That is a quote from Elder Oaks my friends. Best day of my life.
But before I get ahead of myself, this week was SO GOOD! Super busy. So, like I said last week, we had MLC on Monday and Preparation Day was Tuesday instead. We played Volleyball with the rest of the Sister Training Leaders and Zone leaders on the east side of the mission. It was the best. Then Lily took us to Panda Express. She's my favorite. She's taking us to Coldstone tonight. I am so spoiled here. Tuesday was also Sister Hokafonu's "One month left mark". We didn't realize it until Lily said something. She almost started crying lol. She'll be okay. I'm trying to convince her to move to Utah ;) HAHA, Oh, and at the end of the night we got the classiest pick up line from this guy at the gas station. He looked at us with a joint in his hand and said, "You want some weed, cuties?" Gross! We gave him a Mormon.org card (seriously, this is what I'll be doing in college) and he started preaching to us about how people need to live their religion more often and how he's Christian and loves Jesus. Oh boy. It was hilarious. Don't do drugs people. It won't help you look good, I promise.
On Wednesday we got to go on exchanges with the BYSA sisters. I stayed here with Sister Rapier! She is seriously so full of love for everyone around her. It was much needed for me to learn from her this week! She's been a sister that many have had a hard time with, but, I don't know what it is, but God gives me a lot of charity for those people and we got along great! It was a fantastic exchange and super helpful! And we found out that we sang a lot of the same songs in our high school choirs lol.
Unfortunately our Recent Convert Teresa was in the hospital this week. She's been overworking herself, but luckily she's home now and getting better. We were able to visit her a couple times and I'm forever grateful for that. I've missed her like crazy and she's really needed a little break from work. It was really good to see her.
Sister Hokafonu got her permanent crowns in, so now she has two white front teeth instead of gold teeth! It's really different, but she really likes it :) Change and repentance is sometimes evident in your appearance!
We got to visit with our investigator Latear last week! She and Tearra came to church for the second time on Sunday! They're both progressing really well! Church on Sunday was a special stake conference with Elder Robbins and Elder Calderwood. They LOVED it! Our stake President challenged the stake to read the Book of Mormon and finish it by the end of the year and Latear called us today and said that she's doing it! SO MUCH PROGRESS! And her progress is getting faster and faster. She told us last week that she was super excited to be baptized! We're hoping to put her on date for October 8th right before Sister Hokafonu leaves! Praying for it!
We did get a new investigator this week! Her name is Monica. She was a member referral from the Jones Falls ward right next to us. She has a slight mental disability that we're not quite sure of, and we can tell she used to be addicted to drugs, but her understanding is all there. She read the introduction to the Book of Mormon out loud for us and then told us what that all meant to her and how she loves that it's a record of the ancestors of the Native Americans because she's part Native American! She accepted a soft baptismal invite (meaning, "when you come to know these things are true, will you get baptized by proper authority?") and it went really well! We took Elder Gays suggestion to focus on from last week and invited her to say the closing prayer at the beginning of the lesson before I said the opening prayer. She said yes, opened up about how she didn't know how to pray, and we got to teach her! She said the most fantastic first prayer and LOVED it! I love the instruction we receive from our leaders. It really truly helps!
Speaking of instruction:
The meeting with Elder Oaks was FANTASTIC! We shook his hand as well as the other leaders present. It was really funny, he basically told our entire mission that he didn't think he needed to talk about being obedient with us, which is what he usually has to talk about with missionaries, but he could tell we were (for the most part) a consecrated mission :). So, instead he decided to talk all about how our missions were just preparing us for marriage and raising a family. Ha-ha, all the Elders said it made them super trunky lol. All of the speakers, Elder Robbins (one of the 7 Presidents of the 70) and Elder Calderwood (one of our Area 70), as well as President and Sister Christiansen all related it back to marriage. Yup. Gross. And I did get to perform the musical number! I played the flute in the background of Sister Stolworthy and Sister Olsen singing "Be Still, My Soul". The flute part is very independent of the song, so it was difficult, but angels definitely helped me. It was the best I'd ever played that song. But Elder Oaks LOVED the musical number. He stood up from his seat and turned around and watched me as I played. I was a flippin' nervous wreck. Playing for an Apostle! But I just pretended like he wasn't watching me ha-ha. Then when I sat down he complimented all of us and went on to tell us that he played the Obo in school. He loved playing the Obo because he got to sit next to the flute players. He loved that because he said flute players are always cute hahaha. I was super red because he was looking at me the entire time he was telling that story and the entire mission was laughing so hard after he said that! A few missionaries came up to me after and said, “What does it feel like to be hit on by an Apostle??" Lol! So embarrassing! But it was really good! Elder Oaks is HILARIOUS! He was cracking jokes the entire time ;) It was truly an inspiring meeting :) And I got a selfie with President Christiansen afterwards, so that was basically the best thing ever. Oh, and I got some Sheetz peanut butter hot chocolate for the first time this year because there's no Sheetz around me. It was the best day of my life :)
Some other things Elder Oaks talked with us about was revelation. Which was super good! He told us one way to determine whether something was just our own thoughts or whisperings of the Spirit was whether or not we wanted to do it. If we didn't want to do it in the first place it was probably the Spirit. That was SUPER nice for me to hear because I've been praying for continual confirmations that I made the right decision to go home in November. I know it was right, but I want to make sure that doesn't change before I go home ha-ha. And when he said that it was another confirmation that I received that it was the right decision, especially because it was something I didn't want to do. So there's that. We were also told multiple times to teach repentance and baptize converts, which has been something our entire mission is working on. We were reminded that "repentance isn't the backup plan to the Plan of Salvation. It IS the Plan." SO good :) We were also told that we were enrolled in the University of the Lord and taking some pretty difficult classes. It was a really good analogy to missionary work and our future lives.
To end the week, we got to do service at Bishop's and have yummy Brazilian bbq :) Sis. Hokafonu hadn't had that yet, and it was DELICIOIUS! I love Brazilian food! SO good! I have a food baby now. I won't have to eat for the rest of the week lol. It was such a good, revelatory week. I have loved all I've learned and felt this week! My mission is seriously the best and I am serving in the best mission in the world for me. I couldn't have asked for a better one, and I'm forever grateful for this privilege to serve :)
I want to leave you with a quote I read today that rings true to almost everything I've felt this week:
"I've long believed that the closer we come to Christ, the more aware we are of what we yet lack in becoming like Him. At the same time, the closer we are, the more we can allow Him to help us become more perfect - more whole and complete, healed and pure. We become more able to have tears for His sorrows and pain at His grief-and to feel what causes Him sorrow and grief. We have more meekness in suffering and more praise for relief. We are increasingly aware of what He notices, what He feels, what He would have us do." -Mary Ellen Edmunds
This work is real. We're here to become like Him. And the way to Him is through His restored Gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ.
Quote of the Week: "Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause." -Spencer W. Kimball
Scripture of the Week: D&C 58:4
Pictures..... So, a baby was "thrown" into my arms again. I swear I don't try to hold babies. Then Sis. Hokafonu HAD to take a picture. Enjoy the other random pictures of us with Sister Pratt, sunsets, me driving... Our healthy food... And selfies.