Bro. Fishburn and Jack!
I don’t even know where to start!
Okay, we’ll go backwards.
Today we got to be taught by Elder Ballard!! He was going to Asia and when he heard they’d be having an overnight layover here he said, “Well, we can’t go to Anchorage without seeing the missionaries!”, so we were taught by him and Elder Rasband for two hours. It was amazing. My favorite part was easily when we got to shake his hand. There was so much LOVE in his eyes, it was overwhelming. And what he taught, or I guess HOW he taught was fantastic. It was the most motivation, encouraging message I’ve ever gotten about being a missionary. He helped me feel like I could do everything he was asking us to do without getting mad at myself for everything I wasn’t doing.
The main thing he told us was to dedicate the balance of our mission time to the Savior. My balance might be running low, but I still got time to implement everything he taught us! And if anything, I want to use his example of loving boldness in helping people desire to change. He also told us a story about LeGrand Richards. Apparently, this man was always so happy and optimistic, so one day Elder Ballard asked him how he did it. He told him, “I let the Lord worry. It’s His church and His work. I let him worry about it, and I do the best I can”. I’ve definitely learned that principle on my mission–once I turn the worrying over to God, whether it’s a situation, training, or an investigator, it goes so much better, and even better I can be happy and stress free about it! Mm, it was so good. (: I was also grateful I got to be there at all–what a tender mercy to get to meet an apostle so sporadically before I finish up! God’s in the details. (:
Yesterday we had zone conference! We learned a lot and our district made the best Title of Liberty ever. It went all day and we were very grateful to Bishop’s family for bringing us dinner. (:
And now I don’t really remember the rest of last week, but I do remember it was pretty hard. We felt like we were trying to work through mud everyday. Not super fun, BUT worth it all because of JACK’S BAPTISM!! It was so happy! Everything went well and he’s just fantastic and the mud washed away for us as he was made clean! I’m SO grateful to have had the chance to know him and help him. He’s going to do amazing things!
Sunday was probably my favorite. So many good things happened! First of all, Elder Gullerud came back to visit! Well, he’s not Elder anymore, but whatever I have to call him now, he was there! I love seeing my missionary buddies! Then Jack got confirmed! It was also ward conference, and the Stake President wanted to meet with the YSA during 2nd hour, but our ward didn’t have any there. Oh wait, except us and Cemoni who came again! Oh, and Elder Gullerud! Wahoo! We got to be there for basically a one on one lesson with Pres. Fisher and Cemoni and it was wonderful and there was such a great spirit there. I know it had a huge impact on each of us, and hopefully mostly Cemoni! I love her! Then we got to sneak into Priesthood to see Jack receive the Aaronic Priesthood! Yay! And THEN we got to go to Airport Heights ward to see JOEY receive the Aaronic Priesthood!
Seriously, it was SUCH a good Sunday. (: These people are SO amazing and are making such great choices that are bringing such visible blessings. We saw Jack yesterday and he definitely has a new light to him. I was studying this week about how when we follow the commandments of God, he helps us become our best selves, our real selves, and that’s exactly how’d I’d describe Jack’s change. He’s always been happy and funny, but now has an extra measure of it. It’s amazing to see and again, I’m SO grateful to be a part of it.
As I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve realized that the same thing is also happening to me, and so many other missionaries I know. It’s amazing to see the best of each of us come through as we spend all our time immersed in the spirit. I know I’ve found aspects of myself that I never would have known of if it weren’t for my time in Alaska, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
God leads our lives to greater places than we could have ever imagined, and that includes leading us to be better people than we could have ever imagined. All thanks to him and the Atonement of our Savior as we follow Him and put Him and His teachings first. (:
I love you all so much and hope you have a fantastic week! Hay Bay, GOOD GOOD luck with State this week!! We’re praying so much for you!!
Plus us missionaries!
Sister Thacker came!
Thanks for the package!
No one was home on Valentine’s…so we heart attacked everyone!!
And then we had the BEST Valentine’s Dinner I’ve ever had made by Jack! Seriously, I told him he HAS to start a restaurant and I’ll fly up all the time just to eat there because he’s SO good!
Long story, but once upon a time Dad you got mom these kind of roses, tiger roses maybe?, and I thought they were the coolest things ever, but I’d never seen them again…until now! Good thing Sister Willis’s husband got her some! 🙂
The AP’s are making this ‘courage’ video…I don’t really know why, but this was our district pic for it. 🙂