely grateful for the car. Mission life is so funny if you think about it. It is uncomfortable a lot and awkward at times. But it is so fun. Sister Ramsey and I have a lot of fun together, and as a missionary, you have to just laugh things off!
This week I have been feeling discouraged a lot. Not because of the work or the people, but just because I was feeling like I was not a good teacher and I felt like I couldn't get the hang of teaching by the Spirit and being able to say whatever was needed. Sister Ramsey is so good at teaching and I was comparing myself a lot to her. She noticed that I was having a hard time, so we talked about it for a long time. She told me about how she felt the same way at first. She told me that when I do teach and bear my testimony that it is powerful and that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. She made me feel so much better and so much more confident. We read in Preach My Gospel about how really listening to people will automatically bring the Spirit, and it is so true! We also read Section 100 out of Doctrine and Covenants which gives us so many promises as missionaries and it brought so much comfort. If you have not read that Section, read it!!! We replaced the names with our own names and added in our own personal details as we read. It made it so real and it was so powerful. We both ended up crying and it was amazing.
Everyday gets better.I am becoming more confident in my teaching, and I figured out that if I love people and just listen to them, that the Spirit will be there and that I will know exactly what to say. Heavenly Father is there always. I love that promise that he gives us that he will never leave us. My faith has grown so much and I know that He will not leave me. I think back to life before my mission a lot. I had a testimony and I believed all these things, but I think I was mostly going through the motions. Being here and being involved with the Gospel everyday changed your life and it changes your nature. I am already a totally different person than when I left. It is so incredible. I know that this is the true Gospel with all my heart. I have felt it everyday since I have been here. I can't express to you in words my gratitude for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am here for him. He is the center of this Gospel and of this work and I love being able to bear my testimony about him everyday. I don't even know what else to say other than that I am so happy. Happier than I ever have been before and I know that is because my world revolves around other people now. I feel like I finally know what true happiness is, and that is living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and serving his children. I love being a missionary, I know I say it all the time, but it is true. When I turn outward and think of others, pray for others, serve others is when I am the happiest. I challenge you all to be more Christlike and look for those opportunities to serve because it will change your life. Also, you testimony is powerful and sharing it will make yours grow I promise you that:)
I miss you all more than you know! I hope you know you all are always in my thoughts and prayers. I am so grateful the Lord has placed me here at this time in my life. I know this is where I am supposed to be without a doubt. I am happy and busy and I am loving every minute of it no matter how tired I am when that alarm goes off:) Please keep writing me and emailing me because it means so much! Look for missionary opportunities and be an example. Pray always, and have faith that Heavenly Father will answer you. Have a great week everyone. I love you all! Sending hugs and kisses your way. I love you.
Love, Sister Bigelow