I hope that you had a great week. Did anything exciting happen? I'd always love to hear about that. But since this is sort of a one-way deal, here is a letter for your enjoyment! I'll go through my week for you. I hope that it's not too boring.
Monday: The Elders found out they were leaving, so for their last P-day they went to sight-see a little bit. While they were out and we were in e-mailing Elder Willoughby called us and asked if we had forgotten something in their car. . . Turns out we did. We were finally able to go back into our apartment at 5:30 after the Elders came back and returned our apartment keys to us. Oh how I love being locked out. We even tried to break in, but it just didn't work.
Tuesday: Happy Canada Day! We went to Pugwash with the Veinots (the senior couple) to a members house for lunch after attending the Canada Day Parade. It was a great place to talk to a couple of people, and it was fun to see the festivities of another country. Which is basically a lot like our Parades, just with the Canadian flag everywhere and people wearing kilts playing bagpipes. So that was fun. We saw a bit of the Highland Games as we waited for lunch to be ready. The Elders and the Rance family joined us for lunch. (oh the highland games are where guys in t-shirts and kilts throw rocks and heavy things. . . Impressive, but not my thing.) Sister Thurber was kind enough to give us a great lunch of hotdogs and ice cream. We then returned to Amherst to have a lesson with a couple who the Elders were teaching. Which was great.
Wednesday: We swung by the Artisans Gallery and did a video survey by an artist there with the question "What is Important to You?" which we posted on the area's facebook page. Then we did some weeding with all of us missionaries in a ladies garden. It's a huge garden! So there are many many more flower beds for us to do in the next few weeks. We volunteered at the museum, it's been really fun just labeling stuff, but we are in a school room right now and they have yearbooks that go all the way back to 1949! It's amazing how much people have changed, and haven't.
Thursday: Transfer day... We all went out to a local parking lot to wait for the transfer van to come pick up Elder Willoughby and Elder Edge. They then handed the keys to us and we now have our own car. Funny story- while the missionaries all piled out of the transfer van for a breather I got talking to an Elder who was fresh from the MTC. I said, "Oh I haven't been out that long either, just since February." His eyebrows raised in disbelief, he said, "Not that long?" And began to count how many months it has been. That is the first time. THE FIRST TIME I felt like I've been out for a while. It was crazy! Just a mind-blowing realization that to new missionaries I seem experienced. Ha, wow. I still can't get over that.
Friday: A day of meetings and planning as usual, and also a day of cancellations. Both appointments went through, so we knocked and tried to find people. It was a true blue missionary day. We also celebrated Independence day with a big flag hanging in our apartment, a cake decorated with the American flag and matching napkins and plates my mom sent me. Both Sister Spencer and I dressed in red, white, and blue. And we listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD "The Spirit of America".
Saturday: On this day, we met with a Hurricane! Hurricane Arthur got to us, but he was pretty tired out by the time he hit Amherst. So there was wind, and rain, but not too much crazyiness. Just enough to keep us from really daring to go street contacting. (not that there was anyone outside anyways). In different areas of the mission power went out and a lot of crazy things happened. But not for us. We went to a memorial service, and had a lesson with a recent convert, and had supper at a members house. And it was a pretty good day. Damp, but good.
Sunday: Church was fantastic, I really enjoyed it. Though it was pretty quiet without the Elders there. We met with a recent convert after church to talk about her mission prep. (that's right, she wants to serve a mission, how great is that!) then we went knocking and checking on some people who had once met with missionaries. Also known as Former investigators, or simply formers. One such man opened the door and did not have a shirt on, which was gross. Our district leader was texting us about the day, seeing how we are and such and we related this experience to him. With which he replied, "No unshirted man can stop the work from progressing!" For those of you who are not familiar, he's playing with the words in the The Standard of Truth. Which goes something like, "The standard of truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent..." And it goes on. Boy did that text just make our whole day! We laughed so hard.
And that brings us up to today. I've learned a lot this week, I think I always do. I really want to be the best person I can! That is easier said than done though. I think about all of the people who have been in my life, how they have blessed me. How I can learn and grow from every experience that I have, and how today I can work on myself, so in the future I can be more loving, patient, and grateful. Because I really do have a great life! I take that for granted. There is air for me to breathe each day, food in my cupboards, friends and family who love and support me from all over the continent and the world, and I am not alone. Each of us are more blessed than we often realize. Who has blessed your life? I would encourage you to take some time to think about that, and to say thank you to those people. Never take anything for granted! Life is short.
Doctrine and Covenants 121: 7-9 "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."
Sister Kat Smith