Thursday, February 4, 2010

I've tried so hard and got so far

Hey friends,

Another week in Hollywood Hills…sometimes I wonder what I signed myself up for when I signed on to go on a mission, but it always seems to be worth it in hindsight. These last two months have ended up being the most difficult time in my life up to this point. I have been tested on every front, emotionally, mentally, spiritually…the list could go on and on. By the beginning of last week, when transfers were announced and there was not going to be any changes, I got really really discouraged. I didn’t know where to go, where to turn, and I didn’t know if I could do it all over again. The Lord just seems to be stretching and pulling me like salt water taffy on those machines and it seemed like the time was finally going to come when I just fell apart. I spent a lot of time and a lot of tears on my knees asking for anything to come, any sort of peace or any sort of something besides darkness. Then, when I thought I couldn’t take any more, it got harder. My prayers were not being answered; I was failing as a missionary and as a companion. I was done.

Then I decided to get a blessing. What a relief that was. I am so terribly grateful that the Lord uses 19-21 year-old missionaries to officiate in the priesthood, especially for a little 24 year-old misionera. The Lord spoke right to my heart and said the things I needed to hear. The Lord promised me some pretty tender blessings if I endured it well and that I will come off conqueror. He also told me that this time is essential for my eternal progression. The Lord even said that He knew He was pushing me to the outer borders of my capacities, of every one of my capacities but I need to learn this now so that I can do other, harder things later. But most of all he wanted me to know that He is smiling down on me. When they say that missions are hard, they are not kidding. But when they say that their missions play a large role in everything else they do in their lives, they are also not kidding. And that is what eternity is, progression, better get used to it now.

My headaches are still there, but I do have moments of relief every now and then. I went and saw Chris Brown—what a cool woman!!! She zoned my feet. For those of you who don’t know what this is, what she did was do certain motions/massages to certain parts of my feet to relieve the pain. Every part of you foot has an accompanying part to you body. The curvature of you inside of your foot matches exactly the curvature of your spine. Every little bumb/muscle/everything is related to another part of your body. So, by adjusting your feet and messing with your feet in a very precise and scientific way, you can adjust that part of the body. It sounds very metaphysical and off the wall, but I believe it. It is pretty cool. And if a part of your foot hurts when she does her thing, then that part of your body is not exactly healthy. So, when she was doing it she told me I have a very healthy body. She didn’t feel any tumors. The only thing that she felt that was off (I thought the shoulders because, I am a missionary) was my thyroid, but she said it was fixable. She worked on my feet and didn’t think that what she did could necessarily help with the headaches. We are going to give it a few more tries, see if it takes me a little bit to get working, but she doesn’t think it will really help. I think there are a few more options out there for me because there are a lot of reasons that a person gets headaches. They include allergies, which would require a doctor’s visit, or even my eye prescription is old and I need to update that. So, along with Chris’ feet help, I am going to see if any doctor can help. It will get better, it has to, and the Lord promised me that it would. I just have to keep playing the guessing game for now. So, do not fear, I am being taken care of. That is one of the cool things about being sent to a state-side mission, you have the luxury of good doctors within a reasonable distance to you.

Sister Miller, my companion, and I are complete opposites. It has proven very difficult for me, very difficult. Because not only are we different, we also think that we are right and so issues arise. But I have come to learn that I just need to love and respect her for who she is and what her talents are. That is difficult as well, but the speed bumps (or speed humps as they call them in Florida) are fewer are farther between. We both are dedicated to the work and we push through our difficulties and get stuff done.

The elder’s in our unit/district have also been very frustratingly frustrating. They are very solid, but I sometimes feel like the sisters get pushed to the side. Plus the ward’s idea of a sister missionary is very different than my idea of a sister missionary so, again, we just get pushed to the side. We have value too. But I learned a valuable lesson. Just because there are not very many General presidencies with women in them does not necessarily mean that the women in the Church are any less. Or just because they only talk once in a great while and not for long, does not mean that what they have to say is less valuable. No, it just means that when I do get the chance to speak I have to choose my words very wisely. So, I must be an Elaine S. Dalton. Her words are to the point and powerful. And she testifies and sustains the priesthood. That is a part of her power. Ok, I can do the same thing. I just need to give these 19-21 year-olds the benefit of the doubt.

So, Hollywood Hills feels like settling the Arizona desert and it needed a change, a big change. Changes like this one do not come overnight. I just have to remember that and move forward. I think that is my motto. Remember who you are and move forward. There is no need to dwell in the past or wallow in the mud of self-doubt. No, pick yourself and move forward, and like we learned yesterday, keep praying because you probably don’t have the whole answer anyway. When I leave here, Hollywood Hills will be different, it will be a little bit more like Zion. And then, someday soon, it will experience tremendous success. I guess I don’t necessarily have to see that success to know that I helped prime that pump.

I have one matter of business that I would like to discuss. There is a package coming, I don’t know when, but it is coming. It has birthday pressies in it for Dustin and Joe. All I ask for in return is a qhole bunch of pictures of those babies and of all y’all. The last group of pictures I got was from at least 3 months ago. Could you help a sister out and send some more please. Also…oh, I forgot what else I was going to say. Which is good because it is time to say goodbye.

Love love love love love—Hermana Barros

oh, i remembered--we should pray and fast for all the members of our family who are not active members of the church and get a copy of the Book of Mormon ready to send to them, when the time is right. Just a thought, but think about it, okay?

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