Family! September 8, 2014
Another great week here in Olympia :)
Monday: We had dinner with President and Sister Wood (He is in the Mission Presidency). It was so fun! They are great. We had a wonderful time talking about missionary work and talked about how they could focus their personal missionary efforts. It was a very positive lesson.
Tuesday: I went on exchanges to the Windermere Ward with Sister Pike! To be honest, I was a little nervous about the exchange at first... but we had a blast together and worked really hard. We had a full day of service starting with yard work on the temple grounds and then helping someone move out of their apartment. I was TIRED! But we had an awesome day as we went out and taught multiple lessons and talked to many people! One thing that has always been great about being an STL is that you get to see so many different areas! The fun thing about the Windermere ward is that it covers Disney World and Universal Studios... I live so close to Universal that I've seen the Hogwarts castle multiple times .... but this time I was able to see the dragon that is part of the newly created Diagon Alley! Pretty neat ;) anyways... back to a more spiritual note! If Sister Pike and I were to work together... we would be unstoppable!! haha I'm not gonna lie, I thought she didn't like me... so I was nervous to spend a day with her but by the end of the day we just loved each other and have plans to play together in Provo when we get back ;) I really feel like the negative feelings that she might have had towards the Missionary Leadership has died down a little as I did my best to just show her that I was there to love her, that I was a normal missionary like her that was there to learn from her just as much as she was there to learn from me. It was overall just one of the best exchanges.
Wednesday: We taught Michelle. I LOVE MICHELLE. She has faith that I have ever seen. She has such a strong desire to come closer to God. She wants to get baptized so bad... we just have to work through her work not letting her go to church on Sundays :( :( Please keep her in your prayers that she will be able to find a new job or something will work out for her. She is very, very shy with praying out loud ... the first time that we taught her she tried to say the closing prayer and just freaked out in the middle of it because it was the first time that she had ever let someone else hear her prayers. It was so sweet. At the end of this lesson on Wednesday, we asked her who she would like to say the closing prayer and she said that she wanted to try saying the prayer again... it took some effort to start because she was so nervous... but when she starting... wow. It really was the most powerful prayer that I have ever heard in my life. It was directly from the heart. One of my all time favorite things about the mission are moments like this.... hearing someone exercise their faith and talk to their Father in Heaven. They are the most beautiful prayers that I've ever heard... because they aren't rote... but they really are talking to their Father as if He was face to face with them. Even when they stutter or fumble over their words... it's so beautiful and the spirit is always so strong. Michelle ended her prayer and she had grabbed a hold of Sister Carr's (an awesome member) hand and was clinging onto it as she was praying. She had tears streaming down her face as she ended.... ah! family... I just wish moments like that could be recorded and I could play back on them all the time.
On Wednesday we also taught Randall! Randall is so cool! He was the potential that called and told that he was going to church and stayed all 3 hours. Well, we went by to teach him for the first time and he had read the whole Gospel Principles Manual that he had gotten in the Gospel Principles class on Sunday. He is a BIG talker... so we weren't able to teach him much... but he is so open to learning. We went back over a few days later and taught him PART of the restoration (he talks so much!! haha!) and he had read Mormon... like the book of Mormon... within the Book of Mormon... if that makes sense haha! And he had read about half of 1 Nephi! He is truly seeking. We invited him to church again this Sunday and he said that he would go.... On Sunday we decided that we should stop by his home before church to make sure that he was coming. He came for his second time and he told us after that he had been wondering if we were going to call and invite him to church again that morning… and then after awhile he though that maybe we were going to drop by and see if he was going to come... and he thought, "nah... they wouldn't do that..." but right as he thought that, the doorbell rang and we were there inviting him ;) hahaha he said," I knew that I had heavenly messengers from God." :) So cute! He is a great guy.
We also went on a temple tour with Frank on Wednesday night. It went well! He seemed to enjoy it and learned and understood more from going. Keep him in your prayers that all the questions that he has will be answered and he will gain a clear understanding and recognize the spirit that he is feeling.
Because of times sake I need to rap things up a bit... but Cheyenne came to church this Sunday for the first time and LOVED it!!! The Young Women were so great at helping her and she felt so good being there. We also had the most solid Fast and Testimony meeting that I have ever had on my mission... there was no weird stories or anything! yay! hahaha She felt the spirit very strong just within the first hour. She has been saying for awhile now that she wanted to get more involved with the church but as she pulled me aside on Sunday she said that she wanted to become a member :) yay!! We will definitely need to make sure that she understands everything and the importance of baptismal covenants but I'm very excited for her. She is such a sweet girl and is so sensitive to the spirit.
Dave also stayed for the second hour of church for the 2nd Sunday!!! He seems to be getting more comfortable with church and likes going to the 2nd hour. He is just sooo awesome. Sister Helsel, Dave’s wife, told me later that he talked to his parents and is getting a bunch of his genealogy work put together. :) :) How cool is that?? I just love them and hope that I can stay in contact with them after my mission.
One last thing... we had ZTM this week... and the Zone Leaders gave us a specific topic to present for our training.... and then we got to ZTM, we looked at the ZTM program... and the topic of our training was totally different!!! AND the Zone Leaders were doing TWO separate trainings and group discussions on the very topic that they had asked us to give!!!! ahh. hahahaha Sister Gonzalez and I were not happy campers to say the least. haha! The cool thing that I've noticed on the mission though is how much calmer I can be in situations like that ;) hahaha the spirit was definitely keeping me calm. A little flustered, yes. but calm. It was cool! Sister Gonzalez and I said a prayer for help and wow!! Our training went super well!!!! It's amazing how God helps us and lets the spirit lead and guide our words when we need them.... haha The Zone Leaders owe us BIG time for that one! Plus, President Berry sat in on our ZTM. haha! It all worked out way better than I though it would. It was a huge tender mercy of the Lord!
Well, I'm out of time.... but I'm just so grateful for this gospel and the joy that it brings. I have learned so much and I know that I will continue to as I let God mold and shape me into the daughter of God He needs and wants me to be :) Just as Mom told me in an email this morning... I cannot believe that I only have 99 days left on the mission. wow. That really puts things into perspective and it's very bitter sweet... but I'm SO excited for what these next 99 days bring :)
I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART! You are always in my prayers.