I’m going to run through my week with you chronologically.
President Craig called the night before & told us his 13 year old granddaughter was in town & wanted Sister Clemens & I to take her out with us! So after P Day ended, we drove over to the mission home to pick up Emmy. She went with us to the FHE (family home evening) group our ward has for recent converts and investigators. The person leading the evening decided to pick “forgiveness” as the topic for the evening. We defined forgiveness as: Letting go of the idea that things could have turned out any differently.
It was a great evening full of healing & love. We were so glad that Emmy was there to experience it with us and be such a stalwart example of the youth in the church! After that, we dropped her back off at the mission home & chatted with her family for a minute. Before we left, the assistants showed up with their son who had went on trade offs with them that night! So naturally we had a little photoshoot with all of us. Think prom, but way more righteous.
So we go to leave, and President walks outside with us & closes the door. He starts talking about the weather & small talking like he’s going to say something important any second. Then he says goodnight and walks away! Very funny. He’s a funny man.
We get a call from Elder Winter (the senior missionary in charge of vehicles) telling us that the mission’s vehicle fleet is being cut down substantially & that we were chosen to be in a car share! A car share is when we share a car with a neighboring companionship. Pretty self explanatory. We would have to switch which companionship has the car every three days. Right. In the middle. Of this dang. Florida. Heat. Oh, joy. But we love tough things! So, yay! THEN we got a call from President Craig. (Maybe we were crossing our fingers that he was going to tell us we didn’t have to be in a car share. …maybe.) but nope. He told us that there is a sister in our mission that is going home early. That earlier that week, he had informed a trio (a companionship with three instead of two) that one of them would be going to the area that had the sister going home. Then he told us that when we were at his house the night before, it suddenly became clear to him that I, Sister Aure, actually needed to go this new area & that I was to pack up all of my things and leave the next morning! Six months in my first area, three weeks in my second area. …alright! I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord!
I went to my first & last district meeting. The assistants said they were so sad to see me go & one of them said in his 18 months months of being a missionary, he had never enjoyed working with a companionship as much as he did with us. He also said it was the biggest compliment that President could pay anyone to have his granddaughter come out with us. It was sad to say goodbye to the missionaries I’d come to know & love in just three weeks! Including the other set of elders in the ward. Everyone was just so great. There was such a high energy buzz of missionary work in President’s ward.
We then drove to my new area: Dunn Avenue. Dunn Ave is the Downtown Jacksonville ward. It’s also the same size as the rest of the stake. In other words, huge. Dunn Ave ward boundaries has a street in it called Moncreif, which is apparently a famous street! The street is famous for the high amount of shootings/murders that have happened on it. Parents & loved ones, I do hope you’re not watching the news about what happens in Jacksonville everyday, because it would just unnecessarily worry you. But there’s so much more art & life & culture here than there ever could be in Mandarin, so just know I’m happy. We got to the church & I had a short interview with President. He also said that he was so sad that he received the inspiration that I needed me to be in Dunn Ave. He told me to not be surprised if I end up in Mandarin Second again someday. Oh, joy….!…? & I met Sister Coutts (rhymes with boots) . My new companion. Who was Sister Pasko’s last companion! How fun is that? Sister Coutts is really great. She’s 21, & from Murray & Bountiful. She’s funny & loves to work hard.
On the way home from our dinner appointment (I was driving) sister Coutts let out this frustrated yell and said, “I just got this insane spiritual prompting that you need to turn around and we need to go talk to that lady that was outside playing with her kid!” So I promptly turned around, and we awkwardly pulled up to her house while she was staring at us wondering why we just pulled up to her house. We introduced the restoration to her (Christi) & she said that she’s been searching for for a treasure her whole life that she just hasn’t found yet. She invited us inside & we taught her all about the Book of Mormon while her 4 year old daughter put sticky pink lipstick on me and sister Coutts. We were so excited for her to come to church! Aaaaaaand then her dad broke his hip so she’s out of town for awhile. Dang it, Satan!
My friend Laura took us out to our favorite place of 5 Guys because it turns out she works right by my new apartment! How fun! It’s always the best time seeing her. Also there was a torrential downpour of rain. The usual.
Almost died due to it being a million degrees.
I got to meet the amazing, eclectic ward of Dunn Ave. I sang with the choir a song I had never heard before & also said opening prayer in sacrament meeting.
I am so excited to figure out why exactly it was so important for me to be here. Dunn Ave is like a whole different mission entirely, so hopefully it will help me become a more well rounded missionary. Seriously so excited.
Here’s my spiritual thought for the week:
When we try to develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ rather than merely cultivating faith as an abstract principle of power, we understand the meaning of the Savior’s words: “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (Moro. 7:33). (“Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”)