June 18, 2012
Well, I have finally discovered what humidity is. :P Haha. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Utah heat. ;) I keep thinking longingly of days spent marching around the parking lot with the sun beating down... I mean, not LONGINGLY. But I regret complaining about them. At least it wasn't humid. :D
Anyways, this week has been wonderful. As a mission, we have set "standards of excellence" for our goals, and they are used as checkpoints, per say, to make sure we are trying to extend our reach. But this month President Jones' assistants have begun challenging us to pray specifically to have the faith to meet and exceed those standards. And, lo and behold, it's crazy how that alone has changed everything! Sister Bastian and I have had more success these last weeks than ever before. It is incredible! Between striving to reach the standards, and our wonderful ward's prayers (not to mention the love and prayers of you fine people) we have seen astonishing blessings. :) It's (as Elder Kannehale would say) "beautiful".
Also, I found out that last Saturday Sierra and Charley (who I had the great pleasure to teach in Steven's Point as well) have been baptized!! I am positively ecstatic- I love them both so dearly. :) Hope I get to see them after my mission. They are moving to Iowa, so we will see.
This last week we were teaching our investigator Amber about the Atonement. She has some difficult addictions we are trying to help her with, and we felt impressed to talk to her about how Jesus Christ has experienced all the pains associated with her addiction--including the pains that will come as she sets them aside. We read a bit from the Book of Mormon about it and explained that every pain, sickness, and sorrow she has ever felt, He has also experienced. She was silent for a moment, and then looking up--tears running down her cheeks--she asked "why has no one told me that before?"
I had no answer, but Sister Bastian softly testified of the Book of Mormon and explained that we can understand the true nature of the Atonement through the Book of Mormon because it explains--in clear and simple ways that the Bible simply does not--the true nature and purpose of Christ's sacrifice. I had never really thought about it before, but as she said it, I realized that she was correct. As a member of this church I have always taken our understanding of the Atonement--limited as it is--for granted. How beautiful to know and feel and testify of these things? And we can because of the Book of Mormon.
We got to do some service this week as well. (Which means I got to wear jeans.) However, with all the humidity, I wasn't very happy wearing them. Made me think of an absent-minded old wizard in Harry Potter, who says, in response to a request to put on some pants instead of his robe: "I like a healthy breeze round my privates, thanks." Wearing a skirt day in and day out (or in his case, a robe) you start to recognize how comfy they actually are. :)
Anyways, I miss Harry Potter books. But that's okay, they will be there when I get back. :) You should all go read a favorite passage for me.
Transfers are this week! Luckily, Sister Bastian and I get another six weeks together. :) We have a lot to do, so I am very excited. We have 4 people with baptismal dates, so I have high hopes for July! And not just because of the fireworks. :)
Love you all. I am so very happy here, and I feel your prayers and thoughts each day. Thank you!
Monday 25 June, 2012
The picture is of my last district. Talk about awesome. The lighting makes me look super blonde, but never fear, I have NOT dyed my hair. (Yet. Missions make people do crazy things. Let's hope I can make it 12 more months.)
Which sounds super weird. Because there is NO way I only have a year left.
Anyways, pushing such creepy thoughts aside, hope all is going well!! This week has been good. Sister Bastian and I have teamed up with a new pro-health effort involving "not" buying sugary fatty treats and only eating them when offered by members. Which works pretty well. It makes me especially grateful for the occasion when we are offered cookies and ice cream and such. So... gratitude and self-control.
Haha, anyways, we are currently teaching some pretty awesome people. :) I realize that I don't talk about investigators a whole ton because I want to maintain their privacy and keep them safe. (Etc.) So I am sorry for the vagueness of my activity here... we have 3 baptismal dates set right now: Trevor for July 21st, Flora for July 7th, and Amber for July 28th. :) Please keep each of them in your prayers! They are all lovely to teach. I am excited for each of them. It is so incredible to see their testimonies grow as they come to church and study the Book of Mormon.
Uhm... Fourth of July coming up! I am hoping to see some fireworks. :) Maybe I'll get lucky. ;)
Speaking of which, has anyone tried the Girl Scout Cookie Crunch Bars? The Caramel Coconut ones are horrifyingly addicting. Beware. Special edition. They will be gone soon and I will be freed from the constant temptation.
Ya'all have a wonderful last week of June.