October 10, 2014
My Favorite Family Ever!
Hey guys! Another week has flown by... holy cow! Time is just going by faster and faster. I feel like I'm on my bike... going down a hill...and the brakes have stopped working…I'm just going faster... and faster...down the hill...and yes, going down a hill, on your bike, without any brakes is almost as terrifying as it is coming to the end of your mission!... hahaha!
This week was another busy one! I went on exchanges last Tuesday with the Conway sisters. Conway is a lot like Goldenrod...planes flying over head, a busy city with lots and lots of people to talk to. I think the one thing that I learned the most from that exchange is the power of charity towards your companion. This sister that I was with touched me so much.... she came out with me from the MTC and for the last two transfers of her mission she has been able to train :) She has sacrificed sooo much for her trainee. Here are two examples:
1. This sister’s trainee didn't bring a pillow with her out on the mission. Now, I'm not sure why they didn't just go buy a pillow but this trainer gave her pillow to her companion to sleep with. She has gone without a pillow herself for a whole month. She has just balled up a bunch of her clothes and uses that to sleep on. Wow! (Thankfully, we had a spare pillow in our apartment and will give that to her this next week when we see them next.)
2. This trainee has had some struggles adjusting to the mission life. They have a hard area. They aren't teaching anyone so it would be a huge adjustment. The trainer told me that everyday while the trainee is in the shower, she writes a page of all the great things that her companion has done that day and the miracles that they saw. She is going to give it to her for a departing gift and Christmas present. How cute is that? I love seeing the amazing examples of the other sisters that I am over. I truly feel that I was called to be an STL because there was so much that I needed to learn from all the other sisters. I'm so blessed!
On Wednesday we literally taught back-to-back-to-back lessons alllll day long. That's pretty much how our weeks have been because we just have so many people to teach. It's so amazing. :) We taught Marvin and brought up baptism again. He has been telling us that his daughter always says that he is going to become a member by the end of the year and he agrees with her :) We asked him when he was thinking of getting baptized and he said probably at the start of the new year. Then we told him that we thought that he could get baptized a lot sooner...like on November 22nd due to some circumstances ;) He immediately sat up straighter and said, "Wow... that's interesting.... November 22nd is my grandma's birthday." Now get this, as long as I have known Marvin he has brought up his grandma and the amazing example that she set for him. It was because of his grandma that he came to know God and to become the good man he is today... we all sat in silence for a few minutes as we thought about the significance of that and we testified to Marvin that we know that November 22nd truly is an inspired date from God. Marvin said that it's a "projected date" so we will continue working on that with him ;) He really has been pondering over that so much though and has brought up multiple times since then that he really believes that it's his grandma trying to help him out again :) So neat! I don't doubt it!!
We also saw Randall and talked a lot about General Conference and his impressions of it. It was a good lesson of just answering some questions. I'm not really sure why we did this but usually we ask the investigator to say the closing prayer. For some reason the member ended up saying the closing prayer. As we were getting up from our knees after the member finished the prayer, Randall stayed on his knees and started praying out loud. We stayed on our knees and listened to such an amazing, heartfelt prayer. He was just asking God for direction, to know the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith were true. Ah! It was just so neat. Randall cried through his prayer and was really touched by the spirit. It was powerful! After the prayer we helped him recognize that was the spirit touching his heart and answering his prayers. He was deep in thought. The next lesson we went over and I told Randall; "Randall, I KNOW that you have felt the spirit reading the Book of Mormon, I KNOW that you have felt the spirit at General Conference, I KNOW that you have felt the spirit at church and I KNOW that you felt the spirit in your prayer last lesson.... so what does that mean?" Randall, just got this big grin on his face. It was one of those grins that he just couldn’t help showing but it was one of those ‘try to hide’ kind of grins...ya know? haha! He is such a stinker. He won't admit that he knows it's all true because he is just fighting some things in his head because it's all so new. We have faith that he will continue to learn, understand and feel the spirit testify it's truth. This past Sunday was his 7th Sunday in a row that he has come to church.
We had a combined ZTM this past week as well and I got to watch 'Meet the Mormons' again for the second time!!! It really is a great movie. If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it. I bawled my eyes out and I know that you guys would too…haha!...especially the Missionary Mom part. Ah! Haha! Dave went to go see it with Theresa this past weekend. Theresa was telling me later that he cried but wouldn't admit it to her ;) hahaha!
Dave flew out to D.C. this weekend for work and a 10K. He told Theresa before he left, "I'm not taking the Book of Mormon with me on the trip." Theresa didn't really know what to say. Then he said, "... because I will be staying at a Marriott hotel and they have one there." haha! He’s such a tease! He sent a picture to her on Sunday of him holding a Marriott hotel Book of Mormon and said, "Lets see what King Benjamin has to say." Hahaha they are so funny. I love them so much and I really hope that you guys can meet them. They are great!
Also at ZTM, Hermana Monson and I sang the duet 'Come Thou Fount' and Hermana Allred played the piano. Sometimes I surprise myself out here on the mission that I allow myself to get in those situations. Why did I sign up to do this again? Hahaha! I'm grateful that I did it though. I just love that song so much!
Last funny story...I was on exchanges this past Friday with Sister Nelson in Olympia. We were out to lunch and this cute couple came up to us so excited! They are parents of a missionary out here that's only been out about 2 1/2 months. They had come down for the BYU vs UCF game and had just been at the temple. Their missionary didn't know they were even there! haha! Anyway, they were asking all sorts of questions about the mission and it just brought a smile to my face because it reminded me sooo much of two others parents that I know who have done the exact same thing for the past 16 months ;) hahaha! We had been talking for a little bit and all of a sudden the mom burst out, "Wait! Are you Sister Kirkham?! I have been reading your blogs!!!" hahahahaha! Apparently her and another missionary mom follow my blogs because their sons don't send very detailed emails so they read my blog trying to imagine the type of things that their sons are out here doing. It was flattering but funny! I have actually gotten that several times out here. I have had several new missionaries come up to me and tell me that they were following my blog before they left for the mission! ah! Who knew?! Hahaha! I hope that I can continue helping people see the amazing miracles that come through serving the Lord here in the FOM :)
I'm out of time but I'm super excited for this week and I can't wait to update you on how it goes!!! Amidst all the missionary labor, I've gotten permission to run a 5K that the stake is putting on. It’s headed out by Brother Kite (a former NBA player for the Celtics and the Magic.) It’s in the Olympia ward area this next Saturday. I'm so excited to just go RUN!!!!!!!!! (Although I'll still have to have a missionary by my side. Hopefully that works out ok!) Dave is actually a really big part of helping put that 5K together too. The race starts right out front of the Orlando temple. It will be pretty fun!
The other super, duper exciting thing happening is that I got permission for Ed and Michele to come up to the Olympia area this next week for lunch!!!! AH!!!!! I can hardly contain my excitement for seeing them :) :) Michele's one year mark since she got baptized was yesterday! I can't believe it! The other amazing thing? Michele sent me an email today saying that Ed has been going out with the sister missionaries in the ward and has done a lot to help teach a man that is getting baptized this next Thursday... and guess what? The man asked Ed to baptize him!!!!!!! =D =D I'm just like bursting with joy right now! I'm so proud of them and all that they have done and most importantly, who they have BECOME this past year. It's so cool to think that Ed helped bring someone else to the fold less than a year from when he was baptized. I just love them so much. Next Monday I'm sure I'll have more updates to tell you about them and how amazing they are!
Know how much I love you!!!!