Wowwwww!!! I've been trying to remain calm as I've read your emails this week, since I'm in a public library, but I'm having a hard time containing my emotions. I'm so excited for Sister Croft! That was a completely unexpected call, but I can also see how it is absolutely perfect for her. My guess was an Asian mission, but not Thailand Bangkok. And while I would have been able to accept the Lord's decision to send Sister Croft away before I got home from my mission, I am so happy that I'll have a month to spend with my hermanita before she goes off to serve the Lord. Get ready for some intense companionship study, sister!
Happy Chinese New Year! I had forgotten it was Chinese New Year until I went on exchanges with the Chinese Sisters. We had plain white rice on Saturday night to celebrate, if that counts.
The reason we had plain white rice on Saturday night is because I came down with the Norovirus (Google it if you dare) over the weekend and couldn't eat real food. I was on exchanges on Friday and started to feel really sick, then was sick all of Saturday. It hit me really hard and really fast. It's frustrating to be sick, because I wanted to go out and work, but I was advised by the nurse to be considerate and not spread germs around while I was still contagious. This transfer Heavenly Father has definitely been teaching me the very hard lesson that I need to take care of myself before I take care of others. I got a blessing on Saturday afternoon and by Sunday my fever was gone and I got the green light to go back to normal work. Thank goodness! The power of the priesthood is real.
We had zone conference this week and it was so good. I love zone conference because it's always so powerful to be in a group of missionaries. It's so powerful to feel the spirit of the work and the spirit of the missionaries who are striving so hard to do the Lord's will. We had a great training on finding that really opened up my perspective. I need to focus more on the principles and promises that the Lord has given us to be able to search out those who are prepared for the gospel. I realized that even if someone we find doesn't get baptized or doesn't turn into a long-term investigator, that doesn't mean they weren't a "prepared" person. I was getting frustrated because I felt like we weren't finidng people who are "prepared." In reality, many of the people we talk with every day really are prepared to accept the gospel, and the interactions and lessons we have with them are experiences that are also preparing them to receive the gospel, even if they don't choose to accept it right away. It was a good faith-building reminder.
I had a good experience on an exchange this weekend. Even though I was as sick as a dog, we taught a really great lesson to a less-active sister in a different area. We started off talking about what she'd read in the Book of Mormon from Alma 32 about faith, and then started talking about the sacrament. The sister I was with shared her testimony of the importance of attending church, and then the sister we were teaching asked me about how I feel about the sacrament. I was able to share some experiences that are pretty personal for me, but that I felt would help her. At the end she sort of taught herself that she needs to go to church, not just to attend, but to strengthen her relationship with the Savior. As Derek has said in the past, missionary work is about being real with everyone we teach. When we're real and sincere, the Spirit can testify. The same thing goes for situations in "real life" off the mission. When we're open and honest, the Spirit can be there to help us and to help others, whether they're less-active members, active members we home or visit teach, or someone who isn't a member of the church. Try it out!
Yesterday Sister Jensen and I saw a lady driving in front of us get a flat tire. We followed her to the gas station and my awesome companion and I changed her tire for her. She was shocked that we knew how. She asked us where we learned how to change a flat and I sad, "my youth group at church" and Sister Jensen said, "Family Home Evening." Awesome! The gospel is true, and the programs of the church are inspired. :)
Well, I'm not sure what else to share from this week. My companion is going home in just 9 days. :( I'm super sad, but also excited for what is to come. Our area is growing in so many ways, and I can feel the attitude of the ward continuing to change. I think Sister Jensen has helped MY attitude toward the ward to change as well, definitely for the better. There are good things ahead.