Dear loved ones :)
Hello!! I hope you enjoy all of the pictures. The thing that stinks is that when I upload them it only says picture 1, 2, etc. so I don't know which one that is. So I will briefly explain them and you can easily match them up. The first couple are of me having too much fun during weekly planning. I wanted to say Happy Halloween through a picture, therefore the fangs and freaky face. We also were really excited about the Magness cookies that came our way. They were very well kept. Nice job on the bubble wrap. Other pictures are of my district eating a big Tongan feast...I'll explain that in a little bit. We had to master self timer that's why we have so many tries. Other pic is of me and Elder Bednar (President Bednar back then). He was the first Stake President in the Rogers Stake. Pretty neat. The picture with the most people is the Hughes family (to the right of me) and then Sara and her kiddos to the left of me. The Hughes are AMAZING. Caps lock necessary to explain how amazing they are. A ton of people in the ward and stake always get me and Sister Hughes mixed up. People think we are sisters even though she is blonde and also I am a missionary. I don't know if I really see it, but anyways fun fact. Sara is an investigator, working towards baptism!! I have mentioned her in a few emails. She is amazing and so in tune. We taught her daughter last night too. I will get to that in a bit. Sorry for the longest paragraph ever but I figured the pictures needed some explanations. So, enjoy.
Okay so usually I come to the library all prepared with a little outline (nerdy? yes) of what I will write to you but this week has been so busy that I didn't have time for that. So, if this email seems scattered I am sorry! I think I will just go by the days of the week and tell you some highlights.
Great preparation day like always. We taught the Jones family and had dinner with them. Our investigators put themselves on the dinner calendar here. Awesome right? They are doing well, but sometimes seem just a tad stuck. We pray about how we can help them continue to progress. They weren't able to come to church Sunday, and they both missed it a lot so that's a good sign :) We also met with the Weed family. They are less active. It is a mom, her daughter and her two grandkids that live in her home. I finally met her grandson and he is the sweetest thing. He has some special needs, but has so much love. He was my little buddy. They haven't been to church in a very long time, but they are in such a right place in their lives to come back. Blessed to see this transition for them so hopefully it continues to go well.
We went to the old folks home again. They are so sweet!! They always pray for us and say the best prayers.
Met with the Kelly's again. It went great!! Still working on the 12 step program with them and working on getting them to church. We have a lot of fun with this family. Their daughter drew a picture of me and my eyebrow. Apparently they think my eyebrow is expressive as I talk and I didn't get what she was saying so she drew a picture for me that "shows" it. It is too funny. I will have to send it to you so you can see people's perception of your daughter. Good times with the Kelly's.
We went to lunch with a member of the singles branch. She is so fun! She heard the talk from conference about "just ask the missionaries" and interpreted for herself as "Just ask the missionaries to lunch!" Haha nice huh? So we were able to chat with her and possibly seeing about a mission for her. A lot of young girls in the branch are expressing wanting to go which is awesome! We are teaching a recent convert who really wants to, so we are going to start role playing with her with the PMG lessons. Should be fun.
We had District Meeting. Good times like always, nothing too exciting there. Our district is just great!
We went with Rex and Julianne to PF Changs. She wanted to treat us to a good dinner and I was really excited. We had to drive into Rogers to meet them. The restaurant is in a similar Town Square sort of set up. I was so happy to see stores again! I freaked out when I saw a Target. I am not a big shopper but it just felt like home so it was good. I also forgot how delicious their lettuce wraps were. Anyways, we had a lesson with them about the Word of Wisdom and it was amazing to hear his experiences with quitting. He is just so prepared and everytime we meet I just see more and more of God's hand in his life even before he met us and Julianne. His baptism is in 2 weeks!! We are pretty excited for that.
I am going to do a combo of these days simply because they aren't too exciting. We had a few lessons and such. We also had our MCM meeting where we coordinate with the mission leader. I always think of you dad! We have had crazy thunderstorms too. So we had a lot of cancellations on Friday because we were supposed to stay inside/people didn't want to drive. So we did a lot of planning and catching up.
Saturday was a great day. One of the companionships in our district had a wedding and a baptism. It was cool to be there for this special event for this family. We invited our investigators to come watch, and Rex decided that he really wanted to be there. Turned out he had to deal with certain errands that morning but was trying to make it. I was praying the whole time that he would make it on time. Heavenly Father definitely needed him to be there because the wedding started late, little kids kept interrupting, it took longer for the bride to change, etc. He came just in time and afterwards he said that he needed to be there. So that was awesome to have him witness a baptism.
Then we had our Tongan feast! 2 Elders in my district are tongan, so they knew what they were doing. It was really, really good. Our whole district has been feeling a tad stressed lately and so he decided to take an afternoon to relax and just eat. Nothing better! We had a lot of of fun and it was definitely needed.
That night was the craziest lightning storm!! Dad, you would've loved it. It is pretty cool to see. We did have a tornado watch too, but nothing came about.
Oh, mom we had dinner with the Hansen family. We got talking about where they grew up and they said Salt Lake. I asked what high school and she said Skyline. I was like oh yeah my parents went there. She asked what your maiden name was and freaked out. She ran off and pulled the yearbook out and was like, "yep you look like your mom." Crazy right? Her name is Teri Rodgers Hansen and her sister is Laurie Rodgers (don't know her married name). She said her sister Laurie is your age and they were in your ward. So, let me know if that rings a bell. It should due to the excitement she showed haha.
Another long, long Sunday but it was a great one. We were blessed to have 4 potential investigators there! 2 just showed up on their own, and the other 2 were brought by friends in the branch. We are meeting with them this week, so we hope it goes well. We are so grateful to be in an area where the members just open their mouth and talk to their friends about the gospel. It definitely helps the work!
We had an amazing lesson with Sara at the Hughes' home (goes with the pic). So we have been teaching Sara for a while, but she wants her children to be a part of this journey with her. So we had our first lesson with her kids last night. We taught the Restoration using a visual and it was so amazing. Her daughter is so prepared and so spiritual. I could not believe that we were teaching an 8 year old because of how in tune she was. Like mother, like daughter I guess. I just felt so blessed to be a part of that lesson and see this little girl exercise faith. She told me that she wants to go on a mission when she is 19. She is completely serious! She is saying this before she is even baptized haha. So cool.
We also had a jello slurping contest because the jello was really watery. Get some straws and try it some time. It's pretty fun.
Anyways, I feel like I just typed out a research paper. For those of you who read through this whole email without skimming, well done! It's a long one. I hope you enjoy the details though. Tomorrow and Wednesday we are headed to Sister's Conference in Tulsa. I am excited!! Sister Shumway called me and asked me to sing at it...meh. I miss singing with choirs, not so much being a soloist. But it should go well.
I am on my way right now to an art museum that is pretty popular here. It's called Crystal Bridges. We are meeting the Fayetteville sisters (one which is Sis Hanshew from Nevada)!
Well, enough rambling from me. I love you all. Thanks for your love and support. It means the world to me. I am grateful each and every day. Have a great week!! I love you!!