Wow, have we had a crazy couple weeks, or what? Man. Over here have both been running around with our heads chopped off trying to finish things and get them ready for Sister Charles to go home, and for me to take over the area. We've been so exhausted, so by the end of the day, I don't even feel like writing in my journal, so I end up writing bullet points to write down later. But I will share some of the highlights of the week, as well as any thoughts or insights I've gained!
So last Monday we were actually able to go to P-day sports, and we played volleyball! Unfortunately..... I forgot my glasses, (I'm out of contacts) and my proper running shoes (I just had my vans) and so it was interesting trying to play while not being able to see and in those shoes. But it was good!
That night we had a lesson with Ray, about baptism and confirmation. He is so solid, we were able to ask the right questions which led up to him bearing his testimony about how the gospel has changed his and his family's life, and that one of the reasons he is excited about being baptized is because he wants to be sealed to his family forever. He is already looking forward to the temple. :)
Tuesday we taught Race, the 10yr old, and had another lesson with Ray! We went over the baptismal interview questions, and got to really see how much he knows and believes.
Wednesday was a good day! We had commodities in the morning, but only went for like 30 minutes :/ then right after, we practiced our musical number as a zone for our half-mission conference. It was sounding a lot better by the end, and it gave me chills! Then most of us went out to lunch. Ray's baptismal interview was that night, and the Elders did it at their house, for convenience's sake, because Ray is in a wheelchair. But we went earlier before they came. Elder Farnsworth, our district leader did the interview. He PASSED! It went well, a lot better than Ray anticipated! We heard laughing from the other room, so I think it went okay. :) So excited for him.
Thursday was a good day too! We rode up with Elder and Sister Reynolds, a senior couple from South Carolina, to the Half-mission conference in Benson. When we first got there, we rehearsed the song again, and it sounded so good! As far as our zone goes haha. Luckily we have at least several of us that are musically inclined. :) The conference was really good! Elder Foster of the 70 came with his wife to train us, as well as President and Sister Passey. They were just the trainings I needed! They talked about working with members, and our success and skills as missionaries, as our mission specifically, and how we can move from the level we are at right now to a level 9-10 on the scale of awesomeness, pertaining to skills and spirituality. There are three phases, and we talked about each of those. Pretty cool!
The musical number went well, too! We got compliments from Elder and Sister Foster and President and Sister Passey. We could also feel the power and spirit behind the words and music. It was a medley of Savior, Redeemer of My Soul and Called to Serve. President just emailed our zone today and said "We have had great music and zone conferences and other meetings in the past two years, but you delivered the best zone choir I have heard. Many thanks for sharing your talents and testimonies. Love, President Passey". Awww!
I got to see Hna. Adams again! And reunite with some people! The Sisters in Hereford and Sierra Vista told me they are still working with Josie and Anna, and that Josie went to a baptism!!!! Woooo! It's so nice to hear she is progressing a little more. They told me that she apparently still thinks I am coming back there haha. :) We came back home, and someone dropped off my tiwi card for me! (That is my card that I scan to be able to drive) so I have been able to practice driving and getting used to navigating around our area.
Friday was a good day, I suppose! We had breakfast as a district before they went to service. We had waffles, which were super good. :) We found out that two of the missionaries in our district are going to be training! New missionaries!
We went on splits, and I set a baptismal date with Rudy!!!!!th :)
Our Meet the Mormons "community movie night" failed. There were maybe a couple of nonmembers, but the rest were just members. It wasn't supposed to be a ward party. -_- But I guess it allowed us to get in contact with people to invite them! So that was a plus!
Saturday was just great :) Ray was baptized, and it was just perfect. Everything worked out smoothly and the baptism itself went super well, perfect the first time. 4 people in the font, a shower chair, and his son baptized him. Lots of sweet, tender mercies involved. The Spirit was definitely there. He is a changed man, and it was so beautiful to see the completion of this part-member family. Next step, receive the Holy Ghost, and in a year--- the Temple!!!! For the opening song, we sang "Families can be Together Forever" and it rang so true to me. It had a much more special meaning, now that we were singing with the testimony that because Ray is taking this next step of baptism, HIS family can be together forever. :)
Sunday was even more beautiful. I was exhausted, because we were up late packing, but it was a wonderful day. :) Ray received the Gist of the Holy Ghost, and that to me was the crowning moment of the entire weekend, even more than the baptism. He received it. And his countenance changed. There is this added sweetness and spirit about him now. His prayer in class was so beautiful and simple, and full of gratitude, and he could now ask, being included, that the Spirit could always be with us.
We said goodbye to a few people and had our last lesson together as a companionship.
It has been really good. These past two transfers have probably been the hardest and the most challenging of my mission, but they have also been the most rewarding, the most fun, and I have grown the most spiritually, socially, and probably mentally and emotionally as well. Sister Charles and I have been through a lot together, and I think that is why I love her so much. I came to the realization that I am really going to miss her. We have had many successes together, even apart from the hard times for each of us, and even in our companionship. We have smoothed out our rough edges, and I can honestly say that she is the companion I have grown to love the most, trust the most, and who I am the closest to. All of my companions have been very different from one another, but we have learned so much from each other. I love her! We have helped each other through so much.
Anyway, So I will be taking over the area! And my new companion will be Sister Chandler. I've heard great things about her, so I hope things will go wonderfully! I will probably be here for another 3 months. But it's okay, because I have come to love Pima :)
I hope you all have a splendid week, enjoy the reception on Saturday, and I will be there!!!!!! ;) (You'll see).
The church is true, the Lord sustains His imperfect missionaries, and gives us miracles every day, we just have to be willing to see them and look for them!
I love you and am so grateful to be part of an eternal family!!!!