So this will probably be kind of a short email because I have been sending a billion pictures and I could still send way more, but I will do that next week so I can actually write you something this week. In our area, we have been seeing miracles and are finding new investigators. I LOVE FINDING NEW INVESTIGATORS.
The baseball game was so much fun! We sang, and then as we were leaving, the president of the Pacific Coast league stopped Sister Hamilton and I and told us that he goes to games all over the country (since he is the head guy) and has heard just about every possible rendition of the National Anthem, but that was the best he has EVER heard. He had tear running down his face. No lie.
So then, someone in the Millard ward asked the elders and sisters to sing at the Omaha Beef game- indoor football. This is real folks. The Beef. Not joking. So, the same group, plus the companions of the elder and sister in the Millard ward that were already singing, went on Friday night to the football game at the Ralston arena. It was so crazy. I never thought I would feel uncomfortable at a football game, but we all did. As soon as we were done singing we booked it out of there. It was an incredible experience though- to walk out on the field and have it announced that the full time missionaries in the Nebraska Omaha mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would be singing. And so crazy that you can feel the Spirit in that place just by singing the national anthem. Shoot, I love being a missionary.
So last night was the most eventful night of my mission....maybe not. But close. We went to bed, nothing exciting going on. Then, at about 130, I woke up to the sound of sirens. Not totally out of the norm for Florence where we live. But, as I listened for a little while, I realized that the sirens sounded like they were getting further, then coming back closer to us. Weird....Oh wait, that's a tornado alarm. I looked over at Sister Jensen and told her to get up, then called Sister Kirby and Sister Whittaker (who had slept through it) and all of the 5 companionships in our apt complex got up to the Trail Center because we have a storm shelter there. Then we got the other 2 companionships from the house down the street up there, along with the Cleverlys and another senior couple who live close. Plus 3 sets of elders. We ended up watching the Testaments because it changed from a tornado warning to a tornado watch, and then from a watch to a thunderstorm warning. We sure got the thunderstorm. It was CRAZY. I have never heard such loud thunder or seen so much lightning.
I love you so much. I have loved this week of craziness, and I have loved being able to teach with my companions! Thank you so much for everything you do! Love you!
Well, it sounds like Tiana's wedding was AMAZING and I was so grateful to get all of those pictures, and even an email from Mattie about it! It is so exciting to hear about the amazing things that my awesome friends and family are doing.
Last week, like I said, Jason Mitchell from Salt Lake came to do some trainings on Thursday and Friday. They brought all of the full proselyting sisters in that were originally called to the Trail Center, so I got to see Sis Anderson, Jarman, Brown, and Gaede, which was a BLAST. It felt like it had been forever since I'd seen them even though it had only been 2 weeks. The training was awesome and really helped us to examine how we give tours and try to be better. I love that, in the mission, we are always trying to learn and grow and improve so we can be closer to the Spirit and do what He would want us to do.
I am now serving in the Benson area with Sister Jensen and Sister Pettyjohn. I LOVE it and it has been a great week being with them.
Yesterday, Sister Pettyjohn and I took a tour- a couple and their parents. The parents lived in Victorville, CA where sis pettyjohn is from and the "kids" lived in Maui. They were all Tongan and it was approximately the best hour and a half of my week. We laughed, and cried, and promised we would come see them in CA and HI after our missions. They even got our email addresses so they could stay in touch. I just don't understand how you can be instant friends with someone, even feel like you're family, but that is how I feel about all of the people that I have met, whether they be missionaries I serve with, people I take on tour, or people in the areas I've served in. I feel so blessed.
We have Zone Conference tomorrow, the baseball game tonight, and temple trip/exchanges with Sister Whittaker on Friday. This is going to be the BEST WEEK EVER.
I forgot to tell you...When Jason Mitchell came, he brought with him a new exhibit for the Trail Center. It is a first edition 1830 copy of the Book of Mormon from the first printing. We all got to hold it. It was SO COOL, and it will be here until it goes to the new Aaronic priesthood site that they are working on.
Well, thanks for writing me letters even after you skyped me yesterday! Hope you didn't have to stretch TOO far to come up with something to say to me...haha, I know mom sure didn't! Sounds like everything at home is going really well! I'm SO excited for Tiana!! This has been the craziest year for the 4 of us, with Mat getting married in December, me on a mission, Marisa graduating and having all of these HUGE opportunities open up, and Tiana getting married this week. Look how far we've come haha.
This week was a really good week- we have been SO busy with Florence days (the Parade) and with the baptism! I know I told you yesterday, but Hung's baptism was amazing. The Spirit was so strong, and she was so prepared. She was so so so so so so sooooo nervous beforehand, but right before she walked into the water I just gave her a huge hug and she started grinning and walked in. She was confirmed yesterday in church, and is now ready for a life of serving Him to the end like it says in Moroni 6. She wants to learn the scripture "stories" in addition to learning the Book of Mormon. Does anyone have any good books or study guides for that? She even mentioned children's books. She reads her scriptures- really studies them- but she said she wants to be able to reference stories like a speaker referenced the stripling warriors in church yesterday!
I told you something wrong in the game. I thought we were singing at the Jays game but its really the Omaha Storm Chasers. But still. I get to go to a baseball game and sing the national anthem on my mission. The week after I walked in a parade. This is the best mission in the world. THE WORLD.
I am so excited to go the temple this week for the first time since January. It is so hard to see it every single day and not be able to go! So close, but so far. Sometimes I just sit at night and think about the temple- walk through it in my mind- because I want to be near to the temple and to the covenants I have made there so I can help others make those same covenants. That's really what our purpose is- help people come unto Christ, and the only way that they can do that is by making covenants with our Heavenly Father at baptism and in the temple as individuals and as families. We have a meeting this week with someone from Salt Lake, so all of the sisters called to the Trail Center will be here..even if they are in Holdredge, NE, meaning I get to see my friends!!!!
I honestly can't even tell you what I said in my email yesterday. 8 minutes of emailing gets a little bit crazy. Soooo....sorry! Like I said, baptism Saturday, we set another girl, Chelsea, for baptism last night that the Elders had been teaching for a long time. She really wants to be baptized and she wants to get there, so we are going to help her get there! We set her for June 8th, but she works Sundays, so it is really difficult to get to church. She has been to church plenty of times before but consistently getting there is the difficult part! I know that she can get there though. We also found a new investigator last night, Kenyon. We were leaving our apartment last night, and we usually go out to the left, but I felt SO strongly that we had to go out to the right. As soon as we stepped out the door someone honked at us, and we turned around and it was the Zone Leaders. They are white washing the area next door to us, and they were trying to find someone's house and had randomly ended up at our apartment complex at the exact time we were leaving our apartment. As we were helping them find where they were going, this car drove by with 2 kids in it and they waved at us and then drove by again. The Zone Leaders left, and we went out tracting. I felt like we should walk up to this apartment complex not far from ours, and right as we were doing that, the SAME car that had just been in our parking lot pulled out, only this time it only had one kid in it. He waved, and left. We went into the apartment complex, and went straight to the third floor, right as the other guy in the car was leaving. We taught him a brief Restoration lesson and asked if we could come back on Thursday to teach him more. He was SO cool! It was so amazing to me how we were led right to where we needed to be! I love being a missionary!
In answer to your questions. My companion is NOT gluten intolerant. SHOCKING!?!?! Yes. I can't skype in the morning, sorry! I serve at the Trail Center from 9-1230, then church 1-4, then our Bishop and his wife were kind enough to allow us to come over a skype at their house and have dinner with them and all of their children. On mothers day! They are so sweet! Sister Bates family is in Hawaii so her family is 4 hours behind us so even if we had time to skype in the morning, we couldn't!!! So sorry!! Maybe we can 3 way or something by the time Katie is back in Utah?!?! I don't know.
Here is the 8 minute run down of my life because we didn't have time to email...you might get a short email from me tomorrow too because today has been so crazy. I am serving in the Loess Hills area which is in the Council Bluffs stake...it covers the WHOLE stake because it is a singles ward. Meaning I need a GPS shipped ASAP. please?!?!?. PLEASE. That was like the first thing my bishop said to me when he talked to me on the phone. The stake covers Iowa and parts of Omaha, and Bellevue, Nebraska, including the Air Force base. The WAY exciting part is....wait for it.....we have a BAPTISM on Saturday! Right after the Florence Days parade! Can't wait. Her name is Hung Drake and her boyfriend, Kevin is a member. She is from Vietnam, we have only met her once, and we will have a lesson with her tomorrow to get to know her more and teach her. She is so sweet, and had her interview yesterday so everything is good to go.
My companion's name is Sister Bates- most recently from Hawaii, but her dad is retired air force so she's lived all over. She is 19....5 days older than Katie!! I will fill you in WAY more tomorrow or next week if I can't email tomorrow. I love her SO MUCH!
We took over for the Elders in Loess Hills........including their apartment. and their phone. And anything else. It's been the craziest past 72 hours of my mission life. To say the least. I am so incredibly happy to be here in Loess Hills. I miss Lakeview but haven't had the time to look back because I am lovin it so much.
I will between 5 and 8 pm our time here (3 and 6 your time) there. We will get it more settled. Love you to pieces.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I love Loess Hills already!!!!