Monday, December 19, 2016

Is it just David Archuleta or is it hot in here?

Family mine!!!

I am beyond excited to talk to you in six days!!!  But for now, I shall just email you about my week.  Before my mission, my dear friend Chandler told me that I should learn absolutely everything I can from my mission.  This week, I guess the talent I learned was improv on piano because the old folks wanted to sing songs that I did not have music for.  I also learned that one of my ward mission leader's knows Jon Schmidt (aka the response I gave when people asked me what I wanted to be what I grew up).  But that's quite off topic.  For this email, I guess I should probably start with explaining the title of my email, so here goes that:

Once upon a time back in Bella Vista, Elder Green was doing a training.  He was trying to teach us about blessings that can come from focusing on the work alone by talking only about the work (obviously I'm still working on that one, but stay with me, this has a point).  He told us a story of some Elders who wanted to test the idea out and at the time they happened to really want some steak.  They decided that they were going to try talking only about steak when they weren't teaching and see what came of it.  And that's what they did.  They talked about different kinds of steaks, how to cook steak, anything that was about steak. And for the next three weeks they had steak at every single dinner appointment. Every single one.  His point was to have us imagine what we could accomplish if we were so focused on the work that all what we talked about was the gospel, baptism, and things pertaining to missionary work.  Like I said, we are still working on that.  Now what does David Archuleta have to do with any of this?

There is one sister in our house (who for the time being will remain unnamed since she is still a missionary for two more transfers) who loves David Archuleta's music.  And as good friends, the other sisters and I have taken it upon ourselves to make every comment known to man about Brother Archuleta with the intent of seeing this sister's reaction.  Well.  Let me tell you that Elder Green's story was not as crazy as it seemed.  One night at dinner, we were talking to the family we were with, and they mentioned that they were going to a David Archuleta concert on Monday night (that night being tonight).  Sister Miller and I smirked to ourselves and asked where this concert was at.  Family, David Archuleta will be in Mesa just down the street from the Mesa Temple.  And the best part is that this sister that likes him was initially scheduled to help at the Mesa Temple Lights tonight.  I guess that what we talk about really does affect the world around us.  It was a funny experience, but it's also made me want to take Elder Green's invitation a little more seriously and see what miracles become of that.

This week has been crazy busy getting ready for not just one, but two baptisms.  We finally got to meet Patrick (the one being taught in Alabama who wanted to be baptized by the person who befriended him in Arizona).  He is so stellar.  His mom and his grandma even came to the baptism and were so supportive of him.  At his baptism, he even shared his testimony and I just wish y'all could have been there.

We also got to have the baptism of Rachel this week!  She was so excited and it made me so happy to see.  She had been working to give up a coffee habit and her testimony has definitely grown through that.  So this week, we decided to do something fun with Rachel and teach her the Mormon way to Starbucks.  I have a recipe for hot chocolate that tastes like Starbucks, so we went over and made it with her.  We had a lot of fun with that.  Then on Saturday (yesterday), Rachel entered the waters of baptism.  There was so much love and support from the ward.  After she was baptized, immediately after coming back out of the water, Rachel's 3 year-old son, Devin, shouted, "Yay!!!"

We've also been busy trying to find new investigators.  We followed up with the "back-to-Jesus" girl (Kaden), and her dad is interested in setting up a time for us to come tell their family more about the Book of Mormon.  We also met a guy named Steve at the Temple Lights.  He would not be our investigator, but we were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and never have I ever heard someone tell me with such sincerity that they are going to read it.  There's also Robert who was such a golden street contact.  He straight up told us he doesn't understand why God would let his wife die when He had the power to save her, so after giving him a Book of Mormon, he asked us what part he should read.  I also want to follow up with Jason (the skeptical seeker of truth) and these two people we met named Kim and John.  I'm excited.

To close, I just wanted to leave you with some revelation I received at Patrick's baptism.  I was sitting there thinking about why baptisms are such a highlight of missions.  Everyone wants to know about the baptisms.  While I was there at Patrick's baptism, I realized that baptisms aren't the incredible experience they are because someone is wearing white in a font of water and getting dunked.  Baptisms are the sacred and amazing experience that they are because they are the epitome of the actual best part of missionary work: getting to watch people change and come closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ.  That is the best part of a mission, and I am so thankful that I get to be a missionary.

I love you so much family, and I can't wait to talk to you more on Christmas!
Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

Patrick's baptism

Rachel's baptism

Gilbert members don't let their sisters go without Christmas

Missionary shoes

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