You know it's going to be a good week when it feels like you just had pday. Maybe it's because we did sort of just have pday, but whateves. I'm going to embrace this crazy experience. It's a party! It's super fun to start this email off on last Wednesday- so many details! I can take my time on this one. So exciting!
Alright, last Wednesday. We emailed and pday'd and cleaned and headed over to the Nottingham's for dinner- totally delightful. We chatted about General Conference and swapped our favorite speakers after sharing a sweeeeeet dinner message from the Book of Mormon. It was probably super insightful and inspiring, but I didn't write it down...and therefore it's gone forever. I feel like it was nice, though.
We ran to the church after dinner to go on splits with the Young Women. Sister Scheer and Nikki went with me to Gary Hart's, and Makayla and Savannah went with Sister Finlinson tracting. It was so much fun! Gary was being taught by the elders before we got in town, but we haven't been able to get in contact with him- until today! It was the greatest! He is just the sweetest man. He's a rancher and a horse trainer, with two Mormon kids and a deep desire to find out for himself. He told us about his life and played his guitar for us (maybe some Johnny Cash and other very unimproved songs. It was a good time). We taught about the Restoration and praying to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet. Sister Scheer was a total rock star, and it was just all so perfect. Ahhh, Gary Hart! So good!
We came in for the night after that and commenced with planning. About midway through, without any context, Sister Finlinson turns to me and says, "Too bad Heavenly Father's image isn't the image of a mermaid". My comp has mermaids on her mind, apparently. It made me laugh pretty hard, but it's a valid statement. Being mermaids would be pretty cool.
Thursday was weekly planning day (#ugh) but we stopped by Sally's upon re-entering society. Sally is this incredible investigator we tracted into a few weeks ago. She's crazy busy, but every once in a while we'll stop by and she'll be getting out of her car and it'll be crazy miraculous. It's an adventure, for sure. Anyway, we stopped by and she was on her porch. She told us that we must read minds or something...yeah, or something. ;) Can't super tell people that you happened to be praying about them and you knew that they needed to be visited. But hey, that's how it goes. She was on her way out, so we ended up praying with her and exchanges hugs. She gave us some of her tomatoes, because she is almost as obsessed with us as we are with her. It's the dream!
We headed to the Relief Society activity after that, and Faye loved it! Yahoo! She met all the sisters and ate ice cream and said that she loves the feeling in our church. Good things are coming with that Faye. And really, she's just the best. I love that lady so much.
Our last stop on Thursday was Becky Moorehead's, one of my faves. We chatted about coming to church and having faith, and I am constantly impressed with Becky. She's less active and justifiably so with her crazy life experiences, but she has so much love for the gospel and so much faith in Christ. She refuses to deny what she knows to be true, and I love that about her. She's seen it all and knows that this is the only place to find true and lasting peace. Go Becky!
Friday was rough, rough, rough. I think it was because our week was so busy with Elder Renlund and pday and weekly planning that Friday was the first day all about doing missionary work...so our goals were high and our plans were lame. That's the recipe for a not so great day. But, at the end of the day, with a general feeling of failure bubbling around our apartment, we realized that our day actually wasn't bad at all. We accomplished most of the goals we set. Even on crazy days that feel pretty endless, Heavenly Father watches out for His missionaries. It was pretty cool.
We dined at the Lee's after a day of tracting and contacting and teaching a few lessons, who made my first North Dakota cultural dish- Knepflia soup! The cute thing about ND is that people here deny having any sort of culture, and then they crank out these crazy German dishes that only exist here. North Dakota, you're just adorable. We shared a Mormon Message with the Lee's and invited them to pray individually this week. Hopefully, they will take us up on that challenge and start doing the small and simple things that build your faith and testimony. We shall see.
We stopped by Sally's on our way back and taught her about the Plan of Salvation while helping her set up her new phone. AND- she totally said the closing prayer! Yahoo! I think we'll leave her alone for the next few days...we're only mildly stalking her, I promise! She tells us every time we visit that she knows God brought us into her life, and it's just so cool. I still can't believe that we met her tracting right before curfew. Exact obedience really does bring miracles. It's crazy town how true that is.
Saturday Halliday day was so good, as usual. Gotta love Halliday day. And also, Saturday was the last day of my first planner! I'm such an old man now! Anyway, we miraculously cranked out so many lessons, and even had three lessons with members there! Yahoo!
Our first stop of the day was the Reidheads, where we all shared our favorite scriptures and we left with a goody bag full of brownies and pizza and roasted green chiles. The Reidheads are just good people, and it was so fun to just talk and share what we all love about the gospel. I think we're slowly winning them over- we did get a doggy bag!
We ran over to Chris and Jordan after that, and the whole lesson felt unreal. It was just so cool. Chris is actually a referral from the Leaches, and we contacted him last Saturday. We chatted on his porch for a while and he invited us to come back when Jordan was home. So, we came back. Never casually invite missionaries back thinking nothing will come of it. They will be back.
Anyway, it was incredible. We taught the Restoration and invited them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it- and they were super excited! Jordan nodded along through the whole lesson, and she told us that she knows it's true already. I smell a baptism! It was the lesson you dream about having a missionary, and it was so cool. SO COOL.
Faye's lesson went well. We just answered some questions while she chilled in her nightgown, and it was fun. I love Faye, and I am crazy excited for her. Her answer is coming- I have such faith in that. It's coming! She reads the Book of Mormon everyday and is already in Third Nephi- it's coming! She told us about how much faith she has in Joseph Smith (but sometimes she would say James, and John...and Jane, and Jim...never could nail down his name as Joseph. It was pretty adorable), and it was incredible. That Faye. She's been prepared for so many years, and it's so cool to teach her and love her. I feel so blessed to work with her. She just lifts everyone around her up and makes the world better by being in it. Too corny? She even said the closing prayer- her first time praying with us!!- And my heart is so full. I love Faye!
We stopped by Humbraldo Lopez once we got back to Beulah, who pulled out his lawn chairs and gave us cold Cokes. It was crazy! We asked him if we could call him Brother Lopez because we are all brothers and sisters J and he said, "Of course! I guess this means that I have two new sisters!” So, Brother Lopez it is! We sipped our drinks and talked about the Restoration, and it was such fun. Brother Lopez. What a dreamboat.
We barbecued with the Towes for dinner and then headed over to Gary Hart, who called us during our voyage to Halliday to tell us to come by! Yahoo! We texted Liberty Roundy and brought her along, and it was great. Liberty and Gary are two peas in a sarcastic little pod, and they just adored each other. We joked and laughed and taught- it was good. He wants there to be more to life than work, and he said that he has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon with that in mind. Before we left, he told us about this girl he likes, Chrissy. Mind you, Gary is this adorable 65 year old man with a little white mustache, talking to these three teenage girls about his girlfriend. It was just the sweetest.
Sunday was the best- President and Sister Hess did a sneak attack and came to our sacrament meeting! What the what! They sat next to Sister Finlinson and I in the congregation J and it was pure bliss. I love my mission president, and that he cares enough about talking to us to drive out to our crazy little town. They were like our little parents, sitting all adorably with us and chatting with us through the service. Total dreamboats. The branch was as obsessed with the Hess' as we are, so that was super fun. We just all love them, but it only makes sense. They're the best.
|us and the Hess fam|
Welp, that's been my week. It's been busy and exciting and quick, and I think this one will be another great one! Yahoo!
I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for you support! Thank you for keeping me hip and happy!
|me taming the wild bull dog of our potential, Peter|