The best part about the entire day was the fact that it got into the 40’s and I totally busted out my flip-flops for such an occasion! It’s weird how the 40’s can honestly feel AMAZING and even warm to us out here in Minnesota. Wow—I never thought I would be saying that! That night we had dinner with Bob and Carol and they were sweet enough to share with us some of their yummy homemade pizza. Carol seriously seems to always do such a gourmet job in the kitchen. And then we finished the night off with a lesson with Erica and Tobey over at the Hienonen’s. (Brother Hienonen actually did his internship out at Mt. Spokane High School about 13 years ago when I was a student there… we totally could have bumped into each other once upon a time… small world). Anyway, the lesson seemed to go well. Tobey and Erica mentioned to us that they are house hunting so we aren’t too sure how much longer they will be in our area. But for now we will keep teaching them.
On Tuesday, March 10th, we had our district meeting and then we went on exchanges with the sisters in Bloomington and I ended up going to Bloomington to work with Sister Woolley for the day. That evening we had the chance to teach the Ward family. The lesson was going great and I was feeling super good about things. Half way through I asked them if they had ever thought about the idea of families being together forever... and they quickly answered “Oh yeah! You can be sealed to your family for eternity!” It was then that I realized we were visiting members. Sister Woolley had forgot to mention to me that the Wards were already members of the church they just weren’t very active. I’m really glad I was able to figure it out before I asked them to commit to be baptized ;) Then later that night we met with one of their recent converts, Rodger. I had met him in the past, but it was so much fun to sit down with him and get to talk. Rodger didn’t know it, but he was totally the answer to my prayers that day! I had been working through some things and that night Rodger just seemed to say exactly what I needed to hear. It’s pretty cool how the Lord works! We must remember we too can be the answer to other’s prayers. Are we acting and living in such a way that the Lord can work through us to help us lift and bless others?
Wednesday morning I went back to Minnetonka. Sister Parke and I went to visit Sister Yule at work and were able to have a wonderful lesson with her. She is ready to make some major life changes! Those changes are scary and are going to be hard, but we are trying to give her that support she needs to know that with God’s help ALL things are possible! Then that afternoon Sister Parke and I went to Eden Prairie to work with those sisters for the next day. They don’t have much of a teaching pool so we went over there to help them do some contacting and tracting. Wednesday I went out with Sister Farnsworth. Earlier that day I had gotten together with our Relief Society President, Sister Larson and then tonight for dinner we went over to the Larsen’s. I have to say there are a lot of us Larsons (Larsens) out here in Minnesota. The Larsen family was so much FUN! When we got to their house they had welcomed us by drawing welcome signs all over their driveway for the sister missionaries. How cool is that?! They have 5 kids all under the age of 11 and they were so much fun to hang out with. They each got to ask us a question and of course my favorite one they asked was “Who is my favorite Disney princess?” And of course I said, “Cinderella!” You got to love kids and how carefree they are! Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days.
The next day, the 12th of March, I went out working with Sister Huang. While we were out we met this really cool guy Larry. Larry has a beard down to about his bellybutton. I asked him how long he has been working on that thing and he said about six years now. Go Larry! Larry looks a little rough on the outside, but after talking with him for a while we were able to get his number and he invited us to come back. He has been involved in AA (Alcohol Anonymous) for about 11 years now and when I told him about our churches 12 step addiction recovery program he was super interested! It’s just so cool to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ is for EVERYONE! We must always remember we are ALL children of God. We are all brothers and sisters. And we are all in this thing called life TOGETHER! That evening, once Sister Parke and I went back to our area, we went to visit Rahel and her girls. We had an awesome lesson on the word of wisdom! You never know how people are going to react when you tell them that we don’t drink coffee or tea. For the most part, people understand the importance of not using tobacco or drinking alcohol, but when you mention coffee many of them can’t seem to wrap their mind around that at first. In the middle of the lesson, I was explaining how Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to be addicted to things. Right then, Rahel goes, “Oh, yeah… that’s like me and my coffee!” Then Sister Parke jumped in and was like, “Funny you should mention that because…” As we went on to explain how God has also asked us to stay away from other addicting substances like coffee, Rahel just jumped in and said, “YES, I will give that up!” She told us she was going to give up her coffee before we even had to ask her. It was so awesome!!! Go Rahel!!!
Friday, the 13th, was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Every morning we study for a hour on our own and then we have a hour to study together and today we studied OUTSIDE!!! The sun was out and it was HOT! I’m talking like 70 degrees! It was absolutely crazy! I’m not totally sure where all the nice weather came from, but I was loving every minute of it! Steve and Keri (the people we live with) live right on Lake Minnetonka and they just happen to have a hammock right at the edge of the yard. All I have to say about that is SUN+HAMMOCK=HAPPINESS!!! It was nothing less than heavenly! Sister Parke and I were soaking it all up! Friday night was a night of random notes of kindness. Us sister missionaries usually like to do sweet little things for others and notes is huge for us… tonight we ended up just driving around dropping off little notes to people.
Saturday, March 14th, we had our morning meeting over at Bishop Patterson’s. Oh man, I know I probably say this a lot, but I am so grateful for him! He has so much love for people and I have felt nothing less than love from him every time I am around him. Later in the day, we went over to see Jennifer and we nailed down a baptismal date for April 18th for her! It’s so cool to see so many people come unto Christ and want to follow Him and live His gospel. We are still holding out for Tanneh and Josh… don’t you worry… they are still planning on getting baptized they have just pushed it back a bit, but IT IS HAPPENING!!! Tonight we had dinner over at our favorite Mussers. Oh, I just love those guys! They are always spoiling us with goodies! And then we ended the night off by going to see, “Journey with Joseph” (that’s a musical about Joseph Smith at the Minneapolis Stake youth put on). WOW—they did a fantastic job! I’m always so surprised by the talent all of these young kids have! My goodness, you wouldn’t believe the kind of show they pulled off for only having 2 months to work on it. They did such a great job. It was an awesome performance to bring people to. The spirit was strong and the testimony these kids bore through their singing was incredible! Jennifer and Angie both came so that was awesome! While we were there I saw Sister Bone and Sister Zimmerman (who are two of my past companions and now they are companions with each other). It was great to be able to see them! They looked good and happy and that makes me happy.
Sunday, Sister Parke and I went over to the Robison’s for dinner with the Nielsons. I LOVE going over to their house for dinner on Sundays because that is when they each go around and share a time during the past week when they have felt the spirit and then they light a candle. It is seriously one of the coolest family traditions I have ever seen! Talk about inviting the spirit into your home! Then Sunday night we had a President’s fireside. Mercy took us and Rahel and her girls met us there. It was so good to be able to have Rahel join us since she worked in the morning and couldn’t come to church. My favorite part of the whole day was bumping into Sister Steadman at the fireside. Oh my goodness, I miss that girl! Every time, I see her I just light up and usually at least one of us ends up in tears simply because we are just so happy to see the other person. I am so grateful Heavenly Father put us together to be companions in the MTC. That friendship has been able to give me so much strength and I know she feels the same. It’s funny how Sister Steadman, Sister Zimmerman, and I just seem to have this special bond from getting to work together at the MTC. We were definitely met to be companions for a reason that is for sure!
Speaking of companions, I love Sister Parke! She is an absolute rock star!!! She is only 19 years old but she has it going on! She is so positive, fun and her testimony just shines! God has blessed me again. I have been very lucky with all of my companions so far! Thank you Heavenly Father—let’s keep it like that ;)
I hope all is well back home and that everyone is enjoying SPRING! Thanks for all of the love and support! Knowing I have so many back home praying for me is such an added strength! Thank you all. Love you millions and billions!