With an investigator in Vestal, NY
Hope everyone's doing well, especially Noelle! There's a ton of women in my ward here who are pregnant and due in Decemeber, must be another one of those fads :) I just can't imagine Noelle looking how they look, haha.
Oh, to the Barkdull side, thanks for the card! That was so sweet and totally made my day! I especially loved Uncle Jason's note, haha. As Grandma would say, "you're all a bunch of turkeys!"
This past week has been so busy, and, I can hardly believe it, this next one looks like it's going to be even busier! Just some highlights-
On Tuesday we had zone training and learned a lot about repentence. We did some role playing, which I am very slowly gaining a testimony of, and I received some much needed validation of my teaching skills.
We also had exchanges this week. The sister training leader came to Vestal to teach with Sister Glenn, and I went over to Greene to teach with Sister Jorgensen. I feel like the thing I got most out of this experience wasn't so much about teaching as about how much I REALLY love my area, ward, and especially investigators and less actives. They opened up Greene to sisters about the same time they did Vestal- 2 transfers ago, but because their area is so big, they pretty much tract 3/4 of the day. Not a huge fan of that. Being over there, though, made me feel like I was never going to see all the people I love in Vestal again, and it broke my heart! I've been praying for more charity and love for the people I'm trying to serve. I guess it took me going away for 24 hours to realize how much I already have. Seriously, I never want to leave this area or these people. I guess this is sort of a big deal, but I would be okay staying here forever, even if it meant not going to Brazil... I don't know, my heart's a little torn right now, to be all dramatic about it.
Something my companion and I really worked on this week is making our lessons better. We're teaching this family with a 12, 16, and 18 year old, and in our last lessons, they straight up told us they hate history and our lessons were kind of boring. So, this week, Sister Glenn and I tied an "iron rod" of string around around their house, blind folded them, and had them act out the story of Lehi's dream to help teach them the Plan of Salvation. It was pretty funny. Hopefully they'll progress more rapidly as they become more familiar with the Book of Mormon because these girls are so awesome and just have so much potential to be bomb members of the church.
As far as miracles go, there were, of course, tons. The biggest one, though, came after two of our appointments fell through on Thursday. We decided to go try this woman we hadn't been able to get a hold of the whole time I've been here. Well, we got a hold of her, but that wasn't the miracle. The reason we're teaching this woman is because the sisters before tracted into her while trying to find a less active family that had once lived there before, but their address had been lost. As Sister Glenn and I were walking to the car, we saw these two women unloading a bunch of baby diapers and water bottles from their car, so we offered to help. Usually we get turned down for service, but these women actually accepted, and as we were walking into their apartment, they said, "Thanks Sisters!" Wait, what?! Turned out those people were the inactive family we'd been trying to find for months. This upcoming week we have an appointment to meet with that family and her sister's family who aren't members! I love the scripture in Isaiah, also in 2 Nephi, about how Christ has engraven us on the palms of His hands. No matter who you are or what you've done, He will never forget you! We love telling all our miracles stories to the lady in our ward who lets us do laundry at her house. Something she keeps telling us is to just expect miracles. I love that. We should all expect miracles. If we only knew how much Heavenly Father loves us, it wouldn't surprise us when our eyes are opened to all that He has done and is doing for us.
On a side note, Elder Oluapu and I did a musical number of "Oh Lord, My Redeemer" in sacrament meeting yesterday. I guess it went well because they went on about it in Relief Society, but I was to busy concentrating on keeping my shaking foot on the pedal. Sister Glenn and I are also planning a tri-ward missionary mutual activity for next week, so keep us in your prayers! We need it!
Thanks so much for all the love and support. I'm blessed with such amazing family, friends, and examples in my life.
Love you all!