Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Well today’s been good because this morning I went to the temple. Which in itself is always a blessing but this time I had a special surprise visitor with me… Ms Ruthie Salisbury!!!!!! :) :) :) Yes! She just off her mission about a week ago and she’s driving over to UT right now to spend some time out there and they decided to drive via Nauvoo. So there I was yesterday in the Carthage Visitor’s Center and in walks my best friend that I haven’t seen in 18 mths! The best thing ever! So I got to take her and her mom and little bro on a tour and then we got together this AM to go to the temple. The best thing is that I wasn’t even supposed to be serving that day. It was supposed to be my prep-day but it got changed. And that’s cause Ruthie said she was praying it wouldn’t be my prep day so that she could find me. :) wee!

So turns out the summer weather was just playing a joke on us b/c aside from the one day I wrote about before, the weather has been generally very mild. But turns out August is where the humidity comes out in full effect. It’s amazing. I can’t get over how the air feels like someone misting you with warm water—regardless of the time of day. It’s incredible. My glasses fogged up the other day when I went outside. No joke. That’s going from a very A/Ced bldg to the hot and muggy outdoors. Who knew? But I like it cause it’s just so trippy. Then last night there was a crazy thunderstorm and before the rain started there was just intense thunder and lightening and really fast, hot wind and no rain. Super eerie. We sat and watched it from the window before we went to bed. I felt like a little kid. In the mid-west.

So I haven’t written much aobut the bugs here but I’d like to give them a shout-out. There’s 2 I’d like to highlight- the Mayflies. These ginormous, black dragonfly-type bugs that come in these swarms and fly right passed to into your face and it’s gross but they only live for 24 hrs so the next day you go out and they’re dead all over the ground. Ha! Weird. Bug #2: The Cicada. Ok, is this a joke? I always read about them in books and they were mentioned in such a nostalgic way like “the distance sound of cicadas floating onto the patio and we rocked and talked of sweet memories …” But no. They make like this unworldly buzz/screech noise and then when you see them in real life. Ah! They’re these giant, GIANT, thick, ugly something or others. And they have no mouths and they come out of the ground and fly. Eew! But don’t worry cause the bugs make me feel hard-core like I’m serving in Africa or something. “Three-inch bug in my hair? Just part of the job, no big deal…”

till having a ton of fun with Sis. Thomas. She’s way low-key, I love it…and evidently I need it. Funny cause I was telling her how I never really saw myself as uptight til I got on my mission and everyone sees me that way. And she was saying she was never seen as low-key till she got out to America. So apparently she’s pretty high-stress for an islander...Her b-day is tomorrow and we’re having orange rolls for breakfast. She’s turning 22 but I always feel like she’s older than me. I think it’s the accent. I always feel like this bumbling, oblivious American around her. That and the fact that she really is quite wise. But the accent for sure compounds it. :)

We’re starting our phone call project now. Each of us have about 240 ppl to get a hold of which usually will require calling at least 2 different people. It’s gonna be such a fun project. And before that we had to alphabetize and organize and divvy up all 5,000 cards. Guess who accidentally took over that project. Oops! My OCD pays off though I guess cause I was totally excited to work on it and the other sisters in charge had totally been dreading it. So everyone has their place they can contribute I guess.

Here was a special guest…a man by the name of Bill Lawrence. I make mutual connections with ppl every day but this was a first. He knew my Cartwright grandparents!!! He worked with Grandpa Pierce for 10-12 years as his attorney and he has so many amazing things to say about grandpa and about how working with him in a business setting, every decision he made was for the good of the company and not just for him. He said that Grandpa and Grandma are two of the most amazing and kind-hearted people he knows. I second that! It was so neat to talk to him and to meet someone who knew Grandpa. It warmed my heart! I was so grateful for the chance to meet him and make that connection. I wasn’t even talking to him myself but I overheard him tell someone he was from AK and he was this kinda scraggly Harley-looking man so I didn’t think we’d know to many of the same people but just goes to show you never know. Also, you never know the effect you’re having on those around you. Something I’ve really learned from the Cartwright grandparents and I saw how many people came to Grandpa’s funeral and had been so impacted by his love and example.I know that’s the same with all of us. Every decision we make either lifts up or brings down those around us. Each of us have gifts that can touch the lives of 1,000s if we are trying to live a Christlike life.The most important Christlike attribute and the one we’ve been studying lately is charity. The scriptures tell us it’s the most important and that’s sometimes hard to understand but I had another thought as to why. I was thinking what life would be like if everyone was charitable and I realized that if everyone had charity they wouldn’t be annoyed or judge others for their weaknesses or imperfections. In this environment, everyone could be free to work on the other aspects of their life they need to improve while having love, patience, and support from those around them. Think about that. I know “the pure love of Christ” seems pretty unattainable at times but my challenge to you is to prayerfully make a goal this week of something you can be doing to develop that more in yourself. (You're welcome to email me your goals if you want because they'll help me.) I promise it will pay off and you’ll see changes in your life and in the lives of those around you as you consciously strive and pray to develop charity. If you want some study material on the topic: 1 Cor 8 and Moroni 7. Enjoy!

Love you all and love being a missionary. Thanks again for all the letters and being patient in getting letters back. It takes a bit sometimes.

Love,-Sis C

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