Monday, September 21, 2015

IDAHO IS FOREIGN

HEY HOMIES!!

So you all know how I said I wasn't going to a foreign mission? Plot twist for yall... IDAHO IS FOREIGN.

Everyone here is about 30 years behind the times. It's so hard to even begin to explain. I haven't even been here a full week, but I am still amazed everyday how people live. BUT I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!! They are some of the most hard working and genuine people I've ever met. They have so much gratitude for the humble lives they've been blessed with. They don't worry about the trivial things of the world like their clothes, or their cars, and a lot of them don't have cell phones or internet. They only worry about things that truly matter. They work hard and serve other people and many of them want to know Jesus Christ. That's what matters most.

My first area is in Mountain Home!! Population size 10,000... and the next biggest town, Grand View, is about half an hour away... population size 400. I kid you not, we drove for half an hour and probably passed two cars and about 500 cows. Just picture flat ground and mountains in the distance with a bunch of sage brush and wild sunflowers. And the sky is HUGE!! You can see for miles and miles. Throw in some green farm land and tons of cows and you get Idaho. SO different from Boston, but so beautiful.

My current address in MoHo (short for mountain home). Send letters to the mission office and they will forward them to me. That address is:

421 Maurice St. North
Twin Falls, ID 83301

I'll be here for at least the next 12 weeks, so feel free to write me! I also don't have anything on my walls in my room, so if you want to send some pictures or quotes, then my room won't look so lonely!!

Every day since I've been here has been packed with teaching appointments and service activities. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! Here's what a typical day in the life of Sister Boyce would look like:

6:00 AM RISE AND SHINE
Pick up the other sister missionaries in our stake and head to work out at the track.

6:30 to 7: We work out under the stars and watch the sunrise. Y'all know I hate the mornings, but this aint so bad when you get to see the stars like you've never seen them in Boston. You can see so many more and they're so bright!

7 to 8: Shower, get ready, and eat breakfast.

8 to 9: Personal study. We study the scriptures and our teaching tools with the people that we will be teaching that day in mind. It is so cool because when we study for them, we better know what they need to hear when we teach.

9 to 10: Companion study. Sister Anderson from Las Vegas ROCKS!! She is so cool! I absolutely love her and am so grateful for her. During our study together, we talk about what we learned and plan what we will be teaching based on what we studied in personal study.

10 to 11: Some days we have training for an hour. that's just something we do when we are new missionaries so we can better understand what we are teaching and how to teach.

5:00 PM: Dinner at someone's house from our congregation!

9:30 PM: Daily planning- as a companionship we talk about our goals and the needs of the people we will be teaching the next day.

10: Get ready for bed.

10:30: LIGHTS OUT!

Between 11 AM and 9:30 PM, we have appointments with people that want to learn more about our church. We have different lessons to teach but they are always centered on Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice.

Christ's Atonement was when He suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and then was hung on the cross. He took upon Himself all of our sins, weaknesses, pains, sicknesses, and imperfections.  He knows us personally and perfectly because He has felt everything we are going through. It is so hard to comprehend- one person taking upon all that we individually suffer. But Christ did. I know He did. And He did it because He loves us and knew that it wouldn't be possible for us to live again with our Heavenly Father if there wasn't a way for us to repent and come closer to Him each and every day.

That is why I am out here on a mission. The Atonement is REAL and it has the power to change you and can bring you more happiness and peace in your life than you ever thought possible. That is the message I share with people everyday and I have seen it change lives.

I love 1 Nephi 21:16 in the Book of Mormon. It's actually my favorite verse about the Atonement. It says, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." This verse reminds us that Christ will always be with us and will help us with any trial we may face because He suffered for each one of us individually.

I know that Christ lives! His Atonement blesses my life every single day as long as I turn to Him and acknowledge that everything I am and can become is due to His grace and mercy. I come closer to Christ through prayer and studying the Book of Mormon. If you do those things with sincerity of heart and a desire to know, you will come to know that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon truly testifies of Him.

I love being a missionary. But more importantly, I love being a representative of Jesus Christ. That is what I've been set apart to do for the next 18 months. I will dedicate everything I have to offer to helping others because that's what Christ did. That calling to represent the Savior is often something I don't feel like I could ever live up to. But I know that it is because of Him that my weaknesses can be turned into strengths. Only He can make me qualified for this work.

KAY, LOVE YOU ALL!!

Don't forget to smile today, life is so so good. Everyone has a reason to smile and everyone could use an extra smile today!

XOXO
Sister Boyce

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