Wednesday, August 27, 2008

“Nature is really…loud here.”

Wow. Lots to say. Long, but again, tough. Sections conveniently titled so you can read only what is of interest. :)

Quote compliments of my new comp Sis. Meyer!

Sis. Meyer just came from the MTC yesterday. We’ve been waiting for her with baited breath (I think I learned something once about that phrase like that it’s totally not spelled like that but I can’t remember so you all get the idea). Anyway, it’s so fun to introduce her to Nauvoo. She had about as much of an idea of Nauvoo as I did…meaning almost none. We’re having a fun time. This morning we took her down Parley Street then on an ox ride. So yes, let than 24 hrs away from the MTC and she’s brushing an ox’s hair and listening to an old man in pioneer clothes sing “Bessie the Heffer.” Welcome to Nauvoo. It’s so fun to hear all her observations though and things that I’ve gotten used to so I forget to be amazed with---like how “loud” nature is (with a kazillion crazy bugs) and how many stars you can see at night and how fake this all feels. Ha!
Oh, she’s from outside LA and looks like a mix between Ash Scoresby and Megan Monahan (few of you will know them both cause they’re from very separate realms of my life) so I feel like we’re already BFFs. She’s an ASL missionary so she’s getting me back in gear. She's WAY hard-working and obedient. I love it! I love her! Lots more to say about that but it’ll have to wait til Monday.

Can’t remember if I’ve explained this in emails before but to clarify: I’m serving in another mission come October. Anyone surprised? Me neither. :) Similar to what happened last winter only we’re just going to Peoria (the surrounding mission) so we’re not technically reassigned, just more on loan. We’ll be there basically all of October and November then come back for a few days here then home. We’re stoked. One of the areas has an ASL program, but then again, so did GA and I never served in it, so whatever the Lord has in mind. I feel very blessed to have such varied experiences to learn from and to try to teach in. Love it!

So the thing making noise in our wall (did I tell you about that?) is gone, but we had a nice visit last week from a new friend. We call him Zack. Sis. Rancie came downstairs and got me out of bed the other night and said “Sis. Cartwright, there’s a bird in our house. What do we do?” I thought it was bizarre, but not alarming, so I went upstairs to check it out. As we watched it fly noiselessly in circles, it seemed like a very special breed of bird (Sis. C is without the aid of glasses, mind you). We sat there for a minute watching it, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I felt like this was no oridinary bird, until Sis. R suggests, “do you think that’s a bat.” All of the sudden, it was the most terrifying, creepy thing and I couldn’t stop shuddering and picturing it dive-bombing me. After exploring some ineffective solutions, I convinced Sis. R she couldn’t catch him in a bucket and to just shut our bedroom doors, go to bed, and call someone in the AM. I of course, had to shield her from Zack with a cookie sheet (he was still at this point, but who knows when he’d fly back into action). Pretty brave, on my part, if I do say so myself. Anyway, turns out the previous missionaries in there (senior sisters) had a similar reoccurring problem so when I called the next AM they knew what needed to be done. They simply plugged up a hole in a spare closet (now known as the “bat cave”) and all is well. Zack escaped by himself at some point in the night. You’d think that tidbit was something they would’ve passed on to the new move-ins, but evidently not. The McConkie house is full of surprises and friends.

So we had the privilege of interpreting for a show here that was put on by Vocal Point, an a capella group from BYU. Privlege because I love interpreting, NOT privilege because most of their songs are love songs. So as we’re trying to plan how to conceptually interpret “your hand is holding my heart” and “I wanna be like Grace Kelly,” Sis. Lancaster cries out in despair “I thought I was going to be teaching people about the Restoration, not about romance!” Haha! Joke’s on us. We were nervous cause part of the group coming were professional interpreters but what do you know, the Lord helped us out. Even if it was love songs. :)

My long, lost twin. We found her at Pageant cause people kept getting us mixed up. She was there working on costuming. You know you look alike when even your fam thinks you look alike. Ha! Enjoy. :)

Ok, thanks for reading the marathon letter. Last thought. I was reading in the Book of Mormon, Mormon 2:26 and the Nephites were turning away from the Lord so “the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak.” I’ve read this before but again, it just stuck out to me that we have literally nothing when left to our own devices. We can go on for a time (the Nephites were even winning battles) but eventually, when we need the REAL strength and power, we’ll realize it’s not there because we’ve turned it away long before. My challenge to you all is this week to make a real effort to draw on the strength of the Lord. This often means we need to change something to show the Lord we trust His way more than our own and through this we allow His strength to pour in.

Love you all!
Talk to ya later!
-Sis. C

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