Right now there are 14 people here in Valdez with name tags and smiling faces! They'll be here till Wednesday morning and then maybe I'll have a chance to breathe! :) It's been a blast, the eight elders the exiting missionaries, and then the sister training leaders are here, and of course things have to be good if President and Sister Beesley are around.
|Saw 5 eagles flying around|
was the day they all got here. Dad specifically told me to not leave any details out, so I'll try my best. ;) haha We all met up for lunch and then divided up. Half went out to do service that we lined up at a greenhouse 10 miles out of town. It was kind of neat, when we were calling for the service the lady just told us, "you have no idea what an answer to all my worries this is!" It was a good relief to us too since we had all this extra missionaries we were trying to keep entertained for four days! Also, it was a great reminder that God answers prayers. The other half (my half) went to the extended care, it was more of a flop. We got there and they didn't really have anything planned for us to do, so we did a little bit of music and talked to the residence but after about 45 minutes we were all done, so we hit the roads to tract and street contact. It was the perfect day for street contacting because it was so beautiful and everyone was outside! We were able to tract and walk for three hours in the beautiful sun! It was so nice! And we only met one ornery person the whole time!!
Dinner night was another neat experience. We planned for us and the sisters to all go to the same house and when we showed up the lady had cooked big steaks because she was expecting elders! Haha so at first I was just thinking, man we probably should have had the elders come, it would have been good for her son too, but then it was like no-we're here for a reason. So we get talking and we asked her if she was planning on going to the fireside night and she said she wanted to, but she had to go to Anchorage so she wouldn't be able to make it. She also mentioned how stressed she was because she had been asked to play the organ for church and she didn't know how she was going to make it to and back from Anchorage in time for everything to come together since she wouldn't be able to leave until after sacrament meeting. I told her basically, I don't want to step on toes, but if you need me to, I could play the organ so you can leave sooner. I physically saw a huge relief just lift from her shoulders and she started to cry. She said that would be a huge help and would allow her to be getting to Anchorage five hours sooner. I've never been more grateful for the blessing of being able to play the organ. As tough as it was throughout high school to make it over to practice every night, every single second practicing was worth it to for that one moment when I saw that burden lifted from that sweet sister's shoulders. Plus, I had a blast playing and showing off with all the missionaries being there yesterday. :) haha
was church obviously, and the primary president had asked the missionaries to take care of primary third hour. So, again I played the piano (I think I played more yesterday than I have in probably in two and a half years) and the elders did the sharing time part which was hilarious! It was about following the prophet and they acted out how to stand up to someone who wanted us to do something the prophet didn't want us to do. The kids just laughed and the elders all commented afterwards how they'll be petitioning to be primary teachers when they get home because they had such a good time. :) Afterwards we had a really long practice for the fireside. I played a piano solo I arranged (I Need thee Every Hour) and I also sang a duet (Come Thou Fount) with one of the elders (Elder Meek) and he accompanied us on the banjo. That was nerve racking since we put it together , but it went pretty well and helped me conquer that fear! The fireside went really smooth and I had a blast. I think everyone really enjoyed it. The refreshments afterward were root beer floats and it was funny because Sister Bullen was like, ah man! We can't even have any refreshments! haha We were both pretty hungry by the time we got home last night since one of the elder's dinners fell through we had them take ours. It worked out because then Elder Meek and I were able to practice more, but no dinner on a Fast is a whole new level of intense. haha
After the fireside President did interviews for Sister Dotson and I. Last interview with him before he leaves, so sad. :( I asked him for some exit advice before he left and he gave me some great advice about setting goals and never forgetting to recognize and follow the spirit. He is such a wealth of knowledge and he and Sister Beesley will be greatly missed here in Alaska.
Mom was curious about transfers, and calls will actually come , which is insane. This has seemed like the fastest transfer of my mission hands down. In a lot of ways it seems like it has just been one really long week!! I'd be really surprised if either of us leave since things have been going so well. Our district leader told us it's doing better than he has ever seen it. We'll keep plugging along doing all we can and knowing this is truly the Lord's work.
Happy Mothers day to all the amazing women in my life, and especially to the one who put up with me all these years. ;) Hope you all have a good week!