Sister Cook and I were so busy all week. On Monday after emailing, we went straight into the church gym and had our ward mission leader, Brother Hauck, teach us some self-defense. He works for the government in the Department of Interior and has been through 4 police academies, so he knows his stuff.. part of his job is actually training other federal cops how to fight, so this was the real deal, haha. We loved it! Not that we're in any kind of danger really, but it's good to know how to defend ourselves. The other sisters serving in Havasu joined us, and we had a great time learning how to throw a good punch and kick ;)
There's a woman in the ward who got married this week and she invited us to her wedding ceremony at the Bishop's home. The last wedding ceremony I can remember going to is probably Danny and Brittany's way back when, so it was an interesting experience being there. Bishop had been out of town for a week, so we hadn't seen him in a while, and it was refreshing to see his face light up with a smile when we walked into his house for the ceremony. He hadn't been expecting us, and he came right up and asked how the work has been and what news there was since he'd been gone. It was one small evidence of the confidence and trust ward members are developing in us! It's so rewarding, and seriously makes all the difference.
On Saturday the ward held a clothing and emergency preparedness drive that we've been planning for for weeks. We put out ads on the radio, in the newspaper, and throughout town to get the word around. We set up booths all around the church gym, providing information about water-filtering, food storage, etc, and then we missionaries set up our own table for those people interested in learning more about the church. We worked closely with the sisters in the other ward to arrange an eye-catching table and to schedule out times that we could give church tours to those interested. We were pumped! Unfortunately, the turn out wasn't really up to par, and those who did come in from the community came just to drop off clothes, and then quickly left. One lady walked in with her husband and then loudly exclaimed to everyone around, "HI, we're from Calvary Baptist!" (the largest Baptist church in town) We all just kind of looked at her with smiles on our faces, not totally sure what to say... "But we sure love Mitt Romney! We voted for him in the last election! Actually I just wrote him and pleaded for him to run again! He is a man of GOD and he would have led our country RIGHT. Cause you know we just really need the LORD in our government... we are straying so far from Him!!!" Some other elderly women around nodded their heads in fervent agreement, with loud "Mmmm-hmm"s and "Yes ma'am!"s. Hahaha we sisters just suppressed our laughs and continued listening as the woman talked about politics and religion and government. It was so funny.
Sister Cook and I both received packages this week with some goodies... she got loads of CD's from her Mom; all kinds of instrumental movie soundtracks that we have been listening to nonstop - Harry Potter, Narnia, Pride & Prejudice, Tarzan, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Corpse Bride, Enchanted, Alice in Wonderland, Indiana Jones, the Wizard of Oz... we turn them on and it's like suddenly the movie is playing in our heads! It's such a fun little game we play: we'll try and guess which scene from the movie each song is from. Its made me realize just how much i LOVE good movies! (I take after you, Mom and Dad)
I got a package from Julian and Elizabeth that made me cry with excitement... hot chocolate and candy and a cute little mason jar and love notes! Oh and little hats for Sister Cook and I! We were laughing so hard - I have the best friends :)
I feel myself learning so much - mostly about humility. I'm doing absolutely nothing on my timetable anymore... I am bound within limitations, rules, but they are just what I need in order to abandon my selfish desires and focus outward. It's hard to explain, really. I am also seeing just how weak and inadequate I am. The only thing that allows me to get anything done is my obedience and submission to the Lord's will. It truly is like I'm a tool in His hands, a tool that is useless without Him using me. I cannot do any of this alone: I can't find people to teach, I can't open my mouth and say something that will touch those I come in contact with, I can't convince anyone of anything, without His power. I've been relying too heavily on my own grit and abilities, which hasn't been doing too much for me.
I love you all!!!