it has been a beautiful and marvelous and miraculous week. like, i really love this week!
so monday was p-day as usual. but, it was transfer monday, so we had a zone breakfast to say goodbye to all of the missionaries leaving (all none of them!), but we jump on any opportunity to get together with a big group of missionaries. our entire zone stayed exactly the same, which is pretty unusual. im sorry if i already wrote this home. i cant keep things straight! so we had a big partay. every time that we are around the elders i am just more and more shocked that they are actually old enough to be missionaries! they are just dorks, funny dorks, but dorks.
we ordered district t-shirts. we designed them, drew it up, picked the colors, ordered them and then sister stone and i were picking them up monday morning to bring to the breakfast. we pay for and pick them up and then look at them and they forgot my name and sister stone's name...the ones who put in all the effort to get them made! hahah, the man who did it for us is extremely friendly though and agreed to redo them all for us. they are pretty adorable. maybe i will send a picture home at some point, of me modeling it.
then we went to visit Ladelle in her art studio. she did a lesson for us in ceramics and we had a blast. we invited kimberley, one of our almost investigators, to come along and join with us! we had tons of fun. i made an absolutely hideous giraffe/camel hybrid. i asked her to help me make my giraffe and so she comes over and starts fiddeling around with it. then halfway through she says, "oh my this camel is going to look great." huh? camel, why would i want a camel! so he started out as a giraffe and then Ladelle came in and did some distinct camel characteristics. Then she started calling him a giraffe again. i am not really sure what he turned out as. i will definitely send a picture home of him when he is done and you can help me come up with an ugly enough name for this little sweetie. Ladelle is 84, so i excuse her confusion! what an interesting little memory giraffe i get to have though :)
later on, we had dinner with the Coy family, which i believe i have talked about before. it was a blast. their family is so much fun AND i saw a nutria for the first time. i never knew a nutria even existed. macey, google a nutria and attach a photo of these lovely little mammals (i think it's a mammal) to this post, because i had forgotten my camera! they are hideous and they are the nasty swamp animals from the princess bride. movie starrrrrr. anyway, so we had dinner and then shared the first vision with them. they opened up to us a lot more this time and i am really looking forward to returning to visit with them again. we are hoping to extend the invitation to them to start the lessons with us! i think they are ready.
tuesday we had district meeting and got to meet the new sisters in our district! yay! their names are sister porter and sister beames! they are both from utah, u-u-u-utah! they're sweethearts and i am still the youngest sister in our district. i thought for sure i wouldn't be anymore, but i am. district meeting was really great though. elder and sister nees taught the lesson and we learned about applying scriptures to every situation that we are in with our investigators. the lord has provided us with such a wonderful resource and so often we don't take advantage of it. i really, REALLY love the scriptures now. i cannot believe how much i look forward to that hour every morning that i get to read by myself. they are just so great and so applicable to each of our lives. i love thinking about how everything in there is for our benefit, it was all put in there for a reason!
then sister stone and i kinda got ditched at lunch. the new sisters did steal our thunder a little bit, but that is OK. they deserve to have the attention, it's fun!
then we had a beautiful day focused on the less-actives! mom, i swear you are the most inspired lady on the planet! i got that talk you sent me at the beginning of this week. and it was totally focused on less-active missionary work. my favorite line said something along the lines of, "every less-active member you come in contact with has loved ones on their knees daily, praying for them to come back into the fold." we are the answers to their prayers! we can answer their prayers by inviting, loving, and caring. then i applied that idea to an even broader topic. if you think about it, we are all less-active. we all lived with our father before and were fully active and complete believers. then we came to earth and became "less-active", because we couldn't remember our time with God before. and God is there now on his knees daily, praying that we all will come back into the fold. we are the way for his children to come back into the fold, ALL of them are important to him.
GO MISSIONARY WORK. do it. everyone has an important part in this!
p.s. i got a package and a letter from the beautimous kitty richards today. thank you so, so, so much! also, sister stone LOVES burt's bees and was so happy to get a little package too! i appreciate you so much :)
my highlight from wednesday was tracting. sister stone and i have been trying to do an hour a day, where we pick a street in our area and go knock some doors. this helps us become more familiar with the area we are serving in and of course, an opportunity to meet some people, our favorite thing! so we went down talawa street and we planned on going at 2 pm, hottest time of the day, what were we thinking! also, it was the hottest day of the summer. it was at least 100 out. hottttttttttttt. however, we came across several people who definitely showed some interest! i am so excited to go back and meet them again. one woman opened the door and was crying really hard. she could hardly even talk, but she got out that her dad had just been diagnosed with cancer. she said now wasn't a good time, but we could come back. my heart has been aching for her ever since we left her doorstep. i just want her to know that families can be together forever. she was just so sad, i wanted to give her a big old hug, but i also didn't want to scare her off since i had only known her for legitimately 45 seconds. i hope we can see her again and share a message that will help her!
also on wednesday! we had our first lesson with sharon! sharon was the referral from a member that we talked about last week. her husband was a member, but she expressed interest in learning and our member extended the invitation and she accepted! so we met her for the first time and she is so stinkin excited! she wants to be baptized and asked, "what all do i need to do in order to be baptized?" we were floored, i never expected to hear that question! it reminded me though, back in our zone conference we were talking about the atonement. someone said, "if everyone truly understood the atonement and what it can do for us, people would be crawling across broken glass and begging to be baptized." we obviously need to teach the atonement better!
then we had a lesson again with chad. he is very excited and wants to keep learning. chad has the most intense questions i have ever heard. it is so difficult to teach him sometimes because i loose focus and start thinking about really deep stuff he is asking about. hahaha, he is just a crack up though, and a really great kid!
thursday i had a wicked intense personal study for about 3 and a half hours. sister stone wasn't feeling well. it was so good though! i got to read a lot of conference talks, it's coming up again! cant wait.
then we did my favorite thing. WEEKLY PLANNING. i inherited my mother and father's love for planning. and it's at this time that we set our goals. our goals are really lining up now. it is incredible. we set some really big goals for ourselves for september, and at the time we weren't even teaching anyone. we have been acting on that faith though and people to teach have just been appearing! the lord is surely involved in this!
thursday night we went and contacted the Chavez family. the mom is being taught by the spanish elders. the children have been sitting in on those lessons, but would feel more comfortable in an english setting. so we taught them about the Book of Mormon and they are on board with learning with us and are so excited!
SO MANY PEOPLE TO TEACH NOW. it is blowing my mind :)
friday we had quite a few more less-active appointments and got to spend some time with a lot of great people! we also got to do mormon.org time. i love mormon.org. i love getting on there and watching those "im a mormon" videos and just enjoying other people's lives for a bit. it is quite nice!
im so running out of time. goodness! this is gonna get real sweet and too the point. i should start out this direct from the beginning.
saturday we joined the young women in their temple walk. we walked from the OC stake center to the temple in Lake Oswego. it was so much fun. and so hard. it was 13 miles, but so great! i really love getting to know the YW better. they are so wonderful and happy and just so in tune with the spirit!
i also got my package from my mom and dad today. thank you so much! i love everything about packages. especially pictures, music, candy, and my patriarchal blessing! nothin better.
then we had another lesson with chad and got to talk a lot more about the atonement. it was really good! we also invited him to the visitor's center. yay, love that place!
we then went home, sister stone was waddling pretty good from the walk. so she basically bathed in bengay. my eyes were watering it was so strong! dad, you would be proud that i shared the lovely story about the snake and bengay and the train set to lighten the mood. it was so funny!
sunday was great as usual. actually sunday's are usually pretty tough because i always am reminded of home and my family and being at church with them. but, the chavez children, 14 and 10, came to church with us! so it was absolutely wonderful. I LOVE having investigators at church with us. they were just soakin it up too. they are great kids.
then we went to the VC with chad. we met the YSA elders there. we are trying to transition him over to that ward, because it would be best for him. he is craving friends and activities! so it would be perfect.
i really gotta peace out. i love you my family and friends. two things of advice for learning to love others. 1// notice. take the time to notice the little things going on in the live's of those around you. 2// take a small step. act on the things you notice. go out of your way just a little bit and make someone feel important!
LOVE YOU. xoxoxoxox