Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Laramie Letter #7

 "After dropping off the firewood with President Dory."

 "Mom, this one's for you: The duct tape we got to fix our bikes.
'Dill with it' is our new motto, ha-ha!"

 "Picture we stopped and took while biking."

 "NERF WAR! Fun fact: the three people behind us in line
were all members of the church."

"With one of the horses at President Dory's."

Did I mention I love getting mail? Family letter, a sister missionary card from Angie, and an amazing card from Leshelle all made their way to my apartment mailbox. It was amazing. I feel so fortunate everyday. Thank you. 

We were able to finally have a lesson with an investigator that the previous missionaries had taught a few times. That was exciting. We have a return appointment for later this week.

During our weekly meeting on Thursday, Sister Smith gave a talk on faith in Jesus Christ. I am continually taken back by the power of simple things. We read a paragraph from Preach My Gospel (first paragraph under the Faith in Jesus Christ section in Chapter 6) and then she said, "this is what we are here to share, that we have a Savior and He loves us." Simple as that. Something about that statement touched me in a very profound way. I think all of us need to be reminded of the basics sometimes. 

We had a meeting on Friday in Fort Collins for all the trainers and new missionaries. It was so fun to see everyone and we all went to lunch at Cafe Rio afterward!! I then convinced the group from Laramie to go to Spooners (frozen yogurt place where they have an almond milk option!!!!! So good). I walked in and discreetly told the cashier to tell all the missionaries that someone had already paid for their dessert. I told her I would just pay at the end. She was perfect. It was so fun to see everyone's faces as they looked around confused but so happy. Sister Cardon even asked a woman near by if she had paid for them. It was so fun haha. I miss doing things like that. We had a blast talking, laughing, and eating our dessert outside before driving back up to Laramie. 

While fulfilling some of my leadership responsibilities, I was out on the lawn one night talking on the phone with another sister (our apartment has terrible cell reception). A man going to check for mail was singing an obviously made up song. I heard him behind me, "gonna check the maaaiiilllll. Gonna get some ssstttuuuuffffff." He really caught my attention however when he went on to sing, "and there's a girl on the laaawwwwwnnnn." Yes! I made it in a random man's song on Friday night. Laughing, I turned around to see if I recognized him. I didn't. We exchanged hello's and he went his way. 

Saturday, we got to help out President Dory again!! This time we got to work the wood splitter and do some firewood drop-offs. It was super fun. We even got to ride in the back of the truck once we emptied it. I love Wyoming :) After doing that we went up to the mountains to get more logs. When we got back from that, we all tried our hand at splitting wood with an ax. That is tough. President Dory made it look so easy.... it's not. Sister De Voe was tearing it up though!! I was so impressed haha I cheered her on as I took swing after swing with minimal results. I eventually split a few though. By the time I started to get the hang of it, I was so exhausted that not much was happening still. Haha it was an adventure as usual. Sister De Voe made me laugh when I found out what was fueling her energy. She had been one of the first to start manually splitting wood and was the last one to stop. She told me that she was taking out all her frustration towards her bike on the wood. Hey, whatever works. 

Sunday was a day of miracles. Testimony meeting is always so powerful. A less-active family that we've visited a few times came to church, A was at church, B was able to get a day off work and attend, and the lessons were all about faith in Christ. I love the basics. In the last hour we focused on President Uchtdorf's talk, "The Hope of God's Light." It is so beautiful. I read it again today actually. After church, we weren't able to contact anyone... everyone was sleeping, out of town for Labor Day weekend, or just not home. That wasn't a miracle. It was frustrating, but we kept going. We were eventually able to contact a referral that a member gave us. We knocked on the door and were invited in immediately!! We were able to teach her about the restoration. She is from Russia, so there was a little bit of a language barrier. However, we just taught as simply as possible and used her ipad for any phrases that we couldn't figure out from each other. It was really neat. New investigator!! Singing at grandma's is always one of the highlights of my week. I sat right next to Grandma's chair and loved feeling the spirit radiate from her and her home and the hymns. Such a wonderful time.

I got all the sisters to buy nerf guns on Monday!! We ambushed the Elders and had a full on war. The sisters were attacking from outside and the Elders got their guns and were shooting from inside their house. I was rolling in the grass trying to collect ammo, the Elders were shooting from the windows. Pillows were used as shields. It was crazy. We went to the park later and I got to talk to some people who had a slack line up. It was fun hanging out in such a relaxed environment. They started asking questions as I tried it out. (They had a super thin one that was only an inch thick... challenging but cool once you got the hang of it). It was neat to be able to tell them about what I was doing in Wyoming. I felt completely like myself trying to balance on a slack line while talking about the gospel - what a fun combination. After that we all threw a football around before going to our dinner appointment at the Livingston's. They are incredible. We were able to have a lesson with the navy guy named M who requested that we meet. He drove from Cheyenne again to talk about the gospel. Our lesson was centered around faith. I know that it's hard when we don't know everything, but the more I learn about this gospel the more the pieces fit together. The more everything (not just gospel subjects, but everything in life) makes sense. We need to act on the faith we do have to gain a testimony of prayer, work, going to school, scripture study, getting up in the morning... anything. Everything requires us to act on faith. Acting is how we turn faith into knowledge. I loved being able to bear testimony of that. 

Sister Smith and I are on exchanges for the day and for dinner, Sister McCraken is taking us to Sweet Melissa's!!! I can't wait. We were talking about how we wanted to go just a few days ago. 

The is a photo of J.  He is the son of a less active familiy that came to church this past Sunday, and they had him all dressed up, complete with a missionary name tag!  Isn't he adorable?!

Sister Hoer

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