HI!!!!!!! hahaha, I swear I was just at the library writing you last week...weird! This week we are emailing in the family history center in the stake center across from the temple. SO GORGEOUS. I love this temple! I haven't even been inside but it takes my breath away to look at it. haha
This week we have seen quite a few miracles. At the beginning of the week, we were headed over to a recent convert's house to teach her a lesson. One street away from her house Sister Conant fell off her bike (ouch!), Sister Hoyt's bike chain started doing weird things (which got fixed,) and my shoe flew off!!! hahahaha We were on that street for like 10 minutes and we were running short on time to get to the convert's house on time! As we got to the end of the street, we saw 3 kids walking towards us. My trainer had the thought that one of those boys was another recent convert named Ishmael who hasn't been coming to church and that we haven't been able to get a hold of. We stopped to talk to them... and one of the kids was the convert!!!! Such a miracle!! We were able to set up an appointment with him. So cool! After that we went to our appointment, and Ruby (the RC) wasn't there. Right as we were getting ready to head out, she pulled up apologizing for being late. I had asked earlier, "Why in the world did all of those crazy things happen to us on that street?" "Satan is trying to keep us from making it to Ruby's!!" but we realized that it was God and His mysterious ways that delayed us for 10 minutes so that we could run into Ishmael and be there when Ruby got home. So crazy right?!
Later on in the week, we were on my first exchange! (which went pretty well!) We went to Ishmael's home. We used the address out of the area book that the elder's had given us ... no one answered the door so we thought that Ishmael had ditched. I had written down in my planner earlier that day a potential investigator that lived in the same apartment complex as Ishmael so we went over there as a back up plan. Guess who answered the door of the potential investigator's home?! ISHMAEL!!!! haha! Apparently the elders before us wrote down the wrong address in the area book...but somehow we still were able to find Ishmael. It was such a miracle to just see him open the door waiting for us with his scriptures...hahaha...love it! You really do see so many miracles out here.
We did a couple hours of service for a member/less active family. A lot of their family has physical problems. They just moved in but haven't been able to do much cause of their disabilities so us sisters scrubbed down all the moss and dirt off the outside of their house and cleaned some of the inside. It looks so much better!
We had to drop Gene this past week...so sad. He told us that he thinks that Joseph Smith probably really was a prophet but he doesn't see the need to read the Book of Mormon because he doesn't see how his faith in Christ could grow any stronger...so frustrating... :(
Tracy and Kelly have had a really tough week. I almost feel bad when we find new investigators cause I know that Satan is going to take them on a tough ride....they got robbed 3 times!!!! They have bolted their doors and everything...they are just really stressed and depressed about it. They are really tight on money and there are a lot of other problems so its been really hard on them. We took a small cake and letter over to them last night, talked with them, shared a message and prayed with them. It was good that we were able to show them that we don't want to just shove the gospel down their throats but that we really do care for them. Sweet people.
We have been fed almost every night here. The ward is ecstatic that sisters are finally in their ward. Apparently the elders are having a hard time getting fed now cause everyone wants to feed us... hahahaha woops!) We didn't have the car this past week so we biked a TON! I really liked it though. I have an awesome watch tan line and have lost quite a bit of weight haha Not going to complain!
I'm REALLY looking forward to this week. The Zone Leaders invited us and a couple other companionships to watch the 4th of July fireworks... get this.... from the TEMPLE ROOF!!!! ahhhhh!!!! I'm SOOOO excited. Apparently you can see all of Disney World's, Sea World's, etc fireworks from the temple. Plus, we won't be doing any sessions in the temple as missionaries (so sad,) but the temple president is letting us walk through the temple to get to the roof...so I'll get to see some of the inside!!! YAY!!!! I was getting homesick for the first time thinking about missing the 3rd if July celebration at home...(which I still am a little,) but the thought of being at the temple really helps;) it's definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I'm sooo pumped!!!
Last Friday, President and Sister Hall were replaced by President and Sister Berry! I haven't heard anything from him yet but we are having a Zone Training Meeting (ZTM,) this week...maybe he will be there for that as well?? I'll let you know ;)
Thanks for the emails. I love getting them! Also, thank you for the pictures!!! Angie's graduation pictures made me cry. You are sooo beautiful Angela!! That's so cool that the Taylors are now home from their mission. That is pretty crazy. How exciting for Gibby to go to Australia! He will come home with an awesome accent ;) hehe I don't have a whole lot of time left to email so I will have to handwrite to respond as best I can to your emails :) It sounds like you guys are staying super busy! It may be too late at this point which is totally fine but if possible... it would be nice to have a leather backpack that keeps out as much water as possible. haha If you have already sent a backpack, that's fine cause honestly I just need one! (my back is starting to hurt from carrying a heavy satchel everywhere :/) So thank you so much for sending one!!!! =D
It was POURING the other day. We were out riding our bikes and all of a sudden it just came down on us. It was really fun! hahaha I don't think I have ever been more wet in all my life. I was soaked to the bone! We were all really enjoying ourselves though. Just to help put your minds at ease, we are to go home if there is lightning ;) My leather satchel did fairly well in the rain but still got some pamphlets and Book of Mormons a little damp. But not too bad ;) Sister Conant doesn't have a leather backpack and all of her stuff was soaking :P felt bad for her.
So the way Sister Conant sends pictures is going to Wallgreens, downloading the pictures on a CD or something and then mailing it home. She doesn't delete the pictures off of her camera until her family has told her that they received the pictures. Does that seem like a good plan to you? I'm going to try and do that today. That way I have more time to read and write on email instead of working on downloading pictures the whole time.
A challenge that we are facing in our area is that we have SO many less actives in our ward. Just in our area (which is half of the ward) we have about 35 less actives...not cool. This area is known for being really "productive" but that "productivity" doesn't last long when the converts don't stay. They were baptized too early. A lot of the less actives we have been teaching haven't even read the Book of Mormon!!! One of them told us that the only times they had read the Book of Mormon were a few scriptures here and there when the missionaries were over. It's been really hard. I can see how easy it is to want to just get big numbers, but it's so much more important to see the bigger picture. It's been hard work but we are trying hard to keep teaching new investigators as well as work with those less actives that don't even know some of the most crucial parts of the gospel! Pretty crazy...
Anyway, I only have a few minutes left but know how much I love each one of you! I can't believe that this week is my month mark... WHAT?! 17 more fast Sundays, Dad ;) hehe It's hard work out here but know that I'm doing great and loving the hard work. I'm sorry that I'm not doing all that great with responding to your emails personally... hopefully over time I will get better at it. And no worries about FedEx etc. I am just happy to hear from you whenever I get the chance. Which by the way... I got Angie's and Dad's first letters that were suppose to get to me my first week in the MTC LAST WEEK! What?! weird... oh well. ;) It was really good to just hear from you no matter how long ago it was ;) hahaha! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!! Take and send pictures!!!