AHHHHH man, this week has been the greatest!! Miracles left and right, temple excursions, Fargo road trips, and general merriment all across the board...all of which is making me realize how good God really is. And that sacrifice truly does bring the blessings of heaven! We had a crazy MLC this week, full of new mission standards and pointing out the plague of apostasy sweeping our mission...and so, Sister Ramirez and I have been crazily obedient this week, stupidly obedient...and the miracles have been just pouring in. It's been gorgeous!! Just when I think it can't get any better, when I'm convinced that we're maxed out joy wise and learning wise, we have a perfect week and I am left sufficiently humbled. Such is the life of a missionary, haha! I just love this work so completely, and I am so grateful to be about it...this is the truth, my friends! Even though it's not always easy to wake up and put my tag on, the joy I experience as a missionary is unparalleled- I truly feel like the luckiest person in all the world. So many miracles, so little time!!
So anyway, let me tell you about our week- it's been gorgeous! We started off with pday and Halloween...it was a total party! We did the normal errands (and discovered a perfect $4 car wash and forever changed our lives) and then helped Sis. Kauffman make dinner and watched a movie with Audrey...such a delightful time. We ate dinner with the Kauffmans and then raced off to teach our Africans...and no one was home! Straight up tragic. But alas, Henry texted us later and apologized and all was well- still a bit crazy, though. Good Halloween!
On Tuesday, we taught Martha in the morn about the gospel- such a lovely lesson! She is just amazing, it's been decided. Sis. Ramirez and I are both absolutely obsessed with her!! We went over the new and returning progress record and talked a bit about going to the temple...it was just pure perfection. She's the bessssssssssst!!!
We ate some Subway after our beautiful time with Martha (shout out to Gay and John for sending gift cards our way- the dream!!) and then raced off to Bismarck- such an adventure! Yahoo for MLC!!! We chatted with all our friends over dinner and then headed to the temple...it was just the best. I got the Scott scoop from the Williston sisters and loved up on my dear and beloved Sister Clark- such a happy time! And the temple was absolutely lovely too...I just love being in the temple. The peace that worshiping there brings is describable- I find myself sighing and sometime sobbing with relief as I step into the dressing room and change into my white clothes. It's amazing how far away the world seems while there, how distant all my worries become- the temple is truly the greatest place on earth. AHHHHH. It's a constant remainder that I am enough, that I'm doing okay, that Heavenly Father loves me...it's just exactly what I needed. I love the temple!!
And then, it was Wednesday. We MLC'd away for the whole of the day, chatting about the upcoming Christmas initiative (!!!) and our mission's goal to read the whole Book of Mormon before Christmas (10 pages a day, yahooooo!!) and how we can be more obedient...and, basically, it all came down to listening to less music. Our lives got way more quiet, man oh man! We rejoiced so completely to turn those tunes on today, haha!
Once back to homebase, we counseled together with the Zone Leaders and deleted all our pirated music...missionaries are quite the rebels, I'm learning! We just all share music, because friendship, and President put a stop to it all- but sacrifice truly does bring forth the blessings of heaven! It's so real! We have seen so many miracles since our group music deleting- I feel like such a missionary these days. It's the best!
On Thursday, we spent most of the day planning away for ZTM and our upcoming week- not my fave. But, it eventually came to an end (and we celebrated with whoppers for dinner- thank you Grandma!!) and we had a most beautiful evening- the best!!
We first thing saw Harry, who just moved out of Henry's place and has been a bit more MIA than normal...but we managed to get in with him, yahooooo!!! It was pretty sweet. He's doing pretty well, and we left him with some Book of Mormon to read before we meet again- it was a good time. Huzzah for Harry!
And THEN, we stopped by the Travelodge and saw Pat- man oh man, I love that sweet lady! Such a gem. We're actually going to help her quit smoking and it's going to be such a party- I'm totally jazzed! Pat is the best!!
After all that adventuring, we ran over to try Ivy, who Sis. Bennett and I met eons ago all miraculously on exchanges and we haven't been able to meet with since...AND WE FINALLY GOT IN WITH HER, YEEHAWWWWW!!!! We figured out her background with the church (her dad is a member and her mom is Catholic but Ivy was never baptized) and taught her and her roommate Madison about the Restoration- it was SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! They both looked at us with such real intent through it all, and it was seriously magical. We gave them both Books of Mormon to read and we scheduled a return appointment for next Wednesday- AHHHH, the bessssssst!!!! Such a happy time!! They're probably the coolest people I've ever taught, but somehow we didn't implode- exact obedience brings miracles!!
We tried some peeps after that most gorgeous lesson and hightailed it to the Africans with Audrey...it was so beautiful!! We set expectations with Safee and Buster popped outta no where and told him to be more committed...it was awesome, haha! We ended up teaching Buster about the Book of Mormon- he's not quite convinced, but we committed him to study the Sermon on the Mount before we see him again- it's going to be BEAUTIFULLLLLL!!!! Teaching Buster has been the secret desire of my heart since we first chatted with him about the Restoration as he gutted a fish...AND I THINK IT'S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN, AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! The best!!
And then, it was Friday. We had ZTM in the morn and it was a wee bit crazy...ah man. Elder Madsen and Elder Trejo gave their training on studies and achieving standards of excellence (the weekly lesson standards set by Pres. Hess)...and the whole zone revolted. It was bad, man oh man. Tears were shed and ranting commenced and feelings were hurt all across the board...standards of excellence chatting brings out the worst in us all, I guess! It was pretty bad...but then Sis. Ramirez and I trained on the new Christmas initiative and all was well- we had to do a bit of crisis aversion afterwards, but mostly all was well. Dra-MA!
After all that craziness, we ate some food and chatted with Joe for a minute- love him! Such a good man! We taught about the Atonement and repentance and watched a Bible video- it was a good time. I adore that Joe!
Also, Joe and I totally have the same prescription...lol. :)
On Saturday, Sister Ramirez turned 21- YAHOOOOOOOO!!!! We partied hard all day long...but mostly did missionary work, haha. We had meetings in the morn, ate some birthday burritos at Qdoba for lunch (it's becoming tradition, yeehaw!!) and contacted for a season before teaching Henry with Audrey- such a party! Henry is the greatest!!! We talked about patrichical blessings, and Audrey saved the day all across the board- she's just the coolest. Henry loved it and adorably told us that he'll add it to his list of things to think about- AHHHH, I love that little African man so completely!!! He's my fave!!! The joy he brings to my heart is unparalleled- man oh man, Henry. I feel so blessed to know him!!
Right as we were gearing up to leave Henry's place, AJ came strutting in- such a tender mercy!! We taught him about church and followed up with his scripture reading- and he told us that God hasn't been answering his prayers, that he wants to know if what we're teaching is the truth but he just can't tell yet...so we left him with "Patterns of Light" to watch and scheduled a return appointment. AHHH, I love that AJ!! Such a good man!! I think his concerns go a bit deeper than we expect, so we're going to work even harder and be even better to figure that man out...I'll keep you posted. Before leaving, Henry gave us a fancy Liberian soda called "Vimto"- so delish!
And THENNNN, after those beautiful lessons, we headed down to Fargo for Juliana's baptism- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! It was one of the happiest experiences of all my mission- the Orozcos drove us down and we all watched as my dear Ghanaian friend made covenants with God...ah man, my joy has never been more full. Juliana shouted with joy when she saw me, and she made me promise that I'll come visit her and eat with her again- man oh man, it was just the greatest. I think the best part of it all was that she was no longer the woman I knew and loved while serving in Fargo- she is absolutely new. The Atonement is just so real! It was also beautiful and magical to rejoice with Sister Clark and Sister D'vaz- such a happy day!! I can't believe it actually happened!!
As we walked into the Relief Society room, Juliana grabbed my arm and said, "I told you that I would be baptized one day"- AHHHHHHHH!! Dang flab, being a missionary is absolutely amazing. I am so grateful for all the miracles I have experienced, all the people I have been changed by, all the goodness I have come to know...and for all the Julianas I have been able to teach. God is just so good!!
We ate dinner with the Orozcos after all the perfection- such a lovely time!! We went to Famous Dave's and my life was changed absolutely...such good food, man oh man! I just giggled through it all, and giggled the whole ride back to Grand Forks- I didn't know I could be so happy. Life is so beautiful!! And also, the Orozcos are just the greatest- I love them the most!!
happy day! :)
Welp, that was our week! Totally magical, man oh man. Life is just so good lately- I feel so blessed. Thank you for all you do- for your emails and letters and love. You make all the difference! I love you so much!
Have the greatest week!