Ok. So. Inbox was full this morning and I loved every moment of it. However, I hear that a couple of you have crashed your vehicles and I'm not very happy about that. More in the fact that you could've been hurt. I am grateful that you are okay.
Things here have been crazy. I don't have any down time. Even with the VC being so slow this time of the year, we have chat, studies, paper work, serving, building relationships, and so much more.
We had a slower week as far as investigators go, as a lot of appointments fell through and our investigators keep dropping us. However, we are not discouraged. In fact, I have more of a fire to go out and find than ever before. I've been learning from the examples around us and from study that we have such a short amount of time. We can't waste our time of people who may listen, but don't have a desire to change. That is not our purpose. And so, this week we are focusing on finding solid investigators. It's so hard with the time constraints of serving in the VC, but it just makes it all the more rewarding to when we do see fruits of our labors. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve. I hear from home a lot and they are so supportive to what I am doing day in and day out. The support and love I receive from them is what motivates me. That, and knowing that the Lord needs me. I am needed. And that is where my loyalty lies.
The missionary department came out to the mission last week. To train missionaries, they go to the MTC for 3+ weeks, I had a week of VC training, and then are shipped out. Mission presidents have a Preach My Gospel tutor for 3 months on the phone, go to the MTC and are trained by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a week or so, and then are shipped out. They are out in the field for 3-4 months, and then Salt Lake comes out to answer any questions he may have, since he wouldn't have them before - no experience, you know? And SO MUCH is changing. There are 2 districts at the VC right now. 3 wards have sisters and elders in them; 1 has the Assistants, and 2 have the 2 district leaders and their companions. There are also 2 sister leaders, one for each district. Probably next transfer, they are creating 4 districts in the Independence Zone. That means they will have to add 2 more sets of Elders to the Zone and call 4 sister leaders, for the 2 we have now are going home this transfer. No more accountability with the zone leaders. Plus, with 7 VC sisters coming in, they will all have to be put in the centers in December for training. Things are just crazy and changing in flashes of lightning it seems. However overwhelming they may seem at this time, I trust my mission president. Sister Nelson shared a quote with the VC sisters during a training about a missionary who served in Brazil and was able to baptize every weekend for 52 consecutive weeks. When he was through with his mission, he had his final interview with the mission president where he was asked what his secret to his success was. The elder replied, "I did not doubt you, President. You've told us that we can baptize every week, and I believed you". I have faith in him.
For a while, the missionaries in this ward weren't being fed every night. So, yesterday at church I took things into my own hands. I'm proud to say that Sister Blackham and I have a meal every night this week. However, I may or may not have forgotten to pass the Elders' calendar around with me... they thought that was funny. I did, too. They are good Elders.
The ward had a couple baptisms last week and one of them was able to be confirmed I folded my arms and bowed my head as they began the confirmation. Then suddenly, my eyes are wide open and I'm reaching in my backpack for something to write with. This young man who was being baptized, about 16 years old, was the only one from his family there. I remember after I was confirmed that Kimberly wrote down my blessing and I was so grateful for that. I did the same for him. He's a really neat kid and will go far. Afterwards, Sister Blackham looks at me with that tone saying, "What are you doing?!" Haha, I'm unpredictable, what can I say? :) AND, to make church even more awesome, a family from the Odessa ward walked in. One of the ones I was really close to. They had family in the 4th ward and were blessing a baby. What a tender mercy.
A few pictures. 444 is Sister Blackham. She's cute, eh? The other morning, one of the maintenance brothers asked if we wanted to go up on his machine... I can't remember what it's called. Anyway, before the VC opened we took turns going up. I don't know if this is sacrilegious, but it was fun. Also, I received a letter from Sister Hawkes (LOVE) and I found the word "Pants" written in the envelope. TOO FUNNY. I guess it's only funny if you know the inside joke. Ha, I just love her. And, the only picture I have of my new boots. That one is more for Mom. But I love them! I feel like a country sister in them.
Still loving my mission. I am at a point where I don't worry about home anymore. I know things are very well. I always knew home was okay, but I continue to have a fire burning within me that gets bigger and bigger the longer I am out here. I love this gospel. I love this church. I love the things I'm learning. Jesus is the Christ. What more do we need? Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Thank you everyone for your support. I love you.