Anthem is treating me well. I love being Sister Smith's companion - it is kind of like being Sister Emily Cook's companion again. Everything is so light-hearted and we are constantly laughing at something or other. It's kind of therapeutic (have you noticed how much I love that word lately?).
Mom asked for details of my apartment... sorry, no pictures, but it's a nice little place. Henderson is probably one of the safest places in the country - so I definitely feel a stark contrast in my surroundings here compared to Paradise and North, haha. I feel so safe here... almost like I'm in a little bubble. Our apartment is really little compared to some of my previous ones. We have one bedroom, one bathroom, and a little living room and kitchen. One missionary described it as "eclectic" - I think because it's filled with some nice furniture and happy canvases from the members here. One canvas reads: "This is your life now", and Sister Smith comments at least weekly that she isn't sure how she feels about that one (I think it brings out apprehension/fears of her mission ending in a month, haha!). It is a homey place, and it's been kept pretty clean and tidy, which I'm grateful for! We have a washer and dryer and good storage space for all the stuff we accumulate throughout the mission!
Our week was filled with exchanges and interviews with President, and lots of meetings. Anthem had its stake conference this weekend, and it was excellent. President Gates likes to do things a little different here with stake conferences - one innovative thing he does is invite families and couples to come up and speak together. On the night session he had a couple come up and share some parenting ideas they've implemented with their young family - it was super interesting. , one family got up (all 4 at once) and shared their thoughts on keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. It was a really cool conference. We also had a meeting with all the missionaries, ward mission leaders, and a member of the stake and mission presidency about how to more effectively unify the wards and the missionaries in the work. It has just been fascinating to see how impressive the coordination efforts of the church are. Afterwards, our ward mission leader was so excited about all the ideas shared and was anxious to meet with us again to discuss how we can take them back to our ward.
I have been struggling a little bit with adjustment to the work in this area - it's just much slower than North,, especially since we're over just one ward. Half the time I feel like I'm really not doing anything productive (though I know we're doing the best we can with what we have). I've become accustomed to hourly or half-hourly appointments, but it just isn't that way here right now. We have to work up to that. We do have one solid woman we're teaching -Kari. She's getting baptized. I still feel like I don't know her very well at this point, but I'm excited for the changes she's making in her life. She's had some hard experiences in the past; she's a recovering alcoholic, just had a baby, and is now a single parent putting her life back in order. Pray for her continued progression!
I got to go back to Northfor the Halls' baptism. It was incredible watching 5 of them, one by one, enter the water and be baptized by Brother Fontano. It was so special. Next weekend, Brother Hall will be baptizing their 7 yr old, Tae'Zon, who turns 8 that day :) I am so, so happy for them, and I was overjoyed to be back in North. Also, Brother Baudino gave his first talk at the baptism - he gave his conversion experience, and I felt so overwhelmed. So many people I love so much all in one place! I wish I had a picture, but I left my camera at the apartment!
Love you forever,