6 mos. Out & 5 mos. Till Christmas!

My 6 month pic at the Grove. When I first came out I told myself I wouldn’t keep track of time or count months. Yeah that didn’t happen. Oops.DSC03195

Happy Pioneer Day! I forgot it was Pioneer Day until I heard the talks of the other ward being piped into the foyer before ward council. Without Oakley, it didn’t even register. Plus, the members in New York aren’t big on it, obviously. They are the ones who didn’t go west, why would they care, nevertheless we heard many great pioneer talks in Sacrament Meeting.

But, we are five months away from Christmas! Woohoo. We listen to Christmas music all the time, but I still can’t wait. Today after emailing we are going to walk the canal and go browse all the cute shops. I will most likely do all my Christmas shopping for you guys there today. No surprise right, Tessa’s going Christmas shopping in July? I love Fairport Main Street and have been wanting to look around my whole time here. Well, there is a good chance I get transferred next week, so this is my last chance. I don’t want to leave Airport!!

Well, my week was interesting. On Wednesday we did service at the Indian reservation again. This time we were working outside in the field. Pulling weeds and staking in black plastic around the corn: felt a lot like home! Also that day we had interviews with President Evans. Wow, he is incredible. He definitely feels like my mission president now. I’m excited to work with him over the next year. Thursday we were at the Visitor’s Center. It has really slowed down since pageant. Not many people came in. Friday we had zone meeting, Saturday was a 9-9 shift at the Whitmer Farm. I love the Whitmer Farm, even though the shifts there are long. 
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After a rough night of disappointment what do we do? Fix it with some FroYo and a pretty sunset by the canal.

And now, for Miracle Sunday: Lexy came to church!! We haven’t seen her for a few weeks, but she came! At first she said she could only stay for the first hour, but then she said she was curious about the next classes, so she stayed for the whole block! She seemed to enjoy it. Hopefully we can meet with her this week and keep teaching her. Then last night we had a pass off lesson with the AP’s for the man we met at pageant. It also went really well. Good stuff.
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It’s Pageant Time!

DSC03129PAGEANT!!!! The time I have been waiting for since I got my call!! Well, let me tell you about it. It’s all hands on deck. We work a shift everyday and teach THOUSANDS of people! We get to the Smith Farm and there are five buses waiting. It’s crazy, but so much fun! Oh, I also have no more voice, which is a problem as I’ll be at the Smith Farm again today. We get to see the pageant once for ourselves and two other times with investigators. We went on Friday, opening night. It was really good, I was super impressed with the effects! Buuut, I still like Manti better. It would be really fun to come back and be in the cast here. They arrive just one week before the opening show, and they camp next to the Hill and practice all day to get ready. It’s amazing it comes together so fast. We also went on Wednesday with our ward. They had a picnic before at the Stake Center and they all bring their friends and we head over to the pageant. We sat with one of these nonmember friends who loved the pageant and is interested in learning more! So we’ll get the elders in his area to teach him. Then, just now our zone leaders called and said that they found someone in our area who is coming and wants to meet with missionaries, so if we can get someone to cover the last hour of our shift we’ll go again. This will mean another late night, and another early shift to go to tomorrow, which isn’t ideal, but if it means a new investigator, we’ll make it happen! 

Miracle of miracles..Ashley got baptized! Yes, the girl I was teaching in Irondequoit was baptized and confirmed on Sunday. We didn’t find out about it until Saturday night, but with a quick shift change we were able to attend. Sister Moore also got to go so it was a fun reunion with everyone in the Rochester 1st Ward. I gave a talk on baptism and accompanied Sister Moore on a musical number. It was fantastic:D

Another Miracle: We got a referral for a man named Muhammad Ali. So at first I’m thinking it is a prank, there’s only a name and phone number. Our online referral confirmations are supposed to stop fake referrals from coming, but it still happens. So we call the number and lo and behold, Muhammad Ali is a real person! Who wants to meet with us! We set up an appointment, but he got stuck in traffic, or had car problems, he’s hard to understand on the phone with his accent..but we’ll set up another one for next week and hopefully we’ll be able to meet him! 

So a lot of people ask me if I’m related to Joseph Smith and I get to tell them my relationship. I have our family picture in the back of my site Book of Mormon and on the back I drew a little pedigree chart to show people because they don’t always understand “four times removed.” So at the Whitmer Farm last week a man and his family came in and asked and I told him and the follow up was, “Oh, who is your ancestor?” So I showed them the chart and told them about Jesse and Silas and this man is just astonished and tells his dad to come look. So the grandpa comes and looks and gets excited because he is also a descendant of Jesse! But it was interesting because of the three generations there (grandpa, son and two teenage grandsons), I’m the same generation as the grandfather because he is also four times removed. That was interesting. 

 Book of Mormon: I’ve finished the Book of Mormon twice in the past couple of weeks. The first time was the completion of our mission reading challenge. Then I went back to where I was reading previous to the challenge and finished again. I love the Book of Mormon and I love the insights I gain each time I read it! 

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Happy 4th of July!

image1I am SO blessed to have P-day on the holiday!  Only a few sisters had P-day scheduled today, so we got to join the beach party in West Rochester, Ontario Beach Park. Check out President Evans on the left! image1Also, we went to the temple on Friday!image2I’m so excited for pageant this week! I love you all, happy Fourth of July! Sister Oliva’s first 4th of July! 

A Filipina Companion & Farewell to the Pres.

image1New companions are so fun. Sister Oliva (oh-leave-a:)is from Bicol Philippines! She has been out for 16 months and she is a party. She speaks 5 languages: Bicol, Tagalog, English, cat and dog. I thought she was kidding about the last two until our first lesson together when she spent the first 5 minutes communicating with the pets…She LOVES cats and dogs. As you know..I do not. She is the 5th of 6 kids and is a great cook. She came to the apartment and starting just pulling things out of the fridge and the pantry and threw it together and she’s made some really yummy stuff. She is very bubbly and hilarious.image3

We were at the sites almost everyday last week. I took a lot of bus youth conferences from all over the east, my favorite was some kids from North Carolina. We were at the Smith Farm together and then I saw them at the Grandin the next day. Also, big family reunions have come through. We had Marlin K. Jensen, emeritus seventy, here the other week with his family. They’re lots of fun. Right now it’s slowing down a bit. The calm before the storm. I guess most people are thinking if they’re coming soon, they might as well do it when pageant is going. We’re prepping. Lots of logistics to handling crowds at each of the sites. When we’re not at the sites, we’re teaching people. We had some good lessons this week. Lexy is still meeting with us. I got the greatest call on Wednesday night. Ashley, from my old area, called to invite me to her baptism on Sunday. She also wanted me to speak and do a musical number with sister Moore, so I was sooo excited. Then by Saturday night they had pushed back her date again..that was disappointing..hopefully next time she’ll go through with it!image5Today was the Francis’ farewell reception. They had one at our church and one in Buffalo. He and sister Francis spoke for a little, we sang Called to Serve to them and got pictures. It was sad, I sure love them a lot. I’m really excited to meet my new president, however.

It’s been super hot here. And humid. We haven’t had AC, but our housing coordinator is coming on Wednesday to put one in. We’ve been DYING!