From: Jade Swayne <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: My how time flies...
To: "Penny Paxman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, October 15, 2012, 1:16 PM
Hey Mom :)
I can't believe that it's Monday either...time really is flying by so fast! The MTC already feels like a dream to me...it's as if it never even happened. But now that Im outta there I have an hour to e-mail instead of 30 minutes which is so nice! We go to NMU's library to email. (New Mexico University Gallup Campus). We get to print for free too so I always make it a point to print out your e-mails so that I can read them during the week. Usually before I go to bed. They make me feel closer to you and everybody else. I love your e-mails and letters. They are seriously worth more than gold right now. **Side note to anybody who has sent me a letter: I have fur sure read every letter at least twice..some even 5 or 6 times. haha I really do love them.
Your hopes and prayers have been answered, Mama. Gallup is going well. But I can't lie...this place has a weird vibe surrounding it. Some of the people at church have mentioned the fact that we live in a very unique area. What they mean to say is that there are so many natives that live here..so many natives that believe in the traditional ways. aka they believe in rituals, curses, superstitions (ohh my gosh you can't step in dog poop without having to worry about some Navajo superstition surrounding the act of trampaling doggy droppings, it's insane!), Medicine men and women, special cakes that give you super strengths, skin walkers, evil spirits and so much more....This culture is a very interresting one. One that is facinating but also very frustrating. I've heard stories about natives being sick and asking for a blessing from a medicine man, a Catholic priest, a Baptist pastor and a Priesthood holder...just so that they can cover all of their bases when it comes to getting well again. hahaha. Like I said, they are SUPER DUPER superstisious. And the funny thing is that many of the people who cover their bases like this are baptized members of the church...but I really don't know where they stand in their beliefs. Because maybe it's just me but asking for a bunch of blessings from a bunch of different people doesnt really sound like faith...it sounds more like fear and insecurity in their religious convictions. I think it all comes down to the fact that many of our investigators have a hard time with commitment. They don't want to get married. And they don't want to come to church...there is always something else that they have to do. So I don't know...Gallup is just an interresting place. My companion and I actually just dropped all of our "progressing investigators" because they weren't progressing...they weren't keeping commitments and frankly, it felt like we were wasting our time with them. And I know I know..haha. that sounds really harsh. But seriously...it was almost like they wanted us to come there just so that we could listen to all of their problems. Which is fine to a certain extent...We are their to show them that we care. But we are also there to teach them about the Gospel..and it felt wrong to spend so much time listening to the people who could care less about improving their lives, who just want to tell us about how bad their life is, who have no interest in letting us teach them...while there were so many other people in town that really want to know about the Gospel, People who are starving for the Gospel without even knowing it....So needless to say, Sister Stewart and I went on a "drop" rampage and got rid of the people who were using us as therapists.
Now...please, before you judge me and think that I have become some heart less beast please realize that it was hard for us to drop alot of these people....ha...actually ya know what. It wasnt hard to drop them!! I'm not even going to lie to all of you! We thought it would be hard at first because we care about these people and have groen to love them...but It felt so good to be done with these people at the same time. People who had two page long records dating back to 2005! people who were feeling the spirit when we were there but not doing anything about it, who had excuses like "I can;t come to church because I had to do laundry" or who say that we can come visit because we're cool! I am sooooo happy to be starrting new. Sister Stewart and I have made a commitement that we will be more bold with our message, that we will quit trying to be everybodies buddy, and realize instead that we are representatives of Christ who have barely 12 hours a day and 18 months total to do the work that we have been called to this mission to do. We basically realized that we cannot waste our precious time with people who are not yet prepared for the Gospel. We decided to instead focus on finding the people that the Lord has prepared...And boy oh boy does it feel good! So now we are hitting up the "Perspective Elders" list and the " Part member families" list. I will give you more details about our new direction and let you know if we have better success this way. I have a great feeling that we will be doing alot more sowing the seeds of the Gospel and not as much reaping (aka baptizing), but hey what do I know? The Lord works in mysterious ways :) All I know for sure is that whether Im a reaper or a sower I know that I am working to bring God's children the truth and that's enough for me :) as long as I know that our time is being well spent.
Thank you so much for calling/texting Dad for me. he has been writting me alot but it would be nice for him to read these e-mails too.
So again, thank you!
I can't lie...Im pretty jealous that you got to see the Kingsbury's. But then again, I don't worry because I know that we will all be together again before we know it. Time is really flying! I can't believe that I will be 22 next month...that blows my mind.
Will somebody let Mcklae know that I want to hear from her. I want to know how the dance went :) And please, somebody let Mitch know that I was thinking about him extra lots on the 11th! how did his birthday go? Did he have a party or anything?? Is he treating my baby Maxi right? haha
I love that you think that youre not included in the Holy grail of motherhood, mom. Exactlly the opposite! You are an amazing mom and I have been so sensative to that truth now more than I ever have previous to my mission. I just...I don't know. My heart feels so full when ever I think about our family. We sang families can be together forever in Relief Society yesterday and wow...you think I could stop crying like a ninny? Forget about it! lol I Love you all sooo much and think about you often. And brag about you shamelessly of course..haha I also can't help but reflect upon the idea that serving this mission is really going to make me a better mommy and wife...one that is so much better than the one that I would have been if I hadnt come on this mission. I feel more patient, less judgemental, more able to see past the little short comings of those around me, and all around more peaceful.
The other morning at the track I was able to do something that I hadnt been able to in my previous 21 years of life...I was able to say " I will never go another day without this Gospel. I am sold for life. For me there is no turning back when it comes to Christ" I had never been able to confidently say that without having little worries in the back of my mind tellling me that I couldnt commit to something like that..I never wanted to say it in my prayers because I never wanted to say something that I wasnt sure that I coudl do. But for whatever reason, that day on the track was my time...It was my time of confidence in myself and in our Lord Jesus Christ. It was as if all of the fear of faliure was deleted from my mind...not because I think that now I have these super powers that give me immunity to sin. No, rather I have realized that I am going to fail everyday at living this Gospel as I should...Im going to fall down. And Satan is going to win a few battles here and there...this is life. But those little faliures don't mean that I have to be permanet butt-head for life. NO WAY, MAN! that's what repentance is for :) We can fall down and get back up because of Jesus Chirst and His sacrifice...isnt that awesome? He died for us so that we can have the ability to make mistakes and learn. He is so wonderful...He is so real...and He is for everybody :) So never ever never ever ever never think that you are to "wicked" for repentance. That you are to far gone for redemption. Because that simply IS NOT TRUE. God is always waiting for us to repent. stand up. and move on. Satan is the perminant butt-head who wants you to believe that you are damaged goods. but again that IS NOT TRUE!! You will always be forgiven if you go to the Lord with a sincere heart felt desire to change...He will always forgive. He will give us the courage and the tools to pick up the broken and sometimes shattered pieces of our life and He will help us glue those pieces back together. But the greatest part about the glue that the Lord uses is the fact that this glue cannot be seen after the repair has been made...the cracks of repaired glass cannot be seen. Because what once was shattered and scattered about can be repaired by the Lord and become perfect, shiney and new as if it never even happened.
I know this is true friends and family. I know that God lives and I know that He is doing everything He can to keep us all together, temporaly and eternally. He knows the love that we have for eachother and wants us to continue to be strong so that we can live together in a better world someday; His world. And I want that for all of us...I want to see you all again...clothed in honor and celestial glory :) were happiness will be more full than a super bowl sunday stadium. Where we can all live together without worries. How great does that sound? If that sounds great please oh please raise your hand! haha and more than anything...believe that this can happen. Believe that the Church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. Believe that we have everything we need within our selves to reach this goal of eternal famliy-ness. Believe that Satan only has as much power as we give him. And believe that you and everybody who has ever lived on this earth has choosen Jesus Christ once, and that YOU CAN do it again! YOU can be forgiven of EVERY sin. YOU can be with the ones that you love FOREVER. and YOU can stick it to the man (aka Satan) and tell him to get the heck out of your life!! YOU have that power....never ever never ever never never forget that..please.
I know that we will all fail more than we'd like to admit...but I also know that we can also get back up, take Christs hand and keep truckin on.
Lets all pledge today to fix our lives and center our minds and hearts around Christ. So that we can all laugh and play and smile and jump for joy in heaven together someday.
This is my deepest prayer and my vision for all of us my dear dear friends and family. I love you so much. But your Heavenly Father loves you more. Turn to Him and I promise that you will never regret it. I know that I don't.
Love Sista Swayne
P.s I am warm at night mama. but an extra blanket would be nice along with my coat and boots. They say it should snow in the next two-ish weeks. Also I need my drivers record so that I can be a driver. I guess that it just needs to be a record of my driving history. So PHX DMV would be the people to talk to about that, but what do you think?
Also Yes, there is a wal-mart!! woohoo! And can't wait to read your talk. Thank you Thank you for all of the love, prayers, and support. I can feel your love everyday :):) Hope you can feel mine radiating back to you.