Pitt North zone!
Sister Talbots posterity :) she trained Sister Bartlett and I (we are in the middle) and we both trained :)
Love how green it is!
Saw Pittsburgh on the way back on exchanges
It's all just so surreal. I go from moments of being so into the work that I think I've got another 5 years and would love it, and other moments I'm super excited for the adventures ahead when I'm back home. I don't know how 18 months can come and go so quickly. I only have one month, but my determination to serve the Lord is stronger than ever. I know that I still have work to do, and there is no way I am slowing down now when I'm almost to the finish line! I love my Savior Jesus Christ, His gospel, and the opportunity that I have to serve HIS mission!
It's was a pretty frustrating beginning of the week, with that determination to work hard I didn't feel like we are accomplishing all that was in store, and our companionship unity was not it its best. I had been praying a lot about it all, on Friday morning we weren't talking much, and I knew we would not be able to plan by the spirit for our week if the contention continued, so I mustered up the courage to talk about it, I just tried to show as much love as I could and listen. Then everything changed, we were able to have probably one of the better planning seasons I have ever had, we were able to get a lot more done, see more people, feel the spirit more, and work together! I KNOW that through Christ all things are possible, it just takes that leap of faith in trusting him, which we have to do EVERY DAY as missionaries!
I got a Letter this week from my home ward bishop, it was a very sweet letter, but one part especially stood out to me that I want to share with all of you! "Even if you have a bad experience for 5-10 minutes-let it last that long- don't let that bad 5-10 minutes ruin your whole day. The other 23 hours and 50 minutes were pretty great! Honor the good times, don't let a bad few minutes wreck of a valuable day in the service of the Lord!" I just loved this, it's not worth it to dwell on bad experiences!
We had Zone training this week (my last one ). My determination to finish strong was definitely renewed as we learned of the importance of the Book of Mormon, I just want to share that Book with everyone! I know that it can change anyone's life if we are willing to sincerely read, ponder, and ask, with real intent, because I have done so time and time again and I KNOW it is true! I know that it helps us to come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ which is the foundation of everything we believe! President and Sister Johnson were there as well, they taught about scriptures that give us "strength beyond our own", and how we need to develop helpful habits and righteous routines. It was a super great training. Afterwards we did a zone activity, it was supposed to be a water ballon fight, well that lasted about 5 minutes, so we then played ultimate frisbee and war ball. There were 2 ducks at the park we were at, well Elders being 18-20 year old boys do dumb things sometimes, some of them decided it would be a good idea to catch the ducks. One of the elders caught one by the foot, another caught one and the other duck ran away. He let the duck down and the ducks were trying to find eachother, I'm telling you, who needs movies, this was the sweetest chick-flick ever as they found their way back to eachother across the park! But best of all we ended off with a zone testimony meeting. The spirit was so strong as we all bore testimony of how we came to know that The Book Of Mormon is true. Though we all have different stories, we all know it is true, and that is why we are out here to share it with the people of Pennsylvania!
We got to go on Exchanges this week! Lots of lasts for me this week...So sad. But exchanges were AWESOME! I got to go with Sister Taunima to Pitt 3. It's funny because we went on exchanges when I was her STL and I was at the same point in my mission as she is now! We stayed up way to late talking, I just love that girl! She is such a great missionary, she is a great example of following the little promptings from the spirit. We were able to tract into a super awesome lady named Janet, she was just so prepared for the gospel and seemed so excited to start reading the Book of Mormon! I definitely learned a lot on the exchange, and again it gave me that extra boost of motivation to get back to Wexford, be a better example to Sister Nelson, and for us to work our butts off!
I love Olivia, she is so great! I am grateful that we have been able to gain a friendship with her, she is taking out for lunch today, and she even said she would fly me back out to Pittsburgh after my mission hahaha. So this week as we were teaching her we were actually able to answer some of her questions! She got the toughest questions ever, but I am SO grateful the spirit was there for us to be able to help her receive some of the answers!
So now for a funny/sad/scary story. So the other day we were driving to visit a less active member, we realized we needed to turn around because we had passed the house, well we drove over the curb and grass a tiny bit, then proceeded to the house. Well apparently the guy that lives in the house saw that happen and came out and down the street yelling and swearing at us for "driving all the way into his lawn", the less active member happened to be outside and knew that this neighbor liked to cause ruckus in the neighborhood so she called the cops before he had the chance to because apparently he has done so 121 times in the past year.. But everything is fine, the grass is fine, the guy still needs the gospel in his life but he is fine. Now it's another one of those stories to tell from the mission..
There was a day this week that I was Not feeling it. It was a gloomy day, one of those days you just wanna curl up and sleep. Well of course we have to get out and share the gospel, so we went out! But it was a great day! We were able to see 2 less active members we hadn't ever met before and share a message with them!
Well it's my last transfer, I suppose it's alright to write some "trunky" thoughts in my weekly email.. So update on MyPlan, it's super great, definitely gets me thinking about life and how I'm going to take everything that I have learned on my mission and actually apply it into my life after the mission. This week I made a One year plan for my life, and this week I have started setting goals for continued discipleship, how I can continue to serve! Haha so Sister Nelson has decided to create her own lessons for me to be prepared to go back into the real world.. Most of them are eternal marriage talks though. Haha she's hilarious. I also got my "trunky papers" this week, aka my flight plans, so weird.
Missions change lives, I would never trade this experience for anything. The changes of Sister Oliver that I realized this week, I would have never volunteered to teach or speak or even say a comment for that matter at church. Well I asked to give a homecoming talk (though I know nobody from my home ward due to my family moving), I was totally ok with volunteering to teach Sunday school next week, and I don't even know how often I comment in lessons... I love how through Christ all things are possible, he can help us to be the people HE needs us to be!