Life is great in Zionsville. I'm making a goal to start looking at the map more so I can get a better idea of where we are and where we're going. We will be working on updating and studying our map so I know where people live. Because we all know how great I am with directions...heh.
We had exchanges this week, and they were great! It was great to get to know other sisters better. I went to Lafayette with Sis. Hill, and we got along great. She's really good at teaching the doctrine and being straightforward, which are two things I'm working on.
We also really enjoyed volunteering for the Special Olympics on Saturday. Sis. Carter and I spent the day with Sis. Bonner and Sis. Coleman, who are wonderful!! (PELOS--they both say hello! Oh I just love them!) We all got to know each other really well and had a great time. Awesome opportunity!
Last week on P-day we played volleyball with the elders--SO FUN!! Oh I could play volleyball all day long. I could even reach over the net. Well, that's cuz it was drooping and we couldn't fix it :) But ya, way fun! There's another elder in our zone who's diabetic, and I was pulling something out of my bag and he started singing, "Diabetes...diabetes...low blood sugar!" Haha. Weird.
We ate dinner at the branch president's home, and we LOVE eating there! It's just like being at home with family. They have six kids, and yesterday they had all just woken up from their Sunday naps when we started eating. Why is that so familiar...*cough* Jordan, Caleb, Josh *cough*... But they are such a solid family, and we're so comfortable being there.
I am gaining a testimony of having members come to lessons. Maybe it's a selfish reason...but they make the missionary's job easier, because we just guide the discussion, teach doctrine, and ask inspired questions, and the members add insights that the investigator needs! They give a realistic perspective of things, because they are not in the "missionary bubble" that we are in. I want to be a missionary member when I get home, and help the missionaries out as much as possible! It is the members who are able to FIND people, and as missionaries we TEACH those people. We can all be missionaries for the rest of our lives, and all we have to do is talk to people! Be proud of the gospel, because it is true, and it only brings people happiness!!!
I had an amazing realization this week. We have been teaching a guy who we are trying to get involved in the YSA ward. He is super well-versed in the Bible and he always has a lot to say. We don't know how to take control of the lesson and sometimes we leave the lesson a bit frustrated and unsure if the spirit was there the whole time. We feel that we will teach a doctrine and he agrees, but then he always turns to the Bible and teaches us a principle. Anyway, Sis. Carter and I talked a lot about how we can be more effective teachers, and we had an amazing experience the other night. We prayed about re-teaching the Restoration next time we meet with him, and that felt good, but I kept getting the impression that we should teach the Plan of Salvation, so we prayed again. This time, we both felt a strong, distinct impression that this was the right thing to do. We were able to study it out in our minds and ask God several times for an answer. We both received that confirmation, and it felt incredible! If we could do that for every single investigator we would see so many more miracles!!
Later I was thinking about this investigator, and I realized that Sis. Memmott and I taught an investigator in the MTC who is exactly like him. It wasn't until we had taught him 3 lessons that Sis. Memmott and I finally figured out how to really focus on how his faith was increasing and get to know him as an individual. We were too focused on answering all his questions and teaching the right doctrine before. But at our fourth lesson, we asked him inspired questions and we finally understood more about him as an individual and how God has played a role in his life. I know that we were able to teach this investigator to prepare me to know how to teach our investigator here. We've taught him three lessons so far, and of course it's not until now that I've made this connection! God prepared me for this exact situation, and I don't know what the end of the story will be, but this is no coincidence! This is a miracle! So we are praying that we will be effective in inviting the spirit to touch his heart! It still is blowing my mind!!
I asked an investigator the other day, "Have you ever heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?" He said, "And cried!"
They are coming to Indianapolis in June to perform! We're hoping we'll be able to go!
SO excited for general conference. Oh man. Sis. Carter says it goes by way too fast. But we are getting our pens and paper ready to take LOTS OF NOTES!
Sis. Carter is really good at recognizing a direct link between obedience and blessings. A couple weeks ago we fasted and paid fast offerings, and at that time we were pretty low on food. Not desperate, but definitely low. The next day our cupboards were about to explode. We had several people give us leftovers and bring us food. We didn't have a lot of money to spend, but we were able to buy everything we needed for the week. Miracle! Sis. Carter recognized this as a result of our actions! It's so cool to see God's hand in our lives, and He does SO MUCH MORE than we realize. He speaks to us so often. We've been studying a lot about revelation lately, and if we are living obediently and worthily, most of our thoughts are sent from God, and as a result our actions are right! Revelation comes way more than we realize!!! Ask for it, and look for God's answers!! Oftentimes he sends us certain thoughts while we are praying. We'll be saying a prayer right before leaving the apartment, and one of us will remember to grab something before we leave. That is the spirit!
As missionaries, the last thing we pay attention to is the road. While we're driving, we get caught up in deep discussions and thinking about our investigators, and we don't realize that we've been driving on the most beautiful road surrounded by green trees and grass!!! Today we were driving and talking and didn't process that the truck in front of us had furniture stacked five feet high. We took a picture cuz it looked so funny, but it was even funnier that we didn't notice earlier.
Sorry these emails or so long, but it's a good way for me to get everything OUT! Feels good to write these emails :) Love you all. Seriously. THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!! LIVE IT!!! LOVE IT!!! LEARN FROM IT!!!!!!!!!!
#1 - This is what the fridge at the church looks like on P-days. We all buy our groceries then go to the church to play dodgeball/volleyball. Those elders need their milk!
#2 - Sisters on exchanges!
#3 - Me, Sis. Coleman, and Sis. Stanford! Love them!
#4 and #5 - We found this kaleidoscope and took a picture of our faces. If you look closely you can see! Haha, we could be entertained for hours!
#6 - This is the truck we saw as we were driving--they did not want to make a second trip!
#7 - Sis. Carter, Sis. Coleman, me, and Sis. Bonner volunteering at Special Olympics!
#8 - Gold medal missionaries!
#9 - #11 - Ok...getting carried away
#12 - Beautiful mist the morning before church