This week was stellar. The first bit of good news is that OUR CAR GOT FIXED. Remember the video I sent of Sister Blanchard and I in the car with our doors roped shut? Well our passenger door had been broken since then - about a month! So with Sister Martin and me, one of us has had to sit in the back while one of us drives. I didn't realize how much of a strain it had been putting on our companionship until this week when I sat in the front seat beside her for the first time.... Ohhh my, it was a breath of fresh air! I could actually talk and laugh with her! It has put a whole new dynamic to our work and companionship this week, I could cry with relief! I realized that this month with one of us in front and the other behind has taught me an important life lesson (silly as it may seem) : in companionships (as a missionary, or a friendship, or a marriage), we have to work side-by-side. The relationship just won't work the way it's supposed to if one is ahead of or behind the other, not necessarily in a physical sense, but a spiritual, emotional, and mental one. Equal partnership is a powerful thing.
In other good news, Brother Baudino is confident and ready for his baptismat :) All the sisters who taught him are coming back for the baptism, including Sister Kraus, Sister Blanchard, and Sister Hope, and we're all performing a musical number together. The ward is elated, and so are we. I was thinking about all the experiences I've had and people I've met here in North yesterday morning as we were driving to church and before I knew it, my eyes were at with tears. Sister Martin looked over at me in alarm and asked, "What's wrong?" I laughed and told her I was happy. I couldn't really make the words come out right, so all I ended up saying was, "I love being a missionary."
I think I was especially sensitive that morning because we were getting ready to give a talk in sacrament meeting, and I'd felt the Spirit witness to me repeatedly throughout the week of the reality of what i'd prepared to share... My message was centered on preparing the world for the Second Coming of the Savior by helping the Him gather His "elect". I'd spent a good part of the dayreading talks and gathering my thoughts. I ended up only being able to share about 1/8 of it, but it turned out alright. One quote I shared came from a talk Elder Anderson gave in a priesthood session a few years ago:
"Your mission will be a sacred opportunity to bring others to Christ and help prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior.
The Lord has long spoken of the necessary preparations for His Second Coming. To Enoch, He declared, “Righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, … and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth.” The prophet Daniel prophesied that in the latter days the gospel would roll forth unto the ends of the earth as a “stone [that is] cut out of [a] mountain without hands.” Nephi spoke of the latter-day Church as being few in number but spread upon all the face of the earth. The Lord declared in this dispensation, “Ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect.” My young brethren, your mission is a great opportunity and responsibility, important to this promised gathering and linked to your eternal destiny."
It just hit me so strongly that I am a part of this "sweep[ing] of the earth".. I always knew that, but I haven't always felt it. This feeling has filled me with a deep gratitude for and awe of Him.
It is really an incredible thought when I sit down and let my mind ponder on it. I'm still trying to grasp all the promises of this doctrine, and I have developed a deep, anchoring desire to never let anything take me from the blessings of an eternal family under sacred covenant.
The Halls are progressing towards theirbaptism date. They have become like family to me - I look forward to every lesson with them. Last night we had a lesson with their whole family and Brother and Sister Fontano. We taught the plan of salvation and talked about the temple. They obviously don't understand everything right now, but the spirit in their home and family is tangible. They are so elect; I almost feel undeserving to teach them. The whole ward is wrapping their arms around them and involving them in everything... That becomes easy, though, when you have a child in every auxiliary :) I feel like I was sent to North just to teach them.
We get transfer news this week. I am so, so nervous. I've never been quite this nervous for transfers... I am anticipating leaving and going to Henderson, since I have yet to serve there, but we will see!
Please send pictures of our baby boy, and all the family together! Travel safe - I love you!!