I'm glad that you got the DVDs of the concert. I SOOO wish I could have seen the little girls dancing to the handcart song. I bet it was super cute. Our next concert is on August 12th. We're going to the Land of Lincoln.... sort of. Just Lincoln, NE. But it will be a fun road trip for all of us.
It was fun talking to Mom this week. Elder Watson is such a punk he made me come in his office and then he was like, what's your Mom's phone number? and just called her right there. We are so excited to see the quilt. Mom, they aren't planning on putting in a box, they are planning on putting in the gallery. This is kind of a big deal. Anywho, it was good to hear from all of you!
It sounds like Jack's B-day was AWESOME! Especially since Darth Vader was able to come on such short notice. Usually he's pretty booked. That's awesome. Remember how Reeve used to call me Marth Vader? I remember that.
Tuesday: We went out and I met two of our investigators. It was great! There are a lot of great things happening in Fairview and I'm excited to see miracles!
Wednesday: We did service for this lady in our ward who is SOOO nice. She helps the missionaries out a ton, so we were glad to be able to help her out some. Her name is Sister Weekly and she is incredible.
Thursday: We went and saw Come Home to Kanesville again! It was so good! I love that musical so much-- it probably won't compare to Wicked this Thursday for Laura, but it was still pretty good. This was also the morning I got my trunky papers. They don't normally send them out so early, but since it's right around Christmas they wanted to get them done fast. I'm assuming you aren't coming to pick me up. I don't really want to drive home in the snow anyways :) What day does Sarah get home? I can't believe she is coming home, that is super crazy!!!!
Friday: We had a great morning on chat and talked to a lot of really awesome people, then Sister Arnold and I did some TCL stuff. Elder & Sister Watson took us for a scenic drive in Iowa. He showed us their ski resort. It's pretty sad. It's like a bunny hill. haha. It's awesome. I just love the Watsons. I'm so grateful to be able to serve with them.
Saturday: We had a TC cleaning day. It was a lot of fun to spend time with all of the sisters. Spending time with my best friends and cleaning/dejunking-- my two favorite things. It really was the best day.
Sunday: We served in the TC all day long. It was a lot of fun. I got to take a lot of great tours. I took 3 atheists on tour, and they left ASKING for a Book of Mormon, I didn't even have to offer it, so that was cool. I'm excited to follow up with them. They were really great.
1-The morning I got my trunky papers
2-Me with the Westovers. They are going home this week. I hate saying goodbye to all of the Senior couples. They become like grandparents to you and it's so hard to say goodbye. The Westovers have taught me a lot about how I want to treat my future spouse, and how to treat my companion. They are incredible people. I love them so much.
3-Me and Sister Watson RIGHT NOW
4- This was when the Watsons took Sis. Arnold and I on the scenic Iowa drive. There was lots of corn.
Well, things are going swimmingly. I wanted to share with you something that I learned when I took that group of atheists on tour. I was reading to them this story from Francis Webster:
“I ask you to stop this criticism for you are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the handcart company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and so was my wife… We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation. But did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities… “ “I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I said I can only go that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there…” “Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then or one moment of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company. –Francis Webster
When I normally read this, I think of how incredible it was that they felt it was a privilege to go through the things they had to go through. I focus on the last part of that sentence. However, this time, I focused on the first part of the sentence--The price we paid to become acquainted with God-- it hit me that there is a price that every single person has to pay in order to know God. The handcart pioneers paid a very high price, and became very acquainted with Him. What things are we willing to sacrifice or give up in order to know God? It wasn't that God hadn't sent the Spirit strongly to these people on tour so they would know that He was there, it was because they weren't willing to do the things necessary to know Him. They weren't willing to pay a price. We have to be willing to pay a price to become acquainted with God. It's like what I read in Personal Study this morning-- in Alma 22:18 when Aaron is teaching King Lamoni's father (who also doesn't believe in God), but after Aaron starts teaching him, he says in verse 18 that he is willing to give up all of his sins to know God. That is the price he is willing to pay. It was incredible to realize that. There are prices that we can all pay, things that we can sacrifice to come to know our Father in Heaven more. Incredible.
I know that the gospel is true. I am so grateful for each one of you. Know that I love you. Know that I pray for you everyday. Our Heavenly Father hears and answers ours prayers. I love you.