So I have heard lots of good things this week and I can’t pick just one for a subject line. So much happened…
1). “Believe it or not, Jesus is alive and living in Palatka” according to a church sign we saw while driving… In case any of y’all had a doubt that I am serving in the promised land… We took a picture, don’t worry..
(#Truth #Blessed # Promised Land!)
2). “If you want to change the world, make your bed.” ~From a training we received at Zone Meeting, watching an address given at a Texas University.
3). “Dear [Sister], dress [cool], work hard, and don’t look at the thermometer.” This also came from a training in our Zone Meeting! An Elder wrote a letter to President Monson when he was the President of his mission in Canada. He wrote, “Dear President, it is 40 degrees below zero. Please advise.” President Monson wrote back, “Dear Elder, dress warm, work hard, and don’t look at the thermometer.” I will have to think of this a lot during the summer here.. I am learning to survive the heat and the ever-present mosquitoes…
4). Also, this week I found out that Sister Tullis can do an amazing impression of Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. She won’t let me film it and send it home. But it is pretty funny and so maybe I will come home with that as a new skill..?
5). This week we took ALL THE PICTURES. Lots of them. We are getting better haha…
This week has been wonderful! Sister Tullis and I are working really well together and are beginning to understand each other’s teaching styles! And I am so thankful to have a companion whom I can just love so much immediately. I am thankful for this opportunity to grow and change. I was also so thankful to be able to have an amazing Zone Meeting! I was made very aware, both by the spoken and unspoken sermon, many things in my work which need improvement. Though I was overwhelmed and stressed at first, I have been able to make more sense out of it through meaningful prayers. I am enjoying setting new goals so I can be a more efficient missionary.
(The perks of living in a member’s home is I get to have my scripture study with the dog)
This week we were able to do some service for the Gs, who are basically our grandparents… Want some bread? Go to the Gs. Want to use the bathroom? Go to the Gs. Want to smile after a hard day? Go to the Gs. Just go to them. I am thankful for that since Grandma T is so far away and so are Mamie and Papy. Anyway, we did some yard work for them! I got to trim hedges to an even level, and I felt like a butler in a British movie, trimming the hedges and waiting for something crazy to happen. It was an awesome workout! Who knew?
This week we also were able to eat dinner with a member who has chickens and bunnies and animals and so I was in heaven. She let us hold them! It was so exciting!
(Sister J. Let us hold her chickens. The one Sister Tullis was holding was definitely eyeing my hand! Haha…)
(Sister J. also let us hold her BABY BUNBUNS!)
Also, on that same evening, we were driving back into town (the member lives 30 minutes away on the freeway). And we saw a pretty river and had to get a picture with it, since we are almost never in that area! And so we pulled over on this road where cars go 45 miles an hour, and where we could see a large portion of road so we would not die. And we ran to the River area to get a picture. And had to run, in our skirts, back to our car, 30 feet away, about three times, before we had enough time to actually get a picture. And then it was super blurry haha but it was so much fun.
(The one time we almost died trying to get a picture near the River and then it was suuuuuuuper blurry!)
Our miracle this week is a woman named B. I may have emailed about her before. Sister Beach and I had talked to her a couple of times at critical times in her life, and had simply prayed with her. On Sister Tullis’ first day in our area, we taught a powerful Restoration lesson, but were unable to set a return appointment with her. This week, we stopped by to see her and she waved us over to join her in her backyard. As we spoke, she opened up about her life and her hard experiences. At first I wondered what we would teach and if we were ever going to be able to teach our planned lesson, and then the Spirit very clearly prompted me to just focus on her and listen. As we did, we knew what to share with her. She explained to us that she struggles with such intense anxiety that looking people in the eyes is too overwhelming and causes her to shake uncontrollably. She then told us that she felt safe with us and was unusually comfortable, and that she liked our coming over. We were able to set a return appointment to do service and teach more. Those were all wonderful things, and the Spirit was intensely strong during our lesson. But my favorite part of this miracle was that at the end of the lesson, we joined hands to say a prayer. At first her hands were shaking, but about 15 seconds into the prayer, she became completely still and then gave us the most tender hugs. I think I am beginning to understand a fraction of what our Heavenly Father feels for all of us. I am so thankful for this precious time I have to be a missionary.
Sister Tullis and I both gave talks this week in Sacrament Meeting. We were both supposed to speak for 15 minutes, and I was the second speaker, and I started at 11:45 or so. It’s a good thing I love to talk… haha… It all worked out!
We took some pictures with Sister R’s dog Rosy. Sometimes she likes us, sometimes she doesn’t… The first picture is a cute one, the second one is our reality.
I love you all so much! Remember how much your Father in Heaven loves you! I hope you all have an amazing week!
PS: I took a picture with this street sign for my little Sister Rachel because I know she really loves Sister Powell. [Sister Powell is a missionary who served in the Seattle Mission back in Sister Tryon’s home ward, and who just returned home from the mission field to Vernal, Utah]