Someone asked me how long I had been out, and I told them sixteen months. And then I realized that that is not actually true, and I died a little. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to let me be seventeen months, but here I am. And speaking of which, I made it seventeen months before I finally broke . . . and found a saxophone. Sister Sattler plays the violin, and she managed to get one, and I've been telling myself my whole mission, "I don't need my saxophone. It can wait until I'm home." Well, when someone else gets an instrument, Sister Sabey needs one too, so a very nice member in my ward is letting me borrow it until I come home! I'm trying to find a way to use it in missionary work, but also I haven't played in 17 months, so it'll take some practice first. I already have a few ideas. I'm just super excited. (Sister Ulziiduuren, on the other hand, is not because "she wants peace". . .)
This week was full of adventures. I'm not even sure how to sum them all up without writing more of a novel than I normally do. I was told that I have a southern accent this week--and that's not the first time I've been told I have an accent. I have no idea how that happened. Who thought that 1. I'd ever develop an accent on my mission and 2. that my accent would not be the same as the people I serve.
Our miracle street contact this week was talking to a young man named Tyler. We were trying to contact a less-active member, but she was not home, and Tyler was standing in his driveway just next door. He told us that he believes in science up front, and told us that he was going to give us homework--to watch a documentary on Netflix. He told us that if we didn't do it, that he would be "not angry, just disappointed". I swear that he got that straight out of Preach My Gospel. We had to break it to him that we didn't watch Netflix on our missions, and I think he almost passed out. (Okay, not quite, but he didn't know what to do with that information.) But he had lots of questions, so we had a pretty good conversation. We asked him to watch the video called "The Hope of God's Light" because he had a lot of questions about receiving answers to prayers. At the end, I gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and told him that the book is very special to me, and then had to back up because he didn't want to take the copy as it was "very special to me". I told him it's like if I had a Harry Potter book. I don't care what copy you give me--it's still Harry Potter. Then he freaked out that we hadn't boycotted Harry Potter because it had witchcraft. In the end, he accepted a copy and said he would look at the video.
We also got to teach the Eeds again! We had a lesson plan, but then they requested to read from the Book of Mormon Stories book, so we did that, and then last minute they asked about the Ten Commandments. It felt all over the place, but we had a fun time teaching them the ten commandments. We have little hand signs to help kids remember the ten commandments (I can't really explain them over the computer, so I'll have to show y'all that at a future date). They thought they were the best, so we had a lot of fun. They were pretty excited to show their friends what they learned.
Our last crazy adventure for the week is that we had the cops called on us. Yep, that's right, the police. It was pretty crazy. One of our members had asked us to contact their neighbor named Paul. We had tried a few times, but he wasn't home. Well, this time, we tried and he was home and immediately informed us that he was not interested. Just to be sure we had met who we thought we had, I asked, "Are you Paul?" He was a little shocked and asked how I knew his name, so we told him "your neighbors set us on you". He thought that was funny, but I guess not funny enough because he then spent a good while telling us that we were trespassing and soliciting, and there was really no point to try to say otherwise. He demanded to know the contact information for "our bishop", took down our names, and told us he was going to call the cops. I'm still here, so I guess that we are okay. But, hey, who'd've thought that would happen in Gilbert? I have all the crazy mission stories now.
We had Stake Conference this week, and I am pretty sure that I have had Stake Conference in every area that I have been in on my mission. It's so great. It's been cool how my attitude about Stake Conference has changed throughout my mission from "Yay! Shorter Church!" to a time that I look forward to and receive personal revelation from. There was one talk that I really liked about developing meekness, and a large part of it was about patience. A lot of people said that talk was probably directed at them, but let's be real, Family. That talk was directed at me. The speaker talked about how patience leads us to have self-control, orderly control, greater love, and a greater ability to hear the Spirit guide you. One quote I especially liked said, "Patience in the little things prepares us to be patient when the big things hit". The speaker tied the whole thing back to Pahoran's response to Moroni's epistle. It was incredible. Another speaker said that the Lord prepares us for greater things than we could ever know, even when we pray about a question that is totally different than the answer we received. There was so much other good stuff, but that would take a whole email in and of itself to explain. We'll just stop at saying I have so much that I can work on, and I feel an excitement that the Lord is going to help me.
One thing I've been working on is memorizing "The Living Christ". Since we have been receiving a lot of counsel from the last few General Conferences about studying it, I decided that I should probably do it--I keep noticing it, so God is probably trying to tell me something and I should probably take the hint. It's been incredible because I've never given that document much thought before, but I always feel the Spirit so strongly as I have been working on memorizing it. It's given me a stronger testimony of the Savior and of the authority of those He has called as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. It's an inspired document, and I know the Lord has been guiding me. It's the best thing ever to see themes that I've noticed all throughout my mission tying together. I know the Lord is at the head of this work. I love it so so much! Even when it's hard, I've had the blessing of feeling the Lord helping me in greater abundance than I'd noticed before. I know He's helping me all the time, but I'm glad that I'm finally in a place where I can begin to appreciate it. I love this work and the time I still have to keep feeling this wonderful Spirit and sharing just a little bit with y'all over email. I love you!
1001 N Burk Street
Sister Ulziiduuren really wanted a biking selfie
We match way too often #compunity (It gets worse because if you use the X-Ray filter,
the color on our shirts are just swapped with each other).
Post District Meeting Chick-Fil-A (oh and I got a Chick-fil-a T-Shirt).
Here are (most of) the Elders, so they don't feel left out