Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The times, they are a-changing!

Golly wolly, it's been a crazy week!! My head is still kind of perplexed about it all, still reacting to everything...long story short, transfer calls came in and I'm headed up to Grand Forks. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  I'm still coasting on denial, but the heartbreak is coming in hot...gah, being a missionary is the toughest! Right when you feel content, right when the everything is going perfectly for the first time in forever, your whole world gets shaken and Iit all changes once more. I still can't really believe I'm headed to my THIRD area, that I've almost been out for a year, and that I'm starting round two of STL life. I'm a tad distraught, in all honesty! The good news is that all my favorite people are leaving as well, haha- Elder Swensen is headed to Minot to be a Zone Leader (hollah, MLC!!), Elder Stapley is going to Rapid, and Elder Maxfield is going to be a traveling assistant. That was the true tender mercy of the whole thing, lol. If I have to leave, so do all the missionaries I adore!! Still an awful time to leave this beautiful second area of mine and all the beloved besties I've made over these past three transfers...but I know that there will be even more beautiful people to adore in Grand Forks. I never thought I could love Fargo just as much as Beulah, and that absolutely I have absolute faith in the inspiration behind this transfer. Even if it stinks to leave.

And also, Sis. Luker is going to be training a wee sister missionary in the coming transfer...which means I'm going to be a mission grandma, YAHOOOOOO!!!!!! I am straight up JAZZZZZZZED, because she's going to be amazing and I want some grandkids. Blessed all around!

Despite all this general awfulness, this week has been completely and totally beautiful. Transfers were honestly the worst bit of it all! I just feel so blessed to be here, so blessed for the perfect four months spent in this perfect place- part of my heart will always live in Fargo. It is truly the promised land!! I have changed here, and have seen those around me change- ANNNNNND, Grand Forks is close enough to the beloved Fargo that I can still come to Sis. Lien's baptism!!!!!!! Heavenly Father is just too good to me!!

But anyway, let me tell you about this glorious week. It has truly been one of the best! We celebrated birthday week like champs, eating oodles of food and enjoying oodles of gift cards. AND, it has been officially decided by Sis. Clark and I, the burrito experts, that Chipotle does indeed have the best burritos in all of Fargo. Pancheros may have the best tortillas, but Chipotle wins out overall. I strayed from the truth for a season, but I've since returned to the truthfulness of Chipotle...thank goodness for Jeanelle and beautiful gift cards, haha!! The secret is carnitas, we have learned. Always get carnitas!!

Oh man, I am getting so sidetracked. Life has just been too good lately!! We kicked off this gorgeous week with my dear 20th birthday- crazy, crazy!! Sis. Elzinga and Sis. Bennett showed up at our place in the wee hours of the morn (never give your homies a spare key, haha) and put a pillowcase over my head and kidnapped me- such a party! They drove us over to the church (with me asking crazed questions and generally being exhausted all the while, man oh man), where our sweet Elders sang "Happy Birthday" to me as my pillowcase was taken off my head. It was the best! Elder Stapley made adorable pancakes for the masses, and it was just a lovely morning. I was crazy surprised!!

Elders aren't all bad. :)
I opened presents upon our return to homebase, and then we studied away and emailed...and headed off to get some birthday burritos, yahooooo!!! We shopped at Target, so magical, and did our nails once we got back with my fancy new Jamberry wraps and heater- Mammy is just too good to me! Life is just too goooood!!


We finished up the birthday festivities by double dinnering it with the Dishers and the Robinsons- two of my favorite families ever, man oh man!! The Robinsons also invited the Petersons over, who are also my favorite- such a blessed birthday!! Bro. Robinson made gorgeous peach cobbler and all my Fargo besties sang a glorious rendition of "Happy Birthday"- my heart was just so full. So much Fargo love!!
The Dishers!

Peach cobbler with the Robinsons- my fave! :)
We tried a few of our regulars and decided on a whim to disturbute our too cute 4th of July cards to all our homies- it was such a lovely time!!

Ooooooops, accidently sent before I was ready, haha! I'll just keep writing away, hehe. Sorry about that, folks!

Anyway, we dropped off cute cards with all of our favorite people, and we finished off our sheninghans with our beloved Cudneys- it was such a beautiful time!! We read 3 Nephi 11 with their family and watched the fireworks and AHHHH, it was the perfect way to end a perfect birthday. I still can't believe I'm twenty!! Time is so crazy!!

I adore the Cudneys so completely! :)

On Tuesday, we saw Kayla in the morn and taught her about the Plan of Salvation- I love her so much!! We chatted oodles about her baptism, and we're thinking Sept. 10- another one I could potentially still go to, yahooooo!!! Kayla is just the coolest person around, man oh man. I adore her so completely!!

We also taught Sis. Moore on Tuesday and got oodles of birthday goodies in the mail- and ended up going to Olive Garden to dinner because of it, hollah!! Olive Garden remains the greatest place ever, in case anyone was wondering. It's just so consistent! So much like the gospel!!

Another highlight of our Tuesday adventuring was teaching Bryan/Ryan, our neighbor we met whilst backing the car last week, haha. We called him on a whim to follow up, and ended up meeting him in the mall food court after our delightful dinner- it was the coolest!! We answered his questions (and clarified that we aren't polygamists, haha) and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon...and he was ultimately perplexed by my Seattle roots and my love for Jesus. Jesus is just the best, dontcha know!! I love that Man, no matter where I'm from!

And then it was Wednesday. We taught our beloved Sis. Lien in the morn with Sis. Peterson- it was so glorious!! Sis. Peterson is just the besttttt!!! She answered all of Sis. Lien's questions like a total boss, and I was just so inspired. Members are the greatest! Everyone should go out with their missionaries!!! We made a game plan for inviting Jeff to church with her, and it was perfection. I love Sis. Lien so much!!!

We lunched away with our BFF Sis. Disher after all that beauty, and saw Sis. White and Sis. Richards after- such a good day!! We taught them about learning and serving in the church, and ended up answering loads of Sis. White's questions about the priesthood- goodness, I love her so much! It's been so amazing to watch her progress, to watch her want to know- I just love being a missionary! You meet the greatest people of all time, and you experience a true fullness of joy. The gospel is just so true! The Lord is just so good!!

We also saw Sis. Billings on Wednesday, always such a glorious time, and visited with our dear Sis. Dresser- so much goodness!! We scheduled an appointment for next week to teach Sandy in her home (YAHHHHHHOOOOOO!!!) and chatted with her about trials and the Atonement- such a lovely time! Such a perfect Wednesday!!

Onto Thursday!! We spent our Thursday weekly planning away, as per usual, and ate dinner at Chipotle- so many burritos this week, haha!! Jeanelle is the greatest woman I know!!!!!

And on Friday, we had the most beautiful combo district meeting about bringing the Spirit by testifying- gah, I'm going to miss our district meetings!! We had a testimony meeting to close up this Fargo chapter, and it was simply gorgeous. We all wept, and the Spirit was felt, and life was good. I love these Fargo besties of mine!! 

Following that glorious meeting, we met Sis. Dimas and tried luck. But, on a whim, Sis. Clark suggested that we try Cody, a potential we street contacted the other day...and he let us right in, yahooooo!!! We ended up teaching him the Restoration, with Sis. Dimas testifying like a total pro through it all- I love her so much! Cody smiled through it all and immediately knew it was true (because Africans are the greatest people I know), and life was so sweet. Such an amazing experience!! We invited him to be baptized and he said he would love to- AHHHHH!!!! So much goodness happening in the beloved land of Fargo these days!!

We taught the Klamms and tried the masses and ate dinner at the too cute Hillmans (obsessed!!) before running off to Kayla's with Elysia Roberts- such a beautiful time!!! Elysia reminds me completely of Beck, and it was just lovely to teach with her. She is perfect for Kayla! We ended up teaching about tithing, and it was such a wonderful lesson. Elysia, in all her 16 year old glory, testified like a champ and it was straight up gorgeous. A perfect transfer call eve!!
Such a good lesson!

And then it was Saturday- dun dun DUUUUUN!!! We got the call early in the morn, and I was in absolute denial for the rest of the weekend and even as we speak- absolutely blindsided!! I thought maybe I would be transferred, but that I would go back to the beloved boonies of North Dakota or to Rapid or maybe even Montana- Grand Forks never even crossed my mind! Heavenly Father has the tendency to always surprise us, haha. He's good at that! We did begin the farewell tour upon transfer news coming in hot, and spent our weekend visiting my beloved people here in the promised land of Fargo- I'll be back again one day!! I can't believe I'm on to my next great mission adventure, and that my time in Fargo is coming to a close- fastest four and a half months of my life!! I am just so grateful to have served here- I absolutely know it's where I needed to be.
Brother Daudier and I- my first Fargo investigator

My dear Sister Bighetty, my Fargo grandma and watermelon supplier

Sister Billings, the apple of my tender eye
Sister Koon- she means everything to me!
The lovely Neutebooms- some of my Fargo faves
One beautiful tender mercy of our rather sad weekend was Sis. Lien- SHE SURPRISED US AND CAME HOME EARLY FROM THE LAKES TO COME TO CHURCH, AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! She texted early Sunday morn and said, "See you soon!"- and my heart just about exploded. We thought maybe she texted the wrong person...but then she texted again and said, "Save me a seat. I'm coming to church today!". GAHHHH, I could've died out of sheer joy!!! Sure enough, with only a few minutes to spare, Sis. Lien came strutting into sacrament and I just wept. It was the greatest thing! My heart was so full, and remains so full- I am so grateful to have served in Fargo! I am so grateful for the eternal friendships I have made, for the deep and abiding love I have felt, and for the testimony I have grown. Fargo has been a place of continued growth and understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I know I was meant to be here. And that I'm now meant to be in Grand Forks! Mission life is crazy!!
Also, more Juliana food was had on Sunday. Like usual. :)

And goodbyes were in order- my heart is breaking! ):
Welp, that was our week! I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for all you do. Have the most beautiful week!!

Sister Robinson
Makin' planners for the Elders

Birthday nails!
Late in the week birthday cake- such a dream! :)

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