1: my district from the MTC I miss them!!
2: my beautiful companion and I
3: my wonderful bike
4:4th of July :D a recent convert Sis Carmikle on the left and Anna on the right is so willing to help all the time
5: I love her
6: the beautiful man-made lake ;)
I've been on my mission over a month now! I can't believe how precious time is out here. This week had a lot of ups and downs, but the ups were INCREDIBLE.
Monday- The heat exhaustion really got to me. When it's over 100, high humidity, riding bikes all day my body gets really mad at me apparently. But that night we had the cutest family home evening with a less active family. They have four daughters who were similar ages to my siblings so it was a lot of fun spending time with them. We did an object lesson that involved jelly beans that the kids liked a lot. One of the little girls nicknames all the missionaries and so my nickname is Jelly Bean!
Tuesday- We had our District Meeting on Tuesday. We feel every time we have meetings with other missionaries because our numbers are so good comparatively.. Those poor elders work so hard too, they just have a really rough area. We visited the Singh family! I don't remember if I've talked about them, but basically he's this cute old Indian man who came up to us while walking his dog and told us all of his info and that he couldn't come to church this week but would come the next week- all without us saying a word. In fact we weren't even dressed as missionaries- we were out exercising. So we went to his house and got to know him and his wife. They are Sikh which is a religion primarily found in India. Research it because it is such a beautiful religion! There was a slight language barrier, but they are the nicest people I've ever met. She kept bringing us food and we interrupted their dinner but they left it and talked to us for almost two hours about their story. Sikhs are so peaceful! They won't even kill a bug because it is a creation from God. Their God isn't our God in the sense that they are not Christian, but they do believe He is everyone's God and we are all brothers and sister. The men wear a turban and don't cut their hair. They have a lot of the same morals we do including no alcohol, tobacco, tithing, and more. It's also really sad because the Sikh people provide 80% of India's army and they are only 2% of India's population. They believe in fighting for freedoms and their families and country so strongly. So this coming week we are going to go to their Sikh temple in Dallas in exchange that they'll come to church with us!
Wednesday- We prayed about where we needed to go tracting and I felt inspired to go to a street on the other side of our area. It was like a half hour bike ride just to get there and it was already night time, but we followed the Spirit. We met a man named Randy in the first house we knocked on. His wife has major heart complications and was supposed to have died last Christmas. Her condition hasn't gotten better, but she's had longer than expected. We shared with him The Plan of Salvation and how God really does have a plan for us so that we can live with our families forever. My experiences on my mission make me appreciate my life so much more. I've never faced anything that hard, nor do I ever want to. But my favorite part of being a missionary is sharing that peace and comfort God's plan can offer to everyone who will accept it. We also taught a boy named Bruno that day about The Restoration. I just thought this was a funny experience and my companion said in all of her 10 months this has never happened. We asked him to say the closing prayer, we explained how to do it and he said he would. While we were all kneeling, he began to pray..but in his head.. so we were all sitting there with our eyes closed just waiting- it was the most awkward thing ever haha.
Thursday- It was 7/11 day! So of course we went and got a free slurpee;) I know my mom would be so proud of me for carrying on that tradition. We also got a CAR!!! That morning the mission office called and said they had a car for us so we drove down and picked it up! It's a chevy malibu. God must have felt sorry for me. I honestly have no idea how the mission knew we needed one. Neither one of us complained about our bikes, and there are other areas that need a car much worse than we did. I never even prayed about it, because I figured if God is asking me to ride a bike, He will make it okay. Thankfully God knows me perfectly. My dad just so happened to have sent me 8 cd's on that exact day as well so we had music for the car! I love how the Lord provides for His servants.
Friday- This was such an up/down day. We decided to go plan and have lunch at Chik-fil-a and it turned out to be the one day out of the year when if you dress up like a cow, you get free stuff. So everyone who walked in was in an absurd cow outfit- it was hilarious! And very distracting.. There was also a magician and a balloon man so it turned out to be a bad place for planning;) We are also working with a Chinese woman. She is so sweet. There is a language barrier but today we are bringing a sister in the stake who served her mission in Hong Kong. In their culture, the first lesson is all about 'getting to know you' so we shared pictures of our family and it was so great. By the way, I need pictures of Oregon if anyone wants to send them! She also feeds us a ton. How come the american culture can't be as sweet as all these others? Anyways, it turns out having a car allows more time for disappointment, so it felt like we should have gotten a lot done but no one was receptive the rest of the day. It was really hard. On one of the cds my dad sent me there was a bunch of pioneer songs. They made everything better. I couldn't get through the song Come, Come Ye Saints without crying.. They provide such a profound example of courage and faith. I found this quote from President Monson in the Ensign I really liked: "The passage of time dims our memories and diminishes our appreciation for those who walked the path of pain leaving behind a tear-marked trail of nameless graves. But what of today's challenges? Are there no rocky roads to travel, no rugged mountains to climb, no chasms to cross, no trails to blaze, no rivers to ford? Or is there a very present need for that pioneer spirit to guide us away from the dangers that threaten to engulf us and lead us to a Zion of safety?"
Sunday- We got our investigator Andy to come to church! We showed up at his house 2 hours before church started and told him to start getting ready because we had a ride for him coming. We've been teaching him for two months and he's been too scared to come to church. But that extra effort got him to come! We showed up and he looked so good in his Sunday best! He's an old man who's wife died last year so we are planning on baptizing him very soon- even though he hasn't realized it for himself yet! Every time we teach him, I can feel his wife helping us and encouraging him. Later we had a really sad lesson. Bruno, the boy we taught earlier that week came to dinner for a lesson. We didn't realize it until that night that he read some horrible things online throughout his life and because of that he has some very anti-Christ views. He believes in God, just not Christ. It's the saddest thing. He refuses to pray about Christ and can't progress if he doesn't. I had never met anyone who had anything bad to say about Jesus Christ up until that point. That was the first time my soul felt that much pain. My Spirit felt so offended. It makes me so angry that Satan has been able to get people to think bad things about Christ. Especially because Christ suffered for everyone even if they won't accept Him. I can't imagine how hard it is for Christ to see this happen. All we can do is pray for those people. Bruno is so much more alone that he needs to be.
On a much happier note, we talked to a less active family for a long time! The dad is super into triathlons and gave us a bunch of biking tips. Tomorrow we are waking up at 6 to go to a running clinic with him.. the things we do for the people we are teaching.. ;)
I love my mission! Even though it's hard, it is so worth it. I say that all the time, but it gets me through a lot. I'm so thankful for all the prayers. I feel them all the time. This quote from Elder Gibbons in the Ensign really spoke to me "When the night is darak and the clouds thick, we have an opportunity to put our hand in the Lord's hand and rely on Him to help us through." I know that is true. I could not have gotten through several moments in my life if it weren't for Christ.
Also I can't emphasize enough how important member missionary work is! This promise from Elder Anderson was said at the last general conference "I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them. Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles." I know that is true! The church is true so what do we have to lose? Nothing. I love you all so much, especially my family. I miss you like crazy, but I would rather be no where but here serving The Lord and the wonderful people in Texas. Thank you for all your support! Let me know if there's anything I can do to bless your life!
Sister Kristina Dalling
c/o Stuart and Cindy Alleman
2812 Treasure Cove
The Colony, TX 75056