It was so great to be able to talk you yesterday! I guess I direct that mainly to Mom and Dad, since I didn't hear too much from any of the siblings. Hopefully next time I call you'll have more to tell me. Luckily you have a nice loong time to think of something to say....seven months, in fact. ;) It also sounds like you were able to talk to Austin, which is great! I hope things are going well for him. Does he have an accent yet? I loooved reading his email today and seeing that he's starting to forget English words...!! :D
I feel like I just told you everything yesterday and so now I don't have much to say. Hmm.
This week involved:
a. A kid dealing drugs IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR LESSON. Yup. It happened. And naive little me, I had no idea that that's what was going down until afterwards when Sis Gordon mentioned it. I just thought the kid was super popular.
b. Getting swarmed by homeless people at Checker's trying to get us to give them money and buy them food. Not gonna lie, it was kind of scary. Basically we just ran away.
c. Continuing to do things that have never been done before in Nova! We are working hard and having great key indicators and setting new records for Nova. We had the 2nd highest amount of member present lessons this week in the mission! Woot! We were beat out only by the illustrious Elder Pond. God has definitely been smiling on us lately and helping us out, and I consider our success this week quite the feat. Last week in sacrament meeting, one of the girls in the branch said, "I think God smiles when he thinks about the little Nova branch." It's so true! He definitely does. Nova is the greatest. Unfortunately we haven't baptized in a month...all of our baptismal plans keep falling through. But this week is going to be a week of miracles! We are stepping up our faith and we are definitely going to see amazing results by week's end.
d. Third and fourth wheelin' it on a date Friday night. We were taking out a member teaching with us...and she surprised us by bringing one of the guys from the branch as well. So here we are, having a Friday night teaching date. And actually, it was super awesome. We taught some sweet lessons and they were both really great. I'll hang out on their Friday night dates any week. ;)
e. Meeting some really cool people! We started teaching a girl this week who is just AWESOME and so full of energy and life. She gave us some hippie seashell necklaces during our first lesson with her! She's super cool. I'm wearing mine right now.
f. A fantastic zone conference! Ah, missionary conferences are the greatest. This one was so spirit-filled and just absolutely incredible. I learned a lot, I cried a bit, and I left ready to go take on the world.
Yesterday we had a lesson in relief society that really made me reflect on things. It was about letting God search our hearts to see if they truly are right before Him. I thought it was very applicable to me as a missionary. As a representative of Jesus Christ, my actions should obviously reflect Him. But what about my thoughts? What about my motives? Do all of my thoughts reflect Him as well? Do I do things out of love or out of a different desire, such as selfishness? As a missionary I am still very far from perfect, even though in general I'm a lot better than I used to be. I can attest to the fact that not all of my thoughts are particularly Christlike and sometimes I don't do things for the right reasons.
The lesson was centered on teachings from President Lorenzo Snow, who quotes one of the Psalms of David where David asks the Lord to search his heart and to find anything wicked that might be there. That is not an easy thing to do; to ask the Lord to look into our hearts and tell us what needs to be changed! But I definitely think it is a worthwhile pursuit and I would challenge all of you to do that. Pray and ask to know what in your heart needs to be changed so that it can be right before the Lord.
Love you all!