Ok, to keep my emails structured and concise I’m going to continue my heading idea but make some running headings that I’ll reuse every week. Thanks, I think it’s a good idea too.
This one isn’t funny. It’s touching. We served with Sis. Thayer at the Brigham Young home and it was crazy busy. We’d all three be taking different groups through at once for most of the time (very unusual). But the coolest was that it was quiet once for like an hour straight and it happened to be when Sis. Thayer told us all about coming back to the church in her twenties from alcoholism and a series of bad choices and about her husband’s death and his process of learning about the church just before he died. You’d never guess all the things these senior missionaries have gone through. They all have crazy cool stories and years of valuable experiences. I can learn SO MUCH from these surrogate grandparents. They’re so dedicated to the work, their marriages, and to constantly studying the scriptures and learning more every day.
Today we went on a bike ride through Nauvoo in the rain. It was beautiful and rad. Sis F and I were arguing about how we were getting black dots of grime on our faces throughout the ride and about whose face had the most crude on it. Funny. And we discussed briefly the significant frozen yogurt places in Provo and Santee/La Mesa. Told you we have a lot in common! I love the rain. The storms here are crazy and come all of the sudden and then stop all of the sudden and all the while it’s still warm. I love it!
FROM THE MOUTH OF BABES
So in the BY home this little 9 yr-old girl came in by herself so Sis F and I were chatting with her. We asked her name and she said Andrea. So we freaked out and took a pic of the 3 Andreas. Good times. Then later she came back with 3 cousins and asked us out first names in front of the cousins. We said we were both Andrea and she turned to her cousin and said, “See?! You owe me $3.” Hilarious! So Sis F bribed them with candy if no one had to pay anyone $. Awesome! And on Andrea’s private tour we gave her before that Sis F asked her why we needed prophets today and she confidently replied “cause, if we didn’t have prophets everyone would be pretty much hooligans.” So wise. Love it!
Last week we were crossing the street in “downtown” Nauvoo on our way to the fudge shoppe from an old-school bookstore (ok, probably really normal-school for out here, just feels old-school) and the sheriff drives by and waved to us out the window and we smiled and waved back cause we’re tight with him and for a split second I really wondered if we were on some kind of weird TV show from the 1950s. I LOVE IT. And we had some locals come in named Billy, Paul (thought it was “Paw” until he spelled it for me) and Butch.
NAUVOO THE BEAUTIFUL: LIGHTENING AND LIGHTENING BUGS
On the way home from Carthage there was a crazy lightening storm and we were driving through nothing but cornfields and it was pitch black. So then picture this. Like a MILLION fireflies among the cornfields so it looked like twinkling Christmas lights and crazy lightening close and far and all across the sky. So many chances out here to appreciate the beauty of the earth and remember that it’s not an accident.
THE HIGH POINT
Couldn’t decide if this should be my high point or my low point…The other day I was speaking to a kid (maybe 11 yrs) in the VC and I gave him a challenge to write in his journal the things he’s experienced in Nauvoo (ya know, cause it’s a spiritual place and all…) and so I told him he should write it down so he can remember it later. And he assured me, with a completely straight face, that he didn’t need to because he has a chamber in his brain that he keeps all that kind of stuff in. So…how to argue with that. Like a journal is better than a chamber. I was stuck. But he did say that sometimes he has to empty stuff out of the chamber to fit more in, so eventually we agreed that writing it down might still be worthwhile. I love it! I love talking with kids out here and I love that the gospel applies to all and that they can all feel something special as they come here.
THE LOW POINT
We went on exchanges and I went down to Carthage for the day which was way cool. But apparently I forgot how to sleep over places and since I don’t have my own car to live out of anymore, I found myself terribly unprepared. I had no clothes to work out in but we wanted to go outside so we took bikes and I wore my PJ shorts and shirt and then stole some thick white socks and stuffed my feet into my church shoes. Ha ha! It was beautiful. Don’t worry, we documented it.
WHAT’S REALLY THE POINT
This mission is amazing. I was able to talk with a couple of boys the other day who’s families are members of the church but they’ve decided to stop going. They’re 19 and 20. One was telling me how dumb he thinks the historical sites are because there’s really no spiritual growth to be had here and that there’s nothing you can’t learn from reading (which is faster and cheaper). He was telling me how he hasn’t felt anything the whole time he’s been here. Both of them have either never read or never prayed about the Book of Mormon. I was able to share my feelings with them and my testimony with them. I can’t really explain it but it was so powerful to try to express to them how much there is out there and how important it is that they find out for themselves that they’re doing the right thing. I know Heavenly Father has a lot of blessing in store for them and the sooner they’re able to realize that and accept His will above their own, the better. Each of us do miraculous things every day and the more we turn out lives over to the Lord, the more He will magnify those things and the talents He has given us. The more we apply the atonement to our lives the more we can be strengthened and become better. I’m grateful for the chance to strive to do this every day. I have a LOT of improving to do but I know with the Lord on my side I can. I’m so grateful for this knowledge and I love the gospel and its truths with all my heart.
Thank you all SO much for you love, emails, letters, prayers, and support.Sis C