May 14, 2013

Day 62... The Gift of Awkwardness!

May 13, 2013

Dear Family and friends,

Happy two months today! I can't believe I have been a real missionary for two months. Time flies. I think I'll be home sooner than I realize. Although 16 months still feels like forever away. I am enjoying being here in Jurupa, though. I love to testify. It's my favorite. My comps say I am good at being bold with people in lessons and in OYM'ing or tracting, but I still am not comfortable teaching actual doctrine. I hope that comes with time. I just get really nervous. And when you are set apart as a missionary, you are given the gift (ha....not) of awkwardness. I swear, everything I say comes out wrong. I suppose my being awkward shows people that I'm a real and imperfect person, but I feel embarrassed when stuff comes out wrong, especially when we are tracting or OYM'ing (open your mouth...basically just talking to everyone that you see). The other day I called sister Fankhauser (one of the STL (sister training leaders) that lives with us, Sister Hankfauser. Things like that happen all the time to me lately!

On the topic of awkward, I, Amanda Chase, BURPED at our dinner appointment on Saturday night. SO EMBARRASSING. Sometimes when you get comfortable with certain families in the ward, you forget you're a missionary! I think I forgot and it just came out! Thankfully we all had a good laugh and I apologized a bazillion times but still. Ah. I really hope that doesn't happen again! My companions loved it because I never burp and fart in front of them...let alone in front of members! So that's the embarrassing story of the week.

Oh! And another experience. We went to R and T's house to teach a lesson and before we went in, I talked with their neighbors. Three guys were outside and I asked them if they would like to receive a harvesting blessing. They said no and then offered me to smoke some weed with them (they were probably already drunk or high or whatever to begin with). That was my first time I have ever been offered something like that before! It took 20 years for me to be offered anything that is against the word of wisdom. My comps couldn't believe no one has offered me alcohol or anything like that before! It sure wasn't hard declining weed though :)

We just had transfers last week. Sister Haycock and I are companions now (we are no longer in a trio...I was told I can't say threesome as it has a bad connotation. After saying that for a couple weeks, Sister Boyd kindly informed me that I probably should say "trio" instead). We are still in the Jurupa 1st ward. Sis Boyd and sister Fankhauser (she has two more transfers left) are living with us and are the new STLs (sister training leaders...basically sister APs— assistants to the president). They are in our ward too! Two sets of sisters have never been in the same ward ever in the history of the California Riverside Mission (or probably in most missions in the world). The work is moving forward and the field is very white. It is so neat to see. I wish the ward members would be more involved. Some are super helpful and some ward members don't even care to help us or to give us referrals. It's kinda disappointing. But the ones that do help us are awesome. So we split the work in the ward. The area Sister Haycock and I cover hasn't been worked in and has been ignored for the past 15 or 20 years! There is so much to do. And there are a ton of less actives in our ward. If our whole ward was active, the Jurupa 1st ward could be 4 wards easily. We are really trying to help reactivate the less active members. They all are struggling... every. single. one of them but it is hard for them to realize that they definitely wouldn't be struggling as much if they just had the gospel/the blessing of the gospel/ blessings of living your covenants in their lives! I don't think these less active members realize how much we think about them and pray for them by name and pray to know what they need to hear from us. I wish I knew how I could help them better.

Oh! And I very well could be training next transfer...we have 17 English speaking sisters coming out in June! Crazy!

Well I gotta go! Thank you so much for all of your prayers, letters, thoughts, emails, and packages. It means so much. You are all awesome. My favorite chapter of this week is 2 Nephi 2 [Click here]. Sooo good. You all should read it. It talks about the plan of salvation.

I know this gospel is so so true. That is why I have devoted 18 months of my life to this work. I cannot and will never deny the truthfulness of this gospel. If you are struggling in your testimonies, I encourage you to exercise your faith by reading the Book of Mormon, attending church, and praying, even if you feel like you don't need the gospel or think it is a waste of time. It is NOT a waste of time. Every single one of us desperately needs the gospel and the blessings of the gospel. I have learned that so much while serving my mission. If only we just lived the way we have been taught to live, life would be so much more joyful.

Okay. Gospel rant over :) Anyways. I love you all. I wrote a bunch of letters today, so look for those in your mailboxes this week!

With lots of love,
Sister Amanda Abby Chase

Mother's Day Skyping on the big screen! So fun!

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