Let me break down Thursday for you. It was easily the most emotionally taxing day of my mission. I kid you not we spent 80% of the day listening to people speak.
1. We started off our day with a district meeting. I gave a short 10% training on time management skills and how to use our time wisely after our missions. I gave everybody a Reese's Pumpkin for their participation.
2. Lavender Brown spent over an hour and a half talking to us about her life and problems before we were able to give her any of our planned lesson. We listened kindly and when I noticed an opportunity to segue into our lesson I jumped on it. She really just needs someone to listen to her. I decided that we will view all of our lessons with her as first a service opportunity and when we have spent enough time just listening to her, we will transition into lesson time.
3. We stopped by a random guy's house that had been given a Book of Mormon to see if he was interested in learning more. I had never met him before and didn't know what to expect, though I figured he would basically say he wasn't interested and we would go on our way. He invited us in and then spent an hour going off on Ebola in the US and railing on Obama, Obamacare, Indians, Isis, illegals, and told us about the murders that have happened in this area before and told us to be careful. He said that downtown Mesa isn't fit for young ladies like us and that we should never go there. Then he went off on credit card fraud and retirement funds. SO MANY ISSUES AND I HAD NO TISSUES.
4. After a failed attempt to contact a potential investigator we stopped by a member's home because Sister D2 had to use the bathroom and couldn't hold it until we got home. It was about 8:47 at this point so we were just going to use the bathroom and then go home for the night, but the member's talked to us about missionary work and stuff until 9:05. I was so tired and just wanted to not talk to human beings anymore. Finally, we left and embarked on our 12 minute drive home.
5. When we finally arrived home I treated myself to a much earned spoonful of Nutella. A Celestial payment indeed.
Speaking of Celestial, one of the elders in my district calls the Celestial Kingdom the CK Lounge and I think that is hilarious. I've incorporated it into my vernacular. Feel free to do the same.
It never does get old playing piano for the elderly residents at Heritage Village. They're so appreciative and sometimes they even tear up. They don't even care that I'm just an average pianist; they adore the way that my songs break up the monotony of their day. Especially Phil. He loves it and even prayed for us before we left on Wednesday because he was so full of gratitude.
We had to turn over an investigator to the elders serving in her area this week. It was sad, but better for her. She needs young friends, so a single's ward is a better fit for her. Not to mention we aren't even the sisters over her family ward...all in all we had no right to her.
A member of our ward has been inviting her to church and we have taught her two lessons so it was time to let go. Sister D2 asked if we could just teach her anyway and I set her straight right away about the importance of boundaries to a missionary. I shared my story with her about the stupid elders who taught and baptized the girl from our area in June and how I wasn't going to be that kind of missionary. I know we will be blessed for our obedience and someone will come along. Additionally, I've worked harder the last three weeks than I have ever before in my mission, so we should be getting blessed for our diligence as well. For the first time since I've been training we got home before 9:15 the other night. It was glorious to walk into our apartment at 8:57 instead of our average 9:18. I'm going to collapse when I get home in August; I'm literally always tired.
I want to invite all of you reading this to have the local missionaries in your home. I don't care if you're super active, not a member, less active, the bishop, or half dead. A missionary's job is to invite others to come unto Christ. We have been very blessed the last few months to be in many homes with a variety of people. It helps the time go faster and makes us feel useful when we can discuss religion with others. I want every missionary in the world to be busy. SO INVITE THEM OVER. AND MAIL ME REESE'S PUMPKINS...............and a nice note, because I demand affection. Amanda does mean "worthy of love" after all.
Thanks to Betsy, nice stranger Catherine, and mom and dad for the response to my shameless plea for love and PB chocolate treats. A few elders in my district are shocked that I've received three Reese's parcels and two of them aren't even from my family. One elder said, "Wow, everyone must really know that you love Reese's Pumpkins," and his companion said, "How do you get people to send you so many things?" I told them it is because I've spent my entire life being such a good friend that people want to mail me my favorite candy. Really it's just because I promised people blessings for spending 10 bucks on sugar and postage. I have been sharing them though; I'm not hoarding all of my goods. It is a true act of Christlike sharing.
General Conference was great! Saturday morning we watched it with our district at a member's home in another ward that the sisters cover. I cooked made to order omelets for every member of my district (except Sister D2 because she didn't want one) and the other sisters made French toast. We watched the afternoon session at the church and had Lavender Brown watch it in a member's home. She ended up opening up to the member about things she is going through and the member told her she should get a blessing We called around (right after the priesthood session, so it was pretty hard to find someone) and found someone to give her a blessing. On Sunday we watched both sessions with Harry and his fiancé and her daughter. It was nice to watch it in his home. During the afternoon session I had a great experience! The girl who we turned over to the other elders messaged me and basically in a nut shell said she believes in God now, has been praying, is thinking strongly about baptism, and wants to be a member of the church. We talked a lot about her concerns and she said, "You make me want to be Mormon." It made me feel so good to feel like I may have impacted someone in a positive way!
General Conference Observations:
1) D. Todd Christofferson sounds like Alex Trebek.2) When are jewel tones going to die?
3) When will we get PowerPoint presentations during conference?
4) I loved Elder Holland's talk because I have been thinking about service a lot lately. Before my mission I didn't like the idea of helping people who could help themselves, but now I realize that far too often we don't understand all that people are going through. Additionally, we will always be blessed for serving others, even if they don't "deserve" it. I'm sure Christ fed some people loaves and fishes that didn't deserve it. If we can help someone, then we are in the service of our Lord and that is what matters. Now go forth to serve!
5) Thanks to Elder Klebingnat's comments about our bodies being temples and getting into shape, our mission president is going to think that Satan's 5K is an even better idea than he already thinks it is. C'mon Seventies, throw me a bone here! Don't endorse exercise, this is 'Merica; endorse Smashburger.
6) There were a lot of flashy ties. The 12 embraced iPads and now they're accepting modern fashion. What is next? Maybe the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will move into a more fashionable era?
Hobbit Hole Family conspiracies for this week include: Barrack Obama eliminating the 22nd amendment and becoming a dictator, Satan pamphlets being distributed in schools, and blood moons landing on Jewish holidays this year, thus ushering in the Second Coming of Christ.
Well, that is about it! It was clearly a busy week and there is a lot I'm skimping on in the interest of time!
District Photo Shoot! Notice how the elders were instructed to
re-create our sisters only picture.Somehow I don't think that
Elder Owens fully captures my essence.
Cookie Dough Creation lesson with a family in TK
Library volunteers take a break for a selfie
Though the weather is still warm, fashion is no respecter of persons.
It is boot season, folks!
Harry's dog in his Halloween costume.
Hahaha. He hates it.
We hiked a little hill this morning.