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

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