So the weather this week has been pretty cold. You could probably verify this fact for us, but rumor has it that here in Ohio, we have been colder than both Antarctica and Alaska when you factor in the windchill. Last night it sounded like our whole building was definitely coming down. Hard to sleep through it sometimes, and if we don't want to have to be dug out of our apartment, we have to keep clearing the snow! Ha! It is cold, needless to say. It was really fun shoveling Sister B's driveway. She is from Utah. Her husband is one of the six pediatric residents here in our ward, and will be here for probably another two years before they move again.
We had some really neat experiences this week. The first was with Jon, Julie and the K family at the Family History Center in Youngstown. We got them up and going, and Julie started finding generations that an unknown family member must have started putting together. So many of them need their work done in the temple to boot! The hopes of that lesson was to help them prepare to take names to the temple to do baptisms for the dead as soon as possible! Jon is excited about it. He did feel a bit of pressure though, as he is the first member in his family, which means there is a lot of work that needs to be done. I know he can live up the responsibility though!
Another great experience this week was with Sister Olson. You probably all have yet to forget my control issues... That has been hard for me to overcome as a trainer, but this week I feel like I was able to let go a lot more. As part of training, missionaries go through a 12-week book that helps trainers to stay on track, and trainees to know what they should be learning. I have been encouraging Sister Olson to take the lead in more and more things, and she continues to amaze me! As she lead out our planning session on Thursday evening, we had difficulty deciding what needed to happen in the afternoon. We had a hard time setting appointments for a huge chunk of time, and there were few things for us to do in the area we were going to be in besides tract. So despite the cold, that is what we planned for. While we were eating our lunch, we received a distress call from St. Elizabeth's Hospital, in Youngstown. A member in our ward's husband had a stroke the night before, and asked for the sisters to come. We were all the way in Alliance at the time, which is an hour away, just about to head over to Lake Milton (the other direction from Youngstown) to tract. Fortunately our schedule was open for us to go, and we hurried as fast as we could. Rocco wasn't doing too good when we got there, so the Elders gave him a blessing. As we left it was so evident that that was the reason our planning session the night before went the way it did. I am so grateful to always be lead by the Holy Ghost to do things Heavenly Father wants us to do.
The last experience we had was with Gia. I don't remember if I have ever talked about her before to you all. She is 14, and was invited to hear the missionary discussions by her friend, Ethen. Her parents allow us to teach her once a month, and she is permitted to attend church once a month, and she cannot be baptized until she is 18. It makes it hard to help her to progress since she doesn't have the constant interaction with us like we try to have with our other investigators. So we have been working really hard with Gia to help her gain an answer to the Book of Mormon. This last week was like a toe in the door, and a huge break through for her. At our last lesson we encouraged her to recognize how she feels as she reads the Book of Mormon. She has been seeking a big loud answer, and it has been hard to help her realize it is a still small voice. Before we even started our lesson we asked how she has been feeling. She looked almost concerned for a moment, and then a huge peace came into the room as she told us that she has come to the conclusion that if the book is not bad, it must therefore be good (she is very logical for a 14 year-old, she does debate ;) ). We were so excited! She seemed confident in her answer. Sister Olson also took the lead in preparing that lesson, and felt that it was an important day to teach fasting (which originally seemed off from where we thought we would be with her as far as lessons go). We told her that we could fast for special reasons, and we invited her to fast this next week for something important to her, and that we would join her in her fast. She wants us to fast for a concrete answer to the Book of Mormon. I am so excited for her! I have never met someone her age who is so willing to strive to do the things Heavenly Father wants her to do. She really is so fun for us to teach! Definitely keep her in your prayers this week.
I love Ohio, and being a missionary! I hope you are all doing well back home! I love you all!
|The view from Dani's apartment. The patches of no snow are actually the river.|
also, heads up. Transfers are next week which means preparation day is Tuesday, and there is a good chance I will be leaving.... I hope not, but there is a good possibility. So my Surrey Lane address probably won't be good to use.