So where do I even start? I don't know. Probably from the very beginning. : )
Well I had my first exchange this week! Sister Pfister (best name ever, right?) came out with me and because neither of us can drive (I haven't taken the competency test or whatever it is yet) we got to bike! And it was the perfect day to do so, too, because it was so nice out. It's been a little rainy and it's starting to cool off. So off we went on our bikes! We met some amazing people, and I learned so much from her. It's so nice to switch companions for a day just because you get to learn a lot more. Some of the things I learned from her:
-She talks to everyone.
-She listens to the Spirit for everything. I've learned that inspiration can come a lot from meaningful study, so I know she must be good at that, but she is also so positive all the time! And not in a creepy-fake kinda way, but she is legitimately so happy. I think part of this is...
-She is never EVER sarcastic. Not in an "I'm-stuck-up-and-boring" sorta way, but in an "I'm never going to put anyone down, including myself, even in joking" sorta way. It says that in the FSOY, and it also says in the white handbook to not be sarcastic. It was another reminder that we are ALWAYS representatives of Jesus Christ, even when no one is looking. So I'm going to work on not being sarcastic or negative about anything, even about myself. When you're complaining, the Spirit can't teach you!
|Sister Clark on her bicycle in Norman, OK|
There was a lot more I learned from her too, but those were the big things. I feel like I'm a better missionary because of the transfer. (Also I have a sore bum from riding my bike - it's awesome!)
Oh man, there's so much. I'm just gonna have to list some things off.
Last week, and I forgot this in the last email: We were trying to meet all our less-active members so we could help them and invite them to church and stuff. So we go to this one house, asking for a sister. A man comes to the door, and says "She passed away in February. She battled cancer for 4 years." Awkward. Then Sister Leavitt was like, "Oh, we're so sorry. Are you her brother, father...?" GAHH "Honey, I'm her HUSBAND." He looked disgusted. It was awful. So we left a card with our number on it and left. So bad.
Another time, we were in an apartment complex meeting with a few people and there were these two little boys playing pretend football (football is HUGE here, seriously everyone's obsessed) and Sister Leavitt was like "Hey, do you guys want a picture of Jesus?" They thought about it for a sec, and then said, "Mm, nahh." "What about a COOL TEMPLE?" "A TEMPLE?? COOL!" "Yeah! Tell your parents to go to the website!" They thought the SLC temple was the coolest thing ever. And I definitely thought we were being creeps. But who knows, my companion is inspired. Maybe they'll get baptized.....
So guess who spontaneously showed up at church yesterday? MEHRI AND NEVAEH AND KAMLEAH. :) It was so awesome! Mehri called us (we were a little late getting to church, we usually get there 20-ish minutes early but yesterday we were only 10) and was like, "where are you?" "Are you at church??" "Yeah-" "We're almost there we'll come sit by you!!" And then we hung up and we both SCREAMED, WE WERE SO EXCITED! Seriously! The Elders have been trying to get her to come to church and we have too, for awhile, and she was like, "I told you I'm spontaneous, my kids asked if we could go this morning and I was like, 'Okay!'" And It made us so happy. We haven't talked to her about it yet, but she asked several questions and seemed to especially enjoy Gospel Principles. MIRACLES HAPPEN, PEOPLE.
So one of my favorite things about Norman is the train. It goes right through the middle of the city and it crosses a lot of roads and it's SO LOUD! It's awesome: it reminds me of Bluffdale and makes me happy! :)
The theme of this week for me has been lots of little reminders that I am always a representative of Jesus Christ. There was a baptism yesterday for the Noble Sisters and we were able to attend that - and it was another reminder that we all promised to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and try to be like Him in all that we do. I hope you can remember that! It's a blessing AND a responsibility.
Oh, and at the baptism, there was totally a dramatic pianist. It was awesome. I was the only one who appreciated the humor in it I think, but we were singing "I am a Child of God" she was up and down that piano, dramatic bass and fingery treble, and I just about died.
We also met a real-life basher this week. Sister Pfister and I were just in the area, and I'd forgotten about a house that the Elders had warned us against on the very first day. Oops. We were waiting to be picked up by the Elders for our dinner appt and decided to knock at a few houses. The first one we picked was the not so great one.... He was very interesting. He mentioned that he's been through ten sets of missionaries and that "None of them seem to be able to answer my questions and they never come back." Sister Pfister mentioned that it was unusual because missionaries are pretty persistent... and then we thought "This must be for a reason... hmmm...." and when the Elders showed up, Elder Winterton was pretty straight up with him. We had asked him a question about what exactly contradicted the bible in the book of Mormon, and he mentioned a couple things. Elder Winterton whipped out a scripture and told him straight up what he was saying was false, and we left. I was shocked! He was so straight forward! But we found out after we got in the car that Elder Winterton had dealt plenty with this guy and wasn't about to take anything he said. Oh, bashers. So we won't be going back. I guess we're set number eleven?? :)
We have an amazing new investigator! Her name is Amanda and I'm so excited to teach her again. She is so ready and willing to listen and I know that she has her heart open. It was a miracle that she came to us - because of the members in our ward. She's a friend of one of the sisters here, and because this sister listened to the spirit and invited Amanda to take the missionary lessons, Amanda can take part in this amazing gospel. Member missionary work is so very important. It's through the friends and acquaintances of the members that people become ready to teach.
So we were on the phone with the Elders last night; we were giving them our Key Indicators for the week. The first thing they said to us was "Ya'll have been so emotional this week..." and we were like NO WE HAVEN'T!!! But really... we have been... we even had a major cry fest last night (it was a good one!) We were watching some videos for my training and thinking about all of our investigators and how they're going to go on missions and go through the temple and we just kept bawling and laughing. It was ridiculous. "I love" -gasp- "m-mihihishonary"-gasp-"worrkkkkk!!!" Basically like that. Poor Elders.
On that note, I had a dream the other night that I had to go home early. I was with all the people I love - my friends and family, and in my favorite place in the world (the log home). It was strange because I should have been so happy. It was a wonderful situation. But I was so frustrated and unhappy! Every one was giving me hugs and looking at me with smiling, sad faces and watery eyes, and saying, "It's okay. You still served. It's okay." And I wanted to scream! "NO IT'S NOT OKAY I NEED TO BE IN OKLAHOMA! I'M A MISSIONARY AND I NEED TO BE ON MY MISSION!" Moral of the story is, even after a rough week last week, there is no place in the world that I'd rather be! This work is the most important work in the world right now, and I am SO HAPPY. I've never been this happy in my whole life. And I know that even though it seems impossible sometimes, the Lord knows what He's doing.
So it's been a long, emotional week, but it's been so wonderful. We met so many wonderful people and planted lots of seeds. :) I'm sorry this email is all over the place, but there is just so much!
Oh I totally forgot! We had a "Veteran's Meeting" - a meeting for all the newbies and their trainers. I got to see Sister Richins and Sister Stokes and I was SOO HAPPY! Seriously, I was tearing up about that too! (like I said, emotional). But they're both doing really well! We all made each other laugh good and hard (which all of us needed), and shared some of our experiences that we'd had in the first three weeks. Sister Richins definitely had a run-in with BED BUGS! So awful, I do not envy her. :( We talked to our MTC Elders too and they seemed to be doing well! I can tell they've all grown up a little, just in these past 3 weeks. It's weird that the time flies by so fast but that it felt like months since I'd seen them. Oh, and Elder Burdette is teaching a crazy lady who lives in a bus! AWESOME. I'm way jealous.
Something else to note - I see Logan Fee GAAAHHHH; I MEAN ELDER FEE (kinda weird) every once in awhile, and I always feel a little awkward around him because I can't help but think, "Oh, man, he knew me in Junior High. Oh my heck, Jazz Band, I was so psycho. Oh man, elementary school, too. I was so obnoxious." And I just want to cover my face and shake my head. And I'm pretty sure he looks at me and thinks, "Oh my heck, she was so psycho." But it's fine. :D
Last thing, I'm so sorry this is so long, but Conference is coming up and it's seriously like CHRISTMAS FOR MISSIONARIES. I'm so excited I can't sleep sometimes when I'm thinking about it. And, rumor has it, there's going to be another big missionary announcement! Apparently, according to the Institute director, lots of missionaries have sent him messages saying that when apostles are coming and speaking to them, they've mentioned that there's going to be an announcement and they can't say what it is, but that they should be excited! So I'm freaking out a little bit. Conference is right after transfers, but I'm basically certain Sister Leavitt and I will still be companions. So it's all good.
THE CHURCH IS TRUE. Go to the temple. Share your testimony. And just love and love and love and love everyone.
Also, I feel impressed to share with everyone lately that you need to read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." It's important. And it's true.
I love you all so much and I want you all to go on missions because it's the best thing in the world!