Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dazed & Confused

WHAT EVEN IS MISSION? Haha My good friend Sister Helm would always say that in the MTC. I never thought I would miss the MTC, but I was so wrong. Anyways, how's everyone doing? I have absolutely no idea where to start because this has been the craziest week of my life, but here we go...
Howdy all y'all! Texas is weird haha Like people actually say all y'all. It's great. So I thought the MTC was overwhelming and confusing, but that was nothing compared to this haha hence my email subject. This has all felt like a dream and I feel like I'm trying to wake up, but I just can't. It's crazy. There's so much more to learn here in the field.
Our mission president, President Ames is awesome. Definitely called of God. And his wife is so cute. They have a great vision for this mission and I'm really glad that this is where I've been reassigned. As soon as we got off the plane, I felt welcome :) Oh also, Sister Richards is a champ and we talked to some people at the airport and on the plane and she gave out two pass along cards! She gets all the credit for sure! So I'm serving in Lantana. Sister Richards is serving in the Arlington YSA Ward. Good stuff. Lantana is great. It's a super rich area and there are so many beautiful homes here and so many lovely people!

I love Sister Burraston and Sister Meiners so so much. Trio!! They're both from Utah. West Jordan and Sandy I think. They have been so supportive and encouraging and helpful. I've definitely been overwhelmed so it has been great to be in a trio. I need all the help I can get! I've found that I really love study time. I didn't really take advantage of all the study time that we had in the MTC, but having consistent personal, companion, 12-week, and weekly planning/study time here has definitely made a difference. I've had so many questions so it's been nice to have time to get answers and to try to figure out how things work here. Also, my companions are great because they've shared their warm clothes with me since I was so not prepared for this weather :) Sister Meiners gave me some tights and I'm buying more today so don't worry Mom, it's all good. I was not expecting the cold weather, and apparently it arrived right when we got here from the MTC so that's hilarious haha Tracting for the first time was freezing but fun!! Oh we do have a car though!! So blessed!

The first lesson that I gave was so fun. We visited with the a member, Audrey Brown, and her four kids. We shared a message about the Restoration. It felt so amazing to be in a real home with real people. I will never forget that feeling or that lesson. I loved the MTC, but there is definitely a huge difference between meeting with fake investigators in classrooms and meeting with families in their homes. The Spirit is so much stronger and it is so much easier to communicate in a real setting. 

I'm so grateful for this chance to teach in English and to meet the wonderful people of Texas. I'd love to tell you about every single person that I've met so far, but I'll just mention one that's been on my mind since I'm running out of time. We met with a potential investigator, Debbie, who we were able to set up a return appointment with. She has colon? cancer I think and she seemed to be really struggling. She was very down and depressed and talking about suicidal thoughts when we met with her so we shared some uplifting scriptures with her and talked a little about God's plan for us and our purpose. We also left her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. I felt the Spirit so strongly in that lesson. That was like the first time that I made a significant contribution to a lesson here :)
Oh and language study is kind of the struggle but it's all good. My companions just aren't really sure how to help me and it's just hard to figure out what to study. I really miss speaking Portuguese all the time but here I just think in Portuguese now so I guess it works haha Oh Bishop Myers served in Brazil and he's from Torrey Pines! And the Ward Mission Leader served in Brazil too!
So yeah, this week has definitely been challenging, but also so rewarding. One thing that has helped me a lot has been keeping one of my favorite scriptures in mind. I think I already shared it but it's awesome so I don't even care haha In Alma 26:12, it talks about how we are nothing compared to God and how we are weak. However, it also mentions that "in his strength I can do all things." I know that God is always looking for ways to help us and I have realized that over and over again this week. I know that I can do all things through Him and that has really helped me feel prepared to begin my work in the field :)
Sorry! I'm sure that none of that made sense and I wish I could tell you all more but my time's pretty much up and there's no way to describe a mission, even just a week of a mission, in an email. I love it so much though! Prayer is a powerful thing and I wouldn't still be here without it.

Eu amo vocês!
Com amor,
Sister Alia Yun Earls
Favorite picture ever. Sister Richards and Sister Helm understand me. They're the best haha

Brazil and Portugal! Falamos português!

Brother Leonard challenged us to be more bold with the members and to commit and challenge them to help out with missionary work more. So Sister Meiners took that advice and was bold by asking the Ward Mission Leader (Brother Campbell) if we could have more toilet paper since we were all out and couldn't go shopping til today. Oh yeah, these are my two lovely companions Sister Meiners (left) and Sister Burraston (right). Trio!

My desk! I spend about 5 hours here everyday. It's great :)

It totally snowed last night...Yep, it's just a little cold here. I'm super prepared for this winter haha

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