Monday, October 12, 2015

Swimming in Lakes of Leftovers and Loving the Beulah Life

Oh man, what a crazy week! It's one of those Mondays that feels like I just emailed- that's the true mark of a week well spent. It's just been good. We taught crazy amounts of lessons and found super amazing people and MAN, I am just content. The work is just moving fast, and I am so grateful that everything is coming together. We're on week five of my second transfer, one more week to go! Time is just flying! We're swimming in lakes of leftovers and loving the Beulah missionary life. And also, it's practically winter! AHHH! It's fixing to snow, all the locals say. It should've snowed by now, dontcha know. I'm totes not freaking out. TOTES NOT.

Alright, let's bounce into this email! Last Monday was the best! We p-day'd like pros and were welcomed back to our apartment with a HUGE package waiting at my door- I have the greatest parents around! Thank you, thank you, thank you. We ended our p-day writing letters and rejoicing in my winter clothes- I'M NOT GOING TO FREEZE TO DEATH!! It might even be a good winter! 

We started off our post p-day appointments with Becky and Luke, who we taught tithing to. They're still a little iffy on the finer points of the doctrine (#oooops), but they understood the basics. We helped Luke fill out a tithing slip, and it was a partay. We headed over to dinner at the Nottingham's- chicken tacos! Yahoo! Brother Nottingham remains an unpredictable enigma, and Sister Nottingham is definitely a fave. She gives the best hugs in all of the Beulah branch, and I love that sweet lady with all my heart. She may even have an extra pair of winter boots I can have, holla! 

Our last stop of the day was the Rice's. We invited Bro Roundy, and it was a friendship made in missionary heaven. It was just the greatest. We were able to talk about the Rice's conversion (they got baptized last February) and figure out what they need as a family to become active again. Solid p-day meeting! I was so jazzed! I just love the Rices, and I'm learning pretty quick that, once you learn to love someone, everything else just falls into place. It's pretty amazing, actually. 

Onto Tuesday! We started off the day with the morning routine and a most delightful apartment inspection with the Brimhalls. We studied and ate before heading over to the Lee's to help them paint. Lots of great pictures were taken and it was a good time all around. Wyatt was SUPER excited to be painting, and all the outlets ending up being painted, too. Those Lee kids are just a hoot. 
Chase Lee 
(who really wanted my camera)    

We headed over to Courtney's after that- and she gave us a Halloween goody bag! I love Courtney Dobson! She's a total dreamboat. We chatted about her primary class and Conference and spirit animals (she's definitely a gazelle, no questions) and the Holy Ghost....and Nueley, her non-member fiancé, totes came home from the work in the middle of our chat! Yahoo! So, we finally and officially met Nueley- and we totally passed the fiancé test and Courtney invited us over for dinner! YAHOOOOOO! We didn't freak Nueley out and Courtney is our BFF. After Nueley left, Courtney showed us all her belt buckles she has won at rodeos- Courtney showed us her chickens. If Halloween window clings aren't a sure sign of eternal friendship, then showing off your rodeo winnings seals the deal. I just love that Courtney of ours. I love that she gives us candles and gifts and (potentially) lets us teach her fiancé. If I type it, then it has to happen. 

We headed over to Dale and Dawn after that, who the missionaries met with a few years back. They live out in the boonies of Beulah, and we've attempted to track them down quite a few times. We called and talked with Dawn last week and got very specific instructions- and we finally found their house! Yahoo! We chatted with Dale on his porch while I petted my new favorite dog, Sheldon (move aside, Buster!). Dale is just the nicest man, and I am pretty jazzed to meet with him. Right now, I'm mostly in it for Sheldon, but it's going to be fun. 
my BFF Sheldon    

We ate dinner with the Whitley's, and it was totally delightful. Sis Whitley made the fanciest salad and I was a happy camper. We shared a message about Conference and laughed about lutefisk for Christmas (it's Bro Whitley's fave, ick). It was a really nice time. We headed over to the Lee's after dinner and had the greatest meeting with Bro Lee to date. We're finally moving past the awk baptism stuff and totally friends again, which is ideal. We watched Elder Bednar's conference talk with him and he committed to read the Book of Mormon as a family- without any poking or prodding from us! Progress! Another great day!

Wednesday was just a crazy time. I headed up to Bismarck and Sis Finlinson held down the fort in Beulah, and it was the weirdest day. I hung out with Sister Steiner, our new Sister Training Leader, and we did LOTS of tracting and finding and generally feeling a little miserable. I had my first experience with TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt, a maybe North Dakota thing? I'm not actually sure), and I got cotton candy. It was a pretty blissful part of a pretty not fun day. But. I am grateful for exchanges because I am always more grateful for what I have when the 24 hours is up. Oh man, Beulah is the greatest. Sometimes I almost forget that, and then I spend a crazy day in Bismarck. While chilling there, though, I met Elder Thatcher, who is from Alamo, Nevada! What a crazy small world! We had a good giggle about him being from where my grandparents are buried, so that was cool. 

Yeah, not too much to report on Wednesday. We headed back to Beulah after the morning routine on Thursday, and then spent our day chatting about our adventures and weekly planning. The crazy part of exchanges is that miracles always happen- Sister Mansell and Sister Finlinson found eight new investigators and tore up the town, naturally. It was pretty exciting to be thrown back into my little bubble and have so much more to do! It's been a total party since then. Maybe not a TOTAL party, because weekly planning...but it was still more pleasant than doing miserable amounts of tracting in Bismarck. 

 After all our planning, we headed our to Brother Lopez. He was in the shower, so we ended up teaching his roommate, Ariel, about the Restoration! We even scheduled a return appointment- it was just crazy! Bro Lopez came out about halfway through our discussion with fancy Mexican Coke for us all, so life was good. It was just the craziest/coolest experience to teach Ariel. He's always kind of been around while we've met with Brother Lopez, and we never had the guts to ask him to join us...turns out, he's the one that is actually interested.

We ate dinner with the Maupins and Sister Stillson at the Country Kettle, and I thought a lot about how much joy I found in eating at a restaurant with three of my favorite grandparents. It was a delightful evening! North Dakota diners are simply the way to my heart. Well, North Dakota diners and mail. 

Our last stop for the day was the Crane's, and it was SO GOOD. Hailee was the only one home, and we were able to explain what the missionary lessons are without weird family influence- and she wants us to teach her! Huzzah! We gave her a Book of Mormon and read Moroni's promise with her. She told us that she wants to have a better relationship with God...and she's 15. Like, what 15 year old says amazingly profound things like that? Hailee Crane, that's who! She's just so wise and so amazing- and I am so SO SO excited to teach her! It's a crazy experience when your 15 year old investigator has more faith than you ever had at 15...and suddenly you're endlessly grateful to be teaching the people you are and trying still to develop the faith of Hailee Crane. Oh man, what a beautiful day! 

Friday! We had a great district meeting and a great Walmart trip, complete with candy cane chap stick! Such a joyful shopping trip! On our way back to Beulah, we totally saw a MOOSE just strolling on the side of the road! I tried to catch a picture, but to no avail. Apparently, that's not even a crazy thing for out here. North Dakota is crazy.

Once we got to home base, Sis Schellenburg came by and picked us up for dinner. While driving to Hazen, I realized that my dear watch stopped! What a tragedy! You've been waiting for this moment for quite some time, but I've got some random details to fill you in on before chatting about the watch miracle. Just keep that little tidbit in the back of your mind as we move forward, okay?

So anyway, dinner with the Schellenburgs was amazing! She made Indian food and homemade Naan and we chatted about Conference while helping her cook- it was pure bliss. We even took a perfect family picture...and I'm almost as excited about that picture as I am about my ELDER RENLUND PICTURE. AHHHHH IT GOT SENT TO MEEEEE. But anyway, perfect dinner. I just love those Schellenburgs!
me and Ava Schellenburg    
(maybe the most photogenic three year old around)    

Our last stop for the day was Lauri, Doug's roommate and our new investigator. During exchanges, Sis Mansell and Sis Finlinson met with Doug, and Lauri asked if she could sit in the lesson. She left for work halfway through the meeting, but she told them that she wants to learn more. So, we came and taught the Restoration- it was amazing! We're going back this week and chatting more! Yahoo!

Saturday was a crazy day. We were planning on going to Halliday (because Saturday Halliday day, you all know about that), but all of our plans annoyingly fell we talked with Brtiany at eleven following the morning routine, hoping that the rest of our day would just come together. We ended up talking with Britany's neighbor, Ashley, and we scheduled a time to come back in the afternoon. Yahoo! As we went to try potentials, Pres Thueson texted and asked if we need anything while he's in Bismarck- and he lovingly volunteered to look for a watch battery! Whatta dreamboat! So, here we are, the middle of a Saturday, talking with everyone we find and rejoicing despite my lack of a watch...and we head back over to Ashley.

We talked with Ashley and got to know her, and we ended up teaching her the Plan of Salvation. About halfway through, I see Sis Finlinson get a little antsy and I can't really figure out why, so I power through that lesson. It was so great, and Ashley just got it. She immediately accepted the Plan of Salvation without a second thought, and we scheduled a time to come back next week to teach the Restoration. It was such a fun lesson, and we went in for the debrief afterwards in our car when I catch a glimpse of the car clock- we had spent three hours in there! I was 100% unaware (watchless baboon, remember?), and I know now that my watch needed to stop so we could meet with Ashley for crazy amounts of time. Such a crazy day!

We set up the broadcast of the Adult Session of Stake Conference after Ashley, and hung out with Sister Lee watching it. It was a partay! We tried a few more people afterwards, and then headed back. Crazy day!

chilling at the church during the Adult Session- it was obviously a total party. 

Sunday was so great. I love Stake Conference! Afterwards, Pres. Thueson came up to us with the exact watch battery I needed, and the craziness of our Ashley meeting became even crazier. Heavenly Father is just so aware of each of us, and I often forget that. He cares so much about each of us that He is willing to make crazy things happen to watches in order to give people the love and support they need. If I ever doubted that God really is our Heavenly Father, our Ashley experiences has forever solidified that testimony. 

Welp, I'm just about outta time! I love you all so so much, and I hope you all have the greatest week! Thank you for the love and support! 

Sister Robinson

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