I am convinced that the week of Valentine's Day is the most awkward time to be a missionary.
Oh well. The gospel is still true.
Last week I COMPLETELY neglected to tell you all about one of the highlights of my mission:
We had dinner and Family Home Evening with the Eyring's.
Yes, the Eyring family. As in President Henry B. Eyring and his wife and his son (who is our Bishop and got the whole thing set up) and their whole family.
It was a really amazing experience to just interact with their family. Mom you will be happy to know that they do a family scheduling meeting before their family night just like we do :) President Eyring writes a family journal throughout the day on his iPad and then emails it out to all his family members at the end of the day. We had normal family dinner conversation - I probably could have been a little more excited about the work in this area, but oh well - and then had a normal family night. One of the kids played a hymn on the harmonica. President Eyring shared a sweet message about the song "God be With You 'Til We Meet Again." In the song there's a line that says "'til we meet at Jesus' feet." He told us how literal that statement is, and how we will one day all meet there together. And he bore his testimony (which is always amazing to hear).
I am truly blessed to be in this area. To interact with these incredible men and women, and to simply observe how their homes function. Mom I think you've done a pretty good job of having a Christ-centered home :)
This past week was a little rough. I was sick on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sister Juarez was sick on Thursday, I was sick again on Saturday, and then Sister Juarez was sick on Sunday. Crazy stuff. Don't worry - it's that general cold/flu and total exhaustion that's finally catching up to all of us. But we're fine now :)
BUT we still had miracles this week. Obviously.
Two of the days we were sick and couldn't even leave, we somehow added 3 new investigators. And members were just so willing to help us out (even last minute) to go out to lessons with one or both of us. We had an amazing dinner and lesson with Marilyn. Our weekly planning was crazy effective and efficient! We have amazing ward leaderships. Life is basically perfect up here in Mueller Park.
Sunday was a day full of miracles. I was going from 6:30 am until 9:30 pm. Sister Juarez woke up super sick, so we got some splits organized with Sister Johnson (who's in the trio with Sister Taylor, the sister training leader) and she came and spent the morning with me. The day went like this: Wake up, get ready, drive to pick up Sister Johnson, head to a ward's mission prep class, Gospel Essentials class in another ward, sacrament meeting, ward council, another sacrament meeting, take Sister Johnson back, practice teaching with the Fowler family, lesson with the Madrid's at the Church, dinner appointment... who forgot about us but that's ok because Sister Holmgren was happy to have us, then two lessons at the same time with Tia and Benny, then off to the Smith family, then to the Trowbridge's for a lesson with another new investigator.
You exhausted? We still had to plan when we got home that night.
One of our new investigators is completely prepared. She's read the Book of Mormon and knows it's true! AND she wants to be baptized!! She won't commit to a day yet, but you know what, I'm a patient person. It was an amazing lesson, and it was a sweet experience to be with Sister Juarez as she had her first experience having someone say yes to the baptismal invitation :)
A cool thought that came to mind this week:
When we take EPIC acts of faith (Eternal Potential In Consequence), incredible miracles happen!
Mom asked about some logistical things so I'll just explain for all to know. We do exchanges once a transfer with our sister training leader. One of us stays in our own area with the sister training leader and the other one goes with the sister training leader's companion in their area. Or vice versa. It's all done by revelation, and you can learn so much from different missionaries just by spending a day with them.
All right, there's so much more I wish I could share, but time is short, my head is throbbing from the computer (crazy how a mission changes you), and there are letters to write. I love you all so much and I cannot thank all of you enough for your love, letters, prayers, and packages! This gospel is true!! It really truly is. The Atonement is at the heart of everything we do as missionaries, and I am so blessed and honored to see these people let the Atonement into their hearts and change them for the better.
I love you all! Even if I don't write letters all the time... Stay awesome, keep smiling, and remember Heavenly Father loves you!
ps - Another day at the hospital - I'm fine! Everything checks out perfectly!
Just another successful planning session :)
Potential Church News photographer took this