Bikes and blessings

23 Mar

Hello from Worland, WY! It feels like a lifetime since I last emailed you all. So much has happened! I’ll just hit the highlights of the week I think… we’ll see how the letter ends up. Monday and Tuesday were spent primarily visiting people to say goodbye and some scattered packing here and there. Bishop Blair posted about the transfer for us on Facebook, so most of our ward found out that way. I am so grateful for serving stateside so that it will be easier to come back and visit everyone! We still had some teaching appointments before we left though, and those went so so so good. We were also able to transfer everyone to the elders pretty smoothly- thank you all for your prayers!

My buddy Karen

Leaving my friend Karen

Miracle #1: Andrew. I can’t remember if I’ve written about Andrew in the past or not… hmmm, well he is a less-active in the Missoula YSA ward who started coming back with one of his friends, Tiffany. We’ve been off and on teaching him for about 4 weeks, and he has a sincere desire to know if the church is true. When we taught Andrew on Tuesday night, there was definitely something different than in the past. We were teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and when we started talking about faith, I felt impressed to ask him how he has seen his faith has grow in the past few weeks. He responded, “Well, remember the first time you taught me? When I asked you how you knew that God was real, you taught me about tender mercies. I thought those tender mercies were all just coincidences of nature, but I decided to start trying to identify them for myself… And you know what? They are real. I was driving home this week, and I kept remember all of the mercies that the Lord has given me. And I felt the Spirit… the first time I have really identified the Spirit. I knew that God was aware of me, and I knew that what I was doing was right”. He continued, “You should teach everyone you meet about tender mercies… because that was a game changer for me”. I cried the entire drive home from that lesson… he got his answer!! And to know that I was able to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord in helping him was one of the sweetest moments of my life. I remembered the promise given in my call letter that said, “…more happiness than you have yet experienced awaits you”. That promise has been confirmed to me over and over. The mission is so often accented with these pockets of celestial joy. It makes everything worth it, and so much more.

Miracle #2: I survived a 12 hour transfer van ride from Missoula to Wyoming on Wednesday with only minor soreness and restlessness. It was kind of a mini tour of the mission! haha.

Hello Wyoming!

Hello Wyoming!

I arrived late Wednesday night to my new area, and I met my new companion Sister Wankier. Her name is pronounced like the word “banker”, but with a “w”. She is from Delta, Utah, she is 24 years old, and she has been out 6 months and Worland is her only area thus far. Her past two companions have both finished their missions with her, so I am the third missionary that she will be sending home… I feel bad for her! Oh well, I know that we’ll work hard together right up to the end. The sisters in Worland apparently move between members houses every 3 to 6 months, so we just moved into a new house on Wednesday. We live with Sister Suko, and she is actually a less-active that the sisters were working with! Sister Suko is wonderful. She has 5 kids, but only the youngest still lives at home, and she is a senior in high school. The happiest news about where we live is that we have an actual shower!!! (if you remember, my last area only had a bathtub. I’ve been taking on baths for the past 7 months… so yeah, I was pretty excited about the shower). We drive a beautiful white 2014 Jeep Compass, which was the mission car that I’ve been coveting for the past few months. However, we won’t be using it much now because bike season has officially started. The town is small enough that we can bike just about anywhere in 10 minutes. Plus, biking affords so many more opportunities to talk to people. Which leads to the next miracle…

Miracle #3: Cara. On Saturday afternoon, all of our appointments fell through, and all of our backups. We were back to the drawing board! I am still learning the area, so I felt pretty helpless. However, the Lord always knows where He wants us. I suggested that we offer a prayer of faith and seek His inspiration for where we should go. As we paused after the prayer, I felt the distinct impression to “go to main street”. I had no idea why, or what/who we would find there, but “I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). As we biked down the main street, I was kind of expecting to get another prompting of a street to turn on. Instead, I saw a mother and two kids walking on the side walk a ways ahead, and I knew that we needed to go talk to them. So we pedal quickly to catch up to them (…that’s only moderately creepy, right? hahaha). I pulled up next to her, and all I could think of to say was “hi!”. She turned, and with a look of recognition, she said, “hello sisters!”. It turned out that she was a potential investigator that Sister Wankier has been trying to contact in person for almost a month! We had a solid lesson with her, right there on the sidewalk of the main street, and she accepted a pamphlet for the first time (which was a big step for her), and accepted a return appointment! The Lord does provided. I have a firm, firm testimony of that.

I feel like I have barely scratched the surface with everything that’s been happening! We have an amazing part member family that we met, and the non-member wife is totally prepared and ready for the gospel. They came to church on Sunday and they are just the greatest! We are meeting with them again tomorrow night. I am so excited for theses last few weeks of the mission. Even with all of the miracles, this area is definitely a lot slower than I’ve been used to lately. My goal is to leave it thriving!

I love you all so much!! Talk to you next week!!

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