As I sit here on the computer, I look out the window and see our car with the door wide open, sitting in the parking lot. I guess all the sisters were anxious to write home....
Oh Dearest family and friends,
This was a good week! They are always good. Lots happened. and I really think I'm older than I appear because I don't remember anything that happened.... no offense my older and wiser counterparts. :)
I'll start with what I can remember.
First, I am calling home in 6 days! Wow, that went by FAST! I just talked to you at the airport...
Sharon was baptized on saturday... that was really special for me. she was my first baptism of my mission and I got to teach her all the lessons. she did exist before I arrived, but I did all the teaching with Sister browning. I apologize in advance as this keyboard's shift key doesn't like to work very well. she was baptized on Mom's year mark for her baptism. I still remember that day so well, almost as if it were my own. Can you believe it? I also was asked to speak so I got to say a quick diddy on baptism. as we are walking to the stake center for the baptism, Sister Browning turns to me and says, "So, what do you want to do as a musical number?" Talk about impromptu. It went well. Sharon just glows and she's ready to get into the ward and participate. Her family came and was supportive. Here's a cool thing that Sister Browning showed me. While the baptisee is getting dressed after being immersed, hand out pens and paper to everyone in attendance. they write down a thought or a message about how they felt being at the baptisee's big day and then we collect them and will somehow bind those thoughts and present them to Sharon. How cool, eh? As she was confirmed yesterday in Sacrament, I wrote down as much of the prayer as I could. I remember Kimberly doing that for me and I still hold and cherish that. I did that for Mom, too. Did I ever give that to you? Whoops... I hope so :) Sharon just glows and she blows me away. In sunday school, she got up and taught a part of the class about prayer! One hour being a member! she reminds me of Mom a lot, actually. she found something and has been exponentionally growing ever since. She has a blog (I don't think I ever told you, but she found this blog; my mission blog by Googling it! I got called out!) and I'm going to send that to the family in another email. She writes about me and said she'll be putting up pictures... ;)
Last week on Tuesday, all the missionaries in the MIM (Missouri Independence Mission) that have been out in the field for 6 months or less had a specialty training out in Olathe, KS. There were about 12 of us that met at the VC and wrote up in the awesome mission van and met other missionaries from all over the mission. It was an all day thing! 8am to 5pm. President Van Komen, President Lineback, and President Wofford all gave training. Sister Van Komen spoke. We also got a training from Elder Holland! :) and when I say that, we watched a talk he gave to the MTC on January 11, 2011. (Go look it up) It was one of the most powerful talks. It focused a lot on how converting the missionaries out in the field before they could go serve the investigators and members in their respective wards is essential. He said something along the lines of "We need to convert the missionaries. the missionaries then figure out how to convert the investigator [by the Holy Ghost]". Something that really took me, too, was a quote from Elder Holland as he spoke about Christ. Jesus Christ has said, "When I asked you to be a missionary, I asked you to be one forever". We are the hope of Israel. We can relate that to anything here in the church. He asked us to be brothers and sisters. Always treat others like so. He asked us to me mothers and fathers. Always be so. He asked us to be the children of God. Let's always be so.
I got a haircut! and don't worry Will, the length is still there. We ended up going to the mall in Lee's Summit just outside of our area and that was a very worldly experience. Crazy. Last P-Day, I was picking out a carton of strawberries and an elderly lady walks up and starts talking to me about strawberries. Opportunity.... :) She started to tell me how she was baptized into our church when she was a little girl somewhere in Iowa and how her granddaughter looks exactly like me. I get that a lot. There have been 3 different people that told me I remind them of someone due to my face. come to find out, she is apart of the RLDS faith. But for whatever reason she just fell in love with Sister Browning and me and is going to come back to the VC with her granddaughter sometime. Here's to hoping!
Funny story... on Thursday was a sister in the VC's birthday. One of the senior couple's made them a oh-so-good dessert and I, uh, well, couldn't help myself. it got to the point where I turned to this birthday sister and told her to go write a note on top of the dessert saying that I couldn't touch it. I sent you a picture of the note... funny. It was great. This month alone we had 4 birthdays in the vC. I'm running extra hard in the mornings becuse of it... ha!
another funny story... poor Sister Browning. At the VC, there are 7 companionships and we all share 4 different vehicles. One of them is falling apart. We were driving home one day after the VC prayer and saw two sisters at the VC and thought they might need a ride. we pulled in and as we did so we saw that they had their car in the parking lot below. well, we didn't turn in time due to that distraction. We hit the curb and the tire blow. The tire pressure was that low. and to make things even better, those 2 sisters we saw had 2 investigators and a members with them, the senior couple was still there, our zone leaders, our district leader and his companion, AND another sister companionship was driving by and stopped. it was a party! I say poor Sister Browning because she was the one driving. Oh, I just love her to death. Funniest/most embarrassing moment in my mission so far. And the best part of all, she did not get red dotted. :)
On Friday, the first ever Kansas City Missouri temple run took place. It was a 5K race that started and ended at the temple. Because one of the ladies in charge of it really liked the AP, the elder in her ward, he convinced her and got permission from President for missionaries to go up to the race and volunteer for half the day. we got to wear these awesome yellow jacket things that had the name of the church and "Mormon Helping Hands" on the back of them and did about 5 hours of service there. it was such a great community event.
Funny... so, I'm going to share this. Derek wrote and shared some awesome insights from Alma 32. I also studied that chapter in depth this week. I'd like to share a few things I learned. As Derek shared with me, in vs 14, 15, and 16 is tells that those who humble themselves are more blessed than those who are compelled to be humble. Take that first step! it also talks about doing that through the word of God. as we read in John 1:1, it says that Christ is the word of God. We can substitute that for the rest of the appearance of the phrase "The word", "word of god", etc. alma 32 tells of the purpose of faith. In vs 18,. I took away this: If we know something, there is no need to believe. There would be no need for faith. For faith is believing and acting. for which is worse? Knowing the will of God and not doing, or only believing and falling into transgression? And because the scriptures are wonderful, as we keep reading they answer that question for us. "God is merciful unto all who believe on His name". The last part I want to share from the chapter is vs. 27. all we need is desire. that desire, if nourished, will grow into the fruit we most desire, found in the second half of alma 32. I love the scriptures. I have a testimony of them. I know that the book of Mormon is true with all my heart, for I live the teachings everyday and see fruits. I can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in and around me, simply because I have a desire. If you have a desire, that's all you need. Just keep moving forward and nourish that seed. It will grow, if it is good.
And on a prideful note, I was told that I have the light in my eyes again. someone told that to me that came into the VC. It about made my life. I have been striving for that light again for a while. I love my Savior.
To make my week complete, I had an inbox full of love this morning. Thank you so much. Derek is right; I don't have to write to all those crazy people at home, I'm serving the Lord! haha, but just give me time. Patience... ;)
I love you. Each and every one. thank you for your support and please send my love on to those who I do not communicate with directly. They are prayed for and loved. Until next time.