Well hello to you all, and I'm so excited to let you know that we get our flight plans this Saturday! and then we will be on our way to ARMENIA.
So many things I wanted to make sure I told you this week:
I may or may not have accidentally wore 2 different colored shoes. A navy and a black one, to be exact. I also may or may not have explained the importance of keeping Saturday holy to one of our investigators. ..(Nicole shout out: no need to worry, I am embarrassing myself quite enough.)
We had the most wonderful 4th of July, a bunch of the super musical people in our zone and some other missionaries performed for the MTC, and then we watched 17 miracles. I've seen that movie so many times, but it's never meant as much as it did to me until now. I thought about Bennett leaving on Trek too, and just how much those people gave up for this. I'm excited for him to be able to see just a tiny bit of how it was.
On Sunday we had our mission conference and there were some changes made to missionary work! You may or may not have heard, I dunno. But the first presidency announced them while they were here at the mission president's seminar. Now we as missionaries will teach all 5 lessons (instead of just the first 4) before baptism and take the lead in teaching all 5 lessons again after baptism. In addition, we get to work closely with recent converts for 3-4 months after baptism, and have been asked to stay in contact for at least 1 year. It may not seem like that big of a deal at first, but I'm so excited for it.
Brief little tangent - we had a devotional on Sunday that was ... I don't remember his name but he was a brilliant pianist and one of the songs he played was an arrangement of Clair de Lune and How Great Thou Art. You should try to find it and listen to it. Because it's wonderful.
On a more spiritual note, this week has been full of miracles and answered prayers. One of the experiences I had with that was on Tuesday. We were sitting waiting for the devotional with Elder Andersen to start, and I was kind of just spiritually exhausted. We had just finished a group lesson with all 7 of us in our district teaching together in Armenian, and I was just beat afterwards. Anyway, I was waiting for the devotional to start and was thinking back to the lesson, and some questions I had about how to be a more effective vessel for the Spirit, etc, etc. I said a quick prayer before the devotional started to get some help in finding those answers. The devotional started and Sister Andersen talked about how concerned Elder Andersen had been to try to find out what he should say to us tonight, and then Elder Andersen gave the most perfect talk that answered my prayers and helped me understand that even though I may not see it all the time, if I'm worthy, obedient, and working hard, the Spirit will work through me. That's just one of the experiences, but I know that God is so full of mercy and answers our prayers. I loved hearing about your experience with that too mom.
I was feeling really inept at trying to meet people's needs and be able to help them because so many people have been through things that I can't even imagine going through. The past few days I've come to the realization that that's okay. Even if I don't know all the needs of others, as much as I try, the Lord does know their needs and will make sure they're met if I'm trying my best to do my part. Anyway, I wish I could explain to you the depth of the meaning that has to me, all the things I write home never seem to express just how much thing matter and mean, but I hope it can kind of explain it.
Some quick other things,
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AP CALC TEST THAT IS SO SO SO SO AWESOME I'M SO PROUD OF YOU. I knew you had it in the bag. I'm willing to bet it was actually a 100%. I'm so proud of all your goals too, you're going to be such an awesome missionary. I'm sure you already are. How did things ever go with that lady you teach math?
Claire and Catherine: I'm so glad you've been able to have some fun experiences, I hope to get a letter out to both of you today. Love you!
Noah: I hope you're having a good summer, and that lacrosse is going well! Sure do love you!
Mom and Dad: Thanks so much for your words this week, you said exactly what I needed to hear. I'm grateful for the perspective you help me have. Love you lots, I sure am grateful for you! Thanks for the 4th of July package too mom, we may have had too much fun with the little confetti poppers..
I hope you all have had the best week, and I'm so glad you've all gotten to spend some time with the Josephsons and the Longsons.
I can't tell you enough how lucky we are.