LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE WEEKEND!
I don't have much time today but conference weekend was awesome! We were still able to watch it live, just at 9am and 1pm instead of the 10 and 2. Our Bishop has been saying for weeks that we should try to get something put together where we could get everybody to go to watch it and nothing had happened. At the start of the week I really felt like we needed to.
Sooo we went and interrupted the very end of Bishopric Meeting and presented a little plan to them. Bishop loved it and told us to run with it. So we had "General Conference Kickoff" Saturday before the morning session. IT WAS AWESOME! All it was really was a big breakfast. But we had the Bishop get a few things from activities budget and then assigned a few people to bring other things. There's an investigator named Jennifer that we have been working with who is SO close to getting baptized :) SHE CAME! Aaaand she came again Sunday morning! It was a lot of extra work to try and get a hold of everybody else on top of our usual stuff we had going but it was great! We had about 30 people there while out here is about 95% of the ward. AWESOME!
Our Bishop is Bishop Rock. He has a really interesting story. At the start of the year, he was out running one morning and he got hit by a truck going 65. He shattered his back and they didn't think he'd live through the weekend. This week, when we went over Saturday morning he had his back brace off!! He's doing so well and just got cleared to drive again also. So we're pretty excited for him :) Last Sunday they were talking about miracles and the councilor teared up and said "I know they happen. We see one sitting right in front of us every Sunday."
Josh Sage is possibly one of my favorite people I have met out here! I love this kid! He is 28 and hasn't had anything to do with the church since he was 16. We've been working with him a ton! He got into some really heavy drugs, got kicked out, lost allll of his stuff, was alchoholic and finally got into a bad car wreck in April that slowed him down a little bit. It's so crazy to see how much progress he's made just in the month I have been here!
We went and had a "literal fireside" with him this week. He has a fire pit in his backyard and had heard about roasted starbursts. So for our lesson, we took a member with so he can start meeting people from the ward and talked about the fire while we roasted starbursts and marshmallows. (NOT A WORD FROM YOU TAYLOR haha) It was cool though because when we were wrapping things up, I bore my testimony about knowing people can change and he asked if I really believed that. If I really believed that no MATTER what we'd done, we could still come back.
It took me off guard for a second. Like.."Uh, do I?" I know for a fact it's true! And I love it! The Atonement is SO real for anything in our lives. I thought about that summer when I got my mission call cancelled and what a rough place I was in (to say the least...). There was one point in my life where I didn't even feel sad or down anymore, I just felt empty!! And that was actually much worse! And I compared that to where I am now. I have never been happier in my life!!
I told him I know it's true. I think Satan has us flatter ourselves a lot. He tells us we're too far gone and that we've done too much. He tries to get us to think that there is just NO WAY that the Lord could love us or that we can feel good inside again. But when we actually turn to Heavenly Father I picture him kinda leaning back like "That's all you've got?! I've dealt with this over and over again. Give it all to me! I've handled much worse before." And I love that! I love that we can not only overcome our own short comings but find peace to deal with the consequences of OTHERS shortcomings that have influenced us in a negative way.
Josh is awesome! I totally picture him as a Bishop down the road haha He text us the next day that he started reading scriptures with his dad :) :) :) And he told his dad he loved him for the first time in over 10 years. This "little" miracles are amazing and make all of the long days incredibly worth it.
I still pinch myself that I'm on a mission ya know?! Hearing General Authorities pray for the prophet, mission presidents and MISSIONARIES gave me chills every time! Like holy crap that's ME! Somebody else pointed out that people all over the world who don't even know us are praying for us every night. It's powerful! And you totally feel it. I feel it in how safe we feel, how protected we feel, being guiding to go visit somebody randomly...all of it! I love this.
A year ago, I never ever ever thought I would be on a mission! I'd started thinking about it some but it still just didn't seem real. And I NEVER thought the things that would make me happiest would be things like someone telling me they read their scriptures. Or hearing somebody say a prayer for their first time. Pretty crazy stuff but I'm loving every minute of it!
This week was LONG but ended great :) We spent two days over at the Mission Home with President Hall (kill me!) so you'd think it would have gone faster but it was awful. It was fun to get to know Sister Hall and their youngest son a little better while Sister Hoffmann was meeting with him but just sitting kills me. Hopefully we just never have to do that again.
I've been super frustrated the majority of days with not feeling like I'm getting the training experience I wanted. I had exchanges with Sister Walgren this week and poured everything out to her! Which is how we came to be at President's house... While Sister Hoffmann was still gone though, I felt like it was a good time to get a blessing. Our zone leaders came over and I felt a million times better! It was a relief and a HUGE comfort.
I know I'm learning a lot of important things that I need to learn for whatever reason! If nothing else, I've learned I can indeed live with somebody who drives me crazy 24/7 and not kill them (or me) so marriage just may be possible after all ;)
Until next week :) LOVE YOU ALL!!
With faith in every footstep,