Oh mammmmmmma!!!!! Struggles! Merry Christmas from Temple Square.
I've gotten the message from my many visitors- Thank you :) My days are very busy and of course it's crowded so seeing me is hard! I hope to see you, Taryn though!! And just hit y'all with the Spirit like crazy! Ok ok yah!!!! So Temple Square is amazing!!!
I have already found out how real of a mission it is. It's hard but very rewarding! It has it's own challenges- some that I didn't even imagine! So we spend half the day on the square contacting and getting referrals (which are essential! ALWAYS have a referral of a non-member when you come to Temple Square) and then the other half of the day on the phones, chatting, and using technology to teach! It switches off every day but it's amazing. I have seen many miracles already.
We found an amazing young man on chat from Kansas- wow he is prepared! It's awesome teaching him on the phone and the missionaries should be by this week. We get to talk to them on the phone until the missionaries have seen them at least twice. There are a lot of nitty-gritty rules and details but that's the gist of it. I also was calling some pepes from the Manti Pageant and MIRACULOUS (long story short) got to talking to this non-lds girl from Vernal! It was amazing. She is meeting with the missionaries, too! We are teaching her more later today!! I met an amazing man on Saturday night! We are out contacting and uplifting people at the bottom of the spiral staircase at the bottom of the Christus in the North Visitor Center and this college-age kid walks up
to me and asks "So I was wondering if I could get a Book of Mormon and meet with the missionaries!" WHAT???? It was legit! We got his info and back in Idaho, the gospel is spreading! I've met many people from all over the country and all over the world already! I can already see how amazing this Temple Square mission is! It's so different and cool as a missionary!
I feel like an insider of church head quarters! With our special cards that get us in personnel doors and in the back rooms! Suh-weet! I am making great friends and having great experiences already! My companion, Sister Littlejohn (yes I think of my fav movie RHMIT all the time) is from the Bay area in Cali and was going to BYU and she is
super sweet. A little more shy but a GREAT missionary. I'm learning a lot and struggling at the same time!! You get TOUGH skin on temple square. Had some run-ins with anti's already. Oh the Marissa within me has some struggles with that but Sister Schroedter takes over and is so pleasant and proper and spiritual. Bahhaa.
Of course this place has beautiful scenary. Amazing walking down with all the sisters in the morning and seeing Temple Square- a great way to start off your mission everyday! I've always been obsessed with the SLC temple- this just adds to that! Church was exciting yesterday- President Hinckley's son (Elder Richard Hinckley) presided. Apparantely that is a rare treat! It was awesome!!! Sister Phillips sang an amazing duet for the musical number! I didn't even know she could sing like that. Wonderful! The spirit is amazing here- so huge and such a blessing! SOOOO much to do this P-day. Stressed but coping. Thank you for all the shout outs. I'll try to get back to you all that have written over the last month as best I can.
Pdays and priorites are hard to balance. I am so focused on the work and feel so much love and prayers. Keep them coming! I love walking around temple square with just my badge, smile, and Book of Mormon. It's simple and that's all that is needed to spread the good word and bring people closer to Christ.
Christ has helped me sooooo much this past month! Especially this past week. Oh my word!!!!! Now something unique I mentioned is that we spend half the day on the computer. While that brings a lot of success- it also brings opposition. Opposition in all things! Um. okay..... let me just say- the anti's are everywhere and Satan is working hard! I cried the FIRST full day on Temple Square like a baby because of getting harassed. It was embarassing and a great impression but I am so glad you all cannot even imagine some of the things that get said to us.
And we use our first names. SO they will say "ALIGEOIUHOTUAHJLE OAIHGOEIJTLI *@($UHGLAJKIGE )@*(HJGNA, Marissa!" and it is the most shocking, offensive, perverted, satanic evil I have ever been exposed to. Ok well maybe not the most but it's definitely tied! It is incredible horrid!!!!! So the first day- I was so green. And BAM!!! It was like a cloud of evil!! I wasn't warned or prepared. It was rough! I felt so hopeless but that's why we have Christ on our side! I know that Jesus looks out for his missionaries and gives us strength! I am still appalled everyday.
How can someone talk to a woman like that? They obviously know when it says "Alison and Marissa" that we are girls. and they know we are young missionraies. What I wouldn't GIVE for them to talk like that to me to my face with Chase, my dad, Garrett, Dave, Chad, Lance, Dallin, Taylor, Grant, Josh, or some other protective guy nearby! Smackdown! But of course we handle it all with care and with love. But let's just say- If you thought I had hard skin before- oh mamma!!! A mission definitely has highs and lows- we get to be the sweetest, most endearing individuals and the most hardcore, tough individuals!
I am so grateful to represent the Lord and wear his name on my tag/badge/name thingy at all times!!! Oh yah- yesterday we got to go to Music and the Spoken Word. It was beautiful. My first time in person! We don't get to go next week because it's a ticketed event but have fun with Archilletta (those that are going ;)!!!!!!)
I love you alll soooooooo much and am seriously struggling but I know soon I will just be so adjusted and flying high. They always say the first transfer and the first three weeks are really a crazy time here. I can do this!!! Your mail and love and prayers are greatly encouraged!! I love you all!
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEK, JOSH LOUD!!!!!! love you!!! and your wife and daughter :) you are amazing- you genuis soon-to-be doctor of Cali!!!!! I love you all and am doing my best and leaning to the Lord for all understanding and strength! I know he places you angels in my life, too!!!!! HELP!!!! The Lord helps me everyday! I love you! You are in my prayers!!!