We had a wonderful week and to top if off we had an incredible Ward Conference yesterday! Ward council was such a spiritual experience. Seriously this ward is so great! Ward Conference was all about reaching out in service and love to those around us. It was one of those meetings where everything that was shared seemed to be exactly what I needed(:
What We've Been Up To:
We are so excited to be teaching Mariah, she is such a sweetheart! She is the 12 year-old grand daughter of a less active in the ward. She went to girls camp earlier this summer and after that started coming to church and meeting with us! We had a great lesson with her where we taught the Plan of Salvation and testified about what it meant for us and our families while showing a picture of our family. It was fun for her to see what our families look like and ask about each of you - I am grateful we can be together for eternity! We had some solid lessons with our investigator Ashley this week as well. She wasn't able to make it to church yesterday though so we're super bummed): We met a couple cute young Moms as we were out finding - we are looking forward to return appointments with them this week. One of the GB1 Elder's investigators got baptized this week, he is 13 and his name is Sonny. He's been studying with them since I got here so it has been fun to watch him progress. Sonny is so great, it was a super happy day for them all(: Then last night we had a sweet lesson with Jamie, Angie, the Mills, and Sister Yang. Sister Yang (a semi-recently returned less active Hmong sister) is one of Jamie's visiting teachers and she taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ new member lesson! Having the visiting teachers involved in/teaching the new member lessons has been so nice! It is much better than us teaching them, it really unites the ward members and recent converts!
Oh another thing we did this week was drive 4 hours up to Marquette to blitz! It was a long drive, but we got there in one piece and made it back okay too! On the way we stopped at a little cheese shop and got cheap UP shirts - they are great, I'll have to take a picture and send it later! It was great to spend time with Sister Payne and Sister Twitchell. It was fun to realize we were all at different points in our missions - Sister Twitchell 1/4 of the way Sister Payne 1/2 way, I'm about 3/4 of the way, and then Sister Elkington about to go home. We talked and shared experiences together, love those sisters! Then the next day while in downtown Marquette, Sister Twitchell and I met this cute non-member couple who have a nephew currently serving a mission. We chatted with them and asked if they liked reading his weekly emails. They commented about how his emails seemed 'too happy' like everything about missionary work was sunshine and wildflowers all the time. They said it was hard to relate to because in real life we have ups and downs, sometimes we struggle. Now I'm sure this dear Elder has had plenty of struggles and that he is good about writing home and sharing the good experiences, but I wanted to let you all know if I haven't already, missions are tough! It's a lot of hard work. There is disappointment, rejection, fear. BUT it is soo worth it! Sister Twitchell and I were able to talk together about the different ups and downs we've had and the stretching we've undergone. It is so incredible how these experiences mold us and help us become who Heavenly Father knows we can and wants us to become. I am so grateful to be a missionary through the ups and downs!
Grateful for Green Bay:
Words cannot even express how incredibly grateful I am to be serving here in Green Bay! It has been such a blessing to work in this area - there are great places to talk to families, a good number of the people we tract into are kind enough to talk with us, we can refer Spanish and Hmong speakers to the local Elders, I have an incredibly diligent and hard working companion, the members are willing to have us in their homes and want to do missionary work, the ward does a good job of fellowshipping, many of the Relief Society ladies are willing to come to lessons with us, our ward mission leader is trying hard to learn and fulfill his calling, we have a fabulous ward council, the Bishopric is genuinely concerned about the needs of individual ward members, the Stake Presidency has an awesome vision for missionary work, etc., etc., etc. This area has all the tools to have BOOMING missionary work go on and I sometimes feel discouraged that my own inadequacies, shortcomings, and struggles slow things down. As I go on exchanges with the Sisters and see some dysfunctional situations I wonder why Heavenly Father has blessed me so much to be serving here in Green Bay 2. I just hope I can serve in the way He wants me to and be a part of fulfilling Elder Martino's statement that GREEN BAY IS GOING TO GROW! I want to have the type of faith that Preach My Gospel talks about - faith to make good things happen in my own life and in the lives of others, but I feel pretty helpless on my own. That's when I'm reminded it goes back to developing stronger faith in the Savior. The Atonement study we're doing as a mission is really helping me with that. I am grateful for the enabling power, for the lifting I feel when I turn to Christ. I know He lives!
Last thing real quick, the Peckham family from Wisconsin Rapids drove up to Green Bay yesterday to attend Sacrament meeting with Sister Elkington and I! It was so fun to see them again after so long! We visited and had fun catching up - love them!
Glad you got to go to Sister Pope's Homecoming as a family, isn't she great?! Also glad to hear everything went well for moving Zach out, can't believe he's starting college! Love and miss you!
|The Peckham's came to visit!|
|I will definitely use caution!!!|