Happy one week to me!

Hey, y'all!
I've gotten too many questions about being from the South with no accent, and so I've come up with a thing that I say. "My dad's from Iowa, but my mom's from the South, so I have a Mid-western accent, and Southern values." It's catching on...the other day, the Ward Mission leader's wife, after everyone in Relief Society had protested my lack of accent, said, "But she has those good Southern manners, very very Southern manners."
I love this town, more than I ever thought I would. More than I love Provo, even. . . I know, weird, yeah?
We had a baptism on Sunday, and the poor young man was all alone, in this white jumpsuit, and I think scared out of his mind, but the Spirit was there, and the change that was evident in him, almost immediately, was this sense of relief and happiness, and then I remember, as I often have to do, that this work is not even about us, it's about the true happiness that people Actually have, when they invite the Gospel and the Spirit into their lives. One of the great things I've learned is that faith proceeds the miracle, and I am inspired by the things and the opportunities we have every single second! There was a woman that we've become really close to, that just quit smoking, and you can tell she's scared out of her mind, but she has such a strong testimony! She'll make it through, and be all the stronger for it.
That's another thing! I have gained TOO much knowldge (Ha) from the less-actives and non-members, to even reference. They are incredible people with strong strong testimonies, and it's mind-blowing to hear them teach their children as we come over to teach them the things they really already know. love.
We did a purification fast this week, and it starts out with fasting and praying about ten things that you need to fast from. The Lord inspired me to write up a lot of things, and I know I can only grow further and further as I abstain from natural man habits for the next forty days.
We had kind of a life-changing experience the other day, and Sister Johnson and I grew closer together, but I also gained a true conversion of the power of prayer. We were having some problems, anyway, and we dedicated our home, and the change was unforeseen. I know that dedicating our homes and offices, any place we spend a lot of time, is important, because to dedicate means you strive toward those things, and invokes a blessing on the place you reside/spend most of your time. I loved it, but a life-changing experience, so I encourage everyone to take time to see that that is done. Sister Johnson and I know firmly, that that can help you and protect you from evil.
Haha on a lighter note, we didn't get a whole lot of sleep New Year's day, and have had the best time trying to stay awake and be effective missionaries. One thing in our white binder of resources and references, was a quote by a general authority that effectively was saying we needed to remember and not take lightly the help the Spirit would and could give us, and not (just) rely on the sleep we really really really may desire in the morning. We get up and walk around Silverton every morning, and it is a gem of a town: so sleepy but invigorating at the same time.
I thought I knew every thing there is to know about the Gospel, and I have decided I am sorely mistaken. I encourage you as well, that if you think that, to start reading about a topic you know EVERYTHING about: ie. faith, within conference talks and in the scriptures.To open with a prayer and be ready to receive revelation, because if you think you know everything, there's always more that the Lord through the Holy Spirit, can reveal.
Also, try Book of Mormon Battle. Great game, taught me a lot, totally got schooled by a four year old who was throwing down the first card she had. schooled. It's fine. Hahaa
We're working with a wonderful less active man and his active family. They have taught me about being on top of your game, and being ready and willing for whatever trials the Lord has given you, because they are so diligent that way. I love everyone that I've met so far. Now, we're working on declaring the word in every thing we do... because they already like us. ;) haha
We had training the other day, and I learned the Oregon Portland Temple has an atrium!? for non-members, so I am really excited!!
OH MY GOODNESS! and please look up the talks from April General conference 1985! they look like incredible ones!
I knew I should've been a dietitian... President Monson spoke on the Word of Wisdom and Health, the day I was due! October 1990!! ;)

When you get to the end of your rope: tie a knot, and hang on.
Love you all too much to express, but I try anyway!!!!
Sister Bothwell.

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