|The Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River.|
|Morning walk with the Elders.|
|Fresh Air+ Pants+ Sister Steadman= PURE HAPPINESS!|
Monday was a bit rough, for some reason, Sister S. and I haven't had very good luck with our P-Days so far. However, since it was the first of the month and we got money put on our cards for the month we decided we would treat ourselves to SUSHI for lunch. We needed a pick-me-up and well sushi seems to always help, even when you're having a not so good day. So that was fun to be able to go out and have a fun and yummy lunch together.
We finished the night off by going to see Hope and Ann (we had met Ann the night before and told her we would come back to try and meet her sister). Hope has been on our ward list for years, but no one has ever really known who she was so we were excited to finally be able to meet her. Turns out, Hope has been married for almost three years now and has a one year old daughter. We met her and her husband and they both were very nice, but made it clear that they were Catholic and very happy with their religion now. We were still hoping that Ann would be open to meeting and maybe coming to some of our activities, but that didn't sound too promising. Oh well, we have to respect others and know that people are ready at different times.
Tuesday, June 2nd, I was finally able to track down my birthday package from my family with the help of Trevor (thanks Trev). It was chuck full of all sorts of different fun birthday things. Mom, you will be happy to know we will put everything to good use still... the good news is EVERYONE has birthdays so we can use it to make other people feel special on their big day... :)
We had our district meeting today. I haven't been too excited about my new district, but today that all changed. During our meeting I was able to see the love these young elders had for one another and for the people they are working with. One of my favorite things has to be to see these young, immature boys forget themselves and learn to really love and care for others. Elder Benson (our district leader) stood up for one of the other elders during the meeting and I can't tell you how impressed I was with that simple act. Elder Benson you are a good man! Afterwards, we all went out to get some lunch at "Five Guys" a burger place (no where near as good as Snuffy's just so you know). It was great to be able to just simply talk and get to know each other on a more personal level. Elders are so young—sometimes they can be really dumb (I mean shoot they are only 18-20 years old), but than other times they can be the cutest little things. I really do feel like I am surrounded by a bunch of little brothers. It is kinda crazy to think that I am a whole decade older than some of these guys. I mean I was that kid who was changing their diapers once upon a time... kinda funny to think about. ;)
Tonight, Monique made us a curry dinner at the institute. She had invited a few other girls to come and we also invited Iris to join us. Iris loved being able to meet some new people. While everyone was eating we had a little discussion about how we have come to know for ourselves that the church is true through prayer and scripture study. And then, before we left, we all knelt down in prayer and Iris left us with another one of her beautiful prayers. After, she met Stephen (Bishop Patterson's son) who learned Chinese on his mission and Elder Chou and the three of them all went to town talking in Chinese. It was pretty cool.
Then we finished the night off by going to teach Eva and her bother Isaiah (who isn't a member). When we first got there, Isaiah wasn't giving us the time of day. In fact, while he was sitting there on the couch he closed his eyes and started to fall asleep. Thankfully, we were able to jump pretty quick with a prayer and he woke up. We asked him what he knew about the church. He told us some things that he had heard that rubbed him the wrong way. Thankfully, we were able to clear those things up for him and as soon as we did that he was interested in learning more. It was neat to see how his body language changed over the course of our lesson. By the end, he was totally sitting up and engaged. He wanted to learn. He told us that he would read and pray to know for himself if what we were sharing with him was true. Isaiah was catching the fire and you could tell he really did want to know for himself. We made an appointment to meet with him again next week. We are so pumped to continue to teach him. Eva hasn't even been a member of the church for a year yet and she is already an awesome little missionary.
The next morning, Wednesday, June 3rd, Sister Steadman and I went on a walk down to a park so we could get some fresh air during our study time. It was sprinkling a little so we found a little covered area to study under. Across from us, was a man who had made himself comfortable there for the night. We both had a feeling that we should help him. So once we were finished with our studies we went home grabbed a few things and went back to drop off a few goodies for him. Some of those things included: a blanket, food, gum, and a Book of Mormon, of course. We had to be super sneaky when we went to drop off the stuff because we didn't want to wake him up, but luckily we succeeded and were able to sneak away without being caught.
Later that day we had a great lesson with Jordan (non-member) and his member girlfriend Ranelle. Ranelle has already taught Jordan so much. In fact, they already read their scriptures, say prayers, and come to church together. But today was Jordan's first real lesson with the missionaries. We went over the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all felt the presence of the Spirit. It is cool to see how Jordan really wants to figure this out for himself. At first, he was simply learning so he could learn more about what Ranelle believed, but now things have changed and he is wanted to gain his own testimony. We set up another appointment to meet with him in two weeks. He wants to take things a bit slower with the missionaries, but that's totally ok, there is no right timetable.
For lunch today, Sister Steadman and I got creative! We were driving around and we happened to pass a Sam's Club, so we figured FREE SAMPLES would do the trick! Yep, so that is exactly what we did. We hit up the free samples. Unfortunately, they didn't have too many and our tummies were still a bit hungry, but then we remembered that you don't have to have a Sam's card to buy one of their $1.30 hotdogs so we hit that up as well. Thank you Sam's Club!
Wednesday night, we stopped by Jenna's to visit her. She is doing awesome and is still working at her goals. She mentioned to us that she was going to have some friends over and that they would probably bring over alcohol and right when she said that we had a little chat about that... and now she is telling her friends NO ALCOHOL in her home but that they're going to be having rootbeer floats instead. Way to go Jenna! Man, we're so proud of her!!!
Thursday, the 4th, we went on exchanges. I ended up leaving the area for the day to go and work with Sister Huang in New Brighten and Sis. S had Sis. Cox come here for the day. I definitely got the better end of the deal—Sister Huang is amazing and she is only going to be here for another ten days and then it's time for her to go back home. I am so grateful I had the chance to work with her one last time. She had been holding in so many things and hadn't been able to open up to anyone so that afternoon she finally let everything out and I was so happy I could be a listening ear and help give her some counsel. Sister Huang, you are a wonderful missionary and daughter of God. You have done amazing things here and are only going to continue to do amazing things once you go back home. Thanks for all you have done and for all of the support and encouragement you have given me!
|Sister Huang and me on exchanges.|
While we were on exchanges we went to Sister Joyce's to do some service around her house. She is a hoarder (I'm surprised how many of those I have met out here) so we definitely had our work cut out for us. We seemed to have made a dent and that is how it starts, but sadly I don't see it lasting too long :( We also went to see Sister Trice and teach her a lesson about Nephi and his faith. Then we did some stop bys for less active members and for potentials. We met the Deel family and set up a time to go back and see them next week. And then we met Vanka this awesome Catholic woman. We ended up talking with her for quite awhile and having a mini lesson with her right there on her front porch and we also exchanged numbers with her and are planning on going back to see her and her husband after they get back from going out of town. It is always exciting to make plans to go back and teach people, but it is kind of a bummer when you are on exchanges and you know you are actually never going to be able to see those people again... oh well, as long as the work is progressing.
Friday, June 5th, we spent the morning baking cupcakes for people. It was Louisa's birthday so we wanted to make her day special for her and we also wanted to thank our ward mission leader, ward clerk, and the elders for all they do! And the best part was I was able to put some of my birthday stuff to good use. Thanks Mom! I know it made Louisa's day!
|Sister Steadman... How on earth did whip cream get on the ceiling?! Oops ;)|
|Happy Birthday Louisa|
That afternoon, we had a lesson with the elders and with a girl by the name of Ellie. She came to the lesson with a notebook full of pages of questions she had written down to ask us. Dang—she had a lot of questions. We were able to have a good discussion together. We are planning on starting to teach her the actual missionary lessons in two weeks, so stay tuned for that.
Then last night, we had our typical ward activity at the institute building. It was pretty chill last night. We had pizza and games for people. It started pretty slow, but once people started getting into the games the place got hoppin' and people started to really have fun. I have so say, serving here in a singles area is quite different when you spend your Friday nights playing games, but I suppose it is just another way to fellowship others... and we all know I have a strong testimony of the importance of having fun. God wants His children to be happy... So LET'S BE HAPPY AND HAVE FUN!
Love you all and hope you have all started "The Spiritual Summer Workout"! Trev posted it on the blog so check it out... print it out... and DO IT! (The document is linked on the blog, if you get this via e-mail, pleas visit the blog to get the link).
Scripture of the week: D&C 128:22- "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad."
(Thanks for the scripture Jeremy- it may be my new favorite)
|Driving down the freeway one night.|
|I spy with my little eye... "Candace"?!?!|
|They're doing "The Spiritual Summer Workout". Are you?!|
|Theo and Uffda studying away.|
|Never forget... YOU ARE LOVED!|