Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 51: The Last of the Romans and the Packards

Can I just tell you about the awesome week I had? Good, I'm going to right now. 


Sunday night was when we found out about transfers, as you already know. Because we didn't know before church, we ended up spending a decent amount of time visiting a lot of people to say goodbye. Sister Roman also needed to pack, so we stayed at home Tuesday morning and early afternoon to do that. In the meantime, I cut out a LOT of paper hearts that we used to decorate the English sisters' study room. :) 

Tuesday night there was this tornado warning and it seemed fairly serious, so we spent a little while deciding whether or not to go home early. Actually what we did though, is we said a prayer (I was getting anxious about it... like, symptoms of serious anxiety. My chest felt strangely tight. It was kind of weird that I got so anxious but... who knows.) asking what we should do. I didn't feel any one way or the other really, so we went to go visit Nair really quickly. When we walked out of her house, the sky had cleared up a TON! It was blue again! 

Seriously, miracles my friends. Miracles. Heavenly Father loves us so much. 

I also had a really good talk with Sister Roman about myself.. she has helped me to learn a lot about myself this past transfer, because I've been able to talk with her about everything, including some of my deepest thoughts and feelings. She was such a blessing to be companions with. I know Heavenly Father put me with her because He knew how much she would help me. I needed her, and I am already changed for the better because of my time with her!

And I forgot.... well, I just didn't make Ben's birthday video yet. But I'm seriously going to do it today and send it home later in the afternoon. So be on the lookout for that one. 

Wednesday morning we had the Farewell Conference for the Packards. That was so sad. I love the Packards so much. They have become like parents to me. (just a reminder though, love just grows. My love for them does not diminish my love for my own Ma and Pa. Never you fear.) They first gave us a training that they received from a meeting they had with Elder Holland a few weeks ago. I'm going to share my notes/thoughts on that soon. Then Sister Packard gave us advice.... and we sang hymn 152. The worst one out there. Good thing I was playing the piano, so I didn't have to sing, but I still totally cried. Such is my life. 

THEN. We all got to hug the Packards and say some official goodbyes. You read that right--I HUGGED PRESIDENT PACKARD AND IT FELT SOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD. We haven't been allowed to hug him because you know I'm a sister, but it was awesome. It was like hugging Dad, but just not quiiiiite as great. Almost though. Almost. President Packard has taught me so much though, and he really has such faith in me and in the power of the Atonement, which has been a great support. I already miss the Packards so much. (I saw them at transfer meeting, but didn't talk to them. They leave today after the Millers arrive....yikes.) Good thing they gave us their address, so we'll just have to go visit them in San Antonio. Oh yes. 

That afternoon we tried to teach a bunch of kids the Plan of Salvation. It went pretty well, but I forgot how distracted some kids get when you introduce chalk outside....

Thursday we visited Nair one last time, weekly planned, and visited Maria Silva, Maria Graca, and Tracy, Nair's older sister. I love these people. They're so great. Also, ANOTHER MIRACLE--Wednesday night we knew we would  visit Maria Graca. We felt like we should talk about the Sabbath day with her. So when we visited her on Thursday, she started off by saying she wouldn't come to church for a while. We asked why, and the poor woman said she didn't have any money to pay tithing, because she and her son (with cancer) don't have jobs. We were like "hey, you don't actually need to pay tithing to go to church!! No worries! In fact, we wanted to talk about the Sabbath day with you today...." and we explained how God created the Sabbath for us. And He would never say someone could not go to church just because they don't have money to pay tithing. She promised she would come every Sunday. though she had a bad headache yesterday... so.... we'll visit her. She's awesome though. We love Mary Grace.

miracles, my friends.

Friday we had a lovely District meeting complete with pizza burritos for lunch, then we all went to help a new family move in! It took 3 hours and 8 missionaries plus the High Priest Group Leader, but we did it. In skirts, may I add. We were so gross after, so we went to buy ice cream at this magical place called Lincoln Creamery. Dad, you would like it. A lot. We later visited a member, Celeste, for VT and Emilia and Joao. We also taught them about the Sabbath day, and it went so well! The Sabbath Day is the best day, my friends. Seriously.

Saturday was transfer dayyyyyyy! We woke up, played a sick game of ultimate frisbee, packed, showered, and drove up to Weston. That was a really emotional meeting. I knew almost every single of the 30 missionaries that flew home this morning.... I'm so old in the mission. Also, President and Sister Packard spoke, and that was so powerful. They have such strong testimonies of the gospel, and I know they have affected mine. Whew. Good meeting.

then Sister Couto and I rode home with our ZLs and went to work! AND GUESS WHAT I DO DRIVE NOW WAHOOOOOO!! It's awesome. We taught Ana Goncalves and Luisa Goncalves (not related). Good stuff.

On Sunday! We had FORTY FIVE people in church!! It was so great!! We had to chase around a 5-year old during second hour (he came with our investigators who were in the youth classes), but no worries.  Later we had a potluck lunch and we visited Lu and Luis, new investigators, and did other missionary-like stuff. Now I'm getting lazy. Sorry :)

And here we are! I love Sister Couto :) Because we've already been friends throughout our missions, the adjustment to being companions has been super smooth so far. She's awesome! We're working hard and doing the Lord's will.

Alright. really quick I'll talk about the Sabbath Day. 

Fun fact: the Friday before every General Conference all of the General Authorities and Auxiliaries have a training meeting by the 12 and the First Presidency. That's where this training came from, from Elder Holland to President Packard to me to you.

If you didn't already know, the GAs want to stress the importance of the Sabbath day. I need to go faster, so I'll just jot down some thoughts and notes quickly. 

The Sacrament
-we know this is the most important thing we do on Sundays. All of us can make it even more sacred.
-we: REMEMBER, WITNESS, and ARE INSPIRED when we take the sacrament.
--we should be thinking about the Atonement during the sacrament, like literally thinking about it and remembering Christ's suffering for us and the glorious blessing that is to us.
--the sacrament is an outward witness to an internal commitment. What commitment is that? Because the sacrament is actually an ordinance that we take part in every single week for ourselves, it is super important. Is there any other ordinance that we take more than once for ourselves? No. Think about that. Anyway, the commitment we make is that we literally are renewing ALL of our covenants we have thus made with God. This includes, but is not limited to, our baptismal covenants. It also includes our temple covenants and others we might have made. 
--"Spirituality and covenants are not stagnant."
-The Name of Christ. What does that actually mean? His Name is His work. When we commit to take upon us the name of Christ, we are committing to do our part of His work--to fulfill assignments made, to magnify our callings, to spread the gospel, to improve ourselves. Think about that! It's like we each have a share, our own part, in the work of the Lord. Doesn't that make you want to do it more and with more vigor? It does for me.

Read Exodus 31:13 and Ezekiel 20:20. the Sabbath is a sign we give to God. What kind of sign are you giving Him?

This was a loooong letter, but I had so much to tell you all :) It was a fantastic week for me, and it sounds like it was so great at home to. I can't believe Jared will become Elder Knutti on Wednesday, but I am so proud of him. He will learn more than he can even imagine and his mission will change him for the better. This is his time to devote everything he has to the work of the Lord! This is his time to practice consecration. It's so worth it, I promise. It has been for me.

I figured out this morning that once Michael enters the MTC, we should have 10 missionaries serving from the good ole CV2. then we all start coming home, but can you imagine that?? 10!! Me, Calvin, Connor, Garrett, Jeff, Duncan, Michael, Landon, Chase, Jared. #onlysister #bestsister

I love the Lord. I love the work. I can testify of miracles. I've made it a habit to write a miracle of the day in my journal each night, and boy the Lord blesses me a lot. I have changed and I look forward to the change I will see in myself over my whole life. The gospel is amazing and the greatest blessing of my life.

I love you all so much and hope that everything goes well this week! It's going to be a big one, but it will be so good. The Lord will carry you though if you need it, I promise.


Sister Knutti, the one and only.

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