We had a lot of really cool experiences this week - despite the fact that nearly all of our appointments cancelled!
When I mentioned that to my District Leader last night when he called in for our weekly report he said, "But you're not going to get discouraged because of it, right?" Right. He's such a good missionary!
Speaking of good men, the Bishop in one of our wards is a GREAT Bishop. Sister Haddock and I have recently been on a musical number binge - word has gotten out that she can play the flute and that I can play the piano and now suddenly all of the wards want us to play! Yesterday we were practicing for a musical number in the 16th ward when the Bishop from another ward in that building came in to listen to us. When we finished he said, "So. You've been hiding your talents under a bushel." Well. Not intentionally... would you like us to play in your ward Bishop. "Yes. Does next week work?" Well sure - we're already playing in another ward that Sunday, but why not? What would you like us to play. "What you just played is nice. Or... do you know any Pink Floyd? Perhaps some Sting?" I'm a bit shaky on my Pink Floyd - but I have some Pirates of the Caribbean memorized! "Perfect! Let's hear that!" But... we're in the chapel. Is that even allowed? "The Bishop just told you to." Ok!
And then I played Pirates in the chapel. That Bishop then asked if he could borrow the chapel for a minute so one of the preparing missionaries could practice her farewell talk. We decided to stay and listen since we weren't sure that we could make it to their church service that day - we're glad we did. That talk turned into a homecoming talk - because of medical problems (that this dear sister has already waited over a year and a half to be cleared for missionary service) she is no longer cleared and has to stay home. This good Bishop sat and listened intently to every word she spoke and then gave her encouragement when she finished - and because their wards split a month ago, he's not even her Bishop anymore! I KNOW Bishops are crazy busy on Sundays, and it was just so tender to see that he acted like he had all the time in the world, and provided such support to this sister.
So, speaking of missionaries. Yesterday we attended a homecoming, a farewell/homecoming, a farewell and another homecoming. In three different buildings! Phew! People also party hard out here when missionaries leave or return - meaning lots and lots of food!
And now we have at least two musical numbers this week. One in Jon Schmidt's ward! - he may or may not be here because they're touring, but still that makes me feel crazy intimidated! They're used to some incredible piano music in that ward! Sister Haddock and I keep joking that we should just learn a Piano Guys piece for Sunday. ;)
Speaking of famous people, I'm meeting a lot of them. Go google Jozef Sabovcik. He was an Olympic bronze medalist in figure skating for his country back in the '80s! He's from Czechoslovakia - someone has Olga Campora if she's heard of him! The other cool thing that he's done is something for the church - he's not a member, but he and his family live here in Utah. The church wanted to build a temple in Czechoslovakia, but the government was unsure. So Jozef was asked to write a letter to the Slovak government telling them what it was like living in an LDS community and pretty much saying that building a temple there would be a good thing. And the government accepted it! Maybe we'll see a temple there one day. :)
Another person to google is Tade Biesinger. He's a 14 year old boy, and is the son of a family that we work with a lot because they're highly active in missionary work. Tade was Billy Elliott on Broadway! Their neighbors are a family that we love.
Saturday was a day of music! We left the apartment at 7:30 to help out at the Stake 5K and we heard all SORTS of worldly poppy music over the loud speakers. We may have indulged a bit when the Backstreet Boys came on. :) And Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." :) Then later in the day we got to see Tade's Billy Elliott performance. And that evening we attended a lipsync at one of the wards. BEST IDEA EVER! Seriously, ALL wards should have a lipsync! In between performances - while the next group was getting ready - they did a "name that tune." They would play a piece of a song for a few seconds until someone could name it. Then at the lipsync - the High Priests did "Happy." I actually hate that song - my companion hadn't really heard it until then - but the video they made was HILARIOUS. I hope it ends up on Youtube. :) It starts with one of the high councilors - who happens to be the KSL Weather Man - in a bathtub. Then a whole bunch of men doing household chores - and even one rocking out with his walker! Seriously, I was in stitches. :) The other really great one was the Young Mens (including Tade ;) They did Miley Cyrus' wrecking ball song - which Sister Haddock also hadn't heard until then. The young men dramatically acted out each verse and then pretended to be bowling pins while a giant ball came through and knocked them all over. It was such good fun!
And then my dear companion kept randomly breaking out in "YOU CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!" for the next day. Apparently this song that she had never heard of before was stuck in her head. ;)
But ok - I'm not just playing out here. ;) Here are some of the things I learned this week.
We had an MTC shadow with us on Tuesday - she is a teacher there that goes out into the field with missionaries to evaluate if the things we learn in the Missionary Training Center are applicable in the field. When she first met us she told us that she couldn't tell which one of us was the senior companion! Which made me feel really good about myself. :) She gave us a lot of pointers and even helped me to be less timid - even to the point of commanding us to chase after a car that was pulling out of the driveway of the home we wanted to visit. We did. :) I feel like a real life awkward missionary now! :D
But the biggest thing she taught us is that amongst all of the lessons and principles we have to share, we have only ONE message. And that is the gospel of Jesus Christ (which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.) The restoration is the what of the gospel, the plan of salvation is the why, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the how. She showed us how to implement it into our lessons to stay centered on that one message, which is just really cool.
We also visited P. this week! The lesson was SO much better than last week and I think we helped him to better understand prayer. We started with the video "I can find happiness" (which is incredible and you should all watch!) Then had a really great discussion about God as our Heavenly Father and how much He loves each one of us! Hopefully it helped him realize how personal prayer really is. Seriously, we have the opportunity to talk to the supreme creator of the world!! Who wouldn't want to do that?!
And finally I had a lesson on faith. We were visiting a woman at the care center who is mostly paralyzed. She was having a bad day so we sang her favorite song with her - Edelweiss from the Sound of Music. As we did that I flipped through my scriptures to see if I could find something to share. We're promised that we will be given the things we need in the moment we need them, but I had doubted my ability to find a scripture in a moment like that. Even as I flipped I said to myself, "if I don't find one by the end of the song, then I'll just use the one I always use." BUT I FOUND ONE! It was one I highlighted a long time ago, but hadn't read in awhile in Mosiah 24:14. And it was PERFECT for her for that day. I wanted to jump up and down and shout "It works! It works!!!" Seriously, faith! Try it! It works!!! (And go read that scripture, because it's a really good one. :)
I've attached three pictures of two little girls whose families we visit and the ADORABLE BABY KITTIES!!! And then me with all of the baby cuteness. I LOVE KITTIES.
More pictures to come in another email.
Love you all! Have a great week!
The last pictures is me with my new boyfriend, Bones. ;) Then a gorgeous fall colored street, and a beautiful sunset. Seriously, the sunsets here are to die for! They're so pretty! I will definitely miss them when I leave!