Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 27 – May 18, 2015

Oh my, my, my... I just want to start off by saying that I am going to be turning 28 years old this week and, well, I still CAN'T parallel park! Shoot that is just embarrassing! Being here in the city is sure different. I honestly can't say I have had to parallel park since I was 15 when I had to do it in drivers ed. About 20 minutes ago I was able to give some people some pretty good free entertainment by simply letting them watch me TRY and parallel park. Sadly, I eventually gave up and drove away. Sister Steadman was laughing so hard we could hardly breathe! Good times! Speaking of being with Sister Steadman, it is AMAZING!!! We truly are the DREAM TEAM!!! I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back with her! But don't get me wrong I sure as heck miss my Sister Parke! Last Monday feels like it was FOREVER ago with all of the changes that have been going on, but lets see what all I can cover.

Last Monday, May 11th, when we were at the library e-mailing home when the elders finally attacked our car. Sadly, they were very creative! They copied us and had gotten a car marker and written on our back window, "WE LOVE MORMON BOYS!- Please Honk". Come on guys you can do better than that! But I guess that's the best they could come up with. Well, you know how Sister Parke and I are... WE NEVER LOSE. So later that day we found their car and got them back! And we figured we should just do the SAME thing back to them. So we wrote on their car, "WE LOVE MORMON BOYS!" Ha! Oh man- we were dying laughing when we drove away. Apparently when they saw it, they couldn't believe it. Once again, the sisters had won!

Serious Elders that's the best you can do?!
Gotcha!!! Bahahaha!

That afternoon we went to see Bob. I was so happy we were able to see him one more time before I left. He was the only one home so we had to meet outside on his deck. Sadly, it was pretty cold and it had started to sprinkle. I wanted so badly to have this lesson with Bob! We both said a silent prayer and asked God to help us and to hold off on the rain, just until we were done meeting with Bob and guess what?! That is exactly what happened! Heavenly Father heard our prayers and the rain held off just until we got into our car. The best part about that was the fact that we had an incredible lesson with Bob. We read about the tree of life and talked to Bob about where he was and where he wanted to be and how he was going to get there. I think Bob had a bit of a wake up call. Oh and then before we left I asked Bob if he would say a sincere prayer with us. Normally, he jokes through his prayers and this time I asked him to be sincere with his Father in Heaven and TODAY was the first time Bob actually said a sincere and real heart felt prayer. It was so cool! It made sitting outside in the cold weather so worth it!

That night we went over to Sister Larson's for dinner and then headed over to visit my favorite Mussers! We had a great time just chatting with Sister Musser and her sister Lisa for a while while we bundled up in blankets trying to get warm from being out in the cold for so long this afternoon. Then we watched the Restoration. Such a good video! If you haven't watched it in this last year... WATCH IT! It is just a great reminder of the restoration of the church and how powerful it is! And then our last stop for the night was to go and see Sister Harman and Sister Sangrin. Months ago, I had given Sister Sangrin a picture of "my tree" (it's MY place—where I have spent many hours sitting and talking with God). Anyway, she surprised me tonight with the sweetest gift! She had painted me a picture of "my tree". It meant so much to me. That woman is in so much pain and has very bad vision, but she did that for me! I will cherish that painting forever! Thank you Sister Sangrin!

Tuesday, May 12th, I hit my 6th MONTH MARK!!! It's official I am 1/3 of the way through my mission. Wow—I can't believe it! Today was also my last day in Minnetonka so it was full of many goodbyes. First we stopped to visit Sister Kucera. She has been so down ever since her dear husband passed away, but I wasn't leaving without seeing her! She is an angel! I had my very first teaching evaluation with the Kuceras and they just have always had a special place in my heart and always will!

Next we swung by to see Sister Yule at work and to let her know I would be leaving. Then, since it was my last day, I had to go to SNUFFY'S of course with Brother Longstreet. I enjoyed my last California burger. Now, normally we get a malt every week, but this week we switched things up and went for a sundae. The thing was absolutely HUGE, but don't you worry Sister Parke and I were able to pound that whole thing down. We don't mess around when it comes to Snuffy's ;)

Lunch at Snuffy's with Brother Longstreet. Sure going to miss it!

Then it was time to go and see Angie. Oh man, I am going to miss that woman! She is so stinking stubborn, but I love her! I hate the idea of leaving and knowing that I no longer will be around to help these people, but I have complete faith in Sister Parke so at least I know I am leaving them in good hands. While we were there, Sister Parke threw out the baptismal date of June 20th—Go Parke! Come on Angie you CAN DO THIS!!! And get this, before we left, Angie gave me a HUG! That was my first and last hug from her. I had tried to hug her in the past and learned that was a no no, but since I was leaving she HUGGED ME!!! Yeah—now I know I really did get through to Angie. She loves me even if she has a hard time showing it—I know it ;)

After that, we drove to Hopkins where we went to see my two new Minnesotan Grandmas, Sister Erlendsson and Kathy. First we went to see Sister Erlendsson. Now hands down she is going to be the very hardest person for me to leave! She truly has become MY Grandma! I love that woman and would adopt her if I could! We played a few last rounds of Hi-Q (our favorite game—but we've added a gratitude twist to it). And then we were actually able to talk Sister Erlendsson into coming downstairs to meet Kathy. My dream is that those two become best friends and can just help each other out! They hit it off quite well so I would say they are definitely on their way to becoming besties ;) Kathy informed me that she had already looked up where my new ward meets so she could come and find me if she needed to. Ha—oh Kathy—I just love her!

My two Minnesotan Grandmas.
That night for dinner I requested to have dinner with Steve and Keri (since it was my last night and all). We ate out in the backyard even though it was a bit chilly and shared the good memories we have shared over the last several months. Bishop Patterson came over to the house that night and he gave me the sweetest beanie from Peru (where his son is serving his mission right now). I had seen it over at his house before and mentioned how much I loved it. I couldn't believe he actually was giving it to me as a gift! He explained to me that I was like this hat. I didn't need to try and be a boring gray hat when I was a bright fun colorful hat. I liked that! Bishop is always giving me wise counsel. Thanks Bishop—you and your words of wisdom will be missed!

Theo wearing the awesome hat Bishop Patterson gave me.

Then it was back out for a couple more last goodbyes. I had to go say goodbye to Rahel, Heaven, and Coco of course. And then we stopped by Jennifer's too so I could give her a hug bye.

We ended the night off with Steve and Keri by having an ultimate bubble gum blowing contest! I found out last week that Steve absolutely HATES gum so it was only right to go out and buy some DOUBLE BUBBLE to celebrate my last night together. Steve was dying just at the idea of having to put that stuff in his mouth, but he was a good sport. Turns out Steve actually never even learned how to blow a bubble before. Trying to teach him was absolutely hilarious! I was laughing so stinkin' hard! Keri showed off her skills by doing double bubbles. You will be happen to know Steve was able to get a couple little baby bubbles before he finally had had enough and spit his gum out. Thanks for having fun with it Steve! It is kinda funny though—this guy can do iron man races, but he can't blow bubbles! Before going off to bed we had "family" prayer together. I honestly can't even begin to express the love I have for Steve and Keri. They are going to be missed tremendously!

Wednesday, May 12th, was the big day. Transfers had finally come. Before we left I made sure to get one last moment in my hammock, out on the dock and I even had a moment with God in the sauna (that was my special little place through the winter—where I would go to talk with Heavenly Father). And I honestly don't know what has happened but even on my way out the door, Jack (their dog) got a kiss goodbye from me. I'm even going to miss my little Jack Jack. Oh man, this place truly has become my home. When we drove out the drive way and down the road tears slowly streamed down my face at the simple fact that I knew I wouldn't be coming "HOME" tonight. But I know change is good so after a minute of tears I cheered up and looked forward to the future!

A TON of missionaries were at the transfer meeting. Sister Steadman actually wasn't there, because she was on an exchange, so I had to wait just a little longer to meet up with my new companion. But my new Zone (the St. Paul Zone) went out to lunch together. They seem like a pretty cool group of missionaries. I'm looking forward to working with new people! I really do like change so this will be fun and exciting!

Finally, it was time... I was in "DINKY TOWN" (my new area- where I live). We pulled up to my apartment building and I saw Sister Steadman. We instantly just ran up to each other and gave each other the BIGGEST hug ever!!! We couldn't hold back our excitement! WE WERE COMPANIONS!!! This was actually happening! We couldn't help but scream with excitement. We got my stuff moved in and got me all unpack.

Welcome to DINKY TOWN... My new home!

That afternoon we had a meeting with the Bishop here and I was able to meet the elders in our ward—Elder Evans and Elder Chou. We work with the elders a ton here in this area and they are both super cool so that will be good!

Thursday, May 14th, we got a ride to Bloomington so we could get a car. There was a minute there where this area didn't have a car (because well Sister Steadman totaled it—but shhh don't tell her I told you). Thankfully, the mission was nice enough to get us another one, but now I have to drive it ALL the time (which means I better get the whole parallel parking thing down and quick). We helped in the mission office for a bit and then Elder Thompson (one of the senior missionaries) totally hooked us up by taking us to what they call the "Celestial Kingdom". This is the storage unit for all of the extra stuff old missionaries aren't using. Oh my goodness—it truly was like walking into heaven! Our apartment was lacking to say the least. We were in desperate need of some things, not to mention some major TLC! But Elder Thompson told us to take whatever we could use so that is exactly what we did! We so got hooked up!

Later that day I was able to go and meet Dona and teach her about God—we shared Alma 22 with her! It was a good lesson. And then we stopped by to see Brei. She is getting ready to go on a mission so we just talked to her about things she could do now to help her prepare herself now. The sad part is they're both leaving—in fact most of the people I taught this week here are leaving now for the summer since this was the last week of the semester so that's kinda stinking. Looks like we are going to be doing a lot of contacting and less active work!

Brei and us outside of the church.

Our last visit for the night was to go and see Jenna (she is less active). She was awesome! We had a great lesson and then were able to do some handy work by putting a broken bookshelf back together. Sister Steadman and I felt like quite the little handy-mans.

Oh and then on our drive home tonight I did the worst thing ever... by total accident of course. Oh my goodness, I can't even believe I am telling you this... So it was crazy raining out and there were lots of puddles and there was this one road with some construction on it which had a big-o pot hole with tons of muddy water. Anyways, it was dark, it was raining, I couldn't see very well and I totally ran right over the pot hole- not a big deal right?! WRONG! The next thing I heard was a high pitch scream! And then I saw what I had just done! There was girl walking down the road in a little white jacket with her boyfriend who was holding the umbrella for her when BAM! I hit the hot hole and a wave of nice muddy water came flying through the air drenching this girl. She screamed, her boyfriend busted up laughing, and I drove away fast feeling like the biggest meany ever! I swear it was an accident. But I am telling you what happened I thought only happened in the movies, but nope tonight I made that little scene a reality. Poor girl—please forgive me!!!

Friday, May 15th, Sister Steadman and I worked on a huge project! We made a "Spiritual Summer Workout" for those of our investigators who will be going home for the summer. But then we got to thinking we should do it with them and even give it to members of the ward and then we thought shoot why not give it to our family and friends back home to do it will us as well. It starts this coming up Monday, May 25th, and goes for 13 weeks. Okay—so if you are up for the challenge and want to bulk up SPIRITUALLY then this is for you! There is a scripture, video, or talk to read or watch Monday through Saturday. It's going to be AWESOME! I totally challenge you to do it!!! Please let me know once you have started :)

This afternoon we helped Arlyne move, had dinner with Jaren, stopped in to the Friday night ward activity to see Hilary (one of our investigators who is graduating),and then it was back to finishing up our little summer study guide project.

Saturday, May 16th, we had to say goodbye to Dona, but she was so excited about her summer workout we gave her. I'm going to cross my fingers that I am still here in the fall when she gets back so I can continue to work with her.

This afternoon we had a meeting with our ward mission leader. We went to visit Naye (a less active member who is also graduating and moving). And then we did some campus shopping! HOLY COW!!! You would never believe how awesome Sister Steadman and I did! Okay, so tons of people are moving away right now and in every dorm building they have huge boxes of things people are getting ride of like clothes, electronics, food, etc. Remember how I mentioned that our little apartment was in some need! Well, we figured we needed to take advantage of our resources so that is exactly what we did! We did what I like to call upper class dumpster diving! Heavenly Father was truly watching out for us because we were able to get hundreds of dollars or worth of stuff for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Oh man, Aunt Trish you would have been so proud of your little Niece Jessi Bob! I got 'er done!!!

Oh yeah! We rock at this dorm shipping thing! 
But dragging this stuff across campus just able killed us in the process!
Dumpster diving at its best!
Check out ALL OUR FINDS! We did dang good! 

By the end of the day we were so totally pooped we went home and enjoyed making a nice dinner out of our free finds! What a glorious ending to a fantastic day!

Sunday, May 17th, I got to go check out my new ward for the first time and it's good! I have a feeling I'm going to really like it here! Proselyting hours here are quite the opposite of everywhere else—nights and weekends are our dead time and day time is the time to be out on campus getting work done. So tonight we did our weekly planning. While we were planning, we enjoyed some popcorn and needed a little break at one point to bake some chocolate cookies (don't worry we shared them with the elders) ;) We also set some awesome goals for this up coming transfer. I have to say I am so looking forward to these next six weeks working with Sister Steadman. We have already decided that this is going to be THE BEST TRANSFER EVER!!!

Making our new planners and having way too much fun!

Love you all!
-Sister Larson
Scripture for the week: 1 Corinthians 9:24 Look it up!

Home sweet home.
Sister Steadman does such a good job at welcoming me! Gosh I love her!

You think we have enough glasses? What if I told you we had more?!
Theo found himself a little lady! Her name is Uffea. And let me tell you it was love at first sight! Sorry he is in his whitey tighties... he got caught sunbathing in his undies—don't tell. It's a dang good thing Uffea takes him as he is. Stay tuned to see how their relationship unfolds... ;)

*** Note from Trevor***
I will be traveling next week and thus, Jessic.... Sis. Larson's blog will be updated one day late, on Tuesday. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

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