Wow! It sounds like you all had a crazy week! You guys need to start sending me pictures so I can see how life is!
Well, to be 100% honest, this week was so exhausting and a lot happened that I honestly don't really remember what happened. That happens a lot on your mission. You kind of lose parts of your memory and sometimes your brain just flat lines and you can't think at all. Haha. It's really sad but I think that's because we are working really hard.
Monday we went to the arch to play soccer and it was great. I really, really miss playing soccer. Sister Fisher played all growing up and on teams and stuff so she is super good. She and I kicked butts as the only sisters playing with like 35 elders. Sister Hobbs (my good friend from the MTC) was there with her companion but they didn't play. They just kinda stood in the middle of the field. Haha. The arch is huge and because of the stupid government we couldn't go inside of it. Like seriously....what is wrong with our country right now? Whatever....I'm not gonna stress about it cause I am on a mission. :)
This Monday and Tuesday we had exchanges. They used to not have exchanges for sister missionaries, I guess, because they used to not have leaders for them. But, now with the new age change we have sister training leaders (STL) which are zone leaders but for the sisters. However, the STLs are over three zones instead of just one! The STLs cam Monday night and we pulled out an extra mattress and we all slept on them on the floor except Sister Fisher who slept on our little couch chair thing. (She is so giving.) The next day I went with Sister Ash and Sister Fisher went with Sister Errington. It was way fun. I learned a lot. It was really stressful and I was really nervous but we just had a blast. It was weird because I had to take charge of things and I didn't really know what I was doing but that's okay. I tried and I had fun with it. Then they gave us some training and did personal interviews and then they left. So I think what I learned from that is I do not want to be a STL. Man, they have so much work to do. They have to deal with girl drama all the time. I would die....haha. Ya they have a hard job and I really respect what they do.
So pretty much everday this week we had everything all planned out and the day would just explode into crazy unorganized nonsense. This week was rough. We had a lot of appointments fall through and a lot of emergency visits to keep less actives from walking off the deep end. It was just crazy emotions all day everyday.
|Our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Errington and Sister Ash|
|Putting up the map of our assigned area that we finally received|
Linda Shumaker is our newest and most progressive investigator. I seriously love her to death. We saw her on Thursday and on Thursday almost every other appointment fell through but our lesson with her was amazing. I think I felt the Spirit the strongest in this lesson than I have felt it on my mission. She is 50-60 years old and her brother who is LDS referred her through church headquarters. We have had one lesson with her so this was our second. We got there and were talking and she asked us if we had had lunch yet. We said no and she said "Oh my goodness, let me feed you." Of course, we aren't going to refuse a home cooked meal. Oh my lanta, it was the greatest meal of my life. She had her own recipe of beef stew which was so good and warm rolls and then she made blondie pumpkin brownies. You know...similar to blondie brownies with white chocolate? It was like that but white chocolate chips with pumpkin and caramel injected into them. It was the greatest thing ever and she gave us chocolate pie and she gave us spaghetti and her homemade sauce to cook at home. She is the most giving person ever. We taught her the first part of lesson two which is the Plan of Salvation. We taught her about pre-earth life, the creation, and kinda skimmed over Adam and Eve because she knows the Bible really well. Then we talked about life here on earth and we explained to her that God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost are separate beings. Stuff like that and she loved it. She has been reading the Book of Mormon every single day. Can you believe that?! Then, we did what we call "a soft ask" to see if she wanted to be baptized. This helps them see that our ultimate purpose is to teach them and makes them think more about what they want to receive from our lessons. So we asked her and she said yes! Both Sister Fisher and I were almost crying when we bore our testimonies to her. It was just an amazing lesson.
Something that I have realized here. The people can be very, ummm...hard shelled and sometimes it's hard to get them to listen to you. Actually, it's really hard. But, people here don't have a lot. Our area is inner city and it's poor. There is a lot of hardship in different ways than you would see in a foreign country. It's just hard here. Life is hard, it's cruel, and people go through a lot. That American dream doesn't really exist here. But the people here are the most giving people I know. There are people here that don't even have enough food to feed themselves but they will take family members in. They give what little they have to serve and to bless others, Mormons or not. It truly has humbled me to realize how much I've been blessed with and how much more I can give.
I guess the most exciting thing I have for this week is that our ward boundaries are being changed! Hopefully, this will help a lot. We don't know how this is going to affect us as missionaries but, oh well. Pretty much our ward is 75% less active. Hardly anyone has transportation. That's one of the biggest things we struggle with. The few strong members we do have are stretched so thin because they are doing all the work so I'm really hoping this boundary change will help us gain more leaders and disperse some of the problems so that the people can be better taken care of. We will find out next Sunday. We don't know what it will do to us because if our area doesn't change but our ward boundaries do we could be going to two wards which would probably kill me. Haha. I mean, there is a reason why this ward has three sets of missionaries in it. Anyway, I love my ward. I love Carondelet! Always have a positive attitude!
I can't really think of anything else. Oh, I found out our mission has the highest depression rate than any other mission area in the world. Can you believe that? They say that's because this place used to be cursed. But, I am as happy as a peach. :) Just trying to enjoy life. I can't believe we are almost through October! In two weeks I will have made it through my first transfer. It's finally starting to look like fall here. It is the slowest fall in the world here. It seems like one tree changes at a time but it's getting cold so they are starting to change faster.
Anyway, I love all of you so much! Remember the church is true! Share the gospel with everyone. You are a light that cannot be hid. People see you and can see the light of Christ in you. We as members have the responsibility to share that with all of our brothers and sisters. You guys are amazing examples to me of living your standards. I love hearing your stories. I am so proud of you, Allison! You are all my heroes and I look up to you in so many ways. Remember the church is true. Now go be awesome!
PS. Dad, that is cool that you are interacting with Rob at work. Do you know if he found out if he can come take us to dinner or not? I am excited to see him. Dad, the Cardinals are in the World Series! The city is crazy loyal here. You have no idea! The first game is this week against Boston. Hopefully, we will win! I was told that if we win the city like shuts down for three days. I wish I could go to a game but the cheapest tickets right now are over $400 dollars so maybe next year.
|Making cat pumpkins with our investigator, Martin (Santa), and his wife.|
|Our purrrrrfect creations|
|Sister Fisher and I thought this was the funniest thing ever. He is watering the side of the paved road and all of the cars parked on the side of the road!! We could not figure out what he was doing at all.|