Sounds like the California was fantastic! I appreciate the pictures, they always make me happy. J And to answer mom’s question, no earthquake was felt by me. I only felt one earthquake on my mission, and it was so tiny that if I would have sneezed I would have missed it… haha. It is the 50th anniversary for the big earthquake in Anchorage though! The Brother A (our landlord) was here for it so they had a big reunion for everyone that survived it and they were telling us about it. It’s amazing how destructive it was, and now, 50 years later, you would never know. It reminds me of the atonement. Things in our life can seem completely torn apart and like they can’t be fixed, but the atonement can heal anything and make it so it’s even better than it was before!
BIG NEWS: I’M GOING TO VALDEZ. Yeah. You read that right!! Valdez is a little town far away from other missionaries, so it will be similar to Sitka in a lot of ways, except Valdez has less than half of the total population in Sitka. I hear it’s about 4,000 people which is about the size of Manti! I should feel right at home! Right now the sisters are struggling a lot with teaching. We just picked up Sister Dotson (my new comp!) from the airport this morning and we have been talking about new ideas and things we’ll try! I feel a huge urgency to get there! Valdez was actually the place I’d been thinking about all week, it was like the spirit was preparing me to go there, and I was thrilled to get the call! I’m determined to find the prepared people, the Lord is hastening His work after all!
We’ll also be flying out morning, which means I get the wonderful task of once again making sure my bags are all under 50 pounds. Sigh. Haha J I was just realizing that I’ve flown in between every single area I’ve served in. Making sure those bags are underweight is always so stressful! I guess it is adventurous to have been able to fly so often, but I can see a lot of advantages to driving!
General Conference this weekend! That’s what I’m talking about! I’m so excited! J Always a great boost for the next six months. I’ve almost read all the conference addressed from last conference (I just have the priesthood session ones left!) and it’s been making me excited! Something else I’ve started reading is “Jesus the Christ”! I’ve never felt like I’ve really had time to dive into it yet on my mission, but I’ve had some time to study more during lunch this week, and it’s been amazing! I’ve been learning so much! I probably don’t understand half of it, but the things I’m picking up on are really changing my perspective! I recommend it to those who haven’t read it yet!
The Sugar fast is still going strong! J I think I’ll do it until the end of my mission. I have felt such a huge positive difference in my energy! I think we’re hitting four week ! Sister Bullen and I were joking about doing it lifelong and seeing who breaks first. J
It seems like it’s been really warm lately! Maybe it’s just sunnier? Haha I walked outside with just a cardigan the past two mornings and commented on how nice it felt, only to have the car thermometer read 22 degrees… in conclusion: the Utah August sun will probably kill me. Hahaha
Yesterday church was exciting! We had four investigators there, it was a really good note to end on. They announced in sacrament meeting that I was leaving and so after the meeting I got lots of hugs and tears were shed on both ends. I’ve loved serving in this ward. It’s a little strange since I’ve served here longer than any other area, I feel like I’m like leaving my home ward! I’ll miss these people a lot, but I do feel ready for a new adventure!
Thanks for the emails and a big thank you for some of the handwritten letters this week, they make a big difference! J
You all are the best!
One more thought before I end this, I have been reading in Mosiah in my Book of Mormon reading and Mosiah really stood out to me. It reads, “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord that it may have no place to you to guide you in wisdom’s paths, that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved.” In a world of shifting values, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God’s commandments will not change. It is society that withdraws from the peace and happiness we can find. It is through the gospel we find access to the atonement! I was recently reading a conference address by President Packer and he said something along the lines of, tolerance that begins as a virtue can quickly become a vice. As we’re tolerant and loving to all God’s children, we must never abandon God and the loving commandments He gives us for the peace of the world!
I know this is Christ’s kingdom once again established on this earth, never to leave again! We have the blessing of hearing from living prophets and apostles this weekend! How amazing is that?? Do we always consider what a blessing that is? I know it’s true.
I love you all so much, thank you for the love and support!