Friday, July 5, 2013

Letter #37: balance in all things

Alrighty friends and fam...I'm still loving life, every wild and overwhelming second of it! 
This week I FINALLY got to attend MLC (Mission Leadership Council) for the first time! It used to be called ZLC, since it was only for zone leaders, but now it's also us sister training leaders. YESSSS! It was super awesome and we got to eat Sister Anderson's amazing cooking, which was definitely a highlight of my life. I also had 2 back-to-back exchanges out of my area, which was definitely exhausting but also super great. I got to go back up to Stuart North and it was so weird to be back in my old area and my old apartment. I ran into a couple of people I knew, including a visit to see Stella, one of the people I've met on my mission who I just love with my whole heart.

I also got my hair cut by one of the awesome sisters that I went on exchange with this week. It's super short again and it is treating me goood. I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to long hair again!

This week I have been studying a lot about the principle of accountability and I am realizing just how much I love accountability! It's not something I ever thought about much before my mission, but now I'm realizing that it truly is an eternal principle and has been practiced even from the creation of the earth. I'm discovering just how important it is to our spiritual progression as well! Because of that, I'm really trying to receive inspiration on how I can better account with my sisters so that I am helping them to progress and learn for themselves rather than just relying on me for answers.

I'm going to be emails might be less exciting nowadays. Since I now have to account to President in my emails not only about my own area but also about each of our sister companionships and the exchanges I went on, I have less time (and attention span) to write you. Sorry! So that probs means I'll just be copy-pasting a lot from my email to him and sending it to you. Aka more spiritual and less wild. But maybe that's how it should be anyways. :)

On my exchange to Stuart this week, Sister Happy and I talked a lot about choosing faith rather than choosing fear. She pointed out that sometimes it is hard to choose faith for a long period of time, but together we came to recognize that it is easy to say, "But I can choose faith for this one lesson" or "for this one harvest blessing." So, I committed her to constantly be choosing faith; before she goes into a lesson, to consciously make the decision to choose faith rather than fear. We had a powerful experience before going to teach a Law of Chastity lesson. She took a couple moments before we went in as she turned her fear over to the Lord and truly chose faith. And then bam! We went in and had an awesome lesson, the best one that she had taught all day. And the amazing thing was that she taught it, rather than relying on me to take the lead. She was able to recognize how powerful it can be to just choose faith and she was really excited to continue doing that after the exchange. One of the best moments of the exchange was at the end of the day when we were heading in to our apartment. She said, "My face hurts!" I asked why, and she replied, "Because I haven't smiled this much in a long time!" Elder Pond also told me that the next day at correlation she was happy and smiling; he pointed out that it was the first time he'd truly seen her smile. I am so humbled to be able to be a part of these amazing miracles and to truly inspire and elevate these awesome sisters. One of the most amazing miracles happened yesterday...Sister Happy just emailed me about it! She said that on Sunday, she was really focusing on having more love and happiness and because of it, they saw a huge miracle...Destiny's dad finally gave permission for her to be baptized!! Destiny is one of my old investigators who has been investigating the church for years and her dad wouldn't let her get baptized. Anyways, what a miracle! I am so happy for them and for the results that they are already seeing!

Sister Stegelmeier and I are still working on finding the balance between taking care of our area and our sisters. This week, we definitely invested more time in our sisters and because of that, our area struggled a bit. We have repented and are excited for this week because we know we are going to do a much better job with balance and prioritizing. One miracle we saw this week was Pyaco, a new investigator from Micronesia! He met the Riverside Park sisters and they blessed him and invited him to church. We called him up on Saturday and he said he planned on coming and that he would probably take the bus. On Sunday morning he called us and asked for directions, because he was on his way WALKING to church! He is so amazing. He doesn't speak a lot of English, but he felt the Spirit during the harvest blessing and wanted to come to church so badly to feel that again that he was going to walk there. Unfortunately it would have taken him about an hour and a half to get there....but luckily one of our members was willing to go and pick him up. :) So Pyaco came to church yesterday and told us again how good he felt. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted without hesitation! Definitely a miracle from our Father in Heaven. (Now we just need to see if we can find a Book of Mormon in his language...Chuuk...?)

Yup, it's been a wild time. I love it so much. And we are both SO impressed with our sisters! This weekend, they again held their own in baptizing. In 2 weeks, they were able to double the number of people from May that they were able to help come unto Christ through baptism! YEAHH SISTERS! They are so amazing!

In other news, apparently if the fire alarm goes off in the church the fire department has to come and turn it off and it costs $500.....

It's a long story, so I won't go into detail. But I just wanted to point out that even though we were right in the middle of the kitchen with fresh brownies in hand when the alarm went off, it was not us. It was definitely the lady next to us and her terrible burnt cookies. Somehow she escaped with her incriminating evidence quicker than we could. As Aaron Eckhart would say, "Wrong place, wrong place." (hahaha. that was for candy.)

Also I guess we got caught in a tropical storm this week. I did think it looked like a lot more rain than usual...didn't find out until today that it was actually a tropical storm. I made up a lovely little song all about it on Sis Steg's voice recorder called "What Wild Lives We Lead" and you can hear the rain pelting down on the car in the background.

Sister Dougal

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