Date

September 28, 2015

Area

Mesa, AZ

Companion

Sister Bauer

First letter from Hope Mills

Sicily’ s New Address is :

1514-2 Aristo Pl.

Hope Mills, NC 28348

 *Letters from home brighten her day ;)

Hey family!

Great to hear from y'all!

Dad- your funny story about the phone made me laugh so hard! I had a similar experience in Wilmington I will have to tell you about. Anyways, glad it worked out ;) I AM SO HAPPY ASU WON!! I saw a few pics on FB but never found out who won the game so it's been in my mind! Woohoo go ASU! Represent! (And good game to any U of A fans reading this, no hard feelings.) Thanks for all the info about the area! It's been great so far. Much different, but I'll talk about that later!

Mom- I'm glad you got your classes figured out. School is hard! It takes a lot of work. Thanks for always supporting me and helping me get through it. I am excited to go back! Don't worry you are an excellent student. Heavenly Father will bless you for your efforts and He will use your strengths to help you and others as well! I am so proud of you! Tell Zahra and Rizwan hi, that is so cool we have a Sister from Pakistan! Maybe they can be friends! By the way "white washing" is when they take out both missionaries in the area and send 2 new ones in! It is pretty rare, because usually one stays to teach the new missionary the ropes, ya know? Hope that clarifies!

Ken- I wrote you in the other email, go check that!

Brayson- Keep up the good work! Hopefully you cheered extra loud at the ASU game for me! Tell Savannah and Cheyanna and Anna and Chloe and all of the activity day girls that they have some awesome letters coming their way and that I LOVED the letters they sent me! :) It made me soooo happy! Hope everything is going well! Love you Brother!

So this week! It was crazy! I am now in the Hope Mills 1 & 2 area. It is fabulous! So many great people. I am in love with it. IT IS AMAZING!!!!!!

But. Let me tell you a story! I did not love it the first part of this week!!

I'm just going to tell it like it is! I was so homesick, and tired, and in a lot of pain this week! It was not. fun. I was trying super hard to have fun because there is no reason not to, but for some reason I just was on the struggle bus! I would come home and just want to cry and pray so hard that I would be happy and love the people and be able to forget about my problems. It took a couple of days, but Heavenly Father sure answered my prayers.

He answered them through these three experiences-

#1- The Baptist guy

So one day we had all of our appointments cancel. (Story of a missionary's life!) It was raining for 3 days straight and I didn't know anyone to visit in the area! So we went tracting! We met some nice people! And then we met the cranky Baptist guy... (Sorry I don't remember his name, all I know was that he was Baptist!) We said the usual 'We are here to share a message about Jesus Christ..." (or something) and he cut us off right there. He began to tell us eeeeeverything wrong that we do (as Mormons) and he was very passionate about it! (He told us we are going to hell...) And he was picking on poor Sister Galloway! So finally I just thought "This is totally not what we are here for, let's let him be a cranky old man if he wants to be!" But he just kept talking and talking so finally I just stood up straight and said "Well sir, I know God is a loving Heavenly Father. He loves me and He loves you! He is proud of you for searching Him and learning of Him! Keep it up and know that we love you too, even though we don't all think the same way! I'm here because I love the Lord and want to share that love with others. We hope you have a great day!" And then we left. My companions were a bit shaken up. But I felt so invigorated. Sharing a testimony of God's love is one of my favorite things to do and God gave me an opportunity to share it with that man! That's really why I am here! To share God's love. He has given us commandments and scriptures and everything to help us on our journey home!!

#2- The McDonalds and the Carvers

The McDonalds and the Carvers are just so great. I can't even explain it. I walked into each of their homes this week and was surrounded by little kids with big smiles giving me giant hugs! They love the missionaries. I felt like a celebrity this week, and at church as well. It was such a tender mercy!

#3- Jane Matthis

Visiting with Sister Matthis is what really pricked my heart! She is an older lady, with many diseases and sicknesses. She has cancer and Parkinson's, and so many other things and she lives alone and stays in the dark most days. Walking into her home just broke my heart. We talked with her and got to know her and shared a message about the comforting role of the Holy Ghost. She wants it so desperately in her life. At the end of the lesson she broke into tears thanking us for visiting her, because she hardly ever has visitors and gets so lonely. I cried and cried! There are so many people in the world who don't have a friend, who feel alone, and who are searching for happiness and love! There are so many people who don't know how to pray, who don't know how to ask the Lord for help, and some who don't even know about the Savior of the world. And that is what I do as a missionary. I share that with others. I teach them that they can pray! They can find answers through the scriptures! They can be happy in this life and the life to come. They have a Father in Heaven who loves them.

These three experiences changed me. I am so grateful Heavenly Father renewed my purpose as a missionary this week! I love the gospel and I love sharing it.

Thanks for all of the support. I love you with all of my heart!

-Sister Wilcock




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