Saturday, August 10, 2013

"I've always known that service is important, but before my mission it wasn't my favorite pastime ... My mission has changed me in a lot of ways though, and one of those changes is my love for serving others." (Hilary)

"Greatest in the Kingdom" by J. Kirk Richards

I can hardly believe August is already here! We are more than halfway into 2013. Sorry I begin all my emails stating how quickly time passes. I bet it gets redundant (and repetitive. and redundant. and repetitive.) (Mom, are you excited to watch Gilmore Girl's when I get home?)

We had a good week. We did two divisions: Calderon 2 and Calderon 1. They both went really well. The fact that we have the opportunity to do divisions here as sister missionaries is such a blessing. There is so much to learn and I truly believe it helps us all regain "ànimos." Tuesday I did divisions with Hermana P, who is doing really well. She has less than two weeks in the field. She opened up to me and also in all of the appointments. We went over the authority she has a missionary and encouraged her to teach with confidence. She is also putting more emphasis in companionship inventory and developing Christlike attributes. She and her companion are doing better now; I was able to help on her end, and Hermana Cantos helped her companion, Hermana V. Hermana P is a great missionary. She is nervous, as all new missionaries are, but really wants to learn and work. She is very kind and loving. Friday I did divisions with Hermana O and she as well is doing really well. It had been tough for them to start "opening" the sector, but because I had served in that ward I was able to help and it was a really successful day. Hermana O is driven and focused and obedient. She is an excellent missionary.
Tuesday was one of the greatest days ever because I got to go back to my favorite sector, Calderon. All of my converts are doing really well (attending, getting the melchesidek (sp?) priesthood, M. A. is visiting a family of investigators that are going to get baptized soon and he always bears his testimony). Jenny F. went tracting with us for the day and she didn't know beforehand that I would be doing divisions there, so when we went to pick her up and her husband opened the door that all were excited and shouting. I think I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago their family came to Iñaquito for the meetings on Sunday to visit. It was so sweet. I love them so much. It was also neat because the sisters in Calderon are working with the wife of a recent convert. In March, just before Hermana Ellis went home, I contacted Ju.. in the street and we passed the reference to the elders. Her husband was baptized three weeks later, but she couldn't get baptized because she studies Sundays. Well in a few weeks her classes end and she wants to get baptized. She reads the BOM everday and is always listening to church music and sharing the gospel with her family members. Anyway, it was fun to visit her and so cool to see their progress and everything. I love missionary work. It is very rewarding.

Doing divisions has been a blessing for me in many ways. I know I always have much to do to improve and I feel especially humbled in this assignment. There is always so much I am reminded of when I work with each hermana and so much I learn from each one of them.

We have also had a few opportunities to do service, with members and also with the sisters in Calderon. I have always known that service is important, but before my mission it was never my "favorite pastime." My mission has changed me in a lot of ways though, and one of those changes is my love for serving others. We literally exhausted ourselves this week in helping others and it felt great. There is a family here of five, four kids and the mom (Mz. family). Her husband passed away a few years ago and they have been looking for a house. A few weeks ago they had everything ready to move into a house here in Quito and the sellers had been dishonest and things fell through. Some members let them stay in their house while they were looking and Hermana Mz. literally spent every day searching and searching for a place to live. She would leave at 7 am and get home at 8 pm. We did what we could to help in the search as well. Finally Tuesday they found a place and we helped them to clean it and move in. It was really interesting though. I was just really impressed by their faith. It was a really happy week for them and the three daughters bore their testimonies ... VVVV

Our investigators are doing well. They are all progressing and it so encouraging to see the difference in them. Yesterday was a trial because only three of them attended church Sunday, and two who had previously been attending didn't show up. It was a bummer. We were fasting and I felt like we had worked so hard this week, not necesarily in our own sector, but in helping others, and I guess I had high hopes of what blessings I would be receiving. The Lord knows all we do and He always answers prayers. I have always known that. But I think in moments of difficulty we sometimes start to forget that He always fulfills. I recognized that after a couple minutes I had started to wonder why things weren't turning out the way I had wanted. But when the testimony meeting began I was reminded why. Also I was reminded of my need to repent for having murmured (in my mind). God's timing for all things is perfect. He knows best. Things will turn out not how we would like, but how God has them planned and that is the best way. It was a humbling experience. I am so grateful for Sunday meetings and know Heavenly Father is aware of me and what I need to learn, and He has a bright future for each and every one of us, including our investigators.

I talked to Hermana P M R and she said she would talk to her niece and get that all worked out with the package. I got the two packages you sent -- THANK YOU SO MUCH. I am always so excited to receive packages! Some of the things were for my companion and I am sure she is very grateful. Thank you so much for always helping.

I am feeling really great. I really feel like I am better and it is lasting now. THANK YOU ALL for your prayers and fasts. I really see the blessings and I want you to know how grateful I am. The asea helps but I am good for the moment, I will let you know when I need more.
Hermana Dàvila is doing well. The other day I got a package from her with a little coin purse that has my name on it (it says "Ñaña Norton", ñaña is sister in Kichwa). She is so sweet. I care so much about each companion I have had.
Did Adam get the postcard I sent awhile ago for his birthday?! It sounds like it went well. I can't believe he is 14! I LOVE YOU ADAM. Send me pictures of the celebrations.
I LOVE YOU ALL. Thanks for everything!

Hermana Norton

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