Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hey Hey Hey!

Hey family!!! Thank you all so much for your emails! I want to write you all back individually but I get stressed with the time and my hands start shaking and my armpits start sweating- so Imma stick to just one.

Well imagine everything that could happen in one week.... and it alll happened to me. hahah I laughed and cried so so much this week. Such a good week. I feel like a 50 year old woman with all these life lessons under my belt. I'm so mature for my age.

I will start with the spiritual.. because despite all of my funny stories I really am a spiritual missionary.
1. Mom! You wrote me that letter and said Mosiah 24 was your favorite these days!! I read that chapter that exact morning!! crazy. I love love love it. Such a comfort.
2. Sister Wiley and I have three new investigators. We were off to a rough start because we were both new and got white washed into this area but now it is taking off and the miracles are amazing! We tracted into this woman that was going through a really hard time and she said the nicest person she knew was mormon. She has a book of mormon and wants to go to church. We didn't even ask her she just said she would- coooool. We are meeting with her again this week.
3. We taught the Green family. None of the kids go to church anymore and the mom is the only one that sits in on the lessons and still attends church. Her son Jamie who is 21 was about to go to his room for the lesson, but i gave him a hard time and told him to join us- just like messing around. But he came and joined and we taught about the love of god and the spirit was sooo strong. Well he showed up to church this week for all 3 hours for the first time in years. You should have seen his mom's face when he came in. It was amazing. I loved it.
4. We have an investigator named morgan that we are teaching tomorrow night. He was a referral and is 20 years old and is waaaaay nice. I love him already.
I love this area! There are 3 polynesians in my zone and they are suuuuch fun elders hahaha. I love them so much but they won't even look at me cause I'm a sister. fools. Oh well. I wish they could see my true colors and look past the pasty white skin.
It is gooorgeous here. Seriously it rains most the time but the sun is shining today and i love the blue sky! ahhh! the sun makes the colors so amazing!
I am more grateful for the life that i have lived, more than I have ever been. Seriously my life has been so so good and so blessed. I meet all of these people and they have hard lives but still find things to be grateful about. they are such good examples to me. I am so grateful for the friends and family that I have! Gosh, it's so good!

ok .... seriously. everything happened to me this week. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor... with my life.
#1. I hate cats. This little two year old girl goes and gets this cat in the middle of our lesson and puts him on my lap. the cat camps out on my lap for 30 minutes! it's nasty little dandruf hair was all up on my skirt. THEN sister wiley volunteered us to clean out the catbox... guess who cleaned out the catbox. ME. yea, sister wiley like gave me the scoop and just kept talking. lil' nasty.
#2. Then RIGHT after that. We walk outside and this man is walking around with a bird on his shoulder. he comes over and starts talking to us and then puts the bird on my arm without asking my permission and the bird walks up to my should and just stares at me. I asked if it was a nice bird and he said yes, but you can tell if it's mad when he puffs up. Wellll, i looked over at the bird and it's puffed up and then starts pecking my shoulder. I made him take it off.
#3. Sister Wiley is afraid to break ANY rule. So we are told not to ring doorbells. I COMPLETELY forgot and rang the doorbell and sister wiley TAKES off. she like clears this bush and so i run after her. and we hide behind a rock. hahaha. the people came out and we are just hiding there. hahahah. so funny. I didn't even know sister wiley could run.
#4. Also, sister wiley is VERY expressive and its really distracting. like her eyebrows are everywhere. It looks like she is constantly having  seizure in her face and the stronger she feels the spirit, the more her face moves. So i pointed it out... she told me to cough any time she does it so she can stop. WEll we were tracting and we are talking to this indian woman and sister wiley's face starts going cray cray. so i coughed. and then she stops and looks at me and we both start laughing. Except I couldn't stop. and i kept coughing to cover up the laugh ans said "i have something in  my throat" but i kept laughing and the indian woman just starred at me. So sister wiley hands her a card and asked if we could come back. She said no.
#5. President Larkin tells us to extend the baptismal commitment to all our investigators. it was like our 3rd lesson with margarita and we hadn't even brought up baptism. SO we teach ALL about baptism and sister wiley wasn't extending the committment so I did. and sister wiley just starred at me. Like didn't even support me or back me up hahaha.
#6.oh. Sister Wiley fainted on me. We were in a meeting and she said she was gonna throw up so we go out to the hallway and I drag her into this room to a trash can and tell her to barf in there but then she turns to me and leans on me. I thought she was gonna throw up on me so i covered her mouth with my hand. and then she fainted. and I could barely hold her up. so i layed her on the ground and just sat by her for like 5 minutes until someone came. I wasn't worried though, i could feel air coming out of her nose.

Thanksgiving was great. I gained at least 10 lbs this week. I swear every member of the ward gave us their leftovers. I loved loved loved thanksgiving. it was so nice to be with a family :) the text about kindred spirits was a joke. Her son was texting it and he was just quoting anne of green gables. hahah. but we love that family.

Sister pantoja is my idol. she has three beautful boys that all play soccer and she is so chill and funny with them. They have a pull up bar in their kitchen and we went over to teach her 7 year old the baptism lessons. afterward I just did a pull up, to get some extra exercise and she was so impressed. I'm ripped. basically. haha but she is so chill and down to earth. I love her. I want little boys so bad!! and they will all play sports :)
Ummm I'm not sure what else to write. I'm sorry I'm not responding to everyone's emails!!  I love you all! Thank you for your prayers. I pray for you guys every day. Share your testimony with someone this week- this gospel is where we can find true happiness and peace.

Love you!!!

Love, Sister mara.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I feel Like I have been here for a MONTH. It was a long week! haha
Mother, I got your card at the most perfect timing!! Oh buddy was it a rough day, but then I opened it up and it was so so perfect! Oh my goodness, thank you.
Ok, this mission makes me appreciate our family so much. When I pray for our family or thank Heavenly Father for you guys, I feel like my heart is going to burst. Really though.
So I met Elder Oaks this weekend. He's pretty cool. All the missionaries were shaking his hand and I think I caught him off guard cause I asked how he was doing and he kind blinked and looked at me and then read my nametag and said "Well it's very nice to meet you." HIs eyes are endless. He spoke to the missionaries and then on Sunday we had a stake conference. He is so funny! Seriously, way down to earth and when he says that he is a servant of the Lord, you know it without a doubt.
I am in Snoqualmie aka middle of the mountains. Its cold cold cold and a tiny town. But there are some famous Snoqualmie Falls that are fascinating and gorgeous. It is so pretty here... when it's not raining. Which is never.
I have grown so close to the Lord in this last week. I feel like myself but a completely new person at the same time. When I meet people now, I see them how God would see them and love them and I have loved these people like they are family. I want to do everything and anything I can for them to help their lives. God loves everyone so much! It's so hard to grasp it.
Sister Wiley... hahahahah! She is hilarious. Oh gosh. Ask Alia about Wiley's blonde moments. We went tracting on this one street and this guy opens the door and says "i'm a mormon already" so we got super excited and were like oh cool! what ward? and he had no idea what a ward was... He lied. Snitch. Then two houses later another guy opens the door and told us to come in, we were so excited!! then he says he's a mormon and we didn't believe him... but he really was actually. Weird night.
Bears live here. Sister Wiley is terrified of them. We were out walking and I wanted to scare here so while she was telling me a story, I screamed and ran away and she about died. I have never seen her move so fast. She thought a bear was behind us hahahaha I was laughing so hard.
I'm meeting so many people and their lives are so hard! I am so grateful for our lives and how blessed we have been. I'm grateful for our home and that dad has a job and that we have the gospel and that we are all friends! I love our relationships. I love this gospel and how it changes and helps people's lives. I know it is true. And this is helping me more than I will ever help anyone here. its Hard. But good. So good. and if i can finish this and do the Lord's will, i Can do anything. ok well, i'm sure I have more to say... oh i do!
I saw sister feller and the conference with Elder Oaks. It was like seeing aubrey or sara again. I LOVE HER. It was such a good reunion and it had only been like 4 days! All of my district... i was so happy to see my boys/elders. they are like family and I wanted to hug them all. OK 
 I gotta go now. I love you!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!
(Sister Wiley and Sister Mahaffey on Thanksgiving, 2011!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You won't believe this... IT'S RAINING IN SEATTLE!!

Family! (we get to email today... because my comp missed her pday yesterday)

Guess what today is like? I will tell you. It's rainy and cold and windy. Holy moly. It's so so blustery! My Achilles tendons froze and then when i tried walking they wouldn't bend with my foot and then I look too funny trying to run without Achilles tendons... try it sometime. I have NEVER felt so much fatigue in my whole life. You know how it feels when you are absolutely exhausted and your eyes start crossing? Ya.... that keeps happening. I try to listen intently to my comp but then my eyes cross and I get really dizzy. I was so so sick last night. We were driving in the car and my comp is quite the Utah driver... aka gets really close to the other car before she even starts slowing down!

So the area i am in is in the country hahaha. No kidding. Everyone has dogs here!!!! ahh! I just saw a golden retriever :) Our apt is really nice. It has a fireplace and a lovesack. The beds... oh buddy. haha. The stars are amazzzzing though and its absolutely gorgeous!!

My comp is the sweetest. Total epitome of sis. missionary lol. I miss Sister Feller so so much already! I miss laughing with her, it was such a blessing to have her as a comp. But my companion has so so much Charity and obedience and love for everyone! She is a perfect example and when we study together, the spirit is super strong. I can tell I am going to grow a lot from here. The Ward is amazing!! They have a cooler outside our apartment and when we get home at night there is dinner waiting in there for us! They bring us dinner every night! The Ward Mission Leader is on his game, seriously he is so legit.

Last night and today were the first times I actually felt homesick. I put my sheets on the bed and it smelled like home and I just wanted to go home. This is going to be really really hard, but I'm trying to stay positive as best I can!

I read a really really awesome scripture this morning that helped me D&C 101:36-28, it's gotta keep me going. I know amazing things are going to happen here.

Okay well, We have to go grocery shopping because there is only rice and frozen strawberries in our fridge haha. I love you all!

Sister Me

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SEATTLE--- Here I Come!!

Holler All!

So I leave today! Craziness. I feel sad that I have to leave the good friends I have made here! Seriously, it made my heart hurt when they called the missionaries going to Tonga to stand up. I'm never going to see these friends again! They have made being here fun :)

I'm so excited to go to Seattle! It's going to be the best adventure I have had yet. I was thinking back over the past year and a half and I have done some fun things, not gonna lie, but this one will top them all. I already am having so much fun, meeting so many people. Now I get to live in SEATTLE!! I'm so stoked. The people aren't going to know what hit 'em. I

Last night we had three devotionals in a row! I thought I was going to die...but the last one made it all worth it. It was by Elder Holland. That man is p-a-s-s-i-o-n-a-t-e about missionary work. I couldn't deny being here is the best choice I have ever made.

It's hard. For reals. Everyday I give myself a little pep talk, but I am growing so close to the Lord and learning to trust and have hope. I have had some AWESOME experiences this week. Remember LaWana? We taught her on Wednesday this week...whoa humbling. When we went there, she just went off on us saying things like, "Ya'll don't know nothin' about me. You come in here trying to teach me something and you don't even care about me." Me and Sister Feller just stared at her. Then she broke down and told us how her momma was a crack addict and she overdosed and died when she was 14. She was on the streets selling drugs for 5 years. Then her sister committed suicide. Then she got breast cancer. Then she was in a house when there was a drive-by shooting and she almost got shot, and that's when she realized God is REAL. She said, "People change. People like me NEED you. The Lord needs you to find them."

We were so, so, so, so humbled. I never knew I could love a stranger like that, but I had so much love for her. I pray for her every night because her breast cancer is serious and it has spread to her stomach now.

"People won't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

I wish I could just transfer the spirit and knowledge that I feel I'm gaining here. I could go on and on with my testimony and hope that you understand what I'm saying, but I know I couldn't do it justice. I know that when people have shared their testimonies with me, I felt the spirit, but now what has changed for me is that I really understand what our purpose is, what the Restoration really meant, and that the Book of Mormon is so true. Not only is it a good read, but it testifies of Christ and it all makes sense.

Okay, here comes the funny story:

So we had this big conference for the departing missionaries and we all separated into rooms to practice things we learned. There was a teacher in each room who guided us. Well, we were instructed to role-play, so Sister Feller plays the investigator and I was the missionary. It went smoothly. The teacher is walking around just helping individual companionships. So then it's my turn to play the investigator. So I closed my eyes and was acting like I was getting in the mode (kind of making fun of this one elder who does that) and I was really concentrated and acting like I was trying to get in touch with my actor self...but Sister Feller wasn't laughing and I was thinking, "this is awkward." Then I opened my eyes and the teacher is sitting RIGHT next to me just starring at me... hahahahaha.

Anyways..Love you all. Send my letters to the mission address 'cause I'll be there TODAY!! Woot Woot!!

Love, Sister ME

Elder Holland said this: "Astonish someone today...even if it's yourself!" So do that today! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Part of a letter from Mara to Alia - November 8th

Ok, you would have a hay day watching me in this place. You thought i was funny in DC, just you wait for these stories. You ready?
- Last week i was rubbing my elbow after writing so many letters and I told the elders that I was worried I had carpal tunnel... apparently carpal tunnel is in the wrist... I'm learning so much here.
-Ok, So we went to this zone teaching meeting with a couple other districts and this girl comes in barking like a little dog. It was a REALLY good impression and i thought it was a real dog. I wanted to be nice to her cause she seemed weird so I was like " wow! that's a really good dog impression" and she didn't even say anything to me, just kept walking. Then she was like whisteling and barking during the meeting and I was LIke WTheck?! then someone told me she had tourettes... she probably thought I was mocking her. I'm done complimenting people.
-My teacher has no patience with me and my comp. You know when you aren't supposed to laugh, it makes you laugh harder. Well my comp and I were role playing and it was like 9:00 at night in class. We were so slap happy. So my teacher comes and sits right in front of us and we start role playing and just start laughing, like uncontrollably. We seriously were breathless for a good 5 minutes while our teacher just sat there starring at us (not laughing). That just made it harder to stop laughing.
Alia, the past few days have been HARD, but good. The only person I could go to was the Lord. I have gained such a testimony of trusting in the Lord and giving it to him because there was nothing else I could do. I feel like I'm growing so much.  I love you!
- Love, Sister Mara.

Growing in EVERY way !

I am growing!

Each time I gain a testimony about something it's so powerful. The first thing was the Restoration. I knew the lesson and I taught it to the investigator, but I could tell that we were just speaking to him. I knew what I was saying was true, but I wasn't converted and I didn't feel it. I have to feel something is true if I'm gonna preach it. So then a teacher explained the Restoration and why it's so important for the investigators to understand it. I got so excited and I know it's true! The same thing happened with the Book of Mormon-- I was supposed to teach about it and invite them to read the Book of Mormon. I got super frustrated and couldn't teach. So I read the introduction and studied and prayed and it makes sense! I always knew it was important/true but now I can teach it! I am becoming converted in every aspect of the gospel!

Thank you Ma, for sending the copy of my blessing! It was great to read again. I read that I would be blessed with confidence if I was close to the spirit and doing the Lord's will. I FEEL SO CONFIDENT! I am happy here. I know it's going to be hard, but I know the Lord is on my side! I want to develop my relationship with Him. There is a happiness here. It feels surreal. I know that Provo is right out there, but it's a different world in here.

We taught an awesome 25 yr old black girl tonight. She has an AFRO. Funny Sister Feller acted like she'd never seen a black girl before. I felt like I was back in St. Louis. We liked her...she had the whole head side-to-side attitude thing. I told her I liked her and her passion about things and to take that passion and pray to know this church is true. I really like her.

Sister Dalton spoke to us on Sunday and it was great! She is so sweet and likes to work out and is super competitive with her husband. It made me feel better about how competitive I am. I could relate to her and it was easy for me to learn from her.

My district is AWESOME!! I was sitting outside with everyone before a class and I just got everyone to play the singing game, where I sing a random song and they try to follow along. It was so funny! We all get along so well. I am going to love flying to Seattle with this group. They are all funny/cute and have things I love about each of them. I love their priesthood authority and they seem more like elders than 19 year old boys. (Mara goes on to draw stick figures with descriptions of each of the elders in her district. It's quite entertaining to say the least, but I will refrain from including those descriptions in this entry.)

So...I am definitely running out of clothes. I feel I am growing that way too. I think I am mind-projecting fat into my body. haha. I can't wait to go shopping in Seattle. Maybe Christmas??

Ok, lights out. I LOVE YOU,

Sister Me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

HI MA and family!

I only have 20 minutes on here and it's killing me! I can't think that fast! There is so much to tell you! THis is hard! Haha, I love it here, i really do. I am so happy and I laugh so much but its really really hard. The lord answers prayers. Seriously. It's amazing! haha

Sister Feller is awesome we always get in trouble for laughing by the teacher. I think it's a blessing that I'm laughing so much. We were about to teach an investigator and we started saying a prayer before we went in and then we started laughing so so hard. We had to stop and say our own prayers haha. We taught a man named Melvin and his wife died 9 years ago. We taught him the first lesson and about the atonement and how he can see her again. The spirit was so strong and I cried. The spirit was awesome! All i remember thinking was that I loved him so much and wanted him to be with his wife forever. and I wanted to hug him. But i didn't. Sister Feller rocks those lessons. When she bears testimony you know whats up.

The elders are SO funny. I love them all. hahahah i'm laughing just thinking about them. I was role playing with elder Walk and I was the investigator, I told him that I didn't know why they needed another book if they already have the bible. Why do they need two books and he looks down at his triple combination and says " looks like one book to me" hahah totally caught me off guard. We don't really focus that well but it's fun and a good time. Personal study is good though. I always think of fun little games to play at lunch or while we are waiting for devotional and everyone plays along. Its so fun. hahah lunch and dinner time is the best and late night classes when we are all slap happy.

I can't believe how strong the spirit speaks to you when teaching. I was teaching Melvin and I was saying something and while I was saying it I was like " Why AM I SAYING THIS?" hahah it was NOT me. But so cool. I was spiritually drained afterward and so exhausted.

I always thought I had a testimony of this church but I never really understood it until now. I am truly converted and I just keep thinking about how much it is going to help and bless my children someday. I love this church and I know it's true. I am studying charity a lot and I feel love for people more than I ever have. I am trying to view them as God does and it works! It's amazing.

I saw Clarissa Thomas at the temple! She is exactly what I needed. It was a tender mercy. So nice to see her! She is SO sweet! I see sooo many people I know! Its great! haha My comps give me a hard time because I ALWAYS stop and talk to people. I have made a lot of friends already. Oh in the temple, the lady doing my initiatory said " you will be such a blessing in Seattle." and then she hugged me. It made me feel really good.

I'm the least graceful sister ever... really though. I was eating a boiled egg and then i had to sneeze and it came out of my nose at lunch. Oh yea, i'm sick! It stinks and my voice is deep. I talk like a man and then my voice cracks when I'm singing. I might as well be a 19 year old elder.

On sundays they randomly pick the speaker for sacrament meeting after the sacrament so they tell you to prepare a talk... ya I got picked. But it was weird, i knew I would get picked and i wasn't nervous and completely confident! It was awesome!

EVERYONE thank you for your letters!! I need them. It is really helping me get through this. It's hard but I constantly have to give myself pep talks and the letters are the best boosters. Seriously.

Mom, I love you so much. I saw a mother and daughter in the temple today and I just wanted you so bad.

Tell sumner he is fired. I miss him. Tell him to write me. I always imagine him as an elder here. he will love it!!

K, I got to go. Write me please please please!


Sister Mahaffey

haha! Funniest thing just happened! I got done writing and my elbow tendons hurt and I told my district that I thought I had carpal tunnel... while I was rubbing my elbow. They all made fun of me b/c carpal tunnel is in the dang wrist! I HAVE ALWAYS thought it was in the elbow! Alia would appreciate that story, too, I feel.