So in some ways time flies SO fast as a missionary. But at the same time, each day feels like it's 3 months long! It's incredible how much you can do in one day. No wonder I feel exhausted. :)
I'm definitely counting down the days until I'm finished training. Just 5 more weeks! Woohoo! I hate training. :) I'm sure I will like it much more when I'm a trainer. It's also better this transfer though because most of our training videos are from the District 2 - the District 1 is really super cheesy and makes me cringe. :)
Also my companion, Sister Haddock, says that she's pretty sure I was a cat in my last life. (PS - false doctrine! We don't believe in "last lives" :) Only premortal existence.) It rained all day Saturday and I HATE getting wet. After we did some early morning service I came inside and made some hot (herbal) tea and curled up with a blanket to study. I was not inclined to move all day. That was a hard day. :)
BUT it was also a WONDERFUL day because I was able to attend the General Women's Meeting at the Conference center! Every 6 months the members of my church gather together to listen to the words from the Prophet and apostles. Since our church is organized by Christ and exactly as He organized His church when He was on the earth, we have a prophet and 12 apostles that lead and guide us, and it is our wonderful opportunity to hear their words to the world twice a year! Saturday night was the women's conference which included all girls and women ages 8 and up. Most people watch a broadcast or stream it online, but I had the unique chance to actually be there in person! It was so great!
People ask me all the time what I thought of when I got called to serve in Utah. THIS is what I thought. At first I thought it was a little funny that I was coming here since I didn't much like Utah when I lived here before, but I was so hoping that I'd get to go to conference and see the Prophet and apostles in person, and I DID!
We took one of our investigators and she loved it! The best moment for me was about 5 minutes before the meeting started when the Prophet walked in. The whole room was instantly silent. I don't know if you've ever witnessed thousands of people fall silence at once, but it's quite impressive. (The conference center holds 20,000+ people I think) They all stood, and the feeling as President Thomas S. Monson entered the room was undeniable. I could hardly see him, but I could feel the presence of the Spirit confirming to me that THAT man is a prophet of our God. Maybe this makes me sound a little crazy, but God is unchanging. He has called prophets throughout time, so it would make sense that He calls prophets now. But as the scriptures say, (paraphrased) "By their fruits you will know them." Good fruit cannot come from an evil tree, and President Monson - along with the Church as a whole - does a LOT of good! Don't take my word for it! Read the Book of Mormon, and pray!
This week we had some crazy times. We moved back into our actual apartment! The renovation is complete! And it is a MUCH nicer place to live in - it was so yucky before that my socks turned BLACK after walking on the carpets. Now we have new carpets, and new mold free walls. And we're scrubbing out the other places - like the bathroom and the refrigerator - that probably haven't been cleaned in years because this place was previously inhabited by elders (boy missionaries) and 18 year old boys are GROSS!!! I was seriously throwing out homemade jams that were dated YEARS ago! So so so gross! At least we'll have some weeks to live in a nice, clean place. And I feel good about passing the apartment on to the next pair of missionaries. Sister Haddock says that this was one of the grosser places that she's lived, so that's good to know that I won't have to do this with every place I live!
As for the work, we had three new families agree to let us teach them this week! Super exciting! Two families are less actives - the kind where they believe in the gospel, they just don't come to church - so we have high hopes for them. And the third family is a returning member family. They have chinchillas!! So cute! They have two teenagers - a boy and a girl. The girl is so rock solid. She wants to serve a mission and was the driving force behind getting her family to come back to church - apparently she told her parents that it was child abuse for them not to take her. Ha! You should repeat that to all of YOUR teenagers who think it's child abuse to go to church! ;)
And then you should tell them how much time I spend in church each week! Yesterday we attended 3 sacrament meetings, 2 Sunday School classes, and 1 Relief Society class. That's 6+ hours of church! I love being able to go, but by hour 5 I'm a little tired. :)
We met with a family last Monday that we've been teaching for awhile. We're actually taking them to conference this weekend! So by the way, when you're watching it Saturday and Sunday morning, pay attention to when they pan over the congregation. You might just see someone you recognize! :D I'm so excited to be able to go back! We teach a certain family every Monday. They have been less active for awhile and are returning to church. We talked about prayer and how much God wants to hear from us. He's our Father and really truly desires to know all of the things on our hearts. I heard a quote yesterday, "Don't pray. Talk to God - commune with God!" It really is a conversation! So at the end of the lesson we invited them to kneel and offer the prayer. They agreed and it was such a sweet heartfelt prayer! At first they really didn't want to have the missionaries over, but in the prayer she thanked Heavenly Father for us because the messages we have shared have helped them to better understand Him and draw closer to Him. The Spirit was so strong! And It made me feel really good!!
I also received some more Birthday gifts! Shout out to the Columbia YSA Branch and the GIANT card that they gave me! I love it! And to the Hirschi's! You know so well what a missionary needs! Especially a missionary from MARYLAND! Thanks so much for the UTZ Maryland Crab flavored chips!! If we weren't fasting yesterday they probably would be gone by now. :) I have shared them with my companion and we've already wolfed half the bag. We're such fatties. :D But they're SO GOOD. I shared my chocolate too - except for the dark chocolate. That one I was selfish with. :D
Every week we order supplies from our district leader. Last week I ordered a baby dragon. I'm sure a baby dragon would help the work to progress. But they didn't get me one. :( I'm so sad. Maybe next week!
Thank you all for your continued love and letters! I read everything you send! I just don't always have time to respond. :) Also, go to meetthemormons.com and request for it to be played in a theater near you!! Then go see it!! I don't know if we'll be able to. But you should! All of the proceeds are going to be donated to the American Red Cross.
They keep hinting about us receiving iPads. All of our leaders say things like, "your missions will be changed by this technology that's coming!" Not sure when it's coming, but hopefully soon! We heard a story yesterday from a Bishop here about his son who is serving in Sweden who met a person that had met some sister missionaries from Washington DC online and was referred to the missionaries in Sweden! That person was later baptized, and they allowed the sisters from DC to skype in. How neat is that?! This work is worldwide! I can't wait to become a part of that!!!
Love you all! Until next week,