Well I have reccommited to writing weekly emails! I know you are all very proud of me. I have come a long way. Here is a quick update! (I cannot remember if i talked about some of this, so if I have you get the privilege of hearing it again!)
I was in a trio! It was super fun and an adventure to figure out. We had an emergency transfer, and Sister Thompson's companion had to go home early. That was a pretty tough weekend. But from it the trio was born. It was a fun couple weeks where we double covered Harrisburg family Ward, Hilliard Ysa Branch, and a couple other responsibilities. It was crazy.
When the new transfer started, Sister Landeen and I jumped right in! We were put as full biking missionaries until further notice. At first this was intimidating, but I loved it! We spent almost two weeks on bikes, saw many miracles, and felt like skinny queens! We experienced two flat tires, one slashed tire, and days that downright poured. We were living the dream. As fun as all that was, we were relieved to receive a car so that we could be a little more efficient with our work and accomplish more. We set a goal to really focus on our member friends that haven't recently been coming and helping them feel way more comfortable and loved. It has been incredible and I have learned to love this branch and the people in it so much. President Brown came and spoke in our congregation and it was so cool because we had 6 friends at church (that's a record)!
On Monday morning we got a call from President Brown and he talked to us about how incredible our branch is. Then he said.. "well, now it's time for a curve ball". Turns out we are a part of another emergency transfer! Sister Yellow-Hawk Backes is now joining us in Hilliard. She came out with me and has the sweetest heart. So we are excited, but back to adjusting! Sister Landeen and I have been companions for 2 transfers now and only spent 2 weeks together. But, I love my companions, all of them, and I am so grateful for the things I have learned from each of them.
A few other updates:
1. After our zone counsel all the district leaders got together and made everyone breakfast for lunch!
2. We gained a pet cat that would follow us on our morning walks... we named her fish.
3. Our friend Justin is on date to be baptized! Keep him in your prayers! He just loves the gospel so much!
4. Shanell accepted the invitation to live the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. She moved out of her boyfriends apartment the next day!
5. We have a new branch president! President king is the best and excited to work with everyone.
6. One of my besties brought me blue cream soda and Oatmeal cream pies to zone conference!
7. Sister landeen rolled down a hill... more like flopped down a hill.
8. Justin has started becoming homies with everyone in the branch and even started fellowshipping another one of our friends that we are teaching, rakesh.
9. The summer relationships are in full bloom in our branch and we have a front row seat to all the entertainment.
10. We have started a sports night! And it has been super successful, less active members and non member friends have been showing up more than anyone else! People have been coming to church h because of it!
11. We went to the Nascar hall of fame here in Charlotte, and it was worth every penny! It was so fun.
12. Sister landeen and I have been chiefing it up and we are getting pretty good at throwing heath meals together out of nothing.
Anyway. On a more serious note.
I have learned so many things on my mission, but one of the big ones is that God sends us experiences that will teach us exactly what we need to learn. Something I learned recently is that when silver is put in the furnace it is only moldable when the blacksmith can see their reflection in it. All the time we are put into our own personal furnaces that are the trials of life. We are in them for what seems like too long and it is uncomfortable and hard. However I have a firm belief that we are within these trials or furnaces to enable us to grow and become more like Jesus Christ. So, we are removed from these furnaces when the ultimate blacksmith sees a glimpse of himself in us. When we develop those Christ-like attributes, we are moldable and become better. At the moment it is really hard to see it this way, but how much happier would we all be if we only could. These trials we go through, do not in any way mean that we are not loved by our Father in heaven. Jeffery Holland said, "Who suffered more than any one in time and eternity that we know of? The loving son of the living God, the only perfect child who ever lived. Please, please, so do not fall victim to the temptation to say , 'well I guess God doesn't love me' because what on earth would that say for his love for his only begotten son." I have learned that suffering is infact a reflection of God's love for us. I truly do believe that there is something at work in suffering that is exalting, and that is because it makes us more like our Savior. I invite all who read this to remember your past trials and what you have gained from them. Have the eyes to see God's eternal purposes at play here because it turns those times of hardship into times that are sacred.
I love you all!
This week getting a text from my little brother, Bry, made me happy.