Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Week Gone! (From July 29th)

I'll start with what you are all wondering: Nope, no transfers for me! I'm still in North Platte, and I'm still with Sister Stiles. I kind of thought we wouldn't see any changes, since we were opening the area. But I couldn't assume anything since Sister Harris and I whitewashed Plattsmouth, and I was a newbie and STILL got transferred! But I'm glad to be sticking around North Platte. It's a good place to be. And I think the members still like us. :)
This week was a little bit exciting, what with transfers and all. Our zone leaders both left, one of them going home and the other going to Omaha to be an Assistant to the President. So we were without Zone Leaders for... three days? Then they made one of the Elders in our ward and his new companion Zone Leaders in the other ward, and our remaining Elder got a new missionary from the MTC. Fun times! 

Oh, and I turned into a defacto Wedding Planner this week. One of the Elders' investigators had to get married so she could get baptized, so we threw a wedding! Then the Relief Society President couldn't be there, and Sister Stiles was playing piano prelude, and then... the Bride asked me, "So, who walks in first, the ring bearer or the flower girls?" Uhhh... considering most of my (insignificant) wedding experience revolves around temple sealings where there aren't ring bearers or flower girls, I just took a stab in the dark and said, "Ring bearer." And suddenly I was the person the photographer asked where to stand to take photos, the person telling people when to walk down the aisle, and the person saying, "Okay, let's cut the cake!" Oh, man, it isn't as weird as the stuff that happened last week, but it was up there in weirdness. I never thought I would direct a wedding on my mission. 

It also, though, made me really appreciate the simplicity and beauty of temple marriages. Who needs a wedding planner when you've got the temple? And it has the added bonus of, y'know, being forever. 

Something I am really seeing and learning on my mission is the importance of staying true to the gospel and holding as tightly to the iron rod as possible. And also the importance of solid priesthood holders. I see families where the priesthood holder has let go, or where the family in general has let go of the rod, and then things don't go well. I mean, I think they see that their lives, in general, are fine. But they don't see what I see: that if they had held tightly to the gospel and sought it in faith, there would be so much more light in their lives. Without the gospel, they may see some success, but with the gospel, they would see joy, and their children would have so much more light. I think I am doing a horrible job of explaining what I mean, but I understand myself. 

So this translates to the following: Seek to be closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the gospel. As you do, you will become more closely aligned with the commandments, and you will be happier. It's true. And if you do the opposite, the opposite happens. And I see it wherever I go. 

The last few days have made me a little homesick for Oregon: It has been in the 60s and rainy! I LOVE it! Today, I am actually wearing tights, and a sweater over a long sleeved shirt! Who knew this would happen to me in July? Ha! Don't worry--I won't get used to it. I fully anticipate that we will see 100 degree weather again before too long. 

What else? We went to Maxwell and Brady yesterday with the Relief Society President. That was pretty good. We met a couple of people we hadn't had the chance to meet. And because we have limited miles, we haven't been able to get out there. Speaking of limited miles, thanks to our trek out to Grand Island, we are over miles. So, booo to Grand Island! I have decided not to worry about it because it was a mandatory meeting, and we have been really really good with our miles otherwise. Next month is bound to be better, right?

We keep teaching people, and it is tough to get them to move forward in the gospel. They like what they hear and what we teach. But getting people to take an active role and actually DO something themselves is hard. One day we'll get our people to church! I'm working on my faith (so is Heavenly Father, apparently!). 

Anyway, I love you all! And a happy birthday to my favorite (this week) ladies, Calista and Ivy! Give those girls BIIIIG squeezes from me and make sure they know they're from me!

Sister Loradona May

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