Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"I have definitely found myself grateful for 'the furnaces of affliction.' " (Hilary)

Samuel Norton - Mr Viking 2011
Happy Monday everyone!

How is everyone doing? How was your St. Patrick's Day? Sometimes I feel like that might be the most worthless holiday, and then I remember that two years ago my little brother was crowned Mr. Viking on St. Patrick's Day and I remember it was good for something. Speaking of Sam, I got a letter from him this week! Super cool to hear from him. He is such a fun person. I am glad his mission experience is going so well for him. Mine is also going well. I really know I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Well, this week, I am getting over my problems. I have been prescribed a whole bunch of things, so I should be healthy and happy soon enough. I don't know if I mentioned in my last letter, but Hermana Ellis is sick as well. She has been having a really hard time lately and the nurses today figured out the cause of her problems. The medications they gave her have been making her really off. We weren't really able to work a whole lot this week. As for those we are teaching, we have quite a few investigators who are doing well, though not one attended the stake conference this Sunday. That was a bummer because I was counting on the idea that Heavenly Father would provide the help we needed this week considering that we weren't able to get out and do as much as we would have liked. But, He has something else in mind. I am determined that this week we will be 100% worthy for Heavenly Father's help in getting our investigators to church. In all honesty, Sundays are different on the mission.

I have been studying a lot extra lately and I everyday feel more and more grateful for the 
scriptures and the teachings of our church leaders. Yesterday I began a fast 
(a 40 day fast - see page 324 of the 'Norton Wisdom Book') 
and I am working on purifying myself and putting Heavenly Father 
and His work in first place. 
This morning in my personal study I was impressed by Enos's example. In verse 26 he explains how devoted he has been to the work and the gospel. He says he has declared it all his days, and "rejoiced in it above that of the world." I love that statement, and have seen the changes and conversion that the gospel and missionary work are bringing to my life. I hope to come out of all this more like the person God needs me to be. I have definitely found myself grateful for "the furnaces of affliction."

Well, Hermana Ellis and I are good. We have been going to see a doctor in Quito a couple times lately and the other day we were caught in a huge rain storm. It was hilarious. About twenty minutes of trying to get a taxi in the pouring rain. I will send pictures. Another funny story. There is an hermana here who has a washing machine so every once in a while we drop off our clothes and she throws them in the washer and then she hangs them up to dry and we go by the next day to pick them up. This week, when we went to pick  them up, there was a small problem. She and her husband were cooking beans, got distracted, burned the beans, and now their whole house smells like smoke. Well, so does our clothing. We have washed it a couple times since and cannot get the smell out. Our apartment smells like we are smokers. It is hilarious.

We won't know in which mission we will end up until the beginning of July. They will give us our transfers and depending on where we go, that will be our mission. I imagine we will be training a lot. The line is drawn right after my first sector, Santa Ana. Technically we are in Quito North right now.

Beauty and the Beast - Hilary's favorite childhood movie
Well as we have been sick, we have found some ways to entertain ourselves. We have read like hundreds of pages of the Book of Mormon, as well as made each other word searches, played Battleship in our notebooks, and resorted to the movie quote game. It is important that I mention that she guessed my first quote immediately ("If she doesn't eat with me, she doesn't eat at all!"). Hermana Ellis is the greatest. I am really grateful to have her as my companion!

Will someone please send me the Tyler Norton family's address? As well, Rachel Miller's and Lisa and Justin Allen's? Thank you :)

Mom, I hope your ankle surgery goes well. I will continue to pray for you. Please be good to your body. Don't push yourself too hard. It is against the Word of Wisdom.

Dad, the scripture you shared has always been one of my favorites. (D&C 78:18)

Kenz has been writing me a bit lately. Apparently they had a bridal shower for Caitlin the other day! I am so happy she is getting married. I want the best for all those girls. I love each one of them. Also, Jesslyn wrote me! I loved hearing from her. She is the best! It is so nice to know that others are willing to take a couple minutes to see how I am doing.

Well, that is all for now. I love you all! Choose the right and keep pressing forward.

Hermana Norton

* Hilary mentioned the "Norton Book of Wisdom".... It's a 500 + page book that her dad compiled full of the very best quotes, stories, poems, and life counsel.  He spent countless hours gathering, studying, and editing as well as adding stories from our own ancestors.  It is a real treasure ... a priceless gift from a dad to his children.  The "40 day fast" story is about a challenge from a mission president to his missionaries. It is not a typical fast (no food or drink for 24 hours) but rather a call for change. The following is a short excerpt: 

"I invite you to fast this Sunday, to ask the Lord what things you should stop doing and what things you should start doing. I invite you to write a list and take that list with you to your morning and evening prayers. I invite you to envision the temptations in the morning while on your knees and to commit and ask for help before you actually go out and face them. In the evenings I invite you to report in, give thanks and ask forgiveness. I invite you to engage in the process of changing your own desires." 

I'm sorry I don't know the name of the mission president so that I could credit him for coming up with that amazing challenge.  I'm looking forward to hearing back from Hermana Norton about her
"40 day fast" experience!                                                                          
joanna norton

1 comment:

  1. Joanna, isn't it terrible that our daughters are sick down there? I hope everything works out for both of them. My email is if you want to chat.