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Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Portland-to-Coast (part 1)

A week ago now, at 2:00 in the morning, I found myself facing my greatest fears.

Since I was about three years old, I have been dreadfully afraid of the forest. It's a long story that I won't get into right now, but just trust me, I had a bad experience.

Yes, I go to Girls Camp nearly every summer, and I have a great time, but it is rare that you will ever find me in a forest all alone.

One such rare occurrence was early last Saturday morning….

It was me with my little headlamp in the middle of the Cascade Range in the middle of the night heading toward the Pacific Ocean, walking as fast as my legs could carry me.

I am a member of a 12-person, 2-van Portland to Coast relay race walking team. This is the second year I've done this. Only, last year, I had the easy legs of the race. Last year, I dodged homeless people and walked the bridges and waterfront of downtown Portland. My second leg was at 1am on a windy road in the middle of nowhere with no shoulder on the road to walk on--thank goodness for little traffic.

This year, I was surprised to find that I had been assigned the difficult and very difficult legs. Yikes! Last year, I was in much better shape. This year, I had been a major slacker.

When I received the email with my leg assignments, what could I do? I wrote back to the team captain and sent her five simple words…."I can do hard things."

What I learned from facing those hard things and the experience I had was astounding.

To be continued…..

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #62

I was in the store today buying things for back to school, and suddenly #1 snagged in my heart. I suddenly realized that she'll be home in less than four months. Wow! I also realized how long it's been since I posted any of her emails.

I guess we can say, at this point, she's hit her stride. She's joyful in the work she's doing.

I'm learning that her funny titles all have meaning, but.only to her. Someday, when she's home, I'm going to sit down with her and specifically ask what they each mean. For this week, the title refers to the family she and her companion are teaching. They live at the top of a mountain. They visit this family often, and she loves them so much….Thus, the title.

And I will walk 500 miles and I will walk 500 more….

This week was another good one. It was quite fun :)

Monday: We just had a normal p-day. Nothing big happened. 

Tuesday: We went to Olongapo for our district meeting. It was super good. Elder W did a workshop on teaching and listening. It was super good. We applied it right after in our work. YAY! haha 

So this is my cool story for the week.... And it's kind of long so bear with me :)

We went to Matain, to the back of the only bar in our area to teach our investigator, H. She's 16 years old and is awesome. She lives with her 72 year old grandmother whose name is also H. When we got to their house, H the younger was at a birthday party. So we get to their house and no one is home except for H the older. So we walk in and ask if we can share with her, being the good little missionaries that we are. Her initial response was no, that's ok. I'm Catholic. So we said oh that's ok, this message is for everyone. So she sat down and told us to do so as well. And then she told us some stories about when she was younger. She told us about the time that she died for 24 hours and went to Heaven and saw God and he told her to go back and to serve Him. And then about her investigation in other churches when she was younger and stuff like that. And we just sat there and listened. And then asked if we could share with her again and she said yes we could. Sweet :) And so we started teaching her. And applying her past experiences to the Gospel and helping her see how the Gospel could help her. And as we were teaching her and watching her responses, we could literally see the Spirit working on her. Eventually she interrupted us and asked where our church was. And then asked what time it started. And we told her. She said she would try to come to church on Sunday but she wouldn't promise. We said ok, sounds good. And then we kept teaching until she randomly burst out and said, "Ok! I'll come to church on Sunday with my granddaughter." Whooooooa..... Wait a second.... Lets think about this for a second. At first, she said that she was Catholic. And now she's saying she'll come to church?! Awesome! The Spirit really really worked on her. It was super cool. Probably one of my favorite experiences in my whooooole mission. And the good news, she actually came to church :) 

And that's about all I want to share about my week. The C girls, C, Jo, and J, all got interviewed yesterday for their baptism and they're all ready :) That'll be this Saturday.

So yeah. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and He is preparing us to receive the Gospel. I love this work so much. I know this is the true church. Not a doubt in my mind. 

Thank you for all of your love and support. Mahal ko kayong lahat.
Ingat kayo!
-Sister Hess ;)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Funny the Things You Find...

....When you research your family history.

My forehead matches my maternal great grandmothers:

Not my favorite feature. You'll notice I always wear bangs.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

#1's Weekly Email: Week #54

Here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a memory....

And this week.... If I could describe my week in one word... that word would be.... insanity! It was soooooooo crazy! So many things happened. 

Monday: P-Day! woohoo! But for some reason I was annoyed for the whole day. just not in a good mood. Until we got to teach two lessons and then headed to the mission home for a FHE with all the missionaries of the August batch that are going home. I love all those guys and they're all going home. It's so sad. I'm gonna miss them. 

Tuesday: We had a district meeting and we were the workshop! (Didn't find that out until that morning...)Our workshop was about finding and it was super fun. But afterwards, Sister E got sick so we ended up staying home. I got time to finish 3rd Nephi and write in my journal and take a nap and clean the house. woohoo!

Wednesday: The typhoon hit. But before it did, me and Sister C ran to the market again (Sister L and Sister E were both not feeling well) and then we got home and the Elders texted and said that we had to stay home until they said we could go out. That was a very eventful day. The wind was soooooooo strong. And so we said a prayer and then Sister C immediately started freaking out. She and Sister L started packing. I sat and watched and laughed at them :) Around 4 pm they texted and said we could go back out and work but Sister E still wasn't feeling well and so we stayed home. 

Thursday: Just a normal day but we heard that there was another typhoon coming so we were very cautious. We went out and worked and saw that everyone was ok in our area. It just rained a whole bunch. Thank goodness for boots and umbrellas :)

Friday: Just another day. There was a bit of drama as we learned that we were going to have to pick up all of the kids that were going to be baptized on Saturday because the family didn't have money to come. But that all worked out too.

Saturday: There was a baptism! P.A., Jer, G, Je, and Ju were all baptized. YAY! It was so happy :) Happiest baptism I've had so far

Sunday: And then they were all confirmed! YAY! And Sunday was an interesting one because we went to teach the kids after church and found out the Nanay A was super sick. She had a really high fever and her stomach hurt and her head hurt so badly that she was hitting it with her fist and she kept trying to cough stuff up but nothing was coming up. It was not good. So we went and bought her medicine and called the elders. The came right away and gave her a Priestood blessing. And immediately, her fever went down and she said that her headache was gone. Thank goodness for the Priesthood and for Elders who are worthy to hold it. Also P.A. was so happy when we taught him yesterday and the 4 kids were too. YAY for the gospel!

So this week... 1-missionaries 0-Satan. Booyah!

This was a very eventful week to say the least. The church is true. God loves all of his children. The Gospel blesses lives and changes people.

I love you all. Take care!
-Sister Hess

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