So sorry this letter has taken a while to get to you! Well, at this rate, it's going to be sent to you as an email. Just know that I intended to send this as a letter. We've been crazy busy, which is SUCH a blessing! But it's hard to find time to write because of it.
So, things that I failed to talk about in my weekly email last Monday -
You read that we found our returning less active drunk. That was awful. But we did secret service for him! He always joked around saying that we should chop his wood, so while he was away, we went with a set of Elders and chopped some of his wood. It was so much fun. I didn't chop a ton, since the Elders were stronger and we only had 2 axes, but I became an excellent gatherer. #skills We're hoping that our less active's heart will be softened and he'll see that he truly can return to the church once again.
We chopped woods one other time for him, and he caught us. He was really thankful for what we had done.
We also chopped woods for the Bordy family. We chopped woods a total of 3 1/2 hours Tuesday. Well, the Elders chopped. I worked on my gathering and stacking skills. The Elders said they were going to be pretty sore the next day. But, blessings! They weren't as sore as they thought they'd be. We also have a new phrase we use while chopping woods. While chopping, you have to be sure that you have enough "umph-cision." Which is a lot of umph and the perfect amount of precision. Then you will chop perfectly.
We had a meeting with Bishop Tulley on Tuesday night. We were telling him about our day, and I said that we had chopped a lot of "woods" earlier. He looked at me, then started laughing. He couldn't believe that I had said "woods" like a Native would instead of being proper and calling it "wood." We both agreed that I'm turning native.
I managed to mess up my other knee. Remember how forever ago I was on exchanges, tripped over a 1/2 inch step, and scraped up my knee terribly from it? By the way, I still have a scar from that fall. Well, I managed to biff it big time when we were in Gallup on Monday. We were walking down the sidewalk while our car was getting an oil change, then I tripped over nothing and fell *hard* on the cement. My knee hurts. And the rest of me. My palms got a little injured as well. But it's okay. Who needs pretty looking knees anyways? I'll forever look at either one of my knees and remember the good times on the mission. I only wish I had better stories to explain the scars... all I can honestly say is that I'm a klutz and trip over tiny things or nothing. But thank goodness I didn't fall a minute earlier when our District Leader was driving by! That would have been embarrassing.
We rearranged the front room some more! Hallelujah! I'm so thankful this place is starting to be organized again. You can tell when I'm stressed, cause the house isn't as spotless as it typically would be. I'm working on cleaning/organizing one thing at a time during my extra time in the mornings. I feel SO much better when the house is clean.
We started a turkey treat secret santa kinda thing on Monday! We made a treat, had a cutesie paper to go with it, and door bell ditched the treat on some ward members' porches. The idea is for them to copy the paper and pass the turkey with a treat to another ward member. We'll see if it goes anywhere.
Oh, we also started Thanksgiving caroling! We go to a door, start talking to them, and if they don't want a Book of Mormon, then we leave them with a song like Because I Have Been Given Much and such. Or as soon as they open the door we start singing. It's been good, but I was shocked at how many people said no to us leaving them with a song. People are weird here. But a good weird.
Oh! MLC/Halloween happened last week! That was super fun. It was a blast being with Sister Ledford and Sister Nielsen for the night. Sister Stringam's mother surprised us and ordered all of us Olive Garden for the night. So we ate well :) We also watched Ephraim's Rescue and did nails. It's as much of a girls night as you can get being a missionary.
We also started going to a Bible studay on Thursday nights. This last time around was interesting. We asked if we could sing a song for them before we left, and chose to sing I Know That My Redeemer Lives. But as we were singing it, the preacher who was there got out his electric guitar and started trying to accompany us. Bah, it was so weird! Jammed out version of I Know That My Redeemer Lives. We kinda synced by the end, but it was still strange. We finished with I Am A Child of God and made sure we were singing accapella.
Recently, my mind has been opened up to just how distracting random conversations can be. Like something as simple as movie quotes or something like that. And I don't like it. We actually did a training on it last Thursday. We were in charge of both the roleplay and the training, so for the role play we had them try to identify about 30 movie quotes. The movie quote came from things like classic Disney movies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Princess Bride... classics essentially. Then after trying to do that for about 5 minutes, they were asked to immediately bear their testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. It was interesting to see how the testimonies weren't very smooth. Then we switched things up and played some instrumental hymns, and had them study something like the Book of Mormon or the new Conference Ensign for a few minutes. Then they were asked to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon. WOW! The Spirit in the room **completely** changed!! It was so strong, and you could tell that the testimonies had a lot more power to them. It really opened my eyes even more, and confirmed what I had already thought to be true. We need to keep our conversations missionary/gospel focused. As we do so, then we can bear testimony with power. If we are talking about politics or football or something else on our way to a lesson, get to the house, and get out and expect the Spirit to be with us to testify powerfully, we're going to be highly disappointed. As we keep our words and thoughts in harmony with the Lord's work as we're doing the Lord's work, then the Spirit can guide us and testify of what we say. So we've been trying to improve and it's going wonderfully. It probably helps that I go home soon and I just want to be the best missionary possible the last stretch.
Transfer news is this Saturday. We'll see what happens! Last change of the mission! So so so weird. I start My Plan this week. It's a program for returning missionaries. It has you make goals and plans for major things in life after the mission like education, dating and marriage, and things like that. I've heard both good and bad things about it. Hopefully it's going to help me be less stressed rather than add to the natural stress I'm already feeling.
By the way, I got the paper chain you sent! That was cute :) And the treats were good... well, I liked the rice cakes. The other treat was a little strange and I still don't know how I feel about it. Was it like a pancake thing? That's what it looked like. But now I have the paper chain hanging over my window in my room. It's lengthy. Or, at least, that's what I'm telling myself. I'm not letting myself think of it as short. Because I've still got a long while before I go home. Right?? Of course right.
OH! How was the show run of Sound of Music??? I need pictures!!!!! Of Halloween and Into the Woods and Sound of Music. I'm so excited to see the recordings of all these things.
And yeah, that's about our week!
OH! Funny story!!! Sister Ledford and I managed to mess up the entire congregation during one of the hymns yesterday! Hahahaha, it was so funny. We were both distracted, and accidentally started singing the second verse of the song a second time. We were going at it confidently, then realized that something was off... so we quieted down, and the rest of the congregation kept mumbling, but then we realized we were on the wrong verse. You know the ward is small when two Sister missionaries can mess everyone up by singing the wrong words. It definitely made us laugh :)
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!