This week has had so many ups and downs!! Man. Good thing the ups were so… up, else I might have been a smidge sad! But all is well!!
So much has happened, so I’ll try not to bore you will every single little thing.
Most of our appointments fell through again this week, but the lessons we did have turned out to be great! Everyone we are teaching, including Kurt, are doing so well. Kurt has been asking great questions, and even asked if we would read the Book of Mormon with him. He says Satan from the Bible series looks exactly like Obama, I need someone to confirm this for me. Haha :).
We had dinner with the Finks (who are recent converts who feed us every week and recently passed their year mark and are going through the temple at the end of the month!) and brother Fink had a referral for us! I swear converts make the best member missionaries! He happened to be walking by this guy who was talking about how he felt like he had a void in his life and wanted to be a better person, so Brother Fink just walks right up and tells him he knows what he needs and invited him to dinner!! How awesome right??? So that’s how we met Cody! He is a very softspoken southern guy, who showed up to dinner wearing snakeskin boots and a smile :). He really is awesome, and we are so excited to start teaching him. He is only 21 and is already the area manager for the company he works for. He’s had a rough life, but it has humbled him so much, and he is very interested in the church. Unfortunately, we also had some rowdy elders present, and poor Cody’s eyes were as big as saucers.
We got to go on exchanges this week as well, and we found out that Sister Sanford got her visa, so hopefully that means Sister Nay’s is on the way.
We went to Heather, our less active’s, house at the usual time to discover she was not there, but in the hospital! Poor lady, she has so many medical issues at such a young age. We went to see her there instead, and it was so inspiring to see how much comfort she was able to gain from us reading the Book of Mormon to her. She loves the church so much, but has a really hard time going because of her medical problems. She said she would go this week though, so we will see!
I am only telling you the following story because it has such an awesome ending. Exchanges apparently made my companions realize they had a problem with each other or something, because there was a lot of tension when we got Sister Valikoula back. We traveled to Cranberry for our zone conference/mission tour in awkward silence with two other sisters, and then, during our lunch break at conference, Sister Nay just erupts into tears out of nowhere! Events transpired, which brings us to Saturday morning. Sister Nay had been crying for 36 hours straight (quite a feat, in my opinion) and enough was enough. I prayed so long and so hard for help to figure out how to make everything better. As I ended my prayer, I felt like we should share how we grew up, and what made us who we were.
The. Spirit. Is. My. Best. Friend. Just doing that helped everyone see where the others were coming from, and what made them do the things we do, etc. I also thing Sister Valikoula had been dwelling on her past and needed to get it off her chest. She has had the roughest life I have ever heard of, even in books and movies and what not, and I have a tremendous respect for her and her decision to be here. But, since then she has talked more than she has for the last 5 weeks combined, and is even speaking up more in lessons. We thought she was just a shy person, but she just had so much on her mind. I’m so grateful for the things I have learned from being in this companionship.
On a brighter note, we got to hear from Elder Arnold of the 70 at our zone conference!! He and his wife both spoke to us, and they had such great counsel and words of encouragement for us! It was humbling, and very good for me to hear some of the things he talked to us about, and I am more excited than ever to be a missionary!!!
Instead of a Mormon Message this week, I would like for yall to watch O Come, Emmanuel by the Piano Guys on mormonchannel.org. Yes, it is Christmas, no, I don’t care, and HECK YES it is the best thing ever. I may or may not have already had you guys watch this, but if I have, watch it again.
Pictures are of all the sisters in the zones that participated in that zone conference, Sister Topham (our mission pres’s wife), and Sister Arnold and then us eating breast cancer awareness cupcakes from a member!
I love this gospel so much, especially now that I have had the opportunity to be a missionary and see the impact it has had on so many different people’s lives, in so many different ways! Keep your chins up!