Monday, August 5, 2013

Second Week in Dubuque

Hello loved ones! First of all, the Armstrongs were out of town this whole week, so my heart has been hurting. We are planning to meet with them tonight, so I will have an update next week! This week without a car went surprisingly alright. The members here are a great help, just about the only thing they don't do is give us people to teach, but we're working on it! An enormous blessing this week (and always) has been our senior couple, Elder and Sister Thomas. They are serving here in Dubuque for an entire 12-moth mission, and they are awesome. They are always willing to pick us up, give us advice, feed us. They are like our mission grandparents, are super funny, and I love them so much. President and Sister Jensen drove out to Dubuque on Tuesday for interviews, and oh my, was it wonderful. They are incredible. We each had private interviews with them individually. Everything that I needed to hear was said. President told me how wonderfully we were doing, and that he knows we are working as hard as we can each day. He told me that he can see our obedience, diligence, and spirit, and that we are NOT to worry about numbers, only that we are guided by the spirit and do our best each day. He promised that we would be blessed as we continue on. The spirit truly testifies to me of his calling as my mission president each time I am with him. It is amazing how well he knows us, without even knowing us! Sis. Jensen is also incredible. She is so kind and loving, and a mother to me as I am far away from home. It was a wonderful experience, and a wonderful day. Something I have completely left out, because I haven't had anything to share about it until now, is that about half of Dubuque is made up of Marshallese people. They also make up half of our ward. They are an incredibly interesting, rich-cultured people. I hadn't gotten a taste of that until we went to a marshallese party saturday night at the church. They throw these HUGE parties when their kids turn one year old. The party we went to was for 3 babies turning one, so it was 3 times as awesome. The party started at five, but was only americans until 7, because of what is well-known as "marshallese time." I kid you not, they show up 1-2 hours late to just about everything. It's kind of hilarious. Anyway, it was a super fun night! There was a TON, and I mean TON of food, extremely loud marshallese music, dancing, gift-giving, and so much love. They gave each of us women flower clips for our hair, and we all got in line to shake the babies' hands, as per tradition. I was thoroughly uplifted and entertained. The party was definitely a highlight of the week. Well, time is winding down, but I want to thank everyone so much for the prayer and love and support. I am truly supported by them each day. I feel my family and friend's love always, especially in tough times. We were truly blessed this week, not how we wanted, but definitely how we needed. I know it's thanks in part to all of you. I feel my Savior and Heavenly Father more each day. They are the reason I am still smiling, walking, and working each day. I have never felt this way in all my life, and I can't imagine how great my joy will be even greater as I progress through the rest of my mission, and see the fruits of my labor. Blessings to all of you! I love you, and so does our Savior. :) -Sister Monroe

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