Transfer emails came out last night and I could not find my name on the roster! So I scrolled to the last page thinking I’d start from the bottom but instead I see a list “missionaries going to Buffalo” and there’s my name! AAAAAAA! I told everyone I wanted to go to Buffalo for the winter and I fished my wish! My new area is ORCHARD PARK! It’s currently an elders area so we’ll be “flushing” it with sisters. My new companion is (wait for it) Sister Ewell! Yes, the Sister Ewell who is in half my pictures because we’ve been in the same ward for 6 months, we hang out every P-day, and see each other every day. So I literally could tell you her life’s story. (She’s pictured below directly behind me.) We are so excited and so nervous because this means we are leaving my beloved sites. Full prose-lyting! Woohoo! Farewell Fairport! I’m so sad to leave the Fairport Ward but I hear great things about the Orchard Park Ward. I’ll now have served in all three stakes: Rochester, Palmyra and now Buffalo! We’ll also be the only sisters in the district, which will be new. This new adventure has me so excited, I didn’t sleep last night. Packing is a nightmare.
This week I also hit my nine month mark. HUMP DAY! (Technically my hump day is next week due to my extra long mission). But that’s exciting! So you all need to tell me the truth. Has it gone by fast or slow for you at home?
We did soooo much service this week. On Thursday we went to Town Hall and transcribed some more town hall notes about the Civil War. That was neat. Then we did our bookstore service, remember, where we clean all the books that are donated? Then we helped a member clean out her garage. She moved into the ward a couple of months ago and is still not moved in. It rained constantly from Thursday to Saturday and she realized that soon she’ll want to put her car in her garage. Um yeah! Then on Friday we went to Palmyra and helped dry wall a Baptist church. This particular church has been known to have very anti LDS feelings, but when their main contractor got injured we volunteered to help finish their renovation. So that was fun. I know literally nothing about construction. Mostly we sisters cleaned and polished the ceiling fans and left the main part to the elders. Then that afternoon after district meeting we went to one of the elder’s investigator’s house to clean her basement. Yay service!!
On Saturday we got to go to a baptism for one of Sister Miller’s previous investigators, perks of being in the same district. It was kind of a scary baptism because he has some health challenges and moving around is difficult, so they had two extra elders in the font to help, and they baptized him forward instead of backwards. I didn’t think he’d be able to get back up, but he did, and when he came in after he changed he was beaming from ear to ear. It was such a great experience.
Yesterday was the Primary program! Honestly the best meeting of the year. Always full of surprises and always so spiritual. Hearing those kids (it’s a huge primary) belt out Praise to the Man at the top of their lungs about brought tears to my eyes.
On Tuesday we were serving at the Hill Cumorah and we went up to the monument during companionship study. We found a toad on the monument and named him Moroni, obviously. We took a bajillion pictures and I’ve narrowed it down to this one.
I LOVE Sister Miller and I’m so sad to be leaving her.
A HUGE pumpkin outside of Town Hall.
Well, Tuesday night at 10:13 we got a call from the Visitors’ Center trainers. We were just about to go to bed and had planned our area day for Wednesday but they asked us if we could go to the Whitmer farm the next day. Um yes yes yes. I LOVE the Whitmer farm and hadn’t served there in a transfer. The senior couple who drove us also took us to Sauder’s, a really neat Mennonite store. It was Sister Millers first time there.
On Friday I went on exchanges with Sister Ringler. She came to Fairport and we had a lesson planned with Martin. His sister called saying she wouldn’t be there so we had to find another female. We called 34 people off of the ward list and no one could come! 34! Can’t say we didn’t try. Before each new call we’d say, “fourth floor last door. Fourth floor last door.” (Read Uchtdorf’s talk from the Women’s Session of conference). It was alright though because his other sister was home during the lesson. He’s coming along great! We moved his date to November 12 so he can come to church.
On Saturday we had another lesson with Michelle. We got her two teenage daughters to join us. We were so focused on Michelle and the lesson that we didn’t notice the girls started fighting until one of them threw a bottle of red Kool-Aid across the room. My Book of Mormon went flying but Sister Miller was in the splash zone. She got sprayed! It was an adventure. And we had the bishop’s wife with us, so that was fun.
On Sunday all four of us sisters spoke in sacrament meeting on obedience. I went in so nervous and unprepared, my notes were minuscule and I clocked it in under 5 minutes during comp study. I was the final speaker and my fellow missionaries kindly left me about 15 minutes to speak! Panic mode. All I can say is the spirit took over and I was somehow able to give a composed talk, with material I hadn’t even planned on using, and it was the perfect amount of time. When I sat down Sister Miller said, “where did that come from?” (She was my audience during comp study.) All I could tell her was it wasn’t me! Miracles. Our talks were on the blessings of obedience and I got the topic of how it makes us like the Savior. I talked about our new mission motto 3 Nephi 5:13 about how Christ disciples us. This was from a training from president Evans. And we learn in DC 14:7 “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” Obedience grants eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts because it’s not only living with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ but because we’ve been obedient we live like Them.
Life is so good as a missionary. I’m so happy to be out here right now. Every day is never as planned, full of adventure, laughs, and tender mercies.
Another week in the books. This was a good one. On Thursday we worked a couple of hours in the morning at the Smith Farm and Sister Miller and I gave a tour to a busload of people from the Community of Christ. Those are always interesting. We have the same history here in Palmyra, so the tours aren’t that different, but then at the same time our beliefs are soo different. They were very nice and seemed to really enjoy the tour. Then we scurried over to the stake center for the mission tour. Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr. of the Seventy (spoke in the priesthood session last week) came and we heard from him that afternoon. It was really good. He’s a very engaging speaker. Here’s the Palmyra North zone with the Curtises and Evans.On Saturday our district broke out of the box with a creative finding activity. Cuz, ya know, we need investigators. So the idea was a lemonade stand that turned into a cider stand. (New York is crazy about cider). I wasn’t going to be there for it because I was supposed to go on exchanges. I was pretty bummed because this was kinda my brain child, but then at the last minute the STLs called and postponed so we got to do it together! We set up at the farmers’ market, where there are always lots of people, and handed out free cider and copies of the Book of Mormon. We didn’t get any new investigators, but we did talk to a lot of people and I think it was a productive two hours. Then it started pouring. We did it with the Penfield elders and then next week we’ll go to their area and do a finding activity. Probably Minute to Win it. We’ll see how that goes. We’re just trying to be creative. Any finding ideas you RMs used?? Anyway, this was a lot of fun. Good mission memories. Then our district met at Simply Crepes for lunch. Sister Miller and I split a chicken cordon bleu crepe. If ever you have the chance to have a chicken cordon bleu crepe, take it!! So good. We have a couple of new people we are teaching. We’re still teaching Martin, and that’s going really well. He just needs to find a new job that allows him to come to church. Then there’s Elizabeth. We met her a few weeks ago and finally had a lesson. And there’s Michelle, a referral from some elders. We taught her for the first time yesterday. We’ve been taking members to lots of lessons and they have been amazing!!
Can you believe it is October?? Looking back at our week I really can’t think of anything to write about besides General Conference, which was incredible. On Saturday we went to the Gilchrist’s house. She is a single mom with two cute boys. We watched both sessions there and between sessions she made the homemade tacquitos that I love so much! There was so much about the Restoration on Saturday, and we were watching it with the other sister missionaries in our ward so every time something was said about it we all got really excited. We just love serving in the Cradle of the Restoration and being the guardians of the Restoration. On Sunday we went to the Larsons. They are so amazing. They had Thibisa over for the day as well. We made stew and biscuits and it felt just like being home. Martin, our investigator, came for dinner and watched the afternoon session with us. There were so many incredible talks. We were commenting the next day on how there wasn’t any talk of things getting easier or better, but they just stressed the fundamentals. So much on repentance, prayer, faith, Sunday worship and of course, the Restoration. The funda- mentals are so important. We can’t get hung up on smaller things that we don’t under- stand, because honestly “to whom shall we go?” I’m so grateful for my mission that allows me to focus on studying the doctrine of Christ.
Our recent trainings have been about using our talents in missionary work…yay, using talents…anyway, both Sister Miller and I like to bake so we made over one hundred “conference cookies” and took them around to less actives and members in the mornings before conference. We also had a lesson planned, but that fell through, so we did what I call “conference tracting.” The approach is knocking on the door and when they answer it say, “Hi, if there was a living prophet of God on the earth today, would you be interested in what he had to say?” “Uuuh, yeah.” “Great, cuz he’ll be speaking to the whole world in a couple of hours.” It’s so cool to have God’s chosen servants talk to us twice a year. This is Christ’s church! So cool. Anyway, I thought this was a great idea, but we only did a couple of doors before it started pouring rain and sister Miller didn’t have a jacket. So we did more cookie deliveries. Here’s us braving some rain.
In other news, we had District Waffle Breakfast before District Meeting and our District Leader asked one of the companionships to bring waffles. The other sisters- “Ice cream on waffles?? That is so unhealthy!” Me- “That is literally the only way to eat a waffle.” Yay, so glad for vanilla ice cream on waffles!!