Dear Friends and Family,
So this week started out in Conway, Arkansas. We were there because Sister M had an appointment. We stayed with the Conway sisters and spent most of our time there on splits with them. While on the one hand it was really fun to see a different part of the mission, I found it really stressful to be out of my area for so long, and wanted to be back with my investigators and members. I got the chance to meet and teach some really cool investigators though!
The first one was a lady named M, she is a single mom and a college student there at University of Central Arkansas. The sisters had met with her twice before, and she had really enjoyed both lessons, but her daughter is only a year old and can be a big distraction during lessons. Thankfully, when we got there the baby was enamored with my hair (I’m glad I was wearing it down!) and was happy to sit quietly and play with it the entire lesson! Thankfully, also, I am not at all tender headed, haha. We taught M The Restoration and I felt prompted to invite her to baptism. She accepted the invitation and was excited! I was relieved because I was a little worried since it isn’t my area and I don’t really know her, but The Spirit is always right!
The other really cool person I had the chance to meet was a woman named L M. She is a convert and a recently returning member. We spent about an hour over at her house, just trying to uplift and help her if we could. She has such a sweet spirit and has really been dealt some rough cards in life. I really enjoyed talking with her though, and we exchanged email addresses, because she really wanted me to keep in touch.
Wednesday we attended the North Little Rock Zone Meeting, and it was really great. We learned about simplifying and intensifying our teaching, and role played teaching The Restoration in 7 minutes. It was really intense, and a little uncomfortable at first, but the idea of being able to teach the entire first lesson on a door approach is pretty cool. After zone meeting we traveled back to Memphis with the office elders and the new Bartlett American Sign Language (ASL) sisters. It was a way fun trip, and even though I was hecka tired I didn’t sleep the whole 3 1/2 hour drive. I will include a video of us crossing the bridge into Tennessee. I’m not sure any of you will be interested, but I’ve already gone full missionary weird and I like it. (sorry can’t post it to this blog unfortunately!) Side note-if any of y’all are ever in need of music that fits the awkward parameters of both super hipster and gospel related, check out Lower Lights, I am kind of obsessed with them. Props to Elder W for introducing me.
Once we got into town we spent the rest of the night helping the ASL Sisters open their apartment. It’s like a frickin’ mansion dude!! It’s the nicest missionary apartment ever. I was super bitter, but it’s on the third floor so I will get my revenge when they have to walk down three flights of outdoor steps following the first ice storm. Haha! It was super fun to set up their apartment though, I really love being able to help other missionaries.
Sister B & I also had a dramatic reunion. I told her I really feel like I need to go to BYU-Idaho when I get off my mission and she yelled and signaled a touchdown, because, in case you haven’t guessed, she is going there post mission. We have pretty much planned out our entire lives post mission. She has a cousin she would really like me to marry…but we will see about that.
Once settled back in Lakeland though we spent a lot of time preparing to leave the area this Wednesday by preparing our investigators and the members we are working with for the change. It was really sad to have to tell people we are leaving, but kind of comforting that they are actually sad we won’t be around anymore! I can’t help but worry about leaving Lakeland. I know that transfers are a reality of the mission, but I was not expecting/prepared to leave in the middle of a transfer. Having to tell Sister W, J, The N family, SB, etc. was really hard. Man, loving people makes life hard (and awesome)!
On the bright side J is doing AMAZING, she goes to Mutual, Book of Mormon Class, she comes to dinner appointments with us, and LOVED testimony meeting this Sunday! She is progressing so well, and you can literally see the change taking place in her countenance as the gospel becomes a bigger part of her life. I am so thankful to have been part of such a miracle, and I can’t wait to see everything that she accomplishes. She has even been asking us tons of questions about how she can become a missionary!!
I feel like this email hasn’t been as spiritual as it usually is, so I am going to share some of my favorite discoveries during studies this week.
“I Testify that bad days come to an end, that faith always triumphs, and that heavenly promises are always kept.”
-Jeffrey R. Holland
“You must get on your knees and plead with The Lord for help and strength and direction. You must then stand on your feet and move forward.”
-Gordon B. Hinckley
“The Kingdom of God or nothing!”
-Ruth May Fox
“Welcome the task that makes you go beyond yourself, and you will grow!”
-Julie B. Beck
“True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves”
-Jeffery R. Holland
I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support, I can literally feel them lifting me higher.
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas
Staying with the Conway sisters.
Getting the ASL sister’s apt ready for them with
Elder W, Elder A, and Elder H.