Oh my goodness I am so grateful for this last week! There have been so many blessings that have come our way, I wish so badly that I could just video record my whole week and send it home!! But I guess a short email will just have to do :) Oh and I am sorry that last week's email is so short. I have gotten a lot of emails lately and I have LOVED it! But it has pulled away from my big email... hehe whoops! I will try to do better, especially since there is always so much to share! Ah!
Well, this week we got to have interviews with President Topham. He is such an inspired man, I feel so lucky to have been called to this mission and be able to learn from his example!! We got to see him a lot this week because on Wednesday were interviews, and then Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference for the Pittsburgh North Stake! :) There were so many tender mercies in regards to stake conference, and I want to share two of them:
1. Destiny is the amazing woman I have told you about that is scheduled to be baptized the 16th of November (this upcoming Saturday). The baptismal interview must be done a week prior to the baptism by the district leader. Destiny is SO amazing and so golden, never having issues with any of the commandments. On Friday, the day before her scheduled interview with our district leader, we went to her home to go over the interview questions with her. She answered the questions with complete confidence in her recently found testimony! One of the questions however, if answered a certain way, requires higher authority to conduct the actual interview and approve the person for baptism. Well, Destiny answered the question in that certain way. Our whole ward loves her and is so excited for her baptism there was no way we wanted to have to postpone it! So we left her house and immediately called President Topham to explain the situation and ask when he could conduct the interview. He called back later in the evening to say that he would be more than happy to do it after the adult session on Saturday evening which Destiny was already planning to attend :) It completely put our minds at ease.
2. After the meeting Saturday night, the interview went much longer than normal. We were waiting outside the door with Sister Topham, worried that something had gone wrong! We know how strong her testimony is that this is the true church upon the earth today, and couldn't come up with any reason why things wouldn't work out or she wouldn't be passed for baptism. President Topham called us in when they were finished and simply handed me the paper with his signature on it, telling me to make sure I get all the rest of her information in before I send it in to the mission office.... Woohoo! She passed with flying colors :) But the best part was that in the Sunday general session of stake conference, President Topham spoke. His talk was about how we all have our own conversion stories, some of us were raised in the church, some fell away and had to find our way back, and some came to a knowledge of the church later in life! He then quoted Destiny!! In the interview she had said, "The things the missionaries are teaching me, just confirm what the Holy Ghost has already told me." :) It was so special for all of us, especially since the whole ward knew who he was quoting!
Also this week, we got to do a special "blitz" in Beaver Falls. President Topham had called us last week, telling us that the Sisters up there are really struggling because they got doubled in to the area and have zero investigators and a poor relationship with the ward because of pervious missionaries. So, Sister Draper and I got to both go up to Beaver and work with them in the area (instead of doing the regular exchange where 2 would come back to Evans City). It was an incredible experience. We split up in the area, trying to cover more ground, and wanted to FIND as much as possible. I was with Sister Crockett and she is sweetheart. She has been on her mission a transfer longer than I have, and it broke my heart to hear that she has NEVER had an investigator come to church... her whole mission... She really needed some encouragement and love and I felt so blessed that Heavenly Father inspired Sister Draper and I to know that I needed to be with Sister Crockett that day. I tried to show her my enthusiasm for the work, and the power that comes from being joyful and optimistic through everything - including very rude people who want nothing to do with us. She bore her testimony to me several times, without meaning to, of how this work changes lives even though the majority of the time we (as the missionaries) don't get to see the change, because we are planting the seeds. I am so grateful that I get to learn from these wonderful sisters!! I love them so much!
So... life is great. There are so many things to be grateful for, and like Moroni, "my heart wells with thanksgiving to my God..." I feel so blessed to be here!! I am reminded everyday of the wonderful people in my life that I owe so much to!!
p.s. Pictures: last week was really beautiful, the trees had lots of vibrant yellows and golds - it was so great!! And then this morning when we went outside for our run, the ground was covered in beautiful white snow :) It was crazy! Love you!