Saturday, April 26, 2014
And by this, I mean that I have chosen to make a change in my life by "cleaning" up my appearance. Therefore, I cut off nearly four inches of my hair this morning. EEK. I know. So frightening, but it feels good. Sister Hills is a great promoter of "change" and how it "helps us flourish and grow and become what we need to be" (literal quote). Attached is a picture of both of our hair cuts - hers isn't as drastic because I actually told her that I don't like her hair short. I'm honest, like my Nana!
This week has been great! We're working with two main investigators right now: Michelle and Andrew. Michelle was a referral from a family ward. She is INCREDIBLY prepared and believes in all of the doctrine. She is constantly talking about how she has felt these things to be true all of her life, but had never heard them from anyone else until the missionaries came. Amazing, right? She will be baptized on April 19th. Michelle starts working at Banana Republic this week and we ALL know what life as a retail worker is like... right, Mom?! :) So we are praying HARD that her availability stays open enough for her to finish the lessons and of course, get baptized. She came to church for the third time yesterday and LOVED it. Michelle is a social butterfly and will touch the lives of MANY.
Andrew is the boyfriend of a member that is currently at school at BYU. He is 19 and is attending George Mason University (GMU). He is the SWEETEST. Such an honest and good-natured boy. The Sisters took him to the Temple Visitors Center two weeks ago, before I got here, and we met with him on campus this last week. Get this - he was on Mosiah 2 in the Book of Mormon, so we decided to read with him and it was PERFECT preparation for General Conference. (King Benjamin on the tower, with the masses of people, their tents towards the tower). Amazingly, he gave up coffee on his own 3 weeks ago and is REALLY praying about the idea of giving up wine. It's a very family-centered activity for him and he even pondered the thought of owning his own vineyard one day - so it's difficult for him. However, I know that through diligent prayer and seeking for answers, he WILL know if this is the Lord's will!
Lastly, I had my first exchange as a Sister Training Leader last week! It was excellent. Sister Lamborn and I walked the streets of Burke, VA looking for the elect. Though we didn't end up teaching full lessons, we found some strong potential families for her to check back on! I appreciate her honesty and the love she has for her baby missionary companion that she's training. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to learn from these sisters! As we learned at the women's conference last night, "We are more alike as daughters of God than we are different." - Pres. Eyring. TIS TRUE. Let us all be unified because "if we are not one, we are not [His]". LOVE YOU ALL!
1) New hair - bah!
2) COW TALES. Last week, I told Sister Hills how much I love these (especially Strawberry) and a few days later, during our exchange (and time apart from each other) she found them at a random dollar store and bought me four. Isn't she the best?! Such a peach.
Quite the change from Mid-Single Adults. I'll sure miss the Potomac Ward. They are an AMAZING group of individuals that deserve happy lives and eternal companions. One day, they will find them... I know it.
First, let's talk about Gary's baptism. YAY - it happened! Apparently, there were some delays due to a scheduled carpet cleaning at the stake center that day :/ So they pushed it back to 2pm instead of 1pm. And when I got there at 1:40, the water had only filled up to the bottom step (maybe a foot of water). Yikes. Our bishop was NOT pleasant. So, I'm pretty sure the font had a leak in it. We had to postpone the baptism until about 2:30. Very hectic, very crazy. And because the water was still so low, Gary had to be baptized twice :/ He's 6'2", so there was some adjusting to do. Though the actual SERVICE went so well! The talks were wonderful and we had a great turn out. Gary was excited and was feeling the Spirit. His brother and brother's girlfriend came, and also his mom, who flew in from Spain the night before JUST for that occasion. Amazing, right?
So while Gary was changing out of his baptism clothes, we had a mini-testimony meeting where a bunch of us shared our thoughts. It was VERY Spirit-filled. So glad his family could be there. Actually, his mother got up during the testimony meeting and thanked everyone for coming and supporting her son. She got emotional and talked about how she went to the Madrid temple just a few days prior after hearing about Gary's decision to get baptized. She met the missionaries there and they talked with her about the gospel. I know her life is changed because of Gary's baptism. I can't wait to see what's in store for her and her other son! At the end, Gary gave some thoughts of his own. For 30 minutes. At this point, I was already with my new companion and her and I were just tense with anxiety because of how long it was going. But, he FINALLY bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and church, and it was very tender. Overall, a success and spiritual high! Another sister missionary took pictures and I'm waiting for them, but once I get them, I will show you.
What a great way to end my time in Potomac! I know Sister Deaver will do a great job leading out the area. She's a strong girl and very practical, but close to the Spirit. I have no doubt that they'll have more success there. But, alas, I am in my new area - Braddock YSA Ward! It's completely different, but so wonderful.
I absolutely LOVE my new companion and fellow Sister Training Leader, Sister Emily Hills. In my year out here, I never really got to know her before. Had always SEEN her, but hadn't ever talked to her. Sad, right? Oh, just received word from her that she actually did give me a compliment when I sang "Amazing Grace" at a fireside. Good to know :) She is from Farmington, Utah and attended high school with the Baker kids at VIEWMONT. Small world, eh? And get this... she's my age! 22 and turning 23 in two weeks - during our time together! If you have ideas of what I could get her for a present, let me know. She is very much into movies and pop culture (WOOT), and she will be going to the University of Utah when she goes home to study Videography. Seriously, we have had TOO many good times together, and she's a PHENOMENAL missionary. I look up to her a lot and will be learning a ton from her this transfer, I know it. She goes home in July, so a transfer before me. It feels good to be paired with someone that is older in the mission! She's like my personal mentor. Love her already and can't wait for what's ahead!
Well, this morning, I had an interesting studies. While looking for a particularly scripture and then FINALLY finding it, I ended up in Doctrine and Covenants section 93. These verses struck me:
12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
This is speaking of Christ, and it reminded of the scripture in the New Testament that talks about Christ in his childhood years, who had to "grow in wisdom and knowledge". I find it to be rather comforting that Christ did not understand His purpose and potential, "the fullness", all at once, but that it took Him TIME. This makes sense to me because it takes US time to really grasp who we are and who HE really is!
As missionaries, we often say to those that we're teaching: "Our message cannot be understood all at once. Understanding will come over time through prayer, study, experience, and keeping God's commandments." This rings true for members of the Church as well. Don't get frustrated - it takes time!
Sister Hillary Hansen
The Arlington Zone last transfer! I will seriously miss these lovely missionaries - these past 3 transfers have been too good.