A sweet sister in Maine posted this on the mission Facebook page. I commented that Priscilla looks cold and the sister said that Priscilla never took off her coat and scarf. But she said not to worry because it was going to be warmer the next few days. I looked up the weather forecast for Brewer and saw that warmer meant a high of 37. For an Arizona girl, that's NOT warmer!-Mom
Happy TUESDAY friends and family. Yeah, I thought I would switch it up and let you hear from your favorite "Brewer of Salvation" on a Tuesday this week. Just kidding, this wasn't my idea, this was because yesterday we had the opportunity to have Zone Interviews with President Stoker! Hooray for missionary leadership and counsel woo! But that wasn't even the beginning of the awesome week Sister Daughety and I had here in Brrrrrwer. In fact it was really more of the end (because Monday really marked the end of the week since I've written you all last.... It's a joke, kinda....). Well, I guess I'll stop keeping you waiting and talk about this awesome week!
Last Monday was District P-Day which was really fun. With it being one of the Bangor Sister Training Leaders' last transfer we pretty much let them run the show and decide what we were going to do which became "The First Bangor-Brewer-Lincoln Olympics! It sounds a lot fancier than it really was, we mostly just played chair soccer, modified dodge ball (which I killed at once because of my 8 years of softball experience), and tag. It was fun to play games and WEAR PANTS and just spend some fun time with some of the coolest missionaries in the mission. But like the last district P-Day where we exerted ourselves physically in a Nerf War (See Transfer #2) I kinda regretted working myself too hard for the rest of the week. Luckily it didn't affect the work too much.
The hardest thing about being so exhausted the day after District P-Day was our mile plus hike in the cold to our new service opportunity. The walk was long, I was already tired, and the wind kicked up the snow into our faces which were already cold due to the already below freezing weather. Sister Daughety and I aren't native-to-cold people so that was rough but we made it to the food bank where we got to know this sweet girl who was around our age and helped us when we had no idea what to do. Did I mention we were able to find that service opportunity through Justserve.org? It's a really handy site that helps you find opportunities to, guess what, just serve. I heard it got its start in Arizona so for any of you back home who need places to help out I would definitely recommend that site!
Wednesday we had the opportunity to view the Special Missionary Broadcast to all the missionaries in the world. It was cool to see Elder Neilson who just visited our mission two transfers prior to the broadcast and what was funny was how his training in the broadcast was pretty similar to what he trained us on a couple months ago. It was also powerful to see the training by Elder Bednar on how we are really instruments in the Lord's hands and how we can never bring truth or knowledge into the hearts of the people we are working with, we can only bring it unto. I know that's something I frequently forget as a missionary, I think I am the one who gives information and they should just take my word for it when in reality I am just the inviter. I invite them to pray to know. I invite them to use means of revelation like prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. I invite people to baptism. I think the theme of the devotional, "We preach repentance, and baptize converts" speaks volumes. The Lord is asking us to change and once we commit ourselves to change daily, we are then baptized as our first sign of change. (This ties in nicely with my Monday entry so hold tight)
Wednesday afternoon we decided to take what we had just learned from the broadcast about the gospel of Jesus Christ and use it with a less-active member we are working with. May I just say I have never had a more spiritual lesson and while he didn't have a sudden change of heart where he suddenly knew everything he needed to, I at least knew I was doing a good job as an instrument in the Lord's hands. And then Wednesday evening to Thursday evening Sister Daughety and I went on exchange with the Bangor Sister Training Leaders. We have a new system of exchange where both missionaries in the companionship go to the leaders' area and basically the Bangor area has twice the sisters and the work is being done by splits. I got to spend my time in Bangor with Sister Duncan (whenever Sisters Eddington and Daughety weren't also around) and we got to teach a lot of their members, via the mission vision which was fun. Sister Duncan is super fun and all four of us got to do service at a thrift shop which was also fun.
Friday was pretty great and we were busy with weekly planning in the morning and teaching/visiting appointments in the evening. All was a pretty good build up to Friday where we got to see three of the elders' investigators get baptized. They are all three siblings and they have actually been taught for a long time, even by us sisters when I first got to Brewer. Their baptism was pretty great and there was a special spirit there when a lot of the ward, even Lynn, attended to encourage them in their decision to come closer to Christ. Baptisms are always special.
So that meant Sunday morning at church all three of them were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and received the Holy Ghost which was also special. Sister Daughety and I also did our best to stay on good terms despite the football game that evening (We even wore our team colors to church because we were that excited). All I have to say about the playoff game is I think I have enough Carolina Panther heritage that I can say that win was also a win for me. Although it would have been nice for the Cardinals to win. But I guess everyone needs a shot to go to the Super Bowl, even the Panthers.
Anyway, so Monday was great! We had Zone Interviews like I mentioned earlier and I got to speak with President Stoker about how far I've come on my mission. At one point he asked me how long I've been out and as I responded "Six and a half months" I kinda panicked because it hasn't felt that long, especially in Brewer. It's pretty funny to look back at last Zone Interviews and how reluctant I was to embrace Brewer after my first area but here I am almost four months later and I can't imagine being anywhere else. Zone Interviews also focused pretty hard on the importance of getting recently converted members to the temple and family history work. I know that Family History work is something I have personally been frequently called to do and it has been really neat as a missionary to use that resource to bring people closer to Christ and their ancestors who are waiting to have their ordinances performed. What an awesome opportunity! And as we progress in the gospel and continue to repent we want to show our Heavenly Father how willing we are to change (see how I tied it in from Wednesday) and will want to go to the temple for ourselves and our families. I can also tie in Wednesday because Sister Daughety and I got to train on the baptismal invitation during the zone meeting portion of Interviews which was really powerful.
I know that I was called on a mission for a reason. May we all commit to changing and growing daily is my wish for you all this week!