Thursday, June 26, 2014

I'm Back!‏ 6-23-2014

Hello to all,

I am back. It must be Monday. This week was wonderful as usual.
We had some amazing lessons with investigators. I can't actually remember what I have told you in the past so if I repeat forgive me.  I went on exchanges and that is always a change. I am still working really hard to actually enjoy those. It is a struggle. But I am sure they are great and we learn a lot from them. I have to do it again this week.

One thing that has been a blessing is to see how the ward and the less actives have been responding to missionaries lately. They are much more open to visits and meeting with us. We are making strong friendships and being able to help them out better. It is always amazing to see how God places us in the right place at the right time. Some days we end up in an area and meet just one person that really needed us or was open to our message. That to me is a miracle considering that we cover a stake and have lots of places we could be. I believe in planning with my whole heart.

We met this kid named Slater on the street last night. We ended up teaching him a lesson and picking him up as an investigator. He was super nice- he just has a few language issues and a drinking problem. The gospel is going to change his life!!! It is always fun to see them at the start and then to see the change happen. You can literally see a light come into people’s eyes when they start to live the gospel.

We taught another guy we found in a parking lot at Vons. He was super into his church and was telling us tons about it. We shared the book of Mormon and he looked at it with a yearning that was apparent. He picked it up and flipped through it for a moment before handing it back to us and declining.  He said his church preached against the Mormons and that he was told he would go to a bad place if he even talked with us. He said we seemed nice enough to him and that he would love to read, but that he just couldn’t. It was so sad to think that some preacher is telling their congregation false things so that they would be scared to even talk with us. I am glad we were able to at least make an impact on him.

We went to a baptism with some people from the ward and it was incredible. It was a 14 year old boy and his father. I have never seen someone look so happy in my entire life. The boy was grinning and glowing. It made me remember why I was here.

We had a lesson with some people this week on Hope. It was amazing to better understand the concept as I studied and taught it. Hope is an abiding trust in God. It is optimistic and enthusiastic. It requires patient perseverance. It is how we gain greater faith. The scriptures tell us we can have a perfect brightness of hope. I guess that means we can have an optimistic attitude and perfect trust in God. I want to have that.

I am reading the New Testament every day and I love it so much. It is beautiful to read the words of Paul and Peter and John. If you have any extra time you should pick it up and read 2 Corinthians.

I am grateful for my mission. I am grateful for my time to come to know myself and God better. I guess we need 18 months because there is so much to learn and improve upon. May we all keep learning and growing.

Sis Huber

p.s. Mom- that talk was Excellent.

Its a Party in the YSA!!!‏ 6-16-2014

Life is pumping down here on the coast. It is beautiful and the air is fresh. People are happy to be free from school and busy because of some crazy thing to do with soccer....might be the world cup or something like that :) All I know is that soccer should not be a higher priority than the gospel....oh well.
Well that is it, the Huber's are taking over America. Seth I am so proud of you and I can only imagine how awesome of a mission Washington D.C. is going to be. Does it get better than that? (Only if you are in southern California) Leah I hate to break it to you but your mission is still last on the list of places we want to revisit someday. You can always meet up with us on the beach or in D.C. after your visit with the dusty plains of New Mexico :) Seth, between the two of us we are now owners to the two most beautiful temples in the world. How lucky is that? You really are going to love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are going to be so good at it.
My 5 month birthday was yesterday so we made chocolate cake, gluten free of course, and ate it at 10:30 at night. That is the life of a busy missionary. YSA is different because it is really hard to get meals. I ate 4 different dinners in church kitchens out of cans this week :( Not quite as glamorous as what I am used to. Mom- please feed the singles ward sisters in our stake. Tell them it’s from me. Make sure to give them a treat because if we do get dinner we rarely ever get a dessert. It will make them so happy. I am trying to figure out how to stay on a tight budget in an expensive part of southern California and still eat decent food. Any creative ideas? I am open to anything.
I love my YSA ward! It is a huge adjustment because nothing is organized, nobody holds appointments, they have crazy work schedules and so on. But they are good people and they are so real. It is kinda nice to be talking and just have someone start telling about the time they drank or what not. It makes it so much easier for investigators to understand and feel accepted because it is so apparent that we are all on the same journey together. I love having people in lessons also because they are all RM and just so on their game. Like half the time I feel like I should just sit back and watch. They don't even scare me anymore. I have just decided to be me and work hard and let everything fall where it will. Working out so far. It is interesting though because the ward has campouts and activities that we can’t attend. This makes it hard because any active member that would feed us or come to lessons with us are gone. It makes finding people a lot harder. Next week we don't even have church due to some big conference in San Diego. How does one get investigators to church that isn’t happening? Hmmmmm we shall see. I guess I will go back to Encinitas this week. That is also strange.
So we got this referral from media. It just had a name and address and a request for a Book of Mormon. We went over and knocked on the door. He opened the door and saw we were missionaries. Immediately he goes, "Do you have the book?" I held the up Book of Mormon in my hands and he got so excited. He kept saying, "I can't believe you actually have the book right now" "I get one right now!" I proceeded to hand him all 4 of my copies because he was just so excited. I told him he could have as many as he wanted :) Haha anyway he told us how he talked with a missionary in the Czech Republic and heard about the church. He told us he was atheist but wanted to now serve a mission. I asked if he believed in God and he said yes. I told him he wasn’t atheist and he again got excited and said, "I guess I'm not atheist!" We think the person he talked to in Europe was a general authority, so that is kinda crazy. We don't know how his information got on because he didn't put it in. Somehow we got the referral though. It was an around neat experience. I can't wait to teach him!
We have such cool investigators. I can't really tell you about them all right now but just trust me. It is interesting to see a theme with people. So many of them have lost a parent or loved one. Lots of word of wisdom troubles. I am getting good at teaching these principles. I am also coming to understand them better for myself. I am grateful for that. One boy we picked up last night has a father in prison. He drove ten hours to see him on father’s day. His dad found the church in prison and now teaches gospel principles every week to the people in there. How cool is that?! We get to teach his son and he wants to get sealed to his dad when he gets out. Amazing stuff...the gospel heals and fixes lives. The gospel blesses families. Another boy lost his dad and his mom is dying. He is the most upbeat person I have ever met. He bore his testimony on fast Sunday. It was his first time at church. I wish I had the faith of some of these people. They inspire me. Unfortunately he is out of town for two weeks so that is slowing his progression. But he is getting baptized on July 12th when he gets home. I got to set that with him! I love asking people to get baptized.
Robert. That is a story for a whole book. It is one huge reason I needed to stay in the Del Mar stake. He is now transitioned and is being taught YSA. So I am now teaching him again. I know without a doubt I have to be the one to teach him. I don't know how to describe it but I just know it. When I left Encinitas I felt like I tied up all the loose ends expect Robert. It never felt like it was over with him. I continued to think about him and receive revelation for him. This week the choice was made to move him out of the family ward and into YSA. I am now the missionary who has stewardship over him again. I guess that is why I didn't feel finished. He already loves YSA and has friends. Soon he will actually be ready to be baptized. The process of conversion is lifelong. Sometimes faith means stepping when it seems very dark. He will get there soon.
AHHHH it is so crazy to be a missionary!!! Sometimes you want to cry and most times you want to curl up and sleep. BUT all times you are happy and glad to be alive. I will keep trying to figure everything out and let you know what I learn.


Sis Huber

Monday, June 9, 2014

Would you believe what happened.... ‏ 6-9-2014

Get ready for the craziest story of your life.
You ready?
 You sure?
I got IN ZONED to the Young Single Adult ward that meets directly after the Encinitas ward in the same building. That means I see Sister Grover and my entire ward still. Brutal! It also means my area is huge! I cover the entire stake instead of being confined to a very small space. I honestly don’t even know what to say. When they announced it in transfer meeting I starting laughing. It was laugh or cry so I opted to laugh. Reasons it is really hard- I see my old ward but they aren’t my ward anymore, I have to watch the new sister and remind myself that it’s not my place anymore, I see sister Grover and that is super hard because I can’t talk with her and it just makes me want to be with her again, I miss the elders and my old district and I can’t forget about them because I still see them around, I hear about everything happening in Encinitas and sometimes I get sad because its seems like I should be there. Really it is pretty tough. But like in everything there are so many things to love and be grateful for. Reasons I love what happened- I get to be by the coast and ocean in the summer!!!, I get to be close and still hear about my old investigators, I get to be in a YSA ward!!! (party), I get to cover a stake and go all over, I get to teach people I already know or have heard about (this one is huge), and I have a great companion!

Well now on to things about being in a singles ward….heavens so much drama. You wouldn’t believe it. There is an entire booklet of rules and guidelines for YSA missionaries. It starts by talking about how very few missionaries can handle the stress and unique problems that are associated with a singles ward. It says YSA missionaries should be bold, socially adept, focused, and should easily connect to people. I guess I fit that? Who knows but I will try and work it out. It also talks about how trust is a HUGE issue in YSA. This is the problem; you have a ward full of return missionaries that know EXACTLY what you should be doing. They know the rules and they know how to be a good missionary. These people can be great assets in teaching but they also can be hard to earn the trust of because if you aren’t on your game 100% of the time they become wary. The way you conduct yourself and act around the members is noted and judged. Trust can be lost in a day if a missionary decides to not act like a missionary.  Anyway this particular ward is awesome, awesome people awesome leadership. However in the not so far away past, some great issues arose with the missionaries. Trust was lost due to the conduct and behavior of some. That trust in now being rebuilt and we are under tight inspection. The last set of sisters was awesome and they started building it up but now we must maintain and they continue to increase.
This means that YSA is not all fun and games. In fact it is the most stressful thing ever. I have never felt so burdened. I love it but I know I have a lot of people counting on me to be the best missionary possible. I have to find the incredibly fine line between being friends and being friendly and what they would consider to be flirting.  I have to create strong bonds with the ward but the instant they think I have some other motive everything is ruined due to what happened in the past. Fun right? To top it all off there is an incredibly large set of problems with pass offs from other missionaries. The instant you met an YSA aged person they are to be sent to us. This rarely happens. So we now have to transition people who have been taught home ward that weren’t supposed to be.  I have spent lots of time on my knees this week. Lots and lots of emotions to deal with, I have had at least two different missionaries in tears because of investigators they shouldn’t be teaching this week. I think God put me here because I will make it happen. I will work hard and show the ward that I am here to be a missionary and I will make sure that the zone is following procedures about pass off. I will say the hard things to other missionaries when others maybe wouldn’t. I am learning how to love but still make it clear that something is not right.  I now understand so clearly my own faults and weaknesses and also my ability to just do what is right regardless of what others think. If all the missionaries in my zone hate me I guess at least God loves me.  It has been insane!!! I can’t really describe the things on my mind. So many people I am worried about. I have had multiple bad nosebleeds, probably due to my high blood pressure. Mom, don’t fret. I need this to learn and grow. I am breathing and figuring it out. I am feeling fine.
We set two baptismal dates this week. And found two new investigators. So God is blessing us. My companion is a hard worker and very obedient. She is super cute and happens to be diabetic. We have our highs and lows together (meaning blood sugars of course). I am grateful for her.
I love this gospel. I know it is true. If I didn’t I would never be here. I believe in prayer. I believe in a God who can wrap us up in his arms with the spirit and tell us everything is going to be all right.  I asked for a hug last night in my prayer and He gave me one. I believe without pain, heartache and stress we cannot grow. I believe that God can take us and shape us into an entirely new person. It’s a process but in the end you will be more then you ever could be alone. I have felt countless times this week confirmations that I need to be in the Torrey Pines YSA ward right now. I have been given a portion of the needed skill set and the rest God is willing to grant me as I try really hard. I love these people so much. Return missionaries are scary but man they are also fun! Even though I don’t get to go to FHE (we go out and work so people will take us seriously and not think we are hanging out) I know that this summer will be a blast!!!
Seth- Get pumped. Let me know asap. I can’t wait to hear. I want you to come here so bad!!!


Sister Huber


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Goodbye to those I love and hold dear‏ 6-2-14

Well it happened this week.

 I am moving away from my home and going someplace new. I'm sure it will be wonderful and I will love it, but it will never be Encinitas. I guess God gave me this place first to carry me the rest of the time. Never have I felt so loved, so needed, so productive, so close to God in my entire life. I became a new person in Encinitas and I will always return here in honor of these days. My ward had a goodbye party for me and so many people showed up. It made me cry just to see all the people that truly loved me and were grateful to me. Sometimes you wonder if you are helping but I know that I really did help people here. More then one person expressed how  I was an answer to their prayers or how I had changed them. It is humbling to see God use me to help His children. Lots of moms said they wanted their children to serve like me and I just smiled. Having no regrets feels so good. Giving 100% feels so good. I look back and see only good in these 4.5 months. I found where I belong in Encinitas. Till we meet again someday.

I have to leave Sister Grover too. They are tearing my entire life apart. She is one of my closest friends. I can't even write about her without crying so I will just stop. There really are no words for what I have experienced and done in 4.5 months. There is no way to describe the change and the emotion that you get to feel on a mission. Maybe one day I will try and write about it but not now.

Robert cried when I told him I was leaving. He bought me a water bottle and gluten free cookies. He told me I was his best friend too and that he prayed for me to stay. He said he would never meet a person as happy as I was. He said my happiness and personality were the reason he keep meeting with us. He said he would get baptized every week so I could keep coming back. I will miss him.

Michelle called us early in the morning the day after we told her I had to go. She was very upset and told us how unfair it all seemed. She said it was not right to make me leave and she had been thinking about it all night. She demanded to know how she could still see me and communicate with me. It was so cute. She promised to do the flowers at my wedding and told me how sad she was. She is darling. I will miss her.

Margot in all her 87 years of life has some spunk. When we told her I had to go she also got mad. She rearranged her schedule to see me and then told me that regardless of who the new sister was, it would never be the same. They wouldn't be sister Huber. I told her to love the new person so hopefully they get accepted. She then told me that I was so special because I had great faith and commitment but also maturity well beyond my years. She said my determination to live what I preached was motivation and touching to her. I love her. I will miss her.

Karol was furious. It was actually quite funny to see how mad she got. She is coming home early from her trip to give me a hug goodbye.  I will miss her.

Erin and Robert left the hospital because Sarah got sick to say goodbye. They told me I would get invited to the wedding this summer! Erin really didn't want me to go and Robert really connects with me but I told them I needed to leave now. Erin said she would go shopping in my new area and come see me. Oh Erin. I will miss them.

I could go on and on but I won't. I just don't ever want to forget these days. Dora my Brazilian friend, Monique and her three kids, Robert Jefferies, Jill and Karman, and on and on. I will miss the Elders I served with and my ocean.

But here is the good part. I am ready to go. Even thought it seems so contrary to anything to be ready to leave, I am. I feel in my heart that my time here is over. I have done all I could/needed to here. Some other sister has something to offer to these people that I don't have. I understand that. I am not jealous or angry or sad. Just overwhelmingly grateful. God answered my prayer and plea that I made at the beginning of my mission and sent me to Encinitas. He very clearly showed me people and places that would impact me and my testimony of Him. I know he is so aware of all of His children. I am excited to see what I get to do next. Right now with my limited perceptive, I can't imagine something so good, but my heart knows it will happen. I have so many more friends to make and hearts to touch. I have so much more change to make inside of me. Change is never easy but it is always worth it. The gospel really is just change. It is becoming better every day and knowing that you can't do it alone. Jesus Christ has walked every step of my days in Encinitas with me and that is the reason it is so special and dear to me-because I found Him here. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I hope to one day become just like Him. I love my Heavenly Father. I would do anything for Him. Anything. I love being a missionary. I finally feel complete. I found where I belong.  This is my sacred grove and my journey to the promised land.  Of course that journey can't be all peaches and cream. I singed up for betterment so I am embracing what that entails. I will email you all from a new place soon!!!
Till then
Sister Huber