Oh my goodness where to begin! This week has been amazing! So, I've officially been out on my mission for three months now. That's weird. I feel like I've always been a missionary, but I'm never going home. I've accepted it haha. And, I had the opportunity to watch all the "12 Steps to Recovery" videos on mormonchannel.org CHECK THEM OUT! Oh my gosh, they are amazing. They are new videos about the Addiction Recovery Program and I can't stress to you enough about how life-changing they are. Those videos and that program are going to help so many people. I can't even imagine! THERE IS HOPE! There's always hope, and that's what those videos and the ARP help people realize. So that was awesome.
Unfortunately at the beginning of the week, Sister Bench and I got a nasty phone call from a random number cussing us out and telling us we need to practice what we preach. It was pretty bad. But all I felt for this guy was sorrow. Not for myself, because deep down I know he wasn't yelling at me, but at who I represent, but I felt so sad for him! Sad that he'd been hurt so badly that he felt the need to yell at two young girls. Sad that he doesn't have the peace in his life that is available to him. It really put things into perspective. People are hurting. They see our examples and they watch how we, as Latter-day Saints, act. If we aren't acting as Latter-Day Saints, many people will blame the entire religion and then they miss out on all this truth and happiness! Now, I'm not saying we need to be perfect people, because that's just not possible. And I'm not saying that it was any person's fault for the actions and pain of this man or any others that might discriminate those in the church, but it does show how far our simple daily actions go. I hope we can all be a little kinder and serve a little more after hearing about this experience. I hope I can better represent my Savior in my actions every day of my life for the rest of my life, so that when people look at me and how I live, they will see the Savior reflected in my life. And I hope that through me, people will come to know Him.
So, I ate Lobster for the first time ever at a ward activity. That was interesting. The preparation it takes to eat one burns more calories than the lobster is actually giving us haha. But it's been fun. And Sister Bench and I washed over 200 potatoes for this activity. No joke. My hand was cramping, but it was totally worth it! This is how we serve haha. And I met this lady while street contacting whose father has President Gordon B. Hinkley's signature in his Bible! How cool is that!?
Breakfast in Annapolis (we got to Annapolis two hours early...)! So, we had the AMAZING opportunity of hearing from an APOSTLE OF THE LORD! Elder Quentin L. Cook came to Annapolis and requested to speak to all of us missionaries in the Maryland Baltimore Mission :) SUCH AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE! We welcomed him, his wife, and Elder Gerard of the 70 into the room by standing and singing "Called to Serve" with our mission song in the 3rd verse. So cool :) He tried to sing along to our third verse, but, obviously, he didn't know it because it's specific to our mission haha. He laughed at his efforts, though. Then, something amazing happened. Elder Cook requested to shake the hands of every single missionary! Elder Cook and Elder Gerard stood at the front and I got to go up and shake their hands and hear some words of encouragement. What an amazing opportunity. And I never knew how funny Elder Cook really was until I met him! Ha, he's hilarious :)
Elder Cook left a blessing on our mission, which was exactly what I needed to hear. AND we got to witness the Spirit working on an Apostle. After he shared his message with us, he sat down and we sang the closing song. Right before the person was about to say the closing prayer, he stood back up and told us that the Spirit kept prompting him to share a quick story and he specifically told us that we need to focus on ages 17-25... If an apostle is telling you to focus specifically on something (especially after he already gave his talk) you better listen to it! So, Sister Bench and I are on the lookout for some prime investigators! We're pretty excited! He also told us that "we are the message." We, as Latter-Day Saints, not just the missionaries, are the message of life and happiness and love to all those who will listen. Our actions and our light will be what people will notice and want. We have to live it to share it and we have to share it to live it. Remember people, YOU are the message. YOU have the power to change lives. The Lord will help you in your efforts. BRING THEM HOME! These people all around you are your brothers and sisters. They lived with you before this life. They are your family and they're just waiting for the way back home. You know how to get there. You know what they need. Help bring our brothers and sisters home. That is the greatest work anyone could ever do in this life. I know this to be true. I know it with all my heart and soul. Nothing is more important than bringing families, including your own, back home to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I can't stress that enough. Please, help bring them home to the safety, comfort, and love of our God and Savior. "The time will come when you will recognize how significant your contribution really is." -Elder Cook.
So, aside from the Spiritual High that I'm on right now, we had some fun in Annapolis, too :) I hope I get to serve there some day :) We went to Chick and Ruth's (the famous place on Meet the Mormons) after the meeting and I got to meet the owner and twelve pounds of ice cream later, we had nine fat missionaries haha. The Charles town sisters, Spanish elders, and Sister Bench and I ordered two "6 Pound Shakes," chocolate and Cookies and cream, and we ate it all within 30 minutes! WE ATE 12 POUNDS OF ICE CREAM. Yes, pictures will be attached. Oh it was so good.
So, that was some of my week. SO great. I love being a missionary. I hope all of you, one day, will have the opportunity to serve a mission. If I've learned only one thing so far, I learned that this mission is far from a sacrifice. It's a blessing 100%. I love it.
I hope you have a great week! Email me some miracles and different missionary opportunities you've had! This is my last week in this transfer, so I'll let you know next week if I get to stay in Harpers Ferry!
Picture #1 this is what happens when two young adult girls go grocery shopping.