BILLS! BILLS! BILLS! (as in Buffalo Bills)

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If you did not start singing the Bill Nye the Science Guy theme song then you need to go back to middle school. 

Best.week.ever. Let’s start at the top.

Our ward mission leader took us to Buffalo Wild Wings and it’s official. I don’t like them. I can’t do the bones, and all the yummy flavor and seasoning is on the outside, and I canNOT eat the skin. I did however learn how to eat them properly and I feel more like a local every day.

Also, be proud of me, there are no cat pictures coming this week and no mention of them after this point. Like I said, it was a good week. 

Wednesday we got to go to Young Women in Excellence. I love the young women and the ward loves us being around the girls. Their program was super cute, all about princesses, so Sister Ewell and I were in heaven. We got these sweet crowns. The theme was “Be Loyal to the Royal Inside of You” or something like that. Doesn’t look like we have much of a problem with that haha, who do we think we are?image1-2

Miracle 1: Missions can also be a blast: Thursday was one of the greatest days ever. This is where the subject of the email comes in. There’s a member of our ward who films for the Buffalo Bills, and he gives the missionaries tours of the stadium and facilities, but we weren’t sure if we could get one because it’s during the season and usually he can only do it during the summer. But they had a bye week this week! Which means for our lunch hour we got the VIP tour of the New Era Stadium! We got to see the indoor and outdoor practice fields, the locker rooms, the training rooms, then we got to go down to the field! It was SO COOL! We took a million pictures. Brother Burnard asked, “Do you want a picture with the quarterback’s locker?” Sister Smith, “Uuuuuuuh YEAH!!” It was awesome!image3

We also did a 40 yard dash on the field. I didn’t win if you were wondering.image7

The Lucky Few.
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Miracle 2: There are people being prepared to receive the gospel: Friday was THE greatest day of my mission thus far. But first we must rewind to last week. Setting: two sister missionaries knocking on doors before a dinner appointment. We walk up to a lady working in her garage and she said that she used to babysit for Mormons and that she wasn’t interested. Then out of her house walks her son and she says, “But maybe my son is.” So we meet said son, his name is Evan, age 21. He doesn’t take a Book of Mormon, but he does say we can come back and teach him, so we set up a time and come back on Monday, with Sister Bagley, aka our Orchard Park mom. It was a good lesson, he had lots of great questions and accepted everything we taught. He even said he’d be baptized! Next lesson on Friday we show up and he pulls out the Book of Mormon and Bible and pamphlets we gave him ready for the next lesson. He had done all the additional reading in the back of the pamphlet and had written notes. Our lesson on the Restoration was incredible, we set a baptismal date with him for December 3rd, we’re taking him to the sites in Palmyra next week with the Bagleys, AND he wanted to come to stake conference!  So while watching The District training videos I’d always wondered how the missionaries were so composed when someone wanted to be baptized. I was sure I’d just start screaming and crying. Well sure enough, as soon as we left his house and said good-bye to Sister Bagley we dashed to the car and started screaming haha. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more joy and gratitude on my mission then I did that night, I can’t even describe it but I’m sure those of you who have served know what I mean. And it was interesting because right before the lesson I was not feeling good (aka random panic attack hit me for no reason, I wasn’t stressed or anything) and we were considering cancelling the appointment, but I decided we needed to go anyway. And boom, coolest lesson ever. Just shows that Satan is real, and will do what he can to frustrate the work. 

Miracle 3: This is the Lord’s work, and He places us where He needs us. So we were supposed to go mow a lawn for a part member family in East Aurora Saturday morning but they called and said it wasn’t a good day. Our backup was to go borrow rakes and walk the streets there offering free leaf raking. We’d done this last week and it worked great. So we’re on our way to East Aurora when I see a little old lady pushing her mower to suck up the leaves just right off the road. It was obvious that’s where we needed to be so I whipped around and we pulled into the driveway. As soon as I step out I look up and this little old lady is hugging Sister Ewell haha, I was so confused. Anyway, we told her we were there to rake her leaves! And we did! Her son and grandson were working in the back and they helped us. It was so much fun, and they kept saying how they didn’t think they’d be able to finish the yard that day. When we finished we asked if we could share a message with them and they invited us in! This never happens. Okay, now that I think about it this is the fourth time I’ve been invited in on my mission, so good stuff. They fed us cookies and we taught them the Plan of Salvation! They weren’t interested in us coming back and sharing more with them, but we fulfilled our purpose by inviting them to Christ, and made three new friends. The Lord provides a way, and I love being where He needs me. Also that day one of our other investigators in East Aurora, Christine, took us out to eat at Elm Street Bakery. She is an angel. Not really interested in joining the church, but she reads all the talks and scriptures we give her and she is just the most amazing person ever.

Miracle 4: Evan came with us to stake conference! Wow. Sister Bagley took the three of us, and he sat through it all and still wants to meet with us. He’s a keeper. It was such a good meeting. The Buffalo members are awesome. So many people came up to meet Evan and he really enjoyed coming with us. On the way back he had so many questions we were able to answer. Life is so so good.
 

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There are SO many leaves in New York! Cool things, in New York you rake your leaves
 into big piles on the side of the road and then a big truck with a huge vacuum drives along and the workers walk beside it with the tube and suck up the leaves. It’s so cool! “Very sucky!” Also probably why their taxes are so high here.
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Week 2 in Buffalo: Cats & More Cats!

If I could describe this week in one word it would be CATS. So many cats. First of all, service at the cat shelter. Sister Ewell’s heaven. Me, not so much. It was awful. Then we helped the cat shelter place set up for their annual fundraiser. So many different cat items were auctioned and we had to set it all up. Then we were escorts for the guests and seated them at their tables. But you can imagine what kind of people it was who came. It was pretty much just a crazy cat lady convention. Also, we run into cats every door we knock on. The photo says it all. image3We trusted the elders to buy cat shirts for us and somehow I managed to get the only decent one. But really, mine is the best. It’s strictly for cat service purposes haha. We have a good district.image4

This week just flew by. We spent some time in a town a few miles away that we cover. East Aurora is the coolest little place ever. Well it’s not that little, but it is amazing. There’s this store there called Vidler’s. It’s the biggest Five and Dime store ever. Like the old storehouse on Main Street on steroids. It takes up the whole block. You can probably google it. Anyway, I love East Aurora and the people there.image5

We’ve done lots of service besides the cat service. Tuesday we raked leaves for 2 hours straight. It was Sister Ewell’s first time raking leaves. (They don’t rake leaves in Nevada.) We also helped set up a rare book sale. We went to YW’s and Activity Days. The Activity Day girls were having an activity on missionary work. (The members want us to be friends with the YW because they haven’t had sisters in the ward for many years.) We volunteer at a place called Birchfield every week. It’s a park where we rake leaves and gravel trails.

image3 We went to Paula’s donuts. Paula’s donuts is famous. I got a strawberry shortcake donut. It was filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream and powdered sugar goodness and it was like a perfect pillow of strawberry shortcake. It’s not that far away and it’s not that expensive so it’s dangerous.

Today for P-day we hiked in Chestnut Ridge Park to the Eternal Flame with the district. Behind the waterfall there’s some natural gas that leaks out of the rocks and once it’s lit it burns forever. Pretty neat.image6

We’ve been doing a lot of tracting, especially during the day because we really need to find
people to teach in the nighttime dark cold hours. Our topic whilst tracting? Disneyland. Always Disneyland. Everything Disneyland. It’s great! I love Sister Ewell.image1