Thank you so much for your advice on STL! I really needed all of that. President gave me some good advice and also Aunt Cheryl. I feel a lot more confident for the exchanges next transfer. The one this week is with the Hermanas and I get to have Hermana Reed come here. Last transfer I exchanged with her and she was the STL, now we switched spots! I hope I can get some good advice from her. She goes home next week.
Sister Stucki has still worked as hard as ever. I admire that. It's hitting me now... She only has one week left. The past 2 days have been emotional. She got her flight plans yesterday among a lot of other papers from the mission office. Today her family just kept making little comments about it here and there in her emails. She just cried and cried and cried. She wrote back: "you're all fired!" and explained how she felt to hear all that and how she'd rather stay here. I think it will be a hard transition. Her little sister will get her mission call about a week after she gets home and I'm sure that will strike up a lot of memories.
When it becomes my turn for nearing the end of my mission, please do not mention it. Don't mention making transitions or anything. Unless it's REALLY important and has to be figured out before I get home. I know how easy my mind can get off track and so I'm going to need all the help I can get.
So now for the week:
We went out tracting before FHE and we found a lot of good potentials! We met Tony and Montana who are both YSA and living together. Tony is in the military and Montana goes to Austin Peay. They have both met missionaries before and were so nice and listened to us! They went out of town for the weekend but hopefully they'll be back soon and we can go see them. We went to FHE and they were playing volleyball. As we were playing, they kept making rude sassy comments to each other and it just broke my heart. One guy said "raise your hand if you don't like A." and a few did. Sister Stucki said "that's not very nice" and they got defensive saying she should come to their workplace because no ones nice. Then I got an idea.,. For FHE next Monday I'm going to do the spiritual thought. I printed out a picture of the group and put Christ on the back and taped it to a box. Then we'll take turns stabbing the front of the box with the group's picture on it with the negative comments we've heard. I remember this FHE from when I was who knows how old. When you turned the picture around and Christ was in the back, it really hit me... And so I’ll explain how when they cut each other down it cuts down Christ. He doesn't care what their workplace is like. That's not what his workplace is like. His workplace is a place of love and peace and safety. Then we're going to pair them up with someone they don't get along with, and we're going to duck tape their wrists together. Then we'll go outside and they will have to work together with 4 hands to make a pizza. Roll the dough, put sauce on and all that. No negative, sassy or demeaning remarks can be made. I'm SO excited for it!! I hope it will really help them see that this group is one of love and we are to be united, not competing against each other.
Pretty much all of our plans fell through. I don't remember what we did... But it was a good day! We had dinner at a member’s home and she was struggling with a lot of things. It just made me think... The gospel is the only way to get through it all. There's a quote that says "The gospel is not our last option, it's our only option." So true. Hang on to the truth that you know when things get hard. I've done that this transfer when things got hard and it makes all the difference. Trials come, but there's always an out. Trials may last. But they will end in God’s time. Hang on.
We stopped by a Less-active and braved it because we heard a rumor that the mom was getting annoyed with us coming. We went anyways and the dad answered and the mom said "Let me handle it." Uh oh... She told us to never come back... After some talk, she asked for our number and then went to get a pen. She came back with a bag of cookies and invited us in and was suddenly so nice! Turns out she thought we were just two YSA girls coming to flirt with her son. Haha she didn't know until she saw our tags. It was so awkward and hilarious!
I didn't really get much out of District Meeting, but we did receive inspiration on a couple things for our area. We found a quote in "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" that talks about how missionary work solves all problems in hearts and homes and wards. So we are working on an outline of helping our YSA to share the gospel and do missionary work. We stopped attending Institute and Sports Night so we could work more. When our YSA beg us to come, we encourage them to bring a non-member that we could ask to teach. Then we will go. It's going to be great.
We tracted that night and had not very much success. We stopped in at Institute for a moment and our Investigator Chris was there. He is not YSA... But is comfortable there so he attends with us. He's 35 and single. I can't remember if I've told you about him. He's met with missionaries a lot and he is a youth pastor in his church. He is intense. The lesson was really good for him though!
We had exchanges with CV1. They are struggling. They have different personalities. It was hard to offer advice because Sister F. has tried EVERYTHING to help Sister W. Every suggestion I made was already used. Sister Andersen is going on exchanges with them today and they're sending another sister to work with them this next week. I wish they would call us for help. I told them they could and they said they would.. But I guess not. The exchange was good though. I think Sister F. learned a lot. I taught her how to plan lessons and tract effectively. She seemed really relieved and grateful to learn those things. She's only been out 2 transfers and she's so strong and has such a great desire to work. I love her!
We talked so much about the exchange. Sister Stucki taught Chris and I guess the member who was there got really off topic and the lesson went crooked and they didn't teach a lot. During weekly planning, it hit Sister Stucki that she was going home soon. And she teared up and so did I and I commented that I was devastated and I was going to miss her and we both ended up bawling and we were eating and it was silent and we just bawled and laughed and it was so weird. It was awkward and funny and sad haha. Our day was weird. We saw Ebony and Steven and they are doing well! Ebony is coming to the Women's Broadcast and Steven is going to drop her off. I shared D&C 6:20 with them talking about how church, praying and reading the scriptures is the formula to eternal happiness and the blessing of those is being encircled in the arms of God.
Oh boy. This day. We tried to contact a bunch of potentials and they all weren't home. Our plans quickly vanished. So we stopped by a Less-active that Sister Stucki baptized last year and she just talked and talked for 1 1/2 hours! It was rough. Then we had lunch at the Bolos's. We had Greek food! Elder Bolos is Greek. It was pretty good. We had chicken and potatoes and beans and salad. It was all Greek style and I couldn't complain about it, but I still joked about how nasty Greek olives are. Elder Bolos loves them and they are nasty!!
We then tracted and tracted. I was a little grumpy because I didn't want to tract. But we found a lot of good potentials! One said he'd come to church but he didn't. We had a new gold mine tracting spot!
Lastly was the Women's Broadcast and I loved President Uchtdorf's talk! He sure does know how to make a Sister feel Heavenly Father's love! I teared up and I really felt the spirit.
Usually Sunday's are long and tiring and hard for us. But his Sunday was good! All the YSA that were led to Nashville were here. They all decided to come back. We had a good meeting and they are all so excited about our FHE movie night tonight! We had a great study and prepared for Chris.
We were able to go teach Steven. Ebony wasn't able to come out for the lesson. So we read Alma 36 with him. He needed a lesson just for him. We were able to help him open up. Oh, Ebony didn't come to the broadcast because they got in a fight and Steven wouldn't take her. So she and her baby daughter watched it on her phone and her two boys wanted to watch and she made them leave the room because it was for girls only haha. She loved it! They are so sweet! I just love them!
Lastly we taught Chris and it went really well! The spirit really guided us because we were prepared beforehand. We taught about a lot.. Prophets and priesthood mostly. I'm excited for him to see General Conference and to hear the prophet and to pray to know if he is a prophet of God. A lot of people just don't know what a prophet is! As I've thought about that this week I've just had a strong confirmation to me that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God. He is God's mouthpiece and he can receive revelation for the whole world. It's incredible.
Last night in the car Sister Stucki and I resolved to make this next week a week of "forget yourself and get to work" and we are going to work our hearts out!
I love this gospel. Did you know that? I love this gospel so much that I just want to share it with everyone! I just love God and doing His work! I love the Book of Mormon and I know it is true. I know that we have a prophet of God on the earth today and he leads and guides the church. I know the power and authority of God is real and in the church. Whenever anything tries to tell me otherwise, I just think "that's silly" because I KNOW it's true and nothing can shake my faith. That's a good feeling. I just feel like this is the greatest work ever. Probably because it is. I know it's God's work and if I rely on Him then I will be able to accomplish miracles. I am his instrument. I love working for Him. I love serving His children. I love it! And I wish it would never ever end. I sometimes cry from joy of how much I love what I get to do. Sometimes I cry over the people. But it's all worth it.
I love y'all and I love this gospel more than words can describe. My heart is just full of joy because of the gospel and how blessed we are to have it! I love my mission. Have a great week!
Sister missionaries can do handstands in skirts and still be decent.
The YSA men. They wanted their picture taken.