Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 36--Exchange fun, Sacrament talks, and Unexpected Blessings

This week was kind of weird but mostly good. I had the BEST personal study this morning! I was reading an article from the June Ensign on pg. 55 about spiritual sight and the resources we have to help us overcome blind spots and deception. Then that led me to Isaiah 29 and 1 Nephi 13, which are actually fascinating! I loved the chapter in Nephi especially, because it all matches up perfectly with the American Revolution. Something really cool I have discovered since being on my mission is that I'm actually a lot smarter than I thought I was. I'm starting to realize how much stuff both spiritually but also temporally I actually do know, l things I never had to think about or worry about remembering because I always had the internet right there to ask anything I wanted to know. For example, I was reading the article and there were a lot of intense scientific terms and the footnotes just said to look it up on Wikipedia. Obviously I can't do that, so I had to use my own deductive reasoning skills to figure out what it was talking about and it started to make sense. I was sitting there reading this chapter and making tons of connections like, "Oh, that's like the Christians being persecuted by the Romans," or "Oh, that's like the Puritans crossing to America to gain religious freedom," and lots of other specific world and American history stuff that I didn't even realize I had memorized... I guess just not having the internet and TV for the first time in my life has been very freeing. I would encourage everyone to try a media fast for a week or two and see what happens. It's been a cool unexpected blessing from being on a mission.  

I gave a talk in church yesterday, and it went really well! It was my first time giving a full-on talk since my farewell. I've been asked to share my testimony about various subjects at times, especially in Royal, but never an actual talk. It was pretty fun, actually. I really like giving talks. I mentioned a story about my mom, though, and got so choked up! Gah! I miss her like crazy. It was based on Pres. Monson's talk from Conference about choices and about living the Gospel principles, especially enduring to the end. We also had like five less-active members come to church yesterday! I was so excited! We also had an awesome lesson in Relief Society (women’s organization). Our recent convert, Shaylie made a really cool comment that I loved. She said "There's a difference in being clean and being sober. Clean is a change of behavior and attitude, Sober is a change of personality."

Some other highlights from this week:

Monday we went on a hike! It was pretty fun but really last minute. The elders and sisters in our district had planned it a couple of days before P-day and thought they had sent us a text about it, but they forgot to send it, so we were not prepared at all! Fortunately we both had tennis shoes with us and the hike wasn't hard, so it worked out well. It was so pretty!

The hike!

Tuesday we had exchanges, and Hna. Luevano and Hna. Dee came down here to visit! It was SO FUN. I was with Hna. Dee and we had a really good time. I forgot how well we teach together. I was so glad to end things on such a good note with her. She is going home next week, so I might not ever see her again. It was also, of course, so fun to get to catch up with Hna. L again. I just love her so much! 

My In-Field Companions!

 Hna. L did my hair all fancy!

We actually kind of set our table for dinner!

We played a fun charades game for language study on Wednesday with Hna. L and Hna. D to learn some new Spanish vocab. It was hilarious. We also FINALLY got a blender and I made Shrek shakes! (smoothie our family made up which turns out the color of Shrek but actually tastes like Peanut Butter Cups) mmmmmmmm. Then in the afternoon on Wednesday we went and did service for Larissa. I might have mentioned it last week, but her older sister who was a hoarder, just moved out of her home and into a nursing home because she is blind. So we have been helping her sort out the mess at her sister's house.  We also set a goal to learn from Hna. L and Hna. D how to turn OYM's into lessons. It went well and our other lessons number shot way up this week, and we have a lot of more potential investigators coming up!

The members here are slowly beginning to be a lot more excited about the work and a lot more helpful. We had six lessons this week with a member present, which wasn't a lot, but it's a lot more than we have ever had in this area before. Yesterday at church a member actually came up to us and asked, "Hey, do you sisters need me to come to any lessons this week?" We were kind of shocked, it was so awesome! He's coming with us tomorrow :) we have also gotten a lot of interesting referrals lately. Miranda came out knocking with us for a little bit on Saturday. She's 18 and working on her mission paperwork right now. For anyone planning to go on a mission in the future, you should definitely go out with the missionaries when you get the chance! It helps so much knowing more of what you'll be doing going into it. 

Oh! I forgot, on Tuesday we had and AWESOME District Council. We were practicing teaching about the Plan of Salvation. There wasn't anything in particular that was especially amazing, it was just really spiritual and I learned a lot.

Well, I think that's it. I love and miss you all.

Beautiful Lyle

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 35--Another Week Has Passed Already?!

 Beautiful sunsets

I had a LOT of fun after emailing last week on P-day. The elders brought a Frisbee and we played Ultimate Frisbee. We had so much fun. At first I thought that I might have injured myself again on monday evening, but fortunately I didn't. Whew! I'm going to make sure to stretch and warm up extra well this week just in case. I love playing sports with the elders!

 My injuries from P-day. I got kicked by accident!

Monday night we visited Juan Oldeda. He's the one that just had open heart surgery a few weeks ago. He's not doing too well, It was kind of sad because he's like a different person, he used to be tall and strong and active, but now he has to walk with a walker. We also had a lesson with Larissa that didn't go as planned! Hna. M and I played too hard at P-day I guess, because she fell asleep in the lesson! She was totally exhausted! We're going to be extra careful to not play too long so that won't happen today. We also got a couple of pretty exciting referrals front the Hood River Hermanas on Monday, so it will be exciting to see how those go. We've already contacted 2 of them and had a lesson with one. It’s great that the work is slowly picking back up here. 

Tuesday was kind of scary in the morning because Hna. M lost her wallet! We couldn't find it anywhere. So I ended up driving us around that day, until we finally found it that evening. I don't mind driving, but it was sad during our district meeting, because it was really distracting for Hna. M! She was so worried, so I'm really glad we found it.

After District council on Tuesday we picked up Larissa at her house and headed for Trout Lake to visit her non-member friend, Lisa. It was so awesome! I love it when people share their friends with us, it is so much less intimidating and makes us not seem like salespeople like we do when we go door to door or talk to people on our own. If you have friends you think might be interested, please introduce them to your local missionaries! It makes everything go so much smoother.

It was pretty funny because we walked in at 2pm for our appointment, and there were actually a couple of Kirby vacuum salesmen there doing their little presentation! It was cool because we sat and listened to the end of it, and then we asked if they would like to sit in for ours!! We ended up getting a couple of extra OYM's out of it, and since they were both from Portland we got their contact information and are going to figure out how to get it to the Portland mission. How cool is that? Sometimes the Lord works in very funny ways. Plus the vacuum salespeople got a sale out of it, so we both got a win. 

Wednesday- the search continues for the mysterious Idela! We met her last week and started teaching her, she was AWESOME but then she just disappeared off the face of the planet! We went back to her house for one of our lessons and she wasn’t there. We asked the family that talked to us, and they were like, "Yeah, we don't know who that is, are you sure this is the right house?" So we thought maybe we heard her name wrong, since it was in Spanish, so we described her. They just said, "yeah sorry, we don't know who that is. Good luck though ladies!" So we double checked the house, and it was the right one. But just in case we knocked all the neighbors, and none of them knew who Idela was! It was so strange! I was like, did we meet a ghost?! So that's weird and sad...

Then we did some service for an elderly lady who is moving into a nursing home, and turns out she's actually a hoarder! We went over to "help tidy up" and ended up going back home to change into service clothes and get gloves and masks because it was horrifyingly bad! Like dead mice bad! Whew... that wasn't fun, but it was pretty fulfilling afterwards to see how much progress we made. We're going back on Wednesday to work on it some more with Hna. Luevano and Hna. Dee, because they will be coming down here for exchanges. 

Thursday was pretty fun because one of our members, Randy Colton, came out knocking with us! It was so cute he's only 12 but is like a little adult, he just came up to us and was like, "Hey, we need to go knocking together!" He already can't wait to be a missionary. What an awesome kid. Then we had a great member dinner with the Kendalls. It was fun, because she's the sister who has a twin sister that lives in Royal City. After dinner we went out to Snowden and visited a less active family who has the most gorgeous “ranchion” ever! (ranch with a mansion—Alison’s dream home). Wooden ceilings, dormer windows, stained glass, palominos in the yard! It was perfection... 

Planning on Friday actually went really well. I didn't even hardly stress at all! We got a call mid-planning from Tacho, our returning less-active Spanish member, and he sounded really stressed and a little panicked about his Sunday school lesson  on Sunday. He asked if there was any way we could come over and help him before church on Sunday to prepare his lesson. So we told him we'd check and get back to him. He lives in a reeeeaaaaaalllly sketchy part of our area, so we have been told to not go there alone. We have to get a member to go with us. So we called around and were trying hard to find someone to go with us. Finally, Miguel said he could go, which was so kind of him, because he was going to be running a half-marathon Saturday morning and was just planning on sleeping the rest of the day. But he said he would come.

Then, we got there on Saturday and Tacho was just like "Oh, yeah my lesson is fine, its good, whatevs, etc." and we were like... um we thought you were frantically looking for help. Then he just started talking about all this food he's been making. So pretty much he was just trying to trick us into coming over. We were pretty frustrated. Especially because Miguel was sacrificing sleep to come! Then we stopped by some other Spanish investigators in that trailer park, since we had Miguel with us anyways. He was such a good sport. It turns out he finally got his mission call! He is going to Guatemala, speaking Kektchi, a Mayan language! Pretty crazy! 

We've been role playing a lot lately, and on Saturday morning something funny that we did was practice teaching with distractions. So I was pretending to do an exercise video while Hna. M taught me about the restoration. It was so funny! Then she was a busy mom. We've done a lot more ideas, too. Those were just the main funny ones. It's so helpful. I'm really beginning to appreciate role playing. 
Saturday night we went out knocking with Megan Tew. She's another one of our awesome youth at church, and she's actually going on a mission pretty soon, too! She’s three days older than my sister, Libbie, but she's not doing a year of school first. She's so awesome! We were trying to come up with new and unique things to say at door approaches. It actually went pretty well. We usually don't knock this much, but Megan and Randy offered. We met a really cute little man named Filipe from Michoacán.

Sunday- Happy Father’s day!! It was a great day! We were surprised when Max and Josiah and Britney Merrill (one of our investigating families) showed up at church!! It was so exciting. They really liked it! And, Emma came, too, so that made four investigators at church. That never happens! We're really starting to see great results coming from focusing on quality instead of quantity. Miracles! We also got to help out in Primary with all the Father's day festivities. It was fun to be back in Primary again. I taught the four-year-old class before my mission. It brought back good memories.  Sunday night we practice-taught the Abkens. We have been doing that lately to get even more practice in and really sharpen our teaching skills. It's been really fun, and they thought of some amazing questions! 

Well, It's been a good week, Can y'all believe I'm turning 8 months old tomorrow? I'm almost halfway through my mission! Wow! 

Love and miss you all! 

 Beautiful rainy day in Washington

 Playing "Pictionary" with our Spanish
vocabulary for language practice

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 34--Rattle Snakes, General Authorities, and Hna. Luevano!

Me and all my companions 
(except Hna. Streuling, who has gone home)

P-day was actually super relaxing and chill, which NEVER happens here in The Dalles. So it was very refreshing. I got the chance to practice piano for about 3 hours, which was so fun. I finally learned Clair De Lune. 

So we were at Emma's house (yes, the same investigator as last week when we ended up having to spend the night with the Hovinghoffs!). We sat down on the couch and started having the pre-lesson chit chat, like "how have you been? What was you're week like? Where are you in the book of Mormon reading?" etc. Then her dog, Sis started acting really weird... she was over by the corner of the room next to the couch where I was sitting and concerned about something. She'd get curious and slowly get closer, then back up really quick, after about the third time, it was getting really distracting. Emma was like "Oh, she's kind of a wimpy dog, it's probably just a cobweb or something." Then we got back to our conversation for like a minute before Sis growled and I heard a hiss. Then Emma jumped up out of her chair, screamed a swear word, and said EVERYBODY GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! IT'S A RATTLER!!  

We started heading towards the front door. Emma says "Go next door! Get the Hollands!! Get Jerry Holland!" (her landlord) So we ran over there, and of course he wasn’t home. So we thought, "Okay, we'll just call a member who lives here in town," but then we realized our phone was still in our car, the car was locked, and the keys were still inside sitting on the couch in the room where the rattle snake was! OF COURSE that would happen! So then, Emma said "FORGET IT, I'M GETTING THE MEXICANS!!" So she ran to her other next-door neighbor’s house, while Hna M and I just sit down on the driveway and hold on to the dog.

 Holding Sis so she won't go in and get bit

I took a couple of pictures, and pretty soon, this Mexican guy named Jose came out of the house with a big Machete! "Don't worry guys, I've dealt with rattle snakes before!" I was just cracking up so hard. This is too perfect, of course he has a machete. So pretty soon, Jim, Emma's adult son, came over, and said "what is going on?" At this point there was like ten people there--Emma, us, the Holland family (minus Jerry, of course) the Holland’s mother in law, Jose's wife, and now Jim! I just looked at him and said, "Oh, there's just a rattle snake in the house, no biggie." So then he ran in to help Jose. Pretty soon Jim came out holding a dead headless snake body dripping with blood, and then Jose came out, balancing the head on the machete. Then he dug a hole and buried it, because apparently it can still bite even with its head cut off.

SO that was fun! We ended up having a really good lesson about how Heavenly Father protects us in time of need, and how Sis pointing out the Rattle snake to us, was a way that He was looking out for us. Then we gave Sis some pizza and a belly rub. Dogs rule!

Pretty good day! We met a really cool girl named Idela. She is from Guadalajara. It turns out that she was being taught by the missionaries before, when she lived in Mexico, but then she moved to Arizona and lost contact with them. Then she moved here to White Salmon just a few weeks ago. She was so excited to see us! And we were even more excited to have found her. Mini miracle! 

Then, we had a lesson with our investigator, Tyler. It was SO good. He is doing so much better this week. His mom was there too, and so we finally got to find out why his parents are dragging their feet. They don't want to sign the papers for him to get baptized. they want him to wait till his 18th birthday, because that way, if down the road he decides he doesn't want to do this Mormon thing anymore, he won’t' be able to blame it on them... it was interesting but made sense. We were glad to have finally reached a source of the problems.

 Tyler's graduation party!

 Hna. M eating his head!

Travel time! SO this week we had a General Authority from the Church, Elder Daniel Johnson of the First Quorum of the Seventy, come to do a mission tour! So we woke up at 5 am and got ready, then we drove 15 minutes to Hood River and picked up Hna. Clark and Hna. Andrews. From there, the four of us went another hour or so to The Dalles. There, we met up with Elders Mercado, Woodward, and Gaeta. Then the 7 of us drove together in the Zone Leaders’ minivan for 2.5 hours to Yakima. It was so weird being there again! There, we met up with all of the Spanish missionaries from the southern half of the mission. I got to see Elder Buchanan, Hna. Aldrich, and Elder Harman! And I got to see Hna. Luevano!!!!!!! Also Elder Najarian and Gaburel, and at least 30 others that I was so excited about!

Then we split into three groups and got in these big vans to go another two hours or so up to Wenatchee. It was a lot of driving but so much fun, because Hna. Aldrich, and Elder Najarian were in our van so we got to catch up with them a little! It was pretty exciting. The best thing was that we got to have a special conference on Thursday afternoon up in Wenatchee for all the Spanish missionaries in the whole mission. That NEVER happens! It was SO exciting to be in a room with all the other Spanish missionaries in the whole mission! I got to see so many people! SO many friends that  I have missed! We had some great instruction from Elder Johnson, too. He was very boldly talking to us about how to teach people in the Hispanic culture, and some of the differences. He is actually from Mexico. He is white but has lived there most of his life. It was very enlightening for a lot of missionaries, especially ones who have never had a native companion. Something else that was cool was that Presidente Moreno from the Englewood branch where I served in Yakima was there! It was so good to see him! Elder Johnson did some role plays with Presidente Moreno, Elder Johnson (the missionary) and Elder Gaburel. We focused a lot on this analogy of tomatoes. The people we are teaching are like tomatoes. They grow green first, and then eventually ripen, and when they are red that's how you know they are ready. He said a lot of missionaries waste so much time yelling at green tomatoes to ripen, they ignore all the other tomatoes that are super big and red and waiting to be found! He said if we have investigators that we have been teaching for more than six months, we need to leave them alone for now, put them in the area book, and let them ripen for a while. Heavenly father will make sure their missionaries find them when the time comes.

There was a sister who stood up and said that she understands and appreciates what he was saying, but that if her missionaries had done that, she wouldn’t be standing there as a missionary today, because it took her missionaries eight years of teaching her before she got baptized. He said the missionaries would have re-found her eight years later, and she would have still gotten baptized, but the difference is that a lot more people would have gotten baptized too, because the missionaries wouldn't have been wasting all this time with her. It was really bold, but powerful and SO true! Then we all started to realize names of people we have to drop…for now.

After the Spanish conference was over, we got back in the huge vans and headed back to Yakima. There, I got to go on a mini exchange with Hna. Levano!!! It was SO FUN. It was kind of weird though, because I was with my first companion, in my second area. So it was like realities colliding! First we went to the Soto’s house for dinner. It was so fun to see them again. Then we had a couple of lessons. It was fun teaching together again and meeting some of the new investigators from my old area. Then I met back up with Hna. Marble (she had gone out with Hna. Dee) and we went to the English STLs’ house to spend the night. I slept on like the most comfortable couch ever!

We had the regular zone conference with all the missionaries, English and Spanish, from the southern half of the mission. That was really fun and inspiring, too. I even got to bear my testimony about a subject I have been studying about a lot lately. We had so much inspiration and revelation about our areas! after it was over we all went around and took pictures together with old friends. Then we got in one of the huge vans with Elders Allen, Bee, Flamm, Ence and the Hood River Hermanas and headed back for The Dalles. On the way we stopped at Miners, the famous hamburger place in Yakima that has burgers the size of your face! It was good, but expensive! While there I got to see a member from ROYAL! It was so exciting! I still miss that place every day. That was my little miracle from Heavenly Father.

As soon as we got home that evening, we gutted our area book. We started to go through every single person we have been working with and reevaluate. So pretty much we are starting from scratch now, but we feel very refreshed and good about it! 

 Riding in the van

 At the conference

 Me and Hna. Luevano! I have missed her SO much!

 More friends!

Three "Generations" ha ha 

 Elder Shugart

 With Elder Johnson (the missionary)

 With Elder Najarian

With Sister Hirsche!

Our first full day back, it felt like we were gone for a long time! first thing in the morning we had a service project with Cynthia, our former investigator. We got to see some baby mice! I actually wasn't freaked out by them, which was good. (Our house in Texas got infested once, and ever since then I've had a hard time with mice.) Hna. M and I got to help make Mexican hamburgers! They were so good. 

Good day but I woke up with a SUPER sore throat! I took some cold medicine, and am feeling a little better now, but still not amazing. Hopefully that will go away soon!
Well, that's it for this week! 

 Elder Ence and Hna M

 I got a copy of Ana's baptism program!

 Cute yard decorations at the Goodrich's house

We went to the hospital to visit a less-active member

Monday, June 6, 2016

Surprise Sleepover!

This week was actually really good!  Some fun and funny adventures! First of all to start with a quote from one of the people we OYM'd this week:
"Saying you're a Christian because you grew up going to church is like saying you grew up in a garage, so you're a car." 

We had another fun time doing service for the thrift store on Tuesday. Also, an awesome lesson with Emma and Sis. Hall. The Spirit was so strong! We also met this really nice lady named Dolly! I was especially excited at her name.

Wednesday we finally got to catch up with our recent convert, Shaylie. She was out of town for about a month, she did a lot of family history while she was gone, though! We also had a super intense lesson with one of our investigators. He almost dropped us! He was doing really well and was even on-date for his baptism in a couple of weeks, and then he randomly stopped talking to us for a couple of weeks. He has a lot going on right now and is really stressed out, so he decided the easiest thing to drop would be church. WRONG. It never works! I know it sounds crazy, but if you keep doing those things that God has asked us to do, it makes everything else easier. Just adding the simple little things like reading a verse or two in the morning, and saying a prayer makes all the difference. We ended up talking to him for over an hour, and he almost dropped us several times. Fortunately we have become good friends with him over these last months, so I think that helped him realize that we are only here to help him. There's a quote from one of my favorite members in Royal City that came to mind: "God does not always lighten the load, but He does strengthen the bridge." Maybe your load is still going to be heavy, and you have a lot of stuff to deal with, but if you do the things He asks, it will help you! It's not meant to be a chore, it's meant to help us.

Wednesday night we ended up with an extra half-hour to kill, so we decided to go knocking over in a neighborhood by the church building. We met such a nice girl! Her name is Leila, but unfortunately she actually lives in the Dalles, which is some other missionaries' area. She said she sees the "guy missionaries" walking past her house all the time to visit people in her neighborhood and she always wonders, “Hey, why don't they stop at my house? I want to meet them, too!” So she was just dog sitting here in White Salmon, but we got her address and phone number and gave it to the Elders that are over the Dalles. Hopefully they can start visiting her soon! 

Thursday we did some service for Larissa. She's in the process of moving houses (same neighborhood) so we were helping her clean out a bunch of her old stuff she doesn't need anymore. I ended up getting a cute new skirt out of it! And we got a fan, which was a miracle because it got SO HOT HERE. Like triple digits! It was crazy, it was in the 80s last week then all of the sudden it got extremely hot! I was expecting it to stay fairly cool on the gorge, but nope! We didn't have any air conditioning in our house either, so that was totally miserable trying to sleep. Fortunately upon further exploring of our house we found an old window air conditioner in the back of a spare closet. Mama and Papa Abken came over and helped us set it up. Thursday night Mama Abken went with us up to Trout Lake, on the edge of our area, to visit a couple of less active families and a couple of new referrals! We were so grateful, because she drove so we could save on miles.

 I love my new skirt from Larissa!

It's SO HOT!!!

Trying to keep the house cool

I also got a letter from the Dallas YSA (Young Single Adults church group) on Thursday! Hi everybody! Thanks for your card! Shout out especially to Adam, for writing me a full on letter.

Friday was INSANE. We had to go to the Dalles in the morning to the Jeep dealership there to get a couple of things fixed on our car, and on the way home we saw a fire right off of the freeway. It looked pretty fresh, we could tell because the smoke wasn't that high in the air yet. We drove past the emergency vehicles on the way there. We could not have imagined on the way home how much that fire was going to affect us later! That afternoon after weekly planning we were out working in White salmon, then we had dinner and asked the members if they knew what the fire was and turns out a train car got off track and exploded! There were 11 more cars filled with oil that exploded since So traffic was kind of bad going towards Mosier, where the crash was, because they had to close the freeway. We were planning on going that direction in the evening for a lesson with our investigator. We asked how bad it was and the member said when she was driving home from work it wasn't too bad, like only tacking on about 10 minutes to her commute. We were like, Oh that's not too bad, it's not worth cancelling an appointment. WRONG we ended up leaving the investigator's house about an hour early just in case, because usually it takes about 15-20 mins to get home from there, so we thought it would be plenty of extra time. WRONG! 40 minutes later, we are only 1.5 miles down the highway and now parked and everyone was out of their cars.... we called our district leader because we were going to be so late! We don't know what to do! We had 3 options, stay on the highway, where it was estimated to take until about midnight or 1am, turn around and follow this local guy who offered to let us follow him on the back roads, which would have been good except it was dark and there's no cell service, so that didn't sound safe, or we could stay with a member who lives in Lyle, the town where our investigator lives. So the district leader talked to the zone leaders, who then talked to President Lewis! He had been watching the news because it was so bad, and said that we should just stay the night because the cars were not going anywhere. So we had a surprise sleepover with the Hovinghoff family! It was pretty stressful but pretty fun when all was said and done. We were SO grateful they were willing and able to drop everything and help us. Plus, Sis. Hovinghoff ended up having a couple of extra nightgowns that were too small that we could wear and they had some unopened toothbrushes. So that was crazy!

 View of the fire from our house


Modelling our nightgowns at the Hovinghoff's

Saturday morning we woke up in the Hovinghoffs’ house, which was pretty hilarious, because I legitimately was thinking it was a dream! We walked out of the guest room and the hovinghoff's son and daughter-in law were sitting on the couch. Sis. Hovinghoff Jr. Was like "Hey! I thought that was your car outside!" Then we had to explain everything. Haha it was pretty funny and a little awkward. Then we all got ready for the day and went at 7am to go to breakfast. Fortunately the Hovinghoff's son is a policeman, so he was able to check and said the traffic was all cleared up. We headed home and even got there at 8:05, just in time for personal study! It was really crazy but kind of fun in a way. 

So happy to be back home after our adventure!

Not too many exciting things happened on Saturday after that, but we did have the adult session of Stake Conference in the evening, which was really fun, because we got to see President and Sister Lewis! They gave some really awesome talks, and we got to introduce them to some members on Saturday night, and also on Sunday in the general session. Of course we made sure they met the Hovinghoffs! Also mama and papa Abken, just because they take such good care of us, too. 

So that's pretty much everything exciting from this week. I hope everything is going well for all of you! Love and miss you all! 

 Cherry Trees!

 "So, have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?"

 Spring Festival was this weekend. Really fun but not fun,
because our apartment is right by this park and
people were playing music till like 3am! Hard to sleep!