Monday, May 4, 2015

53 - The Sabbath is a Delight

It's May now and spring is here! 

Look at all them dandelion flowers! 

And that weeping willow is getting its leaves back fast! 

Did you know that weeping willows loose their leaves here? 

It just doesn't get cold enough in Arizona! 

They look like ghost trees with their leaves off, their little wisps still hanging down and blowing gently in the wind. 

Should have taken a picture of one before leaves came back, sorry.

It's been really nice recently though, and we even went to a park and studies outside today because the sun was shining.

Aw, Thanks, Sisters Barret and Schoenfeld
Oh, also, when we came back from Ray last week, we opened up our closet doors and mine looked like this:

Sister Barret and Sister Schoenfeld are so nice!

Sister Edwards spent a good portion of time recovering from sickness this week. 

We spent basically two whole days inside. 

During that time I wrote some letters of appreciation to three Sisters who are leaving for home at the end of this transfer. 

Sister Springer, Sister Dennison, and Sister Sumsion are all ending their missions May 9th. 

They are all great sisters.

They next day we stayed in, I figured out using the ward list, a map and our GPS all the less actives in our area and made an organized list so we can track them down and bring them back to the fold. It was awesome, but I feel that the reason that it got done so fast was because my companion was so sick. 

It's never fun to be sick.

The good news is, she was better come the weekend; therefore, for church, yay!

Speaking of church, there are some awesome things that have happened in church that I have just not had time to mention yet.

My very first Sunday, the Bismarck Temple President and his wife came and spoke and the wife was telling a story. The Temple was understaffed that day, and no one seemed to be coming in anyway, until this African man walked in. He was a regular. He came and did baptism's very often at the temple. He had a family name- his grandmother. He wanted to have his grandmother's baptismal ordinance done. Well, only females are to be baptized for females and males for males in harmony with the truth of gender being a huge part of our divine nature, and there were no females there, except for her, the temple president's wife. She hadn't done baptism's in awhile! She usually helped others with doing baptisms if anything. She got dressed in white and her husband as well and her husband baptized her for this African man's grandmother, and how wonderful of an experience that was.

This was in Bismarck. He was African and he was a regular. I couldn't get the question out of my mind. Was is the man who was baptized in December of 2013? Who had such a dynamite testimony and brought all of his friend and acquaintances to church and just wanted to share the gospel with everybody? Was it him? I love him? Is it him?

I asked the temple president and his wife afterward and they confirmed my suspicions!

It was Daniel! Oh! I love him soooo much! Seriously, he is the reason for like, so many of the baptisms in Bismarck! And I was able to see him baptize his friend, his first baptism that he performed, and it was sooooo cool! Plus hearing the baptismal prayer in a Liberian accent is just super cool too.

And there's another story... but darn, I'll have to tell it next week.

Back to the present.

This week was actually stake conference for the Minot Stake.

We all stayed with the Minot sisters, who live in a member's modified attic. It was cramped, but it was fun, and the most like a 'sleepover' I've ever experienced on my mission for better or worse. haha. That moment when the lights are out and people just decide to keep making comments because we all know that no one reeeeally wants to sleep. haha.

This really does mark that I've been on my mission for a year because stake conference was my first Sunday in Bismarck, and that was the Stake Conference where it was announced that the stake was splitting into the Bismarck and Minot stakes. So Here I am again, back in Minot, only this time conference was held at a big center which was part of the Holiday Inn instead of at a sports stadium.

Stake Conference at the Holiday Inn

They even had it on their big electronic activities board which I find humorous, but awesome.

Conference was great. It had an emphasis on Temples and the importance of Sabbath Day observance, giving the sabbath to the Savior. It was pretty crazy- Sister Edwards was actually asked on the fly to give her testimony! When she walked up, they whispered to her that they would like her to speak about the first vision and recited Joseph Smith's experience and that she had two minutes. She began, trying to catch her breath that her nerves robbed from her:

"I saw a pillar of light... exactly over my head... above the brightness of the sun..... which descended gradually until it fell upon me. ....When the light... rested upon me, ..I saw two personages...... whose brightness and glory defy all description.... standing above me in the air. ....One of them.... spake unto me, calling me by name.... and said, "This is my Beloved Son, hear him!""

Her testimony was powerful and touched many. It turns out President fed them four names the day before of missionaries who could bare there testimony about the missionary purpose.

But something that I will always remember about this stake conference is seeing this little boy.

Kyle has Spina Bifida, just like Marshall my brother, :)
This little eight, soon to be nine, year old boy has Spina Bifida and reminds me a lot of my brother Marshall. I saw him before conference started and went up to him to say hi. After sitting back down, I became pretty emotional, just with the similarities causing my heart to miss Marshall very much. After a member that I knew well asked me if something was wrong, I could not hold back the tears. But I eventually calmed down (and the priesthood blessing that my companion suggested I should get probably helped) and things are a'okay. Plus I get to see Marshall and the rest of my family this upcoming Sunday on the Skype call home for Mother's Day! So that will be really nice.

After we got back home, we had a lesson with Dude watching "On the Lord's Errand," a documentary about Thomas S. Monson, the prophet on the earth today. It's wonderful! You need to watch it!

And after the lesson we had dinner, with a member who lives just outside the city and they have horses! We got a small tour of their outdoors!

Horses really are beautiful creatures.

Well, that's it for this week. Next week I will know whether or not I'm staying with Sister Edwards another transfer or not. 

She feels like she's going, but you never know! 

Till next week!

P.S. (Pic) Look at this cute little bat just hangin' out on the wall under the balcony of a member's house! So cute!

P.P.S. May the forth be with you.

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