This has been a week of plot twists, struggles, laughs, and miracles that I hope I can convey in the next ten minutes in this email. It's all felt like a dream, and I don't think it will really seem real until later this week.
First plot twist: we're in a trio! We found out on Monday night that me and Sister Bill would also be with Sister Weber who was in the MTC with me! It's been a blast :) One day I'll have a companionship that isn't a trio, but for now I love it :)
Mom asked for a definition of a Sister Training Leader (STL): basically it's a Sister who is called to love, lift, and help other sisters in the mission. There are two called for each zone, and those two are in a companionship. We have a responsibility over 7 companionships (14 Sisters) in the Farmington zone. We go on exchanges with each of these sisters, meaning, we switch companions for 24 hours to see how we can help in their area and personal struggles. We text them throughout the week, organize morning exercises together, find cool activities to do, do cute little packages for them, and basically are their go-to resource for anything and everything.
Being over 14 sisters is a lot more than most of the other STL's in the rest of the mission, but it's exciting to get to know more sisters and learn from what they do and how they work. I'm excited! Our first exchange will be this Thursday, then for the next two weeks, we'll go on exchanges twice a week. It's going to be crazy!
Centerville South Stake: This stake is incredible. I feel like I'm living inside of a training video from the Hastening the Work website. Everyone is on fire for missionary work! The Stake President expects so much out of us - we have a goal of 2-3 baptisms per month for the rest of the year. Every single Bishop and ward mission leader is excited to find, teach, baptize, retain, and reactivate. We talk about people, meet with the Stake President twice a week, It's very different from Liberty, but I am loving every single second. It all still feels like a little missionary dream, but I'm sure I'll adjust soon :)
Saturday was one of those days where it was a reminder of what missionary work is all about. Sister Bill went to the temple with an old companion and one of her recent converts who was going through the temple for the first time! Then we had two baptisms right after each other, and then went to the General Women's Meeting with Kat and Ashley. It was a nutty day - we didn't even have time to eat! But it was neat to see all of these people moving forward in faith to make commitments and keep covenants - those promises with God that are so important for us to return to live with Him again.
I know the gospel is true! I know that keeping our promises with Heavenly Father brings us so much joy and power in this life. I know obedience to all of God's commandments is what truly brings us joy in this life.
I miss Liberty so much. I love those people with all my heart. I know the Lord needed me there for a reason, and He needs me here now for another specific reason. I love this work. I love being a missionary. I never want it to end. Sister Bill continually teaches me to love every single second. We all have such great fun together, but most importantly we have amazing spiritual experiences.
I love you all! Remember to smile :)
The greatest miracle of this week was being able to attend Ally's baptism!! It's been a long five month road, but she was finally able to enter the waters of baptism and make that promise with God. It was an incredible day. Her whole family was there, and the Spirit was so strong. You could tell that she knew of the importance of the ordinance. I love this girl so much!!
Chris and Ally - her boyfriend who introduced her to the church.
Elder Tapia, Elder Patton, Ally, Chris, Sister Tucker, and me! We had to turn her over to the YSA Elders and they finished teaching her.
With the Francom family. I love this family so much!
The three of us at the Conference Center after being soaked :)
Sister Bill and me with the creepy butler we assembled for a Young Women's activity.
Me, Ethan, Sister Bill, and Sister Weber on the day of his baptism!! He's so funny. He doesn't say much, but when he does talk, his testimony just shines through!