I can't believe it's Preparation Day again! This week went by a lot faster. I can't believe I'll be leaving for Arizona on Tuesday morning! I have grown to love my district more than words can describe, and while I'm more excited than I can say that I'll get to go to Arizona and teach and find and do the Lord's work, I'm very reluctant to say goodbye to the ones that will be going to Colorado. I wanted to take a moment to tell you about each person in my district.
I've told you about Sister Sorenson last week. She's still doing great, and I adore her! Refer to last week for more information.
Sister Olson and Sister Johnson are companions. Sister Olson is so sweet. She did dance in high school. The other day, we had to practice using the Book of Mormon to address a specific question we had. I got paired with Sister Olson for this activity. She was so helpful in my question, and I had a cool experience learning about how to help her. We were supposed to read 2 Nephi 31 to answer their question unless the Spirit prompted otherwise. After she told me her question, I said a prayer, and I remembered the story of Ammon suddenly. I was so close to just pushing it out of my head, when I realized that was probably a prompting. I'm so glad I listened to it because the story of Ammon teaching King Lamoni was perfect for her!
Sister Johnson sometimes reminds me of my mom, like I said last week, but also of Amy Adams. She's so kind and willing to listen. We are choir alto buddies. She says "boo-yah" a lot. It's so cute. She also said something that I found profound, and I want to share it with you. As a missionary, we are trying to get it into our heads that we are not the real teacher. Only the Holy Ghost can teach truth to their heart. We were talking about that, and she said "I'm supposed to support the Book of Mormon, not use the Book of Mormon to support me". It completely changed how I planned for lessons with investigators, and I'm working diligently to do better.
The other sisters are Sister Lucas and Sister Warren. Sister Warren is the most obedient and focused person I have ever met. Because our district is so close, we sometimes start talking when we probably should be studying, but she is always focused. She knows why she's here, and I aspire to be like that. She's also really fun to talk to. I learned today that she likes tennis.
Sister Lucas is almost impossible to describe. She's so funny and very straight up about what she thinks. She does not sugar-coat ANYTHING. She's also very sassy and sarcastic, so sometimes our personalities clash, but I still love her.
Now for the Elders. With the elders, I need after each one for you to just add, "OH MY GOSH, I LOVE HIM, HE IS MY REAL LIFE FAVORITE!"
Elder Robbins and Elder Hathaway are companions. Elder Robbins is the district leader. This boy talks more than any person I've met in my life. Most of the sisters think he's obnoxious, but I guess I have the same sense of humor as him, so I think he's hilarious. He's very open about his struggles, and I admire him a lot for that. He's helped me stay positive when I think that I'm not capable of being a missionary.
Elder Hathaway is basically the person who would be the best sidekick ever. He rarely talks, but when he does, he has the funniest one-liners. He's also really artistic and likes drawing. He likes to draw pictures of the elders on the white board, and he somehow manages to capture their personality in a cartoon version of each one.
Elder Payne and Elder Tolman are the other two elders in our district. Elder Tolman is so sweet, and he always yells "Haha! Roasted!" at almost everything. Elder Payne and I are besties now. I didn't know what to expect of Elder Payne when I first met him. I think Sister Sorenson puts it best when she said he was a question mark. He's a lot of fun to talk to in his own weird quirky way. Sometimes he also has really incredibly spiritual moments that blow my mind. One day in class, he said, "God gave us the ability to learn so we can learn of Him." I thought that was so insightful because it really adds to my picture of divine characteristics. If you can't tell, I love my district.
This week has still been incredible. Sister Sorenson and I are finally learning how to teach together and the spirit is so much stronger in lessons. I loved Sunday because we got to watch another talk by an apostle. We saw "Missions are Forever" by Elder Holland. It took a while for the movie to get going because they couldn't get the sound on. What do a bunch of missionaries do when they are waiting? Have a sing along of hymns. It was amazing. I am starting to see just how incredible hymns and primary songs are. They teach profound doctrine so simply. The talk was beyond description. It was everything you could hope and dream of from Elder Holland. He definitely had moments of chastisement, but he somehow does it in a way that you go away from it feeling inspired to do better. He said something in the talk that stuck out to me. I don't remember it word for word, but the idea of it was that missionary work is not easy because Salvation is not a cheap experience. Why should it be easy for us when it was never easy for Him? The road to salvation goes through Calvary. It reminded me of just how much Christ has done for each one of us.
The other highlight of the week was Tuesday night. We always have a devotional, and this week, Elder Renlund from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us. I have had a few times in my life when I was in the same room as an apostle and I cherish each of them. There is a power and a light about them that by even being near them, you cannot deny that these men are called of God. One quote he said during his talk was that because of the Atonement, "[sin] left no scars on us because it left scars on Him." What beautiful imagery. Imagine all the hard times in your life, and Christ took on all of them so that you don't have to! If you get anything from reading my letter, I hope it leaves you with a sense of wonder and amazement about just how incredible the Atonement is! I know that Christ is the only permanent solution. I love this Gospel.
I love each and every one of you and want to thank you for your prayers!