Date

February 29, 2016

Area

Hope Mills

Companion

Sister Weaver

Espanol

Hola familia!

That's about all I got in Espanol... haha

So for those of you who do not know, I am now serving as a Spanish missionary for the rest of this transfer! (okay it's only 2 weeks...) But it has been an adventure. Mi companera had to go home pretty suddenly and so I am now in a trio with the Hermanas. They are great. It has been a good adventure. I cannot speak Spanish worth a dime but we get by. We do not tell people I am an English missionary and so I pretend to know what everyone is saying. It's like a game. I appreciate our Spanish missionaries so much more now! Saying goodbye to Sister Weaver was probably the hardest thing I have done here. We were soul sisters and had been together for 4 months. I was her only companion in the mission! I miss her every day! Everyone here misses her!! She was a stellar missionary and helped so many people. She taught me so much. Keep her in your prayers.

Yes Mom and Dad we DID have a tornado here!! It was crazy. The biggest storm I think I've been in. Didn't last too long, but I thought our car was going to float down the road! I'll send some videos home. We also are covering the stake which requires us to travel to Lumberton, St. Pauls, Lumber Bridge, and Shannon NC. They are towns VERY similar to Miami, Globe, and Superior, AZ. It's where the Hermanas find the most Spanish speakers so it's awesome for them! The people in those small towns are my favorite, they live in a world that is so different than mine. I think I understand the Hispanics that the Hermanas teach more than some of the English speakers, the accent is so heavy in these small towns! Cracks me up. I just want to pick up on it before I come home.

We were able to continue teaching some of the people in Hope Mills 1 and 2. These people will be baptized. I don't know if it will be while I am around, but it will happen. One of the things I was reminded of this week was the power of the Book of Mormon. IT IS MY FAVORITE. I have been studying the New Testament and the Book of Mormon every morning and they are just the greatest companions to each other. Everyone just needs to read the scriptures. Every day. All the time. Forever. Just do it. My mind is comprehending so much more about this gospel than I could have imagined. It is so deep, the doctrine is so full, I am so grateful for modern revelation and for all these tools we have. It's funny that the more you learn, the more you realize you do not know, and the more you think you know the less you really do.

We had stake conference this week and it was one of the best I have been too. ( I always love stake conference, but as a missionary everything just gets 10x better) The speakers talked about topics such as scripture study, prayer, following the Prophet, attending church, and being a missionary. President and Sister James spoke as well, and I loved their messages! Sister James taught members in attendance how to "use" us and was such an advocate for us missionaries! President James spoke directly to those investigating the church. It was powerful. This week was trying for me, seeing as my companion was gone and I am the only sister covering both of these high functioning wards. I have been on splits a lot with members of the ward so we can continue to teach our people. Sister Brock is one of the ward missionaries. She is a doctor in the NICU, has 5 kids, and usually has an extremely busy schedule, but a couple weeks ago she had shoulder surgery and is out of work for a while. I will be honest and say I am so selfish because I have LOVED spending time with her this week! She is the greatest. Her son Jordan just returned from a mission in Brazil, her other son Daniel is on a mission in Brazil currently, and her family is spectacular at missionary work. We had some great experiences this week teaching investigators in her home, and she has helped me so much. One of the tender mercies of this week actually happened while I was with her on Sunday. I sat by her family during stake conference while the Hermanas went to the Gillis Hill building to translate into Spanish. When Sister James was commending the missionaries in our mission, I got a little choked up (I think mostly because I was exhausted!). Sister Brock leaned over, put her arm around me and said she was grateful I was serving in her ward, and that I was a great missionary, or something like that, I don't even remember the exact words. I felt like my mom was there telling me I was doing a good job and that I would be able to make it through this transfer. That small moment has given me the enthusiasm and energy to keep smiling and keep pushing forward. One of my favorite quotes says to "never suppress a generous thought". Sister Brock's generous thought brought me the comfort I needed. My challenge to you is to do the same this week. Do not suppress a single generous thought!! Once you get in the habit it becomes easier and easier and your life will be filled with smiles and friends. You never know what a kind word can do for someone.

This week will be incredibly busy. Hermana Swalberg is going home next week, we are split between 3 areas, 2 apartments, double the investigators, cleaning and packing (Hermana Hathaway and I have a high likelihood of being transferred as well because we have been here for 6 and 7 months) and we have temple trips, meetings, exchanges with the Clinton Hermanas, traveling to Lumberton and surrounding areas, hopefully a baptism to plan for Hope Mills 1st ward this Saturday(surprise surprise!), and usual missionary life teaching repentance and baptizing converts!!!! We are all looking forward to the end of this week. :) I have never loved being tired, and it is still not that fun, but knowing that I have exhausted myself in the work of the Lord is a good feeling.

Keep up the good work! I am proud to call you my family and friends.

Here is my testimony en Espanol! Short and sweet. No idea if this is even right..... But close enough.

Yo se que Jesucristo es el Salvador. Yo se que El Libro de Mormon es verdadero y Jose Smith es un profeta. Este conocimiento ayunda a tener esparanza y vivir feliz. En el nombre de Jesucristo amen.

<3 Sister Wilcock




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