Goodness gracious, it has been the greatest week of LIIIIIIFE!! It's been a week of gorgeous miracles and beautiful lessons and oodles of (as the subject says, haha) crazy random happenstances...we randomly had three lessons taught to investigators in members' homes and were trained by Elder Ulisses S. Soares from the Presidency of the Seventy and ran into oodles of Fargo faves and the tender mercies of the Lord were all over the place. It was glorious!! It's been so joyful and so lovely- life is just so sweet. We are so blessed! I'm learning, slowly but surely, that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is what allows this ridiculous magnitude of joy to be present in our lives, and that through Him, we can become the happiest of people. Even though it seems bogus (a word that I've been picking up from Dale, my favorite blind homie), I am truly the happiest I have ever been these days- and it's because the Atonement has never been so present in my life. I'm living the gospel 100% of the time, and my life is meaningful even when it's hard. That's what it's all about! And that's truly why I love North Dakota so completely!!
Man oh man, it's been a good one. I'm excited to tell you all about it!! We kicked off the week with the usual Monday festivities, and the whole adorable Grand Forks joined us because we had Zone Conference on Tuesday- it was such a lovely time! We ran errands and watched the cutest movie of all time, "Once I was a Beehive", about a nonmember coming to girls camp- gah, it was perfection! Highly recommended.
After our p-day shenighans came to a close, the three sets of sisters in the Grand Forks zone each teamed up with a young woman and we blitzed our area- it was so sweet! We each went around to different sections of our area and taught oodles of lessons- it was the greatest!! We went off with Macey Conrad, my new fave, and taught Kristian...it was the coolest, man oh man!! We met him just walking around town and we scheduled an appointment with him- he's so ready for the gospel! We taught the Restoration and he asked all kinds of lovely and intellectual questions- a bit stressful, but ultimately lovely. Kristian is such a cool cat! We scheduled another appointment with him for Saturday and we brought the too cool Sis. Willis along with us- AHHHH, it was the greatest!! Kristian is just awesome!!
Once reunited with our peeps, we had the most epic sleepover of all time and headed off early in the morn for Zone Conference- in Fargo!! It was a bit weird to be back in my old stomping grounds, but it was so lovely to see Sis. Clark and Sis. Luker and Sis. Spendlove (my granddaughter!!) and all my dear friends in Fargo...and also President Hess, of course. He's the best! We got trained by him and Sis. Hess and the Assistants on obedience and being a purpose driven missionary- it was pure perfection. I was a bit drowsy towards the end bits, because Zone Conference is an all day venture...BUT, we had Panda cater for lunch and it was just glorious. They even had honey walnut prawns! The gospel is truuuuuue!!
Sister Luker- the best!
The dream team. :)
SISTER CLARKKKK!!!We took oodles of pictures after the meeting adjourned, and then sprinted back to Grand Forks...and went on exchanges with the Devil's Lake sisters, yahooo!! Such a busy week!! I hung ten in Grand Forks with Sis. Shutt and it was a total party- so fun to serve with her again. We spent our Tuesday night trying the masses and contacting at the park- such a party!!
And then, it was Wednesday. We had SUCH a gorgeous Wednesday!! We ran around like madwomen all day, which is consistently my fave, and the miracles of the week came back in full force- it was the coolest!! We studied away in the morn and were heading out...and I felt super prompted to call Dale. So, I gave my main homie a call...and he told us that his nonmember brother was headed over and we needed to "drop everything in the space of this phone call" and hightail it over- and we did, haha! It was crazy!! We ended up teaching Travis about the Atonement and reading Alma 36 with him- and scheduling a return appointment, yahooooo!! Rogue new investigators and rogue member home lessons for the win!! It was the best!!
We ran off to Amy Swartz after that, a super sweet less active- we helped her clean her house a bit and gawked at her too cute newborn son, Edward. Such a party! She told us about her conversion as we mopped and it was the loveliest time, man oh man. People are just so good! I'm obsessed!!
We taught Emily following our chat with Amy, and we found out that she's moving to Fargo- such a tragedy! She's a fave! We read a wee little scripture with her and prayed before running off- crazy day! We ate food and then ran back out and visited Joe, my absolute fave- he's just the best!! Totally love that man. We read scriptures with him and testified of the Atonement and watched the nursing home around us flip out because of a tornado warning, haha. Turns out, it's protocol in nursing homes, when there's a tornado warning, to shut all the blinds and act natural. Yikes! The storm didn't roll in until later that night, and no tornado to report...but at least the blinds were all pulled, lol!
We taught Lamart after that, a potential the sisters met on exchanges- it was sweet! We just went over the Book of Mormon and committed him to read and pray...ah, such a good Wednesday! We tried a few more people in the area, ate some dinner, and then met in a sleepy little ND town to exchange back, Such a lovely day!
On Thursday, we weekly planned. It remains my least favorite time of life, dontcha know. We did break up the drudgery by teaching a less active, Kim Caldwell, in Dale's home and watering the Young's garden...such a party! Kim is from Canada, so we got a mini lesson on Canada while also learning about the Atonement- it was pretty awesome. We ate dinner with the Gillespies on Thursday night...THEY ARE THE GREATEST PEOPLE, AHHHHHH!!! Brother Gillespie is pretty much David A. Bednar and Sister Gillespie is just gorgeous and adorable and they have eight kids- and I seriously want eight kids now. I'm obsessed!! My fave of their eight is Evelyn, who sat across from me at dinner and asked me about my talk on Sunday. It was the cutest thing ever!! I mentioned Sister Lien in my talk, my favorite lady of all time, and she adorably wanted to know if she got baptized yet- AHHH, I almost died of cuteness. What seven year old listens that intently during sacrament?! The Gillespies are just the best!!!! We shared the Plan of Salvation with their lovely family and it was such a beautiful time- they are eternally my faves. I want to be them when I grow up! They pray together every morning and night, they do scripture study and FHE...AND, they journal as a family every night. They're my new role models!!
We finished up our Thursday by running over to the Fraizer's, an adorable less active family...and their nonmember friend Alex just happened to be over, huzzah!!! It was the coolest thing of all time, man oh man! We taught her the Restoration and she was loving it and we're going to teach her again next week- Heavenly Father is just so good to us! Life is so beautiful!!
Goodness gracious, whatta lovely week!! We headed to Bismarck on Friday for MLC- it was the just the best! Elder Soares came, along with our Area Seventy Elder Stacey...SUCH a gorgeous time, man oh man! I felt both reproved and inspired, haha, and it was just the best. Elder Stacey cracked me up and said "awesome sauce" a couple times (which, dontcha know, has become my new catchphrase) and chatted about our purpose, and Elder Soares trained on being a committed missionary- it was just exactly what I needed. Elder Soares kept saying, "If you don't do these things, your missionaries won't either"- the pressure is real! I still don't feel 100% confident in my ability to STL, but it was pretty cool to get some sweet advice from straight up General Authorities. Always the dream! I also got to hang more with my beloved Sister Clark, chat with the glorious Sis. Richins, hug and confide in my lovely Sis. Baadsgaard- MLC is just the best, yahoooooo!!! It was only a one day extravaganza this time around, so we hightailed it outta town once the training was over- and once we took oodles of pictures, of course. ANNNNND, as we were leaving, my fave Sis. Cook from the land of Fargo hopped out of her car and it was glorious! We hugged and chatted and AHHH, I seriously miss that great lady. She's the dream!! We also oh so casually passed the lovely Dishers while passing through Fargo on the freeway- so many tender mercies of the Lord to be found as a missionary!! Goooooodness, such a lovely Friday!!
On Saturday, we raced off to an early morning lesson with Dale and Travis about the Restoration, ate some lunch, and headed over to the church for our second lesson with Kristian- such a busy morning/afternoon!! It was crazy town! We taught Kristian the Plan of Salvation and Sis. Willis came along- it was PERFECTION, man oh man! Sister Willis is a convert of just a few years and she is SO DANG converted- she testified left and right and truly astonished Kristian. It was so lovely! Kristian asked all sorts of glorious questions, and we tried our best to answer them...and mostly, Sis. Willis kicked butt and saved the day. She's the coolest!! She has a fancy buzzed pixie cut and I am constantly mesmerized by it- she's just the greatest. I'm in love!!
We also media hour'd away, ate with the Anderson's, taught our dear friend Henry (Harry's roommate and African bro) about the Sabbath day, and went to ward coorelation- such a lovely Saturday!
And then, it was Sunday. Church was lovely, mostly because the Braytons, rogue faves from Fargo, happened to be visiting our ward- it was so wonderful to see them!!! I just adore Fargo so completely! They were up there on my Sabbath day highlights, but the true winner of the day was eating dinner with Gabriel, our recent convert, and his roommate Pen- greatest dinner of my life, man oh man!!!!!! They're both from China, and we ate delish Chinese food with quinoa and chatted about Buddhism and Mulan (who turns out to be Buddhist, who even knew) and American football and the school system in China and everything in between- seriously lovely dinner conversation, haha! We found out that, unless you decide to become a monk, you aren't a full Buddhist- crazy, crazy! So, even though Pen is a practicing Buddhist, he's only a halfsie because he doesn't want to become a monk. It was just the best! Gabriel bore powerful testimony of his faith in Christ and we ate black grapes for dessert and drank the most icky drink of all time, aloe vera and honey flavored juice...man, I wish I could've frozen time and lived in that dinner appointment for the rest of my life, goodness gracious. It was the besttttttt!!!!
We also walked around town during our Sabbath festivities and found a rogue geocash (we took a quarter and left a pass along card, haha), met with Joe once more and taught him about the Gospel (love that guy!!), and scheduled an appointment with Harry for Tuesday- such a delightful day! Especially dinner with Pen and Gabriel!!
Oh man, what a gorgeous week! There's a bit of fear in my heart that this next one will be rough by comparison- I already dropped my can of ravioli on the ground just before we came back to the library to finish up emailing, haha. It was one of the sadder moments of my life. BUUUT, I am learning that a week is as good as you make it, that happiness truly is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ...and life is still gorgeous, even when your ravioli ends up all over the floor. There is still joy in everyday, my friends! Rely on Christ and everything is happy!!
I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do- have the most gorgeous weeks!!