It's definitely been a week.
Last Monday we had a zone activity--we played lots of kickball and then some broom hockey. I schooled in that naturally, but most of the zone wasn't feeling it--plus they were breaking their brooms and cutting their hands, so the game was cut short. Still, just the chance to play something close to hockey did this Sister much good. This has got to be the BEST ZONE ever. I'm continually amazed by all of them. Along with being incredibly powerful champions for the Lord, they are some good athletes. We have way too much fun together. At the end of the activity, we knelt and prayed to thank Heavenly Father for the people who made the baptismal covenant last month and to help us and those preparing to be baptized in May. We then received instruction to be in our apartments due to the storms on their way.
It was a good night to get to know Sister Wells better, talk about the work, and watch The Testaments. The tornado sirens went off a few times, and the weather radio and phone were going off like crazy when it got close to us. We got instruction to get in our lower bathroom with our bike helmets on. Fun times sleeping a few inches away from the toilet for a few hours. The next day, we had a mission wide conference call and heard of President Hanks' birthday experience with the missionaries in Tupelo. Thankfully God protected His missionaries. We were to be in by giving us little time to work and lots of time in our apartment. I don't mind it. I always find work to do or things to study.
It was great to get back to work and find more prepared people! Debra accepted a soft invitaiton to be baptized in the first lesson we had with her. I had to knock her door--she had cactus in her front yard!!! I knew it was a sign. She offered to give me a piece so I could plant it, but of course I couldn't do that. We met other people in her neighborhood including a man who had met with missionaries, but had some points he disagreed with the doctrine. We asked if he read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. Nope. He committed to read and pray and visit our church.
Remember the family I met on splits with SIster Green in the mall? They rock! We taught them the first lesson and they had lots of questions. It was great. They are super nerdy, but love to study and think things out. They also committed to read the Book of Mormon and want to cook for us this week.
We were able to make contact with several less active families who missionaries haven't been able to see for a very long time. A few of the families said their kids want to come back, so they probably will. It's great to see families coming back. We had a good turnout yesterday at church--probably partially due to the sustaining of a new bishop. Bishop Magonigal is headed out to Korea for a year while his family stays here. Tough time for them, but he bore beautiful testimony on trusting the Lord and His plan for us. We can trust Him.
One of the young men organized a blood drive for part of his Eagle Scout project and President said he couldn't see anything wrong with missionaries giving blood. The rest of the missionaries in my district were pansies, but I happily donated alongside our good neighbor Mr. Harold right before our last district meeting of the transfer. I am still so amazed and inspired by every single missionary in my district. It was bittersweet. Our district leader goes home at the end of this transfer and this was very last district meeting. All of the Elders were crying. He has made a big impact on so many people in this mission. It's amazing to see. Every missionary in my district is incredible, but I can normally pinpoint the trait that impresses me about them, with our district leader, it's every Christlike attribute. He's a true example of what kind of person a missionary should be at the end of their mission. We're all growing in the Lord. We would be completely helpless without Him, but with Him, He changes us. He sacrificed everything for us. I used to think that serving a mission was just giving up my personal life for 18 months, but it's so much more than that. We don't go home to same lives we left. We have to give everything we have and are to the Lord. As we give of ourselves, the Lord fills the gap with miracles.
I love that the Lord can change us. Sister Wells and I dealt with some frustrating things this past week (not between us). Last night as I was reflecting on it, I was discouraged and flustered and slept little. This morning I promised the Lord that despite it being our preparation day and having appointments in the evening, Sister Wells and I won't go in tonight until we have invited 10 new people to be taught the restored gospel. In order to realize that goal, I have to be happy and cheerful to muster up the courage to talk to people (I guess it gets a little easier, but it's never easy). The Lord helped me and my personal study helped to buoy my spirits and faith. I told Sister Wells in our comp study this morning that I want to be a missionary forever. It's a sweet experience.