Sister D and I hit up Smashburger on Tuesday to celebrate her last week in America. While we were there we ran into a potential investigator, Nug Nug and her sister, and had a random stranger pay for our lunch. I do believe we were meant to be in that restaurant that afternoon. We went back on Thursday to celebrate for real with our district. The elders beat us there and had someone pay for their lunch, but we were about 10 minutes behind them and didn't have the same luck.
Our lessons went well again this week. We are killing it here! The best lesson we had all week was with Harry and his fiancé on Saturday night. She opened up to us and is finally ready to take the bull by the horns and get active in the church again! She cried through the entire lesson. I told her that she has enough time to work everything out so she and Harry can go through the temple at the same time a year after he is baptized. This area is thriving and I am excited to announce that I will be staying for another transfer! I was asked to train one of the five new sisters coming into the mission and I am so honored and excited! I cannot wait to build her up and make her awesome! Camp counselor me is already coming out and I am ready to just love this girl like it ain't nobody's business. Hopefully she likes me. Tony Hawk mom told me it was an answer to her prayers that I am staying and Harry said that he prayed and told Heavenly Father he was going to stop investigating the church if I left. I thought he was joking at first, but he opened up and said that on top of everything else, the thought of getting two new missionaries was unbearable and he really needed me to stay. His fiancé hugged me when we left and whispered, "I'm so glad you're staying, I knew you would, because you're the strong one." Then she told me she loves me. She also gave me a scarf and one to Sister Dumas as well and said they are for us to remember them by (they gave me mine early since I'm apparently never getting transferred). They're supposed to remind us of hugging them when we wrap them around us. I almost cried. I am starting to get paranoid that people are going to get tired of me though. By the end of this transfer I will be halfway through my mission and will have spent six of my twelve transfers here. Training a new missionary is a two transfer job in most situations as well, so it is even likely that I may stay here for ANOTHER transfer after my sixth. I'm not letting the horse get ahead of the cart though. We will just have to wait and see what happens.
Sister Dumas and I are going to be in a music video! Our TM ward mission leader wrote a missionary song that has been approved by the church and now he is shooting a music video. He took some footage of us teaching Harry and of us knocking on his door. #celebstatus #redcarpet #whenismyinterviewwithellen
I remember grandma telling us the story, Little Black Sambo when I was a kid, and I always thought she just made it up. Well, we were at a family's home the other night and they had a little match book that said "Sambo's Pancakes" with a (white) boy, some tigers, and pancakes on it and I was like, "HOLD THE PHONE WHERE DID YOU GET THIS? MY GRANDMA USED TO TELL ME A STORY ABOUT A BLACK BOY NAMED SAMBO WHO MADE TIGERS RUN IN A CIRCLE TO MAKE BUTTER FOR HIS PANCAKES." They told me about the restaurant and then brought out a children's book with the same story! And here I thought for 23 years that Grandma Margie made the story up. The restaurant made the match packet kid white and took the adjective "black" out of the restaurant name so it was a little more PC. Because white kids are more likely to have confrontations in the jungle with tigers and have mothers who make pancakes. #obvi
So I did your 10 books challenge, mom. I have to point out that I really did list 10 books that "shaped who I am". These aren't necessarily my favorite books, just ones that have shaped my ideology and perspective in some way. Too many people doing this challenge are just listing favorite books.
Top 10 Books (or Book Series) That Have Shaped My Life:
1. The Standard Works---assorted prophets of God (Truly though, these books have had more of an impact on my lifestyle than anything else I've read. They're not always my favorite to peruse, but they're the most influential.) 2. Harry Potter Series---J.K. Rowling 3. Among the Hidden Series---Margaret Haddox(?) (and thus my fear of big government began at a young age) 4. Cabeza de Vaca's Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America (or something like that)---Cabeza de Vaca (you don't truly understand early Native American/European relations until you've read the journal of this struggling Spanish explorer from the 1600's.) 5. All of Jane Austen's novels 6. Barbarian Nurseries (don't remember the author) 7. Ender's Game Books---Orson Scott Card 8. The Things They Carried---Tim O'Brien (this book has taught me more about being a writer than almost anything else I've read. People love it for the history, which I do too, but really O'Brien's writing style is the thing from this novel that changed me.) 9. American Girl Books (my love for American history stemmed from my veracious reading of these novels in kindergarten and first grade) 10. Night---Elie Weissel (I think I just butchered the spelling of his name...life without Google is hard!)
I was asked to sing in a quartet for a fireside on Sunday. Each month there is one fireside that is intended to uplift investigators. The fireside changes locations each month and all missionaries in the mission are encouraged to bring someone to it. I had never been to one because we always had something else going on the evening it was being presented. I loved the three people I sang with. They were all really talented. Quartets are my favorite groups to sing in because it isn't a solo, but everyone is on their own part so people can still hear each individual. I sang alto. I also made the other missionaries color coordinate their outfits with mine so we would look classy like the MoTab. We looked sharp! We took Harry with us and he really enjoyed it. The stake that hosted the event is the one that my friend Peri moved to after she left the mission so I got to see her too. She said that she and the family she is staying with have been praying that I get transferred to their ward. Best case scenario will be that I finish my tenure in the Salt River Stake and then serve the rest of my mission in their ward. Start praying, people!
Spiritual thought: I started the Book of Mormon again last week, and as I was reading in 1st Nephi 17 I had a thought. Nephi and his family just arrived in Bountiful and they are excited because it is beautiful and has an abundance of food. The Lord has blessed them with a comfortable place to rest and prepare for their journey to the America's. I can't imagine how tempting it was to just stay there; they had everything they needed and more. How often do we make the mistake of making a comfortable pit stop permanent? How often do we shortchange the blessings Heavenly Father wants to give us because we believe we have already been given enough and we don't want to work harder to receive the prize He truly wants to give us? I'm sure I have done it before and at times I'm still tempted to do it. A mission really has blessed my life, but there are days I think, "Eh, seven months of experience is enough. I've received a lot of blessings. I just want to pack up and go home and take a nap. Peace out, Mesa." But there are hidden blessings waiting for me at the finish line of 18 months if only I remember this was never where Heavenly Father intended for me to stop.
In the Reese's world, we all know that the larger holiday shaped candies are more delicious than the average cup (I even wrote a blogpost on this my freshman year of college...it is a valid scientific fact--the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is higher, resulting in a natural increase of joy experienced by your taste buds ). You have your Halloween pumpkins, Christmas trees, Valentine hearts, and Easter eggs; all delicious, but the eggs more so than the rest. As you probably noticed, half the year is jam packed with Reese's friendly holidays, the other half is dead. Its feast or famine mode, and we are about to leave the six months of nothing for the six months of plenty! We are mere weeks away from Reese's pumpkins being released! October until April--six months of heaven sent abundance. I know that you think this has nothing to do with missionary work, but quite the contrary is true; it has everything to do with missionary work. By mailing me, a servant of The Lord, Reese's special edition holiday treats, you are helping The Lord hasten His work! It's also a fact that white chocolate Reese's don't help with hastening the work, they actually slow missionary work, so don't mail those. I think there is going to be a General Conference talk on this in October, so I will have some apostolic backing shortly. And remember, a Reese's a day keeps Satan away!
I bid you adieu,
We had a great week at our many wonderful dinner appointments. One of the highlights was finally getting a waffle and a dirty Diet Dr. Pepper from the Waffle Love truck!
Sister D and I weaved the flowers through the arch.
Photo booth pics from the wedding in our ward