Oh man, what a week! Beulah is picking right back up and amazing things are happening- it's the dream! I feel like there's always something going wrong, though. This week, as the work picked up the pace and we were busy, there was a lot of disaster control. That's the name of the game, homies! Being a missionary is all about being a pro crisis averter, and helping people to be self aware enough to avoid their crazy problems. That was the theme of this week! Missionaries get this crazy eye witness look into the lives of everyone they interact with...and the trick is to make amazing things happen and forget that we're actually just 19 year old girls. Needless to say, it's been a great week!
Before I launch into the report, I've got monumental news- Beulah decorates for Christmas! They have festive tinsel and lights and banners hung on street lights- I could almost sob everytime we drive down Main Street. It is truly glorious! I just scream and sigh and CHRISTMASSSSSS all the time. I'm sure Sister Luker is loving it, haha. I JUST LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR. IT'S THE MOST WONDERFULLLLL!! Winter has sort of kind of hit here as well, with a couple days of flurries and general coldness! 'Tis the season!
We cleaned our apartment and it smelled of lavender (my newly discovered favorite cleaning product smell- thank you, Sister Finlinson! I even bought lavender Clorox wipes and it's just perfection! So soothing!), and then we ran over to the thrift store. Sister Luker got some festive Christmas window clings and I got some clam earrings- successful pday! I also got glorious mail from all my faves- Sister Carter, Sister Finlinson, and Em-. Emily's letter was complete with birthday confetti- we also vacuumed the car on Monday, haha. It was a slight explosion, but it was quite the partay.
After all our p-day adventuring, we headed over to the Johnson's for dinner. We ate crazy amounts of funeral potatoes and chatted about trials- it was sweet! I love that fam! They're just the best, like coming over to the Robinson's for dinner. I just adore them.
Our last stop for the day was Becky's, and it went really well. She had her first meeting with her counselor, and she's been sober since Saturday! YAHOOOO!! She was so honest with us and so real- I love nights like that with Becky. It's so much easier to help her and love her when she's real with us. We read the psalm of Nephi with her and it was just the greatest. She seems ready to change for good, and we even gave her the Church's 12 step- I have high hopes! I'm learning that change doesn't stick unless you turn to Christ and allow His Atonement to make the difference...and we're trying to teach Becky that concept. We'll see, we'll see.
Tuesday was AMAZING- best day of the week! AHHH, I wish everyday could be last Tuesday. But alas, perfect Tuesday come only once a week. I guess through diligence and faith, every day can be like last Tuesday...hopefully I'll email home and report on a week like that. One day, one day. For now, I'll just continue to be grateful for the beautiful Tuesdays as they come, and strive to make each day that great.
I think the real secret to last Tuesday was that we were just busy. We were directed by the Spirit and we followed through with those promptings- and good things just happened! We started off by trying Britany and tracting for a spell before running by Ashley's. We knocked and Sarah, Ashley's roommate, answered to tell us that Ashley was sick...but then Sarah said that she's been wanting to talk with us! It was bonkers. She just instigated the gospel discussion and made crazy things happen. We answered her questions and talked about her Catholic and super smart professor. She's at this point where she sees incredibly intelligent people believing in God, and she wants that same faith. It was simply amazing, and I was practically dying over how cool Sarah is. I think I got a little cooler just by sitting with her and talking about religion. She just gets it, ya know? I've wanted to talk to Sarah since we first met her at Britany's place eons ago, and I can't believe that it finally happened. We have big plans to casually try Ashley again next week and give Sarah a Book of Mormon- it's going to be amazing!
We planned to see Luke after Ashley/Sarah, but that didn't feel like exactly where we needed to be...so we hightailed it over to Hazen and tried the Cranes. We ended up talking to Hailee about prayer and it was just amazing. We gave her a picture of Christ (you know, the one with Him knocking on the doorknob-less door? It's a classic.) to remind her to pray, and she's just a total rock star. We committed her to pray everyday, and I'm feeling pretty confident. Good things are happening!
We stopped by Tiffany after that, who we met at the Schellenberg's forever ago. Her grandmother recently passed away, and we ended up giving her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and praying with her family- and scheduling an appointment for Friday! It was sweet! We ran over to Bob's after that with the Scheer's and taught him the Restoration...and it went well? I'm still pondering. We had an appointment on Friday but he cancelled last minute. We still aren't sure who to bring, but we definitely need to bring someone...we'll continue to ponder. It's going to be great!
We ate dinner at the Cline's (chicken enchiladas and general goodness all around) before heading over to the Wasem's. We met Pres. and Sister Thueson there, and cranked out a glorious lesson about the Holy Ghost and coming to church- it was straight up powerful. I wish I could slip in that they came to church...but no such luck. Agency is simply the pits, my friends. But, I know that Brother Wasem felt the spirit and that he will be moved to action...eventually. It's all about patience, right? So much patience. Eons of patience. I just had so much trainee pride after our magical Tuesday- Sister Luker is the dream! We taught in unity and amazing things happened and it was just good. Huzzah for Tuesday!
Wednesday was a little funky, because we had to be in Bismarck by nine that night for Zone Conference the next day. Usually we head over to Halliday on Wednesday, but the stars just didn't align and we hung ten in Beulah. It was crazy windy (like, 60 mph winds and cancelled mutual- crazy, crazy!) and we tried all the people with no luck. We ended up running random errands and packing like mad women for our last minute trip to Bismarck. Midway through the day, we checked the mail and found a glorious package from my dear Tim and Lithia- full of BYU PEANUT BUTTERRRRR! I almost died of joy, really and truly. I've been enjoying it since that crazy day, and life is just good. Even when the day is a little off, perfect and delightful BYU peanut butter shows up in your mailbox and everything is just good.
We ended up teaching Luke and talking about baptism with him. We ended up deciding to keep teaching him but not get him on date...I don't know. I'm still pondering. But, it was a good lesson. He definitely has more to learn, but I really do feel like he could and would be ready within the year. We'll see, we'll see.
We ate dinner at the Roundy's and it was magical- I really just adore those Roundy’s. We borrowed their cot and rearranged our luggage before meeting the Dickinson sisters and carpooling to Bismarck. We spent the night (SLEEPOVERRR!!) with the Mandan sisters and prepped for a crazzzzy Zone Conference.
Our carpool group- I love the Dickinson sisters!
I just love the Rice’s! They're the greatest. We ate homemade chicken noodle soup and shared a scripture about faith and painted nails- it was the best! We're going back next week and hanging with them more, and I am so excited. I always leave the Rice's feeling complete and whole and like everything really is going to work out. Their faith just blows my mind. They're such an incredible family, really and truly. I love them!
Our last stop of the day was Barb's. We had a quick visit with her and chatted about the gospel...we're slowly but surely softening her heart. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and finding truth- and she let us share a scripture from the Book of Mormon! It was so sweet. We're getting somewhere with our Barb, and I am jazzed! One day, one day...but for now, we're friends and we can chat about we both believe. And that's a start!
We planned like pros on Friday, nothing too crazy to report. We had a mildly slow end of the week, but it was still good. Spirit guidance, a crazy Friday night Brother Lee lesson, a sweet chat with the Youngs, a sweet Relief Society activity...the whole she-bang! We really did have a great week, just a little wonky scheduling. It was productive and busy- and I'm so jazzed to see what this next week brings! We celebrated my four month mark yesterday (YAHOOOO!!!) with cotton candy and watermelon mints and a cute sandwich container- Sister Luker just knows me too well! Sis. Finlinson also send a card to be opened on my monthaversary, and it was just a good day.
Welp, it's been great! We are getting into the swing of things and miracles are happening like mad- I'm so blessed to be here! Thank you for all you do to keep me going (like BYU Peanut butter. I wouldn't mind more of that! I'm trying to be sneaky, but let's all just be real with each other. White Chocolate peanut butter from the Promised Land is seriously glorious. Christmas is coming, my Utah friends!)
I love you all so much! Have the greatest week!