Friday, October 30, 2015

The times, they are a-changin'

Man oh man, what a week. We're on week one of my third transfer.....and we got the dreaded call early this morning. Sister Finlinson is headed to Minot to be a Sister Training Leader (YAHOOOOO, she's going to be amazing even though she has to leave me!) at the end of the week, and I'm sticking behind in Beulah and training a new sister.  We're all in mourning. My heart feels so super broken, because Sista Finlinson is my soul sista and BFF and it's a tragedy. Our love is real, and I can't believe our time together is up! It's going to be fine, it's going to be great...but am I like, really ready for this craziness? I guess we'll all find out together, haha. At least we have the eventual reunion at BYU to comfort us in this time of sorrow and tribulation. But really, as sad as it is to get that call from President Hess, the peace and assurance that this is right was unreal. I'm been feeling antsy about transfers for the last little bit, and it was nice to finally just know. No more surprises, no more anxiety- just a little more sadness and so much packing. The craziest bit is that I don't even know the name of my new comp yet- I find out when she gets to Beulah! AHHH! It's going to be a new adventure, for sure. No one's hyperventilating. We're all good. 

Other than the worst phone call of all phone calls ever this morning, we've had a glorious week! It's been crazy and exciting and amazing all around- the perfect last full week for my perfect companion. Oh man, I don't even want to do Beulah without this babe by my side. At least I've got a new pen pal, wah wah. Not quite the same, but it'll do. 

We started off our week with a wonderful p-day, complete with lunch at Sister Schellenburg's (with her non-member neighbor Richard, who we taught about the Restoration, yahoo! Crazy p-day miracle!)  and ice cream cake construction. It was a party! I just love that Sis Schellenburg, dontcha know. She's a dear, for sure. Sis Finlinson was tasked with crushing the oreos, and she started potato mashing them. It was hilarious! We all had a good chuckle about it. 

Crazy cute Hyrum Schellenburg eating my tag    
p-daying with Sister Schellenburg! 
For dinner Monday night, we headed over to the Johnson's- it was the best! The Johnsons are pretty much us, four girls and a crazy dad and so much drama and such good food. Pretty much like being at home, so sweet! We laughed and chatted and had the greatest time, and we ended the glorious time with a Mckayla mission fashion show! Alyssa (my fave six year old) was in charge of the flashlight spotlight, and it was a total hoot. She's going to be an adorable missionary, of course. No one's surprised. She's just going to be amazing. I am so jazzed for her! She enters the MTC this Wednesday, the 28th, and the fam just left for Utah last night. She gave the most incredible farewell talk yesterday, and I just love that sista. She's going to rock it! We had ice cream at Cenex (my first f'real experience, so delicious!) before heading back to our sleepy little city of Beulah. Such a great day!

Tuesday was just awesome. We started off the day early with a trip to Becky and Britany with Sister Billman. Sis Billman called us up Monday night and asked if we would come with her to visit these two sisters, and we obviously hopped on that band wagon! So, Sis Billman came by our apartment and we all carpooled and partied- it was a great time. I learned that Sis Billman should just hang out with us all the time, because she is bold and loving and just so cool- she's like an information ninja. All the questions and concerns we've never been able to talk about with them just flooded out, because Sister Billman is a total rockstar. They were both just real with us, and real with themselves, and I was so blown away. Leave it to the Relief Society president to figure all your less actives out in thirty minute visits. I should've known. 

After lunching and debriefing about those crazy cool lessons, we headed over to Ashley and had the greatest lesson about the Restoration. She's just so ready for the gospel, and you can already see her changing- it's the coolest. She's going to start reading the Book of Mormon, but I think she already feels something different. I just hope she does it, and puts the work into reading and praying about it. I really just love Ashley so so much, and I want her to have every blessing the gospel has to offer. It's amazing, Ashley! DO IT DO IT DO IT. I think she will...or at least I hope she will. 
Ashley and us! 
After that most beautiful of lessons, we went to the Moorhead's for a Luke lesson. We planned on watching a Conference talk with them, but we ended up answering their questions about prophets and other (mildly) crazy subjects. Teaching a nine year old is never predictable, but it's definitely a hoot. Those boys are just so faithful and so amazing, and I feel so blessed to be their missionaries. It's so rewarding to teach them, because they really do remember and try to understand and really take to heart the message we share. It's pretty amazing. We were able to talk to them about serving a mission, and it was just sweet. I love those two crazy boys!

We grabbed Liberty after that and headed over to Ariel's lesson- another great one! As we picked her up, Hyrum (one of my fave four year olds) came running out with a note for me- we're officially friends! I gave him a little letter on Thursday, and he told me yesterday that he's working on another for me! Yahoo for an unprovoked penpalship! Everyone should learn from Hyrum- nothing brings me more joy than an unprovoked letter! Keep that in mind in the coming weeks and months. And, I'm a great responder! Very efficient! You won't be sorry! 

But anyway, Ariel's lesson went so well! We taught him about the Gospel and read 2 Nephi 31 together. We were able to focus on baptism and crazy things are going to happen. It's inevitable! He even told us that he doesn't think it's fair to baptize babies, and that he really wants to make that choice for himself. SO. PERF. Ariel is loving the gospel thus far, so exciting! He's reading the Book of Mormon and I am crazy jazzed to keep working with him. Liberty was a total rock star, of course, bearing her testimony left and right and just being amazing. Classic Liberty. 

After our lesson, we headed over to the church for a Relief Society activity- and it was great! Becky and Lauren and FAYE came, and we all ate soup with bread bowls...and my heart was just full. It was a glorious day. 

a cute cupcake and my face during the Relief Society activity    
Wednesday was crazy town, because we had a Zone Meeting in Bismarck! It was such a good day, mostly because Sister Lee graciously volunteered to drive us out to Bismarck and we got to chill with her. I just love Sister Lee. She's the greatest, and chatting with her has become a new fave hobby of mine. It was such a blissful drive! Our meeting was all about being a more purpose driven missionary, and it was so great. Gotta love it! We hopped back into Sister Lee's car, and she took us to lunch! Whatta dreamboat! We went to this yummy Mexican place, and I got cheese enchiladas with a side of rice (it was the bomb, no beans involved!). It was the greatest day in Bismarck!
road tripping to Bismarck with the Lees!    
yummy Mexican food in Bismarck (Sister Lee is the real MVP, love that lady!) 
Once back in Beulah, we headed over to our lesson with Faye. Sister Thueson came along, and it was cray cray. Good cray cray, though. We were planning on clarifying the Word of Wisdom and helping her understand more completely...but she ended up having questions about the Atonement! Turns out, she reads the emails of the past Elders in Beulah, and one of them wrote that baptism doesn't matter if we don't understand the Atonement, so we ended up doing some crash course Plan of Salvation and helping her understand what he meant. She's going to review the pamphlet for next time, and we're going to do the same- the Atonement is a tricky one! We're learning that you've gotta keep it simple, and you have to make sure that you teach to their understanding. That's the real secret! 

We went to dinner at the Axtell's, where we had a great dinner and left with oodles of leftovers. It was simply glorious. I love those Axtells! They're doing such an amazing job as branch mission leaders, and I feel so blessed to be working with them! It was a great end to a great Wednesday!

Thursday was my three month mark, yahooooo! I can't believe how fast the time is flying- and I can't believe I'm already training! Such an adventure! But anyway, Thursday was great. Sister Finlinson got me animal crackers and cute bird earrings for my monthaversary, and life was good. We weekly planned like pros and went to the Schellenburg's for dinner. 

3 months old (still can't believe it!) 
Dinner was amazing- Richard was there AND Sister Schellenburg's neighbor, Tiffany! It was so cool! We got to have casual gospel discussions over yummy chicken noodle soup, and it made a bummer day of planning so great. Sometimes, crazy things happen and you randomly meet the two crazily prepared neighbors of one of your faves. We're going to start teaching Tiffany and it's going to be the best! So jazzed!

We headed to the Crane's after dinner to teach Hailee, and we met the Scheers there. We knocked and realized that all the Cranes were home...and that Hailee still hasn't told her parents. Ughhhh. So, here we are, sitting on the couch of this part member family, with no one really sure who we were there to teach. It was awk, but Sis Scheer kept the convo going...until Dan knocks on the door! It was cray cray! Dan is good friends with Bro Crane, and he had so many questions about missionary work and what we do- crazy! The conversation would kind of drift away from the church, and then Dan would bring it back...and we ended up teaching him the Restoration! We got to the end and told him about the Book of Mormon, and he asked, "Can I buy one? How much do you charge?" OH MAN, SO PREPARED. It was incredible! Dan! What an MVP! A new investigator just casually walked into our member present- they're getting thrown at us!

On our way into our apartment, we met Tony and had ANOTHER crazy moment of running into crazily ready people. Like, what a crazy day. And it was Thursday! Thursdays are never so amazing!

Friday was a little rough, but I think it was mostly because we had such a crazy Thursday and because I got your glorious Halloween package! YAHOOOOOO!! So, it was inevitable to have a kind of weird day. Nothing too exciting happened, just lots of figuring out where we should be and tracting. We ate dinner at the Koehler's and headed to the Moorhead's afterwards. We talked to Luke and Camren and Becky about Christ and the Sacrament, and it was crazy cool to watch Camren comprehend that we renew our baptismal covenant every time we take the sacrament. It's moments like that when I just feel such joy for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. It was pretty amazing. AND, the whole Moorhead clan came to church on Sunday! Such joy! I am so grateful for their faith and determination to do right. I can't believe that I get to be their missionary! It's the best!

Saturday was great- much better than Friday! We had an amazing lesson first thing with Kenny, where we chatted about the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy. I don't know what will happen with that Kenny, and he might be interested because he thinks we're cute...but there also might be some real intent there. We'll keep trying it out, haha. 

After talking with Kenny, we headed over to Halliday. We had an appointment scheduled for lunch at the Cook's...and they weren't home. We wandered around their farm and knocked on all the doors we could find with no luck, and we started frenziedly texting all our Halliday go-tos- and everyone was at the temple! AHHH! So, after much prayer and tribulation, we decided to see the Youngs and talk with them. 

It was such a great lesson with Lauren! We found out that she hasn't ever read the Book of Mormon, and she knows that she needs to in order to gain a testimony. She gave us some deep fried burritos (such a tender mercy) and we challenged her to read and pray- and I think she's going to do it! Huzzah! We ended up being exactly where we were needed, and it was pretty sweet. 

We decided to stop by Dodge after the Youngs and do some finding, and we ended up meeting the crazy cool Joki family. We chatted on their porch for a while and they gave us Costco muffins (because their niece was visiting from Billings and just happened to get more muffins than they needed- I seriously almost sobbed. Heavenly Father loves us! It's the real deal!) while we found out that they each had met with missionaries before. I don't know how interested they are, but it was really cool to meet them- and to eat their muffins!

We headed back to Beulah, checked our mail (Heumann package, holla!) and went to Hazen to do some finding there. We meet a couple really sweet potentials before going to the Lee's for dinner. We had a North Dakota delicacy- fleishkiekla! It's the bomb diggity! North Dakota's a party because there's all these random foods that are crazy yummy and crazy North Dakotan. Fleishkiekla is like a deep fried hamburger taco. It's filled with hamburger and onions and yumminess, and then you fry it up and dip it in ketchup. Yum, yum, yum!

We had a great Sunday- Mckayla gave her farewell talk and I was able to speak with her! It was pretty sweet. Church was wonderful, and we met some really cool people while tracting before dinner at the Scheer's. The best part of the day was the Pippingers- we finally met with them! We have another lesson on Thursday, and I am SO EXCITED!! Good things are coming, and I'll keep you updated!
Mckayla and us! 

SO, crazy crazy CRAZY week! I'm already antsy to email next week and fill you in on all that happens- so much is changing!

I love you all so so much! Have the greatest week!


Sister Robinson

another pretty farm (ND needs to be a puzzle, I'm learning)