I don't even know where to begin this week in writing home. SO much has happened!
Last week, I was terrified for exchanges (when you switch companions for a day) because I was the senior companion. My companion for the day, Sister Gordon, goes home in 2 weeks and so I know she knows this all a lot better than I do and was just freaking out. It's a scary thing. But it ended up being a really cool experience. We had a great lesson with Momoh about marriage and were pretty blunt with him about some of his concerns with marriage. But in the end, we committed him to talk to Jartu about this coming up January 15 as their wedding date. So hopefully that will work out and we'll be able to meet with them again soon! We also met Stephanie, who is the roommate of a referral we got and were trying to visit. She is so prepared to hear the gospel and was going to come to church yesterday, but got the flu (sneaky, Satan. sneaky...) so we will hopefuly be teaching her tonight and then she'll be coming to church this coming Sunday. She's awesome.
Halloween as a missionary is weird. It doesn't mean anything different for our schedules or anything, but at the same time who would want to meet with the missionaries on Halloween night? Hmm. SO it was interesting. It was a day full of service, both for the Salvation Army and a non-member lady who needed apples picked. Service always makes me feel good. But that night, the Noels (specifically Sister Noel) told us we HAD to come to the Halloween Party they were going to for a few minutes that night. So we did. Literally for like 7 minutes. HAha. It's not as fun being at a party when everyone is watching to see how missionaries act in regular social gatherings. On the way home, Sister Noel drove us to her friends house that aways gets super into Halloween. We had to go knock on her door to trick or treat and everything. And let me tell you, it was terrifying!! We knocked on the door, didn't think she was there so was about to go back to the car, but then in the window by the door we saw a corner of a nightgown appear, and then suddenly this possessed zombie (apparently from the Ring, a horror film) oozed out of the door. She said nothing, nor did she break her facial expression of horrifying blankness. Sister Noel made me go up to her and say "trick or treat", and then this lady put into my hand some candy while staring into my soul with the emptiest, blackest eyes you've ever seen anyone act before. Yeesh. It gave me the heebie jeebies. I should have gotten a picture with her, but I was too scared. I'm not afraid to admit that. So yeah. Gotta love fun stuff like that.
We also went on splits this week (where each missionary takes with them, in the case of a sister missionary, a laurel-aged young women or any other lady), and I got the opportunity to go to Danielle and Anthony's house with a young woman in the ward. It was an awesome lesson. The spirit was so strong and even though Danielle was asking a lot of hard questions, through the SPirit I was able to answer them and Lydia, the young woman with me, was able to bear such sweet testimonies of what was being taught. I was a bt nervous seeing as young women expect the missionaries to know what to say and all that, but I think I did okay. I might have talked just a little too much. But it;s a work in progress. They're progessing very well now.
So on Saturday, we had our first Family MIssion Day. It went very well. I was pleased. It was a bit rocky because it was the first one, but it was great to get to know the members more and better while and to help them become more involved in member missionary work. I got to work with 2 families, and it was so much fun. We're going to start doing one every month. Boom, baby! Later that day, we also got to meet Fay, a cute older lady who is good friends with DOnna. We get to go help her rake leaves and such on TUesday, and I'm so excited. It'll be great for sure.
On Friday, Sister Noel was running Sister Jensen and I to a service activity and also her kids to school. We made it 2 blocks and then we realized we had no more gas in the car. Not any. Luckily we coasted into the gas station, only to find out that the gas tank was on the other side of the car. SO after working with a defective gas can and using some random guys' help, we made it back on the road. I now understand better how to use a gas can. Life skill mastered. Now I hope I never have to use it.
Daylight Savings Time is always a glorious time. Escpecially when you wake up in the morning, look at your phone and then realize that it's 5:36 and then you remember about DST and so get to go back to bed for an hour! Ahhhhhh, that's the best.
SUNDAY. The time when you find out if your investigators are going to be progressing investigators or not. The time when everything becomes very real. Yesterday, Sister Jensen and I were at the church from 9:15am to 6:20pm. Mandy came to church!! She came for Sacrament Meeting only, but she still came! She's progressing!! WOOHOOOO! We also got dropped by our first investigator. Her name is Alaina and we only taught her once. It's way sad that she dropped us, but we kinda sensed it coming. We can't force people to accept the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we got to our Sacrament Meeting at 3, we were greeted by Morgan, a super cute 3 year old with "SISSER MISHIMARIES!!!!" SHe came up and hugged us. Haha her mom says she refers to us as her "big sisters" to all of her firends and is so proud that we have been to her house. It's so cute! This week I'll try to get a picture with her. :) Also in that sacrament meeting was Danielle and Anthony with their son. Hole cow! They came! 3 investigators at Sacrament Meeting and 3 progessing investigators!! How awesome! Danielle even bore her testimony in Sacrament Meeting and it was powerful. SHe shared how she gained faith in Christ and how much she was grateful for Sister Jensen and I. I almost started crying I was so happy. Ah. She participated a lot in the other classes, too. Maybe a little bit too much, but we'll work on it. At least she isn't shy. PLUS, we got 2 NEW INVESTIGATORS yeaterday!! Read below for the story.
This last week, I've been a lot more homesick and I've really been struggling to focus and keep my act together. It was definitley the hardest week for me on my mission so far. I understand that it's natural to miss home and to get used to the new life of a missionary, but I even found myself thinking that I wanted to go home, which terrified me. Of course, I didn't want to go home, but I realized how much I'm mission out on at home and how life continues, even though I'm not there to participate in it, and it freaked me out. I've been praying a lot this week to feel comforted and to feel that where I need to be is on my mission, because I know this is where I need to be. Yesterday, Sister Jensen and I went and taught the Restoration to a couple that Sister Jensen found while doing splits this past week. The lesson was led so strongly by the Spirit and we were able to teach it in unity. They had never before heard of Joseph Smith, and they didn't know anything about the Book of Mormon except for the name of it. It was so amazing to see the Spirit teach them as we were there, being the Lord's mouthpieces. In that lesson, I felt that this couple is one of the reasons I'm in Minot, one of the reasons I'm on my mission. I knew that was the answer to prayer that I had needed in order to again let go of all my fears and really trust in the Lord. I am again focused and getting over homesickness much faster and I am so glad that I was able to again have the confirmation that the Lord knows me and what I'm going through.
Whatever it is, I know the Lord can and will help you through it if we will only reach up to Him. KNow that I am so happy here and love the people and all the experiences that I'm having. Lter today, I get to play Apple Shmear with the other "mishimaries" here in Minot. So that will be exciting if we don't freeze. The wind is howling today and I think that with the windchill it's around 15 degress, maybe a little less. Be grateful for the warm weather in Utah.
The work is working!
Scandinavian Culture Center Horse thing
so many jobs here! So much money!
bubble thing at the halloween party
our halloween costumes: spot the difference!
Family Mission Day: Elder Larsen, Elder Stewart, Brother Fife
(just released Ward Mission Leader) and Sister Jensen and I.
We share the ward with these Elders.