Some weeks you just feel like you're learning so much that you can't possibly retain it all. And I probably can't. But I learned a major life lesson every day of the week. And the experiences we had were beyond compare. I'm excited to get into it! But it might be a day-by-day type of email.
Monday was the best P-day ever. Sister Chandler and I decided to opt out of the seemingly-mandatory routine of sports at the church to go Antiquing. But first, we made a stop at the post office for some of the other Sisters. We were sitting in the car, Sister C. was sleeping while I was writing a letter, I glanced up and saw DAN the MAN. We haven't been able to see him for a couple of weeks because his business burned down, but just the day before I had fasted that we would miraculously get contact with him. And there he was! I bolted out of the car and ran to him, and shook his hand, and he seemed relieved to have run into us. He told us he was leaving town but not to give up on him. Small miracles feel huge some days. Then we went to the Insect Petting Zoo. And that was disgusting...ly awesome. I'll attach some pictures. That night, we were able to show up to Faith's house just as she was pulling up, she was coping with her cousin who was dying from cancer so we were able to teach her about the Plan of Salvation in 20 minutes before she had to leave again. Once again, miraculous timing.
Tuesday: We drove to the city for Mission Leadership Council. It was a great meeting, but I probably won't go into much detail. Suffice it to say that we talked about accountability, and how not only missionaries, but every single person has a responsibility to be accountable for their own actions. It doesn't matter our circumstances, it's what we do IN our circumstances that defines us.
Wednesday: We had the most intense training of my life. President Gardner, a member of the stake presidency, gathered all the missionaries in Stillwater together to talk about our eternal purpose, and it gave me so much enlightenment. This is the bulk of what I learned this week. Then I got obsessed with the topic of light. In that, our purpose is to attract light by doing things that bring light into our lives, then radiate light. If we do anything that repels light, we lose light. We are to overcome our weak flesh and allow our spirit to absorb and return light.Then we will attract those who also seek light. And you know what? It's easy to obtain this light. All we have to do is CHOOSE it. Pray for it, smile, be kind, "let your light so shine before men". Other synonyms for light include truth, glory, intelligence, and virtue. This idea of light continued over into...
Thursday: when we went to the temple! And the things I learned there really balanced the sentiment of light cleaving unto light. I walked away feeling a stronger desire to uplift all those around me by offering sincere compliments, turning negative comments into positive ones, and being genuinely happy...all the time. Because there's really no reason not to be happy when you know the true nature of God and how merciful He is. But it's easy to forget. Which is why when someone hurts us, or offends us, we want to feel sad, or blame God, or worry. But be of good cheer. And your example of kindness and sincere compliments will change the heart of them who hurt you. Thursday was also my "mission birthday"! We went to Coldstone to celebrate. ;) But the scooper wouldn't give me anything for free because it wasn't really my birthday...
Friday-Saturday: A blur. We went on exchanges. And when we got back from Ponca, one of our roommates was sick, so we went on splits and worked our area and the Spanish area at once, then we found out one of the other Sisters in Stillwater was sent to the hospital. So it was just a lot of running around, and dashing from place to place. Which seemed to be a storm before the calm.
Sunday was so peaceful. I felt that I ought to fast, but I wasn't quite sure why. So I said a humble prayer of gratitude. And wound up having one of the most peaceful Sundays of my mission. My studies were rich and enlightening, our church meetings just flowed straight into my soul, and we were able to have a lesson with a referral from our Ward Mission Leader and dinner in his home. That's the ideal teaching situation, if anyone is wondering. It was a weird experience. He said the Restoration made him feel confused and uncomfortable. The more we explained it, or tried to help him grasp it, the more closed-off he seemed to get. It was so strange. Sister Chandler and I walked away feeling frazzled, because we both felt the spirit so powerfully. And even after we left, our Ward Mission Leader called us and said the same thing, that he felt like his friend's response wasn't congruent with that which was being taught. It made me grateful for what we have. How the Gospel is simple, but we have to open our hearts to let it in. If we try to analyze and don't allow the spirit to speak to us, we can't possibly progress. We can only sit in ideas that make sense to us, but without much application involved.
Sorry for the novel. I promise I try to be brief, it just never really works out.
I LOVE YOU GUYS. Shoot dang, I love all y'all just a whole bunch. I hope life for you is the best.