This week was probably the fastest week of my mission. SO MUCH HAPPENED! This just might be an information overload, but I hope you enjoy and I hope I remember everything...
So, on Tuesday we had Zone Training. Sister Hokafonu and I gave an instruction on the importance of Preach My Gospel and how we can better use it in our studies. It was super fun and definitely a call to repentance for me. I've literally been given the "How to:" guide to missionary work and I need to study it more. We then went to Buffalo Wild Wings (it's basically tradition here...) with the Jones Falls sisters and started our exchange! I went to Jones Falls with Sister Hubenthal, a fellow Roy, Utah missionary! We live, like, two streets away from each other. And didn't even know each other ha-ha. But she's an awesome missionary. She couldn't wait to tell everyone we were both from Roy on our exchanges ha-ha.
On Wednesday we exchanged back with the Jones falls sisters and went on another exchange with the Alameda Hermana’s. I got to throw it back with my MTC companion Sister Hart! She came with me to the Peake! Oh, and that exchange was MUCH much needed. I think I needed it more than she did. It's interesting, because usually we don't do exchanges with the same sisters twice in a row, but both Sister Hokafonu and I felt like we needed to be together again, and Sister Hokafonu needed to be with her companion, Sister Sears. So we did and God totally directed the entire thing. That's exactly what needed to happen. On that exchange we were all able to get help that we needed from each other. Big decisions were made, and stress levels were decreased. It's the best. On that exchange we had a busy day teaching our investigators Connie, Michelle (who flat out recognized the Spirit as we were teaching and said that God was telling her she needed to get baptized again, by proper authority this time, and she needed the gift of the Holy Ghost. Holy Cow, amazing lesson), Tearra and our Recent Convert Sandra, who was super sick, but wanted us to teach a lesson anyway, and Jaunea, a new investigator who got to understand more about Prophets in our lesson! We had a full day and Lily took us out to Panera for dinner and then to dessert at Coldstone. She's the best. She had her 26th birthday yesterday! Happy Birthday Lily!
On Thursday Sister Hokafonu and I were finally companions again. We got to have lunch at Golden Corral with the Empty Nesters in our ward. Yum. Food is the way to my heart. And we had an amazing dinner with the amazing Wood family again. They are seriously the best. An answer to prayers. It was funny, in the middle of dinner their little boy wanted to show us a toy, so his parents said yes and next thing we hear is a big box of cars coming crashing down the stairs.... we all laughed so hard lol. We just hear "Uh oh" a few times at the top of the stairs. He was too scared to come down until his parents said it was okay! ha-ha. So funny. I love kids ;)
We also got to get in with the Jones family and all of the committed to living the Word of Wisdom and it was an amazing lesson! Their two kids put on our name tags and said they wanted to be missionaries :) I'll attach a picture of that one :)
On Friday we had our last exchange of the transfer with the Ellicott City sisters. Sister Bullock, a newer missionary, got to experience Baltimore for her first time with me :) She's such a sweet heart. The first time I met her was at the Sisters Specialized Training a couple of months ago when she was brand new. We were all telling the person in front of us the first thing that came to our head about why we loved them, and it couldn't be a physical thing like, "I love your hair," it had to be deeper. I stood in front of her and the first thing she said to me was, "When I look at you I see Christ..." Oh my goodness, best compliment ever. I seriously wanted to cry. I don't know how true that was, but it just goes to show how amazing this sister is. Seriously. She's the best. We had a great exchange! We got hit on a couple of times and a lady stopped traffic in her car, honked at us, and yelled, "Whatchu doin' in the hood? Get outta da hood!" then drove away looking at us like we were crazy. It was hilarious! We even found a new investigator named Marilyn! She was in my GPS as an active member... turns out she was actually a potential investigator... that was an awkward conversation, but we taught her the restoration and it was amazing! So many blessings in Baltimore :) We then had to exchange back that night instead of the next morning because we got permission to go to the PHILADELPHIA TEMPLE OPEN HOUSE on Saturday morning with our investigator Sis. Hackman!!!! WOOT WOOT!! Sis. Hokafonu had to drive home because I had a migraine... and she got lost, which made us late, but it was an adventure.
Saturday we woke up early to make it to the church to go to the open house with the rest of the ward on the bus! We got special permission to go because Sis. Hokafonu was in the Pennsylvania Pittsburg mission before and she was promised she could go, and President wanted to honor that promise. So off we went and it was AMAZING! The Spirit was so strong and our investigator had so many questions answered. I truly think that was exactly what she needed to make the decision to get baptized. We're hoping to hear from her soon! So GOOD! We got pictures :) There were people handing out anti-Mormon stuff on the sides, which is sad, but we just ignored them. Some members grabbed some stuff thinking it was good, but when they found out it was anti, they gave it to us to get rid of it ha-ha. So Sister Hokafonu and I did more anti-Mormon destruction lol. We have a video. It's hilarious. Hopefully I'll be able to send it.
Yesterday we had Call-outs and I found out that both Sister Hokafonu and I will be staying in Baltimore together! Sis. Hokafonu will be finishing her mission this transfer, so I get round 2 of "My Plan". We also found out that Elder Oaks will be visiting our mission on September 17th :) That'll be fun!!! We also got to feed more goats and pick up a new investigator on Sunday! Her name's Carol and she's super prepared! After the prayer, she recognized the Spirit and the light in our faces and said she wanted that for herself! SO GOOD!
So, that's the information overload for the week. Well, for the most part. This week I also had a really good conversation with my mission President about my release date. We decided that it would be better for me to be going home closer to my 18 month mark, which would be in the November transfer. I've been praying a lot about it, and, long story short, God told me that I needed to go home in November to prepare for school and a few other reasons that are unknown to me. SO, I will now be going home on Thanksgiving. If you want more details about my decision and such, please just talk to me. I'm not expecting everyone to support this decision, but I do hope that any questions will be asked directly to me. I know that this is what God wants me to do and that's all that matters. So, I'll likely be ending my mission here in Baltimore. I have 2 transfers left and I will be making them the best transfers of my mission! I'm so grateful God has a plan that is individually tailored to everyone. He knows us and He is aware of each of us. I love Him and I know He answers prayers.
Here's to the best transfer yet! Hurrah for Israel!
Shout out to my Little Sister for starting College today! Also, shout out for my niece Ali for turning 6! Happy Birthday!
Quote of the Week: "God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and with His help, where you are willing to go." Elder Holland
Scripture of the Week: Alma 57:21-27
Jones falls sisters, sisters Hubenthal and Haertell; gross pickled pigs Hna Hart and I found on exchanges, a watermelon we ate, B'more Rat, the Hermanas; MD hat Sis. Hart gave me :). Baltimore building. Sister Bullock and I. Philadelphia. Temple pics! Cool bridge in Philly. A huge box of Poky thanks to the Mason family. Destroyed anti material. And the Streater fam.
I forgot to mention something HUGE! So, over a year ago I started teaching a man named Chris, my very first investigator. He was going to be baptized while I was teaching him, but he still had to overcome an obstacle. A year later and he's finally baptized! Chris got baptized on August 27th and hopefully I'll be able to send you all some pictures when I get them. I didn't get to go, but I did get to hear about it :) SO COOL! Miracles are everywhere :)