Today, since this past's week activities were remarkably similar to last's week (with a few exceptions, which I will get to in a bit) I decided that for this week's letter, I'd just make it photo-essay style. Everybody likes pictures best anyways, right? And for a stunning turn of a events, my companion and I were actually decent about taking them this week! That said, due to the fact that you can only send several pictures in an email, this letter is going to come in parts. Deal with it.
Part 1 - My Birthday! My 22nd birthday turned out to be positively fabulous. We had president interviews (which I always want to write out as "presidential interviews," but that is something different entirely) Sister Stofferahn surprised me with a Princess and the Frog card and made me avocado toast for breakfast, and then we saw BIRTHDAY MIRACLES all day long. And then, for the exciting finale, we had dinner with the Elzingas, the absolutely sweetest members ever who feed us all the time, and Sis Elzinga did some sneaking around (you forget as a missionary that though you are mostly isolated, your family is still totally alive and your mom can totally pass along recipes from Colorado to Texas with like no inconvenience whatsoever. Clever technology) and made me my favorite birthday foods.
Including peanut butter pie. Which I then sat on. But only barely. So it's all okay! It had plastic wrap on and everything, so we're all good.
Part 1.2 - the TEMPLE!
So morning we were *supposed* to go to Houston for my doctor's appointment...but then our recent convert Ron and his fiancee Trudy called us and they were going to the temple that morning and wanted to know if we could come. So we did some phone calling and finagling and instead of going to the hospital, we went the temple. Much better choice ,if you ask me.
Part 2 - the Temple (contd.) and Random Fun
Going to the temple never fails to bring me absolute JOY. I'm pretty sure I would 100% content just sitting outside the temple even, and staring at it all day long. There is no place on earth that compares with the spirit and beauty of the House of the Lord.
After Ron and Trudy (second and third from left - far left is Sister Kelley, who raised six boys and always has the most hilarious stories to share) were baptized, the temple president, President Crane, came down and spoke with them and he said something that was really powerful - he quoted Elder Callister, in saying that ordinances unlock the powers of godliness within us, and that as we continue to take part in ordinances the more and more we become like our Savior. It was so amazing to be in the temple, to get to hear that counsel, and to get to feel the spirit as Ron and Trudy took part in those sacred ordinances.
Upon returning from the temple, we got to go "blitz" the elders area, which means we all went out j-dub style to work the streets of Atascocita. There is something special about blitzing, about being able to feel the support of other missionaries and support them yourselves.
One thing about TX is that, quite often, the Halloween decorations go a little out of control. And sometimes going up to knock on someone's door is the equivalent of watching a horror movie. For this particular door, Sister Stofferahn point blank refused to go any further than the front step, and was content to stand back as I knocked on the door, which nobody answered.
Also this week we got to have a lot of wonderful opportunities to be in members homes and share messages with them. At one dinner, the seven year old girl, Clara, asked us (when we were leaving) if we were going to another dinner, because obviously that is all missionaries do is go from one meal appointment to another all day long. She also, in the middle of our conversation about family history with her parents, declared "Dad used to have hair, but now he doesn't." Hahaha, children are my favorite. This particular throne, however, is at a different members home - the Moniz's, who just happen to have a throne in their living room. Right next to a giant bowl of Reeses Cups. Because why not?
Part 3 - the Pumpkins
So today is zone pday, which means today is the pday in which all 24 missionaries in the Kingwood Zone get together and participate in some activity preplanned by the zone leaders and Sis Stoff and I. And today, it's going to be a pumpkin carving contest. Which means that in anticipation of today, somebody needed to purchase 24 pumpkins and bring them to the stake center. And for some reason, Sister Stoff and I volunteered. And thanks to both of our extensive experience with Tetris, we were able to fit all 24 pumpkins into a single shopping cart.
And then also into the back of our car. Let me tell you, as missionaries, we're used to getting weird looks. But the looks we got for carefully pushing around a cart of 24 pumpkins were of an entirely different breed. But we have them all! And our car only smells mildly weird with them all in there.
So there you have it! My week in pictures. Thank yall again so much for all your birthday wishes and for all your prayers - a special shoutout to Brittney for my birthday package (which arrived ON my birthday, double points there) and to my family, of course, for theirs - yall are the best. The biggest birthday haul this year was...general conference talks! Which made me so so happy :)
Love yall! And have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!