Hey you guys! How are you doing this splendid day today? I hope well. Most of this was written on Monday, I just had to slip in the mission call story. Here are some highlights of my week:
It is now common knowledge that my companions and I are complete and utter goofballs. Sister B was assigned to give the training on transportation at district meeting this week, but the funny thing is, she hasn't driven once on her mission. She grew up in a really small town in Utah, and doesn't feel comfortable driving on main roads where there is a lot of traffic. Understandable. So her companion always drives. So she looked at us when she got the topic and said, "Help me! I don't know what to do." So we put a little "role play" or skit together. Basically Sister G was the driver, Sister B was the passenger, and after they had made up about 8 mistakes going against our mission driving rules, I got to come in and "pull them over" acting as the Cop. The funniest part is, when I came to the window of their "car", they said they didn't have registration with them and that they were missionaries, so they are protected by the Lord. Then they proceeded to tell me what missionaries did and asked if I had ever read the Book of Mormon. The district got a pretty good kick out of it, and if not, at least we did. It was really fun! No more boring trainings for us! ;)
We were able to teach T again! It was such an amazing restoration lesson. The C's/B's are amazing fellow shippers. They don't so much wait for us to ask them to say something, instead, they just jump right in and bear their testimony about something or share an experience from their lives. And it is so much easier having fellow shippers that know the person we are teaching because they know exactly how they are, how they learn, and what will be best for them. So pray that we will be able to catch his interest and help him realize that this is something that he wants for himself. But like I said, it went really well. He had read the restoration pamphlet that we left with him the first time cover to cover. So as we were going through the lesson, HE ACTUALLY ASKED QUESTIONS! And he was able to answer our questions with what he had learned or retained from the pamphlet. We introduced the Joseph Smith Story and the Book of Mormon and invited him to read it. But of course, we were low on miles and had to have J pick us up, and NONE of the three of us grabbed a Plan of Salvation pamphlet or a Book of Mormon. So when she dropped it off, we sent it back with her. :P We are excited to see how he progresses on Wednesday when we are able to teach him next. Hopefully all goes well. Cross your fingers!
A couple of days this week were thrown off because one morning, Sister G woke up with a pinched nerve in her neck and couldn't move her head. By this time, it was too late to set up slits or anything, so we were all just kind of stuck in the house for the better part of the two days. We did get out to do a wee bit of finding, but didn't see any real results coming from it. But hey, it gave me a little time to catch up on Book of Mormon reading and Journal writing. I am trying to have the Book of Mormon read all the way through by Sunday. Hopefully I can finish! I am so close! But these things are not the experience. So since I have had a stiff neck before, I told her that she should try putting some Bengay on it. Since she was laying on the ground, unable to move, I told her to put her hand out and I would put some on it, but that she would have to wash them afterwards so that she doesn't risk getting it anywhere near her eyes. Well, she did put her hand flat, but just as I was putting it on her hand, she flinched and a big glob of it landed right on her eyelid. So much for that! She started screaming, "I'm blind! My eyebrow is going to singe off! What do I do?" I couldn't help but hysterically laugh at this point. I just wiped it off and told her to go wash her eye with soap and water. But since her neck was stuck, it was quite the challenge. So I pretty much blinded my companion this week... Whoops? ;)
On Friday, we were able to go do some sidewalk chalk at the park. We asked the man running the carousel if it would be okay, and he said yes. So we drew out the Plan of Salvation, which also looked like the word love. (I sent you a picture). It was really fun and it looked pretty decent. (Unfortunately, we came back the next day and they had hosed it off). I don't think they were too happy with us. But oh well. We are sharing the gospel, here. Not looking for approval. Right after we had done the chalk though, we decided to go knocking a little bit. We had actually planned to go downtown, but I felt impressed to go back to this neighborhood that we had never finished knocking a few miles up the road. So we went. Door shut after door shut, and then... A man answered the door and said he was on his way out. I asked him where he was going and if we could come back. He said he was taking his son to baseball practice, I think. And he said to come back the next afternoon. We were so excited because he said that he wanted to hear more. We did go back on Saturday, but we think that he had just left and the car that was there wasn't answering because they didn't recognize us. So we are hoping that we can go see them on Tuesday and talk to them. :)
One of my favorite members got her mission call this week. She got it today actually, before we went to the zoo. Her mother was the one taking us, so we got to talk about missions with her all day long. It was so great! Today in the car, Sister G asked if there was anything that we could do at the mission call opening. Sister C asked if we could share a short message about missionary work before she opened the call. We were more than happy to. When we arrived, everyone sat down and ate for a few minutes, then we delivered our message. We read Alma 7:11-12
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
and Sister G discussed how she would be sharing this message in her missionary work for 18 months. I then added my testimony about how important the missionary work here is, how important it is in the world, the blessings that will come to her, the people she works with, and her family and friends at home. We closed, and she started opening it. We told her to put the book in front of it so she doesn't read ahead. She started reading it and started crying. This made me choke up a bit knowing how important missions are to me and the Lord and knowing what a great missionary she is going to be. She read a little bit and it said that she has been called to São Paulo, Brazil, Portuguese speaking, and she leaves October 7th for the MTC in Brazil! We are so excited for her!
Now, THANK YOU A TRILLION TIMES OVER FOR TELLING ME ABOUT PRINCE WILLIAM AND PRINCESS KATE'S NEW LITTLE GIRL! You're right. I wasn't waiting by the TV. In fact, I didn't even know she had been born yet. I am on a mission, yes. But I am still as obsessed as ever with the British culture. So that filled my little British void. So thank you! ;)
This last week was decent. We are noticing that the work is getting slower and slower here. It's kind of hard when you don't have members that are really on board with how the work is changing and don't want to help out that much. I mean, changing in that, there are other ways of doing it now. It isn't just door knocking anymore. But I am hopeful for this next week because we had a relief society lesson on Sunday about missionary work. I think some of the sisters got the real idea and some didn't, but hopefully it helps. However… we were able to serve others this week and that always makes my week better. Elder M, Sister B, and I were able to sing at a member's funeral who just passed away. We sang I'm a child of God because that was her favorite church song. Elder C played the piano and it was really important to the ward and the family because the family isn't very active in the church and they were really grateful that the bishop let them hold the services there. Sister G said she didn't want to sing because she and Elder C were "voted off the island." Originally it was supposed to be the five of us, but turned into three because of that. ;)
We have a couple of potential investigators and a couple of new investigators that we are working with, but we are trying to get a feel for their potential at this point. The investigator that we are most excited for is T at this point. Like I said, pray that everything works out with him.
We are trying to work with a couple of inactive members, but they don't seem like they want to come to church yet. M, the less-active that Sister B and I found is still progressing nicely. He calls us every once in a while just to hear from us or get a lesson over the phone. He is one of my miracle stories from my mission for sure because he tells me every time we talk that we were able to change his viewpoint and that we were an answer to his prayers to God asking for someone from a church to come visit him. So that makes me happy. To know that I affected someone's life like that. Everything else is doing okay.
Companions are doing well. Sister B is starting to come to the realization that she is going home soon and I think that's getting to her a little bit, but she is charging through that. And I am just little old me. Still blonder than ever, getting a few cuts and bruises every now and again to keep myself sane and still obsessed with Britain bviously. ;) The food is still fried, salted, and buttered, but it's good most of the time here. The members are pretty good. They're preparing for one member to get married next month and I think two or three of them are expecting kids this year. So fun! :)
We are going to get transfer calls on Saturday night. So I will definitely let you know about that on Sunday night. Speaking of Sunday, I am planning on calling you guys so that we can Skype. I am going to use the same account that I did at Christmas time I am just going to go off of the username and password that you sent me at Christmas. I just need to know what account to call now. So let me know if you can.
I can't believe Roxie is turning 1 already! That's crazy! That means she is going to be almost 2 when I get home. Aaahhhh!
I am glad to hear that Bethany made it home safe! Totally jealous when it comes to what she got to do while she was there though! Sorry she didn't make it to finals, but hey, at least it was fun! But I can't believe she got to go to Harry Potter World, Walt Disney World, EPCOT, and the Animal Kingdom. Soooo envious! Soooooooo.... Does this mean that we get to go to Disneyland when I come home AND Disney World?!?!? I hope so! ;) Did I mention that my companions and I are planning this epic trip to Disneyland next year and we are going to call it, NCCM goes to Disneyland?! We already have the sister training leaders and the zone leaders on board and we are slowly spreading the word throughout the missionaries. So whoever decides to come next August, who is going to be home, can come! It's gonna be the best!
I'll have to let you know if I see Elder B next week. Does he know that I am serving here so it isn't super creepy if I say, "Hey my Grandpa Deinstadt helps your family with genealogy." If not, tell me so I don't embarrass myself.
Cait mentioned to me that she is going to a competition for soccer this year! Way to go girlie! And Em, who knew that you would like choir so much? I am so beyond proud of all three of my little munchkins!
I wish I could have heard what Caitlyn said in her testimony in sacrament meeting. I am so glad that she has her sights set on the temple, as do my other two sisters. That is the ultimate goal that we can obtain as youth and young adults. Get to the temple and keep going and going and going! And I didn't know that you were thinking of going on a mission when you're old enough, Cait! That will be so exciting if that is what you choose to do! I am slightly biased, but they are so much more than worth it!
And thank you for the sweet words of love after that mom! I love hearing little things like that because the love I have for you, dad, and my sisters is indescribable and it has grown even more on my mission! I am so lucky to be able to spend eternity with the five most amazing people I have ever known. And my mission has made me have an even greater respect and love for each of you. It makes me want to strive my best - to be the best that I can and share what I learn with all of you.
I liked what Sister P said. It's so true. A lot of times, people look at other people and think that they are better or that there is no way they could ever associate or be around someone else. But reality check people! We are all heavenly brothers and sisters! No escaping that one! I did have a question about that though. There is a lady in Shelby who said that the Irvin's are all connected somehow. She went on and on about how we are all tied to celebrities and things, and that I was even tied to her. And her last name isn't even Irwin. She said if you go to clanirwin.org, you will see what she did. Can you check that out for me? It doesn't seem to reliable, but I never know without looking. So let me know what you find. In fact, I am doing genealogy again today. So let's see what I can find out of that today. I will let you know on Sunday if we find any more names.
Thank you for your sweet testimony mom. I love you so much and I am so glad to know that because of Christ's love for us, he has given us modern day prophets and apostles, the Book of Mormon, and the atonement. If you think about it, Christ and Heavenly Father are all powerful and all they ask of us is that we love them and follow them. They give us so much. Including the opportunity to be washed clean and forgiven instantaneously, if we will just turn to them in repentance. There is nothing more glorious than this gospel. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be in the family that I am in as well. I am so grateful for the opportunity we had to go to the sacred grove. I don't think I really knew the importance of it, even when I was standing in its midst. But there is nothing in the world I would trade for the testimony and knowledge that I am gaining.
I am so happy that you get to volunteer in the temple as well. Way to be a member missionary and help hasten the work of the Lord in these, the last days. I know all who are reading this are doing their very best to strengthen and uplift those around them and I am so proud of each and every one of you.
I love you to heaven and back.
SEE YOU ON SUNDAY!!!!!!
P.S. I had a couple of questions, but can't remember what they were. And I am going to bring up some of the things from sister's and dad's email on Skype, but will respond to them next Monday so that they can add to them after we skype. If that makes any sense. ;) LOVE YOU!!!