Last Saturday, for the 4th of July, Sister Steadman and I decided it would only be appropriate to celebrate with my most favorite Nelsons! I mean I have been at the Nelson's for every Holiday since Thanksgiving so I figured I might as well keep that little tradition going.
When we first got there, the Nelsons decided to go to the park to play for a bit which ended up being perfect since we still needed to get our weekly planning done for the next week. Now let me tell you, that was the BEST weekly planning I have ever had! We went down on the dock, took our shoes off, let our toes just barely dip into the water while we sat there and planned under the sun on the lake with my favorite diet coke with vanilla! Oh man—it was good! That was until we were rudely scared by Sister Parke and her companion Sister Hunt! Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to die! And Mom I will have you know I got my startled screams from you! And boy did I scream! I should have know... that's Sister Parke for ya... always scaring me!
|Ahh. Now this is life!|
|Best weekly planning EVER!|
|Goofin' off... it's what we do BEST!|
Then Steve and Keri made an amazing dinner for everyone. Two of Steve's kids were also there (Brian and Kelly). It was fun to feel like one big family just hanging out in the backyard on the fourth of July. After dinner, Steve made us a fire in the backyard and we all sat around and ate dessert and just as it started to get dark, people started to launch off fireworks around the lake. We stayed for a few minutes, but sadly we missed most of the good fireworks because we had to get home for our missionary curfew. But we did get to see quite a lot on the drive home so that was kinda fun.
|Lovin' me some good 4th of July dinner with my favorite Nelsons!|
|Yep... Sister Parke and I doing a little yoga ;)|
The next day, was Sunday the 5th, which meant it was fast Sunday. The best part of the day was the fact that Iris CAME TO CHURCH and she even fasted for her first time! It was so cool! And of course I love fast and testimony meeting. We have such an awesome ward so it is always neat to hear from different people.
That afternoon, we taught Jordan with the elders and officially passed Jordan off to be taught from the elders now. We have loved working with Jordan, but it will be better if he can meet with Elders and start getting fellowshipped by guys in the ward. But Jordan did tell us that he WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!! He is just trying to figure out when he wants to be baptized now. Yay!
On Monday, July 6th, we had a meeting for the sisters in our zone and Sis S. and I were asked to give a training on testimonies. One of the talks I studied for it was called "Testimony" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks (I would highly recommend reading it). Anyway, he quoted something President Kimball said that I really liked. President Kimball said, "The moment we begin preaching to others, our testimony is ended." I thought that was a good reminder. There is a power when we simply bear testimony of what we know or believe in, while leaving all the other fluff out. Another thing I liked was when Elder Oaks said, "We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Some even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them." I would challenge each of you to find one person this week that you can share your testimony with. Remember, testimonies are simply telling someone what you believe. I have faith in you!
Tuesday, the 7th, we had our weekly district meeting and then went out to Five Guys with everyone. The owner is LDS and he was sweet enough to hook us all up with FREE fries and drinks! Thank you Brother Five Guys! ;)
That night I had an awesome chat with Elder Benson (our district leader) and Elder Roberts (the new elder serving here in this ward). Oh man, do I love these guys! It is so neat to see what a mission does for these young boys! They really do a lot of growing up while they're out here. For being 18-20 year old boys I am very impressed (with these two at least). Since being out on my mission I have come to appreciate the Priesthood so much more! It truly is neat to be able to be around men who are worthy to hold the Priesthood.
The next day, Wednesday, July 8th, we actually switched things up a bit and had our P-Day today because President Forbes invited the missionaries in the surrounding areas to come to a Twins baseball game. There were probably, about 100 missionaries that ended up coming. It was pretty fun to have so many of us together. The Twins are a big deal out here. I really know nothing about sports, but I made sure to get into it... you know I got my dollar hot dog and my dip-n-dots and made sure to clap and scream when everyone else did ;) Sister S. and I decided that if you're not eating... baseball is just kinda boring. The saddest part was when the Twins got two home runs in a row we were out buying our food! Can you believe that?! What the heck! Oh well, it was still fun and we got some sun which is always nice! (Oh and just so you know... the Twins WON!)
|Sister Parke and me.|
|Take me out to the ball game... GO TWINS!|
|Even Mickey likes the Twins!|
|I was lucky enough to sit between my two favorite companions at the game!|
|Me and Sister Steadman.|
|You think we stood out?!|
|Oh I almost forgot but Theo loves his Twins too!|
That evening we went to Jennifer's for dinner. She told us that her place was about 7 minutes away from the institute building, but for some reason it took us 45 minutes to get there! And that reason is called CRAZY CITY ROADS, DRIVERS, AND TRAFFIC! My goodness, let me tell you, it is going to feel dang good to be back on my gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere! Jennifer lives on the 19th floor of her building though so when we finally did get there we were able to enjoy a beautiful view of the city. At that point I was just happy to be looking at the roads and not be on the roads.
|What a view of downtown Minneapolis!|
On Thursday, the 9th of July, Dixon was sweet enough to cook us up a delicious lunch with rice and some of his yummy peanut butter sauce. That afternoon, we spent a good chunk of time doing some iPad training. There is a lot to learn with switching over to doing everything on iPads instead of paper. Once we get things down, it will be cool. It's just the getting things down part that is going to take some time.
|We love Dixon and his cookin!|
That evening the Higbees had the elders and us over to their place for dinner. Sister Higbee is an amazing cook so going there was such a treat! She actually even opened her own restaurant at one point. This woman knows how to cook!
That night we did some contacting and I met the cutest girl, Allison, who had her head shaved. Oh man, it made me miss those days. What do you think... Do you think my Mission President would let me shave my head? Just Kidding! Don't worry my hair is staying as tempting as it is...
Friday, July 10th, we were able to go and teach this girl, Valerie. She was baptized at the age of eight, but since then she really didn't go to church so she doesn't have much of an understanding of the gospel. It was an interesting lesson to say the least, but I think with time and as she prays for answers she will be able to know for herself that what we are teaching her is true.
We also were able to have a lesson with Iris. Karem joined us as we taught her about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. It went well and she committed to follow those commandments. We are trying to figure out where Iris really stands with the church. She is going to be able to come to church again this week so after, hopefully we can sit down with her and get more of an idea of where she is and what is holding her back from progressing towards baptism.
Friday night, we were in charge of the ward activity and we ended up doing skits in a bag. We collected a bunch of random objects and put them in different bags and then divided everyone up into two groups and let them choose a bag of props to use. The groups had to re-act out a Disney movie. Oh man, they were total disasters, but that was the beauty of it... it ended up just being a night full of laughs. So I guess, in reality, it was a success. You gotta love single wards!
Now for a little update... the plan was for Dixon to get baptized today, but that is on pause for now. We are waiting for a few things to clear up, but Dixon is doing great! We met with him for three different lessons this week, we have seen him everyday, and to be completely honest he has become quite popular in the ward. It is so neat to see how well he is doing and how much everyone loves him!
Tomorrow will be my 8 MONTH MARK!!! Holy smokes—can you believe it?!
Miss and love you all!
Keep on keeping on!
Scripture of the week: 128:23 :)
**Sister Larson forgot to put what book she was referencing above, but because I think I know her, I believe it is Doctrine and Covenants 128:23. Read it and I think you'll agree, that is very Jessica.
|Sister Woolley (a sister who is now home) knew my LOVE for chocolate covered cinnamon bears and how they're impossible to find out here so what did she do... she totally hooked me up by sending me some! Thanks Sister Woolley! You're the BEST!|