Alright, sorry for that mega cryptic intro...I'll explain as we go, haha. I promise that I'm okay, that life is really good and I really am happy- just humbled by the fact that I alone am not capable of being a missionary. The Atonement is crazy real, man oh man! I'm totally outta strength to do this incredible work day by day, and I rely so much on Christ to make up the difference that I don't even realize it anymore...until reality smacks me in the face and reminds me that I'm barely functioning. Man oh man, I am so grateful for the restored gospel and for the strength that only Christ could give me. I couldn't be here still if not for Him.
Okay okay, let me tell you about our week now. Haha. I'm just way excited to tell you all kinds of random things today, it seems! This week really has been a good one- God is so good. Bismarck is so good!
We started the week off with normal pday times, nothing too excitable...Christmas shenanigans all around, dontcha know! Once our pday came to an end, we ate some dinner with the lovely Southams and went tracting for a spell- during which, we met the super cool Klein, who we taught the Restoration and it was just the sweetest. I love Africans, man oh man!! Favorite people ever! Klein is from Burundi, which is pretty excitable...now the trick is to get back in with him, haha. I'll keep ya updated.
On Tuesday, we tried the masses in the morn and prepped up for our Zone Conference adventuring...and then we headed up to Minot! Yahooooo!! We had a Christmas party on Tuesday night at the fancy new Minot stake center, full of ugly sweaters and bdubs and white elephant gifts and jeopardy...it was such a good time, man oh man!
ugly sweaters for the win! :)
And then, on Wednesday, we had Zone Conference...way good time. My favorite part was the Assistants' training on the Godhead, all about how the Holy Ghost brings us to Christ and Christ brings us to Heavenly Father- and how our job as missionaries is to introduce the Holy Ghost to the light of Christ already within the people we teach. So profound!!
also, so good to see old friends. I love missions!! :)
After all that partying, we visited some of Sis. Andrus' peeps in Minot and headed back to Bismarck in style, with the traveling assistants hanging ten in the car with us- such an adventure, haha. Once back to Bismarck, the Hess' called and invited us out to dinner- at GRAND JUNCTION, AHHHH!!! Best night of my LIFE, man oh man!! Dang, I love those sandwiches. Bringing me back to the good ol' GF days, haha!
That night, after our date with the Hess' and the Elders, Sister Tucker came to Bismarck and spent her last night as a missionary with us- it was the GREATEST!!! Ah man, I love that Sis. Tucker. It was so good to reminisce and laugh and chat...she is one of my all time favorite people. I've missed her so much!!
On Thursday, we had interviews in the morn and weekly planned the rest of forever...it was a good time. President spoke such peace to my troubled soul and randomly told me to call Em to congratulate her on her engagement- best five minutes ever, haha! It was just so lovely to chat with her for a minute- exactly what I needed in the midst of sending Sis. Andrus and Sis. Tucker home, man oh man. It made for a pretty rough day! Imma miss those two hooligans...and it made it SO real that I'm headed out sooner than I'd like to consider. BUT, talking with Em and hearing Mammy's voice as she talked with Sis. Hess (to get Emily's number, ya know) reminded me just how much I miss my family, even if I've learned to live pretty well with the ache. I alone am not capable of being a missionary, I'm tellin' ya!
But anyway, after dropping our peeps off at the mission office and saying goodbye and weeping all over the place, we got some candy cane oreo blizzards and ate taco pizza for dinner- it made us feel a bit better, haha. It's just so weird to be in a companionship again, to be missing our sweet third member- I still can't quite believe that she's home. It went so fast!
Also, on an unrelated side note, taco pizza is just the greatest thing EVERRR. Man oh man!! Totally in love- and we've been eating those leftovers ever since, haha. Yahoo for members that buy you pizza!!
And then, it was Friday. Such a good day!! We had media hour in the morn and finished up weekly planning and ate some lunch...during which, the Grand Forks sisters texted to tell me that Henry was going to the temple on Saturday, AHHHHHH!!!! I called around and got permission to go, then called Henry and talked with him for a minute...best man I know, goodness gracious!! Going to the temple with him was one of the sweetest joys of my whole mission- such a tender mercy that I'm in Bismarck, man oh man!! That news made our whole Friday magical- and our Saturday, too!! YAHOOOOO!!!!
We spent the rest of our Friday teaching the adorable Jeremiah about prophets (the best!!) and chatting with the Hales about family history amid oodles of tracting- such a lovely day! The Hales are total faves- Jim randomly got oodles of info about his genealogy, yahoooo!! So dang converted. ALSO, he made me the cutest war bonnet earrings ever- Jim is just the greatest, man oh man!! He knows me too well!! I'm totally obsessed with them...who knew I needed handmade war bonnet earrings, haha!!
And then, it was Saturday. Because of negative 60 degree weather with the wind chill, we were confined to our apartment for the majority of the day...expect for our glorious President approved exception at the temple, yahooooooo!!!! Seriously one of the happiest days ever- if I didn't take pictures I wouldn't even believe it actually happened. It felt like some gorgeous dream!! AHHH, such a happy day. I even had a family name to take, thanks to the lovely Sis. Andrus, and it was just so surreal...Henry Tamba is just the greatest man I know. I had nothing to do with his goodness and the strength of his conversion- but I am so grateful to have seen it happen and been there for it. After doing baptisms, we chatted about life and it was just the best- being able to talk with him was probably the best part of the whole trip. I love him so much!! He's doing so well and I am so grateful to have been changed by him- Henry is the best. He made me promise I'll call when I'm home and that I'll keep writing all the time...I miss him so much. He kept telling me that same thing, and it was just breaking me heart- he finally said that President should just cut me up and put me all over the mission, haha. I just can't wait for the day that I can take my family back to meet that adorable Liberian bestie of mine- I never imagined that I would be blessed to know someone like him. I love that Henry so dang much- such a tender mercy to see him again! And chat with him at the temple! And watch him do baptisms for the dead!! AHHHH, such goodness all around. HENRYYYY!!!! It was pretty much early Christmas here in Bismarck on Saturday- best thing ever!!
best day EVERRR!!!! :D
As we were leaving the temple, I also randomly ran into Sis. Schellenberg from my Beulah past- the besssssst!!! Goodness gracious, God is just so good. Tender mercies of the Lord left and right!!!
After that gorgeous morning (and almost getting frost bite as we took pictures, haha), we returned to the apartment and tried not to go crazy in the subarctic temperatures...thank goodness we got to leave once though, haha. The perks of serving in North Dakota!
We finished up this crazy week with a most delightful Sabbath- such a perfect day. We went to church and taught a super passionate missionary man from Ghana and ate dinner with the Russons and taught Jeremiah- such good times all around!! The Russons are pretty much the greatest people I've ever met- they even gave us Christmas presents and it was just the best. Such lovely people!! Jeremiah is also the best- we went over the ten commandments and helped him set his new alarm clock for church next week. He's the best! We casually asked if he knows the story of Moses and he waxed eloquent for a good twenty minutes all about Moses, starting from Joseph coming to Egypt...that kid never ceases to amaze me, man oh man! Coolest kid ever, haha.
Welp, that was our week...it was such a good one. And a hard one...but mostly good. I am just so grateful to be a missionary, so grateful for all I've been blessed with all these amazing people in my life...especially Henry. God is just so good! And, it's practically Christmas- so excitable!!
I love you all so much- have the greatest week ever. Merry Christmas!!