Chinese Professors & Alpacas

On Wednesday, September 21st, we had to wake up insanely early, as in 30 minutes earlier than usual. We headed to the Hill Cumorah Moroni Monument where we met the rest of the site missionaries for our annual walk to commemorate Joseph bringing the plates home. (Moroni appeared the night of the 21-22, but Joseph brought the plates home on the 22nd technically. That date is not coincidental, read the January 2000 Ensign article The Golden Plates and the Feast of Trumpets. Super cool). Anyway, we walked the three miles from the Hill to the Smith frame home, passing around two 25 lb. weights to simulate Joseph carrying the 50 lb. plates. As we got to the last stretch, I just happened to be carrying one of the weights and I decided to run the rest of the way with some of the sisters. Worst idea ever, I about died. But who better to take it to the house than a Smith, am I right? It was neat to be able to put myself in Joseph’s shoes for a while. He had to run from the hill, carrying the entire weight, WHILE fighting off three assailants. Oh man, Ive had a little glimpse of that now, but I still can’t even imagine it. So that was a highlight for sure. image3

Then later that day we went to Town Hall for some community service–scanning old historic Perinton photos and transcribing old town records. It’s a blast.image4

Okay, now to Saturday. Alpaca service. There’s a member in our ward who has an alpaca farm and Saturday they had an alpaca open house. Oh man, usually there are a couple hundred of people there, so they asked us to come help. Turns out there wasn’t that many guests this year, but we still got to meet some people aaaaand FEED ALPACAS! They are the weirdest animals. So weird. The members actually refer to them as “the critters.” We  went into the female pen, and all of them are named after desserts. The one I’m trying to get to eat out of my hand is Coconut Cream. She’s our favorite. Her wool is so thick. (Some things I never thought I would like experience on my mission..)image2

 Then that night we went to the stake center for the women’s broadcast. Wow, so good. Sister Miller and I have been studying the Christlike attributes of faith and charity, and there were talks on both! Prayers answered. And I am SO excited for General Conference this weekend! Last conference was a bit hard being away from home, but this weekend we’re going to members houses to watch it, which will help a lot.

We had a surprise yesterday morning. We were supposed to do our studies in the morning before going to the Smith farm, but our site director called and asked if we would go to our shift early to take a group of Chinese people through the tour. But not any Chinese people. Super important religious professors from the most prestigious universities in China. They are on a trip learning about the church and they are on their way to General Conference! So cool. Well we were sufficiently nervous for this group, no pressure or anything, but they were so much fun. They had a lot of questions and it went really well.image2-2

Today for P-day we went to an apple farm. We picked some apples and got some apple cider doughnuts. Mmmm. Unfortunately their apple cider slushes weren’t ready yet. Lame. I love fall. It’s finally cooling off here and I can’t wait for the leaves to change.image3

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My First Companion from Utah!

image2Oh man, what a week! Let me tell you about my amazing new comp…

-my first companion from Utah! (Kaysville)

-My first companion who is taller than I am! Which means I can walk as fast as I want:)

-She has the cutest clothes! It takes me twice as long to choose what to wear because I have twice as many options! And we’re both pretty much the same size, such a blessing.

-She is soo healthy. We went shopping today and bought mostly fruits and vegetables. It’s a good thing my companions are good eaters, because it forces me to eat healthy.

-This is her fourth transfer, so she’s been out three months less than I. (Today (Sept. 20th) is my 8 month mark)

-She is so happy and bubbly! We are laughing all the time. It makes the work so much easier and fun.

-She runs with me! I still loathe running, but I’ve missed it.

Yep, we’ve had a great first week together. We’ve had so many adventures and have worked so hard the past few days. I’m super excited for the rest of this transfer!

This week we had 4 site shifts in a row, three times at the Smith Farm and once at the Hill. It was a lot of fun. It was so great to see the Poulsens! And they brought THE GREATEST PACKAGES EVER THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I love seeing familiar faces.img_1030

Miracle of the week: in District Meeting we were trained on inviting people to be baptized, and we were challenged to invite someone within the next 4 days, either in a lesson or street contacting. This is something that the whole mission has been doing, and we’d heard about all the miracles that other missionaries had in the past couple of days. Well, that night we had our first lesson with Thibisa’s brother, Martin. (I don’t know if I’ve talked about Thibisa. She was baptized in April. She is 15. Her family moved here from Sudan 12 years ago. She is seriously so amazing. We teach her each week and she is so great). Anyway, for this lesson we invited the Ward Mission Leader and his son. It went really well and at the end we were set on inviting him to be baptized. And he said he would work towards being baptized on October 29th! Wooohooo! So amazing. We couldn’t stop smiling. We still have to teach him a lot, but he also knows a lot from Thibisa, so it should be great. That was the highlight of the week.

image3That is the Palmyra Temple sticking out of the trees in the background.