I cannot even believe that it is preparation day again! Where the heck does the time go? Every night at bedtime I am amazed that it is yet again bedtime. Time goes by so quickly here.
I’m getting to know ward members more & more & this is both great & sad. We’ve been able to reach out to those that feel left out or downtrodden. It’s so hard to watch people struggle with depression or past trauma & be able to do nothing but hug them & take them out for frozen yogurt. So there was a lot of that this week.
On Tuesday we drove all the way to GEORGIA for a zone meeting. WOW. You know how you feel after you leave a week at EFY? That’s how I felt after just 8 hours. We talked a lot about talking to everyone & about how we need to be personally invested in everyone that we meet. Everyone is my heavenly brother or sister & I wouldn’t let my earthly brother or sister walk past me without trying to share with them what I know, right? We also talked about the atonement & it’s enabling effect to help us become better people.
We had another lesson with our miracle family & please just say so many prayers for them that they will act upon their faith & pray to find the answers they are searching for. They need the church & the church needs them.
We met this little old black lady this week that painted her house “Blessed Cream” & “Harvest Yellow”. Typical. Of course you did, Maria.
I love the South.
There’s a less active woman that we’ve been visiting with frequently & she made the choice to fully reactivate herself last week! She is happier & more alive than ever before & even brought her grandkids this week. What is really incredible to me is that she is now taking it upon herself to reactivate all of the women in the ward that she used to know back when she used to go. It is the best, most exciting thing to watch people shepherd & gather their loved ones.
On Thursday we went to the halfway house that we do weeding for every week & one of the tenants came & talked to us. She told us all about how she has seen God’s hands in her life as she made steps to leave her old life behind. It was a true testimony builder to me that blessings are waiting just on the other side of the action that comes from faith. Having faith isn’t enough to be a catalyst for the blessings, we must exercise (ACT!) that faith.
Saturday wins the award for the best day on the mission so far. Cute Bekah sent me a Valentine’s package a week or so ago with a bunch of Valentine’s stuff for our investigators. Man, did we go crazy with that! Although we only taught one or two lessons that day, we stuck notes & hearts all over everyone’s doors! I have been struggling to find ways to thank the ward members for their kindness & this was the perfect answer. We were able to “heart attack” some of our investigator’s & single women ward members doors & bathroom mirrors which they all absolutely loved. It was so fun to focus on loving and surprising others all day long. If you’ve never set a day aside to do that before, I suggest you try it! It will bring you “exceeding joy”, promise. Also, we were sitting in the neighborHOOD teaching Wendell when A car drove up. A woman got out of the car and brought everyone in the park Valentines with chocolate. All of the Valentines said, “Someone loves you.” It was adorable. & I officially know what I’m going to be doing on Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life.
So you know how I told you that I gave a talk last week? Well this week I sang. Brother Dill, the 2nd counselor in the bishopric, was conducting & said over the pulpit, “We will be hearing from Sister Aure again, but today she will be singing. I can’t wait to hear what she’s going to do next week.” It was funny. & kind of embarrassing. I DIDNT ASK FOR THIS, OKAY? I whispered to him on my way to the pulpit, “Next week I’m bringing my ukulele.”
After church we realized that we had no food & nowhere to eat lunch, so we invited ourselves over to Laura’s house. She’s 32, (looks 25) never married, a mechanical engineer, beautiful, & the first person I’ve met here (aside from Sister Blatter) who has the same humor that I do. So that was just super fun. I like laughing. & also it turns out that her sister is Sister Blatter’s best friend. So she’s taking her companionship & Sister Pasko & I out for Indian food this Friday. If I was rich, beautiful, & single, I think I would take the Sister missionaries on Indian food dates too.
Please keep praying for the people here. There are moments of intense clarity where I can feel the power behind everyone’s prayers. It is truly breathtaking.