The weeks seem to be going by so fast. We have had snow here every day. It is pretty, but watching people shoveling and snow blowing makes it less glamorous. They just get it cleaned out and the snow plows come by and throw up a big bunch in their drives again. It has also been cold. It is nice and warm in our apartment so the cold and snow makes it hard to want to go outside.
President Francis cancelled our weekly staff meeting last Monday because of extreme weather conditions.
The mission rules state that we can’t care for or cuddle children (for our protection), but that really makes it seem like a long time until we can cuddle and love our own little ones.
We had a baptism for an 11 year old boy last Thursday. He is excited about the church and invites his friends and neighbors to church and to meet with the missionaries. The Elders have had several appointments because of his enthusiasm. We should all be that excited! It is hard to be bold, but we are really trying to speak up more and talk with people about the church.
We went to a funeral in Warsaw yesterday. The couple missionaries there needed a pianist and I had the opportunity to play for the services. I used the new prelude book that Annette and Chris gave me and it worked out well. I wished I would have had more time to practice prior to the services, but it turned out pretty well. We were surprised when the services started at 4:00 p.m. It is usually dark here about 5:20 and we thought it would be hard to go to the cemetery. Well—they don’t bury anyone here until spring because of the hills and trying to get into the cemetery in the winter. They store the caskets and then have a small ceremony prior to the final interment. Surprise!
We are enjoying our time here. We are getting more and more involved with the branch here.
We are still working on getting more comfortable with our assignment and President Francis give us an additional piece to it at our interview last Thursday—we are to train the missionaries on getting their investigators involved with family search prior to baptism. They want to have them take one of their own family names to the temple for baptism within 5 weeks of their baptism. We are trying to put together some type of training to get them excited and prepared to teach this. There are so many helps on the family search website, but it will need to be very simple and fun for them to get excited about it. President Francis asked how we were getting along in our companionship. (seriously) I told him that we hadn't spent this much time together in our entire marriage--with work, children, callings, etc. My sweet companion, Dennis, said that he had mission experiences as a young man and now he is experiencing the work with me and what a blessing it has been- and that his love for his companion had really grown. Wow, how great is this experience?
We went to the Temple last Friday night with another couple from Brockport. They drove and our car was parked near the freeway for us to get home quicker. It was about 9:30 p.m. and we thought we would go to the Seven/Eleven for a drink for our 45 min. drive. There were 2 men inside that were nice and kind at the counter. I went back to the car and Dennis talked with them for 15 minutes or so. We were half way home when he said, “Wow, I blew it, I missed my chance to place 2 Books of Mormon. He gave me a free drink and I should have given him something in return.” We will be going back to the 7/11.
We have felt the spirit so strongly this week. I told Dennis that we need to hydrate more everyday because we are weeping so much. It has been so crazy! I cry at passages in the scriptures. Everything has so much more meaning.
At church this morning the branch president asked 3 ladies to bear testimony and tell of their conversions. One was particularly touching to me. This lady told of her life and the extreme anxiety she had in her life. She was about paralyzed with it and had even tried suicide. She met the missionaries and took some of the lessons and they took her to the Sacred Grove. They visited with her there and then left her to reflect for some time. When they came back she was on a bench and they asked her how she felt. She said, "Please, just go get my shotgun and a sleeping bag." She told them that she never wanted to leave and that she would just sleep there and shoot anyone that made her leave. She said that her anxiety left her while there and she began to heal. It was amazing! We talked with her in the hall following Sacrament meeting and her husband told us of his experience. He married her as a non-member, about a month after their marriage they went to the Sacred Grove together. He enjoyed the peaceful, calm way he felt and then he heard the most beautiful, soft singing. The song was the Joseph Smith Vision (Oh, how beautiful the morning) and a group of young men were some distance away from him singing the song. He was given a testimony of the church at that time. They are a nice couple and I loved hearing their story. We are lucky here to hear so many conversion stories because not very many people were born and raised in the church here. They are slowly finding the truth and being baptized. The Church is true, Heavenly Father wants us all to return to Him, Jesus is our Savior, and the Book of Mormon has the power to convert. I know this!
|Icicles, but not very competitive|