I don't know what it is about reading your emails and emailing you that just gives you a much needed uplift. Sorry that Pday is late this week. We got to go to the temple :) It was a wonderful session. Wow, so what all has happened? It has definitely been a roller coaster of a week.
We had some way good lessons with a couple less actives, did some tracting, had some sick days, got some good referrals...
Hm, So, Friday we were planning for the upcoming week and the Farmington elders called and said that they had a referral, his name was Robert and he wanted us to call him right then. So, we called Robert who was grateful that we called and we told him we had a fairly open schedule, I started flipping through the upcoming days and asked when he wanted to meet. His reply? Anytime between now and 2pm. So, we picked up a new investigator, and he is very sincere and super awesome. He was going to come to church Sunday but had an allergic reaction Saturday night and he ended up in the ER. So, that didn't happen.
We also received a referral from the Burnsville Elders for a girl named Nicole. They had taught her once and she had come to church. So, we went with the elders to the lesson and she is just a wonderful wonderful person. She does all her reading, reads the pamphlets, answers the questions in the back and makes a list of her own questions for us to answer when we go over. She had a date for baptism, but she told us she isn't ready for that because she really wants to make sure she's ready. She also had something come up and ended up not coming to church :(
It felt so good to have investigators again! We have an appointment with what we hope will be a new investigator tonight. His name is Andrew, and he is also a referral. All of a sudden all the elders around us started finding YSAs. Why is it that they can find them and we can't? Good question, but I will take it either way! Sunday we were supposed to have 2 investigators and several less actives at church, but not one showed up. It was a bummer, but next week should be better. We did have some awesome speakers though. Brother Brox, a high councilman, spoke (his daughter just came home from a mission and I just love that girl-she served with sister beu actually, but she's now at byu) and did an awesome job. He said that he was at the shoe store the other day getting some new shoes for school time and he heard a little kid say to his mom "Mom, I want the shoes with the big boy shoe laces." She said, "But you never tie your shoes, even though you know how!" He responded, "That's because there is so much important stuff to do that I don't have time!" He talked about prioritizing our lives and putting the most important things first and how when we do that we reach higher planes. He closed his talk by saying, the next time someone tells you your shoe is untied, you can remember that it's because you had too many important things to do. It was a great talk. Then the stake president spoke during 3rd hour and he spoke of faith, hope, and charity. He said Faith is taking a thing you once knew was right and doing it despite your current feelings and emotions (in relation to when we are doubting). As for hope, he said to be irrationally optimistic and don't get discouraged. Charity-act like you care, act like you love, don't just pretend, but do the actions and love will follow. "All you have to do is obey and God will give you charity." It was a good day.
Monday I was sick. I had felt nauseous the last couple days but nothing like the way I felt Monday morning. I have also been grinding my teeth lately, so we went to Target and I got a mouthguard, which I have yet to actually use, I hate having stuff in my mouth at night--it gags me. Anyway, then the Farmington elders gave me a blessing and I felt much much better. I sort of felt chastised as I was counseled to have faith in the power of the blessing and also that the Lord was preparing people in our area, and also some other areas. So, I guess I've been focusing a little too much on love and now I need to balance it out with faith. It has definitely been a transfer where faith, hope, charity, and patience have been greatly needed. Unfortunately, Sis. Stephenson also felt ill and so we stayed home all day :(
Tuesday was a hectic day and we did a lot of driving. We went out to Northfield, then met the New Prague elders to pick up some pass along cards off of one of the exits, and then drove the rest of the way to Faribault (fair-bo), somehow the exit I took and the road I was on turned into an on ramp back onto I35 S and we went 7 miles up before we reached another exit, then had to turn around. It was ridiculous. It was a busy day.
Oh, so funny story that Sis Stephenson just reminded me that happened this past week. We decided to bike all day one day last week and were out in Eastern Lakeville. We were tracting this street, and when people don't answer we slip a card in between the door and the door jam. Well, a good 30 mins after we had left the street we get a phone call, so I answer it and a woman starts to talk and says something along the lines of "Hi, your number was on this card and I just wanted to let you know that we just saw 2 girls on bikes leaving this neighborhood, was that you?" Yes. And then she started telling us that we had "finagaled" the card into her house and she had found it INSIDE her house and that the cops were on the way to her house and she was going to file a police report for trespassing and violating her rights and forcing mormonism into her house. She also said that she knew an "ex-mormon" and knew all the loop holes of our doctrine and that I would never know them because I was brainwashed. Several times I tried to talk, but not once was I able to even say "I'm sorry" before she hung up the phone. I suppose anyone with common sense would realize that when you open your door something that is held by that pressure would fall (hence the law of gravity?). So what she accused us of "finagaling" into her house really fell because she opened the door. I'm sure the cops just laughed at her, secretly anyway. So, that was an entertaining event in our past week. We actually ended up pretty sunburnt that day, it was exciting, the members we had dinner with cut off branches of their aloe plant and sent them home with us. I was grateful for it.
Something I have been wanting to do was to sit down and start writing about the definition of a Christian, and when I get home I will probably make a blog wholly centered on that. Well, as a missionary that sort of time is few and far between, but last night provided a perfect opportunity. At 10:20 we laid down to go to sleep and at 12:30 I was still awake. So, I finally sat up, turned on my lamp and started writing. It was a good start and I probably wrote for 1/2 an hour. It's just a very interesting term that people use so carelessly and without meaning. Anyway, so I think I finally fell asleep around 1:30...I wasn't too happy when the alarm went of this morning :S Hopefully this doesn't start a pattern.
Cool, it's so good to hear that everyone is doing well. I'm so proud of Austin and I can only imagine the changes going on in his life. I'm a little nervous to hear his voice... I feel like my younger siblings have done much better with their life than me, so I'm proud of them and happy for them as well. I still can't believe how old everyone is. Miranda is a freshman in my mind, Austin a 7th grader, and I think Shae will forever be 12 in my mind. Miranda will be off to school in less than a week! It's so crazy all the changes that are going on.
As for editing your papers, I'm sure Beki would still love to help you out. Just email her and ask her. We exchange cards every so often. As for Elder Chapman. The last letter I received from him was at the end of April. I'm sure he is doing well, and I take that as a sign that he is very focused on the work and I'm grateful for that. Cash--well I could always use cash. But I think I have about $100 maybe 120. We managed to get permission to go to the State Fair, which is rated #2 in the country, on Monday. It's ridiculous how quickly money goes. Just the mouthguard alone was $16 and I feel like it's all going down hill. I left my wallet in the car when we went to the LDS bookstore after the temple today (it was a good idea, I could spend TONS of money there). I'm getting tired of my shirts, and I'm sure by the end of everything I will be sick of them. I had hoped that my skirts would go beyond the mission, but the 2 that I can bike in both have grease stains from getting caught in the brakes. It just all goes to show how hard I worked. I am grateful to have the shoes I do, ugly as they are. I only really use the black ones, and on ocassion I use my gold flats. The brown shoes, well they are just too casual to wear with a skirt, but don't worry, I WILL use them after my mission. I absolutely love them. But I am pretty sure my shoes will last my whole mission and Sister Stephenson is on like her 3rd pair? It helps that I will be wearing boots for like 3 or 4 or 5 months... I guess the coldest it got in the cities last year was -37 with windchill, and we don't go inside until it hits -40. Frozen nose hairs, eyelashes, frostbite etc.... it should be a fun winter! I've been told a down coat is going to be necesarry to stay outside as much as we do...So, I'm thinking about that black coat I had kind of forgotten about when we bought a new coat... Maybe we could sell this brown one, cute as it is.
Christmas list, already!? Wow, lets see. I'm sure by that point hand/foot warmers, hot chocolate/cider, just the cash so that I might have a little bit of money when I get home? I don't know. I'll think about it and remind me in your next email. Man, sorry this is so long. I feel like so much more has happened. Tell shae to keep up the hard work with tennis! Austin and dating. Those 2 terms don't mesh well, but I heard about a kid who was just an incredible example and he would plan dates and especially ask girls who didn't get asked very often. tell him to have fun and it's ok to admit that he likes girls ;)
So, sorry if I forgot anything, I've got to write President and respond to my siblings! I love you all! I hope you are well, I pray for you daily and keep on smiling!
Love, Sister Randall