Monday, May 19, 2014

The Church is True and the Book is Blue

I'm just going to get right in it as there is a LOT to write about today!

First off, Zone Conference! It was AWESOME!! So inspiring! I got the opportunity to be the driver, and it was quite the party! I'm now a driving Diva! (At least on NoDak roads....they're not very populated). It was WAY good though. I got to see Sister Christiansen again (we stayed the night with her and her companion) and also Elder Melle, both in my MTC District. SO that was awesome! The trainings  were AWESOME! President and Sister Anderson did a great training on the doctrine of eternal marriage, and it was great!! Not saying I'm trunky or anything, but it did make me want to get home and get married ASAP. And then I realized it's a process to get married, it doesn't just happen. It's a process of meeting someone and dating...uck. So don't worry, parents, I will have a while before I get married. Rest assured. But it was a GREAT training. President and Sister Anderson are so cute together. :)

I got a huge compliment this week that every missionary wants to hear. Elder Casey, one of the assistants to the President, is going home soon. Elder Casey is a fantastic missionary and you can just see the power that emanates from him as a disciple of Jesus Christ. He's inspired me to be better, so after Zone Conference I just went up and told him thank you and good luck. What he said next hit me hard: "Thank you, Sister Leslie, I appreciate that. Since I've seen you last, you're different. You're becoming more consecrated." I wanted to hug him right then and there! But obviously I didn't. It hit me so much because my biggest fear is that I'll return home the same person I left as. Which, don't get me wrong, I want to be, to an extent. I still want my same personality and some habits, but I want to be converted to the gospel and willing to follow Christ no matter what, and I want to be active in His Church in all that I do and say. So even though I can't see it, someone else could see that I am starting to change a bit, and that was awesome to hear. 

I have officially made it to my 8 month mark alive! Success! It's crazy how fast it goes, it freaks me out. 10 months and counting.....yikes!

But this week was good! We saw a lot of miracles! We were able to find 3 new investigators, all sisters in a family, which is great! They are 12, 16/17ish and 17. They are all foster kids, but hopefully soon to be adopted. They ask a lt of deep questions, but we like questions, so it works out. :) Their mom is a member, just less active, and their dad is Southern Baptist, so it's a fun family situation. We're excited to be able to go back and teach. We really needed this to boost our area, so it was great!

AND! Drumroll, please...................................It has been 60-70 degrees this week for almost ONE WHOLE WEEK! Man, it's about time! 70 degrees never felt so good. Ever. 

There were a ton of people at Church yesterday who were not members, a lot of the elders' investigators, but also a couple of people that were brought by members. One of these was a lady named Barbara. She was brought from a member in the ward because she just wanted to check it out. She is from Brazil and we will be teaching her on Wednesday! She is really interested! We gave her our number and then she asked us, "So you could teach me?" My mouth almost dropped to the ground. I was like, "Um, YES!" So we are very excited for that. She goes to school here at MSU and is such a sweet girl. The work is starting to pick up a little bit here! Woohoo! 

This week I truly came to the conclusion that I can't do this on my own. I've been trying so hard to train Sister Manning by myself and run the area by myself to prove to myself mostly that I could do it. Well, news flash: it doesn't work. SOunds like an obvious thing, but it's much easier said than done. I had one of my classic breakdowns this week to Sister Manning, so we're on the same page now. Things are looking up! Seriously so much of missionary work is determined by your attitude.  SO I've been very humbled this week and I feel that's a big reason we've been having so much success. It reminds me of the APs training in February about the rocks in the backpack. That has always stuck with me. I don't want to hold back my area anymore! 

I'm just going to preface this paragraph with "Don't Freak Out". This is privileged information and so yeah. Just know that I'm safe and all is well. :) On Saturday, Violet Noel (in case you forgot the family we live with) was baptized. It was such a sweet program and evening! The Noel's had a lot of family in town for the baptism and so they all stayed at the Noel's. Fast forward to Sunday morning. I wanted to listen to music in the morning, so I went to tur it on to find our portable DVD player missing. I thought it was odd, but I didn't think much of it until we came home for lunch after Church. Sister Noel asked us if we had noticed anything fishy, and explained how her phone and a couple of their laptops were missing. I then mentioned our DVD player was gone, and we put the pieces together: Saturday afternoon, when we were all out at the baptism, someone broke into the Noel's home and stole some stuff. They just got out DVD player and charge cord and Sister Manning's camera (which was SO sad!), and then Sister Noel's brothers laptop, Sister Noels' Mom's laptop, and sister Noel's phone. So that was quite the adventure. The Noel's had left their door unlocked and so whoever it was just walked in. It could have been much worse, but it was weird to know that someone broke in. You never think things like that will happen to you until they do. So that's the latest. We get to talk to the detective tomorrow. Fun stuff, fun stuff. 

We're teaching this cute girl named Analeon the missionary lessons before she gets baptized. She and her family are active, but her parents want her to know all the information so she can make her own choice. It's such a joy to teach someone who is SO excited to be baptized (She bounced up to Sister Jensen and I our first week in Minot [Early October] and exclaimed: "YOu get to teach me in May for my baptism! You get to teach me in May for my baptism!" Of course, Sister Jensen and I didn't think either of us would still be in Minot in May, but here I am).

...And that pretty much sums up our week! I hope you are all getting out there and doing missionary work and being examples of the believers in all that you do and say!

I have no doubt that this Church is true! If your testimony is dwindling, read the Book of Mormon. I stand with Joseph Smith declare that "Man will come closer to God by reading this book than by reading any other book."

The work is working!
sister leslie.

The Bismarck and Minot Zones: the ones in attendance at our Zone Conference!

Sister Christiansen, Me, Elder Melle

The Elders in the back of the minivan driving back up to Minot. Front: Elder Robinson
and Elder Probert, in the back (hat) Elder Nelson and Elder Stenquist

Lake Sakakawea, the closest we have to an ocean her in NoDak. 

Sister Manning and Analeon (the girl we are teaching the lessons to before she is baptized), Me. 

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