We have our ups and our downs out here, but mostly it's ups! We have had a fun week with 4 visitors in the YSA from Alabama and Kansas travelling through as part of a work crew. They should be here for one more week, which is too bad. When you add four people to a Branch, that's huge! All four of them are recently returned missionaries, and one of them is a sister who served in Anchorage, AK (well, she was only in Anchorage for 6 weeks, but she also served in Fairbanks and Juneau). She and her brother are related to the Kiesters in Portland--you know, my friends Cecily and Laura... and Diane Chatfield Kiester! How cool is that? I love it when you can make connections with people like that. Aaaanyway, I wish they could stay forever because they add not only numbers but also enthusiasm to the Branch. I am sure that they add the same things to the wards they come from, but man! It's fun to have them here while they can. Maddie has said she will come out with us on Saturday and be our team up, which is awesome. We don't often have the chance to have a sister who has served a mission join us on a team up.
Speaking of which, Maddie was a huuuuge help yesterday. One of our members of the branch brought his non-member girlfriend to church, and we were able to teach her a little bit and give her a Book of Mormon. Maddie talked with her and shared her testimony and it was just really powerful. Sometimes being a missionary is tough, but when you get to work with people who are so excited about the gospel, it is really worth it.
Speaking of excited about the gospel, I was thrilled to open my email from Marianna and learn that she is getting baptized! It really made my day. That is truly the best thing to get while I'm out here. I love packages and letters, but learning that someone I love is getting baptized? That is the best.
It was the Sister May Show in church yesterday. I played the organ for the family ward (mostly okay. Only one instance of hymn-ocide to be witnessed, and it was brief), and then I spoke in the YSA branch. Is it weird that I was more nervous for the organ than for speaking? In fact, I don't really get nervous for speaking. I think that is probably weird, because isn't public speaking the number one fear? They should do that on Fear Factor: Assemble a huge group of people, then make contestants speak to them! Okay, it might be scary, but probably not scintillating television. Anyway, I spoke about feeling the Spirit. Here's a bit of what I talked about: Have you ever driven somewhere new, with directions that maybe don't make a lot of sense? And have you ever noticed that in order to see where you are going better, you turn down the radio? Yeah, the Spirit's like that. You turn down the distractions so you can see better where you are going, through the Spirit. So take a moment, turn off the TV, turn off the music (even good music), and pay attention.
I love you all and I don't have any time at all left to write. I wish I did. But just know that all is well, I am doing well, and I hope you all are well, also! I love you!
Sister Loradona May