Just a warning this is about to be a novel. Fasten your seatbelts! The first day I got here I had a sister tell me I looked really familiar which made me laugh because mom and I talked just last Wednesday about how many people had told me that in the last few weeks! I related this to her and she said "maybe the reason everybody thinks they recognized you is because you are so much like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so you remind them of them" which I thought was so sweet! In my district we have four sisters and three elders; my companion is Sister Olsen and I love her! She is from Magna, Utah, and a runner, too! We are pretty sure we've run several races together but can't remember where. We have been able to work well together and are accomplishing exciting things!
The second day we were here we met our first investigator, Alfredo, and got to teach him. Sister Olsen and I are so excited he is doing so well and have been able to teach him several times since. Something cool that I learned that day was that the Book of Mormon converts because it brings the spirit and testifies of Christ.
On the seventh (I can't keep track of days anymore) we had gym time, which Sister Olsen and I spent on the track with Sister Cooley and Sister Carpenter. For a minute sister Olsen ran in place-ish while I walked super fast next to her, before we decided to try olypticals. It was hard being up on the track and not able to run. When we got back to our residence (our bedroom) sister Carpenter, who had been struggling with blisters started crying, which made Sister Cooley and I cry, it was a little rough. We pulled it together and said a prayer together, but class was still a little hard. We were in the middle of a lesson and I was looking for a scripture when I came across Ether 12:26 and realized that I am weak but through faith can be made strong, like our investigator, Alfredo. I also realized that my discouragement and withdrawal from running helped me relate to Alfredo who is struggling with his drug addiction. I'm sure it sounds so silly but it was such a faith builder to remember that we need to be faithful and happy no matter what!
On Sunday we were in a meeting when Sister Olsen had her first melt down. We were reviewing dress and grooming and she was really worried that none of her clothes were appropriate so we ran back to the residency for her to change. In the meeting earlier a story was shared about grace where a little girl took one of her brother's chocolates and he told her it would be ok as long as she drew him a picture so she quickly took a yellow marker and drew a single line across the page and gave it to him as quick as possible. He tried to make the most of her efforts by asking if it was superman's streak. I've been learning a lot about how Christ makes up the difference when we are not enough. It was also sweet because I had the impression that God thinks I'm super:). When Sister Olsen and I were running (walking quickly, don't worry) to our residency, I said "You know, Sister Olsen, God thinks you're super!" and she turned to me and said "Sister Evans, God thinks you're superer!" We said another prayer and were closer by the end of the day.
On the ninth we went to the olypticals for gym time where Sister Olsen and I laughed for like 10 minutes straight! It was such a stress reliever and fun experience! That night we talked about stress management and I thought of the overpass in Farmington that has "U R Alive" spelled in cups along the fence. Last time I saw that dad and I were driving to Ogden to get me a coat and my knees were pretty sore. I remember being annoyed that my knees were still acting up when I saw it and realized how much I really have to be grateful for. I was alive, I was getting ready for a mission, and I had time in the car to talk to my dad! Since then I've focused on being more grateful for little things and it has brought me so much joy! It makes Sister Olsen laugh when I get excited about little things which also makes me more happy.
On the tenth we got to go to a devotional with Elder Cook and I learned that feeling inadequate was totally normal and no one arrives at the MTC or mission field perfect, not even President Hinckley. Someone later said "there is no point of perfection on your mission" because you can always grow and I remembered that Chris said earlier not to worry about my skills because God was working through me and would help me be a good missionary from the beginning to the end of my mission. I loved it!
Sister Cooley, Sister Carpenter, Sister Olsen, and I have been going to gym classes in the morning and on the eleventh Sister Olsen came upstairs with me so I could do olypticals and exercises. She got to keep watching the cardio class and join in with them. We cheered each other on and it warmed my heart to have such a patient companion that would stay with me even when I knew she wanted to be working out, or even running! We got to teach two boys last night, one 16, who was getting ready for a mission, and one 11, who was getting ready for baptism. It was so fun because they were able to help each other learn, and Parker shared how the companionship of the Holy Ghost after baptism helped him through cancer treatments as a little boy, which was so powerful!
Sister Olsen and I are continuing to learn from teaching and are having so much fun together! I love our district and the teachers we have who are so loving and encouraging! We got to go to the temple today and it was amazing being there with my sisters! A lady told us we were her heros for being missionaries:) hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to send my pictures! I've got a bunch, as promised! Love you, and have a great week! I'm leaving Tuesday morning so next you hear from me I'll be in Indiana!!