Hello, hello!! :)
Once again, thanks for the love this week via emails and letters and packages. I say this all the time, but I am a spoiled missionary. I am grateful each day for the support I receive so thank you, thank you!
How was your week? It sounds like all is well. Thanks for the BYU update. Luckily I am surrounded by enough BYU fans, so they can sneak in an update every once in a while. At least they didn't flounder. I don't hear much about the Utes and Rebels out here. Should I just not ask how they are doing with football? Maybe I will just ask you once basketball season comes around... :)
Anyways, I hope you are loving fall. It is BEAUTIFUL here (once again, caps lock necessary). The fall colors are amazing. We really miss out on that being in the desert. I still need to get a picture for you, but I don't think I can capture it. Just google fall leaves and then that is probably what it looks like. It really is so nice here. The weather has been up and down. One day it is freezing, then it is warm, then tornado warnings, then sunshine. It always changes. Kind of exciting, but kind of not. I hope you are getting excited for Halloween! Any plans? Our trunk or treat is next week and I am excited. I don't have plans except being a missionary. Maybe my companion and I can switch name tags so I can be her for Halloween.
So this has been a good week with ups and downs as usual. On Tuesday we left for Sisters' Conference in Tulsa. President Shumway picked up all the sisters in Arkansas. So there were 6 of us with him on our little road trip. It was so fun to see Sister Hanshew again and get to know the other sisters. When we got there we ate a delicious lunch and then went to a service project at the food bank. We all got mormon helping hands shirts...I have always wanted one. My dream came true! I even get to keep it haha. Anyways, we packaged pasta. Sounds boring but it was actually pretty interesting. They said Oklahoma is ranked the 4th state in the country with the most that go hungry. Did that make sense? You get what I am trying to say. But yeah, it was cool to help out. The director was really interested in what we do and she asked us a lot of questions. I got to wear a sweet hair net too.
After that we went back to the mission home and had dinner/prepared for the fireside. Sister Shumway and I practiced the song she wanted me to sing too. I saw the song once before I actually sang it haha. Her schedule was a tad busy, but it turned out! I sang "Come Unto Jesus." We had all the sisters sing a few verses with me too, so that was nice for me. Then we just had instruction from President and Sister Shumway which was amazing as always. These kind of meetings are necessary on the mission. They help you stay motivated and help you recognize that you can keep going!
He talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. He emphasized Mormon chapter 8 and how he mentions multiple times that his father had died, and that he remained alone. He was very hopeless, but did not quit because he knew what his mission was. I gained a greater appreciation for Moroni. For the sacrifice he gave and the grief he must have felt, but he just kept going. President Shumway focuses on the Book of Mormon in all of his instruction and challenges us to use it in every single lesson whether with investigators, members, less actives, etc.
He also said how much he loves us. He explained how we will never know the soft spot a dad has in his heart for his daughters. He said we are all his daughters now. I thought of my Heavenly Father and you too dad. It was a really cool evening.
The next morning we had more great instruction from the Shumway's, stake leaders, and some elders. Then we came back for a nice meal and had to part ways. It was really fun being with all of the sisters because we don't see each other that often. Transfer calls are this Saturday so while we were there I was scoping out who my next companion could be haha. I am pretty sure I will stay in Bella Vista. Sister Knutson leaves for home next Thursday!! So crazy. Anyways, after the conference Sister Shumway drove all of us back to Arkansas. It was fun to be able to just chat with her. We stopped at a gas station and witnessed her awesome missionary schools. She was just sharing the gospel all over the place...such a good example.
Well, the rest of the week has been a little rough. I have been really sick and unfortunately spread it to my poor companion. But we have wonderful members and a lot of Vitamin C so we are on the mend. It is definitely hard finding a balance of resting but still getting work done. We still managed to get quite a few lessons in with the conference and being sick. I think the highlight of the week would be our lessons with Rex and Julianne. They are just the best!! He is set for baptism this Saturday and we are so excited. He is ready and it is evident. It is neat because Sister Knutson and I have been the ones to teach him the whole time. That doesn't happen a whole lot because of transfers and everything. I am glad this is happening before she leaves.
This morning one of our progressing investigators dropped us. It was a bummer, like always, but then right after that happened this guy just came up to us and started asking us all these questions. We were at Chick Fil A with our whole district and he talked with all of us for about an hour about the gospel. He is young single adult age and so we told him about the branch and everything. We got his number and were able to give him a Book of Mormon. It is amazing to see the miracles God gives us. Right after we were bummed about being dropped, then we see someone who is interested. Very blessed.
So random but before I go I have to tell you a cool thing we did with our ward mission leader's family! The mom ordered lanterns on ebay just like in Tangled. We lit them on Saturday night over one of the lakes here in Bella Vista. We got to let them fly off and watch them in the sky. It was so cool. Totally doing that when I get home, so put it on your calendar in a year :)
Well, that is my week in a nutshell. This week will be great like always, hopefully with a few less tissues and medicine involved. I am really trying to learn as much as I can about the area before Sister K leaves, so hopefully that goes well. I can't belive another transfer is almost up!
I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week and know that I love you and am praying for you always!!
Love from AR,
P.S. For those who have written me and haven't gotten a letter in a few weeks...know that I love you and have you on a list ready to write :) my pdays have just been very busy, but I haven't forgotten about you!!! Thanks for the love!
The first one is of me and the Evans family. They are just amazing.
The rest are from Sisters' Conference in Tulsa. A few with Sister Hanshew...others with Sister Meredith who was my companion in the MTC! Also with Sister Pulu, Sister Cook.
Then I have a picture of just a freaky face, but I thought it was fun.
Then a picture with the Shumway's daughter whom I love!!
Then last but not least, a picture with Sister Shumway.