Here are the pictures from the zoo as promised! Just a few of the good shots I got.
|Come Here, Plant! Let Me Eat You!|
This bear was trying to eat the plant that was growing outside the cage! Haha. So glad I could capture that moment!
"And if you look to your left, you will see the Sister Missionaries. They used to be an endangered species, but the population has increased exponentially over the past year or so. Rather peculiar creatures."
Yes, it was great fun. But wow, this week was a long week. And a lot of things happened in retrospect. The zoo seemed like such a long time ago.
This week was long because all of the lessons that we taught basically happened in the first half of the week. The second half was pretty rough. No scheduled appointments like... at all. And that is when the days and the weeks grow very long. But, we had some actually great times this week. Like dinner on Wednesday!
That's right! We made pizza!
And psh, if you're making your own pizza, how can you 'not' make it the stereotypical circle!?
It's only natural that I would make a little Pacman ghost.
Isn't it cute!?
Just the way I like it. haha.
That dinner was especially fun though because it was with two girls our age in the ward, both nineteen and twenty, around there, and it just felt like we were having a great night of fun.
We had a super spiritual lesson afterward sharing Mosiah 3:19 and talking about the good attributes of a child and how we can strive to emulate those to be closer to our savior, more loving, not judgmental, close to the spirit, and the testimonies that these two girls have, it was just, it was so powerful and seriously, there is a special thing about interacting with people your own age and, just, yeah, it was one of the best nights ever.
|Yummy GREEN apples...ripened and sweet!|
Also this week, this lady let us pick some of her apples, cuz she wasn't really using them this year. And you know what they taste like? I was hungry, so I ate one as soon as we were back in the car and they were awesome, and I realized they tasted like green apples, even though they were red. And apparently, they are green apples I learned, just over ripe. They especially turn more red after a frost. They are a little on the dry side, courtesy of them being over ripe, but they were also slightly sweeter because of it as well. They were/are so good!
Also, Sister Gray and I both spoke in church on Sunday! Sister Gray spoke on how to study the scriptures. I spoke on the importance of sharing the gospel with everyone and not judging others. For my talk, I shared an experience from working at the gas station. We had just gotten a new hire, and this new coworker happened to be someone I knew from high school. I talked about how I didn't think he was receptive to the gospel, but the missionaries like, TOLD me that I should ask him about taking the lessons, and I did and he said yes.
There's a lot more to this story, but the moral is, invite people, you never know if they will say 'yes'. Don't prejudge thinking they aren't receptive. And, these people are around us everyday. Sharing the gospel with everyone is so important because you don't know all the time who God is putting in your path until they have already been put there. God helps others learn of the gospel through us. Members are missionaries, really, more than missionaries are missionaries.
I'm glad I was able to give this talk to the ward. I got a lot of compliments afterward.
And to one of the main events of this week -- A very long and hard and windy day.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10:5).
Sister Gray and I looked out the window on Saturday and we knew that it was going to be windy all day. Saturdays... They are hard because if you don't have anything scheduled on Saturdays, you have NOTHING set in stone. We do service at the library on Wednesday. Service at the Thrift Store Friday. We go on splits on Tuesday. We have absolutely nothing we regularly do on Saturday, except for meet at the church at 8 at night for making a progress record to discuss with the ward leaders on Sunday morning about the investigators that need fellowshipping, etc.
Sigh. We were ready to go. I said a prayer in the doorway before I left.
"Dear Heavenly Father. Please bless that as we go out today that we will have the spirit to be with us and be safe as we go out today. ...Heavenly Father, please bless that we will be able to teach a lesson today...."
As I said these words, an impression came to Sister Gray's mind, but she... hoped it was just negative thinking.
We went out. It was SO.. windy. Saturdays. ...Why is that? Saturdays and Mondays. They are always the windy ones. Never is it windy on Wednesday. Wind is in general very exhausting. You don't realize if you're not out walking in it all day, but man, I was just plodding, stairs were a struggle, I felt so sluggish. ...Sigh, why didn't we have anything set today... why wouldn't anyone let us in....
Around 4:00, we were sitting in the car just... beat, and Sister Gray said,
"Can I share something?"
"When you said your prayer this morning, before we left the apartment... you asked if we would be able to get in an teach a lesson. I heard in my mind just the answer of 'no.'"
"...Which sucks, because we still have to go out and work anyway..."
"....yeah... ...Man... that does suck..."
We went back to the apartment for dinner and then to top it all off, another investigator that we had some hopes for dropped us. ...I was exhausted and I went to lay down for a nap during dinner hour. I could hear the nose blows from the other room. The product of tears... After I had rested (I never feel that tired... the wind was a killer), I went to Sister Gray and we hugged each other. But she, even throughout this hard hard time, she maintains the perspective that she is going through the refiners fire, and it sucks, but that's the way it is.
As the Lord prompted, we didn't teach a lesson that day. But at the end of the night she expressed to me:
"It is kind of a backhanded answer. But I'm glad that I did get an answer. Because I'd rather know than not know, even if the truth is hard. And I'd rather know that he's listening."
It was a unique experience, something that you can learn a lot from, this particular answer to this particular prayer.Â Things are difficult, but things will get better. I have full faith of that. You'll see when I write next week.
P.S. So, it's weird because last week it was pretty cold, but this week it warmed back up a bit. And I'm not complaining! It was in the low 70's high 60's. But the fall trees are still going to be loosing their leaves for winter before we know it.
P.S.S. This little baby arrived in Bismarck the day I did, April 29th. Look how much we've grown! haha.
P.S.S.S. I found out this week that my oldest brother has been called as THE CHOIR DIRECTOR FOR THE YOUNG SINGLE ADULT WARD! AHHHH! I'M SO EXCITED FOR HIM!!!! Just thought I'd share that with the world.