Oh man, something I've learned this week is that there is nothing more blissful than Conference as a missionary. It's the greatest, I tell you! And also, I am severely disappointed at the lack of Elder Renlund love found throughout my emails. GUYSSS, THAT IS THE APOSTLE THAT JUST VISITED OUR MISSION. GUYS. I HUGGED HIS WIFE. I WATCHED HIM EAT A SAMMY. ME AND HIM KNOW EACH OTHER. I thought maybe one person would remember my obsessive Elder Renlund talks from a few weeks back, but alas, you must now wait a week to share in my rejoicing. Sister Finlinson and I were joking around about him being called, AND THEN IT TOTALLY HAPPENED. We were over at the Roundy's watching Saturday Afternoon, and we 100% screamed and high-fived and flipped out in every understandable way when Pres. Eyring said his name. I still am in shock. One day, once the APs email it my way, I'll send you the picture of me and Elder Renlund, shaking hands and being BFFs. It'll be glorious. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. I am still JUST SO JAZZED that my General Authority, the man who was in Bismarck not even three weeks ago, the one who I gawked at while he trained our mission and TOLD US THE STORY ABOUT CHAD HE SHARED IN CONFERENCE, AHHHH, is an Apostle. Guys, it's so exciting. BE EXCITED.
Just in case you forgot. :)
Okay, now that I've gotten all that hullabaloo outta the way and we've all had a moment to ponder how amazing it is that I was able to hear from the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve, let's talk about my week. It was pretty interesting, lots of dropped appointments and lots of weird/random experiences. I think it was a good week? I don't even know. We've got a lot of contemplating to do together. When you're newly discovered fave General Authority is called to be an Apostle, and when you get weirdly prideful about your weird connection to him, you have to have a super weird week to maintain your humility. That's just how it goes.
Last Monday was such a good pday...really, I just love Mondays. Missions are life changing for that reason alone. We wandered around the Beulah drug store and I found these adorable bull dog earrings that look just like Buster, Peter the potential's dog that always pees on the porch when we come by. So, it was a great day. We ate dinner with the Moorheads and chatted about the Restoration. We're working towards November 21 for Luke's baptism, but we really want to make sure that the whole fam is totally ready to support him and be active together. We've been working closely with Becky, trying to make that happen...but I'll keep you updated. I want him to get baptized and I want everything to work out, but I'm just not sure. We'll see, we'll see.
Our last appointment of the day was Brother Lopez, and Porter Roundy tagged along. It went really well- our two faves totally hit it off! Yahoo! Brother Lopez committed to reading the Book of Mormon, and it was just cool. Having Porter there gave us weird amounts of street cred, so that was productive. And, as usual, we got fancy glass bottles of Coke and Sis Finlinson had her leather man ready to go. Whatta dreamboat my companion is!
Tuesday, to quote our dearest Sister Finlinson, was a beautiful day...and all because it was Faye day. I love that Heavenly Father sometimes plans out our days for us, and that everything comes together just as it should. It was such an amazing day- being in Beulah makes me feel like such a lucky duck (and a cheese ball, but what's new?) We started off with the morning routine and a delicious lunch of crepes (we're so fancy, you already know...is that even a thing? I don't even know!). We tried potentials and scheduled appointments before heading over to Halliday to meet with our main lady, Faye. We picked up Sister Tonya Leach and drove to Faye's. Sis Leach brought her sweet 8-month old baby, Jake, and he served as the perfect buffer for all the Law of Chastity awkwardness. Faye, after reading the pamphlet, had convinced herself that her inability to get married would cause us the drop her by the wayside and never speak to her again. The drama of 60 year old women, right? We reassured her that we still love her and God still loves her, and that we will be there for her every step of the way. We're not sure what exactly is keeping her from marriage, but we do know that she's here on a work visa and doesn't want to get deported to the dreary wasteland of Canada (shout out to my fave Brad Redford, Canada pride! And also, maybe you can use your Canadian magic to help a sista out? It would be greatly appreciated!). So anyway, we just hugged and talked a little about the Plan of Salvation before heading to the Thueson's to watch her get a blessing. Oh man, watching the Priesthood work in a person's life for the first time is my new favorite thing of existence. It was so amazing! We're constantly telling her that Heavenly Father loves her, but that love was tangible during her blessing. Being a missionary is sometimes the coolest thing ever.
We went to the Phillips for dinner, who are the real MVPs of the day (that's my new favorite thing to say, so it's going to be a fun email). I just adore the Phillips. Sister Phillips showed us around her craft room and we all fan girl’d about Jane Austen while waiting for Brother Phillips- it was the best. We chatted over missionary work in ND and if the purification of blood lines is condoned in the gospel over delicious enchiladas. We shared a message about having faith and got totally schooled by Bro Phillips, which is my fave. Getting taught by super cool members is what missionary work is actually about. I laughed so much, because Bro Phillips is just a total hoot- it was the perfect way to end the day of Faye. It was a crazy day, and not at all what we had planned, but it was exactly right. Gotta love days like that!
Wednesday was a crazy day! We started off with a service project with good ol' Gary Hart, who is moving out of his man cave warehouse and into another little less gross warehouse. We brought Liberty and Justice along, and they were total troopers. I was so impressed with them. It was a little icky to clean and pack the warehouse of a older gentleman (trying to stay Christlike and really struggling. Old men are just icky. I feel a little bad about writing that, but I cleaned his bathroom. I feel pretty entitled to write that phrase). We spend a good amount of time cleaning and packing and dancing around his empty warehouse. It was a good time.
After Gary, we ate lunch (leftovers for daysssss) and headed over to Barb's. Oh man, our Barb meeting was glorious! We were chill yet productive, and the spirit was totally there. No crazy commitments (a sista can dream), but we are coming back next week to help her move furniture around to prep for some carpet cleaning. Even though Barb isn't budging, she'll talk to us about religion and let us into her home- and that's already progress from the first time we stopped by. ANNNNNND, once it gets cold outside, we're going to make cards with her. GUYS. CARDS. Barb has found the window to my SOUL. So, even if she's not in a position to get baptized, at least we can be BFFs and make cards together (and definitely invite Elder Renlund. We're really close.).
We stopped by Doug Hodges after seeing Barb, who is a less-active from Idaho we randomly tracted into a few weeks ago. He was going to work, so we prayed with him and left him with a Book of Mormon- and scheduled a return appointment! Go Doug! He straight up prayed us over, that hooligan, and then wanted to act all surprised that we showed. We don't mess around, Doug.
Our next stop was Britany, and it went pretty well. We read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with her and talked about Conference, nothing too crazy. We stopped back at the apartment to get everything in order, and I totally had a package waiting for me! Yahoo! Holla to the Renton Highlands YW for being the real MVPs of my Wednesday, and for sending a package of Caramel Apple Pops and letters. That's really all I want in life. It was straight up joyous, and it made our weird Wednesday of problem solving so much more productive and optimistic.
We went to the Cline's for dinner, where we chatted about our crazy branch (and all the dumb amounts of love we have for them) and made enchiladas together. It was a total party. I just love Sister Cline, and I love that she's all sassy and honest and super cool. It's the best! We did a Wieland stop by and picked up new jam flavors to try out. My recent favorite is Blackberry Apple, capitalized to express its obvious divinity. It's the best thing to happen in my life since...like, I don't even know. That's how good it is.
Thursday was Sister Finlinson's year mark, yahoo! We weekly planned like pros and busted out two lessons after all that gloom- such productivity! We may have taken quite a few breaks, but we endured and made the best of a crazy day. Mid way through planning, we took our traditional and requisite milk and eggs pickup break, and the car wash was having free vacuuming! Yahoo! So now, we have a General Authority ready car (Elder Renlund?) and a reaffirmed testimony of the goodness of people in North Dakota. It was a pretty sweet tender mercy.
|year mark shenanigans|
|free car vacuum!!|
After dinner, we headed over to Brother Lopez and talked more about reading and prayer. We still haven't gotten him to pray with us, but he did read the chapter we left with him and he committed to read the whole Book of Mormon! Progress! There, of course, were Coke bottles all around...and Brother Lopez got a classy haircut! Is it related to our angelic influence? I'd like to think so.
Our last stop for the day was Becky. We read Alma 26:27 with her and real talked about being an example to her boys. It was cray cray but also necessary- one day I'll get good about telling people what they need to hear. We left her place laughing about my deep and still evident fear of Stephen Merchant, which Becky thought was ridiculous. I stand by what I've said before- he has the creepiest face!
Friday! What a great day! We headed over to Dickinson for our district meeting, and I bought my winter coat! YAHOOOO! So much stress taken out of my life! It's got a cold weather rating of temperatures down to -24 L but it's actually cute...so I think I'll survive the winter. Gotta look styling, dontcha know! We got all our groceries (and maybe some huge coloring pages, I don't know. If they show up in the mail, I can't be blamed for it), and had a great meeting before heading over to Hebron.
my fancy new coat! It goes down to my knees and feels like a quilt. I'm getting pretty jazzed for winter!
Ah, Hebron. It was an interesting day in Hebron, the brick city. We started off by meeting Gordy Cherry, who the Elders met with a few times and may be interested in the gospel? I'm not sure yet. But, he does have these sweet little boys, Gabe and Issac, who may be the reason he wants to consider all this. We brought Bro. Parsons along, and they were pretty chatty about car motors...not our best lesson. We're going to meet with him again next Friday, so I'll keep you updated. It'll be interesting, no matter what happens.
|a pretty overcast view of Hebron|
|Hebron: the brick city|
We headed back to Beulah in the middle of a crazy rainstorm, and I found out that there are no freeway lights in North Dakota. Are you even surprised? I was flipping out, total serial killer setting during our hour drive. It was a little freaky. But, we had mail waiting for us in our apartment- a letter (and Target gift card!!) from Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Clint, a card from my dear Sariah, and a perfect little Perkins package! So, it was a three-way tie for the real MVP of our Friday. It was pretty joyful, and it made almost getting murdered (muckduck) on the North Dakota freeway totally worth it. Totally worth it.
And now we're back to my crazed intro and subject! CONFERENCEEEEEE!!! I had a lot of weird, "I'm a missionary watching conference in North Dakota, AHHH!" moments, so that was a lot of fun. We watched Saturday morning with the Johnson's, afternoon with the Roundy's, and dinner with the Lees. It was just a nice day, and I think Pres. Uchtdorf's talk was my all around fave. But alas, we all know that the real MVP of Conference weekend is Elder Renlund. Duh. It's a no-brainer. Didn't you guys love him? Isn't he adorable? I think he's the greatest, in case you were wondering. I LOVE THAT MAN. Fun fact- he and Pres. Uchtdorf were totes wearing the same tie during the Sunday morning session...which was the exact same tie he wore during his training in Bismarck! Holla! And, in another random Conference thought, Elder D. Todd Christofferson looks just like Brother Wrigley. Right? RIGHT? I was pretty excited about that observation with no one around to appreciate it. But anyway, we watched the Sunday sessions with the Thuesons and the Leaches, such a party. The members here are so amazing, and I feel so blessed to be right here right now. I think Elder Renlund is probably grateful that I'm here, too. He's doing well, just got off the phone with him.
Oh man, such a good week! Interesting, exciting, and so so crazy. One day, I'll send the glorious picture of Elder Renlund and I shaking hands and bonding, the start of our lifelong friendship. Thank you soooo much for all your love and support! You all are the real MVPs of the week! I am so blessed to know each and every one of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
|A ND mail truck|
|Sister Finlinson's joy while watching "Legacy". It's our favorite pday tradition.|