Alrightly! Here are the rest of the pictures.
Feels like Christmas, huh? Mom, I'd really love if you were able to put these pictures either on facebook, but more specially my blog along with this letter. I would love to put them on the blog so people can see what I'm doing as I talk about everything. I have faith in you to figure it out, but I know if there's an issue, Chelsie said she'd be more than happy to help you if you want to give her a call or facebook her. I actually sent a picture home in the part 2 email from the MTC of me and her boy, Dusty. I found him and documented it. So I know she'd love to see that. :)
Anyway, I can try and explain some of these pictures. On the way back from the airport, President and Sister Van Komen took Sister Jones and I to the temple in Shoal Creek, the Kansas City Temple. It will be open sometime next year, most likely spring. The ones with the red sun was our awakening the other day. The sunrise, not the sunset. We were eating breakfast and that was our view from our apartment. The sky here is amazing, just like Idaho. The weather is crazy, though. We had another thunder and lightning storm with that awesome rain. The temp goes up and down, too. It feels like Summer here, since Oregon summers are really... cool. We were tracking and following up on some referrals on a street and I decided to be artsy. Little rural town can be beautiful too, eh? We were coming back from proleslyting and saw the "seashell" from a distance. It is just unreal to me. We went inside of it. In the first email I send you pictures of Sister Browning and myself in the chapel of the "seashell". They call it the Community of Christ Temple. It's hard for me to call it a temple, but that's what they call it. I like to refer to it as being a seashell. The Sister with the short blonde hair is Sister Maddox. She and Sister Browning are the VC Sister Leaders. She's amazing, just like all of them. We went out and did service one day. We were going to go paint and I realized I did not pack anything for painting. Escaped my mind while packing for a mission... so I wore some of Sister Browning's old stuff turned inside out. I hope you enjoy the shoes. :)
If there are other pictures without explanation, I apologize. I had to give the camera to Sister Browning and... it's just difficult.
Anyway, this has been an AMAZING week as far as the work goes. All around good, actually. For the last couple of days I've been shouting out "I CAN'T WAIT TO WRITE HOME ON MONDAY!" because things have been going so well! I wanted to share it all with you! First off, Mom, you will be very proud of me. We have been waking up and running a mile EVERY SINGLE MORNING. AND, As our April sacrifice (I think I wrote home about it last week) we gave up sugar, unless we're at a member's home and they insist. But, I feel good. my body is going into shock with no sugar but it's all good!
So, we've had a ton of referrals from people. I'll tell you about just a couple for now because I am running out of time. One is Sharon. She went on Mormon.org and asked for a Book of Mormon, so because I got to Missouri the missionaries went over and the first thing she said was "My husband and I are very interested in joining with the LDS church". Can you say wow? The next time we came to visit she had been reading the BoM said "We aren't sure this is for us. We don't know if this is what we want our son to be learning" (They have a 4 year old son). This was confusing to us because who wouldn't want to teach the teachings of Jesus Christ? We encouraged her. This is when I come into the picture. We stopped by to see how she was doing. She was a little hesitant but as we reassured her as she kept reading she'd love it, she qucikly responds "Okay!" and whips out a notebook full of questions. Woohoo! She's been golden ever since. Unfortunately, her husband's boss has been slamming her husband with Anti material and talking down about the church, basically scaring her husband from even meeting us as people. Sad day. But she came to church yesterday with her son, neice, and neice's fiance. She wants to come back and we're meeting with her again. She just absorbs all this and loves it! She has so many questions and they're GOOD questions abut the doctrine and order of the church. She just amazes me. I told her my story of joining almost 3 years ago and because of it she kind of likes me and feels very comfortable with me. I love when I have lived and loved enough to have someone trust me. I feel like my purpose is being fulfilled.
Another one was Phil. He was actually a referral from our Bishop in 2nd ward. We met with Phil Saturday night, gave him a church tour, invited him to be baptized, and he accepted while trying to hold back tears. He came to church yesterday and will be baptized in a couple weeks. The story behind Phil with us is extremely short. But as we get to know him, it's a huge testimony builder to hear how the Lord has been preparing him his whole life and he has finally embraced exactly what he needs. He's had a rough life, but has a heart of gold.
Tomorrow, we have the first ever "All Sisters Specialized Training" metting within the MIM (Missouri Independence Mission). For 5 hours tomorrow morning, all 40 sisters are traveling to Independence. I'll get to see my MTC district sisters again! Also, we have Zone Conference on Thursday. I'll have lots to share then, I'm sure. Cool story! During General Conference (unfortuantely, we didn't get to see all of it due to the work! But the little I did see, I loved!) they did all the callings and releasing and such. Elder Keys (pronounced Kies, rhymes with skies) was released as an area Seventy. He is going to be our new mission president come the end of June. Exciting stuff!
Sister Browning wanted me to tell you how she got Poison Oak this week! I sent a picture home with us in the doctor's room. I think she's in a gown. Yeah. We got out of VC duty for a couple hours to go to Liberty and get that checked out. She's on drugs now and healing. While we were up in Liberty, we stopped by Historic Liberty Jail. That tour and set up to share the history of Joseph Smith and the other church leaders in 1838-1839 is absolutely incredible. It brings you to life, as if you were really there listening to everything that went on. No pictures unfortunately, but maybe one day I'll serve there.
I'm loving Missouri still. I pulled out a postcard from Aunt Joyce that had Mount St. helens on it and really missed the northwest for a moment, but it's different here. It's rich in history and rich in the knowing of a future. It still amazes me how many different churches there are here. You have the mainstream LDS church which I represent, a billion and one different branches from that with several different names, and then many other Christian churches as you drive around town. But you can tell the difference in all of them. Only the LDS church has that spirit of revelation. Only the LDS church has the love of God constantly around us. Only the LDS church believes that families can be together forever.
I love being a missionary. I come home at night and my body just stops working. It's amazing how during the day, even though I am constantly moving and running and thinking and stretching my poor mortal mind and body to the max, the Lord keeps me moving forward.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
I love you all, very much. Please enjoy the pictures. I loved hearing from Mom, Dad, Henry, and Will today. I have thousands of snail mail letters to respond to. Those of you that have written me, they will be responded to! I promise I will get there.
Also, because I'm a horrible granddaughter, I didn't get anything sent out to Grandma on her birthday last week. Please tell her I love her dearly and that I hope she had a wonderful day. And I know you'll share these pictures with her. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to send more.
I love you.
Sister Vicki Moore