First of all, this past week we had the Proselyting Department visit the mission! Which meant thatnight several companionships were selected to go on splits with mission leadership or members of the proselyting department. And Sister Stofferahn and I got to have Sister Drake out with us! And it was just such a special opportunity to get to feel of her spirit and talk with her about the work. I am so grateful that I got to have two mission presidents on my mission. When I first found out the Crawfords would be leaving partway through I was super upset, but since the Drakes have been here I just love them so much and am so glad I have gotten to serve as long as I have with each of them. The second part of the proselyting department's visit was our Leadership Training that took place morning. Brothers Hemingway and Tanner were the speakers, and I just blown away by their knowledge of the gospel. People really could just throw any question out there and they would have an answer. A few of the highlights of the training were:
- a discussion on the importance of planning - Brother Tanner said that planning is the key to intertwining the work on the other side of the veil with our own work. And while that is definitely true of and easy to see in missionary work, it also applies for any other phase of life. After all, in this life one of the greatest challenges but also blessings is to submit ourselves to the will of the Lord - and he of course has plenty of work going on on the other side of the veil in an effort to help us reach our greatest potential. But then we also have our own life-track. And through spiritual goal setting and planning for our lives, that is how we can truly bring our will into correspondence with the Father's and make the "my plan" track and "His plan" track just one track.
- a discussion on the power of prayer - especially specific prayers. There was a quote I read a little while ago (and sorry but I can't remember who said it) that said something to the effect of too often our prayers are just directing God around and telling him to go here and there and bless this person and that person - when in reality our prayers should be more about asking God about what He wants *us* to do.
- this President Hinckley quote: (in discussing the safety of missionaries and the people we work with) "The police can't find them, the CIA can't find them, the FBI can't find them, but our missionaries find them every day!"
- this statement: "missionary work is an act of faith." True that.
Another hightlight of the week was the opportunity we had to help in the Thanksgiving meal charity project called Seasons of Sharing. So Sister Stofferahn and I recently started volunteering at a local food pantry called HAAM (Humble Area Assistance Ministries) and several weeks ago I overheard a discussion on their Thanksgiving event in which Thanksgiving meals are put together and distributed to those in need. And since we as missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ are always looking for opportunities to serve, we volunteered the service of 18 missionaries to help out. So this pastthe Kingwood and Atascocita districts came together and for four hours helped sort food and package meals and carry them out to cars. And it seriously was one of the most fun experiences I've had my whole mission. And it was my favorite thing to just look around the room and see all our missionaries working so hard - we had elders carrying bags of food out to cars in the soaking rain, we had sisters sorting cans, elders putting bags together - we just had missionaries serving with all their heart might mind and strength, and it was incredible to witness. The joys that come when you are simply serving cannot be felt in any other way, and especially in this Thanksgiving season I am so grateful for the opportunity I've been given to serve as many of my Heavenly Father's children as I can, in whatever way I can!
And then of course, we had Robin's baptism yesterday. Over the course of the week we have taught her all of the lessons over the phone - and there were definitely some perks to teaching phone lessons! You can have all your notes and scriptures in front of you for whenever you need them, and in that moment where you can't remember a scripture, your gator doesn't see the look of panic on your face as you flip madly through the Old Testament to find that obscure reference to the Melchizadek Priesthood. And seriously, in teaching Robin I used more obscure scripture references that have been tucked away in the back of my head than I have for anyone else I've taught on my mission. She is so incredibly knowledgeable about the gospel of Christ, and is so excited for everything that awaits her on the covenant path. Sister Stofferahn and I just love her so much - she is our miracle story, and our entire experience with her does nothing but cement my testimony more and more. She is a witness of the principle that God is preparing people, she is a witness of the prophets' promises that members are the key to missionary work, and she is a witness of the power of Spirit to confirm truth.
I hope yall have an amazing Thanksgiving. This is such a special time of year to be disciples of Christ and to be living and sharing his gospel. Enjoy your pie, say a prayer or two of thanks, and be sure to tell God how much you love Him.
Seasons of Sharing!
The freezer crew, bagging grapefruits in freezing temperatures - Elders Knebel and Martinez, me and Stoff
Stoff, me, Robin, Sister Lopez, Bro Herrara, Sis Herrara
T.H.E. pride :) sis turpin, sis stoff, president and sister drake, me, sistah crump, with elders knebel and huff in the front