Monday, January 5, 2015

Good Feelings, Friends

Because of the move and the holiday there's really not much to write about this week. :) We had a crazy wind storm last week - 70mph winds reported on our mountain! I texted Brother Eubank - our trusty weatherman - and asked him what the heck was going on and whether or not it was safe to go outside. We get high winds in Maryland... but usually only in hurricanes. And people don't go outside in hurricanes. :) 

But a cool thing happened with that wind. On Monday we drove up to Farmington to do some shopping. The snow is so dry that the wind was blowing it all over the place! The highway (er, freeway ;) was clear, so I was going the 65mph speed limit. (Actually... probably closer to 70... Tiwi - our little box that yells at us and reports us for speeding and other violations - allows up to 7 miles above the speed limit. It's possible that I push that envelope a little.) But when we got on the exit ramp it was COVERED with snow. I realized a second too late that it was actually very dangerous, and had no time to slow down before we hit it. I slammed on my breaks and held tight to the wheel with both hands as I repeated over and over "Oh shoot oh shoot oh shoot oh shoot!" I think my companion was white knuckled in the passenger seat. But somehow - miraculously! - we were able to stop before we rear ended the SUV in front of us! Really there was no way I should have been able to stop that car that quickly. We felt for sure we were protected. :)

It wasn't until after we had stopped at the top of the ramp that I noticed that other vehicles had not fared so well on that ramp - two had collided and driven off the road. We were so blessed. :)

New Years Eve was probably more depressing for me than anything else as a missionary so far. This is the first New Years EVER that I have not celebrated! We weren't allowed to go out to work after 5pm, so instead we got together as a district and watched "Frozen" and "Ephraim's Rescue." Then we went home and I decided to go ahead and go to bed early. 

I did have this funny conversation with Bishop Pierson.
Me: "What are you doing for New Years?"
Bishop: "Party with the family at the church building! But you can't come. We're going to do things that missionaries aren't allowed to do!"
Me: "Like what? Stay out after 9pm? :P"
Bishop: "Um sure."
Me: "Listen to worldly music? Watch movies? Drink caffeinated beverages?? You can't get into TOO much trouble... you are a Mormon Bishop after all..."
Bishop: "Um. Right."

Yeah... I didn't know quite what he meant... until the world EXPLODED around me at midnight!!! Seriously our new neighbors are pyromaniacs!!! Fireworks were happening in every direction! And sure enough, some were at the church building (which we can now see from our bedroom window) Missionaries are definitely not allowed to play with fireworks!!! But it was really fun to see! I watched them all from my new bedroom. And it reminded me of the time that I was in England during Guy Fawkes day and I watched all the fireworks from my attic bedroom. Good times. :) People in Utah celebrate better than we do in Maryland. :) 

Yesterday we had 6 hours of church, and I got up to bear my testimony in all three sacrament meetings that we attended. I had been reading the lyrics to hymn #112 "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul." They are, "Thy pure word, hath it not been my one delight? My joy by day, my dream by night. Then let my lips proclaim it still, and all my life reflect thy will." I wish I could somehow express just how much the Savior means to me. This gospel is TRULY my one delight. It is the thing that centers me and helps everything else to fall into place. Even when life is just really really hard, it can still feel like everything is right. I hope I will always open my mouth. I hope that I will always live according to His will. Therein lies true happiness. :)

After church I spoke with my favorite Schmidt family again. We talked about a boy that we are teaching in their home and the struggles he is facing. I said that I felt that he needs to just feel the Spirit - the other struggles can be faced later. When I was baptized there were certain things that I was concerned about. But I knew the church was true. Without a doubt. There was no WAY I could deny the feeling that I had! So I decided to put those concerns on a back burner and address them later (which I have since done) and just go ahead and do what I knew to be right. This statement caused Jon to marvel and say, "You have such incredibly strong faith!! It's great to hear you speak." :) Good feelings friends. Good feelings. 

Alright. Love you all! Speak to you next week!

Sister Tipton 

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