This week was super great! We got to go on our trade-offs with the STLs and it was super fun! I got to go to the Normandy area with Sister Fotheringham (who trained my last companion, Sister Morrow). We had so much fun! We taught a variety of people, but one especially named “D”. He is the kind of person you go on your mission for. He truly is seeking the peace and strength that the gospel of Jesus Christ offers. I am so thankful that I got to teach him even one lesson.
Also on our tradeoff, we saw a lot of police cars around a school bus. Later on in the evening we saw news vans and police cars and police tape, so we decided to go and check it out. The news reporter told us that the school bus had been shot up with a BB-gun. Which was crazy because we had been there right before when kids were coming out of school and then 40 minutes later as we were coming back from a teaching appointment. We were literally within 7 minutes at most of a crime. Crazy. Anyway, we were walking back towards our car and a lady asked us how we were, and then said that she was confused. Well, clearly, a lady who is super dressed up and looks like a model who just got out of a white van by a crime scene is a reporter. We told her what the other reporter had told us, and somehow it came up that we had been around there around the time it happened. And she asked us to be on the news and share our story.
Well, as you can tell, our story wouldn’t really add much to the news report. We declined, but who knows? Maybe you would have been able to tune in enough to see two missionaries tell a five second “Yeah we were a few blocks away teaching someone about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know it can bless everyone, especially those who may have just lost a loved one or is going through a hard time. But yeah, we don’t really know anything else except it happened only a few blocks away from we were teaching.” Except all the air we would get would be “We don’t really know anything” haha. Oh well.
(From Sister Tryon’s mom; more information: A bus containing 18 students and a driver was shot at by two boys with BB guns. No one was hurt in the incident. Bus windows broken, but no one injured or dead)
So our tradeoff was super fun. I also got to help out with some small STL duties since I was with an STL (which by the way is a Sister Training Leader, kind of like having a manager on your shift at work). It was a neat experience. I don’t know if I will ever be called to be an STL, but it was a neat experience! I enjoyed the fifteen minutes of it!
In addition to tradeoffs, we did a lot of service! We made chocolates and cleaned and baked and did all sorts of things! I love service so much! Sometimes I wish I had enough money to be a full-time humanitarian service person. Alas, I do not, so I will actually one day be a mom, which is basically the same thing but better. I also got pretty handy this week with some power tools! Okay, so I used a drill and we hung some frames and they were perfectly centered and level. We were feeling pretty accomplished. I guess all those years of babysitting and watching Bob the Builder finally paid off.
On Friday Sister Hoffman got a bit sick, so we headed home a little earlier than usual. We did some service on Saturday and she mostly recovered. We got to celebrate one of our investigators birthdays with treats!
Sunday we went to church and it was wonderful! I love hearing the testimonies of others on Fast Sunday (if you don’t know what that is, ask a member or check out Mormon.org). One thing I really enjoyed came from a Sister in the ward. She told us a story of how she had a white board that she had written on with sharpie. She tried everything; magic erasers, sponges, rags, different sprays; and couldn’t get it off. Then when she tried using the dry erase marker trick, it came right off. She said she was surprised that something that was labeled as “permanent” could be taken away by something that is so temporary as a dry erase marker. Now, you can go in so many different directions with this parable, but I will only share two:
The first principle she shared was that gospel truths are eternal. They are permanent and unchanging. But oftentimes things of the world that are temporary cloud our mind. When we allow ourselves to put temporary, worldly things before (or on top of) permanent and God-given things, we allow them to cloud and even change our understanding of what God would have us do.
The second principle focuses on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We all make mistakes. We go about life putting permanent marks on things and people. And no matter what we do, by ourselves we cannot erase them or fix them. But if you use a dry erase marker, you can erase sharpie. If you utilize the Atonement of Jesus Christ with faith in Him, He can not only erase those permanent marks but help us to feel peace and joy in our lives. There is no need to walk around carrying our burdens and mistakes when He is so willing and able to help us and give us peace.
I do not know of any one person who does not desire peace in their life. I can’t say I even begin to understand how it all works, but it does. Please remember that we can change. And (I’m channeling Tiana’s best friend in Princess and the Frog now) “please please please please PUH-LEEEEAZEEEEEE” remember how much your Heavenly Father loves you!
I love you!