Monday, September 1, 2008

“Clean underwear and amputated legs. Welcome to church in Nauvoo.”

Quote: Sis. Lancaster to my comp upon getting out of her first sacrament meeting here. She was referencing just 2 of the wildcard phrases mentioned over the pulpit that day. The seniors’ talks are typically action-packed with stories and life lessons, leaving you with a slightly different flavor than you’d get at a typical ward sacrament meeting.

Well, well, well....

Can I just tell you all the I LOVE my companion?! She’s the stinkin’ raddest. I look up to her in every way. I’ve never had a bum companion. They’ve all been amazing, but maybe this is just such a pleasant surprise cause I didn’t know her ahead of time so it was like an early Christmas present or something. She’s AMAZING and she teaches me so dang much. She learned ASL in the MTC and can teach me all sorts of things I missed out on learning in the MTC (like, um, how to teach the gospel in ASL, not just signing love songs. Ha!) and she’s SO diligent and hard-working and fun and patient. She’s from North Hollywood, which most ppl associate w/ “Hollywood” and she says, “know the show COPS? That’s my town.” Ha! She’s hilarious. Oh, and remember how I said she’s a mix between Ashley Scoresby and Megan Monahan. Well, I found out her full name is Megan Ashley Meyer. What the? Anyway, she’s a gem and I’m sure I’ll have many more stories.

So Heavenly Father sent a little present to my comp. The fireflies are gone for the most part cause summer’s ending. I haven’t seen one in a couple weeks. Then last night we were walking home (little did I know Sis. Meyer had been way stoked to hear that there were fireflies out here) and we saw one. She freaked out cause it’s the first one she’s ever seen. Then we saw one closer and she goes. “There’s another one! I’m gonna catch it!” Then just leaps ahead and cups her hands and what do ya know, she caught it! So random. So we trapped it in our hands and tried to take pics of it, which was unsuccessful as you might imagine. But it was a glorious moment nonetheless.

So coolest thing ever this yr. Since we’re all done calling about the Pageant CDs, we’re turning Nauvoo into like a city-wide TRC. (That’s the place in the MTC where you practice teaching fake investigators.) We all get teaching appts at night where we go teach the senior missionaries and even go tracting to their apts. Ha! It’s gonna be hilarious! And wonderful practice to get us back in the groove. Then the 3 ASL sisters get to practice teaching each other in ASL which will be very helpful. There’s a slight chance we might use it in the “outfield” this winter cause one of the areas in Peoria has a deaf program. Anyway, but we’ll see. (Motto of my mission: “We’ll see.”)

So I’ve had a few moments lately where I delightedly find out I’m totally out of touch with the world. One of these moments being when we walked into Wal-Mart and Sis. Thomas mentioned something about New Kids on the Block. The other being when we were playing a game of questions and one was “what’s the biggest news you’ve gotten on your mission.” I said mine was “that my whole city was burning down” and Sis. Lancaster said “that Heath Ledger died.” I said “Heath Ledger died?” and all of the newer missionaries in the car freaked out that I’d somehow missed out on this breaking news. After pondering for a moment on the loss of Heath (poor guy) I felt a little happy inside to know that I’d been successfully detached from the world enough. Not that I was ever great on current events in the first place (Katie, I can read your mind) but still, it just helped me realize the reality of my call and the whole idea of being “set apart” from the world. I’m thankful that the Lord’s given me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be so out of the loop because I’m so fully immersed in something else. I pray I’ll be able to keep a piece of that throughout my life. I think I’ll have a lot more time in my life if I stop worrying about things that aren’t going to build any lasting happiness.

So we took the Community of Christ tour today and we had to laugh at all the similarities. For example, apparently we all use the same joke about the 1840’s air conditioning. Ha! Who knew? Made me wonder how often the visitors’ laughs are simply those of the courteous variety. But the tour was awesome and our guide was an old-timer from MO and had such an authentic Mid-West accent. Love it!

Sis. Ludwig talked to use on Sunday about the idea: “Don’t postpone joy.” Just one thing mentioned was that when something lame happens that you know you’ll look back later and laugh at, just laugh now so you can enjoy it in the moment. Ha! Probably easier said than done but I’d like to try to apply it nonetheless.

In the words of Nephi (2 Nephi 4:29) “Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.” I love this. We all have afflictions and we can definitely use them as an excuse to grow week. Or we could be as hard-core or steadfast as Nephi and just plow through them with the strength of the Lord. This kinda goes along with another quote I’ll close with from Elder Bruce. C. Hafen (Apr. 2004 conf) “You can have eternal salvation if you want it, but only if there is nothing else you want more.”

Keep up the good work. Love you all!
-Sis. Cartwright

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