Hello family and friends!!! :)
This week was wonderfully eventful! Last p-day sis Chappell asked if i wanted to go to the mall in Albany and i started to scream and jump and down and said yes yes yes!!! haha It was my first time since I've been to one on my mission, which is crazy esp. for me! haha (It made my day) And just NOW i realized ive been out 8 months today! Say what?! There is no way.
So there is a family that we have been having dinner with a lot this past couple transfers and by a lot i mean like 4-6 times and one coming this week! The mom is a recent convert and she is AWESOME she has the funniest stories and is really good at telling them! I want to be like her when i grow up. She is married and her husband is not a member (super supportive) and works in california which is where they will be moving to soon! They have 3 daughters and only the oldest Mariah is baptized! The other day we text her and asked about her other two (Amy and Erica) and she responded and said that her and her husband have been talking about it and that when things calm down in a month they are planning to have the girls take the lessons and gain a testimony to what they would be committing to and decide for themselves. I love it and i love that her and her husband talked about it. We told her she is so blessed to have such a supportive husband. When Andronica (mom) and Mariah joined the church no one invited them....they had lots of mormon friends and had been deciding and talking one day..."Ya we should probably go to church.".. "where do our friends go?" and they asked them if they could come. Never an invitation. I believe that there are people all around like this that the Lord is preparing, we just need to ask..right? Its not always going to happen the way the Armstrongs did.
*A paragraph from my comps email about zone conference; On Wednesday this week we found out that we would be having a zone conference that would take up the entire day the next day (annoying since we had almost the whole day scheduled...but what do ya do?). The conference ended up being totally emotionally and spiritually exhausting, but so so awesome. One of the AP's even got up and told us that it was a waste of time to go tracting, and suggested several other methods we should be trying. It was kind of validation for me, a confirmation of what I've been thinking and feeling for a while now. Plus it made me super happy when Heywood said that even helped change her opinion on tracting (she's been really sad being unable to tract- crazy right?). It was one of the most interesting conferences I've been in though, because President chimed in with his comments about halfway through his wife's talk, and reprimanded the whole group for being "lukewarm". He went on then and later about how the "lukewarm" members and missionaries will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom. The Lord wants to be strong and committed 100%, not wishy-washy! He said that the Lord had revealed to him that there were missionaries among us who were lukewarm at best, and there were some who were even questioning the existence of a God.
Yep it was intense as President always is and i love every bit of it. I have scheduled with him to speak to the branch on Easter Sunday which im so excited about. I learned so much from ZC and im so grateful for the revelation to those who spoke to us that day! It was bomb.
Exchanges happened this week and i was with Sister baker who is a "visa haver" get it? Like no longer waiting haha anyway she leaves at the end of this transfer! So happy for her. She does these awesome raps right on the spot too. Anyway we were in takena and had nothing planned but felt completely calm that the Lord would provide and we would be guided if we seeked for his guidance and revelation of where we should be. Ok so funny we went tracting...even though i dont hate it i have been out of the "practice" of it! haha But i ended up handing out the Book of Mormon and it was to a super nice dad and father that had relatives that were members and he said that he had read some of it yada yada! I read him Moronis promise and i mean.... i at least felt the spirit and then i felt prompted to ask him "if this book was from god wouldn't you want it?" So we talked about it some more and then said "so if i give this to you will you read it again and take moronis promise? cause if not i dont want to give it to you".... and he said that he would so he got the book! haha You never know. Then the family we had dinner with was super cute and really mormon haha you know what i mean!? You might even be one of them ;) Heck i am. Anyway the mom basically asked how do we do missionary work?? Ohh man. Good question momma! We basically bombed them with missionary magical amazingness and haha no really it was cool! It was like this adult conversation to this young couple of 4 youngins and little london was telling them how its done. Easier said then done though, right? wrong! Ill explain in a little bit so these kids were throwing there dinner all over the place and it was this really yummy Tai food and they kept coming to the table for more grapes so they just ate up the grapes haha but i would say ok are you eating your soup?? You cant have anymore grapes if you dont eat your soup! haha It was so cute. It was a crazy household, i love it (miss it). Sis Baker showed me this cd of this girl named Diana and she is this public speaker who has been on a mission and her family growing up was super missionary minded and basically this cd has changed my life and so i am sending it home to my family, so look out! And i had the idea of having a fireside for anyone who wants to come and listen to it cause i am that passionate about it (esp. youth)!! A family was telling me that firesides never happen and it would be cool if it was us putting it on instead of the branch because it would be received very well! Cause were cool. Its fine. The branch loves us! There has been a lot of talk of this area being shut down (not recently) but just through time but sis chappell and i think otherwise!
Church was the Bomb, always is! It was exactly what the branch needed to be hearing. It was a lot about enduring to the end and then releif society was about faith and repentance and she shared that new bulling mormon message and it stopped working half way through and so she started to teach and explain the rest of it and cried and it was so sweet. I thought it was very effective that way even though she was probably bummed that it stopped. Something that i have learned in this transfer is that even though the branch is very tight knit there is still a lot of gossip and bullying (as known for small towns) and esp. among the adults and the teacher made that evident. It was a call to repentance. The Atonement encompasses everyone and everything. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone at her." John 8:2-11
Love forever and always Sister Heywood!