Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 28 – May 25, 2015

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes, packages, and cards that you sent (I think there are still some on the way too). You all sure knew how to make a missionary's birthday special!

This area is quite different from Minnetonka and this last week there was no school because it was a break between semesters so it was very dead around campus so we really didn't do much contacting.

Monday 5/18
Last P-Day was a day full of all sorts of hick-ups, but we tried to make the best of it and get as much done as possible. That night the ward had FHE, but we ended up just staying for the spiritual thought.

Tuesday 5/19
Today we had our first district meeting with our new district in this area and again it was very different than what I have been used to, but I am open to change, it is just going to take some getting used to. Our district here is much bigger and then today we happened to also have the zone leaders, APs and STLs there were like 20 of us. But we had a really good training on leadership.

We did spent a little time this afternoon down in Dinky Town doing some contacting down by the restaurants and let me tell you we sure met some interesting people. But the cool thing is, as different as we all are, we are ALL still sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and each one of us needs our Savior Jesus Christ.

That night we met up with Hilary to say goodbye. She has been working with the missionaries here since the fall and is pretty darn close to getting baptized, but unfortunately, she just graduated so she is moving away. But on a happy note, we were able to contact the Bishop and the elders where she will be moving to make sure she won't be forgotten about. She will be welcomed with lots of open arms! Oh, man I just love how the church works the same ALL OVER THE WORLD. How blessed are we?!

Saying goodbye to Hilary.

And we finished the night off by going over to visit Jenna. We had a lesson on our individual worth and on self improvement. Then after we all spent time coming up with some goals we wanted to work on in these five areas: PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, and MENTAL, we talked about how there is a balance in all things and how God wants each of His children to take care of themselves in ALL five areas of their lives. If you haven't sat down recently and thought about where you are right now and where you want to go, I would suggest maybe taking some time to think about these five different areas of your life and possibly set some goals for yourself. Maybe just pick one or two things you want to work on so you don't get overwhelmed. After you master those things then you can start working on a couple other goals you want to work on. Remember, Mosiah 4:27 (thanks for that scripture this week Andrew).

Wednesday 5/20
Today we attempted to go contacting on campus, but that was a complete failure considering there were literally ZERO people on campus, but hey at least we tried, right?! We had our weekly meeting with our Bishop and then we went out to dinner with a couple of the sisters from the ward. Opal and Allison took Sister Steadman and I out to Potbelly's for dinner. It was fun to go out with some other young ladies our age (just another perk of working in a singles ward).

Then that evening we went to help out Ranelle (from our ward) with a recital she was putting on for her music students with special needs. Oh my goodness, it was so neat to be able to be apart of that! These children were so sweet! You could just feel their sweet and innocent spirits. Her students had all sorts of different kinds of handicaps, but they were able to use music therapy to help them. I loved being able to simply watch how enthusiastic they were to get up on stage and show off their talents. Being around these children helped me remember what is truly important in this life. So often I get caught up in little silly things that mean absolutely nothing when you step back and look at the big picture. It simply comes down to loving one another and following Christ's example- NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! I hope and pray I can become more like these children who helped open my eyes.

Thursday 5/21
This afternoon President Forbes and Sister Forbes came to the institute to meet with us and let us know that we are going to be getting a new senior missionary couple this weekend who will be working in our area with us. That will be another first for me, but I hear working with the senior couples is awesome so I am looking forward to that.

Sis. Steadman, Sis. Forbes and me.

We went to visit a girl by the name of Zoua (a less active member). She was so cool, but gosh dang it she just graduated too and is moving so that was my first and last time getting to visit her :(

Then we went to see another less active member, Eva, but guess what she is STAYING! She is also pretty cool so I look forward to working some more with her. Then we saw Brei one last time before she left for the summer. Hopefully, we will be hearing about her mission call next week and where she will be going! Ahh- so exciting!

Friday 5/22 (MY BIRTHDAY)
This morning I heard the alarm go off extra early and saw Sister Steadman sneak out of bed... And then when our actual alarm went off at 6:30 and I got up I realized she had gotten up to decorate the house! I know, I have the best companion EVER! Thanks Sister! I think my favorite part was when I went into the bathroom to discover our full length mirror covered with 28 different things she loves about ME! How sweet is that?! I also was spoiled with lots of love sent to me from back home! Here is a BIG THANKS to everyone who sent me love and made my birthday so special!

Birthday love from Sis. Steadman.

We kick started my birthday off by actually going over to Jenna's to celebrate her birthday (it was the day before and apparently it wasn't that great so we wanted to have a re-do for her). So we went over to her apartment and made a big birthday breakfast. We made pancakes or I should say we "tried" to make pancakes. They turned out absolutely HORRIBLE! I think Jenna's were ok, but mine were totally doughy on the inside so we had to pull them apart and try to cook their guts which helped cook them, but they were still quite nasty and dry, but at least we had a good laugh and made a good memory.

Our nasty Birthday pancakes.

Sister Steadman ended up going back to our place to make some normal food which consisted of tuna sandwiches and potato chips—I would say a pretty good birthday lunch. And then it was off to go serve with the St. Paul Zone. We went to Feed My Starving Children, but it was a new location so that was fun to mix things up a bit. Oh and here is the coolest part, if you go there on your birthday, they give you a FREE t-shirt since it's your birthday and they have cool shirts so I was pretty stoked. Plus—we all know how I am about getting FREE stuff. Just another thing to go with my collection now ;)

FMSC with the Zone!

Saving the world one meal at a time.

For dinner, Monique from the ward made me a birthday dinner and let me request what I wanted. I had heard about her famous crepes so that is what I went with and let me tell you they were quite good! Pretty much we ate dessert from dinner, but it was my birthday so why not, right?! Oh, and then she topped it off by sending us home with ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone because I told her it was a family tradition to have ice cream cake on our birthdays—I know I was so spoiled!

Ice cream cake on our faces?! I'm not sure how that happened. 

Friday evening at the ward activity, we ended up having a chalk drawing contest out in the institute parking lot. The elders and us made a team and let me tell you our parking spot looked pretty dang good and it even had a spiritual theme. Ours was totally the best, however, the judges gave us third place cause they didn't want everyone else to feel bad ;) JK Oh and after, somehow, my body started getting traced and a crime scene was drawn around me—it was not a pretty picture, good thing, my guts where only chalk guts ;)

Chalking it up Missionary style!

Saturday 5/23
Today, we took Becca from the ward with us to go and hunt down a sister she visit teaches who actually happens to live in Hopkins. Sadly, she wasn't home, but since we were already in Hopkins I figured we should probably swing by and see how Kathy was doing and sure enough she was better than ever just soaking up as much of the gospel as ever. Turns out she is actually going to be speaking at the President's Fireside next month—isn't that awesome? Go Kathy! I can't wait to go and hear her speak—oh man that lady is one of a kind! I'm so happy I was able to sneak in a quick visit with her. Her grandson lives by the University so we gave her our information so she could pass it along to him. Hopefully, he will contact us. If he is anything like his grandma I already know we will like him!

Then tonight we had our weekly planning session at the house... and yes there may have been kettle corn involved ;)

Sunday 5/24
Church was awesome today—there was a special feeling of reverence there. I love how quiet it is during the sacrament service at a singles ward because there are no children making noise. It really does give you the time to check in with God and think about all that our Savior has done for us. I am so grateful for the sacrament and for the beautiful gift of forgiveness the Savior has provided for each one of us. We are truly eternally indebted to Him!

This afternoon, we met with Iris (a student Sister Steadman had taught once before). We went over the plan of salvation. It was such an awesome lesson! She grew up in China and doesn't have a very good understanding of God or Jesus Christ so it is so neat to be able to teach her about them. She LOVED learning about God's plan for us and is excited for us to meet with her again. We didn't have a BOM (Book of Mormon) on us, but she is EXCITED and looking forward to getting one soon! Iris is serious amazing! I am looking forward to continuing to teach her and help answer her questions.

Tonight we had dinner with some of the summer sales people who are out here selling for the summer. We have about 60 new people in the ward who have come in these last two weeks, it's insane! We are hoping to go around and meet all of them. We all know how hard summer selling can be so we just want to make sure they are getting the support they need from the ward because this summer is going to be rough and heaven knows they need all the support they can get.

And then we finished the night off by heart attacking our elders here. They are so good to us and we just wanted to show them how much we appreciate all they do for us. Oh I forgot to mention that even the elders went out and got me presents and wrote me the sweetest letters for my birthday. What awesome guys! Our relationship with these elders is quite different than my last area. I love them both we just show our love differently here in Dinky Town :)

Love you all, Sister Larson
Scripture for the week: D&C 24: 8

PS- The "Spiritual Summer Workout" started today MAY 25th and goes through AUGUST 22nd. Sister Steadman and I have already done our spiritual workout for the day. Have you?

Yeah... I live here!
BRR... it's COLD again! I sweat the weather here is bipolar!
Theo and Uffda's second date!
How cute are they!
Theo and Uffda celebrate with me!

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