July 22, 2015 week #53 after the manner of happiness

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Farm fresh!! Love our members.

HOLA

What a week! It is so strange to me how the days and time in general seem to work in the mission. Truly days are like weeks and weeks are like days. That’s how I feel at least.

First off–prayers for Brendan. How’s the collarbone? Oh, Brenny. I’m sorry. It looks pretty bad, actually. I’m praying for you–but I’m also kind of picturing the YouTube video of Jason with his broken back and Chapstick and “I just died in your arms tonight” playing in the background. I hope your in high spirits. I love you.

Second off–I KNEW IT!!!!!!! Baby girl!! Nat! PeeJ!!!! Ah! I knew it would be a girl! She and I will be best friends and I am SO excited. Somehow still hoping I’ll be there just in time for her to arrive, but she’ll probably beat me to the punch. I am SO excited! Olivia and I are going to be aunts!! And mom and dad and Pete and Davlyn are GRANDPARENTS and grandma Shirl is a GREAT GRANDPARENT!! So excited. That little girl will be well taken care of–I assure you that. I’d already go to the moon and back for her.

7:22:15-5

Let’s live after the manner of happiness, shall we?

It’s been a week of miracles–really. And every time I see one I just think–where have I been! These miracles have been here all the time! Why do I keep closing my eyes to them (and thus when I see more they are so shocking and overwhelming to me)?  I am reminded of the ancient Israelites and their daily bread. By the end of forty years……I wonder if the wonder of that manna lost its magic. If the miracle lost its glory and beauty with the constant blessing/miracle. Do I do that?  Become so accustomed to the Lord’s hand in my life that I forget to look for it? That I forget to SEE it? Hmm.  “Can ye feel so now?” Alma 5:26

Anyway…Jessica is wonderful. We had a total miracle with her–besides herself being a miracle. She is already off coffee and obeying the Word of Wisdom. I was thinking it was going to be at least a month of battling and relapsing and trying and praying. YEAH RIGHT. She is amazing! We committed her on Saturday and yesterday she reported that she is OFF it. How little is my faith!? She just blew me out of the water. I continue to learn and grow and find myself just in awe at the faith and commitment of so many wonderful people on this earth.

Here is another miracle: last week, we looked up a less active and found out the address is wrong. BUMMER. We were walking back to the car and….I’ll admit I felt discouraged that day. Just felt unproductive. Anyway, walking back to the car and there was this teenager in the street playing soccer. He was AMAZING. So incredibly talented with his feet and that ball. He could shoot it way high in the air and then catch it between his legs and spin around and walk and juggle and bicycle it and do everything imaginable. I walked by totally staring at him and we kept going. Then, I turned around and walked up to him and invited him to soccer night at the church. As we started talking, his sister and mom came over and listened. We gave them the address of the church on a small purple sticky note with our phone number on it.

Last night we had a lesson with someone named Sharon (different than our temple-excited recently reactivated Sharon). She was progressing really well and ran into some anti material and accepts everything about the church except Joseph smith. She loves the Book of Mormon, but doesn’t believe that Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were prophets. It is really sad, actually. She is one of a kind. And she is so…..lost. She prayed and prayed and prayed about Joseph Smith and the answer came to her that he wasn’t a prophet. “I felt so at peace with that.”  That broke my heart. How manipulative is satan! Lay off.

It breaks my heart.

Anyway, our lesson went long with Sharon and I made a wrong turn on the way to the church, so we were running late to soccer (we play on Tuesday nights with ward members and a bunch of investigators–Oscar, Christina, and Jessica, and more). We were wondering if we should even go, and then decided that we would because we told Christina and Oscar and Jessica we’d be there. Even if we were late, we would be keeping our word to them and could talk and follow up with some things.

None of them came.

Bummer.

BUT– the ENTIRE family of the young man we invited to soccer night came!! The ENTIRE family!! The gym is in the basement of the church, so we go in through this weird side door.  If we would have come earlier or later we would have missed them entirely and they wouldn’t know how to get in.

It was such a miracle. They all came in–all six of them–and they all watched us and the soccer star–Bryan–play soccer. He danced circles around all of us–and he did so barefoot because he thought it was a field and brought cleats, but we are just in the church gym.  He was amazing, and we got to talk with his older sister and his mom and invited them to church and got their information.

What a blessing. What a miracle–the timing of it all. The Lord truly has a plan and He knows what He is doing. I find myself just needing to see and look for the reason behind the timing of it. Have hope and faith that it is OK that we got out late with our lesson with Sharon, or that I made a wrong turn, or that we hit a red light, or that the address is wrong. The Lord knows the light will be red and the member doesn’t live there. And He places opportunities in our path without us even realizing it!  I just need to realize (don’t we all).

Ha, well this is funny–everyone knows how I feel about my French braid. I love it. AND especially on the mission it is the best because it is out of my face and off my neck in the BLASTED HUMIDITY here. I often have my hair in a braid. We went to a member’s home for dinner this weekend and they have five (I think) little kids. The little girls and I get along especially well. We cooked foil dinners in their backyard and I was lost in the magic of the beauty of their home and family. Their three year old is EVER in her swimsuit (though her cowboy boots and snoopy life jacket were lacking…) and the girls have their hair crazy from doing flips on the trampoline and playing and exploring and living. It is so beautiful to me. Anyway–they call me the Elsa missionary because of my braid and blonde hair (which is darker than ever because I’m lacking my salt water). Ha! I think there are a thousand people more qualified than I to be called Elsa.  But I’ll take what I can get.

Here’s a thought:

I didn’t have a body before this life. I always pictured myself giving Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother a big hug and jumping down the slip and slide to earth. To the Bouds. But really, I didn’t have a body. Did I give them a hug goodbye? It made me think of our reunion one day–that will be the first hug I give Mom and Dad. In all of our perfected and glorified bodies–with everything in our view. A perfect remembrance. Oh how I want to return with honor.

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One more thing:

Joseph Smith History 1-20. This was what touched my heart the most: when Joseph had his vision and was lying on his back, he went home. His house was TINY. He had tons of siblings. His dad was a farmer.  It was a beautiful spring day–his dad was out in the field working. Joseph knew that.  He knew where his dad was.  And he knew who would be at home–his mom. And he went home. He went to his mom.

 I love my parents.  I want to be a mom.  I know that a mom and a dad are essential to the plan of happiness. And that within the gospel and living the doctrine of Christ–we live “after the manner of happiness.”

I love you all!  OH so much.

Really.

Hermana Boud

7:22:15-3 7:22:15-2

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