What a beautiful time to be a missionary. I love it the most, the most!
My life has come full circle. Yesterday was Stake Conference in the West Stake and I was there LAST YEAR for the same stake conference. I mean. I've been serving in this Stake for a full year without breaks! So crazy! I remember sitting in the audience last year thinking "this Stake President sure seems missionary minded" because all the messages were so focused and purposeful. And now, after a year full of experiences with President McCombie I just feel so full of love and gratitude. He's incredible! Every session of conference was inspired and beautiful. I think it's church wide that youth are invited now to the adult session and that rocks. And I think the theme church wide is "hastening the work." which totally includes the youth because they are the most courageous missionaries! In the Saturday session they had a youth choir but they were a little worried that there weren't enough voices so they asked the missionaries to join in so we got to sit on the stand, right behind my bffs, President and Sister Mullen. Looking over the congregation I seriously felt like Ammon when he reunites with his old pal, Alma.
I love these sweet, farmer folk. They are good and kind and I just love 'em. The West Stake is mine, forever. And because we cover the whole stake for Spanish work and because I served in Cheney for 6 months, I really have come to know so many people. Before the Saturday meeting we had a soup and bread dinner and we could hardly sit down to eat because people were stopping to talk and say hello to us. It just feels nice to be loved and appreciated.
President McCombie made both the Saturday and Sunday sessions interactive. He had people write down their impressions, share with their neighbor and then he put mikes out in the audience so people could stand up and share what they were going to change and do differently. It was a really great learning experience. And so many beautiful insights for missionary work. I just feel excited to follow up with the different families in the stake to help them keep the fire.
One sister missionary in our stake was asked to bear her testimony and she said, "they will have to drag me out of here to get me home, but among the the two things i'm looking forward to most about going home are my family and being a member missionary." Can I just say, "amen!" I love my full time missionary status and I love my badge and the confidence it gives me and I love the miracles and the growth and everything. I LOVE being a missionary. But I'm grateful that in the Lord's wisdom, He let me go at the beginning of my life to experience and learn all these things because I want to forever more apply them and lead a life of service and love and I want to focus on inviting people to Christ ALL my life. That has changed about me. Of all the things, my perspective has changed and my motives are different. This is the work and glory of God and it matters most.
We found someone new! Lauro! He was a semi-referral from some cutie cute members in the Spokane 1st ward. They are managers of an apartment complex and they told us about him but then they glumly told us that we weren't allowed to proselyte in the complex but that they would continue to invite him to activities and talk to him about church if he ever brought it up. But their little six year old chamaco hinted that he shared walls with other members, the Stringhams, in the complex. And so one night we were driving around, heading to try some members and I thought, "we should visit the Stringhams." because sister Stringham speaks Spanish and she could become his friend and SHE could invite him or something. So we went. And then as we were leaving I just thought, "ah heck. this is God's work. "no proselyting" or not, I'm knocking it" and Lauro answered and just loved us! We have been focusing on using the Book of Mormon in our street contacts and now it's all I use because the Book of Mormon just carries the Spirit and can teach way better than I can! So anyway, we introduced the Book of Mormon and taught the whole restoration on his doorstep and he just kept joking and loving it. Le cayemos muy bien! Y el nos cae muy bien tambien :)
But the lesson I really learned is that God knows me. Because I had been wondering if I receive promptings or if I follow them well enough as a missionary and then, he prompted me and I acted. As if He was telling me, "I do trust you, little one."
Anyway, we received 8 referrals this week! I mean it's like crazy! We'll find this family the Condons trust us to find. I know it!
Con todo mi amor,
|this is from our last zone training like beginning of january.|
|sister walton, sister kunkel, and i. this was the day i was throwing up so i just look lovely, i know.|
|sister gifford, sister kennach (who is samoan and from temple square and she was SO excited about jacob serving in a samoan ward)|
sister walton's mom sent us matching pjs for christmas. we wear them every day. we've also been told by 10 people now that we look like sisters. what the crazy??
so here's a bunch of shots of sister walton and i, and our roomates a cute little bridge by our house.
k all my pictures. the snowy pictures are fresh from today. so you can have an almost real time idea of what i look like and what i'm wearing. seasonably fashionable enough for y'all? :) jsyk i took my coat off for the pictures!