Let me just tell you. The temple was aaaaahmazing! Oh my! As I sat there before the session started I just prayed with a smile and said "I've been waiting for months for this! Please help make this a special experience!" And He did. I just wanted to cry tears of joy from being there! I sat in the celestial room with my eyes closed until I had no clue everyone except my companion was gone. It was wonderful!
We had my first MLC (Mission Leadership Council) later that day. Elder Meredith and Elder Kopischke came. Here's what I wrote to President about my experience: "Friday was spiritually exhausting. I don't know why, but MLC was so intimidating! I don't think I said a single word and I felt like a deer in headlights the whole time. Are you sure I'm supposed to be an STL? As I was sitting there hearing everyone's profound comments, I just felt so out of place! Is that normal? Being a leader brings a million more humbling experiences. It's so wonderful and awful all at the same time." Haha I learned a lot from the meeting, but it was frightening.
This week went by so fast for me. It makes me just sick because I love my companion so much and I know she's going home. It tears me up! I just don't ever want Sister Stucki to leave! I have a companion who is a consecrated missionary. I'm trying to learn all I can from her so I can stand on my own when she leaves in 13 days.
We had exchanges with the Princeton sisters this week. They are both really shy and it was not what I wanted it to be. I went to Princeton and I don't think we taught a single lesson. Our lessons were small talk and encouragement to read the scriptures. There was no principle taught. Dinner was 2 hours at a member's home and lunch was 1 1/2 hours at a member's home. And for the life of me I had no clue how to bring these things up and discuss them! I had no clue what to say or how to start. And thus at the end of the exchange when I hadn't said anything, I felt terrible. This week we have exchanges with the CV1 sisters and we know their area is having struggles. I'm going there and so I have to brave-up and address the issues. It's not fun... But it's good to be able to teach these missionaries.
Ok so here's the weekly rundown:
For FHE we played some fun games! We played Mafia and Do You Love Your Neighbor. We were all running around in circles and it was so funny! We had 2 big Samoan guys just laughing their heads off! Even Elder and Sister Bolos played! It was a great night. People were trying to play the second game with cups of food and try not to spill it! It was pretty hilarious!
We taught Ebony. Steven was asleep. It was a mellow lesson but lacked with the spirit. We read 2 Nephi 31 with her and she really liked it! She said she would read it to Steven and explain it to him, and she kept her word! She's just incredible! She also loves the Book of Mormon so much and reads it every day. And she's starting the children's Book of Mormon with her twin boys. We also taught a lady named Shaneka. We were tracting and met her daughters. They said she was at work and told us to come back later. So we did and we got the same response. Finally we went one day and she had just pulled up. She had two of her daughters with her and Shaneka was so nice! We went back this day and taught her the Restoration. When we got to the picture of Joseph Smith, we asked what she saw, and one of her daughters said "that's Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith!" Our jaws dropped! She said she read the pamphlet! Her little daughter! Ok well she's like 13... But still! The lesson was amazing! When we asked her to be baptized by the proper authority, she said "Absolutely! I would run to Him!" And her daughters said they wanted to also! We don't have a specific date with them, but they desire it! The spirit in that lesson... Just wow!
We had a really good district meeting! Not necessarily the trainings... But the insight and revelation I received. I randomly came across a couple scriptures that chastened me and I needed it! When we accounted at the end, we got a lot of good counsel from the AP's (Assistants to the President) who joined our meeting. They helped us with a few ideas on how to help Calvin progress. (Who we didn't see all week). They also helped us with ideas to strengthen our YSA. It was so good. I'm glad they got lost trying to deliver a washer and joined our meeting. God works in mysterious ways. We started our exchange with the Princeton sisters. I already mentioned that. How do I help them realize that 2 hours for dinner is not ok... How do I be a leader and help them improve?
We had the Bolos's come get me and we switched back from the exchange. Sister Stucki had miracles. She taught a lot of good people while tracting! We've tried to follow up but they haven't answered... So I'm excited to meet them when they answer! We taught Ebony and Steven and they are amazing. We've worried about whether Steven was interested or not and so this lesson was a huge breakthrough! We watched the Restoration DVD and at the end we all talked about it. He just has a hard time opening up about those things. He did express though that he just wants relief from all his sins. He actually looked us in the eyes and spoke up and expressed his desires! It was amazing! We are really confident in them! He is going to read Alma 36 about Alma the younger and Ebony even said she'd help. When we walked out, she already had the book open next to him ready to read! I love them! We also taught Chris. He was brought to YSA by a friend, who attends the Nashville YSA. And he's not even YSA... He's 35. But he's comfortable here so we'll teach him. He's been taught by missionaries for 15 years and just has a few hang ups that we’re trying to figure out. Chris has a lot of thoughts about the church. He has met with missionaries several times and doesn't like robotic presentations. He wants to feel loved as a person. He feels the verses in the Book of Mormon are true, but questions the truthfulness of how the Book of Mormon came to be. He feels that the gift of the Holy Ghost is something he wants because he notices how it helps members resist temptations and get through struggles easier. We talked about a lot of subjects and answered questions. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon daily and told him that his answer all hinges on whether it's true or not. He is really willing to do his research but we are stumped on what to teach him.....
We had so many lessons this night that we had to skip sports night with the YSA!
Temple! Best day of my life! Then we rushed to MLC and then drove home. I had a headache by the end of the night from lack of good food (we had little time for lunch) and from thinking so much. As I was in the temple I learned something very important. God is real. Oh I learned how real He is! And ever since I've learned that, He's been all around me! He never leaves my side. He knows me very personally and my prayers have felt so much like a conversation with Him. God is real. It brings me more comfort and happiness than ever! God is real.
Me and Sister Stucki at the temple.
All of our plans fell through! So we ended up contacting potentials and Less-actives all day with not the most success ever. But we were listening to talks and just laughing and just bonding like mad! It was a great day! We love Jeffery R. Holland very much - let's just say that.
Today started out good. We had a good number of YSA at church. I had a weird pain in my chest all morning and it wouldn't go away! Then a headache started! After church we did a 2 hour software update and the headache quickly escalated to a migraine. When we got home for lunch I just fell asleep on the couch and woke up briefly to eat. We then did weekly planning and I was just miserable. I wanted to die. I felt so sick and my head just pounded! I slept again for dinner. We went out to work and the quicker we walked, the more my head pounded. We taught a man named Joe and his wife Norma, and they have a 2 year old boy named DJ. They are from the Pacific Islands. They loved the Restoration and are putting really DEEP thought into this. The spirit was so strong, and for a second I forgot about the migraine. Well 2 Excederine and plenty of crackers later I was still just dead. Finally we made it home and planned. I closed my eyes while Sister Stucki reported numbers. Well, apparently I didn't wake up. I made it to bed but I was really dizzy. I woke up today still a little sick. I've had to take it easy so I don't bring back the migraine. Boy. It's rough.
I'm learning a lot out here, but mostly my love of the gospel is just exploding! I love the Book of Mormon so much! So much! And I love the gospel and I just want everyone to have this happiness that I have! I will forever live the gospel of Jesus Christ and I will forever share my testimony with others. You can't escape my testimony because it's who I am. You'll see that when you look at me. I love this gospel!
Southern license plates are the best!
The dogs get a little excited out here. Here are my shoes.....soaked in dog pee. Yay! It was dripping down my leg and puddling in my shoes.