First of all, Happy Independence Day! I am SO grateful for this amazing country that we live in. I know that there is a special reason that God made it possible for this nation to succeed. Thinking about everything we have been through to be where we are... wow (check out 1 Nephi 13). I pray that Heavenly Father will inspire our nation's leaders and citizens especially in this time of change and that He will bless us with the ability to keep our freedoms.
Second of all I have HUGE NEWS. I'm going to be a trainer!! We got our transfer calls this Saturday and President Lewis has asked me to train a brand new missionary! Woo! I'll be honest, I kind of felt this one coming, like I just felt these last two transfers like a big change was in store and that Heavenly Father was preparing me for something, but I wasn't sure what it was. Usually on Saturday nights we get a voicemail from the AP's that talks about what's going on in our zone, but if you are getting assigned to a leadership position, President calls you directly, usually on Saturday morning. And then you can't tell anyone all day!! Only you and your companion know! Gah! Hermana Marble will be transferred to Wenatchee and finishing her mission where she started it! It’s pretty cool, actually. That would be such a dream come true to "die" in Royal <3
So anyway, that happened! Honestly that's the biggest thing right now. I've been spending all my spare time the last two days reading everything I possibly can about training and leadership. I feel pretty calm about it, not too nervous or anything, I just don't want to mess up! In mission lingo, your trainer is called your "mom" because honestly, in a lot of ways training is like parenting. I was re-reading one of my favorite articles, called "the Ricciardi Letter" because it has a lot about training in there, and he says "training is without a doubt the most important calling you can have on a mission. Even more important than district leaders, zone leaders, and APs, because every mission president knows how vital a properly trained missionary is." I read that and was like "Well Shoot! No pressure or anything!!" Haha, but in all honesty I'm very excited. I've been preparing lots of things for her. I made her a planner, and we've been cleaning out all of Hna. M's stuff and helping her pack a lot. She’s getting rid of a bunch of things, too, since this is going to be her last transfer, and she doesn't want to have to deal with sending a bunch of stuff home all at once or deal with paying extra for exceeding the 50lb weight limit for her suitcases flying home. It's really refreshing to get rid of junk, but also sad, because she is leaving!
This transfer is going to be so crazy! I've never taken over an area before, never been senior companion, and definitely never trained before, so this will be a lot of learning! I'm excited though.
Some other fun things from this week:
Monday we went on another hike. This time to Wahclella Falls. It was GORGEOUS. I felt like Pocahontas there (one of my childhood heroes!)
Wahclella Falls Hike!
Tuesday we had our last District Council before transfers, it was so weird because it felt like this transfer just flew by! We had to say goodbye to two elders who are going home, Elder Woodward, and Elder Mercado. They are so awesome! It was sad to say goodbye, but we are excited for what's coming up. I'm pretty excited, because Elder Wilde is actually coming to this zone now! He was one of my friends when I worked in Yakima. Also, Hermana Poulson, who is one of my fellow Texans will be here.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday where honestly really boring, and I have nothing to say except that on Friday I got to play a member's guitar at our dinner appointment! It was weird and fun because I haven't actually played anything since Christmastime in Royal! It's probably a good thing because if I had easy access to a guitar all the time, it could become a distraction. I was pleasantly surprised though that I could still remember things! So that's good news :) There was also a HUGE tick that one of the members found on her cat! She put it in a jar because she thought it was dead but that it was really interesting, but then when Hna. M looked closer at it she realized its legs were still moving!! It was seriously the size of my fingernail. It was the biggest tick ever...
Cool light coming through the window to my bed.
Hna. M calls it "the hologram".
Cute retro cafe at the edge of our area
I liked this gazebo
Hna. M and I actually had an amazing experience on Friday night. We were getting really discouraged all day on Thursday and Friday because honestly, our area is dead, like dead and rotting. Last week we had two investigators left, and now we have like .5 because we're not totally sure how interested our used-to-be-golden investigator is. We started getting really negative and sad because of it, and were honestly almost to the point of tears because we didn't know what else to do! We are running out of finding ideas. Then we decided to say a prayer and afterward I opened my scriptures to see if we could find an answer. I knew the answer we needed was in the scriptures, but I just didn't know where! I opened to Doctrine and Covenants, section 25. It was PERFECT. (Read this section here.)
Saturday morning I got my Leadership call, and then we went and did some service for a lady in the community named Amy. She's really sweet and we had actually done service for her once before, on my first week here. But she had been busy for a while. We got to go back and do some more gardening with her. It was fun, I enjoy plants a lot. Plus we saw a bunch of really interesting bugs!
Sunday was good, but also kind of sad because Hermana Marble had to say goodbye to everyone. She has been here since February 24, so that's a long time and a lot of friendships! We went around for a couple of hours last night in the evening to say goodbye to special members and take pictures. It was sad but good. At least she only has six weeks left of her mission, and then she can add them on Facebook! She said she might come back and do a mission tour with her parents in late August or early September. Hopefully I will get to see her!! Gah! She's been one of my favorite companions and we sure have learned and grown a lot together. I love you Hna M!
Us and Mama and Papa Abken.
They take good care of us!
Shaylie, Hna. M, and Sister Blunt
Well, I think that's it for this week. Love and miss you all.
Adorable fawn we saw
Hna. Marble being cute! I'm going to miss her!