Look what we found!
Picnic with Moose and some of his grandkids.
Dandelion crown made by Sister Waite.
A cool train we found to explore.
The toilet seat trophy we made for the Outhouse Races.
Running up to Devil's Gate.
On top of Independence Rock.
Pulling all the kiddos at Martin's Cove.
Sister Waite and I with the three little boys I mentioned in my letter.
The Martin's Cove gang.
Last week was rough. I was super sick. I felt like I had been hit by a train. It seemed like nothing was really working out. We couldn't schedule any appointments (school is getting out this week so everyone is super busy with all that, or out of town for Memorial Day weekend, or just gone...) It was rough. However, we were driving and saw a house that we had tried to visit previously but didn't get to talk to anyone. We saw the lights on and I immediately pulled the truck over (I think I scared Sister Waite a little bit) and changed our plans. We were warmly received by a wonderful family. The wife hasn't been to church since she was 13 and we invited her and her daughter to take the missionary discussions. They both seemed excited about it and we'll be meeting with them again tomorrow.
Moose took all of us sisters and some of his grandkids on a picnic Thursday. Getting outside always cheers me up :) and we had dinner with the S family on Friday night. They are incredible. There is just something so special about this woman and her three boys. Her husband works out of town and isn't there very often, but it just feels like home there. I love it.
So I had a cool thought on Saturday. I feel like myself and those we visit tend to struggle with the same things over and over. It's frustrating. I think to myself all the time, "Why can't I just change. Just make a decision and do it!" Well, change is made possible through the Atonement. Repentance is how we access that power. True and lasting change can only happen when we sincerely repent and turn to Christ for strength to overcome our weaknesses. So, that's something I think I already knew, but it became much more clear. We hear that all is possible through the Atonement. The Atonement is what gives us power. These are true statements, but it's hard to see how it applies to us sometimes. The gospel of Jesus Christ is how we apply them: Faith, repentance, making and keeping covenants, feeling the Spirit and just keep moving forward. Repentance doesn't always mean we have done something terrible. It simply means change, changing to be more like Christ.
So Sister S, her boys, Sister Welch, her granddaughters, and us four sisters all went to Martin's Cove, Devil's Gate, and Independence Rock yesterday!! It was sooooooo fun to get out in the middle of nowhere. I loved every second of it. We had the best time pulling handcarts, hiking, and running along the river (I can't tell you how close I came to jumping in). The 3 little boys (that I just adore) say, "Hey, Sister Hoer"...and then something random about every two minutes. If they don't see me for a minute, I'll hear, "Where's Sister Hoer?" Coolest family ever. They want to take us to Saratoga to go hiking next :)
The best part about yesterday, however was after we got back and were sun burnt and sore and so incredibly happy. We got to meet with R and S. They are the most prepared people I've ever met. It was the best lesson of my mission so far. Not because of anything we did, but because the Spirit completely took over. You could just feel the love that Heavenly Father has for these two individuals and how much He wants to bless them. Sister Waite and I just listened and asked questions and taught a little here and there. We've been trying really hard to teach according to people's needs. Yes, we want to share everything with them, but Heavenly Father teaches us the things we want to know step by step. After we explained what the Book of Mormon was they asked, "How do we get one of those?" We talked about the prophet today and S said, "Yeah, we need that." They even said they would read the Book of Mormon every night for half an hour without us even inviting them to. That is what happens when you teach people what they need/want to know. They naturally desire to do those things. I had the opportunity to invite them to be baptized at the end of our discussion and they both said yes!!! They both expressed how they want to make this a part of their lives and then asked when we could come back.
Life is simply amazing.
Sister Rashauna Hoer